How Did the Sphinx Lose Its Nose?


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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