Who Built the Great Sphinx?
The Great Sphinx is an iconic piece of history that’s just as remarkable as it is mysterious. From its enormous size to its intricate detail, it’s nothing short of an astounding architectural feat.
Who built the Great Sphinx and why? How, exactly, was such a large-scale and magnificent structure constructed? What is the significance of the Sphinx — a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human face?
While there are plenty of questions, one thing is certain: The Great Sphinx offers no shortage of details to explore.
Mystery of the Sphinx
The Great Sphinx in Giza, a city in Egypt that features other prominent monuments such as the Great Pyramids, measures 66 feet high and 240 feet long. It is, by far, the largest sculpture of the ancient world. It is made of various blocks of limestone that weighed up to 200 tons each.
Scholars have long held the belief the Sphinx was constructed for the Pharaoh Khafre, who reigned from approximately 2,520 to 2,494 BC. This could explain why the Sphinx seems to align geographically with the Pyramid of Khafre, where the pharaoh himself is buried, and a temple, which is located due east from the statue.
In contrast, some Egyptologists theorize the Sphinx was actually built by Khafre’s father, [King Khufu]http://www.guardians.net/egypt/sphinx/), or Khafre’s brother, Djedefre.
However, the age of the Sphinx is still up for debate, and a growing body of evidence suggests it may be even older than once thought — so old, in fact, the Sphinx may not have been constructed by the Egyptians.
Researchers such as John Anthony West and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz observed signs of weathering due to rainfall on the Sphinx, dating the construction of this marvel to the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 to 5,000 BC. While some weathering due to wind erosion is to be expected over the course of such a long time period, this particular type of weathering suggests the Sphinx was constructed at a time in which Egypt was not such a dry, barren environment.
Geologists confirmed that long, long ago Egypt was subjected to a period of flooding. During this period, the Sphinx was most likely covered in sand, which would have preserved its construction and protected it from wind erosion for many years. This is further supported by Napoleon’s rediscovery of the ancient structure in 1798, in which the Sphinx was buried up to its neck in sand.
The Sphinx is depicted as a lion with a human head, which some speculate is a tribute to the constellation of Leo. However, it’s also curious to note the Sphinx and its alignment with the Giza pyramids and the Nile River closely mirror the orientation of Leo, Orion, and the Milky Way.
Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, the researchers who made this observation, state this pattern represents the orientation of the aforementioned celestial bodies during the astrological Age of Leo, which occurred between the dates 10,970 and 8810 BC.
Who Really Built the Sphinx?
Longstanding theory suggests slaves built the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids using some sort of pulley system.
However, all of the aforementioned factors and more lead some to believe the Great Sphinx may have actually not been constructed by the Egyptians at all.
Zecharia Sitchin, a prominent ancient astronaut theorist, hypothesized the Annunaki constructed the Sphinx. These intelligent beings allegedly built the structure in a precise geographical location close to where they purportedly had spaceports on Earth. The alignment of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids also mirrors that of pyramid-like structures found on Mars, possibly suggesting Giza served as a landing strip for spacecraft.
During a quest to discover the actual age of the Sphinx, John Anthony West and his team uncovered more than they had initially anticipated. Several underground cavities and tunnels were discovered beneath the structure, including a large chamber some 25 feet beneath the statue’s front paws. This is another piece of evidence that correlates to the Annunaki, who allegedly built sprawling underground structures and dwellings.
So who really built the Sphinx? No one can be completely sure, but there is certainly no shortage of fascinating details to explore and examine.
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Laser Scanning Reveals Mayan Complex Hidden for Centuries
Laser mapping reveals nearly 500 ancient ceremonial sites hiding just under the landscape of modern-day Mexico and leads scientists to revise their understandings of the origins of the Maya Civilization.
Eastern Mexico is home to the ancient Maya, renowned for their striking pyramids, written language, and complex calendar system. It is there that scientists first discovered Aquada Fénix, the largest and oldest-known Mayan construction.
Professor Takeshi Inomata is an archeologist at the University of Arizona who led the study. “We did LiDAR, which is an airborne laser marking technique. Using this technique we found Aguada Fénix, which is the oldest monumental construction in the Maya area,” Inomata said. “It has a huge artificial plateau which has a perfect, rectangular shape measuring 1.4 km long and 400m wide, which represents the largest construction in the entire Maya history. It dates to probably 1,100 – 700 BC, which makes it the oldest monumental construction in the Maya area. So the interesting part is that the largest building happened at the very beginning or oldest stage of Maya civilization.”
Having made this extraordinary find, the team recently expanded their search to a broader area using the same cutting-edge LiDAR technology. They were specifically hoping to find sites built by the Olmec people, an older civilization thought to have influenced the development of the Maya. What LiDAR revealed was groundbreaking.
“We found nearly 500 ceremonial complexes, which look like Aguada Fénix, although they are not as big. This distribution shows they shared similar concepts of space, ritual, and probably worldview. It tells us the people in the Olmec area and the Maya area really exchanged ideas and that kind of interaction was very important for the initial development of Mesoamerican civilizations,” Inomata said.
“This is the earliest evidence for the gathering of a really large number of people. Those people probably did not have too many hierarchical organizations, they most likely did not have kings. They didn’t have much marked social inequalities, so those people gathered and organized themselves, then made these huge constructions. This really makes us think about the development and possibility of human societies, not just about Mesoamerica, but about human societies in general.”