An archaeological mission discovered two sandstone statues of kneeling lions from the Ptolemaic era in Fayoum, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali announced Monday.
In a statement issued by the Antiquities Ministry, the minister said the two statues were found on the western bank of the Nile, in the area of Dima al-Sebaa in Fayoum Governorate.
The statues were found surrounded by ruins of parts of the temple of the god Sunkobaius.
They were used to decorate the gutter of temple, the minister explains, like those found on the roofs of the Greco-Roman eras temples in Upper Egypt.
A mission from the Italian University of Salento in Lecce discovered the statues.
Ali stressed that the two statues indicate that the temple, which dates back to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, was built with high quality material, comparable to famous temples built in these eras in Upper Egypt.
This is the first time of its kind that lion-shaped statues were found adorning gutters at a Greco-Roman settlement in Fayoum, he said.
Professor Mario Capasso, head of the mission, said the two statues are in good condition, measuring 1.6 meters long, 0.9 meters deep and 0.8 meters high.
The lions’ facial features significantly simulate nature, but differ from one another in terms of shape and detail.