POINTS OF INTEREST
Carved from the living rock of the pyramids plateau during the 4th Dynasty, the enigmatic limestone Sphinx is attached to Pharaoh Khafre's funerary complex. The figure of a recumbent lion with a man's face wearing a nemes (traditional headdress of the pharaoh) was thought to be Khafre in the guise of Ra-Harakhte, a manifestation of the Sun God. The role of the Sphinx was to guard the vast royal necropolis that incorporated the pyramids and mastabas (large trapezoidal tombs) on the Giza plateau, and it's visited as part of the longer visit incorporating these other monuments at the site. It's possible to get close to the Sphinx along a wide viewing platform that has been built around it, but climbing is forbidden and there's no entry into the small interior chambers (most of the sphinx, however, is solid rock). The light shows are scheduled nightly; see schedule online.