The Great Sphinx of Giza which is located in Giza, Egypt, dates back to King Khafre’s ruling era. (c. 2575–c. 2465 BCE) Historians believe this monument depicts King Khafre’s face. The Great Sphinx of Giza is considered one of Egypt’s most famous landmarks and is arguably the best-known example of sphinx art.
What is a Sphinx?
A Sphinx is considered to be a mythological creature with the body of a lion and head of a man. As Egyptian kings were the supreme personalities during those times, the top/ head of the sphinx was mostly that of a Pharaoh or a god.
What’s the purpose of building a sphinx?
The Egyptians built sphinx statues to protect important areas like tombs and temples. They believed that these Sphinxes would guard their sacred and important areas.
The Great Sphinx of Giza
The most famous Sphinx statue is the “Great Sphinx of Giza”. It’s one of the most important and oldest statues in the world. Archeologists and historians believe that it had been carved around 2500 BC. It is believed that Sphinx’s head resembles Pharaoh Khafra’s head. The Great Sphinx stands guard over Giza’s pyramid tombs, facing the sunrise.
How big is it?
The Great Sphinx is a huge monument. It’s 241 feet (73 meters) long and 66 feet (20 meters) high. The eyes on the face are as large as 6 feet tall. Also, the ears are around three feet tall. Now you can imagine how big it is. It’s carved out of the bedrock during a trench at the Giza site.
How did it look in the early days?
Over the last 4500 years, harsh weather conditions and erosion have taken their toll on the Great Sphinx. We are fortunate enough to see this amazing artwork even after 4500 years with minimum damage to its original look. It’s really a miracle and gives an idea of how good the Egyptians.
By the way, the original Sphinx would have looked much different than the present-day sphinx. It had an extended braided beard and a nose. It was also painted in bright colors. Archeologists think that the face and body were painted in red, the beard was blue, and the far of the headdress was yellow. Imagine the beauty of the Great Sphinx in the early days. Yes! It sure might be a tremendous site to visit!
How did it lose its nose?
It is uncertain how the nose of the great sphinx got knocked off. There were some stories that Napoleon’s soldiers accidentally knocked off their noses. Anyway, this story was proven wrong as pictures drawn before the arrival of Napoleon were found to be without the sphinx’s nose.
Most accepted idea is that the nose was destroyed by someone who considered the Sphinx evil.
- It was built more than 4500 years ago.
- Laborers who built The Great Sphinx of Giza were treated with luxurious meals every day.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza was colorful in the early days.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is the oldest monumental sculpture in human history.
- It is believed that there was more than one Great Sphinx in Egypt.
Egypt is full of such great historical archeological sites as the Great Sphynx of Giza. In fact, Egypt has 6 world cultural heritage sites. The great sphinx of Giza is situated in the world heritage site “Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur”. It was named a world heritage site in 1979 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
The site is a tourist hotspot in the present day.