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Archaeology & History

Equinox highlights the wonders of the Sphinx

By T.K. Randall
March 24, 2020 · Comment icon 7 comments

There is more to the Sphinx than meets the eye. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Mohamad Kassem
Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass has dismissed the idea that the Sphinx was carved from a stationary rock.
With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the Sphinx, which sits near the Pyramids of Giza, has long been one of ancient Egypt's most unique and universally recognisable monuments.

Two days ago, as the desert sun spectacularly set over the Sphinx's right shoulder, the sheer skill and precision of its ancient builders was on full show once more - a testament to the fact that this remarkable monument had been built with seasonal astronomical alignments in mind.

The phenomenon - knows as the equinox - occurs twice a year when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator and both day and night last for an equal amount of time.

Former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass has long contended that the fact that the Sphinx aligns with the sun during this time demonstrates the religious and astronomical significance of the statue.
He also argues that it definitively disproves the theory that it was originally carved from a large rock that just happened to be sitting in the desert at this particular site.

It is certainly not the only such example in the region - the neighboring Pyramids of Giza have also been constructed to align with certain stars and astronomical events as well.

Exactly how the ancient Egyptians managed to achieve such remarkable precision however has long remained a topic of heated debate.

Source: Egypt Today | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
Sounds to me like Hawass is just trying to remain in the news. He always liked the attention more then actually preserving the antiquities. Or so it seemed to me.
Comment icon #2 Posted by hetrodoxly 4 years ago
The rock could have been big enough to carve it to face any direction, or it was chiseled out because of it's orientation to the sun. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by DreadLordAvatar 4 years ago
I find it amusing that the creators of the pyramids and the Sphinx are always referred to as the ancients Egyptians. I doubt it.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Swede 4 years ago
Hawass must be getting senile. The sedimentary layers of the Mokattam and Maadi formations have long ago been traced and documented across the Giza Plateau. The sedimentary layers composing the Sphinx are quite consistent with the geological findings: Edit: Highlight.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Swede 4 years ago
And your doubts would be based upon...? .
Comment icon #6 Posted by Harte 4 years ago
You shouldn't take some reporter's word for that. I find no such claim in any other story that mentions equinox, sphinx and Hawass. What Hawass is actually proposing is that the sphinx location is not accidental. As far as I can tell, he's never said it wasn't carved (at its core) from the native bedrock. He proposes that it was an integral part of Khafre's plan. That is different than what has been thought in the past. Harte
Comment icon #7 Posted by Swede 4 years ago
Ahh. Our fine quality journalists in action again. Reporting just isn't what it used to be. .

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