The Great Sphinx of the Giza Plateau is one of the largest Monolithic Statues in the world. The word Monolithic literally means – Massive, formed of a single large block of stone.
The Great Sphinx is carved from a solid single slab of bedrock limestone. The Sphinx is over 240 feet long & over 66 feet tall. The Great Sphinx is also one of the oldest Statues ever sculpted in Egypt.
The Great Sphinx is known to the people of Arabia as Abū al-hawl (أبو الهول العظيم) meaning the Father of Terror in Arabic.
The Pharaohs face sculpted upon the Great Sphinx is generally accepted among historians to most likely be the face of Pharaoh Khafre. He was a fourth dynasty (2613 – 2494 B.C.) Pharaoh of Egypt, who the Sphinx is said to have been built for.
Pharaoh Khafre was also the Pharaoh who the second largest Pyramid at the Giza Plateau, the Pyramid of Khafre was built for.
WHAT IS A SPHINX?
What exactly is a Sphinx? A Sphinx is an ancient mythical creature that was said to possess the head of a human, & the body of a lion. The Sphinx was thought to be a guardian. They are often portrayed protecting the entrance to Temples & Tombs.
The Sphinx was known in more then one culture. It’s earliest representation is most famously from Egypt, possibly as early as 2600 B.C. The Egyptian Sphinx also appears with wings later in history around the city of Thebes in 1300 B.C.
The Sphinx also stands as a protective figure in Greek Mythology about a thousand years later. From around 1600 B.C. the Greek Sphinx were often given a female head, lion body, wings of a bird, & tail of a Slithering Serpent.
Another culture who had the Sphinx incorporated into there cultures mythology is Asia. The Asian Sphinx was most famous around 900 to 1000 A.D. showing up in art in places like Guyuan City China, & Kanchipuram India.
The Asian Sphinxes earliest representation was on the western side of the Asian continent in Ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) around 1500B.C. Like the Greek Sphinx, the Asian Sphinx was also given a Female head, lion body, & wings of a bird. It was most often represented sitting on its haunches.
VISIT CAIRO EGYPT
We used the website Viator to book our personal tour, & we were linked up with one of the best tour guides in all of Egypt. His name was Waleed, & he knows his Egyptian history inside & out. He also takes really good pictures for you, so you can remember your visit for a lifetime
The next time you’re looking to see the largest monolithic statue in the world. Look no further then Cairo Egypt, & the Giza Plateau.
To learn even more history about the Sphinx (there’s so much history to this ancient statue like the Dream Stele between the Sphinx’s paws). Take a tour of the Giza Plateau with an experienced Egyptologist at your guide.
Waleed gave us a detailed tour of the area from ancient times, all the way to modern days. He also speaks excellent English. Next time you’re looking for a knowledgeable guide in the area, check out Waleed.
The Roving Gypsy
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