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How old is the Sphinx
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Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 1033
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EgyptianRose wrote:
I suppose that could be a contribution as to why the sphinx's nose vanished? Which leads me into my next question. ( I apologize for spamming you with questions, my knowledge about the Sphinx is some what low). Did Nepoleon actually shoot the nose of the Sphinx ? I always thought it was a myth.

That is a myth, but the nose was destroyed by man, but just not the French.

In AH 780 (1378 CE), the nose, ears, and face of the Great Sphinx (all mentioned specifically) were damaged by a sufi of the khanqah of Sa`id al-Su`ada, nicknamed "Sa'im al-dahr" ('He Who Constantly Fasts', something forbidden in Islam). This is reported in al-Maqrizi's "Khitat". See:

al-Maqrizi, Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn `Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad, and Gaston Wiet. 1924. el-Mawa`iz wa'l-i`tibar fi dhikr el-khitat wa'l-athar. Volume 4: Deuxieme partie, chapt. L-XCIV; section 2:415. Memoires publies par les membres de l'Institut francais d'archeologie orientale du Caire 49. Cairo: Imprimerie de l'Institut francais d'archeologie orientale.

al-Rashidi (who died in AH 803/1400-1 CE) wrote those who mutilate the monuments of the pharaohs were not doing Islam a service. He specifically mentioned how the sahabah (the Companions of the Prophet) did not harm the Sphinx, and then launched into an attack on the iconoclasts of Sa'im al-dahr's day for doing so.


Haarmann, U. 1980. Regional Sentiment in Medieval Islamic Egypt. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 43:64, citing ibn `Abd al-Salam, Fayd, folio 52a-b.

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Doctoral Candidate
Oriental Institute
Oriental Studies
Doctoral Programme [Egyptology]
Oxford University
Oxford, United Kingdom
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Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good source indeed
this is just a signature
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