The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the head of a man and the body of a lion. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the bank of the Nile River near the Great Pyramid of Giza near Cairo in northern Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the pharaoh Khafre, but its origins and meaning are a subject to debate. Cut from the bedrock, the original shape of the Sphinx has been restored with layers of blocks. It measures 240 feet long from paw to tail, 66 feet high from the base to the top of the head and 62 feet wide at its rear haunches. It is the oldest known monumental in Egypt and is commonly believed to have been designed, sculpted, and constructed by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom 4500 years ago during the reign of the pharaoh Khafre. At one time, the desert sands buried the monument up to the neck, but this was eventually cleared away.