is a prevalent rumour that the nose of the sphinx was knocked
off by cannon fired by Napoleon's soldiers. I was corrected by
my guide who rather embarrassedly had to admit that it was
knocked off by an Egyptian - Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, a Sufi
religious fanatic. In 1378 he found that Egyptian peasants were
making offerings to the Sphinx to increase their harvest. So
angered was Sa'im al-Dahr that he climbed up on the head and
started to attack the nose.
was perhaps not the best move, as the account goes that the same
peasants he was angry at were equally as angry with him and duly
lynched Sa'im al-Dahr for damaging their god.