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The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue recumbent sphinx made of limestone located in Giza, Egypt. It is one of the infamous landmarks in the world. It is also Egypt’s most iconic symbol of culture and heritage. Often simply referred to as “the sphinx” in English; in Arabic it is “Abū al-Hawl ”, and its name literally translates as “Father of Dread”.
See the fact file below for more information on the Great Sphinx of Giza or alternatively, you can download our 23-page The Great Sphinx of Giza worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Around 2500B.C., the Sphinx was built during the reign of King Khafre.
- Early Egyptologists believed that the Sphinx Stele (stone slab with hieroglyphs) shows that the monument was buried in the desert before the time of Khafre. Modern theories say that the Sphinx appears constructed more in the style of Pharaoh Khufu, the father of Khafre.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is the world’s largest monolith statue measuring 240 feet (73 meters) long and 65 feet (20 meters) high. Aside from the missing nose of the Sphinx, the head remains the most defining characteristic while the body has suffered from erosion.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza (located in the Giza Plateau) is one of several monuments in the area, which includes the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Plateau is a sandy plateau of Giza, Egypt that overlooks the West bank of Nile River.
- Modern Giza receives access from two primary roads. From the north, the first road leads to the pyramids of Pharaoh Khufu, while the second comes from the east and leads to the open area in front of the Great Sphinx.
- The Great Sphinx takes the form of a sitting lion with a head of a Pharaoh and the tail of the lion wraps around its right paw.
- There were three tunnels built inside the Sphinx, but the destinations have been left unreachable and the tunnels themselves seem to stop short. Because of the limited writings and resources found in and around the Sphinx, very little is known about the structure.
- A Sphinx is a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of a person. In Ancient Egypt, most of the time, the head was that of a Pharaoh or a god. The Egyptians built sphinx statues to guard important areas such as tombs and temples. The most famous Sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza.
- After the Sphinx was built, over the course of the next 1000 years, it fell into deterioration. The entire body was covered in sand and only the head could be seen.
- Legend has it, that a young prince named Thutmose fell asleep between the Sphinx paws. He had a dream where he was told that if he restored the Sphinx, he would become the next Pharaoh of Egypt. Thutmose restored the Sphinx and later became the Pharaoh of Egypt.
SIGNIFICANCE OF CONSTRUCTION
- The familiar depiction of the sphinx in the ancient Egyptian culture is a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a man. Historians interpret this as mixed form of a symbolic joining of a lion’s strength and dominance to a king’s intelligence.
- Egyptologist Henry Fischer ascribes a divine importance to this structure, which shows that the king is “the link between mankind and gods.” The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most well recognized examples of this structure, but historians also believe that Egyptian Sphinx had a symbolic meaning as a guardian due to its placement at the entrance of the Giza Necropolis.
- Some believe that the Sphinx was built to guard the tombs and temples of Egypt, while others say that it had been built to honour the ancient Egyptian Sun God. Some archaeologists even believed that the Egyptians worshipped the sphinx and offered sacrifices.
- Over the years, the Great Sphinx has suffered huge damages from groundwater, eroding winds, and air pollution. Presently, the statue has developed cracks in a number of places. The face has been damaged, and its nose has been notably missing.
- Restoration of the Great Sphinx was first commissioned in about 1400 BC by Thutmose IV. He ordered a team to dig out the buried front paws and then place a slab of granite later called the Dream Stele. It is thought that Ramesses II, may have ordered a second excavation during his time, between 1279 and 1213 BC. The first modern attempt at digging out the sphinx came in 1817 AD. This dig completely uncovered the chest of the Sphinx.
- Between 1925 and 1936, the entire sphinx was finally dug out. The Sphinx head was restored in 1931. The restoration of the Sphinx continues today, though some restoration masonry employed has done more harm the good. Deterioration continues especially on the chest area.
The Great Sphinx of Giza Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about The Great Sphinx of Giza across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Great Sphinx of Giza worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue recumbent sphinx made of limestone located in Giza, Egypt. It is one of the infamous landmarks in the world. It is also Egypt’s most iconic symbol of culture and heritage. Often simply referred to as “the sphinx” in English; in Arabic it is “Abū al-Hawl ”, and its name literally translates as “Father of Dread”.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt Facts
- Great Sphinx Fact Sheet
- Dream Stele
- The Great Sphinx
- I Can Fill It
- Know the Sphinx
- Fact Check
- Finding Sphinx
- Draw My Sphinx
- Let’s Do Poetry
- Search The Word
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.