The Great Sphinx of Giza is the oldest, largest, and best preserved monumental sculpture in the world. The earliest known documentation for it comes from an inscription on a limestone stela (an upright stone slab) made during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose IV in 1400 B.C., which refers to the “Sphinx” as Horemakhet-Horus-in-the-Horizon (“Horus upon his Horizon”). But it may actually be much older. The Sphinx’s name has always been associated with its function as guardian of a sacred site; however, no early Egyptian text offers any real explanation about the Sphinx’s construction or age. In this episode of The Untold History of Egypt, we question the age-old assumptions about the age and gender of the Sphinx.
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