Archaeologists and geologists working in the region have found evidence, through patterns of erosion, fossilized plant and animal material, and artifacts, that the area some 8,000 years ago was once quite fertile and lush with vegetation.
He honored the Sphinx with a temple praising Khufu and Khafre, representatives of Horus on earth as many Egyptian kings claimed, but his choice in naming these two strongly suggests he understood a connection between these rulers of the 4th Dynasty and the statue.
It is the very embodiment of antiquity and mystery itself.
Over the centuries it has fired the imaginations of poets and scientists, adventurers and travelers.
The theory goes that, in the process of building Khafre's pyramid, workers uncovered a large mass of rock considered unsuitable for the pyramid complex and carved the statue from it.
Historians Bob Brier and Hoyt Hobbs comment on this: Khafre's pyramid [was faced with a] gleaming casing of white limestone, transported by boats from quarries across the Nile [and] laid over interior limestone blocks which were cut from the surrounding Giza site.
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It is commonly accepted among Egyptologists, however, that the Sphinx was built under the reign of Khafre during the Old Kingdom's 4th Dynasty when masons who were constructing his pyramid complex came upon a large piece of limestone and decided - or were directed - to carve the Sphinx from it.