The fortunes of the Great Sphinx were for a long time interwoven with those of the Egyptian pharaohs. From the earliest period of Egyptian art, it was customary to represent the pharaoh as a lion to symbolize his power and strength. The concept of the pharaoh as both human and animal resulted in the creation of the sphinx, a hybrid creature with a lion’s body and a human head. Since the pharaoh was believed to be both human and divine, the sphinx, too, came to be seen as superhuman.
The Long Lived Lion: How The Great Sphinx Survived The Sands of Times | Trifter