The Great Sphinx

Huge, magnificent, one of a kind ... that perfectly describes the Sphinx at Giza! A mysterious creature arouses interest throughout the world. His beard is on display at the British Museum in London and a few nasal fragments can be seen at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

“Father of Terror" Sphinx is a Greek name derived from the Egyptian word she-sep-acnh which means "living statue". In Egyptian art, he was pictured as a lion with a human or animal head, which symbolized royal power. According to Greek mythology, the Sphinx was a monster with the head of a woman and the body of a winged lion, which kept passers-by and killed those who could not give the correct answer. The Arabs christened him Abu Al-Hol, meaning "father of terror.”

For centuries, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, this monumental sculpture delighted and at the same time made many travelers reflect. After returning to Europe, to which archaeological excavations were still alien, their incredible stories stimulated the imagination. One hypothesis was that the ancient statue was the work of an ancient civilization that fell several millennia before the pyramids were built, but even today you will find some archaeologists claiming that these geometrically shaped structures are the work of aliens.

The symbol of Egypt, the Sphinx is 57 m long and 20 m high and has been carved in a huge rock forest. He wears a nemes decorated with royal urea on his head. Probably the statue that stands at the beginning of the ramp leading to the pyramid of Chephren personifies this ruler, although some suggest that it is Cheops or the god Horus. A visit to the country of the Nile will surely be remembered for a long time by every tourist, including the Sphinx, which you can truly say is a symbol of Egypt.

Fighting the sands of the desert, a stele is placed between the front paws of a stone lion, from which we learn that Thotmes IV, after ascending the throne, ordered the extraction of the Sphinx from under a thick layer of sand. It is said that the future Pharaoh had a dream in which the Sphinx predicted him to take power in Egypt and ordered the squeaking that was covering him to be removed. Later, the figure was slightly damaged. During the reign of the Mamluk family, the Sphinx was covered with sand up to the neck. As a result of test cannon shots, the statue had its famous nose knocked off..

Thotmes IV was the first to unveil the figure, but it was once again covered with desert sands. This is explained by the fact that before Pliny Secundus (1st century), no classical artist wrote about the Sphinx. There is no mention of him in the texts of Herodotus, Strabo or Diodorus of Sicily. The statue was dug up again by Marcus Aurelius and Septimus Severus, but again it was covered with sand. In 1817, Giovanni Cavigila unveiled him and found his beard. In 1853 Auguste Mariette and in 1858 Gaston Maspero began again the removal of sand. In 1925, Emile Baraize brought to light the remains of the temple of Khafre next to the Sphinx, and Selim Hassan fully unveiled the statue in 1936.

For several decades, archaeologists have been trying to save the Sphinx, which is slowly deteriorating.