British School of Archaeology

Another Egyptian symbol, this winged sphinx, finely carved in profile, displays the beard and elaborate collar of an Egyptian Pharaoh. The pupil of the eye and the hair of the sphinx were originally inlaid with some substance. Below the wings hangs a Phoenician apron, a garment that probably derived from the Egyptian skirt. Traces of bitumen stain the surface; this tarlike substance may be from the soil, or it may have been an adhesive used by the ivory worker to fasten gold foil to the piece. The ninth- or eighth-century B.C. sphinx is broken along its wings. A peg probably attached this front section of the sphinx to the rest of his body.