Archaeologists in Egypt unearth Sphinx-like statue and shrine

Archaeologists have unearthed a Sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt.

The artefacts were found in the temple of Dendera in Qena Province, 280 miles south of the capital of Cairo, Egypt's antiquities ministry revealed.

Archaeologists believe the statue's smiling features may belong to the Roman emperor Claudius, who extended Rome's rule into North Africa between 41 and 54 AD, the ministry added.

The smaller statue is reminiscent of the well-known Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza complex, which is 66ft high.

More studies will be conducted on the markings on the stone slab by archaeologists, which could reveal more information about the smaller statue's identity and the area.

The archaeologists also found a tablet dating to Ancient Roman times with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.

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The limestone shrine includes a two-layer platform and a mud-brick basin from the Byzantine era, the ministry said.

Such discoveries are usually touted by the Egyptian government in hopes of attracting more tourists, a significant source of foreign currency for the North African country.