Wonders Of The Sphynx

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Wonders of the Sphinx While stationed in Cairo, Egypt, I visited many places of interest that most ordinary people do not get a chance to see. One of the most interesting sites I visited was the Sphinx. At first the enormous size of the statue frightened me, but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to know about the history of the Sphinx. I wanted to know the actual size of the Sphinx, the material make-up of the Sphinx, and the origination of the large watermarks. This and many other questions came to light as I talked to the Egyptian nationals, but most of the information came from reading articles posted on the Internet.

The Sphinx is the largest, oldest, and most famous sphinx statue that lies in the desert near Giza, Egypt. As I approached the Sphinx from the west side, I was surprised at the size of the Sphinx.

Television does not do justice to a monument that stretches 240 feet long and stands about 66 feet high (The Age of the Sphinx). The width of its face measures 13 feet 8 inches. It's enormous size and shape was overwhelming upon first sight. It's eyes seem to gaze everlasting at the distant horizon due east, at the equinox point.

Unlike many of the pyramids and temples of that time, the Sphinx is not built with quarried blocks, but instead it is carved out of the living bedrock. The Egyptians carved its head and body directly out of a giant rock in a limestone formation and cut stone blocks to form the paws and legs. The limestone formation had supplied much of the stone used to build several great pyramids.

While looking and at the Sphinx, I noticed many vertical lines running throughout the length of the Sphinx. I wondered where those lines might have come from. The answer to this question did become apparent until taking this course. According to Dr. Robert Schoch, a famous geologist and professor from Boston University, the vertical watermarks on the Sphinx were caused by water, not wind (The Sphinx). He believed that the Sphinx was built much earlier than the Giza Pyramids. This theory is discussed in great detail in the book The Orion Mystery (Heinemann-Mandarin).

As a first time visitor to Egypt, nothing could have prepared me for the awesome site and humbling experience of meeting the Sphinx face to face. No matter who you are, no matter what your disposition and temperament are, The Sphinx of Giza will not leave you unmoved. If ever the chance to visit such a remarkable place, one may have similar questions that come to mind. By knowing the actual size of the Sphinx, the material make-up of the Sphinx, and the origination of the large watermarks, I have gained a deeper understanding of the history that lies beneath the stone face.

References: The Age of the Sphinx. August 1996. http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/parade/henryr/quest/sphinx/index.htm.

Leonard H. Lesko, "The Sphinx," Discovery Channel School, original content provided by World Book Online, http://www.discoveryschool.com/homeworkhelp/ worldbook/atozhistory/s/524840.html, 14 November 2001.