Smiling mini-sphinx unearthed in Egypt may depict emperor Claudius
Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Ministry has revealed the discovery of a limestone sphinx with a sly grin in the country's south.
The Egyptian archaeological mission from Ain Shams University, headed by Prof. Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, former Minister of Antiquities and Professor of Archeology, uncovered a limestone cabin's remains from the Roman era, according to the press release.
Found near the Hathor Temple, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Cairo, the limestone sphinx with a cheerful face probably represents Roman Emperor Claudius, who extended Roman rule in North Africa, the archaeologists believe.
Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty from Ain Shams University described the statue was carved carefully by characterizing the royal features of his face. The remains of yellow and red color appear on his face, and a painting from the Roman era written in hieroglyphics and demotic was found below the statue.
The ruins of the cabin are a two-level platform with a foundation and sloping floors, a red brick water storage basin coated in mortar, and a stairway that can be dated to the Byzantine era, according to Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty.
Who was Roman Emperor Claudius?
The fourth Roman emperor, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, ruled from AD 41 to AD 54. Claudius, a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was created at Lugdunum in Roman Gaul when his father was stationed as a military legate. He was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. The first Roman emperor to be born outside of Italy.
During the excesses of Caligula's reign, he enlarged the imperial bureaucracy to include freedmen and assisted in repairing the Roman empire's financial situation. He was a visionary constructor who expanded the empire's network of roads, aqueducts, and canals.
The empire under Claudius had its first significant growth since Augustus' rule. During his administration, various events led to the annexation of the provinces of Thrace, Noricum, Lycia, and Judea.