The Great Sphinx
I am a living creature
I am a living creature and I can speak just like you but mankind cannot hear my voice. I have dreams, I have fears, I have regrets, I laugh, and I cry.
My name and how I was built
My name is the Sphinx; I am the squeezer in English language, and I am Abu al Hul; the terrifying one or the father of the dread in Arabic language. The ancient Egyptian called me, shesep ankh Atum, means “living image of Atum,” Atum being both the creator god and the setting sun. The word “Living image” may refer to me, because I was carved out of living rock (rock that was present at the construction site, not harvested and brought from another location). I may have been intended to associate the king with the sun God.
I stand with the pyramids on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. I am sitting in a depression to the south of Khafra‘s pyramid. I was carved out of a single ridge of limestone 240 feet (73 meters) long and 66 feet (20 meters) high. I have the shape of a mythical creature: The head of a Pharaoh and the body of a loin.
My face is four meters wide and my eyes are two meters high. My mouth is about two meters wide, while my nose was more than 1.5 meters long. My ears are well over one meter high. Part of my royal cobra, my nose, my lower ear, and my royal beard are now missing, while my eyes have been pecked out. My royal beard is displayed in the British Museum. My profile from the north side reveals the proportion of my body to my head. It would appear as though my head is small in proportion to my body. Although my head is badly damaged in some places, traces of my original paint can still be seen near one of my ears. Originally, I was painted and I was quite colorful.
Because of the geological history, the limestone of Giza Plateau consists of layers of widely differing quality offering unequal resistance to erosion, mostly due to wind and windblown sand, which explains the uneven degradation of my body. The floor of my depression and lowest part of my body including my legs is solid, hard rock. Above this, my body up to the neck is a heterogeneous zone with friable layers that have suffered considerable disintegration. The layer in which my head was made is also much harder.
I face the rising sun. I am part of the funerary complex surrounding the Second Pyramid, which is traditionally connected with Khafra. I look onto a temple built directly east of me. The alignment of my Temple probably indicates sun worship. The three lower Khafra structures (me, my Temple, and Valley Temple) fit within the same archaeological sequence. Each year on March and September, the sun sets along the south side of the Khafra pyramid on a line extending along the right side of me and aligned with the east-west axis of my Temple.
After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned and because of the changing desert weather, my body up to my shoulders has been buried in sand several times over the past several thousand years. In fact, the sand has been my savior, since, being built of soft sandstone; I would have disappeared long ago had I not been buried for much of my existence.
The first documented attempt at an excavation dates to 1400 BC, when the young Thutmose IV (1397–1388 BC) managed to dig out my arms, between which he placed a granite stone, known as the Dream Stele, which tells the story of the time that he fell asleep under me while I was covered to the neck in sand. Thutmose had a dream that I spoke to him and promised that if he would free me from the sand, he would be the next king of Egypt. Later, Ramesses II the Great (1279–1213 BC) may have undertaken a second excavation.
In AD 1817, the first modern archaeological dig, supervised by the Italian Captain Giovanni Battista Caviglia, uncovered my chest completely. My entire body was finally excavated in 1925 to 1936, in digs led by Émile Baraize. In 1931, engineers of the Egyptian government repaired my head because part of my headdress had fallen off in 1926 due to erosion, which had also cut deeply into my neck. Recently, a major restoration effort, done solely by Egyptians, has undergone.
Who built me, when and why?
Although I am one of the world’s largest and oldest statues, yet basic facts about me are still a subject of debate, such as when I was built, by whom, and for what purpose. I do not remember exactly when I was built and by whom because I am too old and this happens long time ago.
It is commonly believed that I have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (2558–2532 BC), the builder of the second pyramid at Giza, Egypt, although there is no one single evidence that connects me with Khafra. I line up with the Pyramid of Khafra at the foot of its causeway. A statue of Khafra, which was discovered buried upside down along with other debris in the Valley Temple, is claimed also as support for the Khafra theory.
The Dream Stele stone, erected much later by the Pharaoh Thutmose IV in between my arms (1401–1391 BC), also associates me with Khafra. When the Stele was discovered, its lines of text were already damaged and incomplete, and only referred to Khaf, not Khafra. The writing was translated:
.. which we bring for him: oxen … and all the young vegetables; and we shall give praise to Wenofer … Khaf … the statue made for Atum-Hor-em-Akhet.
Recently, however, it has been argued that Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid, may have also had built me.
An accumulating body of evidence – both archaeological and geological – indicates that I am far older than the 4th King Family, and I was only restored by the Pharaoh Khafra during his time. The geological findings indicate that I was made sometime before 10,000 BC, at the Age of the star group: Leo the Lion, which lasted from 10,970 to 8,810 BC. [This is the Golden Age. The major event in this age was ice melting of what now constitutes much of the modern world. The ice melting ultimately caused a 300-foot (90 m) rise in the sea level].
Recent geologists have confirmed that the extreme erosion on my body could not be the result of wind and sand, as has been universally assumed, but rather was the result of water. Wind erosion cannot take place when my body is covered by sand, and I have been in this condition for nearly all of the last five thousand years. Geologists agree that in the distant past, Egypt was subjected to severe flooding. The water erosion hypothesis proves that the main type of weathering evident on the walls surrounding me could only have been caused by prolonged and extensive rainfall, and that I must therefore predate the time of the Pharaoh Khafra.
Further support for this vast age of mine comes from a surprising sky-ground correlation proven by sophisticated computer programs such as Sky globe 3.6. These computer programs are able to generate precise pictures of any portion of the night sky as seen from different places on earth at any time in the distant past or future. Computer simulations showed that in 10,500 BC, the star group of Leo consisted of the sun on the spring equinox – i.e. an hour before dawn in the Leo Age would have took the due east direction along the horizon in the place where the sun would soon rise. This means that I would have gazed directly on that morning at the star group of Leo.
This means that I may have existed at a time when (according to the archaeological theory) there were no civilizations on earth and humans had not yet evolved beyond hunter – gatherer lifestyles. This matter is so radical that scholarly delay in acknowledging it is understandable. If I was indeed this old then the assumptions regarding the development of civilization must be entirely reworked and the mystifying question of Plato’s Atlantis should be given very serious consideration.
My regrets and my hopes
I wish the Sahara all around the world would turn into green. I wish I could see the flowers, the butterflies, and the trees again. I wish mankind stop cutting the forests and burning the fuels. I wish pollution and the hole in the ozone layer would disappear forever. I wish mankind become more wise and stop fighting with each other.
تمت المراجعة في 14 – 1 – 2017