Great Sphinx

History of the Tombs & Pyramids of Ancient Egypt for Kids - Great Sphinx

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about Great Sphinx

Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians - Great Sphinx
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about Great Sphinx. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Great Sphinx.
 
The history of the enigmatic Great Sphinx
The construction and dimensions
The 'Inventory Stela'
The 'Dream Stele'
The water damage to the monument and missing pieces
The pyramids of ancient Egypt
The tombs of the Pharaohs
An overview of the Great Sphinx of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians - Great Sphinx
Click a link for additional information and interesting facts about subjects relating to this monumnet or other aspects of daily life, the people and places of ancient Egypt.

Great Sphinx
Learn about this iconic colossus of ancient Egypt that lies on the Giza plateau together with the Great pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. Facts and information about the history, myths and the dimensions of this massive statue.

Napoleon Bonaparte and the Great Sphinx

Napoleon Bonaparte and the Great Sphinx
 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on Great Sphinx:

The Great Sphinx is located on the Giza Plateau 25km (15 miles) south west of Cairo, bordering the Sahara Desert on the west bank of the River Nile.
 

Fact 2 on Great Sphinx:

The Great Sphinx is one of the most iconic symbols of Egypt, its gigantic and monumental proportions are truly awesome. It was named as 'Abul-hol' by the Bedouins meaning the "father of terror".
 

Fact 3 on Great Sphinx:

The massive statue has the head of a man wearing a nemes headdress and the elongated body of a crouching lion. The Nemes was the traditional striped head cloth worn by the pharaohs of Egypt as a ceremonial headdress. The Uraeus cobra symbol, offered magical protection and conveyed the legitimacy of the ruler.  
 

Fact 4 on Great Sphinx:

Giovanni Battista Caviglia (1770 - 1845), was the Italian Egyptologist who excavated at Giza in 1817. He found fragments of the beard and the tip of the Uraeus between the paws of the satue.
 

Fact 5 on Great Sphinx:

The Giza plateau is also the location of the famous pyramids that are referred to as:

The Great Pyramid of Khufu
Khafre's Pyramid - the Second Pyramid
Menkaure's Pyramid - the Third Pyramid
 

Fact 6 on Great Sphinx:

The controversy surrounding the age of the statue is based on the size of the head being disproportional to the size of the lion's body - many question whether the head and the face were added much later. It is therefore possible that the sphinx already existed but the head was replaced as an image of Khafre.
 

Fact 7 on Great Sphinx:

No inscriptions have yet been discovered on, or in, the statue to indicate who built it and its true origins remains a mystery
 

Fact 8 on Great Sphinx:

The 'Inventory stela' was found in the ruins of the Temple of Isis at Giza by Auguste Mariette in the 1850's and is now housed in the Cairo Museum.  The 'Inventory stela' states that Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid restored the Sphinx. The 'Inventory stela' states the following:

"... He restored the statue, all covered in painting, of the guardian of the atmosphere, who guides the winds with his gaze. He replaced the back part of the Nemes head-dress, which was missing with gilded stone..."
 

Fact 9 on Great Sphinx:

The majority of Egyptologists and scholars currently believe that the face of the monument represents the likeness of the Pharaoh Khafra who built the Second Pyramid at Giza. Originally the carving was faced with white Tura limestone, and a beard extended from the chin.
 

Fact 10 on Great Sphinx:

The lower part of the headdress has fallen and the nose and beard have been broken off the face. The diminished neck looks too slender to sustain the enormous weight of the head.
 

Fact 11 on Great Sphinx:

For many hundreds of years the desert sands buried the great ancient monument to the chin and was not completely dug out of the sand until 1925.

Paws Great Shinx buried in sand
 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

The Sphinx

Great Sphinx
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about this famous icon of Egypt for kids with some amazing, cool and quick information about ancient Egypt and Egyptians. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages! Find fascinating fun facts about famous icon of Egypt for kids and the history, culture and civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about famous icon of Egypt for research, schools, students and kids of all ages.

 

The Ancient Egyptians

 

Dimensions of the Great Sphinx
Learn about the construction and dimensions of the Great Sphinx the fast and easy way via the Fact sheet.
 

Dimensions of the Great Sphinx

  

Paws of the Great Sphinx

Length:57 metres (260 feet)
Width:6 m (20 feet)
Length of Paws:15 metres (50 feet)
Length of Head:10 metres (30 feet)
Width of Head:4 metres (14 feet)
  

 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

Fact 12 on Great Sphinx:

It is one of the largest single-stone statues in the world and stands taller than a six-storey building. It was carved out of limestone bedrock and oriented due east, facing the rising sun.
 

Fact 13 on Great Sphinx:

The 1 meter wide nose is missing as is the beard which was traditionally worn by the pharaohs. The breast and the paws were restored by the Greeks and the Romans.
 

Fact 14 on Great Sphinx:

The tail of the lion wraps around the right paw.
 

Fact 15 on Great Sphinx:

The statue is built using large stones called megaliths. The smallest stone megalith is estimated to weigh 50 tons and the largest stone has an estimated weight of 200 tons. To put these enormous weights into perspective, a small car weighs about 1 ton.
 

Fact 16 on Great Sphinx:

The statue has been subject to a considerable amount of water damage, even though the Giza Plateau borders the Sahara Desert. The water damage is indicated by vertical impressions on the monument. Erosion caused by sand and wind leave horizontal impressions, such as those on the pyramids of Giza.
 

Fact 17 on Great Sphinx:

The water damage adds to the mystery of the Great Sphinx. However, scholars believe that the Sahara Desert was once subject to torrential rainfall between 10,000 BC - 5000BC.
 

Fact 18 on Great Sphinx:

A small temple, or chapel, was discovered between the paws of the statue when it was cleared of sand in 1816.
 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

Great Sphinx - 1905

Photograph of the Great Sphinx dated 1905

 

Great Sphinx

Facts and Information about this famous icon of Egypt

The Giza Plateau

The people, places, culture and civilization of ancient Egypt

Facts and information about Ancient Egypt & the Egyptians

Great Sphinx for kids and schools

Great Sphinx  for kids, schools, homework and research

Most famous icon of Egypt

 

Great Sphinx
Learn about the ancient pyramids of Egypt, and the tombs of the pharaohs, the fast and easy way via the Great Sphinx Fact sheet.
 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

Fact 19 on Great Sphinx:

Pharaoh Thutmose IV (r. 14011391 B.C.) of the 18th Dynasty in the period of ancient Egyptian history called the New Kingdom had a stone granite stele known as the Dream stele placed between the paws of the statue.
 

Fact 20 on Great Sphinx:

The dimensions of the 'Dream stele' are:

Length: 11 feet 10 inches
Width: 7 feet
Depth: 2 inches
 

Fact 21 on Great Sphinx:

The Dream Stele' recounts of the story of Thutmose when he was a prince. Apparently on a hunting expedition Prince Thutmose had a dream in which the Great Sphinx spoke to him. Prince Thutmose promised to clear away the rubble and sand around the statue and in return he was promised the throne of Egypt.
 

Fact 22 on Great Sphinx:

Mythology: The Egyptian sphinx was viewed as a benevolent guardian and was typically shown as a man (an androsphinx) with the body of a lion. Another such sphinx-creature was the criosphinx, which was associated with the god Amun, and depicted with the head and hooves of a ram and the body of a lion. The Hieracosphinx had the body of a lion and a head of a hawk.
 

Fact 23 on Great Sphinx:

Mythology: The mythical Greek sphinx is described as a murderous creature with the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman.

Criosphinx, Androsphinx, Hieracosphinx & Greek Sphinx
 

Fact 24 on Great Sphinx:

The Riddle of the Sphinx: The famous 'Riddle of the Sphinx' refers to Greek mythology. In this ancient legend the 'Sphinx of Thebes' asked a riddle to all travellers who passed by. Failure to resolve the riddle resulted in death. The riddle is as follows:

"What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon,
and on three legs in the evening?"

The answer to the riddle is:

"A man. He crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two legs as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age."
 

Ancient Egypt - Great Sphinx Fact Sheet

Ancient Egypt

Great Sphinx
Learning about the ancient Egyptians and Great Sphinx inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts about Great Sphinx will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.

Great Sphinx

 

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