Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The “not invented here” syndrome – Part 2: Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza (Egypt) is another scientific mystery regarding at least ageing and purpose. The Sphinx was largely buried in sand when found by the young prince – and later pharaoh – Thutmose IV around 1400 BC. To memorise his finding, he placed a granite slab between the sphinx’s front paws – the Dream Stele – which mentions that the prince was resting near the buried Sphinx and that a god appeared in his dream ordering him to excavate the Sphinx (Wiki).

Some 3000 years later, in 1853, a French archaeologist named Auguste Mariette discovered the ruins of a building adjacent to the Sphinx that would later be called the Valley Temple. In 1925, French archaeologist and engineer Emile Baraize probed the sand directly in front of the Sphinx and discovered yet another Old Kingdom building—now called the Sphinx Temple (Smithsonian).

Wiki: “Though there have been conflicting evidence and viewpoints over the years, the view held by modern Egyptology at large remains that the Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for the pharaoh Khafra, the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza”. Although the English Wiki page does not give a date for the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Dutch Wiki page does and refers to “recent research by John Anthony West and Robert M. Schoch who dated the sphinx at 10,500 BC based on signs of erosion by rain”. 

An article on the Smithsonian website gives a very nice summary: “Nobody knows its original name. Sphinx is the human-headed lion in ancient Greek mythology; the term likely came into use some 2,000 years after the statue was built. There are hundreds of tombs at Giza with hieroglyphic inscriptions dating back some 4,500 years, but not one mentions the statue“. 

Again the “not invented here” syndrome: there’s no record of advanced civilisations before 4,000 BC. Hence, the dating of any scientific mystery must be after 4,000 BC. And all contradicting evidence must be erroneous.

To my surprise, sphinxes are not limited to Egypt. Latter is mentioned in the article “10 unexplained similarities between cultures” by the interesting Learning Mind site: “According to the ancient Greek tradition, the Sphinx had a human head, the haunches of a lion and the wings of a bird. For the Greeks, it was a woman, for the Egyptians a man. This mysterious creature that was considered to be a powerful guardian can be found in various parts of the world“. Indeed, Wikipedia refers to sphinxes in Egypt, Burma, Germany, Greece, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey.

“In contrast to the sphinx in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece, where the traditions largely have been lost due to the discontinuity of the civilisation, the traditions of the “Asian sphinx” are very much alive today” (Wiki). Based upon these traditions we know that the sphinx serves a purpose of taking away the sins of the devotees when they enter a temple and to ward off evil in general. It is therefore often found in a strategic position on the temple gateway, or near the sanctuary (eg, shrine) (Wiki).

The above is also relevant for the Egyptian legend about the Book of Thoth, “a name given to many ancient Egyptian texts supposed to have been written by Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing and knowledge”. The Westcar papyrus, “an ancient Egyptian text containing five stories about miracles performed by priests and magicians”, suggests that the Book of Thoth is stored in secret rooms of Thoth’s shrine. Many people assume that Thoth’s shrine is part of the Great Sphinx and its Temples. 

To date, people are still looking for this mythical library, also called the Hall of Records. Without a discovery, the mystery – and the “not invented here” syndrome – will continue.

Note: all bold and Italic markings are mine.


Framework Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest