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Secrets of the Sphinx

by James Cross Giblin
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Published by Scholastic Press, 2004
48 pages
ISBN: 0590098470

Ages 8-14

For thousands of years, people have flocked to the desert outside of what is now Cairo to see the three Great Pyramids and the noble Sphinx that lies in their shadow. James Cross Giblin looks at the history of the Sphinx—how and why scholars believe it was built and the fascination it has prompted from its earliest days--in a highly visual volume that blends his informative narrative with interpretive paintings by Bagram Ibatoulline. Giblin’s text is divided into short (1-3 page) sections and includes information on relevant related topics such as the Rosetta Stone, which helped unlock the secrets of the Sphinx, and the legend of Atlantis, an alluring story promoted by spiritualist Edgar Caycee. Caycee also theorized that documents recounting the history of Atlantis were buried in chambers beneath the Sphinx’s paws. His followers funded research expeditions to drill beneath the Sphinx, potentially compromising its structural integrity until the Egyptian government put a halt to their activities. This is one of a number of incidents Giblin chronicles regarding the damage the Sphinx has suffered throughout its history, some of it intentional, some of it caused by ignorance or, in the case of pollution, human progress. Giblin does a superb job presenting scientific research, including questions still unanswered or debated, in an engaging, accessible volume. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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