A smiling two-dimpled limestone sphinx has been discovered in Egypt, in a Byzantine pool inside a two-tiered tomb, local media reported, citing the Egyptian ministry of tourism and antiquities.
“The sphinx was discovered alongside a Roman stele engraved in demotic and hieroglyphics,” the ministry said Monday.
The stele still needs to be deciphered to reveal the exact identity of the emperor, who could be, according to the Egyptian team in charge of the excavations, “the Roman emperor Claudianoius”, it adds.
The Dendera zodiac joined Paris when in 1820 the French prefect Sébastien Louis Saulnier sent a team to unseal this bas-relief with explosives.
This representation of the celestial vault of more than 2.5 meters in width and height has hung on a ceiling in the Louvre since 1922, while a plaster copy replaces it in Dendera.