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The New Arab

Egypt construction workers discover 'new sphinx' while upgrading road

Egypt's most famous sphinx stands adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 August, 2018

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Egyptian authorities have encouraged tourists to visit a construction site in Luxor where a 'sphinx statue' has been unearthed.

Construction workers in the Egyptian city of Luxor have stumbled upon what is may be an ancient sphinx statue, officials say.

The statue, which is thought to resemble a half-lion half-human creature from Greek and Egyptian mythology, was discovered between the two temples of Karnak and Luxor.

Workers at the site had been digging and upgrading the al-Kabbash road between the two Nile-side temples as part of a $12.8 million project. Construction has been halted as authorities decide what to do with the new find, which could be over 4,000 years old.

Mohamed Abel Aziz, director general of Luxor antiquities, said the will for now remain in the soil "due to the nature of the environment it is in," according to Egypt Today.

Authorities have encouraged tourists to visit the site and catch a glimpse of the new discovery.

Egypt's most famous Sphinx stands adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza, just outside the capital of Cairo.

Archaeologists in Egypt have so far this year excavated a number of relics that include a 4,400-year-old tomb at the Giza plateau and an ancient necropolis in Minya, south of Cairo.

Authorities hope that new archaeological finds will help revive the country's struggling tourism industry, which has suffered due to the turmoil that followed the toppling of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

According to official data, Egypt received 8.3 million visitors in 2017, a figure dwarfed by the 2010 pre-revolution figure of 14.7 million.

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