Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Unique Sphinx Fragment Found in Israel

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

SphinxJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have uncovered the base of a sphinx statue at Tel Hazor National Park. The sculpture is unique because it bears hieroglyphs linking it to Mycerinus, who ruled Egypt in the third millennium B.C. and was a builder of the Giza pyramids. This is the only known sphinx connected to Mycerinus, and the only royal sphinx to have been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean. Excavators Amon Ben-Tor and Sharon Zuckerman think the statue was probably brought to Tel Hazor as a gift to the king long after the rule of Mycerinus, since there is no record of a relationship between Egypt and Israel during the third millennium B.C.