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THE SPHINX

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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2007, 01:38:16 pm »








Restoration





After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned, the Sphinx became buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first attempt to dig it out dates back to 1400 BC, when the young Tutmosis IV formed an excavation party which, after much effort, managed to dig the front paws out. Tutmosis IV had a granite stela known as the Dream Stela placed between the paws. The stela reads, in part:

...the royal son, Thothmos, having been arrived, while walking at midday and seating himself under the shadow of this mighty god, was overcome by slumber and slept at the very moment when Ra is at the summit (of heaven). He found that the Majesty of this august god spoke to him with his own mouth, as a father speaks to his son, saying: Look upon me, contemplate me, O my son Thothmos; I am thy father, Harmakhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum; I bestow upon thee the sovereignty over my domain, the supremacy over the living ... Behold my actual condition that thou mayest protect all my perfect limbs. The sand of the desert whereon I am laid has covered me. Save me, causing all that is in my heart to be executed.


Ramesses II may have also performed restoration work on the Sphinx.

It was in 1817 that the first modern dig, supervised by Captain Caviglia, uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entirety of the Sphinx was finally dug out in 1925.
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2007, 01:40:07 pm »


The Great Sphinx on December 26, 1925, undergoing restoration.
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2007, 01:41:39 pm »








Missing nose





The one-metre-wide nose on the face is missing. Some legends claim that the nose was broken off by a cannon ball fired by Napoléon’s soldiers and that it still survives, as do diverse variants indicting British troops, Mamluks, and others. However, sketches of the Sphinx by Frederick Lewis Norden made in 1737 and published in 1755 illustrate the Sphinx without a nose. The Egyptian historian al-Maqrizi, writing in the fifteenth century, attributes the vandalism to Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, a Sufi fanatic from the khanqah of Sa'id al-Su'ada. In 1378, upon finding the Egyptian peasants making offerings to the Sphinx in the hope of increasing their harvest, Sa'im al-Dahr was so outraged that he destroyed the nose, and was lynched for vandalism. Al-Maqrizi describes the Sphinx as the “Nile talisman” on which the locals believed the cycle of inundation depended.

Another possible reason for the missing nose is the action of 6000 years of wind and weather on the soft limestone.

Curious and droll fictional explanations of the nose’s disappearance occasionally appear in modern entertainment set in vaguely appropriate times, such as in Asterix and Cleopatra.

In addition to the lost nose, a ceremonial pharaonic beard is thought to have been attached, although this may have been added in later periods after the original construction. Egyptologist Rainer Stadelmann has posited that the rounded divine beard may not have existed in the Old or Middle Kingdoms, only being conceived of in the New Kingdom to identify the Sphinx with the god Horemakhet (citation needed-see ref.11&12). This may also relate to the later fashion of pharaohs, which was to wear a plaited beard of authority—a false beard (chin straps are actually visible on some statues), since Egyptian culture mandated that men be clean shaven. Pieces of this beard are today kept in the British Museum and the Egyptian Museum
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2007, 01:45:01 pm »








Centuries of Sphinx images





In the last 700 years there is an endless number of travel report from Lower Egypt (unlike Upper Egypt, where reports prior to the mid 18th century is a rarity), Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta, Cairo and the Giza Pyramids are described repeatedly, but not necessarily comprehensible. Many have gained fame and fortune, due to their often highly popular works, such as; George Sandys, André Thévet, Athanasius Kircher, Balthasar de Monconys, Jean de Thévenot, John Greaves, Johann Michael Vansleb, Benoît de Maillet, Cornelis de Bruijn, Paul Lucas, Richard Pococke, Frederic Louis Norden and many more. But there is an even larger crowd of much more anonymous people, that have left us reports, whose work exist only in obscure and little read works, sometimes only as unpublished manuscripts in libraries and private collection, such as; Henry Castela, Hans Ludwig von Lichtenstein, Michael Heberer von Bretten, Wilhelm von Boldensele, Pierre Belon du Mans, Vincent Stochove, Christophe Harant, Gilles Fermanel, Robert Fauvel, Jean Palerne Foresien, Willian Lithgow, Joos van Ghistele, etc.

Despite this it took Europeans some time to focus accurately on the image of the Sphinx. Seven years after visiting Giza, André Thévet (Cosmographie de Levant, 1556) describes the Sphinx as "the head of a colossus, cause to be made by Isis, daughter of Inachus, then so beloved of Jupiter". He pictured it as a curly haired monster with a grassy dog collar. Athanasius Kircher (never visited Egypt) depicts the Sphinx as a Roman statue, reflecting his ability to conceptualize, rather than to depict accurately (Turris Babel, 1679). Johannes Helferich's (1579) Sphinx is a pinched-face round breasted women with straight hair, the only edge over Thevet that the hair suggests the flaring lappets of the headdress. George Sandys states that the Sphinx is a harlot; Balthasar de Monconys interpret the headdress as a kind of hairnet, while François de La Boullaye-Le Gouz's Sphinx is a rounded hairdo with bulky collar. Richard Pococke's Sphinx is an adoption of Cornelis de Bruijn's drawing of 1698, featuring only minor changes, but is closer to the actual appearance of the Sphinx than anything previously. With Norden arrives the first near realistic drawings of the Sphinx (Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie, 1755), and he is the first known to depict the missing nose.
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2007, 01:47:00 pm »








Mythology





The Great Sphinx was believed to stand as a guardian of the Giza Plateau, where it faces the rising sun. It was the focus of solar worship in the Old Kingdom, centered in the adjoining temples built around the time of its probable construction. Its animal form, the lion, has long been a symbol associated with the sun in ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Images depicting the Egyptian king in the form of a lion smiting his enemies appear as far back as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. During the New Kingdom, the Sphinx became more specifically associated with the god Hor-em-akhet (Greek Harmachis) or Horus at the Horizon, which represented the Pharaoh in his role as the Shesep ankh of Atum (living image of Atum). A temple was built to the northeast of the Sphinx by King Amenhotep II, nearly a thousand years after its construction, dedicated to the cult of Horemakhet.





Alternative theories





In common with many famous constructions of remote antiquity, the Great Sphinx has over the years been the subject of numerous alternative theories and assertions. These alternative theories of the origin, purpose and history of the monument typically invoke a wide array of sources and associations, such as neighboring cultures, astrology, lost continents and civilizations (e.g. Atlantis), numerology, mythology and other esoteric subjects.
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2007, 01:51:11 pm »








Water erosion





French scholar, mathematician, philosopher, and amateur Egyptologist R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz in the 1950s was the first to note water erosion to the Sphinx, an idea expanded upon by writer John Anthony West in the 1970s.

In the 1990s Robert M. Schoch of Boston University investigated the geology of the Sphinx at the urging of John Anthony West, and concluded based solely on the geological evidence that the Sphinx must be much older than currently believed. Schoch has argued that the particular weathering found on the body of the Sphinx and surrounding “ditch” or “hollow” the monument was carved from, displays evidence that can only be caused from prolonged water erosion.

Egypt’s last time period where there was a significant amount of rainfall ended during the late 4th to early 3rd millennium BC. Schoch claims the amount of water erosion the Sphinx has experienced indicates a construction date no later than the 6th millennium BC or 5th millennium BC, at least two thousand years before the widely accepted construction date and 1500 years prior to the accepted date for the beginning of Egyptian civilization.

English geologist and secretary of The Manchester Ancient Egypt Society Colin Reader who has studied the weathering patterns as well, agrees the weathering occurred from heavy water erosion, but concludes that the Sphinx is only several hundred years older than the traditionally accepted date believing the Sphinx to be a product of the Early Dynastic period.

Independently, geologist David Coxill has also come forward to confirm in principle Schoch’s findings, but like Reader has taken a more conservative approach to the dating of the Sphinx, yet concludes: “Nevertheless, it (the Sphinx) is clearly older than the traditional date for the origins of the Sphinx-in the reign of Khafre, 2520-2490 B.C.” 

Both Schoch and Reader base their conclusions not only on the Sphinx and surrounding enclosure, but have also taken into account other congruent weathering features found on the Giza plateau from monuments such as the Sphinx Temple which are known to be consistent with the time period the Sphinx was constructed.

Because these conclusions require a re-dating of the Sphinx to an earlier time, this theory has not been accepted by mainstream Egyptologists. Alternative theories offered by Egytologists to explain this type of erosion include wind and sand, acid rain, exfoliation or the poor quality of the limestone used to construct the Sphinx.

Schoch, Reader, and Coxill have independently argued, regardless of when the Sphinx was actually built, that none of these explanations can account for what they consider as geologists to be “classic” water erosion patterns which clearly differ from erosion caused by wind and sand as suggested by Egytologists.

Schoch has also noted as have others that the clearly evident disproportionately small size of the head compared to the body suggests the head to have been originally that of a lion, but later re-carved to give the likeness of a pharaoh. This implies that the Egyptian Kings were the inheritors of an already existing structure of which they re-made in their own image to give provenance over the monument.
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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2007, 01:54:07 pm »








Hancock and Bauval





One well-publicised debate was generated by the works of two writers, Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, in a series of separate and collaborative publications from the late 1980s onwards.

Their claims include that the construction of the Great Sphinx and the monument at Tiwanaku in modern Bolivia was begun in 10,500 BC; that the Sphinx's lion-shape is a definitive reference to the constellation of Leo; and that the layout and orientation of the Sphinx, the Giza pyramid complex and the Nile River is an accurate reflection or “map” of the constellations of Leo, Orion (specifically, Orion’s Belt) and the Milky Way, respectively.

Their initial claims regarding the alignment of the Giza pyramids with Orion (“…the three pyramids were an unbelievably precise terrestrial map of the three stars of Orion’s belt”— Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods, 1995, p.375) are later joined with speculation about the age of the Sphinx (Hancock and Bauval, Keeper of Genesis, published 1997 in the U.S. as The Message of the Sphinx). By 1998’s The Mars Mystery, they contend:

…we have demonstrated with a substantial body of evidence that the pattern of stars that is “frozen” on the ground at Giza in the form of the three pyramids and the Sphinx represents the disposition of the constellations of Orion and Leo as they looked at the moment of sunrise on the spring equinox during the astronomical “Age of Leo” (i.e., the epoch in which the Sun was “housed” by Leo on the spring equinox.) Like all precessional ages this was a 2,160-year period. It is generally calculated to have fallen between the Gregorian calendar dates of 10,970 and 8810 BC. (op. cit., p.189)

A date of 10,500 B.C. is chosen because they maintain this is the only time in the precession of the equinoxes when the astrological age was Leo and when that constellation rose directly east of the Sphinx at the vernal equinox. They also suggest that in this epoch the angles between the three stars of Orion’s Belt and the horizon was an “exact match” to the angles between the three main Giza pyramids.



This time period coincidentally also coincides with the American psychic Edgar Cayce’s “dating” of Atlantis. These and other theories are used to support the overall belief in an advanced and ancient, but now vanished, global progenitor civilization.


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Great Sphinx of GizaGreat Pyramid of Giza
Sphinx
Giza
Giza pyramid complex
Lion (heraldry)


www.wikipedia.com
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« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2007, 02:08:23 pm »










                                  HISTORY OF THE CONSERVATION OF THE SPHINX





by Dr. Zahi Hawass

Any conservation campaign that is undertaken on the Sphinx now or in the future must heed the lessons of the past. This reasoning underlies the present efforts to document the history of conservation on the Sphinx. Only with a clear understanding of what has transpired in the precinct over the years--indeed from the time of the earliest restoration by Thutmosis IV in 1400 BC through the interventions of the 1980s, and right up to the present change of policy--can we comprehend the current state of affairs direction. In my opinion most of the conservation campaigns in the past were conceived as stop-gap solutions, with no long-term strategy in mind for protecting the Sphinx. Some of these temporary measures even damaged the Sphinx more than benefited it. This section will outline and review the five phases of conservation from 1400 BC through 1987, and then describe the work in progress in the current (1989-present) campaign.
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2007, 02:13:59 pm »









Phase I of the Sphinx's Conservation:





                               Thutmosis IV and other New Kingdom (18th- 19th Dynasties)




 
Evidence for Thutmosis IV's campaign is preserved in the so-called dream Stele he erected between the two paws of the Sphinx in ca. 1400 BC. According to the story he inscribed in the Stella, prince Thutmosis went hunting in the Valley of Gazelles southeast of the Sphinx. The Sphinx spoke to him in a dream and asked the prince to free him from the sand. The Sphinx (Hor-em-Akht) offered in return the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

From this story we know that the Sphinx was buried up to its neck in sand by 1400 BC.

The implication of the Thutmosis stela is that he freed the monument from the sand and thereby became pharaoh. Indeed, Thutmose IV's commitment to the Sphinx would explain the revival of cultic practice focusing on the Sphinx during that king's reign.

As mentioned above, the Sphinx became an important focus for a popular and royal cult under the name Hormakhet, "Horus in the Horizon," a combination of the god of kingship, Horus, and the sun god Re.
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2007, 02:17:11 pm »









The archaeological record confirms that Thutmosis did indeed free the Sphinx of sand.

Mudbrick walls, inscribed with the name of this king, survive in remnants in the precinct. The very fact that Thutmosis built these walls suggests that Thutmosis IV excavated the Sphinx and also cleared completely the sand as Baraize did centuries later in 1926. The walls would have afforded a barrier against the elements and halted reburial in the sand with regard to the matter of the dream Stela itself.

There is also a second element to Thutmosis IV's campaign of conservation. This concerns the course of limestone blocks facing the core. It seems likely to me that the weaker part of the mother rock was probably further damaged when the Sphinx was restored in the 18th-Dynasty 1200 years after its original carving. When the 18th- Dynasty excavators uncovered the Sphinx, I believe they found a situation much like that found by Baraize in the course of his excavations, when he cleared the statue completely for the first time for the Egyptian Antiquities Service in 1926.


In Baraize's case, the sand had buried the statue nearly to the top of its back. As his men hauled away the sand and debris that had accumulated over the ages, they found many large and small restoration blocks that had gradually fallen off the curves of the lion's body, down to about one third the height of the north side of the body, and to about two thirds the height of the body on the south side. Baraize simply took many of these stones, including the large ones of the phase I restoration, and cemented them back into place on the Sphinx's body.
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« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2007, 02:18:49 pm »








Thutmosis IV's workmen seem to have done something very similar.

On the upper part of the body we found old kingdom blocks, of the same quality used to face the causeway of Khafre, reset against a badly weathered old kingdom core.

As the dream Stela of Thutmosis IV shows that this was the first time that the Sphinx ever spoken and hence won its freedom from the sand, it is clear that there was plenty of time between Chaffer and Thutmosis IV, i.e, 1119 years at least, for the old kingdom casing stones to have fallen off, and for the weak stone of the Sphinx body to have weathered to the condition that we see it under the phase I restorations of the upper Sphinx body. This weak stone weathers very quickly even today in a process of flaking and powdering that leaves freshly fallen stone flakes and dust at the base of these layers in the side of the Sphinx ditch.
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« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2007, 02:21:55 pm »








Therefore, Thutmosis IV's activities (phase 1 of conservation) consisted of the following:





1) After clearing away the sand in the precinct, he built the protective mud brick walls around the Sphinx to protect it from wind and sand.

 2) He discovered that the Sphinx was damaged and that the old kingdom stones were falling down. He put them back in their original places, and may have commissioned more.

 3) He brought a granite stela from Aswan and inscribed the story known as the dream stela.





To Ramesses II may be attributed the two stelae between the two front paws of the Sphinx and the other artifacts inscribed with his name that were found there. The existence of these objects suggests that he may also have engaged in restoration activities at the Sphinx, such as replacing some of the fallen stones that had been restored by Thutmosis IV.

Ramses's son, Kha-em-wase, known as the first Egyptologist and restorer, may also have restored the sphinx in the same manner as his father. The Turin papyrus mentions that workmen in the time of Ramesses lI took stone for Hor-m-mn-nfr.

Some scholars have recognized in this name the Sphinx's name Horoun, one of the names used in the New kingdom to refer to the Sphinx. Artifacts attributed to other kings, e.g., Ay, Horemheb, Seti I, and Merenptah, have also been discovered in the area of the Sphinx, but there is no evidence to suggest these kings sponsored any restorations of that great monument.
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2007, 02:24:30 pm »








Phase II of the Sphinx conservation:





                                                        Saite period (500 BC)






In 1853 A. Mariette found the so-called Inventory Stela, or, the so-called Stela of the daughter of Cheops (Khufu). It was found on the east side of the pyramid of GIC, located on the east side of the great pyramid and dated to the 26th Dynasty. The stela indicates that the Sphinx was repaired in this period.

To this period may be attributed the major layer of restoration masonry on the upper part of the Sphinx's body on the south side.

This layer, composed of smaller slabs than those of the Old Kingdom, was laid over the earlier (phase I) layer of Thutmosis, the surface of which was cut away in phase II, however, for fitting the new stones. It is important to note here that the restorers did not remove the Old Kingdom stones from the Sphinx. The Saite restoration also focused on the Sphinx's tail and on the (nemes) headdress. The Egyptians of this period may also have painted the Sphinx.

There is no evidence, however, of any excavations around the base of the Sphinx in this period. Even Herodotus is silent on the Sphinx, suggesting that it was at least partially obscured with sand.
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2007, 02:32:46 pm »








Phase III of the Sphinx Conservation:





                                             Roman period (30 BC-end 2nd century AD)





The ancient sources attest that the Sphinx was in the Roman period again freed from the sand.


For example, the people of Busiris, a village located at the foot of the Khufu pyramid, left a stela in honor of Nero and the Governor, Claudius Babillus. We know also that the Sphinx in the Roman period was a popular gathering place. The Egyptians apparently came to sit by the Sphinx and the place was highly romanticized.

The Sphinx even served as the backdrop for the performance of plays. These literary references, plus the nature of the Roman restorations, indicate that the monument was in full view.

The Roman restorations consisted of a layer of protective stones applied to the paws and two sides of the Sphinx. These stones were recorded and planned by Mark Lehner (from the Oriental Institute) in the photogrammetric map that was made in 1979.

These stones were applied directly over the old kingdom courses; smaller stones were used as necessary to retain the modeling and proportions of the Sphinx. In addition:

The floor of the Sphinx sanctuary was paved during the Roman period. This phase of work can be considered as the largest restoration effort in history.

Our studies of the Sphinx indicate that old kingdom stones placed on the Sphinx were respected by subsequent generations of restorers. They may have been considered sacred.

As in the case of their Saite predecessors mentioned above, the Roman restorers did not remove the old kingdom stones from the Sphinx.

The layers of the Roman period are composed of small brick-sized stones that were placed on the top of, not in the place of, the old kingdom stones and later casing. The fact that the Roman restorers did not violate the original stones suggests they considered these venerable, older stones sacred.
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2007, 02:35:03 pm »








Phase IV of the Sphinx conservation:





                                                    Baraize (1925-1936)





Many centuries ensued before the next phase of conservation was undertaken, this time by Emile Baraize. For almost eleven years Baraize cleared the area around the Sphinx to free it from sand. The dimensions of these undertakings had their only precedents in the reign of Thutmosis IV in 1400 BC and in the Roman period. This is made particularly clear by Baraize's records, which are comprised of notes and 226 photographs.

Baraize's restoration program (phase IV) and its consequences are summarized as follows:

1) Baraize's clearing operations revealed that the old kingdom stones returned to their original positions by Thutmosis were again falling down. The records show that a crack located at top center divided the Sphinx into two parts. The head was in bad condition. A large passage, the size of which is indicated by the workmen standing in it, was open on the north ridge. Baraize restored the head with cement, for at the time it was deemed necessary for the protection of the head. But since we now know from the UNESCO investigations that the upper part of the Sphinx is relatively strong, it is now desirable to reverse this work. The cement restoration of the head is not good and obscures the impressiveness of the Sphinx. Therefore, one suggests that Baraize's restoration of the head be reversed.

2) Baraize closed the northern passage with masonry. It would be of advantage to open it in order to view the interior of the lion's body and take samples. The northern side of the Sphinx is a big problem, as the deterioration of the casing stones here is in a more advanced state.

3) Baraize restored the crack on the top of the Sphinx with cement and replaced the old kingdom stones.

4) He also restored many other parts on the Sphinx, which were recorded by Lehner in 1979. Baraize's work can be seen now on the left and right shoulder of the Sphinx and on the southern shoulder where he restored a fallen chunk from the mother rock.

Also parts on the southern, northern, and the back of the lion body were restored.

However, most of Baraize's restorations have been taken out and restored with the new method currently in use on the south side (see phase VI of the Sphinx conservation).
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