The Sphinx is a giant 4,500-year-old statue made of limestone, and located in Giza. The Sphinx can be found near the Great Pyramids of Giza. The statue which is in the form of a lion’s body and a human’s face is 240 feet in length, and about 66 feet high. It is recognised as one of the world’s largest monuments.
Tracing Its Roots
The Sphinx according to Egyptologists holds a prominent a prominent position as far as Egyptian mythology is concerned. It is a creature with a lions head and a human body. Historians documents that the Sphinx was a spiritual guardian, and it is often demonstrated or represented in the form of a male with the headdress of pharaoh. The Sphinx Alley in Upper Egypt connects the temples of Luxor and Karnak, and it a two-mile long avenue. The Sphinx Alley is also lined with Sphinx statues.
They do not just exists as male forms. Sphinx with resemblance of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut also exists. One of such is the granite Sphinx statue located at the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another is the large alabaster Sphinx located at the Ramessid temple in Egypt.
The export of the Sphinx statues to both Greece and Asia began around the 13th to the 16th century B.C. The Asian forms of Sphinx have wings, were frequently female, and often sat on their haunches with one paw raised, when compared to their Egyptian counterpart.
Bothering on how old the Sphinx is truly is, historians records that the Great Sphinx was erected for the pharaoh Khafre around 2603-2578 BC. According to hieroglyphs evidences, pharaoh Khufu, Khafre’s father, built the Great Sphinx, which is the oldest and the largest located in Giza. Upon ascension of the throne, Khafre built his next to his father’s. The Sphinx built by Khafre is about 10 feet shorter than the one located in Giza and is adorned with a more elaborate complex.
Many scholars have pointed out that the organization of the pyramids and the Sphinx suggests that they may have been built for a celestial purpose. According to them, it’s purpose was to resurrect the soul of pharaoh Khafre by channeling the power of the sun and other gods.
Researchers have also made efforts to explain the origin of the Great Sphinx in Giza, although these theories have been rejected by mainstream Egyptologists. One of such theories is that Khafre’s half-brother, and Khufu’s son, pharaoh Djedefre built the Sphinx in honour of his father.
Another of such theories to explain the origin of the Sphinx opined that the statue is a representation of Amenemhat II, around 1929-1895 BC. This is based on the style of the stripes found on the head of the Sphinx.
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