A man sits in front of the Great Sphinx, photograph by Donald Mcleish. After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned, the Sphinx became buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first documented attempt at an excavation dates to c. 1400 BC, when the young Thutmose IV gathered a team and, after much effort, managed to dig out the front paws. In AD 1817, the first modern archaeological dig uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entire Sphinx was finally excavated in 1925 to 1936, in digs led by Émile Baraize.