G is for Giza

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.

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16 Responses to G is for Giza

  1. The Rambling Pages says:

    I loved Egypt – I have to say Luxor was by far my favourite bit but when I was there it was very uncommercialised – not sure if it is now. We went horse riding round the pyramids and it was amazing. Like you the sphinx was not a disappointment although much smaller than I had imagined. Another great post x

    • Jay says:

      Thank you! I don’t think I could begin to pick a favourite, they were all so wonderful. Luxor wasn’t too comercialised when we went, but tourism is down 80% since the troubles last year, so times are hard 😦

  2. kirstyes says:

    Great pictures. What are all the rows of things in front? Chairs?
    Got a bit confused when you mentioned The Little Mermaid and the Sphinx together – you do know it was Aladdin and Jasmine on the flying carpet that made the Sphinx maker knock off his nose, don’t you ;o).

    Looks like you had an amazing time.

    • Jay says:

      Chairs for the sound and light shows in the evening. I’d forgotten all about that bit in Aladdin! One of the guidebooks says that soldiers used the Sphinx as target practice, but I have a feeling that’s an urban legend. It certainly wasn’t mentioned by our Egyptologist.

  3. karen walker says:

    One of the “must-sees” on my Bucket List. Thanks for sharing.
    karen

  4. mimitabby says:

    How close to the SPHynx can you get?

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    • Jay says:

      The photo with the chairs in shows where you sit for the sound and light show – quite a way back so that you can see the 3 great pyramids as well. If you look at the doorway to the left of the picture? You go through that doorway & through the remains of a temple and up a slope so that you’re at a similar height to the Sphinx’ shoulders and are quite close to him.

  5. Ruby Young says:

    Hi, I enjoyed visiting Giza as well. It was in the summer of 1975 or 76 and I was on a tour of the Holy Lands. Also got to ride a camel on that visit. Went inside one of the pyramids. It was a wonderful trip. Don’t get me started on all that! Thanks for the pictures and the reminder. Best regards to you. Ruby

  6. lifeonthemuskokariver says:

    So exotic! Lucky you.

  7. Jessica says:

    Wow, that’s amazing!! I’ve always wanted to go to Giza and see the sphinx and the pyramids!! That’s really cool!

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  8. mamamunky says:

    Egypt is my favorite place on earth! Is the sphinx still facing KFC? That made me so mad. Otherwise, greatest place on Earth as far as I’m concerned. I would live there if the hubby would let me. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics!

    • Jay says:

      I think it might be actually! I think the Egyptologist cracked a joke about it, but I can’t recall actually noticing the KFC – my eyes were out on stalks oogling the Sphinx & Pyramids, I’ve wanted to see them ever since I first heard of them.

  9. I want to see the Pyramids one day. Thanks for posting such good pictures. I’m wondering what good the beard is in a museum in Britain. 🙂

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