Great Sphinx’s Missing Nose Mystery

The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most extraordinary monuments of Egypt. This large human headed lion guards the front of the Khafra’s pyramid. It is the largest surviving sculpture from the ancient world. Carved from a mound of natural rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt.

The actual reason behind the creation of this sculpture is still a mystery. Many believe it was built to guard over the Giza plateau. Some define it as the portrait of Pharaoh Khafre. As it aligns with the rising sun every morning Egyptian rulers thought of it as sun god and worshipped. They named it Hor-Em-Akhet “Horus of the Horizon”. Still inscribed stelae can be found in its small chapel which the Egyptian rulers placed to honor the god.

There’s hardly any person who stand before this great monument and didn’t think about why its nose is broken. If you ask anyone you will hear several stories about the missing nose. Many may refer Napoleon’s archaeologists as culprit. You’ll hear the story of their investigation on this monument and how they couldn’t find anything and broke the nose. At some point you may hear the Mamelukes army’s raid and target practicing on it. But history denied these rumors.

The most probable story is it was removed by a Sufi in the 8th century AD considering it as blasphemous idol. It can’t be certain for sure but the marks clearly showed that the nose was deliberately pried off with chisels. When the Sphinx was built by King Khufu, father of Khafre it was painted dark red and was decorated with stone beard. Also it had a sculpted cobra in its forehead. But it is considered, the Sufi ripened them off and now it looks like a woman’s face.