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miércoles, 25 de abril de 2012

Some Of The Landmarks of Ancient Egypt - The Sphinx

By : FaySalmo  Mar 21, 2011

This monument structure is carved out of a single ridge of stone which is about 73 meters long and 20 meters high. It represents the body of a lion and the head of a king or a god. The great Sphinx is located on the Giza plateau (part of the necropolis of ancient Memphis) situated about six miles West of Cairo. It is believed that this statue was build probably to signify the wisdom, strength and powers of the pharaohs. As a result of the changing desert terrain, this mysterious statue has been buried with sand several times over the past causing the soft parts of the monument to erode.

Up to today, the exact time of the construction of the Great Sphinx is not yet known. The purpose for which it was modeled and the person who constructed it is also not known. One unique feature of the statue is the presence of a paint residue which suggests that it was originally beautifully colored. The head-piece resembles the colorful attire traditionally worn by the Pharaohs of the ancient Egypt. The nose was shot off by the Turkish soldiers during shooting practices while the beard has worn out through heavy wind and sand erosion.

Due to the bad erosion, both the ancient Kings and the modern rulers have done various restorations just to maintain its structure. For instance, Price Thutmose IV was the first person to restore the monument in 1400 B.C after being told to remove all the sand around it by Hor-Akhty the sun God through a dream as he was sleeping under the shade of the Sphinx. In his dream, he was promised that he would become the King of Egypt if he obeyed the Hor-Akhty. Two years later after the restoration, his dream was fulfilled and he actually became the King.

Today the wind, humidity and the pollution from the modern Cairo have continued to damage the soft stone monument. This has resulted to more repairs which have sometimes caused even more damage. Some parts of the monument beard are still displayed in the Cairo and British Museum in London. However, many Egyptian anthropologists disagree with this, claiming that those parts of the beard do not resemble the remaining beard in the monument. Visitors are forbidden from climbing the pyramids and the Giza Pyramids are open to the public from 08.00AM and closes at 05.00PM.

Jackline Mwathe Is A Tour Operator And Has Been Organizing And Reporting On Africa Vacation, Travel And Tour For Years. For more information on African Tourism, visit her site at LANDMARKS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

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