The Sphynx

A sphynx is referred to as a zoomorphic mythological figure that is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head. It is originated from the sculpted figures of old Kingdom Egypt to which ancient Greeks applied their personal name for a female monster, the strangler, an archaic figure of Greek mythology. Similar creatures appear all through South and South-east Asia and the spinx enjoyed a significant revival in European decorative art from the Renaissance onwards. The largest and the best known Sphynx is located close to the Great Pyramid in the Giza valley plateau, located about six miles west of Cairo. It is the biggest single sculpted statue in the world, carved from the bedrock of the plateau. It is oriented due east and faces the rising sun close to the 30th parallel and can well be the oldest monument on the Giza Plateau since long term water wreathing has been discovered in the great pit where it lays. The western term “sphynx” was offered to it in antiquity based on the legendary Greek creature with the body of a lion and head of woman, though, most Egyptian sphynxes have the head of a man. The age old greek term is postulated to be a corruption of antique Egyptian Shesep-ankh. This name was generally applicable to royal statues in the Fourth Dynasty, though it came to be more specifically related to the Great Sphynx in the New Kingdom.

More than 1 million visitors  since sept. 2006

The Sphynx - Travel in Egypt

Welcome    Pictures of Egypt      History     Useful links      Weather in Egypt     Advertise here         Conditions and terms      Contact us                 

The World Web leader for Egypt

The greatest colossal statue in the prehistoric world, the Sphynx is carved out of a single ridge of stone that is 240 feet (73 meters) in length and 66 feet (20 meters) in height. The head that has a noticeably unusual quality from the body, and reveals far less severe erosion, is a unsurprisingly stirring projection of harder stone. For forming the lower body of the Sphynx, huge blocks of stone were excavated from the base rock. While a few obstinate Egyptologists still opine that the Sphynx was established in the fourth dynasty by the Pharaoh Chephren, both geological and archaeological evidences show that the Sphynx is far older than the fourth dynasty and was restored by Chephren during his reign. There aren’t any inscriptions on the Sphynx or on any temples that are related to it, yet the 'Inventory Stele' reveals that the Pharaoh Cheops- Chephren's predecessor – wanted a temple to be constructed alongside the Sphynx thereby implying that the Sphynx was already there, and therefore could not have been constructed by Chephren.

R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz has suggested a much greater age for the Sphynx after taking into consideration the geological evidences. Schwaller de Lubicz observed, and recent geologists like Robert Schoch, Professor of Geology at Boston University have confirmed, that the extreme erosion on the body of the Sphynx could not be the result of wind as well as sand, as has been universally assumed, but instead was the result of water. Geologists hold the opinion that in the distant past Egypt was subjected to severe flooding. There is no scope for wind erosion when the body of the Sphynx is covered by sand and the Sphynx has been in this condition for nearly all of the last five thousand years since the alleged time of its fourth dynasty construction. Over and above, if wind blown sand had caused the deep erosion of the Sphynx there would have been chances of finding evidences of such erosion on other Egyptian monuments built of similar materials and exposed to the wind for a similar length of time. Yet the fact of the matter is that even on structures which have had more exposure to the wind blown sand, there are minimal effects of erosion, the sand having done little more when compared to scour clean the surface of the previously dressed stones.

 

We also get a number of evidences for the great age of the Sphynx can perhaps be indicated by the astronomical significance of its shape, being that of a lion. Approximately every two thousand years and because of the precession of the equinoxes, the sun on the vernal equinox rises against the stellar background of a dissimilar constellation. For the last two thousand years that constellation has been Pisces the fish, symbol of the Christian age. Before the age of the Pisces, it was the era of Aries the Ram and before this it was the age of Taurus, the Bull. It is striking to note that during the second and first millennia BC, roughly the age of Aries, ram oriented iconography was common in Dynastic Egypt, while during the Age of Taurus, the Bull-cult arose in Minoan Crete. It is quite possible that the builders of the Sphynx similarly opted for the astrological symbolism so as to design their monumental sculpture. The geological findings discussed above shows that the Sphynx seems to have been sculpted before 10,000 BC.  Over and above, this period coincides with the Age of Leo the Lion that lasted from 10,970 to 8810 BC. Additional support for this vast age of the sphynx is derived from a astonishing sky-ground correlation proven by complicated computer programs like Skyglobe 3.6. These computer programs help in generating precise pictures of any portion of the night sky as seen from various places on earth at any time in the distant past or future. Graham Hancock makes it clear in Heaven’s Mirror that, “computer simulations reveal that in 10,500 BC the assemblage of Leo housed the sun on the spring equinox - i.e. one hour before dawn in that epoch Leo would have reclined due east down the horizon in the place where the sun would rise soon. This clearly implies that the lion shaped Sphynx together with its due east orientation would have gazed directly on that morning at a single constellation in the sky which might reasonably be considered as its personal celestial counterpart. The previous discussion implies that the monumental sculpture of the Sphynx can have existed at a time when there weren’t any civilizations on earth and human beings had not evolved anything beyond hunter-gatherer lifestyles.