The Sphinx

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Great Pyramid of Giza Pages: 1 (294 words) Published: February 19, 2010
The sphinx
The largest, and best known Sphinx lies near the Great Pyramid in the Giza Valley Plateau, situated about six miles west of Cairo. It is the largest single sculpted statue in the world, carved from the bedrock of the plateau. No one is certain when the Sphinx was built nor what it represents, though many theories about its origin and purpose have been noted. It is commonly believed that the Sphinx was built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC. Carved out of the surrounding limestone bedrock, the Sphinx is 57 metres (260 feet) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and has a height of 20 m (65 ft), making it one of the largest single-stone statues in the world. Blocks of stone weighing upwards of 200 tons were quarried in the construction phase to build the adjoining Sphinx Temple. The Sphinx faces due east, with a small temple between its paws. The temple resembles the sun temples that were built later by the kings of the 5th dynasty The first attempt to dig it out dates back to 1400 BC, when the young Tutmosis IV, falling asleep beneath the giant head, dreamt that he was promised the crown if he would only unbury the Sphinx. The young prince immediately formed an excavation party which, after much effort, managed to dig the front paws out. To commemorate this effort, Tutmosis IV had a granite stela known as the Dream Stela placed between the paws. Ramesses II may have also performed restoration work on the Sphinx. Works cited
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