The Sphinx

The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

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1. Pyramids of Giza

2. Khufu (Cheops)

3. Inside

4. Solar boat and pits

5. Queen's pyramids

6. Khafre (Chephren)

7. Inside

8. Mortuary Complex

9. Menkaure (Mycerinus)

10. Inside

11. Views from the top

12. The Sphinx

13. Sphinx Temple

14. Mastabas

15. Seshemnufer 4

16. Neferbauptah

17. Iymery

18. Tomb of Khentkawes

19. The modern city

20. House boats

21. Roberts' Giza



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The Pyramids



Solar boat

Queen's pyramids



The Sphinx

Sphinx Temple


Tomb of Khentkawes

Modern city

House boats and the Nile

Roberts' Giza


The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

The Sphinx is clearly among the most fascinating monuments of ancient Egypt, primarily because nobody can tell us exactly what was the purpose of this huge sculpture. But the most likely theory is that it was meant to serve as a protection for the two great pyramids of Khufu and Khafre.
It is now generally assumed that it was built by the command of Pharaoh Khafre; it is in many ways perfectly integrated into his pyramid complex, and it seems very likely that the face of the Sphinx is none other than Khafre's. Other statues of his have corresponding facial features. The headdress, called nemes, was only allowed to be worn by the pharaoh.
The Sphinx is 20 metres high and 60 metres long. The dimensions of the face are so large that the eyes themselves are 2 metres high.
The location of the Sphinx is quite fascinating, but only few of its visitors ever get to experience how it works. With the equinoxes on 21-22 March and 21-22 September, the sun sets at the southern point of Khafre's pyramid aligned with the axis of the Sphinx. As the sun sets, the shadows of the pyramid and the Sphinx merges into one.
There has never been found any rooms or vital passages inside the Sphinx.
One major issue with the Sphinx are the many repairs being done to it. As a matter of fact, the restoration history runs back 3,500 years in time. It started with prince Tuthmosis who had a vision that if he cleared the sphinx for sand he would become pharaoh. So happened, and the then pharaoh Tuthmosis 4 erected a stela in front of the Sphinx where he makes offerings to the Sphinx.
Today the need of repairs appears to be endless. The sandstone by which is soft and easily worn by time. Also, the Sphinx rots from the inside, probably because of a combination of rising ground water and pollution.
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The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

By Tore Kjeilen