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The Great Sphinx of Egypt is a colossal sculpture carved on a boulder, in Giza, made during the 4th Dynasty (ca.2680-2565 B.C.). It represents an animal that has the head, neck and breast of a woman with the body and paws of a lion. In other versions the head has been depicted as that of a man, ram or hawk. Typical of the city of Caldea, sometimes the sphinx have wings. It is with these latter characteristics that they were depicted in Egypt during the New Empire and spread through Greece.

It’s creators are thought to have used a leftover singular stone, after having carried out the construction of nearby pyramids and temples, taking advantage of its important location. Despite its monumental size, measuring over 74 meters long and 20 meters high, it seems small when compared with Kefréns pyramid in the background, whose complex it is a part of. Until 1926 the Sphinx was partially covered with sand. Extensive excavation projects were carried out to reveal it.

Later on a granite plaque was hung with the name Khafra carved on it, as per the request of King Tutankhamun IV. This in commemoration for the freeing of the figure from the sand, from which it was carved. He was later also responsible for further restorations made to the cracks that repeatedly appeared on the figure. Originally a symbol of the Pharaohs, the Sphinx was later used as a center for a new cult during the New Empire. The second most important Sphinx is Pepi, made during the 6th century.

According to Greek mythology the female Sphinx Tebana offered a daily riddle killing and devouring those who couldn’t solve it. "Which animal walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?" Oedipus was the only person to solve this riddle, responding: "Man, who during his infancy crawls on all four, as an adult walks on two, and in his old age supports himself on a cane." Overcome and furious, the Sphinx was said to have plunged herself into the ocean freeing Oedipus.

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Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
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