By Lauren Lipton
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Want to see an Egyptian treasure without leaving Philadelphia?
“We’re having the one-hundredth anniversary of the sphinx of Ramses II,” says David Silverman, a professor and curator of the Egyptian collection at the Penn Museum, in West Philadelphia. “It arrived in Philadelphia a hundred years ago,”
Silverman (top photo) says the sphinx — with human head and lion’s body — traveled to Philadelphia by boat in a months-long voyage.
“It weighs about fifteen tons. It is about 4,200 years old, and it is the largest sphinx in the western hemisphere. It’s pretty spectacular.”
All this month there will be an extended program of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the sphinx’s arrival in Philadelphia.
“It’s called ‘Hijinks With the Sphinx,‘ ” says Silverman. “People will learn all about this particular sphinx as well as sphinxes in general, the difference between the Egyptian sphinxes and the Greek sphinxes — which were nasty and mean, where the Egyptian sphinxes were pretty much protective and much nicer.”
And the museum is holding a special event for children, called “Forty Winks With the Sphinx.”
“Kids have the opportunity to come, accompanied by adults. They also have the opportunity to sleep over in their sleeping bags.”
If you do the sleepover, just be forewarned: you can’t just tell a fifteen-ton sphinx to shove over because he’s taking up too much room!
Hear the expanded “Hijinks With The Sphinx” interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 5:29) …