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Who represents the face of the Sphinx of Giza ?

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Published in 
 · 18 Sep 2019
The face of the Sphinx of Giza
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The face of the Sphinx of Giza

For the official Egyptology, the Sphinx was built together with its temples by the Egyptians, to complete the sacred area of ​​the Second Pyramid, attributed to pharaoh Khafra, fourth king of the IV dynasty.

For Marc Lehner, who speaks on behalf of modern academic Egyptology, there is no doubt, the head of the Sphinx represents pharaoh Khafra and to prove it, he had a computerized reconstruction of Khafra's face to compare it with that of the Sphinx concluding that the two faces reproduced the same person. But, as we all know, a computer only executes a program and does nothing more.

The problem becomes more complicated if we grant credit to 19th century Egyptologists, and to contemporary independent researchers.

In 1860, Auguste Mariette, director of the Egyptian Antiquities Office, while carrying out excavation works to free the Temple of the Second Pyramid from the sand, found a splendid statue in black diorite, which can be admired today in the Cairo's Egyptian Museum. At the base of the statue is the cartouche of Khafra, just like on the Stele of the Sphinx. About the same period, near the Great Pyramid, in a small temple in which Isis is remembered as "the Lady of the pyramid", the Inventory Stele was found. On the stele there is written, among other things, that the Sphinx and a pyramid were already ancient at the time of Khufu.

Gaston Masperò reports Auguste Mariette's belief:

"... the presence of the name of the King on the stele of the Sphinx, remembers only a work of restoration ... the Sphinx was covered with sand at the time of King Khufu and his predecessors"

For Robert Temple the Sphinx does not represent a lion, the shapes of his body recall a canine and could be the God Anubis, "the one who opens the way", "the guardian of secrets".

Who, like Mr. Temple, questions the age of the Sphinx, points out the disproportion between the body and the head of the great lion statue.

The Egyptians knew well the proportions of a lion and the comparison between the Sphinx of Giza and one of the numerous sphinxes, found near the monuments, puts in evidence that disproportion.

For R. Temple, the Giza area would have been dedicated to Isis, as also stated on the Inventory stele, and Anpu (Anubis) would be its worthy guardian.

J, Antony West, convinced that the Sphinx was much earlier than the era of King Khafra, involved Loris Domingo, chief illustrator of N.Y, an expert in identikit. For Domingo, the face of the Sphinx is different from the face of the statue of Khafra, as is evident in his studies published in the West's book. In fact, as shown by the comparison of the profile of the beautiful statue of King Khafra with the profile of the Sphinx's head, the profile of the King is that of a European-type individual, while the evident prognathism of the Sphinx's head is characteristic of a Negroid type.

The face of the King Khafra.
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The face of the King Khafra.

So, either the official version is accepted, or the idea is credited that, after millennia from its construction, the great statue was so eroded as to require restorations for the body and the remaking of the head with the downsizing that we see even today.

The head of the Sphinx was completed with royalty symbols, the erect head of the cobra and the false ritual beard, while on the head there is a hole that probably served to anchor a crown.

To give Dany a credible answer, we can say that head represents a "symbolic" face, the face of every King son of Ra Atum, who, just like every king was a Horus predestined to rule in life, just like any the late king was an Osiris, destined to become a star in the heavenly Duat.

Finally, it is worth remembering that one of the names of the Sphinx was "HR-M-HT" (Horus of the horizon), while in no written Egizian paper is ever reported the name of Kafra.

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