The Great Sphinx of Giza, a large half-human, half-lion Sphinx statue on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile River, near modern-day Cairo seen with Cheop's Pyramid (Great Pyramid) in the background, 23 October 2007. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC, somewhere between 2520 BC and 2494 BC. The debate surrounding the real-life model used for the face when it was built, and by whom, have earned the title “Riddle of the Sphinx,” a nod to its Greek namesake, although this phrase should not be confused with the original Greek legend. AFP PHOTO/CRIS BOURONCLE (Photo credit should read CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Egyptian archaeologists find sphinx at Aswan temple
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the statue of a sphinx while draining water from the pharaonic Temple of Kom Ombo in the southern city of Aswan.
The antiquities ministry said the statue of the mythical beast with the head of a human and the body of a lion was made of sandstone.
It probably dates back to the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 305BC until the Roman conquest in 30BC.
The sphinx was uncovered while groundwater was being drained from the temple
The statue measures about 28cm (11 inches) wide and 38cm tall.
The director general of Aswan’s antiquities department, Abdul Moneim Saeed, said it would carry out further studies of the sphinx to find out more about its purpose.
The sphinx represented royal power in pharaonic Egypt, combining the physical strength of a lion with the worldly might of a king.
The Great Sphinx by the pyramids of Giza is the most famous.
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