Each civilization has its own symbols, whichare considered integral parts of the people, their culture and history. The Sphinx of Ancient Egypt is an immortal proof of the might, power and greatness of the country, a mute reminder of the divine origin of its rulers who have sunk into ages, but left on earth an image of eternal life. The national symbol of Egypt is considered one of the greatest architectural monuments of the past, still leading involuntary fear of its impressiveness, a halo of secrets, mystical legends and centuries of history.
The Sphinx of Egypt is known to every and every inhabitanton the ground. The monument is cut from a monolithic rock, has a body of a lion and a human head (according to some sources - a pharaoh). The statue is 73 m long and 20 m high. The royal power symbol is located on the Giza plateau on the west coast of the Nile and is surrounded by a broad and deep enough ditch. The deep gaze of the Sphinx is directed to the east, towards the point of heaven where the Sun rises. The monument was repeatedly covered with sand and was repeatedly restored. The statue was completely cleared of sand only in 1925, striking the imagination of the inhabitants of the planet by its scale and size.
In Egypt, the Sphinx is considered the most mysterious andmystical monument. Its history has for many years been aroused by the rapid interest and special attention of historians, writers, filmmakers and researchers. Everyone who happened to touch the eternity, which the statue represents, offers its version of its origin. Local residents call the stone sight "the father of horror" because the Sphinx is the custodian of many mysterious legends and a favorite place for tourists - lovers of mysteries and fiction. According to researchers, the history of the Sphinx is more than 13 centuries old. Presumably, it was built in order to fix the astronomical phenomenon - the reunification of the three planets.
Until now, there is no reliable information on theWhat is symbolized by this statue, for what it was built and when. The absence of history is replaced by legends that are passed from mouth to mouth and told to tourists. The fact that in Egypt the Sphinx is the oldest and largest monument, generates mysterious and ridiculous stories about it. There is a suggestion that the statue protects the gravestones of the greatest pharaohs - the pyramids of Cheops, Mikerin and Khafre. Another legend says that the stone statue symbolizes the personality of Pharaoh Khafre, the third is that it is a statue of the god Horus (the god of heaven, half man, half-hawk) watching the ascension of his father, the Sun God Ra.
In ancient Greek mythology, the Sphinx is mentioned inas an ugly monster. According to the Greeks, the legends of Ancient Egypt about this monster sound like this: a creature with the body of a lion and a man's head was spawned by Echidna and Typhon (a half-lady woman and a giant with a hundred dragon's heads). It had the face and chest of a woman, the body of a lion and the wings of a bird. The monster lived not far from Thebes, waited for people and asked them a strange question: "Which of the living creatures in the morning moves on four legs, in the daytime by two, and in the evening by three?" None of the wanderers quivering with fear could give the Sphinx an intelligible answer. Then the monster sentenced them to death. However, the day came when the wise Oedipus was able to solve his riddle. "This is a person in childhood, maturity and old age," he replied. After this, the crushed monster rushed from the top of the mountain and crashed against the rocks.
According to the second version of the legend, in Egypt the Sphinx was once God. Once the heavenly ruler fell into the treacherous trap of sand, called the "cage of oblivion," and fell asleep in her eternal sleep.
Despite the mysterious subtext of the legends, the realhistory is no less mystical and mysterious. According to the initial opinion of scientists, the Sphinx was built at one time with the pyramids. However, in ancient papyri, from which information was received on the construction of the pyramids, there is not a single mention of the stone statue. Known are the names of architects, builders who created grand tombs for the pharaohs, but the name of the person who gave the world the Sphinx of Egypt, is still unknown.
But at the same time, the cult image of the mysteriousSphinx - a winged monster-monster - is mentioned in Greek mythology, numerous fairy tales and legends. The hero of these legends, depending on the author, periodically changes his appearance, appearing in some versions as a semi-human half-lion, and in others - a winged lioness.
The next puzzle for scientists was the ChronicleHerodotus, who in 445 BC. described in great detail the process of building pyramids. He told the world interesting stories about how the buildings were erected, for how long and how many slaves were involved in their construction. The narrative of the "father of history" touched even such nuances as the feeding of slaves. But, strangely enough, Herodotus, never mentioned in his work the stone Sphinx. In none of the subsequent records the fact of the erection of the monument was also discovered.
Helped scientists shed light on the riddle of the Sphinx workRoman writer Pliny the Elder "Natural History". In his notes he tells about the next purification of the monument from the sand. Proceeding from this, it becomes clear why Herodotus did not leave the world description of the Sphinx - the monument at that time was buried under a layer of sandy deposits. So how many times has he found himself in a sand trap?
Judging by the inscription left on the stone stelebetween the paws of the monster, Pharaoh Thutmose I spent a year freeing the monument. Ancient letters tell us that as a prince, Thutmose fell asleep at the foot of the Sphinx and saw a dream in which the god Harmakis appeared to him. He predicted the prince ascent to the throne of Egypt and ordered to free the statue from the sand trap. After a while Thutmose safely became a pharaoh and remembered about this deity promise. He ordered not only to unearth the giant, but also to restore it. Thus, the first revival of the Egyptian legend occurred in the XV century. BC. It was then that the world learned about the grandiose construction and unique religious monument of Egypt.
It is for certain known that after the revivalSphinx Pharaoh Thutmose once again dug it out during the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty, with the Roman emperors who conquered Ancient Egypt, and the Arab rulers. Nowadays it was again liberated from the sands in 1925. Until now, the statue has to be cleaned after the sand storms, as it is an important tourist object.
Despite the antiquity of the sculpture, it is practicallypreserved in its original form, embodies the Sphinx. Egypt (photo of the monument is presented above) managed to preserve its architectural masterpiece, but failed to protect it from the barbarity of people. The statue does not have a nose at the moment. Scientists suggest that one of the pharaohs, for reasons unknown to science, ordered the nose to be repelled from the statue. According to other sources, the monument was damaged by the army of Napoleon, firing his face from a cannon. The British, on the other hand, severed the beard of the behemoth and forwarded it to their museum.
However, in later records of the historianAl-Makrizi from 1378 says that the stone statue no longer had a nose. According to him, one of the Arabs, wanting to atone for religious sins (in the Quran the image of human faces was forbidden), chopped the giant's nose. In response to such an atrocity and outrage against the Sphinx, the sands began to take revenge on the people, advancing on the lands of Giza.
As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that in Egypt the Sphinx lost its nose as a result of strong winds and floods. Although this assumption has not yet been confirmed.
In 1988, as a result of exposure to causticfactory smoke, a decent part of the stone block broke off from the monument (350 kg). UNESCO, concerned about the appearance and condition of the tourist and cultural site, resumed repairs, thereby opening the way for new research. As a result of careful study of the stone blocks of the pyramid of Cheops and the Sphinx by Japanese archaeologists, a hypothesis was put forward that the monument was built much earlier than the great tomb of the pharaoh. The conclusion was a stunning discovery for historians who believed that the pyramid, the Sphinx and other funerary constructions are contemporaries. The second, no less surprising discovery was the long narrow tunnel discovered under the left paw of the predator, connected to the pyramid of Cheops.
After Japanese archaeologists the most ancient monumentengaged hydrologists. They found on his body traces of erosion from a large water stream that moved from north to south. After a series of studies, the hydrologists came to the conclusion that the stone lion was a silent witness of the Nile flood - a biblical catastrophe that occurred about 8-12 thousand years ago. American researcher John Anthony West explained the traces of water erosion on the body of the lion and their lack of evidence on the head that the Sphinx existed during the glacial period and dates from any period up to 15,000 BC. e. According to French archaeologists, the history of Ancient Egypt can boast of the most ancient monument that existed even in the time of the death of Atlantis.
Thus, the stone statue tells us about the existence of the greatest civilization, which managed to erect such a majestic structure, which became the immortal image of the Past.
Pharaohs of Egypt regularly made pilgrimagesTo the foot of the giant, which symbolized the great past of their country. They sacrificed sacrifices on the altar that was between his paws, lit incense, receiving from the giant a silent blessing on the kingdom and throne. The Sphinx was for them not only the incarnation of the sun god, but also in a sacred way that granted them the hereditary and legal authority from their ancestors. He personified a powerful Egypt, the history of the country reflected in its majestic form, embodying every image of a new pharaoh and transforming modernity into a component of eternity. The ancient writings glorified the Sphinx as a great creator god. His image reunited the past, the present and the future.
According to the official version, the Sphinx would have been built in 2500year BC. e. by the order of Pharaoh Khafre during the reign of the Fourth Ruling Dynasty of the Pharaohs. A huge lion is located among other majestic structures on the stone plateau of Giza - three pyramids.
Astronomical studies have shown thatthe location of the statue is chosen not by blind inspiration, but in accordance with the point of intersection of the path of the heavenly bodies. It served as an equatorial point indicating the exact location on the horizon of the sunrise on the day of the vernal equinox. According to the opinion of astronomers, the Sphinx was built 10.5 thousand years ago.
It is noteworthy that the pyramids of Giza are located onEarth in exactly the same order as the three stars of the Orion Belt in the sky that year. According to legend, the Sphinx and the pyramids fixed the position of the stars, the astronomical time that the ancient Egyptians called the first. Since the heavenly personification of the god Osiris, who ruled at the time, was Orion, man-made structures were built to depict the stars of his belt in order to perpetuate and fix the time of his power.
Currently, a giant lion with a heada man attracted by millions of tourists, eager to see firsthand the legendary, stone-shrouded centuries-old history and many mystical legends of stone sculpture. Interest in the whole of humanity due to the fact that the mystery of the creation of the statue has remained undisclosed, buried under the sands. It is difficult to imagine how many secrets the Sphinx holds in itself. Egypt (photo of the monument and pyramids can be seen on any tourist portal) can be proud of its great history, outstanding people, grandiose monuments, the truth about which their creators carried with them to the kingdom of Anubis - the god of death.
Great and impressive is the huge stone Sphinx,the history of which has remained unsolved and full of secrets. Still looking at the calm view of the statue into the distance, his face is still unperturbed. For how many centuries has he been a silent witness of human suffering, the vanity of rulers, sorrows and misfortunes that befell the Egyptian land? How many secrets does the Great Sphinx contain? Unfortunately, for all these questions, no answers have been found for many years.