Sacred enclosure of the temple of the god Ptah
Red granite Sphinx of Ramesses II, (19th Dynasty, circa 1293-1185 BCE). It was excavated from the sacred enclosure of the temple of the god Ptah at Memphis, Egypt. The sphinx, a lion with a human head, represents the power of the Egyptian king, both to protect his people and to conquer the enemies of Egypt. This statue was buried up to its shoulders; only the exposed head was attacked by windblown sand, which eroded the facial features and the royal false beard. The inscriptions on the chest and around the base give the five names of Ramesses II. His son and successor, Merenptah, added his own cartouches to the shoulders after his father's death. This sphinx, the third largest known in the world was quarried at Aswan and transported by river to the Ptah Temple at Memphis, 600 miles away. While it has never been placed on a scale, it is estimated to weigh over 14 tons.
Gift of the British School of Archaeology, 1913
Current & Past Exhibitions:
In A Rush? Take a Quick Tour of The Museum ( Sep 1996 - Jun 1997)
[Book] Wegner, Josef W. & Wegner, Jennifer H. 2015. The Sphinx That Traveled To Philadelphia. 239.
[Book] Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2014. History of the World in 1,000 Objects. : Page/Fig./Plate: Page 28 Bottom Row
[Article] Wegner, Jennifer H. 2014. Sphinx Celebrating a Centennial in Phildelphia. Expedition: The Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. 56 (2): 1-56.
[Catalogue] Bagh, Tine. 2011. Finds from W.M.F. Petrie's Excavations in Egypt in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.
[Book] Porter, Bertha & Moss, Rosalind L. 1964. The Theban Necropolis Vol II. Vol II. Part 2.
[Article] 1915. The Eckley B. Coxe., Jr. Egyptian Expedition. The Museum Journal. VI (2): 63-84.
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