The Great Sphinx
Situated about six miles West of Cairo lies The Great Sphinx at Giza;
the oldest monumental stone sculpture in the world. At its highest point of 21
meters and length of 74 meters, not even Mt Rushmore (at a mere 18m) can
compete. The mouth, with its enigmatic smile, caused by erosion and ancient
vandalism rather than design, is 2.3 meters across. The nose is 1.7 meters on an
immense face at 4.2 meters in breadth. The body is the shape of a lion and wears
a headress upon its head. It is said that the gigantic monument was a sculpture
created for and of King Chepren over 4,500 years ago. If that is the case, it would
be the oldest known portrait. The Sphinx faces East, toward the Nile Valley. The
placement of the figure is said to be derived from the zodiacal sign of Leo, since it
was during its summer month that the Nile began to flood.
It is lined up and has
the perfect 'reflection' of the constellation. "Sphinx" comes from the Greek word
'Sphingein' which means to struggle. Although it is unknown what the Great
Sphinx was originally called by the Egyptians, it is referred to circa 1500 BCE
as Hor-em-akht - Horous in the Horizon, Bw-How (Place of Horus) and also as
Ra-horakhty (Ra of Two Horizons).
In the middle of the paws of the Great Sphinx, is where the Dream Stela is
placed. The story on the Stela is about how Prince Tuthmosis was hunting one
day and fell asleep in the paws of the Sphinx (when most of the Sphinx was
covered in blown sand).In his dream the Sphinx spoke to him, promising the
throne of Egypt in return for clearing the sand from its body. Tuthmosis...