Egypt mystery: Hope for ‘missing treasure’ pinned on three secret tunnels under Sphinx | World | News
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile and is said to have been built to protect Pharaoh Khafre. There has long been speculation over the possibility of a huge hidden chamber below the ancient monument, including the proposed Hall of Record which is said to be an ancient library.
While leading Egyptologist and former Minister of State for Antiquities Dr Zahi Hawass has denied all claims about a hidden city under the Sphinx, he did previously confirm the presence of three tunnels.
The first exists above the back of the statue and was discovered in 1937 by the French engineer who was searching for treasures inside the body of the statue.
A second tunnel was found at the north side of the statue before it was drowned, it was believed that the tunnel was full of treasures and monuments.
The third tunnel exists behind ‘The Dream Portrait’ and was found by an Italian adventurer in the early 19th century while he was digging under the chest of Sphinx.
Dr Hawass undertook excavations beneath the main body of the Sphinx last year at Giza and rediscovered the access tunnels to several large, apparently natural, caves directly under the Sphinx.
And historian Bethany Hughes revealed during her Channel 5 show ‘Egypt’s Greatest Treasures’ how experts are continuing to probe them in the hope of uncovering something more.
She told viewers in 2019: “Generations of ancient Egyptians came to respect and fear this otherworldly creature, really believing that it had supernatural powers.
“And the fascination with the Sphinx shows no sign of letting up.
“Archaeologists are investigating under the statue because there are tantalising clues that the Sphinx sits right on top of a network of chambers and tunnels.
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“The Sphinx is a monumental guard dog, watching over the Pharaoh’s tomb and now it is the guardian of ancient Egypt’s secret.”
However, Dr Hawass is not convinced they will find anything of value.
No artefacts have been found and there is no evidence artificial constructions of any kind exist or ever have existed underneath the Sphinx.
Dr Hawass stated: “We have a lot of photos that document the process of digging under the Sphinx proving that there are no passages under the Sphinx and that it is a concrete statue.”