Sphinx Scientific Update Report
Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni received a technical and ecological report on the health of the Great Sphinx at Giza, which asserted that the Sphinx and surrounding bedrock are safe, and that the groundwater in the area in front of it has not affected any part of its body.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said that the scientific studies carried out by the Ecology and Engineering Center revealed that the groundwater in front of the sphinx is potable water, found at a depth of 4,8 metres below ground – a level which has not changed since ancient times. He asserted that within two months, the water in front of the Sphinx will be pumped out within the framework of a 2 million LE project being carried out by the Archeological Engineering Centre at Cairo University (AEC).
Dr. Hafez Abdel Azim, head of the AEC, explained that the movement and level of the subterranean water under the Valley Temple of Khafre are stable, and that seven experimental wells have been dug in front of the Sphinx to study the rate of movement of the groundwater. He also said that 260 cubic meters of water are pumped out every hour through drainage tubes, and that the water in front of the sphinx has been reduced to 70 percent of its original volume. 33 monitoring points, established to inspect the movement of the body of the Sphinx and the surrounding bedrock over the last month, have proved that they are steady.
Dr. Hawass explained that a
comprehensive two-year study on the sources of the underground water will
be carried out in collaboration with the UNDP, the AEC and other Egyptian
experts. A fund of 40 million LE has been established for this project,
which should prevent future groundwater problems.
(Photos by Mohamed Megahed)