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 said.
The smaller statue is reminiscent of the towering, well-known Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza complex, which is 66ft high.
The archaeologists also found a Roman-era stone slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.
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.