Q:

What are some facts about the Great Sphinx of Giza?

A:

Quick Answer

The Great Sphinx of Giza is located on the Giza Plateau near Cairo. The Sphinx was carved out of limestone and features the head of a human with the body of a lion in a reclining position. The body of the sculpture is carved out of soft yellow limestone, while the head is made of hard grey limestone.

Continue Reading
What are some facts about the Great Sphinx of Giza?
Credit: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED AFP Getty Images

Full Answer

The Sphinx is approximately 66 feet tall and 240 feet long. It is believed that the blocks of stone carved from the body of the statue were used to build the nearby temples. It was initially believed that the Sphinx was commissioned by 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Khafre. Geological and archaeological evidence suggests that the statue is much older and was restored during Khafre's reign. The Sphinx has been heavily altered by erosion and humans. The nose of the statue is completely missing, and the eyes are very different from their original construction. It is rumored that Napoleon's army used the Sphinx for artillery target practice at one time. For many years, the Sphinx was buried under sand up to the neck of the statue. The base of the statue was uncovered by Emil Baraize, a French engineer, over an 11-year period between 1925 and 1936.

Learn more about Geography
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What city is the Sphinx located in?

    A:

    The Great Sphinx is located near the northern Egyptian city of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River. The Pyramids of Giza are also located there. The Sphinx, which lies south of the Great Pyramid, is around 24 feet in length and 66 feet in height.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long did it take to build the Great Sphinx?

    A:

    There is inconclusive evidence as to when the Great Sphinx of Giza was carved and how long it took. The most commonly accepted theory is that it was carved in place around 2500 B.C.E, during or after the reign of the Old Kingdom pharaoh Khafra (also known as Khephren).

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happened to the nose of the Great Sphinx of Giza?

    A:

    Archaeologists believe the Great Sphinx of Gaza's nose fell off due to a combination of weathering and human vandalism. While Napoleon Bonaparte is often blamed for this destruction, the missing nose has been gone since at least the 14th century.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the theories regarding the construction of the Great Sphinx?

    A:

    One of the theories to explain the purpose and symbolism behind the construction of the Great Sphinx at Giza is that it was built to guard the tombs of the pharaohs buried nearby. Support for this theory is based on the symbolism of lions as guardian figures and the monument's body of a lion with a human head, presumably that of a pharaoh. Another theory suggests that the Sphinx was erected by the Egyptian Pharaoh Djedefre to identify his father, Pharaoh Khufu, with the Sun god, Ra, and honor the family dynasty.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore