Welcome to the Great Sphinx located on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. Giza is located near Cairo in a desert referred to by the Egyptians as the land of the dead. The statue of the Sphinx sits on the Giza Plateau, which is also the home of the Great Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. In the past, Sphinxes guarded the tombs of the great Pharaohs of Egypt. Today, the Great Sphinx guards the three main pyramids of Giza.
Story of the Great Sphinx
There’s an interesting story behind the Great Sphinx. The tale says that a prince fell asleep in the shadow of the Sphinx, who then came to him in a dream. The Sphinx told him that one day he would become a great King himself, which turned out to be prophetic. The prince ended up becoming the Pharaoh Thutmose II. Thutmose II was succeeded by the great Pharaoh Hatshepsut, a woman who ended up ruling for twenty-one years. After all, Thutmose II was too young to rule when his father died. Out of jealousy, Thutmose II ended up trying to erase Hatshepsut from Egypt’s history because she took the throne from him. He couldn’t stand that she brought Egypt into its Golden Age with her expansions and construction of new temples.
Building the Great Sphinx
The Sphinx was carved from a single piece of limestone, and pigment residue suggests that the entire Great Sphinx was painted. It would have taken about three years for 100 workers to use stone hammers and copper chisels to create the statue. There is some debate over whether the Sphinx resembles Khufu or his son Khafre. There is also debate on who it was intended to protect. However, it ultimately protects the three main pyramids and the six pyramids located behind it, where all of the royal families are entombed. It’s an amazing sight to behold, and I felt so small standing near it. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to build it.
Pictured below is papyrus paper. It is made from the papyrus plant, which only grows on the Nile River. It’s a long process that takes about twenty days. It’s still made the same way the ancient Egyptians used to make it to keep all their writings and scrolls. Papyrus scrolls have documented Egypt from their ancient civilizations to current times. The scrolls are amazing, and a lot of them have glow-in-the-dark hieroglyphics on them. This changes the images so that when you turn off the lights, the image is altered.
We had such an amazing time exploring the Great Sphinx on the Giza Plateau. This statute is so huge and truly incredible to view. As you can see below, we had a lot of fun taking pictures in front of the statue! This was such a fun, outdoor experience. The Egyptian culture is so interesting, and we learned so much.
Thanks for following along with me on my journey of traveling the world through a global pandemic. We have already made unforgettable memories in the middle east, and I am excited to make many more. If you would like to know more about me and my passion for traveling, you can read more here.
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.