Location: On Display in the Sphinx Gallery

From: Egypt | Memphis (Egypt)

Curatorial Section: Egyptian

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Object Number E12326
Current Location Sphinx Gallery - On Display
Provenience Egypt | Memphis (Egypt)
Locus Sacred enclosure of the temple of the god Ptah
Period New Kingdom | Nineteenth Dynasty
Date Made 1293-1185 BCE
Section Egyptian
Materials Granite
Iconography Sphinx

Red granite Sphinx of Ramses II, (19th Dynasty, circa 1293-1185 BCE). It was excavated in the area of 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 Ramses II. His son and successor, Merenptah, added his own cartouches to the shoulders after his father's death. This sphinx, the the largest in the Western hemisphere, 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 just under 13 tons.

Length 362 cm
Width 145 cm
Credit Line Gift of the British School of Archaeology, 1913

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