500 kilometres south of Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, archaeologists discovered a limestone figure that resembled a sphinx and had two dimples and a smile on its face close to the Hathor Temple.
The artefact was discovered within a two-level tomb close to the temple and may be a stylized image of a former Roman emperor, according to the antiquities authorities.
The figure, according to the archaeologists, might be a representation of the Roman emperor Claudius, who ruled from 41 to 54 AD and expanded Rome’s dominion into North Africa.
‘The sphinx is exquisitely and precisely sculpted. According to a preliminary inspection of the statue, it might be the work of the Roman emperor Claudianoius,’ according to Mamdouh El-Damaty, an Egyptology professor at Ain Shams University.
Apart from the smiling statue, the archaeologists also stumbled upon a Roman-era slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.
Though the statue is comparatively much smaller than the widely popular Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza which stands tall at 20 metres, the archaeologists will continue their research to reveal more information about its identity. Deciphering the slab may shed important information about the statue, the ministry noted.