Ancient walls that protected Sphinx from desert winds uncovered

November 3rd, 2010 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 3 (ANI): Egyptian Archaeologists have uncovered large sections of mud brick walls from the sands of the Giza plateau on which the Sphinx and the three great pyramids stand.

The walls were discovered during routine excavation work near the valley temple of the Fourth Dynasty King Khafre, and once protected the Sphinx from the desert winds.

According to ancient ancient Egyptian texts, the wall was built following a dream which King Thuthmose IV had. In the dream, the mythical beast with the head of a man and the body of a lion complained that it was being choked by the desert sand. The king removed the sand that had partially buried the great limestone figure and built an enclosure wall to preserve it.

Stretching for 132 meters (433 feet) in total, the wall consists of two sections - one that runs from North to South along the eastern side of Khafre’s valley temple and the Sphinx and the other that stretches from East to West along the perimeter of the valley temple area.

“Archaeologists previously believed that the enclosure wall only existed on the Sphinx’s northern side because a 3-meter-tall (9.84-foot-tall) by 12-meter-long (39.37-foot-long) section had been found there,” Discovery News quoted Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, as saying in the statement.

The archaeologists also uncovered a third, older section of a mudbrick wall on the eastern side of Khafre’s valley temple. According to Hawass, the structure could be what remains of a settlement inhabited by the priests and officials who oversaw the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre.

“Excavations will continue in order to reveal the rest of the Thuthmose IV enclosure wall and any other secrets still hidden within the sand,” Hawass said. (ANI)

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