A new discovery at Giza, the third largest city in Egypt, suggests that an ancient Egyptian king made serious efforts to protect the Sphinx.
Dr. Zahi Hawass and his team found the remains of a mud-brick enclosure wall that would have surrounded the Sphinx, protecting it from sand blown by the wind.
The first section of the wall runs for 86 meters to the east of the Sphinx and is 75cm tall. The second section is 46m long, 90cm in height, and runs east-west along the perimeter of Khafre’s valley temple. The two sides converge in the southeast.
Archaeologists are already aware of a wall that runs to the north of Sphinx. The new discovery has led them to the conclusion they know that it is part of a larger enclosure.
According to ancient texts Thutmose IV decided to protect the Sphinx because of a vision which came to him in a dream:
“According to ancient Egyptian texts the construction of this wall was the result of a dream which Thutmose had after a long hunting trip in Wadi El-Ghezlan (Deer Valley), an area next to the Sphinx. In the king’s dream, the Sphinx asked the king to move the sand away from his body because it choked him. For this favour, the Sphinx promised to make Thutmose IV King of Egypt,” the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement.
Archaeologists also found a mudbrick wall on the eastern side of Khafre’s valley temple. While a modest find, there are suggestions it might be part of something grander - possibly the remains of Khafre’s pyramid settlement, which was inhabited by priests and officials who oversaw the activities of the mortuary cult of Khafre.