The Great Sphinx and other Surrounding Features

The Great Sphinx

The Great Sphinx

To the southern part of the pyramid where Khafre’s temple is ‘the Great Sphinx’ is found. The sphinx is a monumental creature carved from limestone and with a man’s facial features but body of a lion. Approximately, the height of the sphinx is 73 metres (240 feet) while the height is 20 metres (66 feet).

A pit mausoleum was discovered in 1925 and it contained Queen Hetepheres, Khufu’s mother burial equipment. This discovery was made close to Khufu’s pyramid upper causeway. Some of the items found in the deep of the mausoleum include Queen Hetepheres empty sarcophagus, furniture and jewelry. These findings attested the artistic capability of the 4th century craftsmen.

The pyramids are surrounded by extensive funerary structures known as mastabas. These mastabas are laid out in a perfect grid pattern and they were used for purposes of burying of the kings officials and relatives. There are also other mastabas constructed in the fifth and sixth dynasties. Excavations done in the 1980’s and later in the 90’s in the area revealed districts belonging to laborers and these included storage areas, workshops, bakeries and small tombs which belonged to artisans and workers. Mud sealings revealed that these belonged to the 4th dynasty. The tombs belonging to workers feature mud brick domes and elaborate monuments made from stone.