For most of its history, Egypt’s Great Sphinx lay buried up to its neck in sand. This photo was taken in 1867; the sphinx wasn’t fully dug out until 1925.
Strangely, we know very little about it. It’s one of the world’s largest statues, but no one knows who built it, or when, or whose likeness it bears. We’re not even sure what it is — we call it a sphinx, but we borrow that term from Greek mythology. A true sphinx would have the head of a woman.
No one knows what the ancient Egyptians called it, but its Arabic name, Abu al-Hôl, translates as “Father of Terror.” Maybe we should cover it up again.