Sphinx

The Sphinx of Memphis, 1920s

The Sphinx of Memphis, 1920s

This sphinx was unearthed in 1912 by Flinders Petrie near the remains of Memphis. It is one of the largest monuments ever made from Egyptian alabaster. Sphinxes are often guards or protectors of ancient Egyptian sacred places. Some represent kings (pharaohs), with their human faces attached to the body of a lion – an animal...

Sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut

Sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut

The sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut is carved in a fairly classical pose, in a similar manner to the Middle Kingdom sphinxes of Amenemhat III. The front legs extend forward and the tail curls around the right hind leg. This sphinx is a portrait of Hatshepsut with the elegant feminine features of all her statues: almond-shaped...

Sphinx of King Thutmose III

Sphinx of Thutmose III

Granodiorite statue of Thutmose III depicted as a sphinx. The sphinx depicts the king reclining on the Nine bows, which represent the traditional enemies of Egypt brought to submission. The sculpture once stood in the Karnak Temple Complex near Thebes. However, it was discovered in 1903 buried with thousands of statues, stelae, amulets, inlay plaques,...

Great Sphinx of Giza, 1931

The Great Sphinx of Giza, 1931

The head of the Sphinx of Giza is encased in scaffolding and works are under way excavating the body. Early 20th-century excavation at the Giza Necropolis. An earlier Sphinx excavation was marked by the Dream Stele (around 1401 BC) of Thutmose IV, at lower center. The granite altar (bottom) between the Sphinx’s paws dates from...

Sphinx of Queen Hatshepsut

Sphinx of Hatshepsut

As a sphinx, Hatshepsut displays a lion’s mane and a king’s beard. Hatshepsut ruled as a man, not as a woman, and for this reason her royal protocols and titles are always written without the feminine qualification, which is the “T” letter in the hieroglyphic. This is the case in the text inscribed on the...

Sphinx of Hatshepsut

Sphinx of Hatshepsut

The reconstructed sections of the sphinx of Hatshepsut have been cast from an almost identical, but more complete companion piece now in Cairo. The two small limestone sphinxes may have been on either side of the entrance to the upper terrace of Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari. The head of this sphinx differs markedly...

Sphinx of King Amenemhat III

Sphinx of Amenemhat III

The granite sphinx of Amenemhat III was discovered at Tanis (today San al-Haggar). It shows Amenemhat III with a human face and a lion’s body, in other words, a perfect creature, as intelligent as a human being yet as strong as a lion. Seven sphinxes of Amenemhat III were found in Tanis in the eastern...