By: April Carson
The Great Sphinx of Giza is more than just a representation of ancient and modern Egypt. It is the physical manifestation of antiquity and intrigue itself.
The Great Sphinx of Giza may be the most iconic ancient monuments, and none is more magnificent than it. Cut from the Giza bedrock, the original form of the Sphinx has been lost to history as the sculpture and its form have been rebuilt over time with layers of stones.
The Sphinx, which is 73 meters long (240 feet) from paw to tail, 20.66 m (66 feet) high from the bottom of the head to the base of the tail, and 19 m (62 ft) broad at its rear haunches, is thought to be Egypt's oldest known colossal statue.
The Sphinx's face is believed to be the likeness of Khafre, son and heir apparent to Khufu, who took over ruling after his father passed. The Sphinx is thought built around 2500 BC.
Despite the fact that its origins and history are shrouded in mystery, it is generally accepted by Egyptologists that the ancient statue was created by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom, particularly during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre, who built the second-largest pyramid at Giza.
Despite the fact that experts want to think that the Sphinx was built as a lion's body and Khafre's head, the exact form of the sculpture remains a mystery.
The head and face of the Sphinx, like its body and arms, remain a mystery. Various theories abound about the Sphinx's true form and who it represents. Some academics (particularly Dobrev) maintain that Djedefre constructed the monument (2566-2558 BCE). The Sphinx, in general, is still a mystery to archaeologists. However, there is no agreement regarding who carved it and when it was built. Nonetheless, they all agree that the Great Sphinx is mankind's greatest sculptural achievement.
Although numerous explanations (and many have tried) to explain the Sphinx's origin, there is no one that satisfies experts entirely.
Nonetheless, the most compelling hypotheses suggest that the Sphinx was carved during Khafre's reign, when the Giza pyramid complex was being built. It is claimed that quarry workers came upon a significant stone block and were ordered to make a huge Sphinx out of it.
Another theory suggests that the Sphinx was built much earlier, by Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops), who constructed the Great Pyramid of Giza. According to this hypothesis, Khafre simply found it and decided to make it part of his funerary complex. Whether this was the case, and what the Sphinx's actual goal is, remain a mystery that experts have been unable to solve for millennia.
The origin of the Sphinx's name is just as murky. The statue was given the name "the Sphinx" as early as ancient times, which is roughly 2,000 years after the monument's supposed construction date. There are no ancient texts that describe the Sphinx's construction or how it was carved, so we can't necessarily guess what the original builders of the monument called it.
The name Sphinx is derived from the Greek term for "nose." It was called by ancient Greeks "aspis" and "aspidis." The Great Sphinx is also known as Abu Alhol in modern Egyptian Arabic.
Despite the fact that modern Egyptologists suggest Khafre may be the King who commissioned the Sphinx, some of history's greatest Egyptologists like Auguste Marriete or Flinders Petrie argue otherwise. They believe he predates not only Fourth Dynasty but also Pharaoh Sneferu and all three pharaohs in between by many decades if not centuries.
Gaston Maspero was one of the few Egyptologists who believed that not only did the Sphinx predate Khafre, but it may actually be older than writing itself.
It is thought by some experts in archeology and history to have been carved during prehistory as there are no records or hieroglyphs explaining how this artifact came into existence which leads many people today towards believing its age stretches back beyond recorded human civilization on earth--potentially tracing all the way back before anyone even knew what time period they were living within!
The Sphinx is a marvel from ancient times, and there are many people who want to know how old the Great Sphinx really is. One Egyptologist claims that they believe their theory on this subject because of “theory and nothing more” but others have made up stories based off what little information about these findings we currently have available today.
It has been debated for centuries whether Khafre is the mastermind behind the Sphinx. The only thing that supports this theory are a diorite statue of him which was discovered buried along with other debris at “Valley Temple” in Giza, Egypt . However, an epigraphic stele erected by Pharaoh Thutmose IV offers what some believe may provide evidence to support its construction many thousand years after it took place - yet even so they misspell his name as "KHAF."
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