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This large sphinx was placed on top of an Ionic column that was about 30 ft. [9 m.] tall. Sphinxes were mythological figures that were common in the near east and the Mediterranean world.
The Greek sphinxes had the head of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. They, as this one, were depicted in a crouched position in comparison to the famous Egyptian sphinx that is in a lying position, while in other cultures sphinxes were depicted as walking about.
This monument was dedicated by the people living on the island of Naxos and dates to about 560 B.C.
This image courtesy of Jerry Hawkes.
For a brief description of Delphi Click Here.