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NileGuide Expert Says:
Most tour groups start with the Pyramids and move down to the Sphinx. An alternative is to visit the Sphinx first – ideally at first light – and then slip around the outside of the compound and walk up the causeway to the Pyramid of Chephren.
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Like the Pyramid of Khufu
, the Sphinx (often known as the Great Sphinx) is simultaneously one of the best known and yet most controversial monuments in the world.
With the body of a lion seamlessly blending in to a human head, the Sphinx is carved from a single piece of in-situ rock 73 m long and 20 m high. It is sublimely beautiful, and has struck wonder into the hearts of visitors through the ages. It is believed to be a solar symbol, possibly representing the unity of matter and consciousness, the physical and spiritual realms.
Conventional wisdom dictates that the Sphinx was constructed by Chephren (builder of the Second Pyramid
), and it is true that the Valley Temple next to the Sphinx is linked to the Pyramid of Chephren
. However, an alternative view – backed by geological evidence – suggests the Sphinx is much older than the normal 4th Dynasty date ascribed it, perhaps having been built as early as 10,000 BC. Adding to the mystery, a number of esoteric groups believe that the mythical "Hall of Records" is located beneath the Sphinx, containing the secret knowledge of the ancient Egyptians.
Whatever the truth of these claims, the allure of this moving monument will continue. The best way to visit the Giza Plateau
is by taxi.