Sphinx unearthed at Karnak temple
General view of the temple of Ptah at Karnak.
By RANY MOSTAFA

CAIRO: A limestone statuette of a Sphinx has been unearthed during a routine excavation north of Luxor’s Karnak temple complex, according to Abdel-Hakim Karar, director of the Upper Egypt Antiquities Department, Friday.

“The 60-centimeter tall statue was discovered to the east of the sanctuary of the temple of God Ptah, one of the four main temple enclosures that make up the immense Karnak temple complex,” Karar told The Cairo Post Friday.

It was discovered by archaeologists from the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Karnak Temples, currently excavating at the northern area of the precinct of Amun-Re temple, according to Karar.

“The statuette is in a good state of preservation and represents a lion’s body and the royal facial features of a Pharaoh, strongly believed to be of the New Kingdom Period (1580 B.C.-1080 B.C.),” said Karar adding that archaeologists are currently cleaning and examining the statuette for further historical details.

Located with the large precinct of Amun-Ra at Karnak, the small temple of Ptah, approached from the west through five successive gateways, lies to the north of the main Amun-Ra temple, just within the boundary wall, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Friday.

“The temple of God Ptah was built by Thutmose III, on the site of an earlier Middle Kingdom (2,000 B.C.-1,700 B.C.) temple and was later enlarged during the Greek Period (332 B.C.-30 B.C.),” said Sabban.

Archaeologists from the French-Egyptian Center for the Study of the Karnak Temples have been studying the temple of Ptah Since October 2008, according to Sabban. In March 2012, they discovered a limestone gate engraved with the name of a Pharaoh called Sennakhtenre from the 17th Dynasty that launched the military campaign which rid Egypt of the tribe of invaders known as the Hyksos.

 

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