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Egypt: Archaeologists discover sphinx in temple at Aswan

Egyptian archaeologists draining water from a temple in the southern city of Aswan uncover sandstone sphinx.

Egyptian archaeologists draining water from a temple in the southern city of Aswan have uncovered a sandstone sphinx likely dating to the Ptolemaic era, the antiquities ministry Khaled el-Enany announced.

The sphinx, a mythical being with the head of a human and the body of a lion, was discovered at the Kom Ombo temple, where two engraved sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V had also recently been found, the ministry said in statement on Sunday. 

The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years - from around 320 BC to about 30 BC

Egypt is hoping recent discoveries will brighten its image abroad and revive interest among travellers who once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids, but have shunned the country since its 2011 political uprising.

Important year 

Last year was also an important year for archeologists and findings across the country. 

In March 2017, pharaonic statues, dating back 3,700 years, were discovered in a muddy pit in a suburb of Cairo.

In May, the Ministry of Antiquities announced it had uncovered what is believed to be the 3,700-year-old burial chamber of a pharaoh's daughter.

Archaeologists have also found 12 cemeteries that are believed to be about 3,500 years old.

"2017 has been an historic year for archaeological discoveries. It's as if it's a message from our ancestors who are lending us a hand to help bring tourists back," el-Enany, the antiquities minister said. 

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