Mystery of the Great Sphinx of Giza

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Of all attractions in Egypt, the Great Sphinx of Giza is the most controversial. The Great Sphinx is a limestone statue of a mythical creature with the head of a human and body of a lion. It stands on Giza Plateau, west of River Nile. While the period in which the Great Sphinx was built is generally known, there has been a lot of mystery surrounding who built it, when, and why?

Who built the Great Sphinx of Giza?

One theory suggests that the sphinx was built under the orders of Khafre, whose reign was during the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt. If this theory is anything to go by, then the sphinx was built around 2500 BCE. The Pyramid of Khafre, the second largest component of Giza Necropolis, of the mortuary temples, and of the adjacent. This collection’s proximity to the Great Sphinx tends to suggest that Khafre was indeed responsible for construction of the Sphinx. Interestingly, the monuments and the Sphinx’s face bear some similarities to Khafre’s appearance.

When was the Great Sphinx built?

Not everyone gives the pharaoh credit though, some researchers pointed out that although the Sphinx is situated within the Giza Pyramid Complex, no inscriptions link Khafre with the statue. Various researchers give Khafre’s father, Khufu, credit. Others even date the Sphinx even further than Khafre’s and Khufu’s time. They suggest that the Sphinx was in as early as 6000 BCE, when Giza experienced extensive rainfall.

Why was the Great Sphinx built?

If Khafre was truly the man behind the statue, then it was most likely built for his use.  Bearing in mind that the Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the structures that were erected in ancient Egypt as a part of the sun god cult, it may have been built to connect the pharaoh with the sun god. The Sphinx loosely translates to the god of creation and setting sun in Egypt.

What happened to the Sphinx nose?

The Sphinx is a spectacular monument, and naturally, people would take interest in sketching it. One Dane Frederic Norden created sketches of the Sphinx in 1737. The sketches illustrate the monument without a nose; who broke the nose of the Sphinx? There is a popular tale that suggests Napoleon’s soldiers fired a cannonball and caused the statue’s nose to fall off. This tale is debatable as Frederic Norden drew the sketches long before Napoleon’s time. So who really broke the Sphinx’s nose?

Can you solve the riddle of the Great Sphinx?




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