The Sphinx is one of the most famous structures of Egypt other than the pyramids. The mythical figure which has a human head resting on the body of a lion is a symbol that has been the face of Egyptian civilization for thousands of years. The Sphinx of Giza is carved from the bedrock of the Giza statue widely believed to be the protector of the pyramids which were built by the Pharaohs.
The statue symbolizes many things. Lion is revered as the king of the jungle and touted to be the most powerful among the animals. The body of the statue signifies strength and invokes terror in the enemies. Similarly, the head of the statue is given human shape to signify thinking power and intelligence. It is approximately 66 feet tall and 240 feet long which makes it one of the largest and oldest statues in the world. The term Sphinx came from the Greek Mythology, which described it as a human head with the body of the mighty lion. It is believed that the Egyptian King Khafre was the one who commissioned the building of Sphinx. The Sphinx, although many centuries old, has weathered many a storms and still attracts hordes of visitors every year to Egypt. The head of the Sphinx has been badly battered in some places, but a few traces of the original paint can be seen near one of the ears. Many theories advocate the fact that the Sphinx originally was painted and over the years has been discolored.
It was widely believed that the broken nose of the Sphinx was the handiwork of Napolean’s battalion when Napolean occupied Giza. However, this claim was refuted by many historians who attribute the broken nose to the Turks as some paintings of that time show the Sphinx with the broken nose.
The Sphinx to this day remains a mystery of the earlier Egyptian civilization and has since fascinated archeologists and historians alike. The civilization may have been buried in the sands of time, but the huge structure is there to remind us of the culture that once existed.