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Archaeologists find smiling sphinx in southern Egypt

An Egyptian archaeologist [Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency]
An Egyptian archaeologist [Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency]

Archaeologists have found a smiling sphinx and a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt.

The sphinx, which also has two dimples, is thought to represent Roman Emperor Claudius. It was found near the Hathor Temple.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that next to the smiling sphinx archaeologists also found "a Roman stele written in demotic and hieroglyphic scripts."

The script may reveal further details about who the sphinx is.

In October last year archaeologists discovered a pink granite sarcophagus in an ancient burial chamber, which belonged to the head of the treasury under Ramses the Great.

Then in January Egypt unveiled the unearthing of dozens of archaeological discoveries at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside Cairo.

One of the tombs which was uncovered belonged to a palace official whilst the other was for a priest from the fifth dynasty.

READ: Scientists reveal hidden corridor in Great Pyramid of Giza

Statues, amulets and a sarcophagus were also unearthed at the Saqqara Necropolis, which is part of the Memphis necropolis, where the Giza Pyramids are also located.

At the beginning of March Egyptian antiquities officials said they had found a hidden corridor close to the main entrance of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

It is thought that the discovery could lead to further details on how the pyramid was constructed.

Analysts have said that these new discoveries may be aimed at rebooting tourism to the country, which has been damaged by the Arab Spring, coronavirus and an ongoing crackdown by the government.

In June 2022 Egypt's tourism industry earnt $10.75 billion, according to Reuters.

The European Union and five major European museums, including the British Museum and the Louvre, are financing the renovation of the Egyptian museum in central Cairo.

The Egyptian Museum is home to more than 120,000 artefacts from ancient Egypt, including Tutankhamun's Mask, the Statue of Khufu, and the Bust of Akhenaten.

READ: Egypt reopens newly restored historic Mosque

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