Sphinx of Ramses II

by Memphis, Egypt

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Sphinx of Ramses II at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Credit: Lauren Hansen-Flaschen

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19th Dynasty, (ca. 1293-1185 BCE)
Lower Egyptian Gallery
(215) 898-4001

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This 12-ton Sphinx is the centerpiece in the Penn Museum’s Lower Egyptian Gallery. It was excavated from the sacred enclosure of the temple of the god Ptah at Memphis and inscriptions reveal it originally to have been a representation of the pharaoh we know as Ramses the Great (Ramses II). It also, however, bears the royal names of yet a second Ramesside king, the pharaoh of Merenptah. By adding his name, Merenptah associated himself with the pious acts of Ramses II, his father, who originally dedicated the sphinx to the temple.