Egyptian archaeologists discovered a 1st-century Sphinx-like statue near Hathor Temple, one of Egypt’s best-preserved ancient sites.
The “A Smiley Faced and Two Dimples” limestone sphinx statue is of Roman Emperor Claudius. It appears much smaller than the original sphinx at the Giza Pyramids, which stands 20 meters (66 feet) tall.
These discoveries came from recent excavations led by Dr Mamdouh El Damaty, a former antique Minister and Professor of Archeology at Al Shams University.
A Frenchman named Sebastien Louis Saulnier blasted the map out of the temple, and it has been on display at the Louvre in Paris since 1922. Cairo has repeatedly demanded that the French government return the property. (RARE! Sphinx-like Roman-Era Statue Discovered in Egypt with Dimples and a Smiley Face – World News, n.d.).
The discovery comes just days after discovering a hidden corridor near the Great Pyramid of Giza’s main entrance.
The structure was constructed with two levels and essential elements, limestone and mortar. The lower level contains a large basin for collecting water from the Byzantine period when these Roman-era sphinx-like statues were discovered.
The sphinx is depicted wearing a Nemes, a royal headdress worn by pharaohs to represent their rule. A Uraeus, an Egyptian cobra, is shown above the brow as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority.
“Preliminary examination of the sphinx’s face indicates that the sphinx is a depiction of the Roman emperor Claudius,” according to the ministry’s statement. “The statue is magnificent; its face has royal features that are depicted quite precisely,” Dr El Damaty said. “There are traces of a smile on the edges of its mouth, which has a dimple on either side. The face has traces of yellow and red.” Heritage Daily – Archaeology News, n.d. (Roman Era Sphinx Discovered at Dendera Temple Complex).
The Roman Emperor – Claudius
Emperor Claudius was the son of Nero Claudius Drusus, well known and highly successful Roman General. More importantly, he was also the nephew of the second emperor of Rome, Tiberius.
Despite his proximity to power, the royal family never considered him worthy enough, considering he was immersed in his private studies and amusements and usually wasn’t decent enough to serve the people.
His public life reckoning started when he was made a consul to his nephew Gaius. After the Murder of Gaius, power then came to Claudius. The “Praetorian Guards made him emperor on January 25th.
Under Emperor Claudius, the Roman Empire underwent the first significant expansion. The provinces of Thrace, Noricum, Lycia, and Judea were annexed. Despite Coup Attempts, he did a lot of credible work in restoring the judiciary and Senate and, more importantly, improving the public work system of the city.
As “Pharaoh” of Egypt, Claudius adopted the royal titulary Tiberios Klaudios, Autokrator Heqaheqau Meryasetptah, Kanakht Djediakhshuemakhet (“Tiberius Claudius, Emperor and ruler of rulers, beloved of Isis and Ptah, the strong bull of the stable moon on the horizon”),( Roman era sphinx uncovered at Dendera Temple Complex | HeritageDaily – Archaeology News).
One of the well-preserved temples in Egypt, it is complex that has three temples, the birthing temple, the temple at the front, the temple of ISIS behind the main temple and the main temple dedicated to the God Hathor.
The temple complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mudbrick enclosed by the wall.
It is also called the Dendera temple complex, located 2.5 km South-East Egypt.
Pharoah Pepi 1 (2250 BCE) built this temple. The earliest extant building was raised by Nectanebo 2, the last of the native pharaoh (360-349 BCE)
Other influences of the Hathor temple also took centre stage, ranging from Egyptian, Greek and Roman rulers. When Christianity was embellished, the temple also had results from the Coptic church on the premise of the birthing temple.
The impetus for Egyptian tourism
According to Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the unfinished corridor was created to redistribute the pyramid’s weight around the main entrance or another undiscovered chamber or space.
However, the series of announcements in recent weeks has made experts wary about the intentions of the Egyptian government. Some believe that the government is attempting to drive up tourism in the region by making such announcements which are more economically motivated than scientific ( RARE! Sphinx-like Roman-era statue with dimples and smiley face unearthed in Egypt – World News (wionews.com)).