Sometimes touted as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, the Great Sphinx of Giza is about as iconically symbolic of ancient Egypt as it can get. The structure offers us an invaluable glimpse into the past. Many hope that one day, it might also offer us an insight into the true purpose of the pyramids it sits near.
However, despite all we know (or think we know) about the Sphinx, there are still a plethora of questions to be answered. And as you will see as you move down our list, it would appear there are some who might prefer the secrets of the Sphinx remain exactly that.
1 Buried In Sand
Over the years, some of the finest archaeological minds of the Western world never saw all of the Sphinx. Even Napoleon was reported to have only witnessed the Sphinx’s head when he arrived in Egypt in 1798. The rest was buried in the sand. It was due to the persistence of an engineer, Frenchman Emil Baraize, that the full body of the Sphinx was finally revealed to the world for the first time in thousands of years.
Where others had given up, Baraize would spend over a decade clearing the huge amount of desert sand from around the ancient structure, and in 1936, it finally stood in all its glory for the world to witness.
Some of those who had embarked on missions similar to Baraize only to abandon their projects included Giovanni Caviglia (explorer and leading Egyptologist of his time), Auguste Mariette (respected French archaeologist) and Gaston Maspero (respected 1800s Egyptologist).
2 Carved From a Single Piece of Rock
Confirmed reports have it that this ancient monument was carved from one single piece of limestone and measures an impressive 73 metre (240ft) long and 20 meters (66ft) high. This makes the Great Sphinx the largest known sphinx of the ancient world.
To say it is an amazing accomplishment in construction and architectural history would be an understatement. Of course, although we won’t delve into it here too much, there are those who suspect, even assert, that the construction of the Sphinx, and the pyramids themselves, had more influence than mere human. Whether it was extraterrestrials or a now long-forgotten ancient civilisation who were more advanced than we give our ancestors credit for, it is certainly something to be appreciated.
Even the nearby Sphinx Temple was built with pieces of stone in excess of 200 tons, which were quarried around the same time as the Sphinx’s construction.
3 No Inscription About Who Built It
Despite the obvious importance such a statue must have had to those who constructed it, there are no inscriptions anywhere outside, on, or inside the Sphinx to declare exactly who was responsible for its construction, why, and when it was built.
Many mainstream historians and Egyptologists insist that the Pharaoh Khafre was responsible for its development. This is mainly due to references on a stone tablet that resides safely in between the paws of the Sphinx named the Dream Stele as well as the “need” to stay within the boundaries of accepted mainstream history.
Although it doesn’t state who built the Sphinx, the Dream Stele does announce who was responsible for its own erecting.
4 It Spoke To Thutmose IV
According to what most people ascribe to being simply a legend or ancient Egyptian mythology before he became pharaoh, Thutmose IV would settle down for the night to sleep underneath the head of the Sphinx, which, according to the tale, was already an ancient structure and buried up to its neck in sand. As he slept, he dreamt of the Sphinx speaking to him. It told him that if he uncovered its structure, it would make him, Thutmose, the new pharaoh.
The story is told on the tablet residing in between the paws of the Sphinx. What is interesting to some is that Thutmose IV is the grandfather of Akhenaten (also known as Amenhotep IV initially)—an intriguing and controversial figure in ancient Egyptian history. According to the intertwining of history and legend, the Sphinx made good on its promise, and Thutmose became Thutmose IV.
It is accepted that the vast majority of the equally vast deserts in Egypt are still to be searched. There could be hundreds of structures buried under the sands of Egypt. Some researchers even insist there is a real possibility of a second sphinx being discovered.
Authors and researchers Gerry Cannon and Malcolm Hutton certainly believe so, and [are] in the process of putting together an in-depth book as to their theories. The crux of it rests simply with the fact that in almost all depictions of sphinxes in ancient Egyptian artwork features the monuments in pairs. According to them, this must mean another sphinx (possibly destroyed) likely lies near one of the Giza pyramids, opposite to the first sphinx. This, they say, will represent the transformation of the Sun into the Moon.
Although it doesn’t state who built it, one line in the aforementioned Dream Stele states, “I have been here since the first time.” This first time is known as Zep Tepi. According to ancient Egyptian writings, this was a time when the gods lived and walked alongside the human population. It was, according to ancient records, a golden time. Of course, most mainstream historians insist Zep Tepi is legend only. Others, however, believe in its truism.
For example, Robert Bauval, who has spent decades studying the Sphinx, its origins, and its purpose or meaning, explains in his Orion Correlation Theory, proposes that the Sphinx and the pyramids had a correlation with the belt of the Orion constellation.
What is interesting is that this would make the Sphinx at least 12,500 years old, much older than mainstream historians deem it to be.
7 Water Erosion Suggests It Is Much Older Than Historians Claim
While mainstream scholars insist that the Sphinx was likely built around 2500BC, there is increasing evidence and continued research that suggests it is far older than that.
One researcher who has carried out extensive investigation into this claim is geologist, Robert Schoch, who claims that water erosion around the sides of the Sphinx is testament to its real age. According to Schoch’s research, this corrosion has taken place over thousands of years, which would mean regular and consistent rainfall. This is something that Egypt, according to reports, has not experienced, since somewhere between 7,000 and 12,000 years ago.
If this is the case, then the Sphinx would be 12,000 years old, if not older. Some studies, speculative as they are, even date the Sphinx in terms of hundreds of thousands of years.
8 Is It Actually Anubis?
While the face of the Sphinx is claimed by mainstream historians to be that of the aforementioned Khafre, many claim that the original face was not human at all. Some theories suggest it to have been a lion to represent the star sign Leo. However, there is no mention or artwork of lions holding such “status” within ancient Egyptian society.
Also, the posture (a sitting position) does not represent that of a lion. Given the extraordinary amount of effort that went into building the Sphinx, you would imagine that the stance of the animal it was representing would be equally accurate.
The flat back and general body language of the Sphinx has more in line with how a dog would sit when in such a position. The fact that Anubis, a dog god, is also regarded as a “Guardian of the Necropolis” (if you consider the Giza Plateau to be a necropolis) perhaps fits the position the statue is in.
9 Tomb of Osiris Nearby
The god Osiris is largely thought to be a mere legend as opposed to a real flesh-and-blood being. However, a shaft in one of the buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Sphinx declares itself to be the tomb of the ancient deity.
There are a plethora of theories as to the discovery. Some declare that the tomb is symbolic only while others think it’s a genuine resting place for an actual god and that Osiris actually lived in antiquity.
10 The Hall of Records
Although the idea itself is a little outrageous to some, many researchers have spent considerable time investigating the claims of an apparent hall of records that resides under the Sphinx.
Legend states that the Hall of Records contains esoteric knowledge and complete timelines of prehistory, back to the dawn of time. Many people also attribute the keepers of this knowledge as being the survivors of Atlantis, who, when migrating and resettling in Egypt, stored away the invaluable information of a world now ravaged.
The noted and respected mystic, Edgar Cayce is believed to have channelled the most detailed information about the Hall of Records, and he did this consistently and on several occasions.
Could Edgar also have been correct about what is sitting under the Sphinx? The only way to tell would be to inspect the site. That may lead us on to an extra entry on our list. But for now, kindly leave your comments below and share this list with your friends.