Q:

How did the Sphinx lose its nose?

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Quick Answer

Although historians cannot be certain, it is believed that the nose of the Great Sphinx in Giza was destroyed by an Egyptian man who was angry that his offering to the gods did not result in an answered prayer to control the flood cycle. During the 15th century, historian al-Maqrizi noted that the man was later put to death for vandalizing the Sphinx, although there's no way to prove the validity of the tale.

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Full Answer

Another legend says Napoleon was responsible for the missing nose, and that his cannon fire damaged it. Nonetheless, sketches created in 1737 suggest that the nose was missing prior to the Napoleon era, thus debunking the possibility that Napoleon damaged the nose.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does the Sphinx symbolize?

    A:

    The Great Sphinx of Egypt symbolizes the royalty of Egypt as links between the man and deity and simultaneously acts as a symbol of man's dominance over nature. Some scholars also suggest that the Sphinx is a depiction of the solar god Atum. The sphinx's majestic and imposing appearance serve as a form of warning to looters entering the Necropolis.

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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    How old is the Sphinx?

    A:

    The Sphinx of Giza is probably around 4,500 years old. Because its face resembles that of the Pharaoh Khafre, it is generally agreed by archaeologists that it was built during or shortly after his reign.

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  • Q:

    Where is the Sphinx located?

    A:

    The Sphinx is located in Giza, Egypt. The Sphinx is situated on the west bank of the Nile River on the Giza Plateau. It is the largest monolith statue in the world and is over 60 feet high, 241 feet long and 63 feet wide.

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