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Second ancient Egyptian sphinx may have been discovered near Valley of the Kings, experts say

Statue dating back possible 4,000 years unearthed by construction workers improving city road

Colin Drury
Sunday 12 August 2018 09:01 BST
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Second ancient Egyptian sphinx may have been discovered near Valley of the Kings, experts say

A second Egyptian sphinx may have been discovered by construction workers improving a major road in the city of Luxor, officials say.

The statue – said to have a lion’s body and human head – was unearthed between the two famed Nile-side temples of Karnak and Luxor.

It is about six miles from the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of Egypt’s ancient pharaohs.

If the find turns out to be genuine, it could date back as far as 2500BC – making it more than 4,000 years old.

It has not yet been lifted from the ground and no photos have been published, but officials say tourists are welcome to visit the construction site to see it.

Mohamed Abel Aziz, director general of Luxor antiquities, said the structure would remain embedded in the soil for some time “due to the nature of the environment it is in”, according to the magazine Egypt Today.

He added that construction work – part of a £10m project to excavate and upgrade Al-Kabbash Road between the two temples – had been halted while decisions about the sphinx are made.

With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the Great Sphinx of Giza – which stands next to the Great Pyramid – measures 73m long and 20m high.

It dates back to around 2500BC and was probably constructed to resemble the Pharaoh Khafre, historians believe.

However, it has long been thought other such sphinx may exist honouring other pharaohs.

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