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The Abydos temple as a Sphinx....and more

 
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abydosphinx
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: The Abydos temple as a Sphinx....and more Reply with quote

Hello,

I couldn't find any evidence on online Egyptology about the temple of Abydos being built in the form of a Sphinx (profile) in front of a much older temple representing a Scarab. Also the plan of the Luxor temple looks to me as a Horus falcon seen from the front.

http://www.lucabonvini.net/abydosphinx

Anyone can give me an indication about were can I find some literature about this possible theory? There has been a discussion about this designs? Is this worth a discussion?

Thank you,
Lb
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abydosphinx
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....then my theory will be:

The Pharao who wanted the temple built was in ave of the Giza complex built in high antiquity, and at that time still magnificent; having what we call the Osireion, at that time supposedly still in magnificent conditions, erected the magnificent temple in form of a sphinx to enhance and develop the plan from his ancestors that was in Giza: that is, the sphinx with its lower temple in front of it

Any comment?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never heard about this theory.

And I must admit that it doesn't make much sense to me.

The first picture on the link provided would suggest that the temple has similar dimensions to that of a sphinx lying on its side? I don't see why the egyptians would want to do anything like that.

And the second one doesn't even match. I don't see any correllation between the horus statue and the super-imposed temple plan.

If they wanted to pay homage to the Sphinx, then the more logical thing to do would have been for them to erect a sphinx statue in the Abydos location.
And I do not remember hearing or reading about a sphinx erected at Abydos. That would be interesting though Smile
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, but I have to go along with anneke here. I can't see (in the photos) how by any stetch of the imagination a sphinx in the floorplan at Abydos, nor any similarities at all with the Horus-floorplan connection.
Wishful thinking, perhaps?
But not in reality, in my opinion.
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abydosphinx
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



And this one? after all I think it was J.A.West who said there was another wing symmetrical to the remaining one. Is it not a sacred bird temple? How has that remaining wing being explained?

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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All major temples were meant to represent the cosmos, with the holy-of-holies symbolizing the mound of creation. Most of these temples were added onto by generations of pharaohs, but the concept of the cosmos remained the same. We can look for all the shapes we want to, but we need to understand this architecture from the perspective of the culture that created it.

As anneke said, had they wanted to pay homage to the Sphinx or any sphinx, they would've simply built a sphinx. The same is true for the Horus falcon. They would not have been so indirect about it.
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abydosphinx
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
All major temples were meant to represent the cosmos, with the holy-of-holies symbolizing the mound of creation. Most of these temples were added onto by generations of pharaohs, but the concept of the cosmos remained the same. We can look for all the shapes we want to, but we need to understand this architecture from the perspective of the culture that created it.

As anneke said, had they wanted to pay homage to the Sphinx or any sphinx, they would've simply built a sphinx. The same is true for the Horus falcon. They would not have been so indirect about it.

................................................Idea
And there was not falcons and Sphynxs in their culture?
Which forms would have the Pharaos approved from his architects' designs on papyrus or flat stones?
Would not they want to pray surrounded by symbols inside the representatives of their gods as later the Christian church did by building the Church temple in the form of Christ?
They really would have again at that epoch 'simply' built a Sphinx?
Could not have been this particular temple the depositary of the most ancient inner meaning of the Sphinx?
How would have they be more 'direct' in giving a form to a temple?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And there was not falcons and Sphynxs in their culture?


Of course there were. Both were common motifs until the end of pagan times. But if they wanted to venorate Horus in any particular fashion, they would carve a statue of the falcon-god. And if they wanted to portray the king as a mighty guardian, they would carve a sphinx (as only one example, for there were numerous ways to depict the king as guardian).

My point is, they did not build temples in the shapes of animals. They built them to represent the cosmos. Note in your illustrations from Karnak the shape and plan--very standard ancient Egyptian temple design. The farther back one goes, the more streamlined and "secretive" the plan gets. It is more open and airy toward the front, where the hypostyle hall represents the papyri and lotuses of the marsh at the dawn of time, and culminates in the dark and confined spaces of the holy-of-holies, to represent the mound of creation and birthplace of the god.

Quote:
Would not they want to pray surrounded by symbols inside the representatives of their gods as later the Christian church did by building the Church temple in the form of Christ?


The temple itself was a symbol, but not of a sphinx or falcon or scarab. Again, the cosmos. There was plenty of statuary, and of course the densely inscribed walls (inside and outside), to provide symbols and imagery of the divine. And I wouldn't use a Christian church as a comparison--there are few similarities between an ancient Egyptian temple and Christian church, in form or function.

Quote:
Could not have been this particular temple the depositary of the most ancient inner meaning of the Sphinx?


I think the authors you've been reading have been placing a bit too much emphasis on the Sphinx. The Egyptians built more sphinxes than we'll ever know because they were simply symbolic of the king as a guardian figure. We can again return to the illustrations of the Karnak complex you posted earlier. Stretching from the south end is a roadway called "the avenue of sphinxes." It goes south to the Luxor complex. Either side of the road was lined by small sphinx statues. Sphinxes were common motifs and the Egyptians were very direct when representing them.

Also something to note, and it has to do with the nature of the Karnak complex. This J. A. West fellow who wrote that there "was another wing symmetrical to the remaining one," is clearly incorrect in this argument. The wing "added on" in your illustration breaches the northern wall and, had such a thing ever existed, it would've wiped out part of the very important Precinct of Montu, the complex outside the northern wall. The only notable structure inside the northern wall was a smallish temple built for the veneration of Ptah. There's no archaeological evidence that anything grander ever existed in that area of the enclosure.

Karnak was not always such a colossus. In fact, in the time of Tuthmosis III it was probably only a fraction of the size as we see it now. Each succeeding pharaoh added on to it in one place or another, including Akhenaten (at the start of his reign). That wing stretching from the south side of the Great Amun Temple is a good example. The large enclosure at the south edge of the wall includes, for example, a temple added on by Amunhotep II. And the more time went on, the more the Amun structures stretched out toward the west (which is why there were so many pylons in that area).

So for the argument espoused by your sources to be true, we would have to believe that more than 1,500 years of pharaohs were working in concert, generation after generation, just to turn the Amun complex into a giant falcon in the desert. You can see how shaky this argument is.

A major complex like Karnak was a work in progress, each pharaoh adding his "touch" so as to immortalize himself in that temple, and in many cases each pharaoh trying to outdo the preceding ruler.
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