The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone sculpture located in the Giza Necropolis, depicting a reclining sphinx, a mythological figure with the head of a man and the body of a lion. From a geographical point of view, the monument is located within the Giza plateau, on the west bank of the Nile River, which separates Giza from the capital of Egypt, Cairo.
Obtained from a rocky substrate, it is the largest monolithic statue among the Egyptian sphinxes: it is 73 meters long, 20 meters high and 19 meters wide; the head alone has a height of 4 meters. The monument was probably carved out of a rock outcrop during the construction of the Pyramids of Giza.
Oddly enough, the Great Sphinx is an isolated monument, while later Sphinxes were placed in pairs to protect the entrance to a building. In theory, another great Sphinx could have been carved; in fact, not far to the south, another small rock rises up on the plateau.
In practice, however, this was not the case, perhaps due to too much distance. The Great Sphinx appears to have been created around 2500 BC, at the time of Pharaoh Chephren (2558-2532 BC). It is thought to represent the pharaoh Chephren and to be placed in front of his pyramid (the second largest in the El-Giza complex after that of Cheops) to protect it.
Compared to the body, the head is small. The cause is perhaps to be attributed either to the scarce quantity of hard limestone, or to the later need to lengthen the body due to the cracks. One of the mysteries of the Sphinx, fueled by popular legends, is certainly the presence of hidden passages inside.
The origin of only one of them is currently known: a short cul-de-sac behind the head, approximately 5 meters long, excavated in 1837 by John Shae Perring and Howard Vyse while searching for a secret chamber inside the body.
The hypothesis that there are hidden chambers inside the monument has no scientific evidence, even if the latest excavations have revealed the presence of three other tunnels in the body of the statue. The first tunnel is located at the front, behind the stele commissioned by Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV between the paws of the Sphinx
the second tunnel is on the north side.
Its existence had long been hypothesized by observing the yellowed photos of Émile Baraize, a pioneer of Egyptology, which show workers in the act of removing sand from a tunnel. the third tunnel has recently been identified; it is located at the tail and would have a depth of 15 meters.
It is not excluded that these tunnels must be traced back to more or less ancient attempts to penetrate an alleged secret chamber located in the body of the Sphinx or below it. The room of records is a mythical library buried under the Sphinx of Giza which according to some, starting with the American occultist and psychic Edgar Cayce, would contain all the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians fixed on papyrus rolls, as well as the history of the lost continent of Atlantis .