Great Sphinx of Giza

The Giza pyramid complex comprises the pyramids, the Great Sphinx and the Valley Temple of Khafre.

Valley Temple of Khafre

This valley temple was part of the funerary complex including along with the pyramid (with its burial chamber) a mortuary temple (joining the pyramid on its east side), and a covered causeway leading to the valley temple. The purpose of these valley temples has been debated: they could have been used for the mummification process or perhaps for the “opening of the mouth” ceremony, when the “ka” entered the deceased person’s body. This temple is an excellent state of preservation, having been buried by desert sand until the 19th century.

Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.

The sphinx is located southeast of the pyramids. Although the date of construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphynx is mainly believed to bear the likeness of the pharaoh Khafra. Late 20th century geologists have argued that water erosion in and around the Sphynx enclosure proves the Sphynx predates Khafra, a claim that is sometimes referred to as the Sphynx water erosion hypothesis.

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