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Wednesday, October 28, 1998 Published at 16:46 GMT

World: Middle East

Sphinx discovered in Egyptian port

Archaelogists working in the Egyptian port of Alexandria have raised a granite sphinx representing Cleopatra's father, King Ptolemy the Twelfth.

Damian Grammaticas: "Discoveries won't reveal new secrets, but brings us within touching distance of history"
They also lifted from the water a well-preserved statue of the Great Priest of Isis dating from the first century AD.

For three years the archaelogists have been exploring Alexandria's ancient royal quarter from where Cleopatra ruled Egypt.

Using sophisticated electronic equipment they've made a map of the royal quarter which disappeared beneath the sea after a series of earthquakes and tidal waves over sixteen-hundred years ago.

The sphinx and the statue were returned to the seabed, but there are proposals to create an underwater museum to display the submerged city.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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