The Getty Conservation Institute, in collaboration with the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO), conducted an environmental monitoring study of the Great Sphinx at the Giza Plateau outside of Cairo. The study was conducted using an autonomous, low-maintenance environmental monitoring station, designed and constructed by Institute staff, with hardware used in environmental science, agriculture, and engineering.

The environmental monitoring of the Great Sphinx was part of an effort to increase understanding of the causes of the deterioration of the 4,600-year-old monument. The resulting study found greater than anticipated climate fluctuations around the Sphinx, particularly in terms of air temperature and relative humidity. It also found that at times winds achieved an unexpected velocity. A final report on the monitoring results was submitted to the EAO.

Related articles in Conservation, The GCI Newsletter

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Related Non-Getty Publications/Sites

  • Shin Maekawa and Nevill Agnew, "Investigation of Environmentally Driven Deterioration of the Great Sphinx," Archaeological Conservation and Its Consequences, Preprints of the Contributions to the IIC Copenhagen Congress, (August, 1996): 26-30.
  • The Great Sphinx of Giza (PBS-NOVA)