The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza



This Great Sphinx of Giza crouching in front of Giza Pyramids more than 4,500-years ago. The Sphinx is a limestone statue situated near the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt. Measuring 240 feet (73 meters) long and 66 feet (20 meters) high which makes it huge enough to be seen from miles away, It is also one of the most recognizable relics of the ancient Egyptians, although origins and history of this colossal structure are still being debated.

 

This Great Sphinx has to be visited during most of Cairo Day Tours since it is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre (2558–2532 BC) who is the owner of the middle great pyramid in Giza Plateau.

 

In ancient Egypt, the sphinx - (a creature with the body of an animal and the head of a human) was a spiritual guardian depicted as a male with a pharaoh headdress—as is the Great Sphinx—and figures of the creatures were included in tomb and temple complexes such as the valley of the sphinxes connecting Karnak and Luxor Temple.

 

The female pharaoh Hatshepsut also have Sphinxes, such as the granite sphinx statue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the large alabaster sphinx at the Ramessid temple in Memphis, Egypt.

 

The one-meter-wide nose on the face is missing. Examination of the Sphinx's face shows that long rods or chisels were hammered into the nose, one down from the bridge and one beneath the nostril, then used to pry the nose off towards the south. Mark Lehner who performed an archaeological study concluded that it was broken with instruments at an unknown time between the 3rd and 10th centuries.

 

The word sphinx originates from Greek mythology some 2,000 years after the statue was built, which makes it a riddle what Egyptians called the Great Sphinx during its prime.

A pink granite slab between the Great Sphinx's paws tells a story about Prince Thutmose son of Amenhotep II when he fell asleep near the Sphinx and had a dream that the Sphinx would make him become a Pharaoh if he helps him clear away the sand off it.

 

An adventurer named Captain Giovanni Battista Caviglia attempted in the early 1800s to dig out the statue with a team of 160 men as the Sphinx was actually buried in sand up to its shoulders. But it wasn’t until the late 1930s that Egyptian archaeologist Selim Hassan was able to finally free the creature from its sandy tomb.

 

The Sphinx was said to be the focus of solar worship in the Early Dynastic Period, before the Giza Plateau became a necropolis in the Old Kingdom, as the Sphinx, the Sphinx temple, the Causeway and the Khafra mortuary temple are all part of a complex which predates Dynasty IV.

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