On the Giza plateau stand the Pyramids and the Sphinx. The Pyramids were built from 2589BC, but the age of the Sphinx is somewhat in contention. It is thought that the Sphinx may be more than 2600 years older than the rest of the Giza complex, but it is also thought that his face is that of Chephren (2558-2532BC).
A Sphinx has the head of a human to show its intelligence, and the body of a lion to show its strength. Many Sphinx monuments can be found in Egypt, but the Sphinx at Giza is by far and away the most famous.
By 1423BC the Sphinx has already been partially buried by sand. Tuthmosis IV fell asleep against the Sphinx and dreamt that the Sphinx promised him the throne of Egypt if he freed it from the sand. He duly excavated the Sphinx and became Pharaoh, despite not having been next in line to the throne. Quite cunning, as tactics go!
As with the Little Mermaid, I had heard that the Sphinx is a lot smaller than you expect, but I wasn’t disappointed. He is absolutely magnificent, even with the missing nose and beard. The beard is now in the British Museum in London.