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Encyclopedia > The Sphinx
The Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt
The Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a large half-human, half-lion Sphinx statue in Egypt, on the Giza Plateau at the west bank of the Nile River, near modern-day Cairo (29.975299° N 31.137496° E). It is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 988 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 988 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation). ... The Giza pyramid field, viewed from the southwest. ... The Nile (Arabic: ‎, translit: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river, though not the most voluminous, in the world. ... Nickname: Al Qahirah (The Triumphant City) Egypt: Site of Cairo (top center) Coordinates: Government  - Governor Dr. Abdul Azim Wazir Area  - City 210 km²  (81. ... Map of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was the civilization of the Nile Valley between about 3000 BC and the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. As a civilization based on irrigation it is the quintessential example of an hydraulic empire. ... The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age. ...


What name ancient Egyptians called the statue is not completely known. The commonly used name “Sphinx” was given to it in Antiquity based on the legendary Greek creature with the body of a lion, the head of a woman and the wings of an eagle, though Egyptian sphinxes have the head of a man. The word “sphinx” comes from the Greek Σφινξ — Sphinx, apparently from the verb σφινγω — sphingo, meaning “to strangle,” as the sphinx from Greek mythology strangled anyone incapable of answering her riddle. A few, however, have postulated it to be a corruption of the ancient Egyptian Shesep-ankh, a name applied to royal statues in the Fourth Dynasty, though it came to be more specifically associated with the Great Sphinx in the New Kingdom. In medieval texts, the names balhib and bilhaw referring to the Sphinx are attested, including by Egyptian historian Maqrizi, which suggest Coptic constructions, but the Egyptian Arabic name Abul-Hôl, which translates as “Father of Terror,” came to be more widely used. The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation). ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories created by the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and their own cult and ritual practices. ... Binomial name Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of Lions in Africa Synonyms Felis leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. ... The Fourth dynasty of Egypt was the second of the four dynasties considered forming the Old Kingdom. ... The New Kingdom is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BCE and the 11th century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. ... Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi (1364 - 1442); Arabic: , was an Egyptian historian more commonly known as al-Maqrizi or Makrizi. ... Coptic is the most recent phase of ancient Egyptian. ... Egyptian Arabic (MarÄ«, مصري) is part of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, descended mainly from a medieval dialect of Arabic. ...

Contents

Description

The Great Sphinx in 1867. Note its unrestored original condition, still partially buried body, and a man standing beneath its ear.
The Great Sphinx in 1867. Note its unrestored original condition, still partially buried body, and a man standing beneath its ear.

The Great Sphinx is a statue with the face of a man and the body of a lion. Carved out of the surrounding limestone bedrock, it is 57 metres (260 feet) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and has a height of 20 m (65 ft), making it the largest single-stone statue in the world. Blocks of stone weighing upwards of 200 tons were quarried in the construction phase to build the adjoining Sphinx Temple. It is located on the west bank of the Nile River within the confines of the Giza pyramid field. The Great Sphinx faces due east, with a small temple between its paws. The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Binomial name Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of Lions in Africa Synonyms Felis leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. ... For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... Look up ton in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Nile (Arabic: ‎, translit: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river, though not the most voluminous, in the world. ... Pyramids of Giza in 1960s Egypt: Site of Giza or Al Jizah (top center). ...

Restoration

After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned, the Sphinx became buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first attempt to dig it out dates back to 1400 BC, when the young Tutmosis IV formed an excavation party which, after much effort, managed to dig the front paws out. Tutmosis IV had a granite stela known as the Dream Stela placed between the paws. The stela reads, in part: The Giza Pyramids, part of the Giza Necropolis The Giza Necropolis (coordinates ) stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. ... Centuries: 16th century BC - 15th century BC - 14th century BC Decades: 1450s BC 1440s BC 1430s BC 1420s BC 1410s BC - 1400s BC - 1390s BC 1380s BC 1370s BC 1360s BC 1350s BC Events and Trends Palace of Minos destroyed by fire (1400 BC) Several board games, including Alquerque, carved... Menkheperure Established in forms is Re Nomen Thutmose Thoth bore him Consort(s) Tiaa, Mutemwiya Issues Amenhotep III, Siatum (?) Father Amenhotep II Mother Tiaa Died 1391 BC or 1388 BC Burial KV43 Thutmose IV (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis IV and meaning Thoth is Born) was the 8th Pharaoh... Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. ... Ancient Egyptian funerary stele Suenos Stone in Forres Scotland A stele (or stela) is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased or living—inscribed, carved in relief (bas...

...the royal son, Thothmos, having been arrived, while walking at midday and seating himself under the shadow of this mighty god, was overcome by slumber and slept at the very moment when Ra is at the summit (of heaven). He found that the Majesty of this august god spoke to him with his own mouth, as a father speaks to his son, saying: Look upon me, contemplate me, O my son Thothmos; I am thy father, Harmakhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum; I bestow upon thee the sovereignty over my domain, the supremacy over the living ... Behold my actual condition that thou mayest protect all my perfect limbs. The sand of the desert whereon I am laid has covered me. Save me, causing all that is in my heart to be executed.[1] This article is about the Egyptian god. ... Khepri as a scarab beetle, pushing the sun across the sky In Egyptian mythology, Khepri (also spelt Khepera, Kheper, Chepri, Khepra) is the name of a minor god. ... This article is about the Egyptian god. ... History Atum (alternatively spelt Tem, Temu, Tum, and Atem) is an early deity in Egyptian mythology, whose cult centred on the Ennead of Heliopolis. ...

Ramesses II may have also performed restoration work on the Sphinx. Usermaatre-setepenre The Justice of Re is Powerful, Chosen of Re Nomen Ramesses (meryamun) Born of Re, (Beloved of Amun) Horus name Kanakht Merymaa Nebty name Mekkemetwafkhasut Golden Horus Userrenput-aanehktu Consort(s) Isetnofret, Nefertari Maathorneferure Issues Bintanath, Khaemweset, Merneptah, Amun-her-khepsef, Meritamen see also: List of children of...


It was in 1817 that the first modern dig, supervised by Captain Caviglia, uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entirety of the Sphinx was finally dug out in 1925. 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ...

The Great Sphinx on December 26, 1925, undergoing restoration.
The Great Sphinx on December 26, 1925, undergoing restoration.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (963x741, 104 KB) Summary Restoration work (December 26, 1925), published photograph is publicly made available by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on its worldwide web site and may be downloaded, . Image is publicly released subject to conditions publicly posted at http... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (963x741, 104 KB) Summary Restoration work (December 26, 1925), published photograph is publicly made available by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on its worldwide web site and may be downloaded, . Image is publicly released subject to conditions publicly posted at http... December 26 is the 360th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, 361st in leap years. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Missing nose

The one-meter-wide nose on the face is missing. A legend that the nose was broken off by a cannon ball fired by Napoléon’s soldiers still survives, as do diverse variants indicting British troops, Mamluks, and others. However, sketches of the Sphinx by Frederick Lewis Norden made in 1737 and published in 1755 illustrate the Sphinx without a nose. The Egyptian historian al-Maqrizi, writing in the fifteenth century, attributes the vandalism to Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, a Sufi fanatic from the khanqah of Sa'id al-Su'ada. In 1378, upon finding the Egyptian peasants making offerings to the Sphinx in the hope of increasing their harvest, Sa'im al-Dahr was so outraged that he destroyed the nose. Al-Maqrizi describes the Sphinx as the “Nile talisman” on which the locals believed the cycle of inundation depended. For the article about nose in humans, see human nose Human nose in profile Elephants have prehensile noses Dogs have very sensitive noses Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration. ... Napoleon I Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from... A Mamluk cavalryman, drawn in 1810 A mamluk (Arabic: مملوك (singular), مماليك (plural), owned; also transliterated mameluk, mameluke, or mamluke) was a slave soldier who converted to Islam and served the Muslim caliphs and the Ayyubid sultans during the Middle Ages. ... Frederic Louis Norden (October 22, 1708 – September 22, 1742), Danish naval captain and explorer. ... Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Abd al-Qadir ibn Muhammad al-Maqrizi (1364 - 1442); Arabic: ‎, was an Egyptian historian more commonly known as al-Maqrizi or Makrizi. ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ... Fanaticism is an emotion of being filled with excessive, uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tekke. ...


Curious and droll fictional explanations of the nose’s disappearance occasionally appear in modern entertainment set in vaguely appropriate times, such as in Asterix and Cleopatra. Asterix and Cleopatra, the sixth book in the Asterix comic book series by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, was serialized in Pilote issues 215-257 in 1963. ...


In addition to the lost nose, a ceremonial pharaonic beard is thought to have been attached, although this may have been added in later periods after the original construction. Egyptologist Rainer Stadelmann has posited that the rounded divine beard may not have existed in the Old or Middle Kingdoms, only being conceived of in the New Kingdom to identify the Sphinx with the god Horemakhet. This may also relate to the later fashion of pharaohs, which was to wear a plaited beard of authority—a false beard (chin straps are actually visible on some statues), since Egyptian culture mandated that men be clean shaven. Pieces of this beard are today kept in the British Museum and the Egyptian Museum. The centre of the museum was redeveloped in 2000 to become the Great Court, surrounding the original Reading Room. ... Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to the most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities in the world. ...


Mythology

The Great Sphinx was believed to stand as a guardian of the Giza Plateau, where it faces the rising sun. It was the focus of solar worship in the Old Kingdom, centered in the adjoining temples built around the time of its probable construction. Its animal form, the lion, has long been a symbol associated with the sun in ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Images depicting the Egyptian king in the form of a lion smiting his enemies appear as far back as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. During the New Kingdom, the Sphinx became more specifically associated with the god Hor-em-akhet (Greek Harmachis) or Horus at the Horizon, which represented the Pharaoh in his role as the Shesep ankh of Atum (living image of Atum). A temple was built to the northeast of the Sphinx by King Amenhotep II, nearly a thousand years after its construction, dedicated to the cult of Horemakhet. The Giza pyramid field, viewed from the southwest. ... The Old Kingdom is the name commonly given to that period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization complexity and achievement – this was the first of three so-called Kingdom periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the Nile Valley (the... Overview map of the Ancient Near East The term Ancient Near East or Ancient Orient encompasses the early civilizations predating Classical Antiquity in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Turkey), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age from the rise... The Early Dynastic Period of Egypt is taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from 2920 BC, following the Protodynastic Period of Egypt, until 2575 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. ... The New Kingdom is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BCE and the 11th century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. ... Pharaoh was the ancient Egyptian name for the office of kingship. ... History Atum (alternatively spelt Tem, Temu, Tum, and Atem) is an early deity in Egyptian mythology, whose cult centred on the Ennead of Heliopolis. ... Aakheperure Great are the forms of Re Nomen Amenhotep Heka Iunu Amun is Satisfied, Ruler of Heliopolis Horus name Ka Nakht Wer Pekhty Strong Bull, Great of Power Nebty name User Fau Sekha Em Wast Powerful of Splendour, Appearing in Thebes Golden Horus Ity Sekhemef em Tau Neb Who seizes...


Origin and identity

The Great Sphinx is one of the world’s largest and oldest statues, yet basic facts about it such as the real-life model for the face, when it was built, and by whom, are debated. These questions have collectively earned the title “Riddle of the Sphinx,” a nod to its Greek namesake, although this phrase should not be confused with the original Greek legend. The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation). ...

The Sphinx against Khufu’s pyramid
The Sphinx against Khufu’s pyramid

The Great Sphinx is commonly accepted by Egyptologists to represent the likeness of King Khafra (also known by the Hellenised version of his name, Chephren) who is often credited as the builder as well. This would place the time of construction somewhere between 2520 BC and 2494 BC. Because the limited evidence giving provenance to Khafra is ambiguous and circumstantial, the idea of who built the Sphinx, and when, continues to be the subject of debate. As Dr. Selim Hassan stated in his report regarding his excavation of the Sphinx enclosure of the 1940s: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 982 KB) Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Great Sphinx of Giza Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 982 KB) Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Great Sphinx of Giza Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... The Pyramid of Khafra and the Great Sphinx of Giza Portrait of Khafra, originally found at Mit Rahina, now residing in the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo. ...

Taking all things into consideration, it seems that we must give the credit of erecting this, the world’s most wonderful statue, to Khafre, but always with this reservation that there is not one single contemporary inscription which connects the Sphinx with Khafre, so sound as it may appear, we must treat the evidence as circumstantial, until such time as a lucky turn of the spade of the excavator will reveal to the world a definite reference to the erection of the Sphinx.[2]

Supporting Egyptologists believe that the context of the Sphinx resides within part of the greater funerary complex credited to Khafra which includes the Sphinx and Valley Temples, a causeway, and the 2nd pyramid.[3] Both temples display the same architectural style employing stones weighing up to 200 tons. It is generally accepted that the temples, along with the Sphinx, were all part of the the same quarry and construction process.


One circumstantial piece of evidence used to support the Khafra theory includes a diorite statue of the king that was discovered buried upside down along with other debris in the nearby Valley Temple. Because of its relative proximity to the Sphinx, it is from this relationship that Egyptologists further associate Khafra with the Sphinx. Categories: Mineral stubs | Igneous rocks ...


In addition, the Dream Stela erected by Pharaoh Thutmose IV in the New Kingdom is believed by Egyptologists to associate the Sphinx with King Khafra. When discovered, however, the lines of text were incomplete, only referring to a “Khaf,” and not the full “Khafra.” The missing syllable “ra” was later added to complete the translation by Thomas Young, on the assumption that the text referred to “Khafra.” Young’s interpretation was based on an earlier facsimile in which the translation reads as follows:[4] Stele is also a concept in plant biology. ... Pharaoh was the ancient Egyptian name for the office of kingship. ... Menkheperure Established in forms is Re Nomen Thutmose Thoth bore him Consort(s) Tiaa, Mutemwiya Issues Amenhotep III, Siatum (?) Father Amenhotep II Mother Tiaa Died 1391 BC or 1388 BC Burial KV43 Thutmose IV (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis IV and meaning Thoth is Born) was the 8th Pharaoh... The New Kingdom is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BCE and the 11th century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. ...

...which we bring for him: oxen... and all the young vegetables; and we shall give praise to Wenofer ...Khaf.... the statue made for Atum-Hor-em-Akhet.

Regardless of the translation, the stela offers no clear record of in what context the name Khafra was used in relation to the Sphinx – as the builder, restorer, or otherwise. The lines of text referring to Khafra flaked off and were destroyed when the Stela was re-excavated in the early 1900s.


In contrast, the “Inventory Stela” of the 26th dynasty (664-525 BC), found by Auguste Mariette on the Giza plateau in 1857, describes how Khufu (the father of Khafra, the alleged builder) discovered the damaged monument buried in sand, and attempted to excavate and repair the dilapidated Sphinx. Because of the late dynasty origin of the document and reference to Khufu as the builder and not the accepted Khafra, this particular section of Inventory Stela is often dismissed by Egyptologists as late dynasty historical revisionism.[5]


Traditionally, the evidence for dating the Great Sphinx by Egyptologists has been based primarily on fragmented summaries of early Christian writings gleaned from the work of the Hellenistic Period Egyptian priest Manethô, who compiled the now lost revisionist Egyptian history Aegyptika. These works, and to a lesser degree, earlier Egyptian sources, mainly the “Turin Canon” and “Table of Abydos” among others, combine to form the main body of historical reference for Egyptologists, giving a consensus for a timeline of rulers known as the “King’s List,” found in the reference archive; the Cambridge Ancient History.[6][7] As a result, since Egyptologists have ascribed the Sphinx to Khafra, establishing the time he reigned would date the monument as well.


In 2004, French Egyptologist Vassil Dobrev announced the results of a 20-year reexamination of historical records, and uncovering of new evidence that suggests the Great Sphinx may have been the work of the little known Pharaoh Djedefre, Khafra’s half brother and a son of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Dobrev suggests it was built by Djedefre in the image of his father Khufu, identifying him with the sun god Ra in order to restore respect for their dynasty.[8] 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Egyptian pharoah Djedefra was the successor and the only surviving son of Khufu. ... Khufu Protected by Khnum[1] Horus name Medjedu Nebty name Nebty-r-medjed Golden Horus Bikwy-nub Consort(s) Meritates, Henutsen, plus two other queens whose names are not known[2] Issues Djedefra, Kawab, Khafre, Djedefhor, Banefre, Khufukaef, Hetepheres II, Meresankh II, Khamerernebty[2] Father Sneferu Mother Hetepheres I Died... The Great Pyramid is the oldest and the largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa ( ). The oldest and only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is believed to have been constructed over a 20 year period... This article is about the Egyptian god. ...


Former director of the German Institute of Archaeology in Cairo, Rainer Stadelmann, suggests it was Khufu, and not his son Khafra, who was responsible for constructing the monument. Stadelmann bases his ideas on the distinct iconography of the headdress and missing collapsed beard (the remains are housed in the Cairo museum), which he argues is more indicative of the style of Khufu than Khafra.[9]. He supports this by suggesting that Khafra’s causeway was built to conform to a pre-existing structure, which he concludes, given its location, could only have been the Sphinx.[10]


Early Egyptologists

Many of the most prominent early Egyptologists and excavators of the Giza plateau believed the Sphinx and its neighboring temples to pre-date the 4th dynasty. British egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge stated in his 1904 book Gods of the Egyptians: Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge; (July 27, 1857–November 23, 1934) was an English Egyptologist, Orientalist, and Philologist. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ...

This marvelous object [the Great Sphinx] was in existence in the days of Khafre, or Khephren, and it is probable that it is a very great deal older than his reign and that it dates from the end of the archaic period.

French Egyptologist and Director General of Excavations and Antiquities for the Egyptian government, Gaston Maspero, who surveyed the Sphinx in the 1920s asserts: Gaston Camille Charles Maspero (June 23, 1846 - June 30, 1916), French Egyptologist, was born in Paris, his parents being of Lombard origin. ...

The Sphinx stela shows, in line thirteen, the cartouche of Khephren. I believe that to indicate an excavation carried out by that prince, following which, the almost certain proof that the Sphinx was already buried in sand by the time of Khafre and his predecessors.[11]

Notwithstanding this, the Sphinx’ link with Khafra continues to be the view most widely held by Egyptologists. An Egyptologist is any archaeologist, historian, linguist, or art historian who specializes in Egyptology, the scientific study of Ancient Egypt and its antiquities. ...


Alternative theories

In common with many famous constructions of remote antiquity, the Great Sphinx has over the years been the subject of numerous speculative theories and assertions by non-specialists, mystics, pseudohistorians, pseudoarchaeologists and general writers. These alternative theories of the origin, purpose and history of the monument typically invoke a wide array of sources and associations, such as neighboring cultures, astrology, lost continents and civilizations (e.g. Atlantis), numerology, mythology and other esoteric subjects. Egyptologists and the wider scientific community largely ignore such claims; however, on occasion they are drawn into public debate when a claim purports to rely upon some novel or re-interpreted data from an academic field of study[citation needed]. Egyptology is the study of Ancient Egypt and Egyptian antiquities and is a regional and thematic branch of the larger disciplines of ancient history and archeology. ... Mysticism from the Greek μυστικός (mystikos) an initiate (of the Eleusinian Mysteries, μυστήρια (mysteria) meaning initiation[1]) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an... Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to texts which purport to be historical in nature but which depart from standard historiographical conventions in a way which undermines their conclusions. ... Pseudoarchaeology is an aspect of pseudohistory. ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut. ... Lost Lands are islands or continents believed by some to have existed during pre-history, but to have since disappeared as a result of catastrophic geological phenomena. ... Atlantis (Greek: , Island of Atlas) is the name of an island first mentioned and described by the classical Greek philosopher Plato in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... // For the Derek Sherinian album, see Mythology (Derek Sherinian album). ... Esotericism is knowledge suitable only for an inner circle of the initiated, advanced or privileged. ... An Egyptologist is any archaeologist, historian, linguist, or art historian who specializes in Egyptology, the scientific study of Ancient Egypt and its antiquities. ...


Water erosion

French scholar and mathematician R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz in the 1950s was the first to note water erosion to the Sphinx, an idea expanded upon by writer John Anthony West in the 1970s. In the 1990s Robert M. Schoch of Boston University investigated the geology of the Sphinx at the urging of John Anthony West, and concluded based solely on the geological evidence that the Sphinx must be much older than currently believed. Schoch has argued that the particular weathering found on the body of the Sphinx and surrounding “ditch” or “hollow” the monument was carved from, displays evidence that can only be caused from prolonged water erosion.[12] Egypt’s last time period where there was a significant amount of rainfall ended during the late 4th to early 3rd millennium BC. Schoch claims the amount of water erosion the Sphinx has experienced indicates a construction date no later than the 6th millennium BC or 5th millennium BC, at least two thousand years before the widely accepted construction date and 1500 years prior to the accepted date for the beginning of Egyptian civilization. R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz (1887--1961),born in Alsace-Lorraine, was one of the most important philosophers, mathematicians, and Egyptologists of the twentieth century. ... Robert M. Schoch is an American geologist and academic with an especial interest in pyramid monuments around the world. ... For the unrelated Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ... The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age. ... During the 6th millennium BC, agriculture spreads from the Balkans to Italy and Eastern Europe and from Mesopotamia to Egypt. ... // Events 4860 BC - Mount Mazama in Oregon collapses, forming a caldera that later fills with water and becomes Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. ...


English geologist and secretary of The Manchester Ancient Egypt Society Colin Reader who has studied the weathering patterns as well, agrees the weathering occurred from heavy water erosion, but concludes that the Sphinx is only several hundred years older than the traditionally accepted date believing the Sphinx to be a product of the Early Dynastic period.[13] Independently, geologist David Coxill has also come forward to confirm in principle Schoch’s findings, but like Reader has taken a more conservative approach to the dating of the Sphinx, yet concludes: “Nevertheless, it (the Sphinx) is clearly older than the traditional date for the origins of the Sphinx-in the reign of Khafre, 2520-2490 B.C.”[14] Both Schoch and Reader base their conclusions not only on the Sphinx and surrounding enclosure, but have also taken into account other congruent weathering features found on the Giza plateau from monuments such as the Sphinx Temple which are known to be consistent with the time period the Sphinx was constructed. Colin Reader is an English geologist with an interest in Ancient Egypt and is also secretary of The Manchester Ancient Egypt Society. ...


This theory has not been accepted by mainstream Egyptologists. Alternative theories offered by Egytologists for the erosion include wind and sand, acid rain, exfoliation or the poor quality of the limestone used to construct the Sphinx. Schoch, Reader, and Coxill have independently argued, regardless of when the Sphinx was actually built, that none of these explanations can account for what they consider as geologists to be “classic” water erosion patterns. The term acid rain is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, food, dew, or dry particles. ... Geological exfoliation of granite at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas, USA Exfoliation in geology is a weathering process, mainly caused by freeze-thaw cycles. ...


Schoch has also noted as have others that the clearly evident disproportionately small size of the head compared to the body suggests the head to have been originally that of a lion, but later re-carved to give the likeness of a pharaoh. This implies that the Egyptian Kings were the inheritors of an already existing structure of which they re-made in their own image to give provenance over the monument.[15]


Hancock and Bauval

One well-publicised debate[16] was generated by the works of two writers, Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, in a series of separate and collaborative publications from the late 1980s onwards. Their claims include that the construction of the Great Sphinx and the monument at Tiwanaku in modern Bolivia was begun in 10,500 BC; that the Sphinx's lion-shape is a definitive reference to the constellation of Leo; and that the layout and orientation of the Sphinx, the Giza pyramid complex and the Nile River is an accurate reflection or “map” of the constellations of Leo, Orion (specifically, Orion’s Belt) and the Milky Way, respectively. Graham Hancock Graham Hancock (born 1951) is a British writer and journalist. ... Robert Bauval was born on 5 March 1948 in Alexandria, Egypt to parents of Belgian origin. ... Area of the Middle Horizon The Gate of the Sun Tiwanaku (Spanish spellings: Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia. ... The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. ... Binomial name Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758) Distribution of Lions in Africa Synonyms Felis leo (Linnaeus, 1758) The lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Leo (IPA: , Latin: , symbol , ) is a constellation of the zodiac. ... The Giza Pyramids, part of the Giza Necropolis The Giza Necropolis (coordinates ) stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. ... The Nile (Arabic: ‎, translit: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river, though not the most voluminous, in the world. ... Orion (IPA: ), a constellation often referred to as The Hunter, is a prominent constellation, perhaps the best-known and most conspicuous in the sky. ... It has been suggested that Andromeda-Milky Way collision be merged into this article or section. ...


Their initial claims regarding the alignment of the Giza pyramids with Orion (“…the three pyramids were an unbelievably precise terrestrial map of the three stars of Orion’s belt”— Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods, 1995, p.375) are later joined with speculation about the age of the Sphinx (Hancock and Bauval, Keeper of Genesis, published 1997 in the U.S. as The Message of the Sphinx). By 1998’s The Mars Mystery, they contend: Fingerprints of the Gods is a book first published in 1995 by speculative author Graham Hancock, in which he contends that some previously unidentified ancient but highly-advanced civilization had existed in prehistory, one which served as the common progenitor civilization to all subsequent known ancient historical ones. ...

…we have demonstrated with a substantial body of evidence that the pattern of stars that is “frozen” on the ground at Giza in the form of the three pyramids and the Sphinx represents the disposition of the constellations of Orion and Leo as they looked at the moment of sunrise on the spring equinox during the astronomical “Age of Leo” (i.e., the epoch in which the Sun was “housed” by Leo on the spring equinox.) Like all precessional ages this was a 2,160-year period. It is generally calculated to have fallen between the Gregorian calendar dates of 10,970 and 8810 BC. (op. cit., p.189) Europe and surrounding areas in the 9th millennium BC. Blue areas are covered in ice. ...

A date of 10,500 B.C. is chosen because they maintain this is the only time in the precession of the equinoxes when the astrological age was Leo and when that constellation rose directly east of the Sphinx at the vernal equinox. They also suggest that in this epoch the angles between the three stars of Orion’s Belt and the horizon was an “exact match” to the angles between the three main Giza pyramids. This time period coincidentally also coincides with the American psychic Edgar Cayce’s “dating” of Atlantis. These and other theories are used to support the overall belief in an advanced and ancient, but now vanished, global progenitor civilization. Precession of the equinoxes refers to the precession of the Earths axis of rotation. ... Position of vernal equinox occurring in Pisces after leaving Aries constellation (through the precession of the equinoxes backward motion). ... Symbol of Leo Leo is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Leo. ... Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of equinox The vernal equinox (or spring equinox) marks the beginning of astronomical spring. ... This article is about the astronomical object. ... The term psychic comes from the Greek psychikos, meaning of the soul, mental, which is in turn derived from the Greek word psyche (soul/mind). ... Edgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) (pronounced or like Casey) was an American psychic who claimed to channel answers to questions on subjects such as health, astrology, reincarnation, and Atlantis while in trance. ... Atlantis (Greek: , Island of Atlas) is the name of an island first mentioned and described by the classical Greek philosopher Plato in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias. ... Cities are a major hallmark of human civilization. ...


Their theories, and the astronomical and archaeological data upon which they are based, have received refutations by some mainstream scholars who have examined them, notably the astronomers Ed Krupp and Anthony Fairall.[17] The refuting evidence includes noting that the correspondence of the angles between the pyramids and the angles in Orion’s Belt at that epoch is not in fact precise or even very close, that the “Age of Leo” (period when the Sun’s path appears in this constellation at the equinoxes) in fact starts 1500 years later than this, that the Zodiac of western astrology is known to have originated in Mesopotamia and not pre-ancient Egypt, and that if the Sphinx is meant to represent Leo, then it should be on the other side of the Nile (the “Milky Way”) from the pyramids (“Orion”). Hancock, Bauval, and others have offered counter-arguments to Krupp’s points[18][19][20] and maintain their positions, continuing to publish books based on their theories. The majority of the scientific community regards these ideas as pseudoscience.[21] A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy is the science of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as auroras and cosmic background radiation). ... Edwin C. Krupp is an American astronomer and the director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles since 1974. ... Leo (IPA: , Latin: , symbol , ) is a constellation of the zodiac. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... Western astrology is the system of astrology most popular in Western countries. ... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran. ... Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Great Sphinx of Giza

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... The Great Pyramid is the oldest and the largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa ( ). The oldest and only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is believed to have been constructed over a 20 year period... The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation). ... Pyramids of Giza in 1960s Egypt: Site of Giza or Al Jizah (top center). ... The Giza Pyramids, part of the Giza Necropolis The Giza Necropolis (coordinates ) stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. ... The lion is a general figure in heraldry and the most beloved coat of arms animal. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Translation by D. Mallet, accessible online here.
  2. ^ http://www.gizabuildingproject.com/art_reader1.php
  3. ^ http://www.aeraweb.org/khafre_structures.asp
  4. ^ http://jcolavito.tripod.com/lostcivilizations/id17.html
  5. ^ http://www.gizabuildingproject.com/art_reader1.php
  6. ^ http://www.phouka.com/pharaoh/egypt/history/00kinglists.html
  7. ^ http://www.friesian.com/notes/oldking.htm
  8. ^ “I have solved riddle of the Sphinx, says Frenchman”, newspaper article from The Daily Telegraph. Last retrieved June 28, 2005.
  9. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/12/14/wsphinx14.xml
  10. ^ http://www.gizabuildingproject.com/art_reader1.php
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ http://www.robertschoch.net/Redating%20the%20Great%20Sphinx%20of%20Giza.htm
  13. ^ http://www.thehallofmaat.com/modules.php?name=Articles&file=article&sid=93
  14. ^ http://www.morien-institute.org/sphinx8.html
  15. ^ http://members.aol.com/davidpb4/sphinx1.html
  16. ^ BBC Horizon programme (2000) on alternate theories of Hancock and Bauval
  17. ^ Tony Fairall’s criticisms
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ critiques on the theory as pseudoscience

This article concerns the British newspaper. ... June 28 is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 186 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


// WikiMapia is an online map resource that combines Google Maps with a wiki system, allowing users to add information (in the form of a note) to any location on the globe. ...

Khafres Pyramid (4th dynasty) and Great Sphinx of Giza (c. ... For at least ten thousand years, the Nile valley has been the site of one of the most influential civilizations in the world. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This page lists articles on dynasties of Ancient Egypt. ... Main article: Ancient Egypt The history of ancient Egypt began around 3100 BCE when Egypt became a unified Egyptian state, but archaeological evidence indicates that a developed society had formed much earlier. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article contains a list of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, from the Early Dynastic Period before 3000 BC through to the end of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, when Egypt became a province of Rome under Augustus Caesar in 30 BC. Note that the dates given must be regarded in most... Map of Ancient Egypt List of Ancient Egyptian sites, throughout all of Egypt and Nubia Sites are listed with their classical name whenever possible, else their modern name and last if no other available their ancient name. ... Ancient Egyptian technology is a set of artifacts and customs that lasted for thousands of years. ... The writing systems of ancient Egypt include: Egyptian hieroglyphs Cursive hieroglphs Hieratic Demotic the Coptic alphabet Other texts discovered in Egypt and dating to the period before Islam include those written in: the Greek alphabet the Latin alphabet the Cuneiform script the Old Persian cuneiform script Tifinagh the South Arabian... Egyptology is the study of Ancient Egypt and Egyptian antiquities and is a regional and thematic branch of the larger disciplines of ancient history and archeology. ... Egyptologist is the designation given to an archaeologist or historian who specialises in Egyptology, the scientific study of Ancient Egypt and its antiquities. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sphinx - LoveToKnow 1911 (1275 words)
Sphinxes of granite, andc., occur of the XIIth Dynasty and later.
A falcon-headed sphinx was dedicated to Harmachis in the temple of Abu Simbel, and is occasionally found in sculptures representing the king as Horus, or Mont, the war-god.
Sphinxes of the usual Greek type are represented seated on each side of two doorways in an ancient frieze found by Sir Charles Fellowes at Xanthus in Lycia, and now in the British Museum.
Sphinx (274 words)
In ancient Egypt, the Sphinx is a male statue of a lion with the head of a human, sometimes with wings.
The name "sphinx" was applied to the portraits of kings by the Greeks who visited Egypt in later centuries, because of the similarity of these statues to their Sphinx.
The Greek Sphinx was a demon of death and destruction and bad luck.
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