What was the purpose of building the Sphinx?What is the purpose of the sphinx and how is it reflected in current society?

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saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most well known monuments in the Middle East. However, the reasons for its construction have been lost to history. Many historians have proposed their own theories trying to explain the reason behind its contraction.

One popular theory is that is was built to honor the Pharaoh Khufu. The construction seems to indicate that it was constructed in the image of the Sun God Ra to restore honor to the family dynasty.  

Another equally popular theory compares the facial images on the Sphinx to similar images of the Pharaoh Khafre. The apparent similarities are striking enough to suggest that the Sphinx was constructed to honor him.

Other’s suggest that the Sphinx is guarding the tomb of Khafre. The image of the Sphinx is used in many cultures to guard tombs, so it stands to reason that the Giza Sphinx is fulfilling a similar role.

In contemporary society, the sphinx is used to symbolize hidden knowledge or a secret. It is a very famous Masonic symbol which is used on a variety of architectural monuments.