What is a Sphinx?:
- One sphinx is an Egyptian desert statue of a hybrid creature. It has a leonine body and the head of another creature -- typically, human.
- The other type of sphinx is a Greek demon with a tail and wings.
Mythological Sphinx and Oedipus:
Oedipus was made famous in modern times by Freud, who based a psychological condition on Oedipus' love of his mother and murder of his father. Part of Oedipus' ancient legend is that he saved the day when he answered the riddle of the sphinx, who had been ravaging the countryside. When Oedipus ran into the sphinx, she asked him a riddle she did not expect him to answer. Should he fail, she would eat him.
She asked, "What has 4 legs in the morning, 2 at noon, and 3 at night?"
Oedipus answered the sphinx, "Man."
And with that answer, Oedipus became king of Thebes. The sphinx responded by killing herself.
Great Sphinx Statue in Egypt:
As part of an investigation of the construction of the Giza pyramid complex. the Oriental Institute has been involved in a computer model. Here are a wireframe and a rendered model of the sphinx temple.
This InterOz site says "sphinx" means "strangler," a name given the woman/lion/bird statue by the Greeks. Site tells about repair and reconstruction efforts.
Photographs and physical description of the Great Sphinx which is thought to have been commissioned by the Fourth Dynasty's King Khafre.
Saving the Secrets of the Sand
Interview and article on Dr. Zahi Hawass, director of the Sphinx Restoration Project, by Elizabeth Kaye McCall. See Recent Interviews for more information from Dr. Hawass.
Remnants of a Lost Civilization?
Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner explain why most Egyptologists ignore the early dating theories of West and Schoch -- West and Schoch ignore the evidence of Old Egyptian society.