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Sphinx of Tanis

2500 BC

This is the greatest example of a sphinx carved in a single block of stone. It is a remarkable example of craftsmanship and is made of granite. It gives the pharaoh the body of a lion, the earthly incarnation of the sun god! The king, whose face we see, secures eternal life, but above all: The Great Sphinx of Tanis is the immortal guardian of sacred places! Its location in the Louvre, leaving the medieval fortress, is impressive, as it welcomes visitors to the Egyptian department of the museum and its sacred objects. Many centuries ago, this sculpture would have been guarding the entrance to a sanctuary.

The Pharaoh's identity is unknown. There are many names of kings inscribed in this sculpture. This has led to the belief that the original name may have disappeared altogether, suggesting that the Sphinx is very old.

The mystery that surrounds this great sculpture is accentuated by how it was found. Look at the walls surrounding the Sphinx. You can see the reliefs that show Ramses II (1279-1213 BC) praying before the 'Great Sphinx' of Giza. Apparently, Napoleon found these reliefs between the legs of The Great Sphinx of Tanis, which reveals how important the sphinxes were to the Egyptians.