11 Mysteries Of The Ancient Sphinx That Haunt Archaeologists

The Egyptian Sphinx, or the Great Sphinx of Giza, remains one of the most mysterious buildings of antiquity. Archaeologists are sure that people built it, but who and when – they still cannot clearly answer. Some believe that the Sphinx became a monument to an unknown supreme deity. Others consider the statue to be just another senseless monument of the ancient pharaohs.

Appearance from the abyss

Strange, but archaeologists still cannot say for sure who exactly ordered the construction of the Sphinx. It is believed that the monument was built during the reign of Khafre, that is, the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom as early as 2500 BC, however, some signs suggest that the monument is older than this age.

Unfinished masterpiece

But whoever started this construction, did not have time to finish the plan. An American archaeologist, Mark Lenner, discovered a nearby hidden cave where large stones and construction tools were kept. Apparently, the sphinx was supposed to become only the central figure of a huge sculptural canvas.

Professionals at work

And the slaves did not build the Sphinx at all, as many believe. According to recent studies, the builders lived in prosperity and luxury, could afford meat, which was very expensive at that time, and even had their own brothels.

This is not a sphinx

Finally, technically, the Egyptian Sphinx is not a Sphinx at all. The Sphinx is the winged monster of Thebes with a female head and the body of a lion. The Egyptian Sphinx has neither wings nor a female head – it is definitely male. Who is this? But it is not clear.

Astronomical Sphinx

American archaeologist Mark Lenner believes that the Egyptian Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza were built by fans of the solar cult who tried to get energy in this way. Modern astronomers only twist a finger at their temples to such statements, but at the same time, they cannot clearly answer how the ancient Egyptians managed to arrange the Sphinx into an ordered system with the pyramids of Giza, the Nile Valley, the constellations Leo and Orion. And how the Egyptians managed to align the monument exactly in the center of the Milky Way is also not entirely clear.

Painted cat

Now it is difficult to believe in it, but initially, the sphinx was multi-colored. Close up, tiny drops of red paint are still visible on the face, and on the body, there are stains of blue and yellow. Experts suggest that the original look was designed in bright colors.

Sphinx and its missing nose

The widespread information that Napoleon blew up the nose of the sphinx is nothing more than a legend. Judging by historical documents, the pious Sufi Muslim Muhammad Saim al-Dah is responsible for the damage to the great statue: in this way, he tried to reduce the religious significance of the Sphinx.

Sphinx worshipers

According to legend, Pharaoh Thutmose fell asleep at the paws of the sphinx and experienced a religious revelation. From that moment on, the statue became the subject of a cult that is still alive today. Of course, there are not so many admirers of the monument, but they are.

The largest rock monument

It’s amazing how the ancient Egyptians managed to build this unique monument. The massive, tall figure of the Sphinx is officially the largest statue in the world.

Different names

During its long history, the monument has changed a lot of names. Around 1400 BC, the statue was called “The Great Khepri Monument.” Then the nickname “Gorem-Akhet” appeared, and the Egyptians themselves call it “balhib” or “bilhaw”.

Desert battle

Since its construction, the Sphinx has plunged into the sands. The desert tried to swallow up the great statue and people had to work hard to regain its place in the sun.