Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is a marvel from the ancient days of Egypt – and it seems surprising that it wasn’t one of the Seven Wonders itself. It has the body of a lion with the head of a pharaoh (the shape of the headdress is the same as the one the pharaohs wore) and has come to symbolize strength and wisdom. It is truly impressive to see in person. Apparently sphinxes were commonly included as guardians to royal tombs or temples.

The Sphinx has been buried many times over the last several thousand years, most recently recovered in 1905. Just the paws are 50 feet long! Sadly, the head is battered and a lot of erosion has taken the place, smoothing out some of the original detail. The beard has broken off and the nose was shot off; according the stories, it was used as target practice by either the Turks or Napoleon. There are still traces of paint near and ear and they believe it was colorfully painted at one point in time.

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