The Great Sphinx, a Real World Wonder

Topics: Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt, Ancient Egypt Pages: 4 (1463 words) Published: July 28, 2008
The Great Sphinx, a Real World Wonder

When one hears of Egypt, they most likely think of the massive pyramids or the hieroglyphics that told of its history. While fascinating, they cannot compare to the marvel of the Great Sphinx of Egypt. Although it failed to receive the title, the history and beauty of the Sphinx make it worthy of being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Egyptian artwork can be said to fall under two categories; Creation for the purpose of religious or political importance, or the symbolic depiction of the power of the Pharaoh. So what is the purpose of the Sphinx? The Sphinx proudly lies 6 miles west of Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, and has been said to be built for the purpose of protecting or guarding the pyramid of Khafre (Chefren) in Giza. By combining the head of a God or Pharaoh with the body of a lion, the Sphinx gracefully symbolizes the King’s power and wisdom. Carved out of sandstone and limestone, the statue lays 260 feet long, and reaches a height of 65 feet, which equates to over 2 meters higher than Mt. Rushmore. While the Sphinx was constructed from a single ridge, the 50 foot long paws were carved from separate blocks and then later attached. The Ancient Egyptians had a love for massive and varying proportions, as can be seen by the design of the Sphinx and various pyramids. Arabs in the Egyptian desert refer to the Sphinx as the “Father of Terrors”. The head is disproportionate compared to the rest of the body, and is said to be the portrait of Khafre himself. What remains a mystery is that scholars have noticed that the face of the Sphinx far more resembles the face of Khafre’s older brother, Pharaoh Djedefre. If this assumption is true, seeing as this was built around 2500 BC, this would be one of the earliest known portraits in history. Egyptologists, through steady research, have speculated a different date of creation. Additional evidence for the great age of the Sphinx may perhaps be...

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