The Mystery of The Sphinx
When you think of Egypt, you might start to think about the many wonders that have arrived from the modernized, but ancient land. First you might think of the Great Pyramids of Giza and why and how they got there. Also, there are the ancient writings, known as hieroglyphics, and how they tell parts of the ancient Egyptian's history. These are all interesting, but for me the most marvelous and intriguing part of the mysterious history, are the stories of the Great Sphinx.
The Great Sphinx is a statue with the body of a male lion with the head of a king or a god. The Great Sphinx was carved from soft, natural limestone and of some relatively delicate stone on the Giza Plateau. It has extensions which fan out at the sides of the head which make the likeness of a Pharaoh's head dress. At one time there was a cobra-like headpiece which was believed to protect Egyptians from evil, and a narrow beard. The beard and also the nose has fallen off in time. It was once believed that the nose was shot off by Napoleon's army but was later discover to be false. An Arabian author Al Maqrizi stated, "In 1397 a man by the name of Saim el Dahr chopped off the nose of the Sphinx."(Sunship) The reasoning behind this act is still unknown. It is approximately 150 feet long and 65 feet high with 50 feet paws and a head that measure 30 feet high and 14 feet wide. Between the paws of the Sphinx and in front of his chest, is the carving of a story. This is called the "Dream Stela." This has the story of Thutmose IV (1400B.C.E. - 1390 B.C.E.). This story dates from the first year of Thutmose's reign and recounts a dream from his early years in which he fell asleep hunting. The stories say that while Thutmose was asleep the sphinx talked to him. It said that the deep sand was choking it and he had to un-bury the Sphinx. In return for this service the Sphinx guaranteed the throne of Egypt to him. In the front of the stela is an altar, from a chapel, that was placed here during the reign of Rameses II (1279B.C.E. - 1213 B.C.E.). (Intercity Oz)
The thoughts of many Egyptians and people who study Egypt, are that the Great Sphinx was built the same time as the Pyramid of Khafre in about 2540 B.C.E. The face of the Great Sphinx has been thought to be Khafre's, or his brother Pharaoh Djedefre who died and left the throne to Khafre. It is also thought that, since the head of the Sphinx is so small in proportion to the body, the head could have re carved many times over. Maybe the head was formed in the likeness of the different pharaohs that reigned, no one really knows the answers to this though. John Anthony West first noticed weathering patterns on the Sphinx that were consistent with water erosion rather than erosion produced by wind and sand. This makes people believe that the Sphinx was built well before 2540 B.C.E. because these patterns were not found on other structures on the plateau. Egypt is desert land today, but it is...