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Great Sphinx of Giza

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How it didn't happen
This article deals with nuttery surrounding the Sphinx of Giza. See Giza pyramids for nuttery surrounding the pyramids.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a giant 20 meters (66 ft) high and 73 meters (240 ft) long statue near the Giza pyramids in Egypt. If you ask most Egyptologists, the Sphinx was probably carved around 2500 BCE by the ancient Egyptians. We know this due to the layout of the surrounding structures, the architectural style, and by examining the stone's origin.[1] It's usually attributed to the Pharaoh Khafre (2520-2494 BCE), but it's also possible that it was built by Khafre's father Pharaoh Khufu[2] (2589–2566 BC) or brother Pharaoh Djedefre [3] (2528–2520 BCE).


[edit] Water erosion hypothesis

The so-called "Water erosion hypothesis" states that the Sphinx displays erosion that can be caused only by rain. Egypt today is not exactly known for its heavy rains, but that this was different in pre-historic times. Therefore the Sphinx must be much older than the commonly accepted 2500 BCE (usually 10,000 to 5000 BC).[4][5]

Many people have pointed out that the weathering is not necessarily due to rain but can also be consistent due to (a combination of) several other erosion processes such as salt crystallization,[6] groundwater percolation, and wind erosion.[7] Even if the weathering could not be explained by any other means, the complete lack of any artefacts or inscriptions older than 5000 BCE anywhere in Egypt[8] would make it far more more likely that the weathering would due to some unknown process or environmental factor, and not due to some unknown civilization.

People who promote this include Robert SchochWikipedia's W.svg (who holds a PhD in Geology and Geophysics) and Graham Hancock (in Fingerprints of the Gods). Jason Colavito has compiled a fairly straightforward summary of their and other claims as well as an accompanying debunking.[9][10]


One strand of complete nonsense involves claims that the face of the Sphinx is "the same as" the Face on Mars, and that the Martian Cydonia region contains a complex of associated pyramids and causeways similar to that at Giza. [11]

[edit] Nose and beard

How it probably happened.[citation NOT needed]
The Sphinx has no nose. This is usually attributed to vandalism in the 14th century by Muslim fanatic Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr, who attacked the statue after hearing of peasants making tribute to it. He was hanged for his crimes. Whether this is actually true is not entirely clear, since the same report also mentions the ears being damaged, which are still present.[12] Another popular story is that Napoleon's soldiers accidentally destroyed it, which is easily disproven by drawings made before Napoleon's birth.[13] Furthermore, Napoleon did everything in his power to treat the locals with the utmost respect during his Egyptian expedition and his army included a significant number of the leading scholars in their field, so such an act of blatant vandalism would have been highly uncharacteristic and Napoleon would have likely blasted the responsible party with cannonballs at point blank range if something like that had happened.

The sphinx also had a beard, most likely added in the 18th Dynasty (about 1550-1295 BCE) during a New Kingdom restoration of the statue and fell off in antiquity.[14] A new temple dedicated to it was also added at this time, and its remains can still be seen to the northeast of the sphinx[15]. The remains of the beard were discovered in excavations conducted in 1817 by Giovanni Battista Caviglia, working for Henry Salt. A part of it now resides in the British Museum, while other fragments, found in subsequent excavations in 1925-1926, are now in the Cairo Museum.

[edit] References

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