Crio sphinx linked to King Tut’s grandfather discovered
CAIRO – 3 March 2019: Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a large ram-headed Sphinx that is linked to King Tutankhamun’s grandfather, Fox News reported on Sunday.
Found beneath several feet of debris at Gebel-el-Silsila, an ancient quarry on the Nile, the Sphinx is 16.4-feet longs and 11.5-feet high.
Only its head was visible prior to excavation.
The sculpture is believed to be from the time of King Tut’s grandfather, the pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled in the 14th century B.C.
Egypt Today has recently reported that archaeologists are now working to carefully lift the mysterious statue; according to officials, because of its location, the statue cannot be directly extracted from the ground.
The criosphinx (or ram-headed sphinx) is carved in a similar style to those at the famous Khonshu Temple at the huge Karnak complex, according to experts.
“During the sphinx excavations and placed up-side-down next to the large sculpture’s stomach, the team discovered a smaller practice piece of another sphinx, perhaps carved by an apprentice,” archaeologists explain, in a blog post. “Both sculptures are preserved in a rough-cut and prepared for transportation, but were likely abandoned at Gebel el-Silsila as the larger sculpture fractured.”
Near the smaller piece, a rough-cut “uraeus,” or coiled cobra, was found. Experts note that the sculpture was intended to crown the head of the larger sphinx.
Parts of an obelisk were also found in the ancient sandstone workshop, along with a quarry text from the site’s opening, written during Amenhotep III’s reign.
LiveScience reports that, when Amenhotep died, the sculptures he commissioned may have been left unfinished.
During the 18th dynasty the Egyptians switched from limestone to sandstone. At this time the quarries at Gebelein were not yielding as much limestone as before. Gebel el-Silsila became a source of sandstone.
The site provided numerous stone quarries on both the west and east sides of the Nile. The site contains many shrines erected by officials who would have been in charge of quarrying the stone.