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Ancient sphinx sculpture with the head of a ram discovered in 3,000 year old abandoned workshop in Egypt

Ancient sandstone sphinx with the head of a ram discovered in 3000 year old abandoned workshop in Egypt linked to the grandfather of King Tut

  • Researchers discovered an old abandoned workshop in Gebel el Silsila in Egypt
  • There they found a sphinx with a ram’s head, hieroglyphic fragments, ancient texts
  • They say it dates from the 18th dynasty during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

Archaeologists have discovered the 3000-year-old remains of an Egyptian carving workshop with various unfinished sculptures, including a ram-headed sphinx carved in sandstone.

The old workshop dates from the 18th dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep III – the grandfather of King Tut.

The Swedish-Egyptian team behind the discovery also found hundreds of hieroglyphic fragments on the site, along with a small “practice piece” of a sphinx that might have been cut by a student.

Archaeologists have discovered the 3000-year-old remains of an Egyptian carving workshop with various unfinished sculptures, including a ram-headed sphinx carved in sandstone.

Archaeologists have discovered the 3000-year-old remains of an Egyptian carving workshop with various unfinished sculptures, including a ram-headed sphinx carved in sandstone.

WHO WAS FARAO AMENHOTEP III?

Amenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from Euphrates to Sudan.

The 18th Dynasty ruler became king at the age of 12, with his mother as regent.

He is supposed to have ruled Egypt between 1386 and 1349 BC.

He chose the daughter of a provincial official as his royal wife, and during his reign Queen Tiye played alongside the king.

The king’s palace in Malkata was close to his burial temple – the largest ever built with the original location marked by the two ‘Colossi of Memnon’ statues.

Amenhotep III died around 1354 BC and was succeeded by his son Amenhotep IV, known as Akhenaten.

Researchers from the Gebel el Silsila project revealed their latest discovery in a blog post this week.

The team, led by archaeologists from the University of Lund and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, says that only the head of the ram-headed sphinx – known as a criosphinx – was visible before the excavations in the quarry.

Now they have discovered the full body of a sculpture that is approximately 5 meters long and 3.5 meters long.

The upper half of his head, however, has broken off and seems to have been lost through time.

In addition to the belly of the big statue, the team discovered another, smaller sphinx that appeared to have been carved by a student.

They also found a roughly carved sculpture of a coiled cobra that had been carved and crown the head of the Sphinx.

The old workshop dates from the 18th dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep III - the grandfather of King Tut

The old workshop dates from the 18th dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep III - the grandfather of King Tut

According to the team, the wealth of hieroglyphic fragments found in the quarry came to Amenhotep III from a shrine that has since been destroyed.

According to the team, the wealth of hieroglyphic fragments found in the quarry came to Amenhotep III from a shrine that has since been destroyed.

The old workshop dates from the 18th dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep III – the grandfather of King Tut. This week, researchers from the Gebel el Silsila project unveiled their latest discovery in a blog post

The finds contain a fragment of a winged solar disk, shown above. The team also found a sculpture of a falcon and a text from a quarry written when the site was first opened, during the reign of the ruler about 3350 years ago

The finds contain a fragment of a winged solar disk, shown above. The team also found a sculpture of a falcon and a text from a quarry written when the site was first opened, during the reign of the ruler about 3350 years ago

The finds contain a fragment of a winged solar disk, shown above. The team also found a sculpture of a falcon and a text from a quarry written when the site was first opened, during the reign of the ruler about 3350 years ago

“Both sculptures were roughly preserved and prepared for transport, but were probably left in Gebel el-Silsila when the larger sculpture broke,” the researchers said.

“Since then, Roman quarry activity has been burying the sphinxes in the loot.”

According to the team, the wealth of hieroglyphic fragments found in the quarry came from Amenhotep III, a shrine that has since been destroyed.

The 18th Dynasty ruler reigned in the mid 1300 BC alongside Queen Tiye.

The Swedish-Egyptian team behind the discovery found hundreds of hieroglyphic fragments on the site, along with a small “practice piece” of a sphinx that might have been cut by a student

The team, led by archaeologists from the University of Lund and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, says that only the head of the ram-headed sphinx - known as a criosphinx - was visible before the excavations in the quarry. However, the upper half of the head is broken off

The team, led by archaeologists from the University of Lund and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, says that only the head of the ram-headed sphinx - known as a criosphinx - was visible before the excavations in the quarry. However, the upper half of the head is broken off

The team, led by archaeologists from the University of Lund and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, says that only the head of the ram-headed sphinx – known as a criosphinx – was visible before the excavations in the quarry. However, the upper half of the head is broken off

Researchers discovered the full body of a sculpture about 5 meters long and 3.5 meters long. The upper half of his head, however, has broken off and seems to have been lost through time

Researchers discovered the full body of a sculpture about 5 meters long and 3.5 meters long. The upper half of his head, however, has broken off and seems to have been lost through time

Researchers discovered the full body of a sculpture about 5 meters long and 3.5 meters long. The upper half of his head, however, has broken off and seems to have been lost through time

They also dug up fragments of a falcon sculpture and a vegetable text when the site was first opened, during the reign of the ruler about 3350 years ago,

The team is now working on deciphering the texts, which are written in red ocher.

Archaeologists will continue with excavations and digital recordings on the site during the next digging season.

In addition to the belly of the big statue, the team discovered another, smaller sphinx that appeared to have been carved by a student. They also found a roughly carved sculpture of a coiled cobra that was carved crowns the head of the Sphinx

In addition to the belly of the big statue, the team discovered another, smaller sphinx that appeared to have been carved by a student. They also found a roughly carved sculpture of a coiled cobra that was carved crowns the head of the Sphinx

In addition to the belly of the big statue, the team discovered another, smaller sphinx that appeared to have been carved by a student. They also found a roughly carved sculpture of a coiled cobra that was carved crowns the head of the Sphinx

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