An Egyptian archaeological mission announces the discovery of a limestone statue, in the shape of a sphinx, whose face would depict a Roman emperor, most likely Claudius. The head of the sculpture is covered by a nemes, the headdress worn in antiquity by Egyptian rulers.

The discovery took place in the Qena Governorate, along the Nile River in southern Egypt. The statue was inside a Roman building brought to light during excavations near a temple – also from Roman times – dedicated to the god Horus. Already in 2014, on an outer wall of the temple of Isis in Shanhur, 20 kilometers north of Luxor, an engraving was discovered depicting Emperor Claudius dressed as a pharaoh, with hieroglyphics calling him "son of Ra, lord of the crowns" and "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the Two Lands".

Claudius reigned from 41 to 54 AD. Like other Roman emperors, he never visited Egypt, but it is known that by authorizing and encouraging his worship they legitimized the command over the Nile and the desert regions of North Africa, managing to maintain the political stability of these territories.

The Egyptian priests depicted the emperors as pharaohs from the moment of the Roman conquest, carried out by Octavian Augustus in 31 BC, after the death of Cleopatra, until the fourth century after Christ, when, with the death of Theodosius I, the empire ended up divided between his sons, Arcadius and Honorius, in the Roman Empire of East and West.


Emperor Claudius' sphinx found