Photographer's Note

We just got back from a 2 week trip to Egypt so here's the first of probably many Egypt photos. This photo was taken at Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. This is not the Sphinx most people know, but the Alabaster Sphinx, and is better preserved (and smaller).

The Alabaster Sphinx was carved in honor of an unknown Pharaoh most likely during the eighteenth dynasty, between 1700 and 1400 BC. Although there is no inscription, the facial features suggest that it was in honor of Hatshepsut or Amenhotep II or Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III is thought to be the builder of the Luxor Temple.

The Alabaster Sphinx is 8m (26 ft) long and 4m (13 ft) tall and weighs around 90 tons.

The Alabaster Sphinx spent many years lying on its side in water, which caused damage to the side of the monument.

The sphinx is sometimes referred to as the Calcite Sphinx. Calcite is an opaque white stone that is often times called alabaster. The Alabaster was quarried at a place east of 'Amarna called Hatnub. Calcite was also believed to have, in a mythical sense, solar connections. It was not often used as a building material.

The type of figure known as a sphinx is created with the body of a lion and the head of royalty. The lion is in a crouching position with its paws outstretched. The human head is adorned with the covering reserved for kings of that particular period.

The photo has been NeatImage'd, some powerlines were cloned out, and the color saturation has been kicked up a notch.

pankajbajpai, ChrisJ has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Ian Sewell (IanSewell) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 11 N: 103] (579)
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