Archaeologists believe the Great Sphinx of Gaza's nose fell off due to a combination of weathering and human vandalism. While Napoleon Bonaparte is often blamed for this destruction, the missing nose has been gone since at least the 14th century.
Currently, the most accepted theory explaining the fate of the nose is from medieval Arab scholarship. Makrizi, Rashidi and others blame the Sphinx's vandalization on Mohammed Sa'im al-Dahr. Described as a "fanatical Sufi," al-Dahr was allegedly upset that Egyptian peasants still paid tribute to the great statue, even though Islam specifically forbids graven images. The peasants, in their turn, allegedly lynched al-Dahr and buried him near the Sphinx. Archaeologists have identified the marks of chisels on the scarred statue, indicating that the nose was likely removed by force and carried away.Learn More
An Egyptian pyramid has four sides. These sides rise from a square base at an angle of 51 degrees and converge to an apex. The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) at Giza measures around 755.75 square feet at the base and originally measured 481.4 feet high.Full Answer >
According to German historian Christoph Schaefer, Cleopatra killed herself by drinking a mixture of poisons. This challenges the old and common belief that the Queen of the Nile died of a snake bite.Full Answer >
Although soldiers at the beginning of Egypt's New Kingdom period wore no armor, they began to wear bronze or leather helmets and armor after they defeated Hyksos. Around the same time, they went from using primitive weapons to more effective weapons like spears, swords and daggers.Full Answer >
Egyptian houses were made of sun-baked bricks formed from straw and Nile mud. The buildings constructed using this type of brick included palaces, temples, city walls and tombs.Full Answer >