27 January 2023 12:56 PM

Sphinx

Saturday، 11 June 2022 - 02:12 PM

 Huge statues are one of the distinguished features of the ancient Egyptian civilization. The Sphinx is the most famous of them. The statue was carved in the rock of the same area during the era of the Fourth Dynasty (2613-2494 BC) that makes it the oldest.As the ancient Egyptian sphinxes represented the king with a lion's body as a clear indication of his strength

 

 

 Location:

The Great Sphinx is located in Giza city. It is also considered one of the most famous historical monuments in Egypt, due to its unique appearance and its distinctive location near the pyramids of Giza, which are one of the most important symbols of the ancient Egyptian civilization along with this historical statue.

 

 

 History of sphinx statue carving

 

Many historians and archaeologists draw attention to that this great statue dates back to the ancient Egyptian civilization, specifically to the period of the Fourth Dynasty that ruled Egypt at that time. Evidence indicates that the statue was carved during the reign of King Khafre (about 2525-2532 BC). m.), owner of the second pyramid of Giza. As, the statue of the Sphinx and its temple located in front of it is located directly next to the temple of Wadi Khafre, and the lower part of the ascending road leading to his funerary temple and the pyramid and his temple.

While analysis of the facial features of the Sphinx revealed striking similarities with the statues of King Khafre.

 

 

Sphinx Statue Description:

 It is the oldest known huge sculpture. Its length is about 73.5 meters, including the length of its front legs 15 meters, its width is 19.3 meters, and its highest height from the surface of the earth is about 20 meters to the top of the head.

 The Sphinx was built facing the sunrise. As, it was completely carved from limestone for a mysterious creature that contains common characteristics between a lion and a human.

The statue having the body of a lion sitting in front of the sun disk and carving its head in the form of a royal human.

The lion embodies a symbol of strength and toughness, while the human head symbolizes wisdom.

 

The Sphinx statue possessed the imagination of travelers and explorers for thousands of years, even in ancient Egyptian times, during the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1295 BC).

 

It has been seen at that time   as a manifestation of the sun god, and he was called Horemakht “Horus on the horizon.” King Amenhotep II (about 1427-1400 BC) built a temple next to the Sphinx, dedicated to this god. As his son Thutmose the fourth (1390 -1400-BC) has erected a huge piece between its front feet, which is called the Dream Piece.

He also recorded this wonderful event, and everyone who visits the site of this statue is astonished by the symbolism that the Sphinx indicates, as if the statue is standing near the three pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure to protect them, this great statue accompanied the pyramids for thousands of years.

 

 

Reasons behind building sphinx statue

 

The ancient Egyptians has built this statue to serve as a guard for ancient Egyptian tombs, pyramids, and temples to keep them safe from thieves.

 

 

Sphinx statue origin :

 

The ancient Egyptians, in the era of the New Kingdom, more than three thousand years ago, did not try to pay attention to the origin of the “Sphinx”; where they were certain of his association with the sun, and at other times he was the same “Ra”; their sun god.

 

 King Seti I, the father of King Ramses II, left a plaque in the temple of Amenhotep II, where the late archaeologist Selim Hassan said in his book about the “Sphinx” in English and Arabic.The “Sphinx” was the place where people pray, and in 500 BC; That is, in the era of the twenty-sixth dynasty, the pharaohs left a plate called the “Statistic Board”; Or “Khufu’s Daughter Painting”, in which they indicated that King Khufu found the “Sphinx” on the Giza plateau, and this means that the “Sphinx” dates back to an era before the reign of King Khufu, but it became clear from the depiction of the scenes of the gods represented on the painting and the accompanying texts here that  it was written in the late period.

The priests tried to point out that Isis and the “Sphinx” their worshipping dated back to before the era of “Khufu”, that is, in the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

 

 

 

The Roman historian “Pliny” came in 23 BC, to visit the "Sphinx", and he had no information about the origin of the "Sphinx".  So he indicated that it was the tomb of King "Amazes" of the Saw era kings; He promised that the place of the "Sphinx" is a meeting place for poets and lovers, and the people of the village of Buziris live next to it. It is well known now as a "Nazlat Al-Samman"

 

 

Then came the ancient Arab historians, such as "Abdul Latif Al-Baghdadi". He believed that the body of the "Sphinx" is buried under its statue.

 

Al-Maqrizi also pointed out that the nose of the “Sphinx” was smashed by the Sufi “the fasting of time,” who was living next to this “idol” that people looked at with reverence at that time.

 So he got up and made preparations to smash the face of the statue, but it was not completed due to a dust storm, as Al-Maqrizi mentions.

 

“Ali Pasha Mubarak” also spoke in his book “The Compromise Plans”, about the statue of “The Sphinx.” Al-Qudaei referred to “this idol that lies between the pyramids, and nothing is visible from it except the head. Until his nose was smashed by a man from Marrakesh.

 

 


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