The Ministry of Antiquities is working to preserve Thutmose IV's fanciful story.
The Dream Stela has been standing between the paws of the Great Sphinx at Giza for over 3,400 years. The 18th Dynasty's Thutmose IV had it put there to immortalise a deal he made with the colossal statue when he was a young Prince—but not the Crown Prince.
The Giza Plateau, already ancient in Thutmose's time, was a playground for the young royal who came here to have some princely fun: target practice, lion hunting and chariot racing. One can't blame him for wanting to take a break from the blistering midday sun, and Thutmose sat down to nap in the shadow of the Great Sphinx.
While he slept, the Sphinx appeared to Thutmose in a dream and made him a deal that the ambitious young royal couldn't refuse. Although he wasn't next in line, the Sphinx promised Thutmose the throne if he freed the great statue from the desert sand.
We don't know what happened to Thutmose's older brother, but we can only suppose that the prince held up his end of the deal, because he did, in due course, become King Thutmose IV. His grandson would be the infamous Akhenaten.
Of course, it's possible that Thutmose made up the entire story simply to legitimise his position as a god-given one.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said on Tuesday that it has begun the second phase of restoring Thutmose IV's Dream Stela. The first phase worked on the lower, worn part of the slab. Now the second phase involves cleaning and consolidating the more precious, upper, inscribed section.
There used to be more inscribed text on the stela, however, part of the text that was thought to include the name of Khafre (and therefore adding weight to the idea that he was behind the statue's construction) peeled off soon after it was uncovered.
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