The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the oldest, largest, and—best of all—most mysterious monuments ever created by man. Between its expansive mythology, nebulous origins, and alleged connections to worlds beyond our own, the Sphinx is a proverbial treasure trove of esoteric history and information.
The Great Sphinx Statue is the largest and most famous Sphinx, situated at the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River, it has puzzled Egyptologists and researchers for centuries. Here we bring you some interesting facts about this mysterious construction in Egypt:
1. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 meters (241 feet) long, 19.3 meters (63 feet) wide, and 20.22 meters (66.34 feet) high.
2. Despite the hard quality of the stone of the head, the face is badly damaged, and not only by natural erosion. The nose is missing altogether and the eyes and the areas around them are seriously altered from their original state.
3. The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the few constructions of ancient Egypt that have no inscriptions on its surface until today not a single symbol has been found on the Sphinx.
No texts, writings, inscriptions or symbols of any kind have been discovered indicating as to who built the Great Sphinx of Egypt. Several archaeologists and Egyptologists theorize about its construction but no evidence has been brought forward so true origin and purpose of the Sphinx remains a mystery.
4. There are three passages into or under the Sphinx, the “Tomb of Osiris” is one of the most incredible discoveries linked to the Sphinx, located 95 feet below the surface behind the back of the Sphinx. It is believed to be the resting place of Egyptian God Osiris.
5. A number of findings suggest that the Sphinx was originally intended to be an even greater accomplishment than that which we see today. American archaeologist Mark Lehner and Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass discovered large stone blocks, toolkits, and—if you can believe it—lunches apparently abandoned midway through a workday.
6. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 B.C.). However, some recent studies have suggested that the Sphinx was built as long ago as 7000 B.C.
7. The statue is the oldest monument, but not the oldest Sphinx. Nebulous though its age may be, the Great Sphinx of Giza is accepted as the oldest monumental sculpture in human history.
However, it could well fall shy of the longevity superlative when compared with other sphinxes. Even if you date the statue to Khafre’s reign, sphinxes depicting his half-brother Djedefre and sister Hetepheres II are suspected to predate the Great Sphinx.
8. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.
The rock stratum out of which the Sphinx has been made varies from a soft yellowish to a hard grey limestone. The massive body is made of the softer stone, which is easily eroded, while the head is formed of the harder stone.
9. Repairs to the Sphinx have been made over the centuries by the Pharaohs Tuthmosis IV and Ramesses II, and also during the Roman era. Restoration attempts have continued to the present time yet the Sphinx continues to deteriorate because of the relentless wind, humidity and the ever-increasing smog from nearby Cairo.
10. Due to the changing desert terrain, the body of the Sphinx has been buried several times over the past several thousand years. Most recently in 1905, the sand has been cleared away to expose the magnitude and beauty of the entirety of the Sphinx.