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.
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.