Historians Gerry Cannon and Malcolm Hutton had their suspicions about the possibility of a second sphinx after examining depictions of sphinxes in ancient Egyptian art that often show two together - one male and one female. The historians believe there were originally two sphinxes at the Giza site which guarded an elaborate maze of underground temples and tunnels. According to the historians, Ancient Egyptians believed at sunset the sun travelled through a tunnel inside the Earth and dawn came when the sun rose after emerging from the other end of the tunnel with the passage guarded at either end by the deity, depicted by either two lions or one joined together looking in opposite directions.
Although the possibility of a second female sphinx existing is nothing new the historians believe they could have found where it has been buried for thousands of years. The second sphinx, so the historians believe, is located on a second mound alongside the male sphinx, standing guard in front of one of the Great Pyramids. But who carried out the backbreaking work of creating the Sphinx? In , an American tourist was riding in the desert half a mile south of the Sphinx when she was thrown from her horse after it stumbled on a low mud-brick wall.
Hawass investigated and discovered an Old Kingdom cemetery. Some people were buried there, with tombs belonging to overseers—identified by inscriptions recording their names and titles—surrounded by the humbler tombs of ordinary laborers. Near the cemetery, nine years later, Lehner discovered his Lost City. He and Hawass had been aware since the mids that there were buildings at that site. At its heart were four clusters of eight long mud-brick barracks.
Each structure had the elements of an ordinary house—a pillared porch, sleeping platforms and a kitchen—that was enlarged to accommodate around 50 people sleeping side by side.
The barracks, Lehner says, could have accommodated between 1, to 2, workers—or more, if the sleeping quarters were on two levels. Lehner thinks ordinary Egyptians may have rotated in and out of the work crew under some sort of national service or feudal obligation to their superiors. Forty-five centuries ago, the Egyptians lacked iron or bronze tools. They mainly used stone hammers, along with copper chisels for detailed finished work. Lehner and Brown estimate one laborer might carve a cubic foot of stone in a week.
At that rate, they say, it would take people three years to complete the Sphinx. Exactly what Khafre wanted the Sphinx to do for him or his kingdom is a matter of debate, but Lehner has theories about that, too, based partly on his work at the Sphinx Temple. Remnants of the temple walls are visible today in front of the Sphinx.
They surround a courtyard enclosed by 24 pillars. The temple plan is laid out on an east-west axis, clearly marked by a pair of small niches or sanctuaries, each about the size of a closet. The Swiss archaeologist Herbert Ricke, who studied the temple in the late s, concluded the axis symbolized the movements of the sun; an east-west line points to where the sun rises and sets twice a year at the equinoxes, halfway between midsummer and midwinter.
Lehner spotted something perhaps even more remarkable. If you stand in the eastern niche during sunset at the March or September equinoxes, you see a dramatic astronomical event: The Sphinx itself, it seems, symbolized the pharaoh presenting offerings to the sun god in the court of the temple. Equally intriguing, Lehner discovered that when one stands near the Sphinx during the summer solstice, the sun appears to set midway between the silhouettes of the pyramids of Khafre and Khufu.
Collectively, Lehner describes the complex as a cosmic engine, intended to harness the power of the sun and other gods to resurrect the soul of the pharaoh. This transformation not only guaranteed eternal life for the dead ruler but also sustained the universal natural order, including the passing of the seasons, the annual flooding of the Nile and the daily lives of the people. In this sacred cycle of death and revival, the Sphinx may have stood for many things: There are signs the Sphinx was unfinished.
The Lost Sphinx of Giza—Experts claim there was a second Sphinx near the Pyramids
The north edge of the ditch surrounding the Sphinx contains segments of bedrock that are only partially quarried. Apparently, the workers walked off the job. It would sit ignored for the next seven centuries, when it spoke to a young royal. In a dream, the statue, calling itself Horemakhet—or Horus-in-the-Horizon, the earliest known Egyptian name for the statue—addressed him.
It complained about its ruined body and the encroaching sand. Horemakhet then offered Thutmose the throne in exchange for help.
An Unexplored Mound
Whether or not the prince actually had this dream is unknown. Across Egypt, sphinxes appeared everywhere in sculptures, reliefs and paintings, often depicted as a potent symbol of royalty and the sacred power of the sun. In keeping with the legend of Horemakhet, Thutmose may well have led the first attempt to restore the Sphinx. When Lehner is in the United States, typically about six months per year, he works out of an office in Boston, the headquarters of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, a nonprofit organization Lehner directs that excavates the Lost City and trains young Egyptologists.
At a meeting with him at his office this past fall, he unrolled one of his countless maps of the Sphinx on a table. Pointing to a section where an old tunnel had cut into the statue, he said the elements had taken a toll on the Sphinx in the first few centuries after it was built. The temple site of Menkare in particular may have been a former lagoon when the sea level covered the Necropolis, the Sphinx, the complex of temples and other monuments of the area.
According to El Morsi, the flooding, was quite significant, peaking at about 75 meters above current sea level and creating a coastline spanning to the Khafra enclosure near the Sphinx at the temple of Menkare. Is it possible that the Sphinx was created by a civilization that predates the ancient Egyptian?
Could it be that the Giza plateau was in fact flooded in the distant past? There are numerous mysteries surrounding both the Sphinx and the surrounding monuments, yet one thing has remained unchanged for centuries, the beauty that these majestic structures irradiate. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Hancock, Graham; Bauval, Robert. The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind.
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Uncovering Secrets of the Sphinx | History | Smithsonian
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I watched a show in which they did computer analysis of the symmetry of the faces on some of the very large ancient statues. They were almost exact mirror images. Something that could not have been accomplished by artists doing it freehand.
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