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Egypt, Valley of the Kings. Where the nose of a sphinx got to?

Mysterious guards of the desert and Valley of the Kings, a giant monument of Ancient Egypt attract not the first century inquisitive minds of scientists and tenacious hands of marauders. Legends go that under a statue great treasures and great damnations are hidden. But it is still impossible to answer even the simplest question which is literally written at a sphinx on a face - what happened to his nose?

The Egyptian sphinx - the giant 70 meters long and about 20 meters height standing as the guard at great pyramids, a lion with a face of the Pharaoh Hefren. The most known and at the same time so poorly studied symbol of Egypt. We do not even know when this statue appeared and as Egyptians called it in the ancient time.

The word “sphinx“ - Greek, is also connected only by coincidence of appearance of a sphinx from the myth about a riddle Sfinksa and the Egyptian semi-lion - the semi-person, Arabs called it “the father of horror“ (and assumed that near it there is also “mother of horror“).

Ancient historians kept certificates on the person Sfinksa - it is the person of negroid type, allegedly, a face of the Pharaoh Hefren which the first dug out this statue. However in the eighteenth century the European archeologists and travelers found it with already distorted face. First of all was evident that the sphinx has no nose. And already then there was a question: when and under what circumstances it was gone?

The first version of how it happened, is connected with Napoleon. In 1798 at fight with Turks at pyramids the kernel of one of armies (already never to learn, the French tool or Turkish let out an ill-fated kernel) got to the person Sfinksa.

On another “the French version“, the Napoleonic army stood at the bottom of a sphinx several weeks, and gunners, having started missing, decided to practise the craft. Naturally, having chosen the most picturesque target - a one-and-a-half-meter nose on a face of the Pharaoh with a huge body of a lion. Whether the French soldiers so hated Egypt, whether on the ignorance did not understand historical value of such huge monument, whether Napoleon gave the similar order (and its motives especially are not clear), who knows, but when the army left, the face of the desert guard was irreparably disfigured.

There are also similar stories where the place of French is taken by British or Mamelukes. However this version in any option is insolvent. And that is why. The Danish traveler Norden brought from the wandering Pharaohs drawings of a beznosy sphinx on the ground for sixty years earlier, than the Napoleonic army went to Egypt.

Also it is unlikely the truthful explanation is at the Cairo historian of al - Makrizi. He writes that at the beginning of the second millennium of our era the sphinx lost the greatness in minds of peasants, but all the same for local population was something like a mascot or an idol. They asked it to increase or to reduce water level in Nile, brought gifts that that granted fertility of the Egyptian fields. And once the similar gift was seen by the Sufi fanatic. He was so revolted with such idolatry that he solved: time cannot destroy a sphinx any more, can spoil it at least. It is unclear as, but it managed it. However, it is probable, it was the last that he managed to make in the life - according to al - Makrizi, the fanatic was torn to pieces by the embittered crowd of locals.

Except a nose, at a big sphinx the ceremonial false beard was gone. And though its fragments remained in the British and Cairo museums, this riddle is not less interesting to Egyptologists, than a nose riddle. In - the first, unclear when it was established. On the one hand, the tradition of false beards appeared rather late, after approximate date of construction of a sphinx. On the other hand, whether technologies of high-rise works were rather developed for similar installation at the time of the New kingdom? And in general, where and how it disappeared? The fragments which are stored in the museums do not give the answer to it a question.

It is possible to be inclined, of course, to the trivial answer to questions of missing of a nose and a beard - time. How pyramids, sooner or later time were big and will erase them, without speaking about details of the person of a statue of a sphinx. But whether constant sandy storms and desert winds could make it already to the eighteenth century?