Carved from the bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx has a body of a lion with the head of a king or god, the sphinx has come to symbolize strength and wisdom. In modern times the sphinx was mostly covered up to its neck in sand. It wasn’t until 1905 that the Egyptologist Emile Baraize began to clear away the sand to reveal the entire body of the sphinx. This was finally achieved in 1925.
The Sphinx is 73.5 metres long, 6 m wide, and has a height of 20 m, making it one of the largest single-stone statues in the world. It is believed to have been constructed in the 3rd millennium BC, though a precise date has never been agreed on.
The most popular and current theory of the builder of the Sphinx holds that it was commissioned by the 4th Dynasty King, Khafre (2558-2532 BCE). Khafre was one of the sons of Khufu (AKA Cheops). The Sphinx lines up with the Pyramid of Khafre at the foot of its causeway. As one rounds the northeast corner to the front of the Sphinx, the alignment of the two structures becomes more apparent.
Although the head of the Sphinx is badly battered in some places, traces of the original paint can still be seen near one ear. Originally it is believed that the Sphinx was painted and was quite colorful. Since then, the nose and beard have been broken away. The nose was the unfortunate victim of target practice by the Turks in the Turkish period. It is often erroneously assumed that the nose was shot off by Napoleon's men, but 18th century drawings reveal that the nose was missing long before Napoleon's arrival.
In between the paws of the Sphinx is a stela, now called the "Dream Stela", which is inscribed with a story. The 18th Dynasty (1400BC) story tells of the time that Thutmosis IV fell asleep under the Sphinx which was covered to the neck in sand. Thutmosis had a dream that the Sphinx spoke to him and promised that if he would free the Sphinx from the sand. Indeed Thutmosis would later become king of Egypt.
The present restoration works were commenced in 1989.
Source: Guardian's Sphinx by Andrew Bayuk
History Of The Conservation Of The Sphinx by Zahi Zawass
Critiques | Translate
snunney (72716) 2009-07-09 2:32
A good capture of this enigmatic monument. You have chosen a good point of view to put it in a diagonal perspective and take advantage of the interesting sky behind. The details are well rendered with good colours and sharpness.
asajernigan (19669) 2009-07-09 5:32
This is a great shot of the iconic structure. The angle of your shot is nice adding depth to the scene. The lighting and colors are great with excellent sharpness and detail. The great blue sky with puffy clouds provide good contrast and backdrop for the scene.
dip (22130) 2009-07-09 8:41
wonderful image of the famous monument,
well exposed and composed!
dta (56664) 2009-07-10 9:08
Hello Chris ,
For sure , this is a very famous place ! But it is a pleasure to see one more time the Sphinx , with a so good picture . Of course , the POV , framing , colors and sharpness are excellent . But , in my opinion , the sky really adds to the beauty of the monument .
Well done .
sacimar (25969) 2009-07-11 12:20
good image of the Sphinx, I like the perspective, the sky was perfect for the picture, excellent details and sharpness, well done!
jurek1951 (37040) 2009-07-12 21:55
Wonderul capture and POV
Excellent light and colors
Great PP work
alive (1324) 2009-07-15 4:18
Great photo, great place of universal history.
A photo with great composition.
Good and beautiful colors.
mkamionka (27073) 2009-07-16 4:35
I really admire your photos from Egypt. I was there with organized tour and did not have enough time for finding a good POV, there were plenty of people everywhere. Usually I had bad light too.
Your photos are excellent -with a great light and no people around from great POVs.
I am really jealous.
npecanhuk (56368) 2009-07-24 6:39
Classical subject but never enough seeing it, specially in a very good picture, with excellent sharpness, exposure, depth of field and colors!
The pov was privileged and the composition is simple but truly effective!
TFS - congratulations!
testmaniac (13508) 2009-08-07 5:13
Hello Chris, this is a perfect shot of the Sphinx! The composition,colors and contrast are great!
The Sphinx with clouds... so nice!
darek1978 (13361) 2009-08-09 14:59
This is one of the best pictures from Egipt I saw lately on TE. Amazing clearness and fantastic light. You obtained beautiful colours on this one. Congratulations!
giorgimer (34646) 2009-08-13 4:43
finally a rare different POV of this famous monument, it also allow us to see this amazing sky in the BG.
Very well done!
sigur (338) 2009-10-26 14:58
Another fine shot from Egypt. The colour and POV are great and it is nice to see some clouds in the sky, rather than the usual clear blue sky you mostly see. Well done.
- Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper) (6560)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-02-20
- Categories: Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Pentax K100D Super, Sigma 18-50 1:3,5-5,6 DC, ISO 200, Hoya Cir. Polarizer 58 mm
- Exposure: f/8, 1/750 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Archeology. Mysterious. Historical. Ancient. Old, My trip to Egypt & Turkey [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-07-09 2:20
- Favorites: 1 [view]