.:.About the Sphinx.:.

About the Enclosure - dua her em akhet

An ancient structure supposedly dating to 2500 BCE, the Great Sphinx remains the epitome of mystery and imaginative inspiration to artists, adventurers, poets, and scholars. In Egyptian mythology, kings were typically portrayed as recumbent lions with a human head. The lion was symbolic of power, a quality attributed to the king.

Residing on the west bank of the Nile River, directly across from Cairo, and created from a single piece of hard and soft layered limestone, the Sphinx reclines at 240 feet long and 66 feet high. Scholars are not certain of its original builder, but the consensus is that it was Fourth Dynasty ruler, Djed-ef-re. It is even less clear of whom the Sphinx is a statue. The majority of Egyptologists believe the Sphinx is in the likeness of Khafre, Djed-ef-re's successor.

One major reason there is so much speculation surrounding the Sphinx is, unlike so many ancient Egyptian structures, the Great Sphinx is without hieroglyphic inscriptions. This makes it extremely difficult to not only date this structure to a definitive year, but also to describe its original purpose. Some interpret the Sphinx as a guardian, inspired by its guardian-like position before the Giza pyramids or by the resemblance to several leonine guardian-twin deities of the Underworld like Aker and Sauf and Dua. Others believe the Sphinx served as a structure for astronomical observation of the rising sun's position on the day of the spring equinox during the time of Leo (circa 10,000 - 8000 BCE). However, scholars know the Sphinx's significance to New Kingdom Egyptians: it was a kingly solar-deity by the name of Hor-em-akhet, "Horus of the Horizon." Horus was a rather old god, representing the newly crowned king.

Even though it has lasted for thousands of years, the Sphinx is severely eroded. The face is quite damaged, most notably its nose is missing and the eyes and surrounding areas are largely altered from their original state. Some scientists believe the erosion apparent on the Sphinx's body is evidence that the Sphinx is older than what is currently thought. The topic is still open to controversy, along with the subject of secret burial chambers and Atlantis.

The Great Sphinx Enclosure is home to not only the colossal human-headed lion, but also to several temples: the Old Kingdom Sphinx Temple, built during the Fourth Dynastay, most likely by Khufu; the Old Kingdom Lower/Valley Temple, also built during the Fourth Dynasty by Khafre; and the New Kingdom Sphinx Temple, built during the Eighteenth Dynasty by Amenhotep II, great-grandfather of Tutankhamun.

.:.Pictures of the Sphinx Enclosure.:.

The Great Sphinx Enclosure featured pictures

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