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Sphinx of Taharqo (Part 1)

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Published on May 4, 2010

Audio from BBC Radio 4 "A History of the World in 100 Objects - Sphinx of Taharqo".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryofthewor...

Sphinx of Taharqo (made around 680 BC) found in Temple T at Kawa, northern Sudan.

Neil MacGregor describes what was happening along the River Nile and how a powerful new king conquered Egypt from Sudan. His name was Taharqo and he ruled from a vibrant new civilisation (in modern day Sudan) called Kush. These days few people even know that the mighty land of the Pharaohs was once ruled over by its southern neighbour. The evidence is summed up by a sculpture at the British Museum that shows the ruler from Kush as an Egyptian sphinx.

Sphinxes represent the immense power of the Egyptian king. The human head of this sphinx is adorned with two uraei, the symbols of kingship. The mane around the neck is characteristically carved with care.

The face is that of Taharqo, whose name appears on the cartouche on the chest. Taharqo was one of the rulers of Kush who dominated Egypt as the Twenty-fifth Dynasty (about 747-656 BC).

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