Redating the sphinx

/ English: to squeeze), after the Greek sphinx who strangled anyone who failed to answer her riddle.

The name may alternatively be a linguistic corruption of the phonetically different ancient Egyptian word Ssp-anx (in Manuel de Codage).

In particular, the rump or rear of the Sphinx was carved out or recarved much later than the core body, and the head of the Sphinx has been recarved.

Schoch © 1999-2000 ABSTRACT Many recent Egyptologists have attributed the carving of the Great Sphinx of Giza to the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Khafre (Chephren), ca. Initial carving of the core body of the Sphinx is estimated to have taken place during the period of approximately 7,000 to 5,000 B. The Sphinx has subsequently been reworked and refurbished many times over the succeeding millennia -- including, probably, during the reign of Khafre.

The evidence for an earlier Sphinx has been duly published in appropriate journals [1], discussed at major scientific meetings without being falsified [2] and thus far the hypothesis of an older Sphinx has not been convincingly refuted.

34‑39.] The Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt, has long been thought to have been carved de novo by the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khafre (Chephren) about 2500 B. Recently I have determined that, in fact, the Great Sphinx was built in stages and I have estimated that the earliest portions of the statue (the core body of the Sphinx) date back to the period of 7000 to 5000 B. My redating of the Sphinx is now well ‑ established.

Despite the fact that some of the early founders of modern Egyptology (such as Sir Flinders Petrie, Sir E. Questioning the age of the Sphinx seems to shake the very foundations of conventional Egyptology.

The same scenario may be true for the so-called Valley Temple just south of the Sphinx Temple.

The first of several ancient repair campaigns to the weathered body of the Sphinx was done with typical Old Kingdom style masonry, but the core body of the Sphinx was already deeply weathered when this earliest repair work was carried out.

alluding to the original Greek legend of the "Riddle of the Sphinx." First century writer Pliny the Elder mentioned the Great Sphinx in his Natural History, commenting that the Egyptians looked upon the statue as a "divinity" that has been passed over in silence and "that King Harmais was buried in it." It is impossible to identify what name the creators called their statue, as the Great Sphinx does not appear in any known inscription of the Old Kingdom and there are no inscriptions anywhere describing its construction or its original purpose.

In the New Kingdom, the Sphinx was called Hor-em-akhet (English: Horus of the Horizon; Hellenized: Harmachis), and the pharaoh Thutmose IV (1401–1391 or 1397–1388 BC) specifically referred to it as such in his "Dream Stele." The commonly used name "Sphinx" was given to it in classical antiquity, about 2000 years after the commonly accepted date of its construction by reference to a Greek mythological beast with a lion's body, a woman's head and the wings of an eagle (although, like most Egyptian sphinxes, the Great Sphinx has a man's head and no wings).