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THE SPHINX

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Author Topic: THE SPHINX  (Read 8326 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2007, 07:41:32 am »








                           Two-Stage Construction of the Sphinx and Valley Temples

 



          As far as can be determined, the core of the Sphinx Temple (and possibly the core of the Valley Temple) is constructed out of titanic limestone blocks taken directly from the ditch around the Sphinx.[11]Therefore, the limestone core of the Sphinx Temple (and also possibly the Valley Temple) must be as old as the great sculpture itself.

 

          The ancient Egyptians later faced the limestone cores of these temples with ashiars made of Aswan granite. Based on my field observations of the granite ashiars and the underlying limestone core blocks, I believe that the core blocks in both temples were exposed to the elements and underwent considerable weathering and erosion before the granite facings were installed. In places the backs of the granite blocks were cut in irregular, undulating patterns so that they complemented or matched the irregular weathering patterns on the limestone blocks which they were used to refurbish. In observing the Valley Temple in particular, one also notes that the limestone walls, where stripped of their granite facings, are not cut smoothly. Rather, they have a higgledy-piggledy surface pattern, where apparently the ancient Egyptians, before applying the Aswan-granite facings, slightly cut back and smoothed out the weathered surface of the walls, they did not, however, take off enough of this weathered surface to make the walls perfectly smooth.

 

          The general Egyptological community is in agreement that the granite facings on the Sphinx and Valley temples are attributable to King Khafre.[12] On site I found an inscription carved into the granite of the Valley Temple which appears,[13] on stylistic grounds, to be of Old Kingdom date. It seems a good assumption that the limestone core blocks would have been freshly cut-that is, unweathered-when initially used in construction of the Sphinx-associated temples. Therefore, it the granite facings cover deeply weathered limestone, the original limestone structures must predate by a considerable degree their granite facings. Obviously, if the limestone cores (originating from the Sphinx ditch) predate the granite ashlars (facings), and the latter are attributable to Khafre of the Fourth Dynasty, then the Great Sphinx was carved prior to the reign of that king.
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