Q:

How did the Sphinx lose its nose?

A:

Quick Answer

Although historians cannot be certain, it is believed that the nose of the Great Sphinx in Giza was destroyed by an Egyptian man who was angry that his offering to the gods did not result in an answered prayer to control the flood cycle. During the 15th century, historian al-Maqrizi noted that the man was later put to death for vandalizing the Sphinx, although there's no way to prove the validity of the tale.

Know More

Full Answer

Another legend says Napoleon was responsible for the missing nose, and that his cannon fire damaged it. Nonetheless, sketches created in 1737 suggest that the nose was missing prior to the Napoleon era, thus debunking the possibility that Napoleon damaged the nose.

Learn more about Ancient Egypt

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long did it take to build the Great Sphinx?

    A:

    There is inconclusive evidence as to when the Great Sphinx of Giza was carved and how long it took. The most commonly accepted theory is that it was carved in place around 2500 B.C.E, during or after the reign of the Old Kingdom pharaoh Khafra (also known as Khephren).

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the Great Sphinx?

    A:

    The purpose of the Great Sphinx is not known by scholars, though it is thought that it was built as a divine image of the King at that time. It is also thought that this is what the many builders of the Great Sphinx thought when they were building it, although the evidence is not conclusive.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the theories regarding the construction of the Great Sphinx?

    A:

    One of the theories to explain the purpose and symbolism behind the construction of the Great Sphinx at Giza is that it was built to guard the tombs of the pharaohs buried nearby. Support for this theory is based on the symbolism of lions as guardian figures and the monument's body of a lion with a human head, presumably that of a pharaoh. Another theory suggests that the Sphinx was erected by the Egyptian Pharaoh Djedefre to identify his father, Pharaoh Khufu, with the Sun god, Ra, and honor the family dynasty.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How old is the Sphinx?

    A:

    The Sphinx of Giza is probably around 4,500 years old. Because its face resembles that of the Pharaoh Khafre, it is generally agreed by archaeologists that it was built during or shortly after his reign.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore