The Great Sphinx of Giza

Carved from the bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is truly a mysterious marvel from the days of ancient Egypt. The Sphinx of Giza is a symbol that has represented the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. The body of a lion with the head of a king or god, the sphinx has come to symbolize strength and wisdom.

From the north side the profile of the Sphinx reveals the proportion of the body to the head. It would appear as though the head is small in proportion to the body. Because of the changing desert terrain, the body of the Sphinx has been buried several times over the past several thousand years. Most recently in 1905, the sand has been cleared away to expose the magnitude and beauty of the entirety of the Sphinx. The paws themselves are 15m long while the entire length is 73.5m. The head is 10m long and 4m wide. Because certain layers of the stone are softer than others, there is a high degree of erosion that has claimed the original detail of the carved figure.

The Sphinx is one of the best known monuments on Earth and dates back over 4,500 years to the Old Kingdom and the time of 4th Dynasty King, Khafre (2558-2532 BCE), builder of the second largest pyramid on the Giza plateau on Cairo’s outskirts. The head of the Sphinx probably depicts Khafre, while the body is that of a recumbent lion. The Sphinx lines up with the Pyramid of Khafre at the foot of its causeway. As one rounds the northeast corner to the front of the Sphinx, the alignment of the two structures becomes more apparent.

The Sphinx was originally sculptured from a limestone outcrop and, for most of its history, the Sphinx has been at least partly covered in sand. The first recorded clearing took place in the 18th Dynasty when a prince, who later became the pharaoh Thutmose IV, ordered that the sand be removed. This happened after he supposedly had a dream in which he was told that he would become pharaoh if he cleared the Sphinx. In between the paws of the Sphinx is a stela, now called the “Dream Stela”, which is inscribed with that story.

The 18th Dynasty story tells of the time that Thutmosis IV fell asleep under the Sphinx, which was covered, to the neck in sand. Thutmosis had a dream that the Sphinx spoke to him and promised that if he would free the Sphinx from the sand, Thutmosis would be destined to become king of Egypt.

Although the head of the Sphinx is badly battered in some places, traces of the original paint can still be seen near one ear. Originally it is believed that the Sphinx was painted and was quite colorful. Since then, the nose and beard have been broken away. The nose was the unfortunate victim of target practice by the Turks in the Turkish period. It is often erroneously assumed that Napoleon?s men shot off the nose, but 18th century drawings reveal that the nose was missing long before Napoleon’s arrival.

Unfortunately, in recent centuries, the Sphinx has suffered greatly from the influence of man and exposure to the environment. Numerous attempts have been made to restore the figure and additional modern limestone blocks have been added around the base.

In front of the Sphinx is its temple, while adjacent to it is the better-preserved Valley Temple of Khafre. A causeway, seen behind the Sphinx in the photograph above, connected Khafre’s Mortuary Temple next to his pyramid with the Valley Temple. At night, Sound & Light shows are performed at Giza and the audience is seated in an area located to the left of this view.

Recently, the Sphinx has undergone a major restoration effort, done solely by Egyptians. Here is how the back right paw appears after this fine work. The top of the paw was purposely left unfinished, which demonstrates the difference between the original rock and the quality of the restoration. Also notice the tail of the Sphinx, which wraps around this right side.

The left or North side of the Sphinx was restored last, and here is how the left paw appears now. Notice how carved bricks were use to perform the restoration. These were hand cut and carefully fitted into place by modern day Egyptian craftsmen and rock cutters.

Dr. Robert Schoch, a geologist and professor from Boston University decided he would examine the new findings and come up with his own answers. He agreed with West’s conclusion regarding the water erosion, and remarked that it was due to the torrential rains pouring down on Egypt’s monuments at that time, so why are there no other water erosions found in Egypt to validate his theory? Surely there wasn’t just a cloud raining down on the Sphinx?

Again Egyptologist’s dismissed Schoch’s theory, saying that the great rain storms that once happened over Egypt had stopped long before the Sphinx was built. Then in stepped Robert Buvaul with his own theory behind the Sphinx’s true age.
His own words explain his theory:

?In 1989 I published a paper in the Oxford Journal, Discussions In Egyptology (vol. 13), in which I demonstrated that the three Great Pyramids and their relative position to the Nile created on the ground a sort of 3-D ‘hologram’ of the three stars of Orion’s belt and their relative position to the Milky Way. To support this contention, I brought into evidence the inclined shaft in the Great Pyramid which were aimed at the south meridian towards these group of stars as well as written evidence from the Pyramid Texts that identified the afterlife destiny of the pyramid-kings with Orion.

Later in my book The Orion Mystery (Heinemann-Mandarin) I also demonstrated that the best fit for the Giza Pyramids/Nile pattern with the Orion’s belt/Milky Way pattern occurred when the sky was pushed back in time (i.e. precessed) to the epoch of 10,500 BC. There were good reasons for doing so.

The ancient Egyptians, for example, constantly refer to a remote golden age they called Zep Tepi, ‘The First Time’ of Osiris, which they believed had long predated the Pyramid Age. Osiris was Orion, and the Great Pyramid had a shaft directed to Orion at the meridian. To me, this ‘silent’ astro-architectural language seemed to be spelling out ‘here is Osiris in the sky when these pyramids were built, yet know, too, that his origins are rooted in the First Time.’ But the ‘First Time’ of what? How could the stars of Orion have a ‘First Time’?

Well they can. And they do. Provided, of course, that you can read through the allegorical ‘language’ of the ancients via the symbolic architecture and the related Pyramid Texts. Allegory, to put it in another way, is the ‘Q-Basics’ of the master astronomers who designed the Giza complex. When the stars of Orion are observed at the meridian in the precise manner that the ancient Egyptian astronomers did over many centuries, the could not help noting that these stars crossed the south meridian at different altitudes at different epoch. This is, of course, due to the phenomenon of Precession (see The Orion Mystery, appendices 1 and 2). In short, the stars of Orion can be said to have a starting point or ‘beginning’ at the nadir of their precessional cycle. Simple calculations show that this occurred in 10,500 BC. Could the ancient astronomers of the Pyramid Age have used their very clever ‘silent language’ combined with Precession to freeze the ‘First Time’ of Osiris - somewhat like the gifted architects of gothic cathedral froze in its allegorical stonework the ‘time of Christ’?

In the summer of 1993 Graham Hancock and I got together to investigate this issue further. Graham was quick to realised the important implications this approach could have on the Sphinx problem. He had a hunch that the curious harking back to the epoch of 10,500 BC by the pyramid builders of Giza was an invitation by them to consider the actual age of the Sphinx. If this hypothesis was correct, then the Sphinx must be an ‘original’ time-marker of that remote epoch using an obvious celestial tag valid for 10,500 BC. But which tag? What could the Sphinx be representing that was in the sky? Could this have something to do with the due east direction of its gaze towards the horizon? ?

Many people seem to validate his theory but maybe we will never truly understand the reasons behind these great monuments, we can only listen to the theory’s behind the mystery and come to our own conclusions, until we are given unquestionable proof their will always be people wanting to knock others idea’s, but please keep an open mind to all possibilities and try to enjoy the experience.