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The Great Sphinx of Giza

الصفحة الرئيسية




The Great Sphinx of Giza, Abū al-Haul, The Terrifying One, Father of Dread, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just Sphinx. 

It is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.

1) Side of the Great Sphinx of Giza, the gigantic human headed Lion, entirely carved out of the rock, is 21 meters high and about 73 meters along.

2) According to the Greek Herodotus, there is a rock cut temple underneath the sphinx connected via along tunnel to the lake and the island of the sarcophagus, hidden in the bowls of the rock on which the pyramid of Khufu stands.

3) The monuments has been repeatedly restored and the sand has repeatedly buried it anew up to its neck, the most famous restoration was that of the king “Thutmosis the 4th” to whom the god of the sphinx “Horem Akhet” that is the” Horus of the Horizon”.

4) The restoration in stone blocks dates to the Ptolemaic period and the Romans also tried to free it of the sand and set an alter in front of the prestigious monument, the last removal of the sand dates to 1926 and restoration is still in progress.

5) The Sphinx Dream Stela which is located between the paws of the Great Sphinx, is the story of how a young Prince Tuthmosis (son of Amenhotep II) was hunting in the desert one day when he stopped for a rest between the sphinx’s paws, much of sphinx was covered in sand blown. Tuthmosis fell asleep and in his dream the Sphinx spoke to him, promising the throne of Egypt in return for clearing the sand from its body. Tuthmosis cleared the sand and so the Sphinx made him King of Egypt.

6) The quality of the rock stratum out of which the Sphinx has been made varies from a soft yellowish to a hard grey limestone. The massive body is made of the softer stone, which is easily eroded, while the head is formed of the harder stone.

7) The profile of the sphinx, the defacement due in this case also more to man than to time, is clearly visible for the head emerging from the sand was even used as a target for the Mamluke cannons.

8) Despite the hard and the precious quality of the stone of the head, unfortunately the face is badly damaged, and not only by natural erosion. The nose is missing altogether and the eyes and the areas around them are seriously altered from their original state.

9) Napoleon has been blamed for using the face of the sphinx for target practice and precisely about the damage of its nose.

10) Some modern scholars believe that the Great Sphinx originally had a beard. Pieces of this beard were discovered by excavation are displayed in the British Museum in London and the Cairo Museum. These pieces, however, may be dated to the New Kingdom period.


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