History of the Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza featured

The Great Sphinx of Giza is the most renowned monument on the globe and one of the most immediately recognizable statues linked with Egyptian Civilization.

The statue, which also depicts a lying down a lion with an Ancient king’s face, was carved out of sandstone on the Pyramids of Giza during the rule of king Khafre during the Old Kingdom period (2181 BCE), though some intellectuals assert it was formed by Djedefre (2566-2558 BCE), Khafre’s brother who attempted to overrule the crown.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is not just a symbol of historical Egypt. It’s the ultimate definition of history and mysticism.

Artists and researchers, explorers, and tourists have all been inspired by it over the generations.

Even though it has been examined, documented, researched using the latest up-to-date academic technology tools, and debated at special scientific meetings, fundamental issues about who created it, how, and why remain unsolved. 

Many ideas have been proposed in an attempt to address these problems, but few of them fit all three criteria or are universally accepted.

Nevertheless, Modern scholars generally agree that the Sphinx was built during Khafre’s rule in the Old Region’s Fourth Dynasty when craftsmen working on his pyramidal construction came across a massive chunk of sandstone and chose – or were instructed – to carve the Pyramids out of it.

The reason for this, as well as the initial function of the Sphinx, is still a point of contention.

The Great Sphinx of Giza and its origin

Great Sphinx of Giza
Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt | Image by Wikimedia Commons

With certain changes, a sphinx (or sphynx) is an animal with the physique of a lion and the face of a human.

In Egypt, Oriental, and Greek mythology, it is a significant figure. The sphinx was a mystical protector in Egyptian Civilization, and was frequently represented as a man with a king headpiece the Great Sphinx is—and statues of the beasts were frequently featured in the mausoleum and enshrine.

The so-called Pyramid Alley in Northern Egypt, for example, is 2 different avenue adorned with lion statues that connects the Thebes and Karnak monuments.

The pharaoh had feathers and a snake’s tail in Greek mythology, and folklore has it that it gobbles up any visitors who fail to solve its puzzle.

Also Read: 14 Greek Mythical Creatures from Mythology

The most popular and generally held theory concerning the Great Sphinx is that it was built for King Khafre (about 2578 B.C.).

The Great Pyramid, the tallest and biggest of the three temples in Giza, is thought to have been erected by Khafre’s father, Pharaoh Khufu, according to ancient writings.

Khafre built his pyramidal next to his family’s when he became Pharaoh; despite his pyramid being ten feet smaller than his family’s, it is encircled by a more magnificent compound that contains the Great Sphinx and other monuments.

Many alternative explanations regarding The Great Sphinx of Giza’s roots have been proposed throughout the centuries, though most have been dismissed by orthodox Paleontologists.

According to certain accounts, the sphinx’s visage matches Khufu’s, and hence Khufu erected the building.

Alternatively, in honor of his dad, Pharaoh Djedefre—older Khafre’s half-brother and Khufu’s other son—built the Great Sphinx.

Based on the pattern of the lines on the sphinx’s face cloth, some interpretations claim that the statue symbolizes Amenemhat II (about 1895 B.C.).

Depending on the typical decline of the bridge and various patterns of erosion of the monument, some experts claim the Great Sphinx is significantly older than is popularly assumed.

The title “Great Sphinx” used by Pharaoh during its peak is a mystery, because the term “sphinx” comes from Greek myth, approximately two thousand years ago after the monument was constructed.

There are very few manuscripts that describe the Great Sphinx during the Medieval Era, thus it’s unknown how People felt about it.

Khafre, on the other hand, was identified with Osiris, and the Great Sphinx might be designated as Harmakhet which translates “Horus on the Heights” under the New Empire in 1069 B.C.

In any event, by the end of the Reign, the statue had faded into the deserts setting and had been forgotten for ages.

The legend as to how The Great Sphinx of Giza was preserved from the mists of time is told in engravings on a pinkish marble tile between the monument’s claws.

According to legend, Prince Successor, son of Amenhotep II, took a nap near the Pyramids. In Thutmose’s fantasy, the statue, dubbed Harmakhet, bemoaned its condition of disorder and worked out a deal with the prince: if he swept all sand off the monument and repaired it, it really would aid him to be king.

It is unknown whether the king’s dream come true, but when he did become Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV, he established a Sylph cult for his people.

The sphinx became an icon as statues, sculptures, and exemptions appeared all across the land.

Mystery of The Great Sphinx of Giza’s broken nose

The broken nose of the Great Sphinx of Giza
The broken nose of the Great Sphinx of Giza | Image by Wikimedia Commons

As researchers studied The Great Sphinx of Giza’s construction and got a much better glance at it, they uncovered evidence suggesting the monument’s nose had been deliberately removed.

A widespread fallacy is that the nose was demolished by Napoleon’s soldiers; however, images from the 17th century show that the nose was absent long before Napoleon arrived.

In reality, researchers believe it was taken down between the third and tenth centuries CE. However, the cause for this is still up for debate.

Final Words

The Great Sphinx of Giza, based on the spatial the famed Egyptian Pyramids, is equally remarkable and iconic of Egyptian engineering.

Although sphinxes were depicted in art all over the classical civilizations, this giant statue is the best representation of the legendary beast.

Hundreds of craftsmen carved the 240-foot-long monument out of a single piece of stone, and it was once beautifully painted.

While the monument would not be in the same state as it was millennia ago, its design and heritage may still teach us a lot.

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