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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:48 pm 
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I saw the television show you're all discussing, and it was very interesting--well worth one's time to view. It brings up interesting conjecture. But it is still just the latest "fad" in evidence and not widely accepted--as Djedefre, that is. The consensus remains that the Sphinx is meant to represent Khafre. Careful study of the strata of the Plateau reveals that by the end of construction of the pyramid of Khufu, the massif where the Sphinx would later be was still mostly a lump surrounded by stone. The very stones used to build the Khafre valley temple and Sphinx temple was quarried for the most part from right around the Sphinx itself, thus leaning toward confirmation of the dedication to Khafre.

The lion was a common royal symbol throughout the pharaonic period. The ancient Egyptian word for lion (mai) was often used allegorically for "king." For instance, one of the epithets for the great warrior king Tuthmosis III was mai hk3w, "king of foreign rulers."

My knowledge of Mesopotamian history is lacking. I know they also were building sphinxes large and small in antiquity, but does anyone know if their sphinx motif predates Egypt's?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:53 pm 
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I don't think so, I believe the first sphinx is the one at Giza, but I could be wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:21 pm 
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I don't think so, I believe the first sphinx is the one at Giza, but I could be wrong.


It would seem you're correct. The Sumerians predate the rise of the ancient Egyptian civilization (by a small margin), but I can as of yet find no evidence that the sphinx motif itself predates Egypt. It would seem the Mesopotamians (the Sumerians and the many who followed them) picked up this motif from the Egyptians.

But the Great Sphinx itself is not quite the oldest of its kind. In the ruins of the Abu Roash pyramid complex of Djedefre is a statue of this pharaoh with the head of a sphinx; a small limestone sphinx statuette was also found there. Both of these, then, would predate the carving of the Great Sphinx, but only by about 30 years.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:10 pm 
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In the ruins of the Abu Roash pyramid complex of Djedefre is a statue of this pharaoh with the head of a sphinx;

The head of a sphinx? What does that mean? Or did you make a mistake?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:29 am 
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No- he didn't really make a mistake. It is the head of the Sphinx that makes it a sphinx. Otherwise it would just be a lion.

Anyway, just to throw in some hieroglyphic trivia, it is believed that the word sphinx comes from the Egyptian "SSp 'nH" or 'Sheshep Ankh' which means 'living statue.' When the Greeks arrived they altered the word to the more familiar 'Sphinxon,' a noun derived from the verb 'Sphinxein,' 'to strangle.'


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:23 pm 
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But, you can't say the head of a sphinx if it's not a sphinx, the head is usually either a human head or a ram head, so by saying the head of a sphinx isn't saying anything at all because it doesn't clarify anything, and it's not the head of a sphinx that makes it a sphinx, it's the whole sphinx that makes it a sphinx, otherwise it would be full lion or full human or a headless lion or a bodiless human therefore saying 'the head of a sphinx' really doesn't make sense. If you think about it saying the head of a sphinx is just like saying the head of a human or the head of a ram..... I really don't know how to explain it, I don't know.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:40 pm 
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I really don't know how to explain it, I don't know.


Don't worry about it. :D The point is, there were other sphinx examples before the Great Sphinx, and that's what's been found so far. Who knows? There may be more yet to find.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:16 pm 
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I went back and reread my post, Daniella, and can understand why you were confused. I worded it terribly! What was found was a broken statue head of Djedefre that, due to design and the nature of the break, art historians recognize as the style affixed to the body of a sphinx. This statue head is now in the Louvre.

I also wrote that a statuette of a sphinx was found at the site, and I should have written that several such limestone statuettes were found at the ruins of Abu Roash. So even if the broken statue head of Djedefre is not from a sphinx and the art historians have it wrong (and I for one would not have the temerity to say such a thing), these statuettes are still convincing evidence that the sphinx motif existed prior to the monument carved on the Giza Plateau. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:32 pm 
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Aah, I understand now, I think I got too carried away with that. :lol:
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....affixed to the body of a sphinx.

Here we go again,....you mean the body of a lion? jokes, jokes, jokes.
Quote:
several such limestone statuettes were found at the ruins of Abu Roash. So even if the broken statue head of Djedefre is not from a sphinx and the art historians have it wrong (and I for one would not have the temerity to say such a thing), these statuettes are still convincing evidence that the sphinx motif existed prior to the monument carved on the Giza Plateau.

Very cool, I didn't know that.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:07 pm 
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Here we go again,....you mean the body of a lion? jokes, jokes, jokes.


No, in this case it was the body of Brittany Spears. Djedefre really had a thing for the ladies. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:17 pm 
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LOL I'd prefer the body of a lion, heck I'd prefer the body of a slug over the body of Britney Spears. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:29 pm 
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...heck I'd prefer the body of a slug...


:lol: :lol: :lol:

He of the royal slime, slitherer of Abu Roash, protector of the Two Lands, the snail-god-man Djedefre.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:40 pm 
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LOL Or perhaps a cock roach, then that way they could have renamed their city Abu Roach.

The other day I saw the world's largest specie of cock roach at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario and holy crap they are huge!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 2:07 pm 
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...and holy crap they are huge!


I'll bet they'd make a lovely pet, so cuddly and playful. And probably terrific guard dogs, too. A few of them skittering toward an intruder and he'd likely wet himself and run away. :o

Still, I'd prefer them over camel spiders, but that's another topic.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:03 pm 
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You mean these?
Image

Or these?
Image

:twisted:


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