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article imageEgyptian archaeologists discover sphinx in Temple of Kom Ombo

By Karen Graham     Sep 16, 2018 in Science
Cairo - Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion's body and a human head in the southern city of Aswan. The sphinx, made of sandstone, was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater.
The Egyptian archaeological mission was working with a groundwater reduction project at Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan when the discovery was made, according to the Egyptian Independent.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa al-Waziri, said on Sunday the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic period, and was found on the southeastern side of Kom Ombo Temple between the outer wall and the archaeological hill.
Overview of the Kom Ombo temple in Egypt  on the Nile. Photo taken in December 2004 by Ian Sewell.
Overview of the Kom Ombo temple in Egypt, on the Nile. Photo taken in December 2004 by Ian Sewell.
The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years - from around 320BC to about 30BC. The temple itself was constructed during this time, about 180–47 BC. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods.
The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu, while the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris ("Horus the Elder"), along "with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor or Tefnet/Tefnut, and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands)."
Relief at the temple of Kom Ombo  Egypt  showing Sobek  the crocidile god. March 2008.
Relief at the temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt, showing Sobek, the crocidile god. March 2008.
Alonso de Mendoza
Much of the temple was destroyed over the centuries - by the flooding of the Nile, earthquakes and later, by builders who used its stones for other projects. All the temple buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893. A few of the three hundred crocodile mummies discovered in the vicinity are displayed in The Crocodile Museum.
An earlier discovery predates the pyramids
The new discovery comes after archaeologists announced they had found one of the oldest villages ever in Egypt's Nile Delta- with the remains dating back to before the pharaohs. This Neolithic site was discovered in Tell el-Samara, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) north of Cairo.
The ancient village  dating back to around 5 000 BCE. It s one of the oldest ever discovered in the ...
The ancient village, dating back to around 5,000 BCE. It's one of the oldest ever discovered in the region, predating the pyramids at Giza by 2,500 years.
Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
Chief archaeologist Frederic Gio said his team found silos containing animal bones and food, indicating human habitation as early as 5,000 B.C. The silos were built 2,500 years before the Giza pyramids were built.
More about Archaeology, Egypt, Sphinx, Ptolemaic period, Kom Onbo temple
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