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World Mysteries – Great Sphinx of Giza

Updated on December 30, 2014
Great Sphinx of Giza
Great Sphinx of Giza | Source

Complex of Giza is composed of Sphinx, pyramids and other structures. These are the land marks of past history left by our ancestors. By studying in detail about these historical monuments, we will able to collect more information about the different cultures and civilizations of the past.

Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the largest statues of the world and it was carved out of limestone. It is located in Giza plateau (10 km west of Cairo, Egypt) on the west bank of Nile. For a very long period it was buried by the desert sand. This great Sphinx is full of mysteries, offering different possibilities for more speculation among the scholars studying about Egyptian history. It is situated in a short distance from the three large pyramids – the Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre (Chephren) and Menkaura.

The Great Sphinx of Giza

Mystery of Great Sphinx of Giza

Along with the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx is also one of the greatest puzzles among the ancient monuments of our history. Its time of manufacture, the purpose of its creation etc. are still hot topics of discussion among the archeologists. The great Sphinx was named after the human-headed lion in ancient Greek mythology. Nobody knows its original name at the time of its construction. Many hieroglyphic inscriptions of ancient period were found in the different tombs of Giza, but none of them has any mention about this giant structure.

Napoleon Visiting Sphinx
Napoleon Visiting Sphinx | Source

Original design of this structure is unknown to us now, because conformation of its original period of creation is still undecided. Now the structure has the face of a man and body of a lion. Many inscriptions were found in a small temple between its paws. Physically Sphinx of Giza is a very large structure having 73.5 meters in length and 20 meters in height. Some parts including nose and beard are found missing and the original red painting is visible only in a small area of the structure. When Napoleon visited this structure in 1798, he found that the nose of Sphinx is missing.

The great Sphinx was submerged in the desert sand for many years and proofs of water erosion can be found on it. Years of suffering by natural soil erosion and human attack have badly affected the external appearance and painting of this Sphinx. In the last two hundred years, this giant structure has been excavated and re-excavated for more than five times. During an excavation, conducted in 2010, sections of a large wall of 132 meters long were found around Sphinx. This was supposed to be built to protect this structure from external attacks.


Small Head and Large Body of the Great Sphinx of Giza

The great Sphinx has a small head in comparison with the large size of the body; the head is relatively smaller than the body. It may be because of the repeated reconstruction of the head. Sometimes the original head may be of some other animal or bird and the human head may be a later addition. But all these are unproven theories. The non-proportional size of the body and head is also another unsolved mystery about the great Sphinx.

An Egyptian Pharaoh
An Egyptian Pharaoh

Who Built the Great Sphinx of Giza?

No-one knows for sure when or by whom the great Sphinx was built. Some scholars proposed that Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Chephren built this structure with his own face and the body of a lion, near the site of his Pyramid around 2540 BC. The pyramid of Cepheren is near to this structure along with other two great pyramids of Khufu and Menkaura. There is no historical evidence supporting this argument but many historians believe that the great Sphinx was built by the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Chephren.

Another pharaoh, Tuthmosis IV had done some restoration works for the great Sphinx in 1400 BC. This information is based on an inscription (Stela) found between the front paws of the Sphinx and this inscription is known as ‘Dream Stela”. The 132 meters long wall found in a recent excavation, around the great Sphinx, was built by Tuthmosis IV pharaoh.


Period of Creation of Great Sphinx of Giza

Many archeologists believed that the great Sphinx was built by Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Chepheren around 2540 BC; that means that it was built around 5000 years ago. But another school of thought supported the theory that the great Sphinx was built earlier than that period and it may be built around 10,000 years ago. An advanced civilization who was lived prior to the flood (Anti-Diluvian Age) was the creators of the great Sphinx.

The argument put forward to support this theory explains that the water erosion marks that can be seen on this structure are more dominant than the soil/wind erosion marks. Though this area (Giza plateau) of Egypt is a desert now, it was a wet and rainy land about 10,000 years ago. The scholars John Anthony West and Robert Schoch found that water erosion marks are more prevalent than the wind and sand erosion marks.

Pyramids of Egypt
Pyramids of Egypt

Do you believe that the great Sphinx of Giza was built in a period when Giza plateau was green and wet?

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If the great Sphinx of Giza is older than Anti-Diluvian Age, it shows that there were civilizations existed before the period of Adam and Eve. As per the Biblical chronology, the time span of Adam-Ave to our present time is 6000 years. But unfortunately there no evidence is found to support this argument and there is not any mention of great Sphinx of Giza in Holy Bible also. But the evidence of water erosion marks of this giant structure makes us to believe that it was constructed in a period when this land area (Giza plateau) was very wet and rainy and not in a period when the land was dry and warm.

The great Sphinx of Giza is another unsolved mystery to the world. Though our modern era is greatly advanced in the studies in different fields, some of the old facts and historical evidences are still remaining unsolved. This may be because of the some missing information that we are not able to collect to explain the mysteries. These mysteries will remain in the same status, till the future generation finds a way to analyze these mysterious facts of olden times using some more advanced technology.

The Great Sphinx - Guardian of the Pyramids

What Do You Know about Great Sphinx of Giza

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      hany fayed 2 years ago

      Egypt tours through Egypt Metropolitan travel at Cairo will make you dream reality to visit Egypt you will find tour packages that ever be suitable for you

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      Interesting. Would love to see the Sphinx in person.