Great Sphinx Of Egypt Essay, Research Paper
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a monument recognized all over the world. It is a symbol thatrepresented the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. It is the biggest sphinx statueever found. There are more than one sphinx, for example there is the Sphinx of Greeceand The Sphinx of Martian (all that is, is the shape of the sphinx s head on the planetMars.) But the Great Sphinx in Giza, Egypt is the most famous of all. The Sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh. The lion was apowerful symbol in ancient Egypt as it represented strength and courage. No one knowsexactly what the purpose of the sphinx is, but there are some theory s. One is that itguarded soldiers into battle, some think this is true because of what the lion meant to theEgyptians and because it had their pharaoh s face on it who at that time was Khafra. Thepharaohs were also gods in Egypt. Some say it serves as a guardian of the pyramidsbehind it. Some scientists are using radar to try to find any burial chambers inside theGreat Sphinx and they think there maybe a few. The Great Sphinx started as a natural outcropping of rock. The ancient Egyptianscarved the statue into the stone around 2500 B.C. To make it taller than the height of therock they chipped out a depression around the base of the statue. The sphinx was thenconstructed of sandstone. Nobody knows exactly how they moved the huge slabs of rockto construct the monument. All that we know is that they used hundreds of men to do thejob. The Great Sphinx stands 66 feet high, 240 feet long. The head measures 19 feetfrom forehead to chin, and each paw extends 56 feet forward. The face is over 6 yardswide. When time had passed and the Sphinx was given less attention, desert sandscovered the Great Sphinx up to it s neck. A legend say s that around 1400 B.C., anEgyptian prince, on a hunt, came to rest in the shadow that the Sphinx casted. Whilenapping he heard the Sphinx tell him to clear the sand away from him, and he will becomeruler of Egypt. He cleared the sand away and soon became Pharaoh Thutmose IV. Scientific evidence tells us much about The Great Sphinx when in it s prime. Thenose of the Sphinx was apparently blasted off by canon fire when Napoleon invaded. Thetraditional beard that was worn by all pharaoh s of Egypt fell off from weathering and is
now in a British museum, along with the nose. When the Sphinx was first constructed itwas painted took look even more outstanding, the face was painted a red color, the eyeswere painted black, and the headdress white. Science also is telling us that the GreatSphinx may not have been built around 2500 B.C., like scientists think, because they havefound vertical erosion marks which are only made by water. Now scientist are saying it ispossible that it could have been made around 10,500 B.C. The pyramids next to theSphinx don t have this type of erosion on them leading scientist to believe that the GreatSphinx is much older than they had originally thought. Since the Sphinx is so old it is deteriorating. In the 1980’s, a restoration of theSphinx was in progress. Over a span of 6 years, more than 2,000 limestone blocks wereadded to the body of the sphinx and chemicals were injected. This treatment did not work.It just flaked away along with parts of the original rock. Later, mortars and many workerswho were not trained in restoration worked for six months to repair it. Now, attempts atrestoration are under the control of the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ archaeologists. Some people believe that the Sphinx has some astronomy worked in with it. TheSphinx is a great equinoctial marker, because it lies directly on the east/west axis of theGiza necropolis, and it s eyes are staring right ahead to the equinox of spring. There is a rumor of a second Sphinx existing underneath the sand. Some peopledo strongly agree that there is a second sphinx there. They believe this because Egyptiantombs were all guarded by double sphinxes. If the Sphinx really is a guardian of a tombmaybe it is true that there is a second sphinx. Also if you measure the are of the Sphinx,you will see that there is plenty of space parallel to the Sphinx to construct another one ofequal size. Today, the Sphinx is a major tourist attraction in Cairo, Egypt. We may not besure exactly why it was made by the Egyptian people, but that doesn t seem to lessen ourwonder over this great monument. People still come from all around to see it, and allagree it is just amazing how it can just take your breath away somehow. I hope that TheGreat Sphinx will be preserved for thousands of more years so the next generations willhave the opportunity to see it in person. I too hope to see it face-to-face one day.