Monday, December 15, 2008

Hey guys!

Ok, this whole blog is about the amazing SPHINX! It might be a little dry at parts and others it's just plain weird... :D but there's some good info. in here so just scroll down and you'll find a whole bunch of information!!! It will be so much fun! lol. Well I hope that you learn something in here which I bet you will... so SCROLL DOWN!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

King Khafra/Khafre

One of the most important questions that I wanted answered was one of the harder ones to find. I was wondering why and who the Great Sphinx was built for... really, doesn't that seem like something that would be kind of important? Then why was it so hard to find?!

Though the answer might seem simple there was something behind it. The Great Sphinx was built for Khafra - the 4th dynasty ruler. The face of the Great Sphinx was thought to represent the king himself, although it has been argued that it may represent his predecessor Djedfra. It was probably intended for the worship of the 3 forms of the sun: Khepri in the morning, Ra at midday, and Atum in the evening - who knew that there was more than one god of the sun?... well not me... Through all of this information, I was kind of confused because earlier they said that the sphinx was built to guard the temple gates but having the sphinx "probably" be used to worship the sun didn't make much sense. Khafra had other rulers buried around him so I thought that with how he started out with the design of a smaller pyramid, he tried to one up the other rulers which they got mad and he needed a sphinx to guard his afterlife from the rage of others. But that's just my opinion. I don't know if it had anything with "one upping each other" or with the "rage to need protection."... oooohhh! scary! :-O


The Great Sphinx used to be covered all the way up to its neck! But then one day King Thutmose IV of Egypt had a dream of the god Horus asking him to clear away the sand, so what did he do? Cleared the sand! duh... who would want to upset a god? Well the workers had to remove the sand multiple times like in 1818, 1886, 1926, and 1938... Those must be some powerful sand storms to cover up the Great Sphinx!

Multiple Sphinxes

Well once I started getting into the topic of the sphinxes I wondered if the sphinx had an other looks... which luckily they did.
The sphinxes most likely had the body of a lion but the heads would sometimes change to different animal or human head. There could be a sphinx with a body of a lion and head of a ram (criosphinxes) or head of a hawk (hierakosphinxes) *I have no idea how to pronounce those words...*. They could also have the head of a human which seemed to be more popular given with the amount of them we see. All of the sphinxes wore the royal nemes head cloth with a false beard on its chin. They were all meant to guard the gates to the afterlife or to protect something from others. Sphinxes could have the body of a lion and the head of a human, falcon, or ram. Some also had wings and a serpent tail.
Though the topic of how sphinxes can differentiate themselves isn't the most exciting thing to discuss, I thought that it would be important with learning about them because when I think of the word sphinx, the first thing that comes to mind is that it's a lion with the head of a human. But not all of them are, so learning that there are different kinds of them really opened up a new door. Now there are more questions that I need answers for.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sphinx Structure

Well really I was stuck for a while trying to figure out how they built this huge structure. Before I knew anything about the structure of it, I thought that the Sphinx was built just like the pyramids. With how they used ramps and tools to push and pull the stone slabs up a ramp. (I'm not stupid... it's just that whenever I think about Egypt I tend to think about how the build the pyramids and why in the world someone would do that... but it's not like they had a choice...)But they actually carved the Sphinx out of a knoll from the quarry.
I was surprised that it wasn't made out of rocks which were then pushed up ramps, it was carved out of a huge stone from the quarry. I thought that that made more sense when I started thinking about it because it would be very difficult to have a beard made of blocks hang from the face without having cement or anything like that to make it stick. But after the years that might be the reason to why the nose and the beard fell off, or it could be because they carved it too close and then it was too heavy and the rock was weathered... and fell off. BUT! That's not the only reason it did! During the beginning of a war the Egyptians used the nose or a certain part of the face for shooting practice which also wore it down to the point of where it finally fell off.

What the Sphinx was made of

The next question I was going to ask was: "How did the structure of the Great Spinx hold up for so many years?"

Well like how the pyramids were built I thought the structure was similar to the Spinx, but they weren't... GRRR! Egyptians just want to make these projects hard on kids while they have better things to do... ugh... not cool Egyptians...

The Great Sphinx was made from a large knoll of poor quality limestone (not smart! one day the whole thing is just going to crumble because of a stupid choice they made!). Which at first I thought didn't make much sense because how could something made out of poor quality rock hold up for so long? (it didn't...) I thought it would be bound to wear down after a while with all of the sand storms that would come by because it was in the middle of a desert. (which it did...) Apparently the Sphinx did hold up or we wouldn't of known of it now a days. (but it didn't hold up that well because the beard and the nose fell off...)

Some scholars that studied the Great Sphinx tend to think that the knoll was a part of the quarry for Khufu's pyramid that was not exploited.

How the structure of the Sphinx compared to the pyramids differ is that the Sphinx is actually carved from a knoll of rock.

As I was saying earlier, I thought that maybe the weathering would wear down on the Sphinx since it was made of stone, which actually happened. Over the years erosion would wear on the Sphinx which made Egyptians have to use stone cladding throughout intervals in Pharaonic times. They also improved qualities of poor quality rock which helped keep the Spinx around long enough for us to discover it.

Something that I didn't know was that through the years, desert sand, wind, rain and sun have worn some parts of the stone on the Great Sphinx. The nose and beard have fallen off which I thought that it was just due to the fact of erosion but some part of the head might of been used as a target for gun practice during various times. Now scientists are treating the crumbling stones by treating it with special chemicals.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why the Sphinx was built

The question that I asked was: "Why was the Great Sphinx built where it was?

Well... first I thought that the answer would be really simple but... (lucky me)... it wasn't so I had to go around and look for the information through about 8 books! That wasn't fun! You'd think that it was built there because that was a place in Egypt where they buried the gods and had the Sphinxes there to protect them, but that's not right. The location of where the Sphinx would be built was very thought through and carefully chosen. Seems kinda spoiled to me... I mean why would someone have to go through all that work to find a spot where to start building the pyramid and the sphinx? It's really simple... find the source of the rocks and then build there! That way you don't have to move the blocks so far!
The Sphinx looks east and seems to guard Khafra's pyramid of where he was buried. Sphinxes jobs were to guard temple gates so of important kings/pharaohs they would have sphinxes there to guard them. While it might seem like a common thing to have a sphinx guard a king in the after life, queens were not given the same opportunity as often (which I don't understand because how come the let women become pharaohs or Queens but then they can't have the same rights as the Kings or men?!). They were very rarely seen near the pyramids of the women leaders... still... I don't think that's right... We fight for the rights of women now and back then women were thought of to be very powerful, so... back then they should of had the same rights too!

What information did you gather throughout my blog about the king the Sphinx was built for?

What information about the structure of the Great Sphinx did you gather throughout my blog?

What are areas of strength for this blog?

What is an area of improvement for this blog?