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Great Sphinx of Tanis

Great Sphinx of Tanis
Createdc. 2550 BC
DiscoveredTanis, Sharqia, Egypt
Present locationParis, Ile-de-France, France

The Great Sphinx of Tanis is a granite sculpture of a sphinx, whose date may be as early as the 26th century BC. It was discovered in the ruins of the Temple of Amun-Ra in Tanis, Egypt's capital during the 21st Dynasty and the 23rd Dynasty. It was created much earlier, but when exactly remains debated with hypotheses of the 4th Dynasty or the 12th Dynasty.[1] All that is left of its original inscription are the parts alluding to pharaohs Amenemhat II (12th Dynasty), Merneptah (19th Dynasty) and Shoshenq I (22nd Dynasty).

The Louvre acquired it in 1826 as part of the second Egyptian collection of Henry Salt, whose purchase was led on behalf of the French state by Jean-François Champollion. Initially, plans were made to place it outdoors, at the center of the Cour Carrée,[2] but they were not implemented. Instead, the sphinx was exhibited in the museum's courtyard, since then known as the cour du Sphinx, from 1828 until 1848,[3] when it was relocated to the galerie Henri IV, still now the main monumental sculpture room of the museum's Egyptian Department. In the mid-1930s, the Sphinx was transferred to its present location in the crypt created by Louvre architect Albert Ferran to connect the two halves of the southern wing of the Cour Carrée.

See also


  1. ^ "Statue colossale ; Sphinx de Tanis". Louvre.
  2. ^ Lebrun (1828). Manuel complet du voyageur dans Paris, ou Nouveau guide de l'étranger dans cette capitale. Paris: Roret. p. 131.
  3. ^ Guillaume Fonkenell (2018). Le Louvre : Le palais à travers les siècles. Paris: Honoré Clair / Louvre éditions. p. 49.

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Great Sphinx of Tanis
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