Society & Culture

“Nose of Sphinx”, Did he do it?


Agencies – Sudan Events

Scenes from Ridley Scott’s recently released film “Napoleon” have renewed controversy over the truth about Napoleon firing cannons at the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt.
According to the New York Times, there is no evidence that the French fired artillery at the pyramids, or that Napoleon’s forces shot at the Sphinx’s nose and broke it.
The Sphinx’s nose has been the focus of attention of historians throughout the ages, to find out the real reason for its collapse.
Among the most prominent stories about the Sphinx’s nose is that it was broken by erosion and rain, while others believe that it was carved without a nose in the first place.
Scott said in an interview with the British newspaper, The Times, when asked if Napoleon actually intended to target the pyramids of Egypt: “I don’t know if he did that, but it was a quick way to say that he took control of Egypt.”
In this context, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, Salima Ikram, said: “The French forces certainly did not fire shots at the pyramids. From what we know, Napoleon had great appreciation for the Sphinx and the pyramids, and used them as a means to urge his forces to greater glory.”
The French campaign in Egypt, from 1798 to 1801, was driven by Napoleon’s colonial ambitions and the desire to thwart British influence.
But in addition to amassing an army of about 50,000 soldiers, Napoleon made the unusual decision to invite more than 160 scientists, in fields such as botany, geology, humanities and others, to accompany him in the invasion.
Scholars documented Egypt’s natural and cultural landscape, which they eventually compiled in a seminal publication in 1809 detailing the area of the Giza Pyramids.
In their efforts to document Egypt’s vast archaeological heritage, French scholars have acquired several important artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone, a rock inscribed in three languages that proved effective in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The stone and many other spoils ended up in the hands of the British, after the collapse of French control over Egypt in 1801 AD.

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