- 1 the Sphinx
- 1.1 Where is the Sphinx located?
- 1.1.1 History of the construction of the Great Sphinx
- 1.1.2 What is the relationship between the Sphinx and the statue of Oedipus?
- 1.1 Where is the Sphinx located?
Where is the Sphinx located?
The Great Sphinx is one of the most famous historical monuments in the Arab Republic of Egypt and in the Egyptian city of Giza in particular, due to its unique appearance and its distinctive location near the Pyramids of Giza, which is one of the most important symbols of the ancient Egyptian civilization along with this historical statue.
History and archaeologists point out 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.
History of the construction of the Great Sphinx
What is the relationship between the Sphinx and the statue of Oedipus?
Some date the ownership of this statue to King Khafre, one of the ancient Egyptian kings King Khafre lived from 2575 BC to 2465 BC, which indicates that this Egyptian statue is one of the oldest statues that were carved.
The construction of this statue came by the elder brother Jadfri to commemorate his father Khufu, for whom the largest of the Egyptian pyramids was built, the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
The period of the end of the fifteenth century BC and the beginning of the fourteenth century BC, when a stele was placed between the feet of the statue in order to perform some special Egyptian religious rituals.
There are also some different historical opinions regarding the construction of the Great Sphinx and who resembles this statue in its construction, there are some hypotheses that claim that this statue resembles King Khufu, and there are those who say that it resembles King Khafre, and there are those who claim that the statue was built in its foundation before King Khufu himself
The Great Sphinx is similar in name to one of the ancient Greek statues, the Oedipus statue, where both statues are a symbol of ancient monsters bearing specific characteristics and connotations for each of those who built them. As for the location of the Sphinx, it is on the plateau of the Egyptian city of Giza.
How was the Sphinx built?
How long did it take to carve the Sphinx?
The way in which the Sphinx was formed indicates the grandeur of the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, as this statue was completely carved from a huge limestone rock that was in the area, and the enormity of this statue caused it to take 3 years to complete its carving, as The length of the Sphinx is 73 meters
and its height is 20 meters, so it was necessary to sculpt this statue by 100 workers throughout the period of its formation, and the method of carving was using ancient stone hammers and chisels made of copper.
The statue was painted through a group of ancient pigments, as these drawings represented the primitive geometric structure of the sculpting process.
What is the purpose of building the Great Sphinx?
Why did the Egyptians build the Great Sphinx?
The Sphinx statue 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 human head symbolizes wisdom, Everyone who visited the site of this statue was astonished by the symbolism referred to by the statue of the Sphinx, as if the statue stood near the three pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure to protect them, as this great statue accompanied the pyramids for thousands of years, and the ancient Egyptians aimed to build this statue to serve as a guard For ancient Egyptian tombs, pyramids and temples to keep you safe from thieves.
Reasons for the deformation of the Sphinx
What is the reason for cutting the nose of the Sphinx?
Geological factors and climatic factors greatly affect the historical monuments, and this effect is greater the longer the chronological age of the historical landmark, as the influence of geological and climatic factors increases with the passage of time.
especially that the age of the construction of the Sphinx is estimated to be about 4500 years,and factors have contributed Erosion and erosion in the Sphinx’s exposure to a degree of erosion in some aspects of the statue’s body from the lower area in particular
and the distortion of this great Egyptian statue was not limited to subjection to some weather, climatic and natural conditions, but was also affected by human intervention, which led to a distortion in the head area of this statue Specifically in the nose area, where the statue’s nose was cut to become deformed.
There are several accounts that indicate the reasons for cutting the nose off this statue, including that Napoleon’s army took the Sphinx as a target for training and fired one of the cannons towards the nose.
By distorting the nose area, considering that the statue is an idol that should not remain with clear features so as not to be worshiped, and the competent authorities are making unremitting efforts to preserve the historical heritage of the ancient Egyptian civilization, including this historical statue, which indicates the greatness of Egyptian architecture.
The riddle of the naming of the Sphinx
The mystery of naming the Sphinx by this name is still a matter of confusion and disagreement between historians and researchers in the history of ancient Egypt. The famous Egyptian scientist (Salim Hassan) explained the name of the statue as a deity worshiped by a Canaanite tribe that came from Harran and settled the Giza plateau there.
Others saw that the name had gone through a series of distortions of the word (Horon) absolute on one of the Canaanite gods until it eventually became (Hawl), then the H turned into a H and it became (Hol) and they preceded it with (Abu), and there are those who returned the name to the original word from which it was derived. It is (Baju), which in Egyptian means the lion.
Opinions differed as to what this statue represents. The old opinion is that it represents King Khafre, combining the strength of the lion and the wisdom of man. Some archaeologists believe that King Khufu was the one who built it, as the face of the Sphinx resembles a statue of Khufu, (it does not resemble the statues of Khafre). In fact, the question of who built the Sphinx is still open to research.
It is said that he represents the god of the sun “Hoor-im-Akht”, and evidence of that is the temple facing the statue, where religious rites were taking place for him. This has remained firmly rooted in the minds of the Egyptians throughout their history, as they considered it a statue of the god “Hoor-im-Akht” (ie, Horus on the horizon), an image of the god Atum [?], the largest of the Egyptian gods, which is the sun at sunset.
He was visited by more than one king of the Pharaohs, and this was inscribed on the occasion of the visit, including (Ra-Mas) II in Cairo or Ramses II.
And King Tutankhamun, who set up a break next to the Sphinx. King Ramses II was before Tutankhamun, as the father-in-law of Tutankhamun is Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten when he called for the unification of the gods under the name of the god Aten, who symbolized him with the sun disk. ,
whose worship was common in Egypt and the center of his temples was in Luxor. From the Roman era, Emperor Septimius Severus visited him.