Archaeologists discover the Sphinx sandstone statue during work to protect an ancient Egyptian temple
- The Ministry of Antiquities says that the sphinx was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo
- Sandstone statue was found during work to protect the site from groundwater
- The Supreme Council of Antiquities said that the statue probably dates from the Ptolemaic era
Leigh Mcmanus for Mailonline
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a statue of the body of a lion and a human head in the southern city of Aswan.
The Ministry of Antiquities says that the sphinx, made of sandstone, was found in the Kom Ombo Temple during work to protect the site from groundwater.
Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic era.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt said that the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic era
The Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt for about 300 years, from about 320 BC to about 30 BC.
Egypt hopes that such discoveries will stimulate tourism, partly driven by antiquities tourism, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.
The discovery comes after archaeologists found one of the oldest villages in the Nile delta in Egypt, with remains dating back to before the pharaohs.
The statue of the Sphinx after it was found during work to protect the site of the Temple from the groundwater
The Ministry of Antiquities said in early September that the Neolithic site was discovered in Tell el-Samara, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) north of Cairo.
The chief archaeologist, Frederic Gio, said his team found silos that contained animal bones and food, indicating that the humans' room dates back to 5,000 BC.
That would be about 2,500 years before the pyramids of Giza were built.
Earlier this year, Egyptian archaeologists discovered a tomb of 4,400 in Giza, which probably belonged to a woman known as Hetpet, who is believed to be near the ancient Egyptian royalty of the 5th dynasty.
The Ministry of Antiquities says that the sphinx was found in the Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan