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Secrets of Egypt: (fringe?) new Sphinx theory?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Secrets of Egypt: (fringe?) new Sphinx theory? Reply with quote

I was watching a programme about the Sphinx recently and it seemed to delve into more unconventional theories than usual. I feared at one point that it would veer into the 10000BC fringe when the voiceover said 'was the sphinx built earlier than the pyramids?' but thankfully, this wasn't too bad.

The theory in question comes from a guy called Colin Reader. I've not heard of him...is he one of the fringies? His theory claims that the Sphinx of Giza was built before the pyramids-but not by a lost civilisation! He says it was built when the Egyptians were first starting to work with stone, somewhere around the 2nd dynasty I think? And he claimed the Sphinx was lion headed originally.
He mentions the 'rain worn rock', but doesn't go into Schoch-ing theories about it. I doubt the rain erosion (if that's what it is!) happened in dynastic times either like he suggests. He mentioned that back then Egypt was a savannah-not so! Egypt was a desert way before the pyramids were built (the savannah was prehistoric), and though I'm sure there was some rain during dry times, it wasn't enough to erode so severely-the flash floods that occured were few and far between.
I've never really been convinced by the 'recarving the old sphinx' or 'lion sphinx' theories. Conventionally, the reason why the sphinx has odd proportions would be because of a crack at the back end of the sphinx. Not because of a recarving. He said that the full lion statue was built as a 'symbol of royalty', but doesn't know who it represented-what god, or king, if any? I don't know but there's not much grounding for this theory, not much evidence that I know of? It just seems so speculative.

Also, what do you think of the 'Sphinx is Khufu, not Khafre' theory? Based on the face, beard, Djedefre connections etc? I'm not too convinced by it either. The leading idea of the programme was that the Sphinx was, in a nutshell, built to scare people into building another pyramid for Djedefre! To show the might of Khufu as a god, even hinting at the idea that Khufu was a bit of a tyrant-an idea that I thought was disproved? I know pyramid building drained the economy, but I didn't think that Khufu's reign was one of terror. At least, the good thing was that this programme laid to rest all the 'murder' theories surrounding the family of Djedefre and Khufu. I also didn't know that the British Museum beard was not an original, but a later New Kingdom addition to the sphinx.
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BobManske
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Secrets of Egypt: (fringe?) new Sphinx theory? Reply with quote

I saw the program, too, and thought it interesting, plausible in parts, but not convincing. I have to admit that I fail to see the resemblance between the face on the Sphinx and any statuary that I've seen.

isisinacrisis wrote:
I know pyramid building drained the economy


I don't agree with that. Keeping in mind that ancient Egypt was not a cash society and that most taxes may have been paid in perishable goods (i.e. grain and movable animal stock) and that the Old Kingdom didn't have much else to spend it on other than public works projects, I think the pyramids may have been very affordable as payment to the laborers and supervisors. Else the treasury would rot. The fact that they kept doing it for several generations also indicates that the economy was not seriously strained, if at all. Of course, a bad Nile could put a serious cramp in any royal income.

Bob
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting (related) discussion going on on the EEF mailing list.

There are questions about what the earliest known sphinx images are.

A large part of the discussion focused on a sphinx from Abu Roash. This sphinx is sometimes said to depict Hetepheres II, the daughter of Khufu, wife of Crown Prince Kawab, and likely wife of her half brother Djedefre.

It's not clear to me why this sphinx is thought to depict Hetepheres II, as the statue is not inscribed?

Jon Bodsworth alerted the EEF list of these photographs of the sphinx:
http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/Cairo_2003_055.jpg
http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/Cairo_2003_053.jpg
http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/Cairo_2003_081.jpg
http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/Cairo_2003_051.jpg

Not sure how one would tell if the image depicts a man vs a woman?

It is interesting that this statue predates the reign of Khafre. And I guess conventional wisdom holds that the Great Sphinx dates to the time of Khafre.

There is also mention of a small sphinx (ceramic) found in Saqqara. This sphinx holds a cartouche of Khufu between it's paws and may actually date to the early part of the 4th dynasty.

Still a big change from more or less portable size sphinxes to something as big as the Great Sphinx at Giza.

Another issue is the question of when the sphinx attained it's human head. Apparently the early Saqqara sphinx may have had a leonine head instead of a human one.

I'm not sure what the reason would be to assume the Sphinx predates the whole Giza pyramid complex? I guess it's always possible. I didn't see the documentary, so I don't know what the arguments are (beyond what the other posters mentioned).

But the whole question of the development of the sphinx form is interesting.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw parts of that program too, Isi. When speaking about the Sphinx belonging to Khufu instead of Khafra, I thought it was a very interesting point about the sphinx perhaps being meant to be viewed in profile, as they are depicted in art, instead of face-on. That does add some validity to the sphinx being Khufu's, in my opinion. Wink
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of the stuff I've seen is pretty set on the Sphinx being carved/constructed during Khafre's reign (with a slight possibility of Djedefre's), but the assumption always seems to be that the statue would always show the reigning king. What's there to have stopped them from carving their dad's face on it? Certainly "Khufu and his sons" loomed large in later legend, and I find it interesting that the "-re" portion of the name came in with Khufu's successors... maybe referring right back to Khufu as a "Sun King" a la Amenhotep III and Louis XIV...
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Hathorhotep
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have beautiful sphinx of Hetepheres II.
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Toth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw that documentary years ago, and hope to have it on DVD soon, but I remember that it was supposed to be looking at Sirius and how that changed because of a shift in Earth's Axis, then came the flood... That is all I remember of it. Tourists, those damned tourists who have to scratch in everything. Whether it's the King's Son, or a 20th century tourist they both should be spanked Laughing Seriously though, one wonders what else may have been damaged beyond repair.
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NefertariMut
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This program was just on this past weekend and I saw it too. It wasn't the first time that I saw it but I guess the more times that you view something, the more you get out of it.

I always appreciate the different theories posed by Egyptologists during these types of programs because they always leave you wondering if their idea is even feasible.

I don't know if any of the theories can actually be proven true however for some reason, I'm leaning towards Sphinx as Khafre. The arguments posed for this seemed to agree with me, I guess.
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Patrick Giles
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Oriental Institute in Chigago has proven that there was a lot of rain during the Old Kingdom. I'm surprised they do not mention this in regards to the Sphinx erosion. Sir Flinders Petrie also mentions the occurrence of rain in Egypt as he described drainage channels that were built specifically for rainwater removal. He states that they were well-worn by water erosion.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Giles wrote:
The Oriental Institute in Chigago has proven that there was a lot of rain during the Old Kingdom. ...

Could you please give the source for this statement? In which publication of the OI of whom proved ? Thanks.

Greetings, Lutz.
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was the name of the documentary and channel?
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Hathorhotep
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't sphinx, according to new theory, Djedefra's?
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Toth
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leila wrote:
My head is spinning with the info that I'm learnig juat by reading comments on this thread but good job guys thumbleft I really enjoyed reading


notworthy


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Hello Leila,

First Welcome to Egyptian Dreams! You're planning to go to Egypt? because you advertise three travel sites in your signature...

Believe me, I know the feeling; and after joining I was kept busy reading the older threads, downloading and reading PDF-files (and printing the most important ones now), following links to other AE sites, but -as you can see by looking at the "posting" number under my name - I didn't stop there. You will find a very warm platform for learning and sharing information about Ancient Egypt, with friendly moderators and Admin; as long as you won't try to change it into your own advertising platform!

Richard, aka
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Toth
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hathorhotep wrote:
Wasn't sphinx, according to new theory, Djedefra's?


Hello Hathorhotep,

Do you have a link or a link to a document to illustrate that new theory?

Richard
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Hathorhotep
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have but I am now in school. How are you? The sun is shining and Amsterdam is beautiful in its light?


You know, I was serching for Kawab's image and I found this video (I will show you link, wait a minute).
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