When Bigger is Better

The Sphinx

The Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

Nothing says power, superiority, importance, command like size. The bigger, the better when it comes to religion, government, or a combination of the two.  Ancient Egypt was one of the first civilizations to demonstration the power represented in size.

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WPC: Weathered

The Face of Time

The Great Sphinx, Giza, Egypt

The Great Sphinx sits on the west bank of the Nile, just to the southeast of the pyramids at Giza. While the Sphinx is considered the oldest monumental sculpture in Egypt, its exact date of construction is unknown. Modern Egyptology dates the Sphinx to the Old Kingdom,  during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BCE). The head of the Great Sphinx is believed to portray Khafre (also Khefren or Chephren), the builder of the second largest pyramid of Giza. The Sphinx is carved into the limestone bedrock of the Giza plateau, which also served as the quarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area. The body appears uneven because wind and sand erosion have damaged the softer layers the native limestone between the base and the head. Even during ancient times the Sphinx had begun to weather as it was buried to shoulder height in the desert sands. The first documented attempt at clearing the site was about 1400 BCE, during the reign of Thutmose IV (1401–1391 BCE), when workers managed to dig out the front paws. Sporadic efforts at excavating continued over the millennia until the entire Sphinx was finally cleared between 1925 and 1936. Attempts (not all successful or appropriate) have been made to repair and stabilize the stone base and rock cut body. Some sections have been restored with blocks of stone.  For an interesting discussion of the varying theories of the origins and dating of the Sphinx, check out The Great Sphinx of Giza.

WPC: Weathered

K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Overshadowed by the Past

Giza, Egypt

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CFFC: Starts with the Letter P

Pyramids

Dueling cultures, Giza with Cairo in the background, Egypt

 

The explosive growth of Cairo over the last 25 years has brought the city very close to the ancient monuments at Giza. Pollution hangs over Cairo in the distance.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Build

The Great Pyramid

The entrance to the Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt, 2580-2560 BC

The original entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza is on the north face, about 56 vertical feet above ground. Built by the 4th Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) between 2580-2560 BC, the Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. It is also the oldest and only remaining  Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For over 3,800 years it was the tallest man-made structure in the world at 146.5 metres (481 feet). The Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite weighing more than 5.5 million tons. Originally, the Great Pyramid was cased in polished white limestone that formed a smooth outer surface; little remains of the casing. Today, only the underlying stepped core can be seen.

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On The Road Again, Egyptian Style

It was pyramid day in Cairo, Giza, and Dashour.

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