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Akhenaten as Sphinx

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:12 pm    Post subject: Akhenaten as Sphinx Reply with quote

There are some scenes that depict Akhenaten as a sphinx. There is on in the BMFA and another is in the Kestner Museum in Germany: see link for Kester scene

This makes me wonder if this is just a depiction meant as an imaginary scene and purely symbolic, or if there were actual sphinxes built at Amarna?

In Luxor there is an avenue of sphinxes, would Akhenaten have built something like that? Or could he have erected a sphinx a la Giza (even is small form) with his own face?

I have never heard of any remnants of a sphinx found in Amarna, or even associated with any of his structures at Karnak. He commissioned other large sculptures. Anyone ever heard of a sphinx from the time of Akhenaten?
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Rozette
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anneke wrote :
Quote:
Anyone ever heard of a sphinx from the time of Akhenaten?


Karnak Great temple Avenue of Crio-sphinxes
An entire avenue of sphinxes once bore the heads of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
During the reign of Tutankhamun the heads of Akhenaten and Nefertiti were decapitated and ram heads were substituted.
The altered crio-sphinxes had proctecting figures of Tutankhamun, with later names of Ay, Horemheb, Sethos II and Herihor.

Source : C. Traunecker Aménophis et Néfertiti :
Le couple royal d'après les talatates du IXe pylône de Karnak ,
Bulletin de la Société Française d'Egyptologie
1986, no107, pp. 17-44
Traunacker C. in Egypte , Afrique & orient 14, 1999, 9 fig. – 5 on 10

Anneke wrote :
Quote:
..........................were actual sphinxes built at Amarna


Yes, Akhenaten built an avenue of sphinxes at Amarna

The Great Aten Temple, before any construction was set up, before the temenos wal was built, there must have been some foundation ceremony, perhaps out in the desert where the Sanctuary now stands. As an approach to this temporary gateway was set up, resting on four heavy oblong bases just inside where the main entrance now lies. “From here an avenue of sphinxes, two deep, led eastwards”. But they were later replaced by trees (tree pits, some still containing tree roots, have been excavated). The avenue led up to a small mud-brick shrine which was later built into the main design scheme of the Temple.

Great Temple, Sanctuary East End
Pg. 12 head of sphinx in limestone face broken, 32 high plate LX 1

Pg. 17 The Temple, Per-Hai and Gem-Aten
Hindquarters of recumbent sphinx in limestone 30,4cm
Fitzwilliam Museum
Plate LVIII 3

Source :
The City of Akhenaten:
Part III.
The central city and the official quarters.
The excavations at Tell el-Amarna during the seasons 1926-1927 and 1931-1936, by J. D. S. Pendlebury.

Anneke wrote :
Quote:
There are some scenes that depict Akhenaten as a sphinx. There is on in the BMFA and another is in the Kestner Museum in Germany: see link for Kester scene


Similar blocks representing Akhenaten as a sphinx where discovered in the Great Hall in the South Section of the Great Palace by Pendlebury
Some of these blocks are in the Louvre museum, Brooklyn museum and in Geneva.
Akhenaten's representation of himself as a solar sphinx on the block from Boston 64.1944, whose inscription indicates it derives from a Sunshade. Foster notes that on this block the king is linked through this traditional
imagery with the sun god as he rises in the east, or Re-Horakhty. Akhenaten further demonstrates his unique association with that god by adding worshiping, extended arms to the sphinx. A similar block from the Kestner-Museum
Hanover, 1964.3, , shows the same image of the king as a worshipping sphinx. The inscription again indicates it comes from a Sunshade. A third block representing the king as a sphinx and whose inscription again says it is from a sunshade,
is in the Thalassic Collection, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Halkedis in New York.
Boston 64.1944
Source :
Reconstruction and Identity of Kom el-Nana at Tell el-Amarna:
An Analysis of the decorated stone fragments from Kom el-Nana, and the role of the structures called “Sunshades of Re” in the Amarna Period by
Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson


Kestner museum


Boston museum


Thalassic Collection


Geneva museum

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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed reply Rozette. And the images!

I had not realized it was that common of a scene to be depicted.
I guess the Sphinx was worshipped as the representation of Horemakhet (representing Atum?) by the time of Tuthmosis IV.
But you mention that the king (Akhenaten) is linked through this traditional imagery with the sun god as he rises in the east, or Re-Horakhty That makes sense considering the solar god(s) preferred by Akhenaten.

I had forgotten that the sphinxes in Thebes used to represent Akhenaten and Nefertiti. And I did not realize they had an avenue of sphinxes at Amarna as well
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there is also at least one round plastic representation, from the so called "Karnak - Cachette". See

Michel Azim / Gérard Réveillac : Karnak dans l'objectif de Georges Legrain : catalogue raisonné des archives photographiques du premier directeur des travaux de Karnak de 1895 à 1917. - Paris : CNRS Ed., 2004. - Vol. I: Texte. - XXI, 413 p., Ill. - Vol. II: Planches. - VIII, 335 p., only Ill.

Scans from II - 272 & 273, I - 325 and II - 272 :





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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And from the "Catalogue Général des Antiquités Egyptiennes du Musée du Caire", CG - 42001-42138 / Legrain : Statues et statuettes de rois et de particuliers - I. - Cairo, 1906. - pp. 52 - 53, pl. LV & LVI :






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Montu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Akhenaten as Sphinx Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
There are some scenes that depict Akhenaten as a sphinx. There is on in the BMFA and another is in the Kestner Museum in Germany: see link for Kester scene

This makes me wonder if this is just a depiction meant as an imaginary scene and purely symbolic, or if there were actual sphinxes built at Amarna?

In Luxor there is an avenue of sphinxes, would Akhenaten have built something like that? Or could he have erected a sphinx a la Giza (even is small form) with his own face?

I have never heard of any remnants of a sphinx found in Amarna, or even associated with any of his structures at Karnak. He commissioned other large sculptures. Anyone ever heard of a sphinx from the time of Akhenaten?


Well I don't know but ... when tuthmosis IV uncovered the Spinx didn't he relate it to the solar deity ra horakhty - a composite deity consisting of numerous other ones ONE WHICH was the Aten? (In one of the Aten's earliest forms) so with the evolution and development of Atenism over the following years maybe at some point Akhenaten might have wished to established the Aten as the dominant one of these deitys making up ra Horakhty/the spinx?

I'm probably talking nonsense!
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Montu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grr can't edit my brutal spelling!
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dzama923
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Questions Reply with quote

Besides Amarna and Giza are there any other sites that have the sphinx sculpted? I think Khafre was the one who commissioned the large sphinx at Giza. Are there any other places where kings or queens are associated with sphinxes?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, many. One of the earliest is from the 4th Dynasty, from Abu Roasch, reign of King Djedef-Ra. An female sphinx from his memorial temple.

There are statues with lion's body and human head all over Egypt and Nubia ... See for examples Auaris (from the MK, 12th Dynasty, Hawara ---> reused by Hyksos kings ---> in the NK reused in Piramesse and later in Tanis), Karnak or Soleb (Amenhotep III, 18th Dynasty).

Christiane Zivie-Coche : Sphinx - History of a Monument. - [Translated by David Lorton]. - Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 2002. - ISBN : 0801439620. - XVI, 122 p., 18 figs [map, plan, ills].

Greetings, Lutz.
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