The Great Sphinx of Egypt

Topics: Great Sphinx of Giza, Sphinx, Khafra Pages: 6 (1728 words) Published: March 1, 2007
The Great Sphinx
I will write my research paper on the structure of The Great Sphinx of Egypt located near the deserts of Giza. I will describe the structures formal attributes (forms), appearance (decoration), and the impetuses underlying its design. Finally, I will state: How and why has a building changed over time? I will answer these following questions:

•What does the building look like?
•What are its materials?
•How are the buildings parts distinguished from one another? •What differentiates the building from those around it?
•Is its function clearly evident from the exterior?
It is not clearly evident for us to know why a building changes over time. Sometimes we do not even know how they have changed. It is only natural for the human brain to guess when and why some objects are built. In the Great Sphinx of Egypt many changes have occurred. In this report I will explain in some ways it has changed and possibly why. Quick Facts:

The Great Sphinx: A monument made for one of the kings of Egypt. That king was King Khafre. The monument had the body of a lion and the face of king Khafre. The Sphinx is one of the major features in Khafre's funerary complex. Sphinxes often lined avenues leading to temples. (Encyclopedia, Sphinx, 780). The Sphinx is said to be an imagery creature of ancient myths. The sphinx seems to guard Khafre's funerary complex as it looks toward the rising sun. (Rossi, 95). Most Sphinxes were constructed to honor a king or a queen.

What are its surrounding buildings and how do they relate to the building? The Sphinx's surrounding buildings were sanctuaries and other temples or pyramids. A temple dedicated to the Sphinx stood in front of its paws. The temples well proportioned plan included two sanctuaries. In the sanctuary stood twenty-four monolithic red granite pillars on top of a floor covered in alabaster. The two sanctuaries might be dedicated to the sun's daily round and the twenty-four hours of the day. One of the sanctuaries is facing west and the other is facing to the east. Lehner has noted that the east-west axis of the Temple of the Sphinx is aligned with the point at which the sun sets at the base of Khafre's pyramid on the days of the equinoxes. The Sphinx, its temple, and the pyramid were therefore part of a large design based on the cult of the sun, one that remodeled the appearance of the entire plateau. (Rossi, 95). Thus raises question. Was this monument built as a king's remembrance or did it have a major purpose to the Egyptians or its king?

•What does the building look like? (Forms, decorations).
The Sphinx has a total length of two-hundred and forty feet with a height of sixty-six feet. The Sphinx's back is said to be about forty feet long and its face is about thirty-three square feet on each side. The Sphinxes eyes and lips have suffered much damage through out time and its nose has been completely demolished and ruined. These great features of the Sphinx's face have been so ruined that they cannot be restored.

The body is badly eroded but is now in attempts to be restored using new methods of mortar and new methods of carving the stones that will be placed in the body of the Sphinx. The nemes headdress which usually consists of a knot and a piece of cloth in the back is missing as well as the long false beard that Egyptian kings wore. The Sphinx's nemes headdress stripes are carved out to make the design but have eroded in the back. The Neck of the Sphinx is also badly eroded. A stela was set up between the forelegs. The rear legs of the Sphinx are tucked under the animal between the last rib and the hip. The tail lies along the right hip. The top of the back is flat with cracks on it and also has a cavity which was taken to be a burial pit. At the top of the Great Sphinx's head the level is flat and has a hole. The Sphinx was possibly red due to some traces of red paint found on the monument. This red paint could have been placed on in later times...
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