Mystery of the Great Sphinx of Giza: Understanding the Sphinx From a Material Culture Point of View

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Never before in history did any monument receive such wide attention from the public and media like the Great Sphinx of Giza. The 73.5m long and 20m high (Dieter Arnold) stone carved statue not only fascinates people from all around the world, but also created countless movie ideas, novels, video games and raises questions to those who are interested. Undoubtedly, Sphinx has become one of the most notable figures of ancient Egyptian culture just beside the pyramids in the eyes of westerners. However, many questions remained in mysteries for almost decades until the excavation of 1925 by Emile Baraize revealed the Sphinx’s exotic design to the world's view. Why did the ancient Egyptians build this massive structure? For what purpose would they want to invest such resources and labors to initiate such complex project? How was it built and how did the Egyptians overcome the enormous difficulties with past technologies? The purpose of this paper would be discussing the possible identity of whom the Sphinx might be and compare and analyze the evidence from a material culture point of view. The paper would be lay out to four different sections. First part would briefly describe the purpose of this study as well as giving a brief modern history of the Sphinx. Second part would be discussing the style/meaning and its association and context with the pyramids of the Giza and how the Sphinx was built. The third part would be discussing kings who possibly commissioned the Sphinx to be built and analyze the style of the Pyramid to the style of those kings. Two kings that could be the owner of the Sphinx are Khafra and Khufu, which would be my main focus here and I would be discussing the pros and cons of the scholars’ different ideas. Last p...

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