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The Great Sphinx
Giza and surrounding
Archeology, Civilization history,  Unusual places,  Monuments, Sculptures
Archeology, Civilization history, 
Unusual places, 
Monuments, Sculptures

For several thousand years, the gigantic guards of the Egyptian desert, the pyramids of Giza made of stone and led by the Sphinx, have been closely watching the sands of eternity, successive rulers, and endless flow of guests from all over the world. 

The most ancient monument on Earth was carved in the rock and depicted the mythical creature of the Sphinx. It is a child of Chimera with the head of a man and the body of a lion. All the pyramids nearby are ancient tombs of the pharaohs, while the Great Sphinx measuring more than 70 meters long and 20 meters tall is a silent guard of their peace in the realm of the dead. Earlier, all the pharaohs were depicted as fearless lions, that is why this huge sculpture has the face of one of the rulers. According to some historians, the face of the Sphinx has a striking resemblance to the pharaoh Khafra, the fourth king of the 4th dynasty (the son of the famous pharaoh Cheops) and builder of the second great pyramid of Giza. The majestic sculpture, like all the significant monuments of Ancient Egypt, faces the east and the waters of the River Nile. Every morning, it is lighted up by the rising sun.

To this day, the age of the stone statue remains a mystery. Only the size of the stone blocks similar to the Chephren pyramid and the image of the pharaoh found in the sands close to the Sphinx suggest that Khafra was its builder. This means that it is about 47 centuries old. However, many Egyptologists dispute this statement and cannot reach a consensus. 

Throughout its long history, the Great Sphinx has been drowned in the quicksand of the desert almost to its shoulders several times. Pharaohs Thutmose IV and Ramses II the Great managed to dig out the powerful front paws of a lion. Later, it was partially excavated by the Greeks and Romans. In the 19th century, the Italians uncovered its chest from the sand. And only in the 20th century, archaeologists succeeded to completely clear the sand from around the statue. After that, in 2014, many restorations were done and now the Great Sphinx is open to visitors.

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Published by

Uliana Vedenina

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