Egypt: the remains of two colossal sphinxes dedicated to the pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty Amenofi III have been discovered. In mythology the sphinxes are creatures with the body of a lion and the head of a human being, even if there are variants with other animals.
The most famous sphinx is undoubtedly the Great Sphinx of the Giza necropolis, 73 meters long and 20 meters high. The discovery was made by a team of German and Egyptian scientists led by Professor Hourig Sourouzian. The fragments of the two sphinxes were found during the restoration operations in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III: built 3,400 years ago in the heart of the necropolis of Thebes overlooking the Nile.
As reported in a press release from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that the two sphinxes were found semi submerged: "Their heads depict Amenhotep III wearing a headdress in the shape mongoose, royal beard and a large necklace around his neck.
" Archaeologists have identified three well-preserved statues of Sekhmet, the lioness goddess of war in the peristyle. The festival scenes represent the Heb-Sed, a celebration for the thirtieth anniversary of a kingdom, in which offerings were made to the gods and the pharaoh promised the people years of opulence, peace and wealth.
All the finds have been transferred for restoration, but once ready they will be returned to their original locations.
During the archaeological season, the Egyptian-German archaeological mission headed by Dr. Horig Sorosian succeeded in uncovering huge stones of two royal statues in the form of the Sphinx and the goddess Sekhmet, in addition to the remains of decorated walls and columns.
Metal dagger Tutankhamun from space: what kind is it?
Tutankhamun's mysterious dagger was made from iron from a meteorite, and may be an heirloom inherited from grandfather Amenhotep III.
The meteoritic origin of the dagger had already been ascertained in 2016 thanks to the X-ray fluorescence technique, but so far no one had been able to clarify exactly the type of meteorite used.
According to the latest studies, the dagger was given to Amenofi III by a foreign king, according to the chemical and physical analysis of the blade and the handle of the weapon by X-rays. New analyzes conducted at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo show that the blade was produced by working an octahedrite, a ferrous meteorite, at low temperatures.
The proof is in the particular marks left by its crystals on the blade, also found in other finds such as an ancient Japanese sword. The decorations on the golden hilt of the dagger were attached using lime plaster, a material that was not yet used in Egypt at the time of Tutankhamun.
According to the researchers, the dagger could be the same one that is mentioned in the ancient letters of Amarna, documents of Egyptian diplomacy written in cuneiform on clay tablets about 3,400 years ago, where they speak of an iron dagger with a gold handle.
which would have been given to Amenofi III by the king of Mitanni, an ancient state of Mesopotamia. The study is published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science by a team of Egyptian and Japanese researchers led by Tokomo Arai of the Chiba Institute of Technology.