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historical-nonfiction:

  • the Great Sphinx’s nose was hacked off by Islamic Arabic invaders, who believed that images of things were sinful.
  • the Greek word “sphinx” may have derived from the Egyptian shesep-ankh, which translates to ‘living image’.
  • it faces east, towards the rising sun
  • shifting sands covered the Great Sphinx for centuries. It was finally completely dug out in 1925.
  • the statue was restored many times by multiple dynasties and rulers. The Ptolemies and later Romans, who were not even Egyptian, also restored its paws and breasts.
  • it is not known who the Great Sphinx is supposed to depict, though it was definitely a pharaoh. From ancient sources, we do know that it was built before the reign of Khufu.
  • one of the greatest mysteries surround the statue is the extensive water damage it has sustained, despite being on the edge of the Saharan Desert.
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