Are the falsehoods allowed to remain because it would be too hard to rewrite history? There seems to be enough scientific and geological evidence that this may very well be the case.
The Great Sphinx, which we all know now, is not what it was at one point. That point being when it was first carved, it was done for Khafra. The sphinx was done with a lion’s head. It is believed that this is true because the earliest Egyptians believed that the Lion was more of a potent symbol than the human face was.
There are a few different opinions on why this is now believed. The first being that the pharaoh head is not proportioned correctly to fit on the statue as is. The earliest history is clear that lions roamed the area around Giza. Scientists and Egyptologists have long believed that the Sphinx with a Lion head was to represent King Khafra.
There are others who believe that the Sphinx was built by Djadefre, who was Khafra’s oldest brother. These Egyptologists believe the Sphinx was built by Djadfre to honor his father Khufu.
Judging by the testing done in the 1990’s, it is thought that the Sphinx is much older than first believed. This testing showed them that there was significant erosion in the ditch and on the sphinx. This extended water erosion timetable places the building of the Sphinx to be no later than the 6th or 5th millennium BC. This is fully 2000 years before the supposed construction date and 1500 years before the accepted date of Egyptian civilization.
However, determining the actual date will require detailed testing of materials, and a re-dating of the Sphinx, since this would put the Sphinx as being built long before the construction of large monuments. Considering what this would entail, this theory is not widely accepted by Egyptologists.
Mark Lehner is one of those experts who has developed questions about the Sphinx, ones that need answers. After graduating from the University of Cairo, Lehner proceeded to join the Stamford Research Institute in 1977. The Institute was using new, state of the art equipment. For the next five years, Lehner mapped out each area of the Sphinx. It was determined the Sphinx was made from one seriously large piece of limestone. It was obvious that the structure had had at least five major renovations that had taken place. Thanks to all this research, Lehner earned a Doctorate of Egyptology from Yale University.
There is much thought that the Pharaoh Khafre had designed the entire complex. There is not only the Sphinx, but the pyramids are thought to have been lined up according to celestial beings. As for the facial depiction, it is believed that there was a new carving done from the original Lion’s face. This was supposed to be the face of Khafre. It is quite similar to a statue found of Kharfe just adjacent to the Sphinx, in the Valley Temple. There was also a discovered processional road that led to Khafre’s tomb in the Great Pyramid.
Another theory is that the Sphinx is meant to represent Amenemhat II. This theory is based on the stripes of the headgear for the human style face.
So many theories and possibilities. Will the truth ever be known definitively? With the evidence shown of reconstruction and renovation, it is possible that one of the son’s demanded the Lion’s face, meant to signify power, be removed and his Father, Khafre’s face be carved instead. This would answer up to the proportions that are nowhere near accurate. This would also explain the Sphinx being older than previously thought due to the erosion in the causeway and erosion on the Sphinx itself. Determining the factors of geology and weather and the amount of rain that had previously had fallen in the area, the Sphinx has been around much longer.
The theory that the Great Sphinx was originally a Lion makes more sense than all other theories in part because of the proportions. Secondly, ancient Egyptians believed the Lion was the protector. After the Pharaoh had passed the son had a Sphinx Lion carved as a protector over his father’s tomb and Pyramid.
As time went on, the Sphinx was thought of as an Idol to some and therefore the lion’s face was destroyed. This would have had to be from the Pharaoh’s eldest son. The human face that replaced the lion face was said to resemble the Pharaoh himself. Whether it is for the purpose of remembering his father, or due to the belief of Idolatry, the Sphinx was altered.
It may also have been so damaged by rainfall and wind erosion that the face needed to be renovated. Therefore, knowing who was buried in the largest Pyramid, for those people it made sense to make the likeness of the Pharaoh.
This hypothesis has been denied though by many Egyptologists. They claim that the Valley Temple was built prior to the Sphinx, and there is no difference claimed for age on the Temple. Therefore, since there are areas that were not finished on the Sphinx, those theories are unsubstantiated in regards to age and the erosion considerations. His other reasoning is that the Sphinx sits above the Nile aquifer. This will cause some of the limestone to flake off, but not in the amounts that these others are claiming.
He further states that if the Sphinx is to be based on erosion, this makes no apparent sense, as the older structures around the Sphinx should be weathered away to the point of virtually disappearance. This is not the case in the Valley Temple and the Pyramids, therefore it cannot be the case for the Great Sphinx.
History will remain as it is known. The Sphinx was carved for Pharaoh Khafre. The hieroglyphic texts deciphered around the area state that the Pharaoh Khufu built the largest pyramid, Khafre then built his close to his father’s but shorter in height. Symbolizing the hierarchy in the family.