Research Paper

Submitted By britneyrawls
Words: 1073
Pages: 5

Sphinx Western Civilization has been the creator of many impressive and lasting monuments, many of which are not completely understood. People continuously are asking “Who built this?”, “When did they build it?”, “Why did they build it?”, and “How did they do it?” All are very viable questions. After all, some of them are pieces of the great wonders of the world. After many trips, arguments, and centuries of research, some of those very questions have been answered and proven many times by different researchers and archaeologists. The seven great wonders of the world have influenced the imaginations of poets, scholars, adventurers and tourists for centuries and have also inspired a wealth of speculation about their age, their meaning, and the secrets that they might hold. Just South of Khafre's pyramid at Giza near Cairo, Egypt lays a huge creature with the head of a human and a lion's body. This monumental statue, the first truly colossal royal sculpture in Egypt, known as the Great Sphinx, is a national symbol of Egypt, both ancient and modern. It may just be one of the most questioned monuments of all time. The Sphinx was not assembled piece by piece but was carved from a single mass of limestone exposed when workers dug a horseshoe-shaped quarry in the Giza plateau. Approximately 66 feet tall and 240 feet long, it is one of the largest and oldest monolithic statues in the world. (Hadingham) The Great Sphinx is to the northeast of Khafre's Valley Temple. We believe that Khafre's workers shaped the stone into the lion and gave it their king's face over 4,500 years ago. Khafre's name was also mentioned on the Dream Stele, which sits between the paws of the great beast. However, no one is completely certain that it is in fact the face of Khafre, though indeed that is the preponderance of thought. (AKN Solutions) Over the years, researchers and history lovers have wondered about the erosion of the Sphinx and how it happened. For many decades, geologists and archaeologists concluded that it was from the heavy winds that occur in Egypt. In the early 1990s a small group of maverick researchers began to look at the distinctive pattern of rippling waves visible on the body of the Sphinx and the walls surrounding it. When they examined the erosion on the limestone body of the statue, they came to a stunning conclusion: the Sphinx had been weathered by water, not by wind. Up until that point, most Egyptologists had believed that wind had carved out channels on the Sphinx, abated only by long periods when the statue was hidden beneath encroaching desert sands. The team consisted of geologist Robert Schoch and maverick archaeologist/tour guide John Anthony West. In a statement made about his findings, Schoch said, “In 1990 I first traveled to Egypt with the sole purpose of examining the Great Sphinx from a geological perspective. I assumed that the Egyptologists were correct in their dating, but I soon discovered that the geological was not compatible with what the Egyptologists were saying. On the body of the sphinx, and on the walls of the Sphinx enclosure (the pit of hollow remaining after the Sphinx’s body was carved from the bedrock), I found heavy erosional features that I concluded could only have been caused by rainfall and water runoff. The thing is, the Sphinx sits on the edge of the Sahara Desert and the region has been quite arid for the last 5000 years. Furthermore, various structures securely dated to the Old Kingdom show only erosion that was caused by wind and sand (very distinct from water erosion). To make a long story short, I came to the conclusion that the oldest portions of the Great Sphinx, what I refer to as the core-body, must date back to an earlier period (at least 5000 B.C., and maybe as early as 7000 or 9000 B.C.), a time when the climate was very different and included more rain.” (Schoch) The Sphinx has suffered greatly from the catastrophes of time, man, and modern pollution. In fact, what…