Great Egyptian Sphinx Unearthed By Accident
The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of Egypt's most famous landmarks, but the country actually boasts a number of sphinx statues.
Recently, a great sphinx that bears a resemblance to Giza's famous monument was unearthed accidentally.
Road Workers Stumble Upon Second Sphinx
Officials have confirmed that the massive statue was discovered during the construction project of the Al-Kabbash Road, which is envisioned to connect Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple.
The said sphinx is currently still in place, unable to be excavated due to the nature of the environment. There are plans to extract the valuable discovery as soon as the environment is more suitable.
However, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, general director of Luxor Antiquities encourages tourists to visit the road project for a glimpse of the ancient sphinx. The newly discovered statue dates back more than 4,000 years, Egyptian Streets reports. It features a human head atop a lion's body just like the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Bassam al-Shamma, a researcher in Egyptology, says that the discovery of the sphinx is not too shocking since a number of sphinx statues scattered across Luxor.
In 2010, the sphinx-lined road in Luxor was discovered, a path leading to the temple of Mut, according to Phys Org. A total of 12 sphinxes were found, most of which were missing their heads. They were also inscribed with the name Nectabo I, who is the founder of the last Pharaonic dynasty.
The Significance Of The Sphinx In Egypt
The sphinx is not exclusive to Egypt as it is also an important figure in Asian and Greek mythology, according to History. However, the 4,500-year-old Great Sphinx of Giza in Cairo is certainly the world's most famous monument to this mythological figure.
It was known to be a spiritual guidance and thus often accompanies tombs and temple complexes. The sphinx is usually depicted as a male, but there are also statues made in the image of the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut.
IFLScience adds that the sphinx used to be considered a symbol of royalty. Pharaohs often order their faces to be carved with the body of a lion to represent their closeness to the goddess Sekhmet who had a lioness form.
The new discovery could potentially have been commissioned by an important figure, so it is a great find that could lead to a host of new information on the ancient Egyptian civilization.