Saturday, September 22, 2012


The Sphinx: When Was It Really Built and Why?  Part 1 OF 3


If you're on the go, my site on the Prehistoric Origin of the Sphinx is also available as fully  featured PDFs 
for Parts 1, 2 and 3.

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Justin Spring
This site was created by Justin Spring. I am a prizewinning poet, writer and video artist extremely familiar with preliterate cultures and especially their  oral poetry and art, which are the primary forms of communication used by these cultures since they had no writing.

Although there are several theories about the Sphinx, both alternative and establishment, they all fail to look at the Sphinx as a work of art. 

It is a very serious failing, because when considered as a work of art, the Sphinx shows definite preliterate characteristics (prior to 3200 B.C.).  This means the Sphinx was carved by a preliterate people who had a much different consciousness than the people of literate Dynastic Egypt, which also means they had completely different interests.  

Understanding that consciousness and interests is the key to really understanding who built the Sphinx and why.

I believe the Sphinx has never been looked at as a work of art for two reasons:

1. The archaeological/scientific method considers evaluating art a subjective task that has no place in its methodology, which is objective by nature. 

2. All of the existing establishment and traditional theorists on the Sphinx haven't shown any evidence of possessing a well developed sense of aesthetics. If they had, we would have surely seen by now some indication of an interest in the Sphinx as work of art. 

Colin Reader
Robert Schoch
As to  exactly when the Sphinx was built during the preliterate period, we now have weathering characteristics (thanks to Robert Schoch, Colin Reader and other geologists) that point very strongly toward the Sphinx carving being carved much earlier than the traditionally held date of 2500 B.C.. Schoch's theory is the most extreme and points to the carving being done sometime between 7000 thru 5000 B.C..

These geologists, with their hard scientific findings, turned the existing thinking on the origin of the Sphinx upside down. The weathering evidence of Schoch and Colin Reader point towards the Sphinx being carved from 400 to thousands of years earlier than the establishment view of it being carved in literate Dynastic Egypt c. 2500 B.C.. 

Both the preliterate artistic and weathering characteristics of the Sphinx have to be accounted for if we are to finally have an accurate picture of when and why it was carved. 

There is one other thing that has to be mentioned, however, and that is that fact that preliterate cultures (as a rule) leave no writings or artifacts to examine, save for a few bones and arrow heads, which makes it a period of little interest to most scientific archaeologists. This is because the traditional scientific approach needs physical evidence (artifacts, writing) to function correctly.

The  exceptions to this lack of preliterate artifacts are the monumental stone structures and sculptures that some preliterate peoples have left behind. These monumental structures and sculptures must also be viewed as works of art, because preliterate cultures were highly spiritual, artistic cultures, the two being interlinked in the most profound way, so that every artistic effort was spiritually inspired and directed. This is something our scientific archaeologists have been slow to recognize. 

Preliterate Malta monolith
Preliterate monumental sculptures and structures weren't built as artistic expressions of power and empire, as they were in Dynastic Egypt (and every other literate culture, including our own),  but as imitations of spiritual visions sent by the Gods. By imitating those visions, preliterate peoples were acknowledging they understood the intent of the Gods, because the primary spiritual concern of preliterate peoples was to always keep themselves in alignment, or harmony, with the unpredictable Gods. 

Stonehenge is also a good example of this, as archeologists are just finding out, namely that its stages of construction had little to do with providing a viewing platform for the stars and the equinoxes and solstices.

This is also why such monumental structures and sculptures were built  in stages, over long periods of times: each new stage was the result of a new vision from the Gods. In preliterate Göbekli Tepe (L), these large sculpture slabs were built over a 2000 year period.

This is why I believe that for investigators to truly understand preliterate Egypt the scientific archeological approach  has to be augmented at times with an intuitive, artistic approach  if we are to truly   determine  what the Sphinx represents and when and why it was carved. There is no other way. 

At times, I have used such a combined approach in this site and it has allowed me to arrive at some solid but very different conclusions about the Sphinx. No matter what the experts say, it is clear to me, and I hope it will become clear to you if you take the time to evaluate the evidence, that all the weathering, cultural, spiritual  and artistic evidence points toward the fact that the face of the Sphinx is that of a Nubian female leader carved in the Proto-Egyptian Preliterate Mother Goddess period sometime between 6000 and 3200 B.C. on a rocky outcropping on the Giza plateau—an outcropping that was gradually transformed into what we now know as the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Although there have been others who have suggested something similar as to the sex of the Sphinx, this site, as far as I know,  is the first one to gather sufficient physical, artistic, spiritual, cultural and weathering evidence to strongly suggest that the face of the Sphinx is indeed the face of a prophetic female Nubian shaman/leader (c.6000 thru 3200 B.C.) who had such an enormous impact on the spiritual and physical lives of the preliterate Neolithic inhabitants of the Nile delta, that she was held to be a living Goddess and honored as such by carving her face on a Giza cliff overlooking the Nile delta. 

There you have it: a simple, straightforward theory that makes enormous sense  if we look  at the Sphinx with the right mindset: the mindset of preliterate humans. If we don't, and approach the Sphinx with our modern literate, scientific mindset, we will draw all the wrong conclusions, which is the case today with all our scientific theories about the Sphinx.

Robert Graves
For those  who think such a combined scientific/ intuitive approach to be so much nonsense, here is a warning shots fired across the bow of their craft by Poet and Author Robert Graves, who used just such an approach in writing his groundbreaking book on the Preliterate Mother Goddess culture,  The White Goddess.

“....that so many scholars are barbarians does not much matter so long as a few of them are ready to help with their specialized knowledge the few independent thinkers, that is to say the poets, who try to to keep civilization alive.”

What Graves is talking about when he calls scholars "barbarians" is their refusal to step out of the confines of their disciplines and not only assist intuitive, unconfined  artists like Graves, but also their refusal to use their own powers of intuition to detect a much larger, and often hidden, picture. 

This assertion of the primacy of intuition is not limited to artists. Einstein had a similar feeling about its powers: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  

We sometimes forget that Einstein as a young physicist would go into what amounted to a trance and imagine himself riding a broom stick as it approached the speed of light. What he observed  helped him to intuitively form his Theory of Relativity, which he subsequently worked out in mathematical terms which is the language of science.

OK. Here's some basic info you'll need before we go further:

Here is an equivalency list of terms used in this blog to define Egypt.

Proto-Egypt = Prehistoric Egypt = Preliterate Egypt = Legendary period = Pre-Dynastic Egypt = Mother Goddess Egyptian Culture = 6000 thru 3200 B.C.

Literate Egypt = Male-God dominated Dynastic Egypt = 
Early -1st Dynastic Egypt (3200 thru 2900 B.C.) 
2nd - 31st  Dynastic Egypt ( 2900  B.C. thru 332 B.C)

Proto-Egyptian Culture = Nubian Goddess  tribal cultures + Semitic Mother Goddess  tribal cultures that immigrated and intermixed in the  Nile Delta 6000 thru 3200 B.C.  



All it takes is a quick glance to see the almost perfect fit of a cheetah's head on the head of the Sphinx (except for the nose because the nose of the Sphinx is missing). I have painted the Sphinx red so can see it in the overlay. Below is a different overlay, that of the entire body.

Compare the Sphinx's body proportions to those of a cheetah as shown above. The faint red line in the Photoshop overlay image(below) is the outline of the Sphinx.
Despite what we have been told, what we are really looking at when we look at the Sphinx is not a lion but a cheetah.

They are very different as the photos above clearly show. Look at the head / body proportions of each. The generally accepted thinking on this by most theorists    is that the Sphinx's head was re-carved (which is why it is so small) because the Sphinx started out with a lion's head sometime in the distant past.   I see this "Lion's head" theory as the worst kind of   thinking as there is absolutely no evidence of this of any kind: cultural, artistic, or archeological. None.

Author's Note

Let me add something else if you're  not convinced. Just look above at the size of the lion's head vs. the cheetah's head. If the supposed lion-head Sphinx was re-carved with the human face of some Pharaoh, why was his head carved so small?. A lion's head would have supplied plenty of stone (See photo L) to carve a human head in proportion to the body. But it wasn't. The supposed carvers of the lion-to-man head would have been beheaded in 2500 B.C. for carving such a small human head. Think about it and the only conclusion you can come to is that the Sphinx head is the original head and it was sized small because the cheetah's head is small in relation to its body.

End Author's Note

The lion-head Sphinx is something   thrown up to  explain the odd proportions of the Sphinx, but also to avoid considering what is obvious to anyone with two eyes: the Sphinx is a Cheetah/human carving not a Lion/human carving. The question then that theorists should have been asking themselves over the past 100 years is this: why was a Cheetah / human head carved?

Egyptian Dynastic Empire statuary  

But that question was never asked. This is what happens when   theorists get themselves locked into the position (for which there is no hard evidence) that the Sphinx was built in one fell swoop around 2500 B.C., when Egypt was a literate, Dynastic Empire. Here's the reasoning, which is both specious and circular: the symbol of Empire is always the Lion, therefore the Sphinx has to be a Lion. Establishment theorists continue to cling to  this reasoning despite the fact  their eyes are telling them  otherwise.

A Cheetah
If the Sphinx, however, was carved in preliterate Proto-Egypt, as its artistic characteristics indicate, it is almost a certainty that the Sphinx would have reflected the shape of a Cheetah, not a Lion, because the lion is a symbol of later, literate, male-dominated cultures obsessed with power and empire. 

This is because there are many links between the Cheetah and the Mother Goddess culture of preliterate Nubia and Egypt. First of all,  there are undoubtedly long Nubian/ Cheetah roots going back to preliterate times. Hunting with trained cheetahs was  something that would have been done by early preliterate Nubians because bringing down the lightning-quick antelope, who were a highly desirable  food source, could only have been done in most cases with trained Cheetahs. 

It should also be noted that this hunter-cheetah tradition continued into Dynastic times where  Nubia can be historically seen as a supplier  to Egyptian royalty of trained cheetahs to be used in hunting as well as cheetahs trained as pets. 

Still another link is the Mother Goddess Mafdet, who is a primal African/Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess with a animal/human nature. Specifically she is half Cheetah/ half female. In Preliterate Proto-Egypt, Mafdet would be seen as the protector of the spiritual values of Balance and Truth, without which I believe the male/female tension inherent in the Nubian and Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess tribal cultures would have erupted into permanent violence. I'll say more about this later. Lastly, it is highly likely that the Cheetah would have been especially prized in this highly psychic period because its  its movements (like those of the cat) are very similar to the quick, fleeting nature of psychic events.

Because of the above considerations and the fact that there also exists (as we shall soon see) good artistic, geologic and cultural evidence that the face, chest and front limbs of the Sphinx were carved sometime in the preliterate, Mother Goddess, Proto-Egyptian period, and if this is so, the Sphinx would have almost certainly reflected Cheetah characteristics. As I've said earlier, however, most theorists don't want to even consider the possibility of anything being constructed in preliterate Egypt. That prejudice, as we shall see, has led to a series of erroneous conclusions about when the Sphinx was really built and why. 

That prejudice is due in part to the fact that the scientific method doesn't work well when there are no written records  and only a few artifacts. So the interests of most scientific archaeologists have remained fixed on literate, Dynastic Egypt (whose animal/power symbol is the lion) with the twisted result that these archaeologists had to concoct a theory that would explain the odd proportions of the Sphinx by suggesting that the Sphinx was originally carved as  a lion at some unknown prior time despite the fact that there is absolutely no actual evidence of the head ever being that of a lion or indeed any evidence as to when and why such a re-carving took place.  

Just the idea itself goes against everything in  Egyptian spirituality as the suggested "Lion Sphinx" would have undoubtedly been considered by Dynastic Egyptians as a divine carving that had existed since the beginning of the world. Carving a new, different  face over an existing, ancient divine face such as their proposed  "Lion's head" Sphinx would have been seen as a sacrilege, even to the more power-driven literate Dynastic cultures. 

To further complicate matters, there is no evidence of such a monumental animal carving existing in any preliterate or literate culture anywhere in the world. 

That is not the end of it, however, because the scientific method  has no way of really understanding preliterate cultures whose spirituality that was essentially psychic in nature. As Julian Jaynes showed us sixty years ago, preliterate peoples had a much different consciousness than ours, a consciousness that by any definition would be considered highly psychic. 

Click here for a free PDF of Jaynes' The Origin of Consciousness. It was a consciousness where preliterate peoples heard compelling voices talking to them from the right side of their brains. They took these voices to be those of the  Gods  advising and directing them. In blunt language, preliterate cultures were basically psychic in nature and not rational like ours.  

While Jaynes never really develops the social repercussions of such a highly psychic consciousness (preferring to simply describe the biological reasons why these directive voices erupted from the right sides of the brains of preliterate peoples) it doesn't take much effort to come to the conclusion that these tribes would have been directed in important decisions by what we would call "psychic" voices. 

Since we now know that all preliterate hunter /gatherer tribes around the world lived in  Mother Goddess cultures, we have to also come to the conclusion that women held a special position in these highly psychic cultures simply because of their sex. 

Now here's the jump that begs to be taken: because we also now know that these Mother Goddess tribes were governed cooperatively between men and women, we have to ask ourselves why the men gave up control by sharing it with the women. It would be nice to think that this was done out of politeness due to the male recognition that females were to be honored in a Mother Goddess culture, but I hardly think that was the complete reason. Men have always been men: dominating, controlling.

I believe the reason was that  the men recognized that women were simply better shamans, i.e., better at receiving and interpreting the voices and visions sent them by the Goddesses.  In short, they were recognized as those who knew, and in a highly psychic culture, that kind of knowledge was critical and I believe the real  reason why the men agreed to share control. 

So it is clear to me at least that if these highly psychic, shaman-driven, preliterate cultures are not examined as such, but examined as if they were driven by pretty much the same rational concerns as we have, our conclusions are going to be far off the mark.

This is the case today with our establishment theorists (and many alternative theorists).  Examining preliterate cultures with a scientific methodology can be a very tricky business. Not only  is there no written material and few artifacts, but the cultures themselves were completely different from ours because they were spiritually/psychically driven and not rationally driven.

These cultures, however, can be approached correctly if we truly understand their mindset.  Their art can tell us a great deal, but art is not something that can be easily comprehended by the scientific method. You can only go so far with dimensions, material used, etc. but eventually you have to feel your way toward its truths, not think your way. 

 Sometimes  a mixture of the two approaches can be used, and this is true with the Sphinx. The facial carving of the Sphinx has definite artistic characteristics  that indicate that the front of the face was most probably carved in preliterate times, sometime between 6000 thru 3200 B.C..  I'll go into the evidence   behind this statement shortly, but right now I want to switch hats and use a logical, evidential  approach that will strongly indicate that a human face was the the initial carving, not an animal face.


First of all, there is   no evidence of monumental  animal carvings of any kind in any preliterate culture. Or literate culture for that matter.

There are, however, examples of monumental human faces (See the Olmec and Rapa Nui heads (L and below L). If a monumental animal head carving were to be found, I'd reconsider, but I know of none.  

So right now, with the face and cheetah shape of the Sphinx pointing strongly to a preliterate carving, let me use that indication to make a final important point as to why, from all we can gather, the Sphinx was such a mystery to the Egyptians themselves despite the fact that they were   keepers of extensive written records from 3200 B.C. on, which is the date they became literate. 

Rapa Nui
If, as I believe, the face, chest and front limbs  of the Sphinx was carved in early, preliterate  Proto-Egypt (6000 thru 4500 B.C.),  it is highly likely that the reason for its creation would  have been lost after many hundreds of years had passed. 

Remember, there are no written records in preliterate cultures. So for example, if the face of the Sphinx were carved in 5000 B.C., the reasons for it being created would be as much a mystery to both the late preliterate (Legendary) Pre-Dynastic Egyptians (4500 thru 3200 B.C.) and the literate Dynastic Egyptians (3200B.C.- 332 B.C.) as the enormous pyramid complex at Teotihucan was to the Aztecs.  In other words, the face of the Sphinx would have been seen  as a divine face that had existed forever.

Author's Note

Any  destructive re-carving of a face held to be divine (as the proposed  "Lion's head" would most assuredly be) would have been a much different act than the late Dynastic practice of mutilating the names of Gods or  previous Pharaohs so as to say they never existed. 

This is because the Egyptians saw the mutilation of a name  as destroying the memory of the  God or Pharaoh  in question, and was thus a way of  erasing heresies and the like. Here is Encyclopedia Britannica on this:

"Akhenaten ordered the eradication of all of Egypt's traditional gods. He sent royal officials to chisel out and destroy every reference to Amun and the names of other deities on tombs, temple walls, and cartouches to instill in the people that the Aten was the one true god."

This was not something done lightly, however, as the consequences could be unpredictable, not to mention disastroius.  This can be seen  in the Pharaoh Akhenaten (1385-1350 B.C.) who was so intent on establishing his  monotheistic religion of the Aten  that he chiseled out  every reference to Amun as well as the names of any other deities associated with the existing polytheistic religion. Unfortunately for Akhenaten,  upon his death it resulted in the  immediate overthrow of his new Aten religion and the re-establishment of the old (Amun) polytheistic divine order. 
End Author's Note

Let me repeat once again that to even consider that such a   re-carving of a divine face could have taken place  indicates how deeply out of touch most theorists   are with the spiritually-driven nature of ancient Egypt. If that spiritual nature is ignored or misinterpreted, any theory about Egypt and/or the Sphinx will be riddled with serious errors. Unfortunately, this is the situation today. However, if we use the correct approach, one which is aware of the much different artistic, cultural and spiritual of preliterate cultures, we can begin to see the Sphinx more accurately. 

For one thing, if we can admit that the face of the Sphinx has preliterate, artistic characteristics, then the establishment theory of a creation date  of 2500 B.C.  doesn't make any sense. I should mention that the 2500 B.C. date held to be fact by establishment archeologists is backed by evidence that is so weak that, in the end, their theory has to be viewed as no more than another intelligent conjecture, just as all the other theoiries are, including mine. 

The establishment evidence backing up the 2500 B.C. date for construction of the Sphinx is based on what is left  of the so-called Sphinx Temple that Kafre constructed in front of the Sphinx and then seemingly abandoned, with its condition today being no more than a  pile of rubble. 

The Sphinx Temple evidence, which is very shaky,  consists of the observation that the Sphinx Temple was constructed out of the same limestone from which the Sphinx was carved, and that it exhibits similar weathering patterns. 

That would seem to be strong evidence, but let's take a closer look at each of these observations. 

1. The Sphinx Temple was constructed out of the same limestone from which the Sphinx was carved, doesn't necessarily mean they were constructed at the same time. For example if we posit that the Sphinx was carved at say 4500 B.C., then it is entirely possible that the surrounding walls of the "Sphinx enclosure" from which the Sphinx was carved, could have remained as is for 2000 years (until appoximately 2500 B.C.). 

This possibilty exists because only three stone pyramids were bulit before Kafre's pyramid, and the first two were far away from Giza, undoubtedly using  limestone from closer quarries, and the limestone casing for Kufu's and Kafre's pyramid was quarried from across the river. Where the rest of the limestone was quarried is generally atributed to the Giza area, but there is no indication that any was taken from the enclosure walls.

It is entirely possible then that the limestone  used to build the Sphinx Temple could have been the first limestone quarried from the enclosure walls walls since the Sphinx was carved. Here are some dates for the first stone pyramid cobstruction:
  • 2630 BCE
    First pyramid is built at Saqqara, Egypt.
  • 2600 BCE
    The step pyramid is built by Pharaoh Zoser (Djoser).
  • 2550 BCE - 2528 BCE
    The Great Pyramid is constructed by Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops).
  • 2520 BCE
    Pyramid of Khafre is built at Giza.
2.  The Sphinx Temple exhibits  similar weathering patterns as the Sphinx can be misleading. The fact of the matter is that whatever weathering patterns can still be observed  on the surviving rubble, and it is rubble,  of the Sphinx Temple may be "similar," but there is no way that anyone can definitively say that they are as severe as that on the core body of the Sphinx. 

If detailed severe weathering evidence existed on the surviving Temple rubble  equal to that on the Sphinx, which ( along with its restorations) has been examined very closely  the establishment position would be much stronger. In its absence, however, it is just as rational to conclude that the Sphinx could have been built much earlier, as the weathering of the two would have to be equal in severity to conclude the Sphinx and the Sphinx Temple are the same age. 

So, in the end, the traditional 2500 B.C. date for construction of the Sphinx is based on very questionable evidence.

Let me suggest what I think is the most likely scenario for construction of the Sphinx Temple. Thanks to Schoch, we know that there is considerable evidence that the Sphinx existed prior to the time of Kafre because of the type limestone blocks used in a restoration in Kafre's time. 

A little later in ths blog,  I have suggested that if Shoch's evidence were to prove absolutely true, then the time between subsequent restorations (avg. 800 years)  suggests  that the Sphinx could have possibly been built anywhere between 3300-3100 B.C.. By the way, it could also mean that the period of 3300-3100 B.C. was merely a time of restoration itself, but  in either case, if we take 3300-3100 B.C. as a time of restoration/ construction, it is entirely posible that the Sphinx Temple was built at that time and then forgotten as the Sphinx again became buried by sand.

The timing is critical, because by 3300-3100 B.C. we are approaching, or in , the literate period, and it is only in the literate period that a priesthood and therefore formal temples would have been constructed.    For preliterate cultures, the monument itself would have been sufficient. This is true for all preliterate cultures not only the Proto-Egyptian period.

So I am going to suggest that the Sphinx Temple was bulit in 3300-3100 B.C., and that it was subsequently buried by sand as was the Sphinx. Why it was discovered  in modern times as rubble is a mystery, but I am going to suggest that Kafre may have destroyed it, perhaps encouraged by the erosion the Temple must have received due to burial under sand for 800 or so years. If this is so, it lends credence to my suggestion that Kafre was intent on bulding his own Temple, and that it was associated with his pyramid more than the Sphinx. This proposition is butressesd by the fact that there is no evidence that the Sphinx Temple was ever used or that there were priests asscociated with it. 

So much then for the establishment proposition that the Sphinx was constructed at the same time as the Sphinx Temple, which they have very shakily established established as around 2500 B.C., when Kafre's Temple was bulit.

Let me get back then to my own conjecture of the dates the Sphinx was constructed, however, is backed by  considerable artistic evidence (that has been completely ignored) indicating it is far more likely that the face, chest and front limbs  were carved in Preliterate Proto-Egypt c. 6000 thru 3200 B.C..

Yet I have to admit that there  is a problem with my very early date, namely, how can I account for the face  of the Sphinx arriving in 21st centurey in such relatively good shape? After all, in the worst case, (construction of the face in 6000 B.C.) approximately 8000 years would have passed until we see the face as it is today. That is a lot of time.  

We can partially account for it  by examining the number and scope of the various  known Dynastic repairs of the Sphinx. Here is a detailed list of those repairs.

We can also assume that in preliterate times  some "cosmetic" reconstruction and plastering of the face would have been done from time to time, although, of course, we have no written record of these. These considerations, along with  the weathering evidence, the fact that the face was never buried in sand,  and the hardness of the facial limestone (as compared to the body limestone) could easily account for the face looking pretty much as it did  8000 years ago, which is the worst case.

The Sphinx c.1900 A.D.
I have a detailed section later on that uses the approximately 1700 year period between the last known reconstruction  of the Sphinx (the Romans: 200 A.D.) until modern times (1900 A.D) to show that very little natural facial damage occurred over the last 1700 years even though the air was at its most toxic for most of the last hundred years. 

Given this fact, if we then round up 1700 to 2000 for ease of calculation, it is easily shown how we could step back in 2000 year jumps to 4500 B.C. and even  6000 B.C., and expect the face to be pretty much as we see it today.  

The evidence I present in that later section indicates that despite the enormous span of time (8000 years), the face (not the body) could have survived in very good condition. Again, this evidence reinforces my contention that a very early preliterate carving (at least of the face) was possible.

Ok. I've given you a quick taste of some of the evidence pointing  to a preliterate carving of the face of the Sphinx.  More evidence follows, and in much greater detail. You can judge for yourself if it makes sense. Trust your eyes. You are looking at a Sphinx which has the exact proportions of a cheetah.

Summary of Preceding Section: 
The Cheetah Proportions Are the First Key to Unscrambling the Truth About When the Sphinx Was Built and Why.


The Distinct Characteristics and Nature
 of Preliterate Art

Literally all theorists completely ignore the distinctive preliterate (6000 thru 3200 B.C.) artistic characteristics of the face of the Sphinx. It is simply unbelievable. All you need is some knowledge of preliterate art and the face of the Sphinx will immediately be recognizable as a preliterate carving even if it is one of the few monumental preliterate carvings we know of.

I'll go into those characteristics later, but first I want to show you some basic forms of  preliterate art. In addition to the cave drawings shown above, one of the most common forms are pictographs (simple pictures painted on rocks or wood) and petroglyphs (simple rock carvings).  

So you get a better understanding of them, I'm going to jump way ahead of myself to show you an "equation" I've extracted from a larger one that ends Part One of this blog. You  won't know what all the terms mean, but you will by the time you get to the end of Part One. At any rate, what I want to show you now is how this equation message would be done as a pictograph or petroglyph.

First Mother = Mother Goddess = Mut = Nut = Ma'at= MafdetNubia Spiritual/Psychic Practices = Cat/Cheetah = Soul Obsession = "Veiled" Giza face = Nubian Female Shaman =   Carved Giza Sphinx Face 
The equal sign here should be  read as meaning one term implies the next term (either forward or backward).

The equation pretty much sums up  my thinking on the preliterate Nubian/ Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess culture that carved the   face of a Nubian female shaman/leader on a Giza cliff to honor her as a living Goddess. You'll get a better feel for the muthos mindset  of the preliterate Proto-Egyptians if I make you examine the above equation as pictographs (simple pictures painted on rocks or wood) or petroglyphs (rock carvings) both of which preliterate peoples would have used to communicate the essence of a situation. They are essentially story pictures.

Immediately below are some actual examples of pictographs.

The carvings below are actual examples of petroglyphs.

Author's Note

For those not familiar with the term muthos, it is from the Greek for story.. It is used to describe the way preliterate people knew the world: through stories (or story pictures) with stories being seen as an imitation of life. To imitate was to know for muthos consciousness peoples, i.e., to feel the truth of something was sufficient for preliterate peoples.Logical proof was not required. 

This way of knowing is diametrically opposed to that of  logos consciousness. The term logos is again Greek for word, the written word. It is used to describe the way literate, rational peoples  know the world, which is through  reason and logic. Our modern consciousness is a logos consciousness.

End Author's Note


OK. Here's my equation again:

First Mother = Mother Goddess = Mut = Nut = Ma'at= MafdetNubia Spiritual/Psychic Practices = Cat/Cheetah = Soul Obsession = "Veiled" Giza face = Nubian Female Shaman =   Carved Giza Sphinx Face  
  The equal sign here should be  read as meaning one term implies the next term (either forward or backward).

I have supplied a picture for each of the terms in the above equation and arranged them in the same order as the word equation. Read them from left to right, then down to next sequence of pictures. In practice, the pictographs would most probably be strung out like a line of laundry if the surface were large enough. If it wasn't large enough, God knows how they would be strung out and the sequence might be hard to determine.

I should add, however, that most probably  preliterate humans with their muthos knowing would not have been overly concerned with the the sequence. Most likely what would have been important to them was knowing that each pictograph was related in some way to its neighbor, which would have been enough for them to reach the muthos conclusion that all the terms were equivalent, and that, in essence, is pretty much the situation, isn't it? 

First Mother
Mother Goddess





Spirit/ Psy Practice

"Veiled" Face

Soul Obsession


Nubian Shaman 19th cent.
Giza Sphinx w Nose

This is how the relationships I have been talking about would have been portrayed in simple pictographs in our 6000 B.C. Proto-Egyptian culture. They would have been highly simplified of course, which is the nature of pictographs and petroglyphs as actual petroglyphs and pictographs are very simple in structure compared to my  photos. The difficulty of expressing complicated thoughts with these preliterate story pictures is obvious, and one reason why hieroglyphs (codified pictographs that could be combined to express complex thoughts) eventually grew out of them.

Despite the difficulty, it would be a good exercise to try "thinking" in pictures, because it will give you an insight into the way the preliterate mindset worked. It knew the world by imitating it, not logically explaining it.  It was an imitative, artistic mind, not the logical, examining mind we have today. It wasn't really concerned with the logical expression of complex ideas and thoughts, such as those contained in my equations. This is why it was content with pictures. Pictures were imitations of the world, whether it was the exterior world or the interior world. To imitate was to know for muthos consciousness, to feel the truth of something.

Complex thoughts, of course, aren't easily expressed with pictures, but then again preliterate man wasn't really concerned with the thoughts that fill our modern, examining logos consciousness. 

Rembrandt's Aristotle Examining the Bust of Homer just about says it all in this regard. Aristotle (the literate, examining mind) vs. Homer (the preliterate imitative, artistic mind).  Remember, in preliterate cultures, writing didn't exist, nor did its step-children: history, philosophy, science, mathematics, etc..  Art was everything for preliterate peoples. Early preliterate art has several characteristics you don't see in literate art, i.e., art created after we learned to read and write. This is true of all cultures not just Egyptian preliterate art.

These characteristics are so different from literate artistic characteristics  that they are impossible to miss. Yet all our theorists have missed them (or chosen to ignore them), take your pick. The face of the Sphinx has one very important preliterate characteristic: the purposeful distortion of some of its features. 

This kind of thing always indicates that the face is a preliterate carving and could not possibly have been carved when  traditional theorists claim it was (2500 B.C.).

One of those  purposeful distortions is that  petroglyphs or sculptures  of faces of the Gods or ancestors almost always contain extremely large eyes that are out of proportion to the rest of the face, or in some cases in very early preliterate art, they show the eyes only. Here are some more examples.

Now look at the eyes of the Sphinx (L). They are  out of proportion to the rest of the face. They are simply too large. Now look at the eyes of the exquisite literate sculpture of Shepseskaf (Below, R) which was actually carved c.2500 B.C.  See the difference?  

Remember,  2500 B.C. was the same time when the exquisitely proportioned Giza pyramids were designed and constructed and that the lifelike sculpture of Shepseskaf  (below, R) was carved. 

If the oddly shaped Sphinx face was carved in 2500 B.C., the sculptors of the Sphinx would have been hung, drawn and quartered (or the Egyptian equivalent). While you're using your eyes, please note that the Shepseskaf head was carved c. 2500 B.C., the same time when most theorists claim the Sphinx was carved. Impossible. The eyes of Shepseskaf are in perfect proportion to his face. The eyes of the Sphinx are clearly not. 

It is true that the carving of  Shepseskaf is much much smaller than the Sphinx face, but that is inconsequential, as we know that the Egyptians of 2500 B.C had scaling tools that allowed them to scale up models in perfect proportion, including the Giza pyramids. The perfect proportions of the gigantic Giza pyramids are proof of this. 

But let me get back to the face of the Sphinx. Outside of the eyes, it  exhibits  good proportions. This is  because preliterate Egyptians understood proportion in sculpture. What they lacked was an understanding of how to render the fine details of human expression. I'll give you proofs of all this later in this blog. 

What is also clear to me about the face of the Sphinx is that the eyes were made purposefully larger. Why were the eyes made larger? Large eyes were the way preliterate artist signified that the face was of a God or Goddess who saw more  (understood more) than mere humans. Indeed the very size of the face indicates it is the carving of a God, because that is the way  carvings of Gods have been signified both in preliterate and literate times.

Some might say that the eyes are larger because the carving itself is relatively crude. That's a legitimate argument, but why just the eyes then? Why isn't everything out of proportion, the nose, the lips, the eyebrows? OK. OK.  Let's consider for a moment  that the eyes are too large because  the carving itself is crude by 2500 B.C. standards. Then how could it be carved in 2500 B.C.?  We're going around in circles here, aren't we? I'll go into other preliterate artistic characteristics in greater detail later in this blog. 

I've just described the preliterate characteristics of the face of the Sphinx, but I haven't said anything about the artistic quality of face as a portrait, and by that I mean, what kind of temperament or character does the face portray? I'm going to go into this later, but it's something to think about. The best way to do this is to forget it's the Sphinx and imagine it's someone you just met on the street and then stare at the face alone in a meditative state and see what comes to you. You'd be surprised.

Author's Note

When I stated earlier that preliterate Egyptians understood proportion, which I will prove later by showing you very early preliterate sculptures, I must make note of the fact that there are two oddities about the face that have puzzled theorists. The first is the flat head and the second is the extreme squareness of the lower face.  They don't puzzle me however. I'll show  later on that these oddities also indicate a preliterate carving of a human face with cheetah characteristics and also a preliterate carving that took advantage of the shape of the outcropping upon which the face was carved.

 End Author's Note

Summary of Preceding Section:
The Distinct Nature of Preliterate Art Evident in the Face of the Sphinx Is the Second Key to Unscrambling the Truth About When the Sphinx Was Built and Why.

A Quick Summary of My Theory

OK, I've just given you  two easily understood keys to unscrambling the truth about the Sphinx: the small cheetah-like head and the large eyes. 

You can verify them  by using your own eyes. In general, I'm going to make  other contentions like these as I go along, then show you a bit of evidence, but postpone showing you all the evidence until later on. My reason for doing so is there is simply a great deal about preliterate cultures that you probably don't know. Thus, much of what I'm going to say is simply to educate you. Better to get that done first.

So as I go along, I'll be repeating many of my contentions, but showing you more and more evidence. Bear with me. This is by far the easiest way to bring you along.  Right now, I'm going to expand my base of contentions by quickly outlining the essentials my theory. 

My theory is this: there is sufficient physical, artistic, cultural and weathering evidence to suggest that the face of the Sphinx is the face of a female Nubian shaman/leader who had an enormous impact on the lives of the preliterate Neolithic inhabitants of the Nile delta, an impact so great that she was held to be a living Goddess and honored as such by carving her face on on a rocky outcropping on the Giza plateau—an outcropping that was gradually transformed into what we now know as the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Author's Note

Of course we have no way of knowing if such an individual  existed as the preliterate hunter/gatherer period was one that left few clues. We are basically left to our own resources. At one end of a dark tunnel we have the face of the Sphinx, which is almost surely preliterate. What we don't know is whose face it is. 

We can, however, work backwards from the characteristics of the carved face and what we know of preliterate cultures and other large, carved preliterate faces to approximate the nature of the person represented by the carving. Others might come up with a much different deduction than I have,  so we would then have to see which deduction holds the most water. I stand ready to have such a comparison set up and judged, as I believe my own deduction, which will be expanded as the site proceeds, to be very close to the truth as to the nature of  the person represented. 

 End Author's Note

Giza Sphinx w Nubian Nose
There you have it: a simple, straightforward theory that makes enormous sense  if we look  at the Sphinx with the right eyes, preliterate eyes.


Rapa Nui
Although there is abundant evidence that the artistic characteristics of the Sphinx facial carving itself clearly point to a preliterate carving, most theorists have consistently contended that this kind of monumental sculpture (or indeed any art beyond the most primitive) could never have been created by a preliterate hunter-gatherer/early agricultural  culture.  

However, the giant preliterate Olmec heads (L) and Rapa Nui heads (R) have shown this idea mistaken because these very large human heads happen to have been created by two early-farming, preliterate cultures. (The Olmec culture existed from 1600 thru 400 B.C.  and the Rapa Nui culture from 1200 thru 1800 A.D.)

Göbekli Tepe Site
And then there is the huge and overwhelmingly intricate  arrangement of stone structures and sculptures that make up the recently discovered Göbekli Tepe site. This site was constructed by preliterate hunter/gatherers over the period 10,000 thru 8000 B.C. Its discovery pretty much squashed the theory that it was impossible for preliterate, hunter-gatherer/early agricultural  cultures to create monumental sculpture (or indeed any art beyond the most primitive).

Yet, we still have to account for the curious fact that the realistic Olmec heads are  clearly the artistic equal of anything carved in literate Dynastic Egypt, because it raises the  question as to whether the Olmec culture was indeed preliterate, as has been believed.  On the other hand, the stylized Rapa Nui heads (and large eyes) mark these carvings as having definite preliterate characteristics.

While I have been talking about these two cultures (Olmec and Rapa Nui) as being preliterate, I should make note of the fact that they appeared relatively recently (compared to our Proto-Egypt face carving c.6000 B.C.), so there is a chance than an early form of logos consciousness may have begun to challenge the muthos consciousness of its inhabitants and therefore the characteristics of their art. 

One indication as to whether this happened would have been the presence of some form of writing. There is no evidence of this at Rapa Nu (outside of some highly questionable glyphs called Rongorongo) which is not surprising since there was no written Polynsesian language, only that invented much later by missionaries. 

As far as the Olmec culture goes, however, I believe that the sophistication of the heads points to the probability that they were on the cusp of a muthos/logos evolution, although there is no proof of their having a written language outside of a recent, highly disputed discovery of some "Olmec" hieroglyphics. 

I believe these disputed heiroglyphics may be due to the possibility that some part of the very early Olmec culture was influenced by trade from China and had thus been exposed to its sophisticated artistic / linguistic sensibility. That this is a strong possibility is suggested by the early Olmec sculpture which is very sophisticated (L) and reflects definite Chinese Jade carving characteristics.  

My suggested trade with China may also explain the existence of the disputed fragmentary Olmec hieroglyphics. Chinese hieroglyphic writing was solidly in place by 1200 B.C.  and if the Chinese continued to visit and trade with Meso America, the Olmecs (1600 thru 400 B.C.) may have picked up some part of it up but perhaps never really developed it.  

We can see  this same kind of thing in the fragmentary, very early (1800 B.C.) Pre-Hebraic hieroglyphics (which I go into later) and which came into existence well before the appearance of a Hebrew alphabet (900 B.C.), a development undoubtedly due to the early Pre-Hebraic  exposure to Egyptian hieroglyphics (which came into existence around 3200 B.C.)

Göbekli Tepe Site
There is still another very important discovery we have to take into account if we want to really understand the true artistic capabilities of preliterate cultures. Those capabilities can be extrapolated from the huge and overwhelmingly intricate stone structures and sculptures that make up the recently discovered Göbekli Tepe site in Turkey. 

Göbekli Tepe Sculpture
This site was constructed by preliterate hunter/ gatherers over  the period 8000 thru 10,000 B.C. Its discovery has pretty much squashed the theory that it was impossible for preliterate, hunter-gatherer/early agricultural  cultures to create monumental sculpture (or indeed any art beyond the most primitive). 

The animal carvings at Göbekli Tepe  have proved once and for all that extensive monumental structures and sculptures can be erected by pure hunter/gatherer, preliterate cultures. Prior to the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, the establishment theory had been that art like that found  at Göbekli Tepe  is only possible if,  at the very least,  a highly organized agricultural culture exists.

The Different Nature of Preliterate Art

One of the huge mistakes that theorists make is assuming that preliterate cultures created art for the same reasons as literate cultures. In literate cultures, artistic specialists create art for the enjoyment and instruction of the community as a whole. These specialists, in turn,  are supported by sponsors (the state, royalty, the paying public.) In short, literate art is always distinguished by the fact that it is created by artistic specialists for an audience.

Where the theorists went wrong was in presuming that the kind of art found at Göbekli Tepe could only be created by highly organized agricultural cultures  because they were the only ones with enough resources (time and money) to support the creation of art by  specialists and an audience with sufficient spare time to witness those creations. 

Preliterate cultures, however, created art for completely different reasons, and in a completely different way. 

Their art, however, could be just as spectacular as anything our modern cultures have produced. 

We only have to remember Picasso's remark ("We have invented nothing") after seeing the Lascaux cave drawings to understand that great art has nothing to do with highly organized cultures. 

Preliterate peoples created art (mask, music, dance, sculpture, costume, drawing) in imitation of   voices or visions or intuitions. The artistic act took place of the moment and  was  a psychic/spiritual experience that was instinctively shared with other tribe members. Usually those psychic experiences were communal, especially in the creation of poetry, music and dance, which were really one unified art form that could be called a celebration or praising.

It had nothing to do with   artistic specialists creating art for an audience. That literate, modern  model  (of specialists creating art for an audience) simply didn't exist in preliterate cultures.

Let me put it to you this way: the artistic creators were the audience  and vice versa. Some tribe members may have been better at certain art forms than others, say in sculpture, and therefore did the essential work, but  others almost always participated in some way. 

We not I was the operative pronoun in preliterate cultures.

Here is the most important thing to understand: the tribe members    understood instinctively that the thing they were creating  mirrored the intent of the Gods because it was an imitation of the  voices or visions or intuitions they had received from them. 

They also instinctively understood that by imitating that Divine intent, they were   aligning themselves with it, i.e., they were bringing  themselves into harmony with it. Preliterate art is one of the  best examples  of pure  muthos (felt) knowing. If you  understand that, you can start to look at preliterate art (and cultures) in the way they should be looked at.

With all that said, let me get back to the preliterate face carving  of the Sphinx. There is no doubt in my mind that  face of the Sphinx face is clearly a preliterate carving (I‘m speaking now of the very front of the face, not the entire head and body of Sphinx).  The remainder of the Sphinx I see being done in stages over a long period of time as was the case with almost all preliterate art and structures of a monumental nature. I present evidence of this later in this site.

The only question then is this: If we agree that  a good theoretical time for the separation of literate Dynastic Egypt from preliterate (Neolithic Egypt) would be 3200 B.C. (when writing was invented by the Egyptians) when exactly was the face carved? I see it as being possible anytime between 6000 thru 3200 B.C., but whatever the date, something incredible must have happened at that time involving our female Nubian shaman that caused the Nile delta inhabitants to carve her face in such a monumental way, because its very size says she was considered a living Goddess.

I say this because preliterate monumental carvings are never of mere humans or animals. I have shown evidence of this earlier.The Giza face (25 feet) is  much larger than the preliterate Olmec faces (5-11 feet) and Rapa Nui faces (avg.10 feet). Yet they are all extremely large by preliterate (or even literate ) standards. From the evidence we have, such large faces are always either representations of Gods (the stylized Rapa Nui faces) or humans considered to be living Gods (the individualized Olmec faces).


So what was the incredible event that could have brought about such a carving as the giant face of the Sphinx? The only event I am aware of is the disastrous tsunami flooding of the Nile Delta caused by a huge explosion of Mt. Aetna in Sicily in 6000 B.C.. 

It is one reason why I see our female leader to be a prophet rather than a healer ( She would be like  Moses in this respect) because it was her prophetic vision of the coming flood that enabled the inhabitants of the Nile delta to move to higher ground (which in most cases meant the Giza plateau). 

I see that prophetic act as one of the primary reasons for them believing our Nubian prophet to be a living Goddess. This is because her prophecy allowed the Nile delta inhabitants to save themselves, their seed stores,  grain stores  and herd animals so they could start anew.

It also marked the Giza plateau and cliff as a special, perhaps sacred  place because it  allowed many of the Nile delta inhabitants to survive the 25 foot waves generated by the Mt. Aetna tsunami. Except for the  Giza plateau, which is about 200 above sea level where the Giza pyramids are located, the Nile delta is flat and depending where you are standing at sea level for 20-200 miles in all directions before high ground can be reached on either side of the delta. The Giza plateau is  located at the bottom of the delta and would be the most easily reached higher ground for most Nile Delta inhabitants. 

Think of what the much smaller storm surge (7-16 feet) of hurricane Katrina did to the New Orleans/Mississippi  delta, an area almost identical to the Nile delta, but with sophisticated flood protection, and you'll get some idea of the destruction wreaked upon the Nile delta. The Nile delta flood, by the way, has been historically documented in an Egyptian flood story, something I will go into in greater detail later.

Let me compare Noah for  a moment with our Nubian female shaman. We can view Noah  metaphorically  as a stand-in for the Hebrew God because Noah recreated the world out of the dark, primordial waters. For more on this, see my Blog on Noah. I contend that we could also see our female Nubian shaman in somewhat the same way, i.e.,  as  Goddess-like,  because like Noah's saving of the Hebrew culture, our shaman could be seen as saving  enough of the Nile delta early agricultural and herding culture to allow it to begin to flourish again. 

This is important because it is this Nile delta  culture that would eventually transform itself  into Dynastic Egypt and an early agricultural/herding culture thrives (and develops) only as long as its herding animals, tools, grain stores and seeds remain intact.  If all of these were destroyed in the flood,  the only option of those who survived would have been to resort to a scavenger hunting and gathering life.  The flourishing agricultural and herding culture that had dominated the delta would have completely disappeared. It would eventually reappear, of course,  but we can only guess how many hundreds of years that would have taken.

So  the flood came at what could be called the worst possible time for the emerging Nile delta agricultural/herding culture. I say this  because we know that once such cultures are firmly established, they grow quite quickly and develop complex social, legal, and trading organizations. This is why I see the saving of the Proto-Egyptian Nile delta culture as so important: this early agricultural/herding culture was set to develop into  a much more complex culture that would eventually create the physical and spiritual foundation for  Dynastic Egypt.

Author's Note

If there were other equally disastrous events in 6000 thru 3200 B.C., I might change my thinking as to the initial time of the facial carving. Everything else about my theory, however, would remain the same with the exception of a slightly different time frame for the various phases required to complete the full carving of the Sphinx as we know it today.

  End Author's Note


So it should be clear that our proposed Nubian shaman's prophecy of the flood would have been one reason why she would have been honored as a living Goddess by carving her face  onto a Giza plateau cliff in 6000 B.C.. This event, which seems very possible, then gives us a solid starting point for the carving of the Sphinx. I believe, however, that her Nubian Mother Goddess beliefs would also have had a profound spiritual  impact on the Nile delta tribes and would  have been another reason for honoring her as a living Goddess. I'll go into detail on that later, but it seems clear to me that her spiritual impact and her Flood prophecy would be seen as closely related aspects of her being a living Goddess. But why a cliff on the Giza plateau ?

One immediate reason would have been that the Giza plateau was the place where many of the Nile inhabitants would have taken refuge from the flood. Another reason I  suggested earlier is my conjecture that that there may have been a large, faint, naturally-occurring, weathered face on the Giza cliff that vaguely resembled both a cheetah and a human face.This face would have been seen as  a divine representation of Mafdet, the cheetah/human Mother Goddess. Although this suggested scenario maybe seem too many coincidences for some, it is not so far-fetched if we remember that Proto-Egypt was a highly psychic culture as well as the the fact that such naturally weathered faces are not all that unusual.

artist's conception of "veiled" face
You can see weathered cliff faces throughout North America. Native Americans hold them to be divine. So  if the reason for our Nubian female shaman's journey  was a vision in which she saw her face being born out of a preexisting weathered or "Veiled" face  at Giza that resembled Mafdet, then  there are enough historically recorded instances of similar visions to suggest this is something like that may have happened to bring our Nubian female shaman to this particular place in Egypt at this particular time. 


Her vision and journey makes even more sense once we see (as we shall shortly) that the most likely Patron/Protector Goddess of our female Nubian shaman would have been Mafdet, the half cheetah/half human Mother Goddess.

Because of this, it  would also have been quite natural for our female Nubian shaman to not only physically emulate the Cheetah /human nature of Mafdet, but also   psychically share Mafdet's  characteristics. After all, this is what the Patron/Protector Goddess relationship implies. I'll go into this  in detail shortly, but I want to drive home the point that preliterate cultures were always driven by spiritual concerns, and the first thing that would have come to the minds of preliterate peoples gazing at the "Veiled" human/cheetah face at Giza is that it was the face of Mafdet.

Mafdet is not well  known in our times and was not a primary Goddess in literate Dynastic Egypt, but  she was a primal Mother Goddess in Nubian Proto-Egypt. I will present evidence shortly showing  that both the facial carving and front chest and limbs  of the Sphinx accurately reflect  Mafdet's Cheetah /human nature.

Author's Note

The act of carving our proposed Nubian female shaman’s face over my proposed "Veiled" face at Giza  would have been a muthos way of saying that the “Veiled” Mafdet face was finally fully born, i.e., brought into the world (unveiled) as the face of a living Goddess: our Nubian female shaman. It is likely then that the our Nubian female shaman  would  be seen as the daughter  of Mafdet.

I should add that it makes muthos (felt) sense that the Giza facial carving would have reflected  Mafdet's cheetah/human  characteristics as well what the face of our Nubian female shaman  actually looked like. I have a section later on that goes into great detail on this.

 End Author's Note

So there it is:  a theoretical scenario that could have led to the carving of the Giza Sphinx face  in 6000 B.C.. As I go on, I'll cite more and more evidence backing up this scenario. I have to admit  I have no idea if things  happened exactly as I've spelled them out. It is simply my best deduction of the way things might  have happened to bring about a large Nubian   female facial carving on a cliff in Giza c. 6000 B.C. The factors I used in that deduction were partly factual (weathering, the tsunami flood, the distinct nature and characteristics of preliterate art) and partly intuitive based on my understanding of the psychic nature of preliterate cultures.

I will say this, however, with absolutely no equivocation:  I believe something like this did happen and that  the face of the Sphinx  is a of preliterate black female Nubian who was of immense importance to the Nile delta people.

My Guide in Much of  This is Robert Graves

My guide in much of this is Robert Graves, the English poet and author of The White Goddess, which was Graves' term for the Mother Goddess. In this book, Graves  focused on what he knew best, the European Mother Goddess cultures. Since his primary interest was in clarifying the origin and nature of poetry, the book focuses on proving that the Mother Goddess was another name for the Muse, which was a stunning breakthrough and changed my own thinking about the artistic power inherent in Mother Goddess cultures.

Sumerian Mother Goddess

However, psychic and scholar Alice Hickey saw the total ground that  Graves covered  as being much larger than poetry. She said to me one day, 

"...Graves has a great deal to say about ....the Mother Goddess. He contends the Goddess dominated preliterate cultures, and that the celebrations of her power as Mother, Lover, Creator and Destroyer of Life can be detected across cultures....."

That sent me to plunging immediately through the book but what really grabbed me as I read The White Goddess  was not only Graves immense erudition but the intuitive/psychic methods he used to come to some of his conclusions. As I say in my book, ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds

"... I couldn’t help but admire Graves for overcoming the obstacles he must have encountered in interpreting the mythical scraps that made up his raw material. What I really admired, though, was that he made no bones about accepting the frequent psychic insights that often supplied him with missing parts of a myth he was trying to untangle. He had a different name for those visitations—analeptic thinking is what he called them—but he had no doubt as to their accuracy. And from the lack of telling criticism of his arguments and conclusions, it is evident his analeptic thinking was indeed highly accurate. 

I have used somewhat the same approach in this blog and it has proved immensely fruitful.  See Wikipedia's evaluation of Graves' thinking and methodology Let me give you some quotes from Graves himself that I particularly admire and try to adhere to:

“....that so many scholars are barbarians does not much matter so long as a few of them are ready to help with their specialized knowledge the few independent thinkers, that is to say the poets, who try to to keep civilization alive.”

“Fact is not truth, but a poet who willfully defies fact cannot achieve truth.”

On a few occasions, I have used somewhat the same approach, and it has proved immensely fruitful. In each of these cases,  I have noted that I have used such an approach. I have also pointed out the times when my "analeptic" insights were later substantiated by archaeological findings I was not aware of at the time. 

I only employed an "analeptic" approach when it was clear to me that something critical was missing from the "factual" evidence I had accumulated on a particular matter. In almost all cases, however, my theory on when and why  Sphinx was carved, is based on known archaeological findings and my evaluation of the artistic characteristics of the face of the Sphinx.

I don't expect establishment theorists to give much credence to my occasional "analeptic" approach. I'm sure there will be a lot of eye rolling and Twilight Zone whistling. My answer to all that is this: "In the land of  two-eyed, logical men, the three-eyed logical man is King." So be it. Let me get on to my  theory on the Sphinx, which is based  is based on the following factors, the first two of which have never been seriously considered: 

1)  the artistic evidence indicating a very probable preliterate carving of face.

2) the spiritual/psychic nature of the Proto-Egyptian culture, and indeed, any preliterate culture.

3) the few preliterate historical facts that are available, e.g., weathering and the 6000 B.C. Mt. Aetna tsunami.

Justin Spring
Let me say one last thing about my own seemingly radical theory. Time is on my side. The internet has changed the way new knowledge is spread and accepted.  It is no longer the preserve of academic quarterlies and the like. Build it and they will come is the operative saying as far as I'm concerned.  I'm in it for the long run.  I have an epic  poet's patience.

I might add that there was a great deal of whistling and eye rolling when Graves' book first came out,  but it has long since stopped because no one has   ever  proved his contentions to be in serious error. 

Marija Gimbutas
In addition, the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas on Mother Goddess cultures was not available at the time the White Goddess was written (Graves' editions appeared in 1948, 1952 and 1961). Gimbutas' archeological proof of the actual existence of preliterate Mother Goddess Cultures gave even greater credence to Graves claims and squashed most archaeological criticisms.

Gimbutas' books on Mother Goddess cultures were:  The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe (1974); The Language of the Goddess (1989),  The Civilization of the Goddess (1991), all of which were  based on her documented archaeological findings and presented an overview of her conclusions about Neolithic cultures across Europe: housing patterns, social structure, art, religion, and the nature of literacy. The Civilization of the Goddess articulated what Gimbutas saw as the differences between the Old European system, which she considered goddess- and woman-centered (gynocentric), and the Bronze Age Indo-European patriarchal ("androcratic") culture which supplanted it. According to her interpretations, gynocentric (or matristic) societies were peaceful, they honored homosexuals, and they espoused economic equality.

It didn't help that Graves called most of the scholars in his field barbarians, and that ignited most of the academic criticism. Yet it also just about sums up my own feelings about our establishment theorists. What Graves was really talking about was not their behavior, after all most were academics, but their  barbarous thinking, that is, thinking that ignores  more subtle forms of evidence:   artistic, spiritual and social/cultural. It is a profound weakness in the scientific method when it is applied to  areas of study like this, i.e., while the scientific method may be very good for developing and proving theories about particle physics, it is not very good for developing theories about the origin of the Sphinx.

Robert Bauval
Not only does the scientific method ignore non-physical evidence,  the establishment theorists who use it have become  so mired in  the literate, logos consciousness, male God, Empire-building  picture of Dynastic Egypt they have created   that anything that doesn't easily fit into it is immediately dismissed. 

You only have to read Robert Bauval's book (THE ORION MYSTERY- 1994)  to see how his incredibly detailed and scientifically researched theory of the Giza pyramid complex being a time dependent (2450 B.C.) exact image of the Orion constellation and related stars was initially dismissed by almost all establishment theorists. 

So much for the open mind of  science and the academies. Their grounds for initially rebuffing Bauval  (outside of the fact that they had never taken the time and effort to investigate the obvious positional similarity of the Giza complex and the Orion constellation) was their firm  but mistaken conviction that Dynastic Egypt was not a star-oriented culture but a sun-oriented culture.

The Giza alignments with the stars
When Bauval finally proved  beyond a doubt that the three Giza pyramids, the surrounding pyramids, the  Queen and King chamber shafts and Heliopolis exactly imitated both the  Orion /Osiris constellation  (not just the belt) as well as the North star and Sirius/Isis as they were astronomically positioned in 2450 B.C., the establishment theorists had to finally pay attention and concede that Bauval had opened a new window on Egyptian history, science and religion.

This imitation was not done just for the fun of it, or as a show of majesty.  The imitation was intended to be a physical representation of the spiritual journey of the Pharaoh's soul to become one with Orion/Osiris as described in the Pyramid Texts.

Bauval's impressive proof of the accuracy of his theory finally forced the establishment theorists to totally revise their thinking about the sophisticated nature of Egyptian spirituality (and astronomical knowledge.) More importantly, it made all theorists face once and for all what I believe is absolutely essential to really understanding both Pre-Dynastic and Dynastic Egypt, namely that Egyptian spirituality from its very beginning was totally obsessed with the soul  and its journey to immortality, because this was what the Dynastic imitation created in Giza was all about. 

It also made those same theorists face the fact that the Egyptians were prepared to do whatever was necessary  to keep  themselves in total harmony with  the  world of the Gods  by artistically, spiritually, physically  and socially imitating it in every possible way.

Equally important, Bauval's insights showed that the muthos approach of imitation continued right into the logos culture of literate Dynastic Egypt and is the distinctive mark of Egyptian spirituality along with its Male/Female Balance. Egypt never succumbed to logos consciousness to the extent the Greek and Hebrew cultures did.  It always remained balanced between logos consciousness and muthos consciousness. If you can begin to understand this, you can begin to understand ancient Egypt.

An Introduction to Mafdet
 the Cheetah/Female Mother Goddess

Let me talk some more about Mafdet, as she is critical to my theory. Even to someone moderately familiar with the Egyptian deities, the name Mafdet may not ring a bell. That is because she is a Mother Goddess who played an important role in the preliterate African/Nubian Proto-Egyptian culture and a critical member of the Mother Goddess pantheon of Mut, Nut and Ma'at.  

This preliterate Mother Goddess pantheon is seldom brought up because almost all theorists focus on the literate male-God pantheon of  literate Dynastic Egypt. 

Unlike the other Mother Goddesses (who were all represented as having a human form, Mafdet is particularly unusual in that she was always represented as half human /half cheetah.Those animal /human characteristics (together with her acknowledged animal fierceness in protecting what were initially most certainly the tribal, Mother Goddess spiritual values of Balance and Truth) are an indication of Mafdet having an early preliterate African/Nubian Mother Goddess origin.

  Author's Note

It is clear to me that Mafdet barely made it into the Dynastic Pantheon when the male Gods ascended (around 3200 B.C.) precisely because of those Nubian/Mother Goddess/animal characteristics. In short, she smacked much too much of the of the old Nubian Mother Goddess period. This is why we have almost no artistic representations of her today. In Dynastic times we see her represented sometimes as a lynx or a mongoose. I believe that both of these were are attempts to reshape the "cheetah" nature of Mafdet. Mafdet couldn't  be disposed of entirely, however, because of her relationship to Ma'at and therefore Ra, but I believe she was subjected to the kind of benign neglect that Nixon made famous many thousands of years later.
End Author's Note

As far as our Nubian female shaman is concerned, there are a number of reasons why it would be likely  that  Mafdet would become her Patron Goddess. 

This Patron relationship is something not well understood. In the case of our proposed River Mother and Mafdet, I'll go into the particulars of that relationship a bit later, but it will suffice at this time to think of the Patron God in Jungian terms as a psychic archetype that not only shares many of the characteristics of the human in question but can also rise up and energize that human emotionally, physically and psychically.  

First of all, when I say that Mafdet was a  protector of tribal, Mother Goddess spiritual values, I mean that Mafdet was seen as the fierce protector of the  Goddess Ma'at who I believe initially represented  Truth and Balance in preliterate times. A critical, central belief of Dynastic Egypt was that if Ma'at were to be destroyed by the Serpents of Disorder, there would be  Chaos. As I am going to show, this role of both Ma'at and Mafdet had to have had its origin in the African/Nubian Mother Goddess culture.

It is my belief that these primary spiritual values of Truth and Balance would have originated in the Mother Goddess period, although Ma'at in literate Dynastic times also came to represent Order, Law, Morality and Justice, as these are primarily literate concerns. From the beginning, though, Mafdet was seen as protecting Ma'at from the Serpents of Disorder that were constantly threatening to drag the social order  into Chaos.  

This fear of Chaos  is central to Egyptian spirituality and I believe it has very deep preliterate roots. It most probably originated in the high value the Nubian/Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess culture placed upon Balance, which in preliterate times would have taken the form of co-operation between the sexes. We have to remember that there had to have been a great deal of tension, fear and  anger on the part of men because of the  role women played  in these cultures as those who knew. 

I have no doubt that from time to time this male anger  burst out against the women  with disastrous social consequences and was thus to be avoided at all costs. This is why Mafdet would be such a prominent Mother Goddess. Without Balance, the entire social /spiritual structure of those early hunter /gatherer tribes would have broken down. Thus, I think it is clear even to modern peoples that without Balance, the cooperative leading of the tribe by men and women would be lost and Chaos would ensue. 

The importance of Truth, however, is not that obvious to modern peoples since lies and deception are apart of our daily lives. We almost expect them in any social transaction. So why does Truth play such an important role in Proto-Egypt and in preliterate cultures in general? 

The answer to that lies in the nature of the early human consciousness that all preliterate peoples possessed. Julian Jaynes tells us that humans possessing a  muthos consciousness weren't aware  of guilt and planned deceit because they had no mental space to endlessly replay a wrong they had done (guilt)  or endlessly plot how to wrong someone (planned deceit). In their place were the primary emotions of shame and lying (on the spot). 

This helps explain why Indians in our Western movies always spoke of white men as speaking with forked (or split) tongues, meaning that they said one thing but intended another, which is an excellent description of the planned deceit that came with logos consciousness, and is something very different from lying on the spot, which was the nature and extent of deceit among preliterate peoples. 

In short, preliterate tribe members expected the truth in their communications with each other. They knew no other way. Not telling the truth about important matters, e.g., the death of a tribe member, endangered the stability of the tribe because it threatened to destroy the tribe members' ability to trust each other. It may help us see the effect of lying if we think of the hunter/gatherer tribes as large families of 30-60 people, all intimately related. Then think of your family and what the effect of lying would have on its ability to trust one another when important matters were involved. 

For preliterate peoples,  however, the detection of a severe lie could lead to the liar being shunned by the tribe, or in the worst case permanently expelled from the tribe,  which was the cruelest fate as well as the greatest shame a tribe member could experience. 

The situation is quite different for modern peoples. We, with our immense arsenal of planned deceit, can endlessly deceive our fellows. We almost expect that some form of planned deceit will play a role in many important communications we have with each other. 

But lies poisoned a tribe as it does a family. It prevented the members of the tribe from trusting one another. We tolerate it because as modern people  we live in large groups of people who aren't that dependent on each other. Everyone is essentially a stranger. We can escape the lies, or ignore them, by simply moving away from the liars. That wasn't possible in a  small tribe whose members depended on each other for everything and most especially, survival.  Existing outside the tribe was unthinkable.

In short, Truth and Balance were intertwined preliterate spiritual values that maintained the healthy life of a tribe. Without Balance, the cooperative governing of the tribe would be lost and  the murderous fighting between men and women would bring about  the abandonment of Truth, the value that enabled tribe members to trust each other. Thus once Truth and Balance were lost, darkness of Chaos would rush in to take their place.

The values represented by Ma'at and protected by Mafdet, began to expand as the Nile delta Proto-Egyptian tribes began to form rudimentary agricultural/herding communities sometime after 6000 B.C.. Those communities became partially dependent for the first time on orderly growing and harvesting practices. I believe this is when the first recognition of Order being a virtue of importance began. 

However, it was in late preliterate times c. 4500 thru 3200 B.C. and literate, Dynastic times, that Order became absolutely essential  because their agricultural activities became very large and they, in turn,  became completely  dependent on extremely orderly growing and harvesting practices. Without them, their entire food supply could be destroyed and there would  be a sudden absence of food. It didn't matter if the disturbance was climatic or organizational, the social chaos  brought on by famine was the Egyptians' worst nightmare.

Thus I see the primary Egyptian spiritual values of Balance and Truth  developing naturally out of the Mother Goddess hunter/gatherer culture c.6000 thru 4500 B.C., only to be expanded in the later preliterate period (c. 4500 thru 3200 B.C.) to include the first glimmers of Order as organized agriculture began to replace the rudimentary agricultural/herding activities that existed alongside the hunting/gathering activities of 6000 thru 4500B.C.. 

 In Dynastic times,  I see Order becoming an even more important spiritual value because of the sheer size and complexity of the empire. This is also the time when Ma'at came to embody not only Order as a  prime spiritual value but also  Law, Morality and Justice, as these are primarily literate concerns.Thus it is clear that while Ma'at developed over time, the Mafdet/Ma'at relationship went back at least to the Early  Nubian Proto-Egyptian (6000 thru 4500 B.C) period and probably much ealier, and it too strengthened and deepened with the impact of highly organized agriculture.

The cheetah face is square
Which brings us back to our prophetic female Nubian shaman. As a protector of spiritual values, I see her (as I see her earlier counterparts) as an embodiment of Mafdet and therefore a particularly potent spiritual leader. I believe she (and her earlier shaman counterparts)  carried  into the Nile delta the  potent spiritual beliefs of the African (Nubian) Mother Goddess culture, which I believe  included the values of Truth and Balance as represented by the Goddess Ma'at. 

When I speak of her "shaman counterparts", I mean that I see our prophetic female Nubian shaman as one of a long line of Nubian shaman/prophets who traveled back and forth between the Nile Delta and Nubia during Neolithic times. I see her as differing from the others in the same way as Jesus differed from the prophets who prefigured him. That is to say, both Jesus and my proposed female shaman  were both psychically superior to those who prefigured them i,.e, they could perform feats of prophecy and healing beyond those of their predecessors.

 Nubian female shaman
As to my assumption that there existed significant traffic between Nubia and the Nile delta during Neolithic times, the latest archeological findings bear me out. Everyone was moving all the time in prehistoric cultures. The Nile just made it easier. With them went their Gods and Goddesses. It is a known fact that preliterate tribes have always easily assimilated new Gods and Goddesses into their existing spiritual worlds. 

I believe this to be the case with the Nubian Mother Goddesses. They were easily assimilated into the Mother Goddess spiritual world of the  Semitic tribes in the Nile delta and eventually became the powerful Dynastic Egyptian Goddesses (Isis, Mut, Nut, and Ma-at) we know today.

Finally, my suggestion that the giant face of the Sphinx is the face of an actual female Nubian shaman considered a living Goddess is based partially on the artistically similar preliterate giant Olmec heads. I've already discussed these heads somewhat, but I have a detailed section on them and their peculiar aesthetic, and what they really represent later on in this blog.

Rapa Nui
The important thing to realize about the Olmec faces (vis a vis the stylized Rapa Nui heads) is that the Olmec faces are clearly modeled after individual human faces and yet their giant size indicates they were considered Gods, living Gods, which is exactly what I contend the large Sphinx face is: the face of our Nubian female shaman, a living Goddess. 

When we compare the Sphinx and individualized Olmec  faces to the  stylized giant heads at Rapa Nui we can see the difference. The Rapa Nui faces are clearly stylized Gods and not representations of individual humans considered living Gods. Well, there it is. The remaining part of this site gives detailed evidence backing up all of these various contentions.

A Theory That Breaks New Ground

As should be clear by now, my theory about the Giza Sphinx uses a much different approach than those used by other alternative and establishment theories. Otherwise it is quite conventional in that it presents its arguments in a clear, commonsense way. These arguments are based on the artistic and spiritual nature of preliterate (before 3200 B.C.) Egypt, both of which are almost totally absent from other theories, both alternative and establishment. 

It thus introduces concepts which may be completely new to the average reader (as well as professional theorists of all stripes), so I have taken the pains to introduce them very completely. Because of that, this blog is long, but I can assure you it is very easy reading. 

Robert Schock
If you stick with it, it will all come together in the end. In addition, you'll gain new knowledge not only about the Sphinx, but about Egypt in general, and preliterate Egypt in particular, because understanding preliterate Egypt is the key to understanding when the Sphinx was really built and why.  My theory takes into account for the first time the unique forces that drove preliterate (prehistoric) cultures and in particular their  highly spiritual art, which is absolutely critical to properly understanding Egypt and the Sphinx.

Mark Lehner
J A West
My theory, however, doesn't  negate in whole any of the existing theories, both alternative and establishment. All of those theories have been well researched and thought out. Rather, it modifies their timetables and some of their assumptions (and therefore some of their conclusions). I include in this the alternative theories of John Anthony West, Robert Schock, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock and their counterparts, as well as the establishment theories of Mark Lehner and his counterparts.

Bauval and  Hancock
I will say, however,  that one of the true weaknesses of the alternative position is their continuing assumption that the Sphinx was created by an early  culture that has long since perished, but was similar in many ways to the Dynastic Egyptian culture. 

Unfortunately, that always leads to establishment theorists countering with the well-known hay-maker:  If that is so, where are the artifacts of that culture? Show me one artifact, just one. The alternative theorists, of course, have none to show.  

The solution to this sucker punch is for alternative thinkers to begin to see that the Sphinx was created for the most part by a hunter-gatherer culture, like the one that created Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, for which there are absolutely no cultural artifacts of the kind you would find from a highly organized, agricultural  dynastic-like culture. Hunter-gatherer cultures leave no traces except a few bones. Yet one of them  created the monumental  Gobekli Tepe art in Turkey. 

Pretty much the same the same thing (an absence of surrounding artifacts) can be said of the Rapa Nui  and Olmec heads, except they were carved relatively recently so there are a few artifacts, mostly small carved sculptures, nothing even approaching  the size and complexity of the heads themselves. Nothing. Like the face of the Sphinx, they seem to have appeared out of nowhere with no steps leading up to them. 

The Sphinx c.1900 A.D.
We also have to consider the fact that, in looking for artifacts in the distant hunter/gatherer past of Proto-Egypt, the Egyptian desert is in a class of its own in the way it can make things truly  disappear under hundreds of feet of sand. 

There indeed may be other preliterate, monumental structures and sculptures buried beneath the deep and drifting sands, but we will have to wait for their reappearance. Whether this ever happens or not is really inconsequential as far as I'm concerned, because my own belief is that the initial phases of the Sphinx (face chest front limbs) were created by preliterate hunter/gatherers who left no traces except for what they carved of the Sphinx.

 Author's Note

The Egyptian sands do present a truly formidable problem in trying to look into the very distant past, i.e., 6000 B.C., but artifact burial in any climate is a problem archeologists almost always encounter. Dirt  gathers in more than  corners. Over time, it covers everything.

Sometimes burial is brought about the forces of nature. However, it seems both the Olmec heads and the monuments at Gobekli Tepe were purposefully buried, which delayed their discovery. The forces of nature then added their two cents over the centuries.

If a few more thousand years had passed before the discovery of Rapa Nui, I suspect that the Rapa Nui heads would have been fully buried and not just up to the waist.

 End Author's Note


With all that said, what I see both the establishment and alternative theories lacking  are:

 1) A proper artistic evaluation of the aesthetic quality of the face of the Sphinx  as a piece of sculpture. The aesthetic quality of the face will indicate quite clearly  what time period it was most probably carved in.This is especially true of Egyptian art in literate times where it had a highly codified set of rules that insured the quality of any painting or carving.

Mother Goddess
2) A solid understanding of the much different spiritual nature of preliterate  cultures, and in particular the Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess culture c.6000 thru 3200 B.C.. 

Preliterate cultures were always driven by spiritual concerns and because of this their monuments and structures were built in stages over very long periods of time. (Literate cultures were always driven by Empire building concerns and their monuments and structures were built over very short periods of time to celebrate current events and leaders. We are a literate culture.)

3) A proper understanding of the much different nature of preliterate consciousness. All of the establishment and alternative theories assume that the consciousness of preliterate peoples (and in this case the Proto-Egyptians) was the same as that of modern peoples,  but it wasn't. I'll go into this in detail later, but if you want to find out right now what I'm talking about, take a look at  the revolutionary findings of Julian Jaynes on the nature of preliterate consciousness,  

Click here for a free PDF of The Origin of Consciousness.

Stages of Stonehenge
Because their consciousness was radically different from ours, their cultures were radically different from ours. They weren't logical, rational cultures, nor were their spiritual, intellectual and artistic concerns anything like ours. Once these three things are taken into consideration, they inevitably point toward a preliterate carving of the face of the Sphinx sometime between 6000 and 3200 B.C., although at the current time,  6000 B.C. seems the most likely. 

In addition, the sporadic yet continuous way in which all monumental preliterate art is created points towards the  Sphinx (head, chest, limbs and body) being carved  in a sporadic, continuous  act of spiritual creativity over many, many hundreds of years.


Author's Note

In the event you think other Sphinx theories are based on hard, irrefutable facts, let me inform you that  all of the existing alternative and establishment theories about the Sphinx  (when it was built and why) are based on conjecture. No hard evidence exists backing any of these theories. Just intelligent conjectures like my own.

End Author's Note

With those caveats in place,  I am going to suggest that that the Sphinx was carved neither in 2500 B.C, nor in 10,500 B.C., but in seven phases, the first (the face) sometime between 6000 B.C. and 3200 B.C., although the Mt. Aetna tsunami makes me favor 6000 B.C. as the most probable start date (the face), with the the last ( the rump and tail) being carved in 2550 B.C.. 

In addition to my earlier contention that the Sphinx was carved in imitation of a cheetah,  I also believe that the face we now see on the Sphinx is the original face, the face of a Nubian female shaman carved c.6000 B.C.. 

I believe the facial carving took place to honor her as a living Goddess whose Patron Mother Goddess was the half cheetah/half female Goddess Mafdet

Under those circumstances, as I've stated earlier, the Nubian female shaman would most probably have been considered the daughter of Mafdet. 

Therefore, it would be appropriate that the face of the Sphinx (and later the head and body) would reflect Mafdet's cheetah/human nature as well as what our female Nubian shaman looked like.

I believe that at first, only the very front of the face was carved. It took the form of a simple bas relief that was carved on top of a weathered, naturally occurring, vague or “Veiled,” face (R) resembling both  a human and a cheetah on an rocky outcropping (sometimes called a yardang) on the Giza plateau. 

The Photoshop split face (L) suggests what that human/cheetah, weathered face might have looked like. You'll have to forgive my  imitation. Such a face would have surely  been more vague and not as as symmetrical. 

The  photo  below shows an actual weathered rock resembling a bear so you get some idea as to what these things actually look like. Later on, I'll show you photos of  many naturally weathered faces on cliffs.

I am also calling the weathered face a "Veiled" face not only because of its vagueness but also because it would have reminded viewers of a caul, i.e., a membrane that sometimes covers the face and body during birth. (photo,  L). 

Preliterate peoples witnessed births every day; they weren't "hidden" events as they are in our culture. They held the caul to be a prediction of the future greatness of the person being born. 

This combination of a caul and human/cheetah characteristics would have given such a "weathered" face a spiritual authority that is hard for us to imagine. Prehistoric Egyptians would have taken it to be a divine God-face that had existed since the creation of the world, especially since they would most probably have also recognized it as a representation of Mafdet, the Cheetah Goddess, who was half female, half cheetah.

Again, Mafdet, (see cheetah head under head of embalmed Pharaoh)  was a very early preliterate Nubian Mother Goddess, who would have been well known by the Proto-Egyptians of 6000 thru 3200 B.C.. I go into all of this in great detail later on, but I wanted to briefly set out what I see could have been the basic situation in Giza c.6000 thru 3200 B.C. because it lends plausibility to my thinking as to why the face of the Sphinx was carved as it was.

As I said earlier, many will object to all this as being mere conjecture, as there is no way of knowing if such a weathered face or such a Nubian female shaman  ever existed. I agree they are conjectures. The weathered face is a conjecture based on the possibility that a series of environmental accidents happened that resulted in something like a weathered face. Science doesn't like these kinds of accidents. 

It prefers  its own version of accidents, such as those it uses in explaining why we are as we are. In short, science posits that the existing universe (and us) are the result of a series of "accidents" i.e., random events, that occurred over billions of years after the Big Bang. The probability of all those post-Big Bang accidents occurring to bring us to where we are now has been estimated as  1/the number of atoms in the universe. 

The probability of my rock face "accident" occurring is very large compared to that number. Such "weathered faces" happen all the time around the world as I shall show later on.

     The "Wild Nile" and Immigration 

The Nile delta ( and valley)  c.6000 B.C. was virgin territory for 3000 years (10,000 thru 7000 B.C) because  the "wild" Nile, was in a constant raging, flood state. I believe that when the snow caps stopped melting and the Nile returned to its normal flow, hunter/gatherer tribes most probably from Nubia and possible Etiopia began to migrate into the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta around 6500 B.C..

They would have been attracted to the fertile Nile Valley and Delta because after 10, 000 B.C. until 2350 B.C. the climate of all of North Africa alternated  between sporadic heavy rain with tropical green forests and rainless periods of complete desertification. For hunter-gatherers that meant feast or famine. 

In the areas fed by the now tame Nile river, it didn't matter whether northern Africa was green or a desert, because wet, marshy areas existed along the banks of the Nile River and made up most of the Nile Delta.  These areas   made fishing and hunting (game birds, fish, frogs, etc.) a hunter/gatherer's paradise for hunter-gatherer immigrants: you moved in and ate immediately. 

Although much of this fertile marshy land was eventually  drained and converted to farm land in both the Delta and Valley, initially it would have been highly desireable for the very reason that it was marshy and rich with sea food and fowl. 

More to the point, the Nile Delta and Valley  in 6500 B.C. were initially uninhabited. Nobody to fight off. Perhaps for the same reason, some hunter/gatherer tribes from Ethiopia  may have begun to migrate into the Nile Valley and Delta as well, but I do not believe those migrations were of the size and length of the Nubian migrations primarily because we see little continuing historical connection between Ethiopia and Dynastic Egypt, as we do with Nubia and Dynastic Egypt. 

The latest archaeological findings also show us that around 6000 B.C., nomadic hunter-gatherer Semitic tribes living just south of the Black Sea began migrating into the Levant because of an ecological catastrophe in the Black Sea area. 

I believe these Semitic tribes continued southward in large numbers to become continuing major immigrants into the Nile Delta and Valley once it became clear to them that these areas were far superior to the Levant to which they had initially fled. In addition, except for the small numbers of Nubian and Ethiopian immigrants who had preceded them, the area was uninhabited. Nobody to fight off. 

This intermixing of  Semitic and Nubian hunter/gatherer tribes eventually formed the Neolithic   Proto-Egyptian culture of the Nile delta. With this intermixing also came the intermixing of goods and traditions, and especially the intermixing of spiritual practices.  

I believe this spiritual intermixing  eventually led to the adoption  by the Proto-Egyptian peoples  of the more potent Nubian shamanic practices and traditions over those of the  Semitic tribal peoples who had come down from the Levant into the fertile Nile delta. As I shall also show later, these Nubian shamanic practices and traditions eventually evolved into the extensive funerary and religious beliefs and practices seen in the all-important Pyramid Texts of Dynastic Egypt.

What the Semitic tribes must have also seen was that the Delta and Valley were  the equal of the fertile areas areas surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates occupied by the non-Semitic people known as the Sumerians. In short, what these Semitic tribes saw was another Paradise waiting to be occupied, because the Nile Delta and Valley  in 6000 B.C. were uninhabited, except perhaps for a small number of Nubians and Ethiopians. 

One last thing: domesticated animals and farming were established in the Fertile Crescent around 8000 B.C.. The Semitic hunter-gatherer tribes in the Levant were undoubtedly aware of these practices. 

As to when the immigrating Semitic tribes brought these practices into the Nile delta, even in rudimentary form,  is difficult to say. But it's clear that they did eventually establish them alongside their hunter-gatherer activities. Thousands of years later, those rudimentary farms and herds evolved into the large agricultural and herding activities of Dynastic Egypt .

A Deeper Look at My Theory of the Sphinx

OK. Now that I've suggested there is a good chance that the face of a female Nubian shaman was carved on the face of a Giza plateau cliff c. 6000 B.C. as a way of honoring her as a living Goddess, let me delve further into the evidence for that claim. 

The major elements behind this thinking are: the spirituality  of  preliterate art, the nature of Mother Goddess cultures, and the effects of weathering.  Let me expand some more on these elements,  as it is important that you understand them fully. Again, they are:

1. The highly spiritual nature of preliterate Proto-Egyptian art  and its relationship to the Mother Goddess culture existing in preliterate Proto-Egypt .

 2. The preliterate artistic characteristics seen in the sculpting of the Sphinx's face. 

3. The latest Sphinx weathering deductions  (c. 7000 thru 2350 B.C.) put forth by Schoch and other geologists 

Let me give you some specifics on each of these elements. Again, I'll fill in the detail as I go along.


When the the artistic and geologic factors outlined above are combined, there is every indication that the carving of the face of the Sphinx was done in preliterate Egypt (c. 3200 B.C. or earlier). There is another major factor, however, that has to be taken into account: the nature of the Gods and Goddesses in preliterate Egypt.

The further we go back in time in preliterate Egypt, the more the Goddesses become dominant, and therefore the more likely it is that the face of the Sphinx is a female face. This is because Mother Goddess spirituality drove all preliterate hunter-gatherer cultures (60,000 B.C.  to  3200 -1200 B.C., the Advent of writing). 

Indeed, the further we go back in time, the more likely it is that even though Mother Goddess cultures were cooperative in nature, i.e., the females didn't dominate the males, there is a good probability that the primary tribal leaders  were female, as females were seen as those who knew. 

Pioneering work by archeologist Marija Gimbutas, the results of which were first published in 1974 (The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe) provided revolutionary proof of the existence of these prehistoric Mother Goddess cultures. Before you read any further, I want to further define the nature of the spirituality that directed the preliterate Mother Goddess, Proto-Egyptian culture, beause it was radically different from what we consider spirituality to be today.

Unless you understand the difference, you won’t really understand much of my thinking as to why the Sphinx most probably has a female face and why it was constructed in phases starting with the face in  6000 B.C..  All preliterate spirituality was the result of the much different consciousness of preliterate humans. Julian Jaynes, in his groundbreaking The Origin of Consciousness, made this clear with his revolutionary observation that preliterate humans were just as natively intelligent as we are, but their consciousness was completely different. Click here for a free PDF of The Origin of Consciousness.

Jaynes proposed that all preliterate humans existed in a conscious state somewhat similar to meditation.   When they were presented with a novel situation  they hadn’t encountered before, they had no interior mental space, as we do in which they could imagine or project what to do. Rather, they heard compelling, directive voices from the right side of their brains which they took to be the voices of the Gods. 

Jaynes goes on to say that those directive voices also took the form of the voice of the Muse and were the origin of oral poetry, the dominant art of all preliterate cultures.  I would add to that by saying that similar  non-verbal visions were the origin of their visual art as well as their music and dance. That is why in Greece, for example, the very earliest reference to the Muse was plural: the Muses.

In my book Alice Hickey: Between Worlds, I go a bit further than Jaynes, who cloaked his findings in the cautious robes of science. In it, I propose that preliterate humans could also be seen as highly psychic as compared to us. In other words, their unconscious was constantly breaking into their conscious minds in the form of voices and visions, or to put it another way, preliterate humans were constantly seeing and hearing and speaking back to the Gods. Once this is understood, we can begin to really understand their spirituality and art as well the   forces that directed their cultures, and why everything was so different for them. Let me explain very carefully what spirituality meant to the Proto-Egyptians. 

Today, when we speak of spirituality:

1) If we’re religious, we mean consciously following the precepts and practices  of  a given  religion (meditating, saying prayers, becoming a missionary, saying the rosary, Love thy neighbor, don’t eat pork, confess your sins, travel to Mecca, don’t eat meat on Friday, observe the Sabbath etc.)


2) if we’re not religious,  we mean consciously practicing such things as meditation, Sufi dancing, OM breathing etc., all of which are very old practices aimed at stopping the busy chatter of our modern, self-obsessed consciousness so as to bring us to a state of inner peace.

These forms of modern spirituality, however, are all conscious practices, consciously initiated and acted out by us. Those kinds of conscious spirituality are radically different from the  spirituality of preliterate humans, which issued from the unconscious and was primarily psychic in nature. 

Theirs was a spirituality that was either  initiated entirely by the unconscious  (visions, voices) or was the result of  consciously initiated practices that allowed them to leave their ordinary consciousness and enter the realm of the unconscious mind. (Today, we call such practices lucid dreaming, astral voyages,   remote viewing, telepathy, etc.). No one knows what those consciously-initiated practices were in preliterate cultures, or their extent and sophistication, but I believe they must have been far greater than the remnants used today by those among us having psychic abilities.

This lesser psychic ability of modern humans is mostly due to the fact that we have a magnificently developed and very protective conscious mind which is absolutely determined to never surrender the control it has over how we see  and interpret the world. This stranglehold makes  most of us complete strangers to the psychic realm. Preliterate man, on the other hand, had a relatively weak conscious mind coupled with a powerful unconscious that could easily  seize control of his everyday consciousness. 

Preliterate man experienced his powerful  unconscious as the Other World, the world of voices and visions and  Gods. Because of that, the spiritual objective of preliterate humans was to experience that Other World and then imitate it in their art and actions. 

Imitating what they experienced was their way of  acknowledging  that they understood the intent of the Gods and were aligning themselves with it in order to establish harmony between the themselves and the heavens.  
This is something that theorists seem to be unaware of to a large degree, as they tend to see the spiritual activities of preliterate peoples as consisting mostly of placating the unpredictable Gods. This placating was always present to some degree, but the establishment of a human / divine harmony was always foremost in their minds. 

I believe this was especially true of the Proto-Égyptians because we can see their alignment practices blossom much later in Dynastic Egypt in such monumental efforts as the Giza pyramid complex, which is clearly an attempt to achieve harmony with the heavens by imitating it in  the Giza complex, something gone into in  great detail by Robert Bauval (The Orion Mystery) .

Robert Monroe
Let me add one caveat. Preliterate humans didn't see the unconscious realm as belonging to them, as Jung has taught us to do today by specifying our mind as being composed of our conscious and unconscious minds. Rather early humans  saw it as being separate from themselves: the Other World

To give you an example of what it would be like to be a preliterate human, imagine you’re walking along Fifth Avenue and you suddenly find yourself in a completely different world in which time and space and the various beings you encounter don’t follow quite the same rules.You’d probably check yourself into a hospital, as Robert Monroe  did in the fifties and sixties when he began to spontaneously leave his body. Like Monroe, you’d think you were losing your mind.

Preliterate man, however, wouldn’t have thought that he’d lost his mind. On the contrary, he’d think that he’d just entered the world of knowledge and insight, the world of the Gods, the world of the soul. The directives and images and stories that early humans brought back from that Other World told them how to live, what to draw, what divine stories to speak.They instinctively understood that if they correctly imitated what they had experienced  they would be in harmony with the divine order with which they were constantly trying to align themselves. 

Let me add that you would have somewhat the same instinctive reaction if you were able to experience what they experienced in their journeys to the Other World. Believe me. 

I say this as a poet who gets a slight taste of that ecstatic experience every time a poem comes to me from the unconscious.

Let me also add that if a rock painting or carving or statue or poem or song or dance were created from what early humans brought back from the Other World, the creation was not done as a matter of ego or a show of power but as an instinctive attempt to imitate the divine order they had experienced. 

I should also add that all such artistic activities, especially poetry, dance and music were communal in nature, and that would also have been true for the carving of the face of the Sphinx.  

WE, not I, was the operative term for preliterate cultures. Certain individuals may have been better at it than others, but there was no barrier to anyone participating, in fact it was expected. I have more to say about the nature of preliterate art (with an emphasis on oral poetry) in Chapters 1-3, 6, 22, 25-27  of  SOULSPEAK: The Outward Journey of the Soul.


Putting the obvious damage aside, the Sphinx's face is far too crude in its proportions and detail  to have been carved in 2500 B.C.. The aesthetic standards and codification in place by then, although somewhat minimal would have absolutely prevented it. 

It is a carving that belongs to a much earlier period, at least before 2700 B.C., but probably much, much earlier. I have no idea how our archeologists can continue to consider the face of the Sphinx being carved at the same time as the sublimely proportioned Giza pyramids, not to mention sculptures such as Kafre (2558 B.C.), and Shepseskaf (2503 B.C.).

I have placed these on either side of the Sphinx's face so you can see the tremendous difference in facial detail (eyes, lips, ears) and subtlety of expression. I suggest you  examine the details very closely. The fact that these sculptures are much smaller than the face of the Sphinx is inconsequential. The Egyptians of 2500 B.C. knew about scaling devices similar to  the one used by Gutzon Borglum in converting his small models of Mt. Rushmore to their final monumental size. After all, these were the same Egyptians who built the huge and yet sublimely proportioned Giza pyramids.

If you are unfamiliar with scaling tools, let me indicate how it was done in carving Mt. Rushmore, which has very large yet exquisitely detailed faces. 

The individual Rushmore faces are twice as large as the face of the Sphinx. Borglum created them by making a small model and placing a circular "clock" tool with an extending arm on the top of each small head and dropping a plum line to the surface of the small face, recording the measurements to every facial feature. He then duplicated the "clock position" and plum line distance  (after scaling them up) on a much larger circular tool on the mountain heads. If you don't have such a scaling tool, monumental sculptures can get out-of-proportion. 

The Egyptians of 2500 B.C. had such tools. The preliterate Egyptians most probably didn't have anything as sophisticated. Thus, the rough nature of some of the surviving facial features (eyes and lips) of the  Sphinx point toward a very early preliterate carving with limited scaling tools. As I discussed earlier, another indication of the probability of a very early preliterate carving date  for the face of the Sphinx  are the very large eyes. I'm not talking about the subtlety of the eyes, but their sheer size in relation to the face. 

Another important anomaly that has to be accounted for about the face itself  is that it is much too square around the jaw and flat-headed on top. Since it is one of my contentions (based on small surviving preliterate carvings) that the Proto-Egyptians understood proportion perfectly and knew how to carve  it perfectly, some explanation is necessary. 

If I wasn't the keen eyed, obsessive devil I am, I could also easily walk away from this conundrum by attributing  the flat head/ large, too square jaw to the rough  preliterate facial carving techniques.  But since I contend that Proto-Egyptian artists understood  proportion perfectly, it would be too easy to do this. There are other, more compelling explanations of these two oddities which I will give in a later section.

At this point, however, I want to talk a bit more about the large eyes, as this proportional oddity is the easiest  to unravel at this stage.  I could explain the eyes in a number of ways:

1. The large eye size may indicate a female, i.e., there is an open, calm quality to the face, a good deal of which much of which is due to the large eyes. If you don't follow me on this, compare the Sphinx's face (below, R) to this wonderful  2700 B.C. sculpture of the pharaoh Djoser (immediate R) It portrays a man you wouldn't want to cross ever. Djoser's  closed, skeptical, controlling face speaks of  male dominating power

2. As I've discussed earlier, the large eye size may reflect the fact that very early preliterate Gods were almost always portrayed as having large (all seeing) eyes, as seen in the statues below. The group photo is of Mesopotamian Ancestor Gods c. 2900 B.C. and the single photo is a 3500 B.C. Egyptian figurine of a Mother Goddess. (We know it is a Mother Goddess because the breasts are also portrayed as eyes, i.e, the mother sees in ways other than the eyes.)


This section goes into some detail on the various theories on the weathering we see today on the Sphinx. It is not necessarily easy reading because (1) the various theories are so different and (2) there are some holes in all of them that need filling in,  i.e., there are important factors that have been overlooked by all the theorists. 

In this section , I'm going to attempt to explain the various theories in the clearest terms I can while also trying to fill in  the holes as best I can so that you'll have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these theories. 

I'm also going to use the various theories to show that they buttress my own contention that the Sphinx was constructed over a time span that not only bridged preliterate and literate Egypt, but also  bridged the changing climatic conditions between preliterate and literate Egypt. 

OK. Let's begin to tackle this weathering beast by starting with the obvious: what our eyes tell us when we look at the Sphinx today.

The late 19th century photograph (Above, L) shows both man-made damage and the effects of weathering since the last (c.200 A.D.) restoration was done approximately 2000 years before in the Roman era. Please note that compared to the body, the head was in pretty good shape after 2000 years. 
Today's restored head with Nubian nose

Today, the face of the Sphinx (L) looks much better because of various 20th century minor restorations, but recent scientific deductions by Robert Schoch and others, mainly Colin Reader, on the conditions that caused the extreme weathering of the body contradict the establishment estimates of the Sphinx being constructed c. 2500 B.C.

Although there is contention among  some geologists such as Reader as to the accuracy of Schoch's methods because he didn't consider, among other things, burial under sand nor exfoliation due to exposure to air as two other factors that could have resulted in what Reader and others  claim would be similar weathering.
Because of these conflicting opinions, some have questioned  Schoch's conclusions about the age of the Sphinx, but his initial findings (as well as his detailed rebuttals of his critics) continue to indicate the distinct possibility of a much earlier date than 2500 B.C. for the construction of the body of the Sphinx. At any rate, I quote Schoch on his deductions on the age of the Sphinx:

“….the initial carving of the Great Sphinx (i.e., the carving of the main portion of the body and the front end) may have been carried out c.7000 to 5000 B.C..”

Here is Shoch again on the matter: 

"On the body of the Sphinx....I found heavy erosional features .....that I concluded could only have been caused by rainfall and water runoff. The thing is, the Sphinx sits on the edge of the Sahara Desert and the region has been quite arid for the last 5000 years. Furthermore, various structures securely dated to the Old Kingdom show only erosion that was caused by wind and sand (very distinct from the water erosion). To make a long story short, I came to the conclusion that the oldest portions of the Great Sphinx, what I refer to as the core-body, must date back to an earlier period (at least 5000 B.C., and maybe as early as 7000 or 9000 B.C.), a time when the climate was very different and included more rain."  I invite you to read more of Shoch on his SITE as well as his latest very detailed rebuttal of his critics.

Robert Schoch
My own conclusions about the timetable and factors involved in the erosion of my Sphinx are somewhat different from both Colin Reader's and Robert Schoch's because my proposed timetable for the carving of the Sphinx (in  seven (7) stages) is much different from theirs in that they  propose the carving of the Sphinx was done in one fell swoop.  

However, Schoch's indication that the carving took place as early as 7000 thru 5000 B.C. fits well into my contention that the Sphinx was carved in preliterate times (prior to 3200 B.C.)  and as we shall shortly see, into my own estimate of the face of the Sphinx most likely being carved in 6000 B.C.. 

For my purposes in this section, I'm going to use 6000 B.C. as the  date for the construction of Schoch's Sphinx.

Right now, I'm going to jump ahead of myself  and give you the staged carving timetable for my Sphinx that I feel best fits the evidence, but I'm not going to give you my reasoning for selecting those dates. That comes later. 

Here is the timetable I am going to propose. It also indicates which of the literate, Dynastic Pharaohs I believe could have done the body carving. 

This timetable of seven phases is an intuitive one, especially phases 4, 5 and 6. They may have been done all at once by any one of the Pharaohs indicated. As for Phase 7, the evidence Schoch gives leads me to believe it was indeed done by Kafre. 

As for Phases  1, 2 and 3, I believe they were separate stages and occurred at the times indicated, simply because that is the way pre-literate cultures expanded their monuments, in spritual stages. However, it is entirely possible that Phase 2 was not separate and was  done at the same time as Phase 1.

At any rate, with that said, here are the seven phases I am proposing for the carving of the Sphinx:

Phase 1. bas relief face 6000 B.C.
Phase 2. face back to ears 5800 BC.
Phase 3. front chest and limbs, head to just behind ears, veil 5600B.C.

Phase 4. Nemes, back of head (Djoser c.2660 3rd Dynasty). 

Phase 5.  Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 6. Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 7.  tail     2550 B.C. Kafre

OK, so much for my timetable. Let me get on to Schoch and Colin Reader now and explain their theories in the simplest way I know, as well as the problems associated with each.

Here are their theories:

Schoch holds that the weathering patterns on the Sphinx could only have been done by heavy  intermittent rain over thousands of years.

Colin Reader holds that the weathering patterns on the Sphinx were caused by burial under wet sand for only  550 years.  

That is a big difference, hence the controversy.

While the weathering theories of Robert Schoch and Colin Reader place the construction of the Sphinx as taking place much earlier than the traditional estimate of c.2500 B.C., there are problems with each of their theories. Let me also add that there are a handful of other geologists besides Reader who jumped into the fray right after Schoch first announced his radical theory.

One question that keeps coming to my mind is: where were Reader et al for all these years? They were presumably looking at the eroded Sphinx as well as Schoch for many years, yet there was not a peep out of any of them as to what the weathering indicated.

It was Schoch who had the insight and courage to say the unthinkable:  the Emperor had no clothes. As soon as he did, all the others came out of the woods like flies to meat claiming he was wrong. It seems to me that for some reason, maybe jealousy, or maybe a perceived lack of pedigree on Schoich's part, there exists a professional prejudice against Schoch, and we should bear that in mind. After all, if Schoch is so wrong, and they are so right, why didn’t we hear from them earlier.

With all that said, I can assure you that I take all of these opposing theories seriously and have examined then closely.

Right now, I’m going to concentrate on Schoch and the opposing theory of Colin Reader. Later in this section, I'll  take a look at James Harrell’s theories as he raises some interesting points.

Let me say that you can get lost for years in the claims and counterclaims of these geologists. In this section, I am going to show you the most solid aspects of Schoch and Reader's theories as well as their weaknesses and present them to you in the simplest way  I know.

Basically the conclusion I have come to is that the weathering is a sure indication that the Sphinx was built prior to 2500 B.C. The real question is how far back in time does the weathering suggest as to when the Sphinx was constructed.

Let me go first into some problems that have nothing to do with weathering and yet they definitely  affect the accuracy  of both Schoch’s and Reader’s estimates of a construction date.

The first problem is that both geologists state that the Sphinx was originally carved as a lion despite the fact that no monumental statue created in preliterate or literate times anywhere in the world has ever been of an animal. Giant statues are reserved for the Gods, not animals. Period.

Yet this silly "Lion" Sphinx proposition keeps being thrown up to explain why the human head of the Sphinx is so small, the fabricated answer being that the small human head was later carved from the larger lion’s head.  

This is complete nonsense. I have shown earlier in this blog  overwhelming
statue of Ra
evidence that this "Lion’s head"  theory is the worst kind of archaeological thinking. 

Reader sees the gigantic "Lion" Sphinx being carved as a celebration of the Sun God Ra, which makes no sense at all because the Egyptians could have simply carved a statue of Ra (L). Schoch, as far as I know, doesn’t  give any explanation as to why the “Lion” Sphinx was carved.  

What they both seem to overlook is the fact that in the time period given by each of them for the construction of the Sphinx, there is no known statue anywhere in the world  that even begins to approach anwhere near the gigantic size of the Sphinx.

It is only when we get to literate times (around 1200 BC and later) do we see the gigantic standing statues of the Dynastic Egyptians and Greeks and Romans whose heights compete with the length of the Sphinx. One of the largest such standing statues is the Colossus of Rhodes.

Before its destruction in the earthquake of 226 BC, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (98 feet) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world..  

The Sphinx’s dimensions, by the way, are 73.5 meters (241 ft) long, 19.3 meters (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high, so if we stood it on its end it would be 2 ½ times as high as the Colossus of Rhodes.

I realize I am comparing standing height with reclining length here, as most statues in literate times are standing, but what is important is the overall size of the statue and here the Sphinx is in a class of its own, even compared to modern large statues. 

Even the largest statue (Buddha, L)  in the world, which was bulit with modern constriuction techniques, is only slightly larger than the Sphinx. When the two pedestals of the Buddha are subtracted, the Buddha measures only  83 meters in height whereas the length of the Sphinx is  a very close 73.5 meters. 

To show how big the Sphinx actually is when we measure it against other reclining statues, we only have to compare it to the largest reclining Buddha built in relatively modern times, c.1800 A.D.) which is the gold-plated Reclining Buddha statue at Wat Pho (46 meters long and 15 meters high.)

This means that the construction of the gigantic Sphinx was an extraordinary event by any standard at any time, and yet neither geologist suggests what the extraordinary event was that triggered  this absolutely massive construction.

Even if we believe for a moment that Reader’s suggestion that his “Lion” Sphinx honored Ra, we still have to answer this question: What was the event that triggered this particular honoring of  Ra at this particular time with a a statue so massive that it dwarfs any other past and present?

When you take into account the tools available to the Egyptians and the fact that they had no history of massive construction ( 2900 B.C. is pre-pyramid) the creation of the Sphinx was in many ways comparable to our Apollo/ Moon project.  It must have been a huge decision. It wasn’t done on a whim

Since the weathering estimates of Schoch and Reader are only estimates and therefore open to question, their theories as to the date of construction are substantially weakened by the lack of convincing evidence or suggestions as to::

1. who is being celebrated (forget the Lion)


2. what event triggered the construction of  such  an immense statue.

If Shoch and Reader were to resond to this, I suspect both might say the critical thing is not who or what or why, but the science, and that their scientific analysis of the weathering points to a particular time of construction. As we shall see however, their science is not that  solid.

Schoch sees the Sphinx being constructed in one fell swoop in approximately  6000 B.C., while Reader, according to Wikipedia, concludes that while it was also built in one fell swoop, the date of construction was somewhere in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150–2686 B.C.). 

Reader sees a construction date of c.2900 B.C. as leaving sufficient time (2900 thru 2350 B.C.)  for his theory of weathering to work, so that is the date we will work with.  

My own feeling about Schoch’s  one-fell- swoop theory is that it is highly likely that any Sphinx constructed in a preliterate period was most probably built in stages. This fact creates even more questions about the accuracy of Schoch’s construction time /weathering estimates, because the weathering on a Sphinx built in stages (each constructed at much different times) is going to be very  different from the weathering of a Sphinx built in one fell swoop.

There is one more problem with both of their theories, however, and it is a huge one.

Colin Reader’s theory is that the weathering we see on the Sphinx is due to burial under wet sand  over a period of 550 years, say between 2900 and 2350 B.C. (the end of sporadic rains). He contends there would be sufficient sporadic rain to produce the type of burial under wet sand weathering that he sees on the Sphinx.

Here is the problem and it is a big one. For this to happen the Sphinx would have to be buried in sand right after it was constructed and stay buried until 2350 B.C. (the end of sporadic rains).

This hardly makes sense. There are problematic answers to this quandry, however, which I will go into later.

Schoch , on the other hand, assumes that the Sphinx, once carved,  was kept free of sand, which allowed  the heavy sporadic rains to fall on it from 6000 B.C to 2350 B.C., thereby producing the erosion we see on the core body of the Sphinx today.

Yet we know that the Sphinx, in literate/ Dynastic times alone, was completely buried up to its neck for 4/5 of the time (from 2500 BC to 1900 AD). As to the times it was buried under sand from 6000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., we have no idea, but if it equaled the time given for literate times, Schoch’s theory falls to pieces, i.e, Schoch's theoretical exposed time from 6000 B.C. to 2500 B.C. = 3500 years  would be reduced to 1/5 of that, or  700 years

There are also problematic answers to this quandry, however, and I go into them later.

OK. Here's my thinking on the  factors that Scoch and Reader  cite as the cause of the erosion we see on the Sphinx, as well as what that erosion means in terms of determining the creation date of the Sphinx.

Let me say right at the start that it seems to me that both weathering theories have major flaws in them. They all point toward a much earlier construction date than the establishment date of c.2500 B.C., but until further investigation is done, the question of how far back can’t really be answered.

           Author's Note

There is also one very important question that has never been answered (let alone considered by those who contend that the Sphinx was built in literate times: 2900 B.C., 2500 B.C.) and that is this: why wasn’t the Sphinx built of blocks of limestone on the high surface of the plateau rather than carved out of the bedrock on low ground (as I contend it was originally). 

The proposed 2500 B.C. carving of the Sphinx directly out of the limestone presents a very real design and maintenance problem because it places the Sphinx much lower than the surface of the Giza plateau and much also much closer to the flooding Nile than the pyramids. (See diagram L.)
For sure, the Egyptians c. 2500 B.C. would have immediately realized that carving the Sphinx in the place we see it today would lead to it being innundated by flood waters as well as being buried by sand. In addition, its positioning would create a serious flaw in the overall harmony of the Giza site. 

Here’s the basic question: if the 2500 B.C. Dynastic Egyptians had enough smarts to position the Giza pyramids to mirror the Orion constellation, surely they had enough smarts to realize (among other things) that the below-the-surface Sphinx would be buried by sand almost as soon as it was carved and also subject to Nile flooding. 

So why didn’t they built it on the surface of the plateau, just as they had the pyramids?  If they also placed it back a bit,  the Sphinx  would have been in a position where it would be more harmonious with the general Giza complex design. Aesthetics were very important to the Egyptians, the very elegant design of the Giza pyramids tells us this.

They were also very good engineers, and would have realized that a placement on the surface and back a bit more toward the pyramids would prevent the flooding of the bottom one third of the Sphinx, just as the placement of the Giza pyramids insures their not being damaged by the flooding Nile. 

As far as Reader's 2900 B.C. construction of the Sphinx where he posits it was carved out of the Giza rock, the question is why did the Egyptians carve it at a level where it would have been subject to flooding. Remember, in 2900 B.C. the Giza plateau contained nothing. It would have made good sense to move the carving point back to where the Sphinx would never be threatened by floods. Why didn't they? They weren't dumb. The lack of an answer to this weakens Reader's theory somewhat. Could it have been that the bas relief face I suggest was carved in 6000 B.C. was already there in that position, as my theory suggests?

In so far as flooding is concerned, the base of the Sphinx according to Schoch is about one meter above flood level in ancient times. That may be true for the average Nile flood, but very high floods were commonplace, and surely flooded the base. That surely accounts for the fact that the bottom one third of the Sphinx has been the subject of every restoration we know of. 

By the way, according to Schoch, the first restoration we can detect took place as early as the Old Kingdom in the time of Kafre c.2570 B.C., thereby indicating that the Sphinx was carved at a much earlier date than 2500 B.C., as to require restoring, the Sphinx would have had to  been built long before 2570 B.C..

Here is an excerpt from Schoch's site on the Age of the Sphinx discussing this claim in greater detail: 

"The body of the Sphinx has been subjected to various repair campaigns, beginning with the ancient Egyptians themselves and continuing up to the present day. The earliest repairs to the body of the Sphinx have been carried out using what appear to be Old Kingdom style masonry techniques. Gauri and his colleagues .....consistently refer to these in such terms as "Pharaonic veneer stones" that have experienced "5,000 yr of exposure to local conditions," that is, they were applied during Old Kingdom times." 

"Likewise, Hawass (1992, p. 14) states that: "It seems that the Sphinx underwent restoration during the Old Kingdom because the analysis of samples found on the right rear leg proved to be of Old Kingdom date." If the oldest repairs to the eroded body of the Sphinx do date to Old Kingdom times, this is another strong argument in favor of a much earlier date for the Sphinx." (Red Italics  J.S.)

"Lehner has analyzed the repair campaigns to the Sphinx .... concluding that, despite his own evidence to the contrary, order to save the attribution of the Sphinx to Khafre (Chephren), circa 2500 B.C., ...... that the earliest level of "large-block" (Old Kingdom style?) masonry was added to the Sphinx during the New Kingdom." 

"Taking not only Lehner's work into account, but also ...the research that has been carried out concerning different modes of weathering on the Giza Plateau ... and the seismic surveys in the area of the Sphinx ...and considering the fact that the attribution of the Sphinx to Khafre is based on circumstantial evidence to begin with ....I find one conclusion inescapable -- the initial construction (carving) of the core body of the Sphinx predated the time of Khafre. Lehner's own work is more easily reconciled with the hypothesis that the Fourth Dynasty Egyptians merely restored, refurbished, and added to the Sphinx and its associated structures, rather than being the original creators of the Sphinx complex." (Italics  J.S.)

If we accept that the Old Kingdom style blocks were actually carved and applied sometime in the Old kingdom, and their "style" not merely copied and then carved and applied in the New Kingdom as Lehner suggests, then I'm going to have create an alternative timetable for the creation of the body of the Sphinx, phases 4-7, as the carving of the original rear leg (my original Phase 6: Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) would have taken place much earlier  if "Old Kingdom style" repair blocks had been applied to it earlier than Kafre's time. How much earlier is difficult to say, but my best guess based on several factors is that my original Phase 4, 5, 6 would have to be pushed back to between 3300 to 2970 B.C).

I am not going to use this alternative timetable however, because the argument as to when the "Old Kingdom Style" blocks were carved and applied could go either way. It makes sense then for me to stick with my original time table, but to always bear in mind that my original timetable would have to be altered if Schock et al prove to be correct. 

As we shall see, both time tables work because the pharaohs cited as being responsible in both time frames were all empire bulders.  The only essential difference is that, in the alternative time table, the modification of the simple veil that was carved in Phase 3 (5600 B.C.) would have had to have taken place in the time of Den, Phase 6 (2970 B.C.), because that is when we first see  the uraeus, menes, and cap crown.  

Here is the original timetable:

Phase 1. bas relief face 6000 B.C.

Phase 2. face back to ears 5800 BC.

Phase 3. front chest and limbs, head to just behind ears, veil 5600B.C.

Phase 4. Nemes, Cap Crown Uraeus, back of head (Djoser 2660  B.C. 3rd Dynasty). 

Phase 5.  Front body to 30 feet behind of head. ( Snefru c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 6. Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra  c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 7. Rump, tail.  (Kafre  c.2550 B.C./ 4th Dynasty)

My alternative timetable would look like this:

Phase 1. Bas relief face 6000 B.C.

Phase 2. Face back to ears 5800 BC.

Phase 3. Front chest and limbs, head to just behind ears, veil 5600 B.C.

Phase4. Back of head. (c.3300 B.C. Narmer / Pre-Dynastic))
Phase 5 front body to 30 feet behind  the head. (c.3300 B.C. Narmer / 1st Dynasty)

Phase 6. Modification of the Phase 3 veil to include  menesuraeus, crown cap, back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (2970 B.C. Den / 1st Dynasty )

Phase 7.  Rump, tail.   (2550 B.C. Kafre / 4th Dynasty)

As you can see, under my alternative time table, I have the body of my Sphinx (Phases 4-6) being built between 3300 thru 2970 B.C..

Here is how I arrived at those dates in addition to noting the empire-building nature of the pharaohs of that period.

Based on the major restorations that we know about, it appears that about 900 to 700 (avg. 800) years years of weathering were required before restoration was needed.

Thutmose restoration c.1400 B.C. 
Saite restoration  c.500 B.C. 
Roman restoration c. 200 A.D.

If this is so, we can then back step 800 years from Kafre's restoration c.2500 B.C. to get to 3300 B.C as a guesstimate for  the beginning of Phases 4-5 under my alternative timetable. Since the gap of 800 years is based on a very small sample of 3, which could lead to a creation date either too early or too late,  I'm simply going to leave the date at 3300 B.C., even though it could also be 3200 or 3100 B.C..

I say this because the actual reign of Narmer may have taken place earlier than the generally accepted date of 3100 B.C., we just don't know.  I should add that this very early date doesn't affect my theory in the least, as we are on the cusp of logos consciousness and literacy in 3300 B.C., and with it the aesthetic, spiritual urge for a more complete body .

Here is Wikipedia on Narmer's reign: "The approximate date of Narmer/Menes is mostly estimated as close to the 31st or 32nd century BCE, although recent Egyptological literature comprises estimates of anywhere between the 34th and the 30th centuries BCE."

                                               End Author's Note

Let's take a closer look now at Colin Reader's proposed date of 2900 B.C. for the construction of the Sphinx.

Stele of  Djet 
Stone block construction, as far as we know, didn’t occur until around 2650 B.C.  in Egypt, when the stepped pyramid of Djoser was constructed, although mud brick construction was being done as early as 2900 B.C., so it is possible that the Sphinx, which is nowhere near the size and complexity of the stepped pyramid, could have been constructed of limestone blocks if the builders thought  they could do it.

After all,  the technique is the same as for mud, the only difference is that the cutting of limestone blocks is much harder. We know that they knew how to carve in limestone and had a fully developed aesthetic as evidenced by the limestone stele (L) of pharaoh Djet c. 2980 B.C..

Thus, it seems not improbable that the 2900 B.C. builders of the Sphinx could have deduced that block construction would avoid the sand-filling and flooding problems that would surely follow if the Sphinx was directly carved out of the bedrock. Yet, this new construction option obviously wasn't followed up on, so while it is possible that a stone-block carving option presented itself, it is also possible that it didn't present itself, or maybe it  was considered too new and untested a method, so carving downwards out of the bedrock was determined to be the only reasonable way to do it. 

One question, however, remains to be answered: why did the Reader's Egyptians of 2900 B.C. choose the site they did to carve (which was subject to flooding) when the entire Giza plateau was empty? 

There is also this fact for which neither Reader or  Schoch have an answer: no monumental statue of an animal has ever been found anywhere, let alone Egypt. And then there are the definite preliterate characteristics of the face that have to be explained, something I’ve gone into in great detail earlier.

What seems clear to me from all this, and from my previous arguments about the preliterate characteristics of the face, is that the face of the Sphinx was carved in preliterate times and it was carved in the artistic manner it was because that is exactly the manner in which preliterate peoples would have done it. One thing this indicates to me is that Reader's Sphinx  may have been carved very close to preliterate times ( 3200 B.C.)

The Sphinx example (above,L) uses the nose of a young contemporary Nubian woman (R) whose nose is remarkably like that of a Nubian statue of Hathor, thereby giving it a kind of Nubian pedigree and therefore giving you a good idea what the original bas relief of the face probably looked like. Ignore the Sphinx head dress and neck and ears, they were later additions.

I have given the reasons why I believe it was done—to honor a Nubian shaman/leader as a living Goddess, but I want to say more about what I mean by saying that the Sphinx was carved in exactly the manner in which preliterate peoples would have done it.

First of all, the preliterate  Proto-Egyptians  had very limited tools and techniques for stone carving. They knew nothing about block carving, only carving out of existing stone. I have a site  in which I point out that the Parthenon and the later stages of Stonehenge with its huge sarcens are only 800 years apart, and that one of things that explains why Stonehenge doesn’t exhibit the sophisticated carving of the Parthenon is that the Greeks had enjoyed 500 years of literacy with its ability to record and demonstrate and debate architectural techniques. Those 500 years of literacy allowed the Greeks to progress from stone structures like Stonehenge to the Parthenon. The preliterate Stonehenge builders had no such advantage.

For the Proto-Egyptians who carved the Sphinx face, stone carving would have been hard work (stone on stone but not impossible, after all their petroglyphs were carved in this manner) but it was also work that had no real precedent. It was made even more daunting because they had no long, literate architectural tradition to guide them. They only had the desire to honor River Mother, and to do that they chose to carve her face on the yardang or outcropping on top of the Giza plateau. I have given my reasons previously why they would have done this, but let me repeat them briefly.

In my historical novel RIVER MOTHER: The Face of The Sphinx, I see  River Mother and her companions selecting the plateau  as a home for spiritual reasons, one of them being that the plateau contained an outcropping with a vague, weathered face that they took to be that of Mafdetthe Cheetah Goddess and River Mother's Protector. It would have been only natural then to signify Mafdet giving birth to River Mother, the daughter of Mafdet, by carving River Mother’s face on top of the vague, weathered face.

As I have also discussed in some detail earlier, the most natural spiritual carving would have been to carve only the face of River Mother. I have also discussed the reasons why I believe the face was carved with an unnaturally flat top and very wide lower jaw. 

Among those reasons is this: the top of the yardang (the rocky outcropping) was relatively flat and the carvers took advantage of this to start the carving of the top of the bas relief face (w/o any Dynastic head ornaments as there were none at this time). 

I believe the carvers also took advantage of the overall  shape of the weathered face contained on the surface of  the yardang or outcropping. I also believe the weathered face  was probably relatively square in shape (the top of the weathered face  was as wide as the bottom of the weathered face).

The entire yardang frontal surface was probably slightly wider than the weathered faceand perhaps became even wider as you proceeded back from the weathered face, but the weathered face surface  would have presented a smaller, square-proportioned surface for the bas relief face carving. Thus taking advantage of the squarish shape of the weathered face surface meant they would have to carve less rock away to form the bas relief face.

There were other reasons for the face being shaped the way it is, something I've gone into in great detail earlier, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that honoring the squarish shape of the facing surface may have also meant that they would also be  in harmony with the other more spiritual reasons for carving a squarish face that I have mentioned earlier, e.g.,  the flat top and wide lower jaw are characteristics of the cheetah’s frontal face. Again, ignore the head dress and neck and ears, they were later additions.

The way I see the carving progressing is this: after the face had been carved out of the weathered face surface of the  yardang,  the carving would have been considered spiritually complete. Eventually, however, other spiritual visions would have presented themselves indicating that the  time had come to flesh out the front of the head back to the ears, the chest and front limbs ( Phases 1-3). The only  recourse would have been to carve those out of the rock around the bas relief face and below it. That would have been the preliterate way.

The carving the chest and front limbs would have meant carving away a great deal of stone. As most ot the limbs and chest would have been soft member 2 limestone, however, it would not have been  impossible by any means. We aways have to keep in mind why it would have been done: to carve a passageway to the face via the two front limbs

I see this need for a passageway to view the face as the spiritual reason that brought about this phase of the carving

What I am suggesting by saying this is that the chest may not have been carved in a finished sense at all, but just enough rock removed to carve the two front limbs, so that the limbs would have appeared out of the rock just as the face appeared out of the rock high above. In addition the free space on the outside of the front limbs would most probably have either been non-existent, or only slightly suggested or very, very much less than the free space we see in the enclosure today. All this could have been done later in Dynastic times, when the aesthetic demanded a realistic, fully carved animal body. Preliterate cultures had no such aesthetic.

One thing that is immediately evident is that such a staged carving would not have created the closed sub-surface enclosure we see today into which sand would immediately rush and be trapped. The only part that would have been subject to burial under wet sand would have been the limbs (which seem to have been the subject of a great deal of flood and burial under wet sand erosion if the subsequent restorations of the lower part of the Sphinx are any measure.)

It is also very likely that there was no front barrier at the Nile end to trap sand. I say this because given the gentle slope of the plateau (see the topographical map above showing the rock slope of the plateau in striped lines) most of the sand that fell in around and between the limbs would have flowed down toward the Nile aided by the slope and the sporadic heavy rains.

If we look at the cross section diagram of the Sphinx above we can see the east-looking front of the enclosure has been artificially created by sand fill (most probably at a later stage when the temples were created) and if we connect the rock portions (striped lines) of the plateau, the downward gentle slope of the plateau is quite evident. It is this slope that would have aided the sand flowing down to the Nile

This doesn’t mean that the limbs weren’t subject to some degree of sand burial and Nile flooding, because they would have been, but they wouldn’t have been as completely buried as they would have been if the enclosure was as it is today. This is important, because according to Reader, burial under wet sand can cause very rapid deterioration of the limestone, i.e., over hundreds not thousands of years. 

If the slope aided in the removal of sand, the damage would be much, much  less and would account for the limbs not being completely destroyed over the thousands of years that they existed under my timetable for their construction ( 5600 B.C.). 

Equally possible is that the preliterate hunter/ gatherer tribes aided in clearing the sand between the limbs because the passageway between the limbs was meant to provide a spiritual approach to the face (something often seen in preliterate structures)  and would most likely have been kept clear for pilgrims. 

At first, this on-going sand clearing may seem improbable but we have to remember that there may have been very little disorder in these Proto-Egyptian hunter/gatherer tribes over thousands of years compared to the kind of disorder caused by the rise and fall of dynasties in literate Egypt. I say this because it seems to be evident from what we know of Göbekli Tepe that its hunter/gatherer culture remained orderly enough to construct and maintain its vast, complicated spiritual monuments over a two thousand year period. 

Author's Notes

Let me say a few words about my theory of preliterate staged construction vis a vis Reader’s theory of one fell swoop construction. 

If Reader's dating of a 2900 B.C. construction of the Sphinx proves to be in error, and is actually much further back in time, his Sphinx would most probably been constructed in stages somewhat similar to my own suggested stages, because that is the preliterate way. It would also account for the preliterate style face.

Similarly, if Schoch’s theory on weathering proves to be correct, i.e., the Sphinx would have been  constructed in preliterate times, most likely 7000 thru 5000 B.C.. It is almost certain that it was constructed in stages similar to my own suggested stages.

As far as that old canard that the head was originally that of a lion (that both Shoch and Reader subscribe to being scientists who have never considered the aesthetic and spiritual reasons that would have prevented such carving, or a re-carving), I think I have said enough earlier about the reasons why the lion’s head theory is an aesthetic and spiritual impossibility. I believe we can safely assume that the small head we see is the original face and that it reflects the correct proportions of the cheetah’s head and body.

End Author's Notes

Let me get back now to the theories of erosion currently being put forth by Schoch and Reader and myself.

If you want to bring yourself up to date on the repairs that have been made to the Sphinx, TOUREGYPT has be far the most lucid and shortest article on the subject. 

I would strongly suggest you read it as it will also give you a clear idea of the complicated erosion factors at play. It contains the diagram above which is a color coded diagram of all repairs to the Sphinx

First let me say there is a very persuasive, but by no means final, summing up by Chris White of the argument between geologists Robert Schoch and Colin Reader on the cause of the erosion we see on the body of the Sphinx. 

After reading Reader’s arguments, White, who initially found Schoch’s theory persuasive, comes down in favor of Reader for a number of good reasons, but I am not entirely convinced he is correct on all of them.

West enclosure wall

Detail  erosion west wall

White cites Reader’s main contention that Schoch relies too heavily on the pronounced wave-like erosion on the west enclosure wall to prove that the  erosion on the Sphinx’s main body was caused by heavy, sporadic rain during the period 10,000 thru 2350 B.C.. 

Reader contends that the shape is due to water runoff and not rainfall and makes a convincing case for it. Reader also makes a few other observations that tend to counter Schoch’s rainfall erosion theory. Although Reader’s arguments are strong, I am not entirely convinced for reasons I will go into shortly.

As far as I am concerned the jury is still out, because what looked like a simple matter at first (rain over thousands of years causing the erosion patterns) has become extremely complicated as more and more anti-Schoch/rainfall  arguments are put forth. Schoch eventually replied in great detail. Here are his rebuttals. I would advise reading them, as they are very persuasive as well.

Author's Note

Geologist Colin Reader, who was among the first to claim that burial under sand is the reason why the body of the Sphinx is as eroded as it is, tells us that  the type and amount of erosion we see today would have occurred because of burial under wet sand  if the Sphinx were built c.2900 B.C. and not 2500 B.C.. 

I assume he has data to back up this contention of only 550 years (2900 thru 2350 B.C.) being required to produce the type and amount of body erosion we see today, as it very different from Shoch’s theory which states that the type and amount of erosion we see today was produced  solely  by heavy sporadic rainfall on exposed limestone over 3000 years.

If we take 6000 B.C. as Schoch’s middle point in time for the construction of his Sphinx ( 7000 thru 5000 B.C.) then his estimated time for the type and amount of erosion we see today would be solely due to 3650 years of heavy sporadic rain on exposed limestone—assuming the Sphinx was exposed from  6000 thru 2350 B.C..

The climatic record, hiwever, shows that only half of that time produced heavy rains, the other half the area was a desert as it was today. I assume Schoch has data acknowledging that half rain/ half desert condition that both backs up his rainwear contention, as well as  data explaining why the harder face was also exposed to the same conditions but shows no such rain wear damage.

End Author's Note

South enclosure wall 1910
The detailed rebuttals by Schoch, as far as I can tell, weren’t available when White wrote his article coming down in favor of Colin Reader’s theory, because Schoch’s counter arguments are quite strong. For example, Schoch agrees with Reader that the erosion on the west enclosure wall was probably due, in part, to water runoff from the plateau.

South and east side of body of Sphinx 1900
Schoch doesn’t agree, however, that it is the only cause, just that it makes the wavelike erosion features more pronounced, and points out that similar, although less pronounced erosion patterns exist on the sides of the Sphinx (L) and the sides of the other enclosure walls (Above L ). Both photographs are from 1900 thru 1920 before any restoration was done, so what we see is the erosion that has occurred since the Roman restoration of 200 A.D.

Contemporary photo of east and south side of Sphinx

East and north side of Sphinx body 1910

White’s article, however, is well worth reading and is the source of the Billington and Harrell quotes I will give you shortly that tend to back up Reader’s theory, although Schoch, again, has some equally convincing rebuttals.

Let me repeat Colin Reader’s theory, it states that the erosion we see on the Sphinx is due to burial under sand for 550 years between 2900 B.C. and 2350 B.C with perhaps (according to some allied geologistssome additional erosion due to burial under dry sand along with very light and very occasional rains  continuing until 1900 A.D.. From this, he deduces a date of 2900 B.C. for the construction of the Sphinx.

There is a problem however, and that is that Reader is assuming the Sphinx was built in 2900 B.C., a literate, highly governed period, and then immediately abandoned to the desert sands so it could be buried in the enclosure. That seems very unlikely. 

Why would such an absolutely  monumental structure be carved and then immediately abandoned to the desert so that it could (theoretically) be buried under wet sand? It doesn't make sense. It should have remained cleared for at least  2-300 years, as it had to have said something very important about those early literate Dynasties ( 2 and 3 ). This again  leads me to believe that the construction date may have been closer to 3200 B.C.

Let me get on now to Schoch. Schoch, as opposed to Reader, favors erosion of the body due to heavy sporadic  rainfall during the period 10,00 thru 2350 B.C., and thereby deduces a construction date  of somewhere between 7000 thru 5000 B.C..

My reasons for not being entirely convinced (as White is) that Reader’s theory is the better one (in addition to the detailed rebuttals Schoch gives) are as follows:

1. Schoch has a secondary argument based on the sub-surface weathering of the enclosure floor. Schoch contends that soundings of the floor under the rear of the Sphinx show that it’s erosion is half of that under the main body. He also contends that the rear (and tail) were carved by Pharaoh Kafre c.2600 B.C.. (This contention by the way is remarkably close to my own.). 

He then argues that since that rear floor erosion (due to air exposure) is half of that under the main body, it backs up his theory that rump was carved in 2500 B.C. as well his theory that the main body of the Sphinx was carved sometime during 7000 thru 5000 B.C.. Here is White’s summing up of Shoch’s argument:

“What Schoch tried to do was date the exposure of the enclosure floor to dry-air weathering. When rock is exposed to the atmosphere, it begins to undergo chemical changes and the depth of this change or weathering can be a measure of how long the rock has been exposed. What Schoch did was measure the depth of weathered rock using sound waves (these bounce back very fast if the rock is sound and more slowly if it has weathered). He found that the rock under the floor, along the sides and front of the monument, had weathering that was twice as deep as the rock under the passage in back of the monument. From these findings, he concluded that if the back passage was excavated by Khafra, then the main body of the Sphinx would have stood on an exposed floor beginning sometime between 4750 and 7000 BCE.”

Reader countered that such sound wave measurements can be fallible and especially so because the floor of the Sphinx slants, and that only drilling could produce positive evidence of the age of the subsurface limestone in question. That doesn’t mean however, that Shoch’s contention isn’t true, only that it hasn’t been verified by drilling. 

2. There seems to be some real contention among archaeologists and climatologists as to what was the beginning of the extremely arid desert conditions we see today. Some theorists,  like  J.A. West, see it as starting around 4000 B.C., whereas Bauval in his book on the Nubians of Nabta Playa seems to favor 3300 B.C., but again that date may hold only for the area around Nabta Playa.

Yet most climatologists, including Schoch, agree that between 10,000 thru 2350 B.C. the climate varied between arid desert conditions punctuated by periods of heavy sporadic rain. How long each of those periods lasted seems to be up in the air.

As to my own 3000 B.C. estimate of the rain stopping, there may not be any real discrepancy, as dates like the third millennium B.C. are interpreted as 3000 thru 2001 B.C., so the 2350 B.C. date is probably accurate and what looks like a discrepancy may be solely due to  terminology.  At any rate, Schoch in his rebuttals seems content to accept the date of 2350 B.C. as the end of the heavy, sporadic rains.

Of course, there is a secondary objection to Reader’s theory: what exactly is the empirical proof that the amount and type of erosion we see on the body of the Sphinx and surrounding walls could have been  created by burial under sand between 2900 B.C and 2350 B.C.? 

To thicken the plot, there has been a proposal  by one of Reader's supporting colleague (James Harrell) that suggests that exposure to air and Nile flooding and  light occasional rain between 2350 B.C and 1900 A.D. would have continued the erosion effects, but  Harrell gives no estimates.

Author's Note

Let me put aside the case for erosion due to exfoliation from air exposure, because the body was only exposed to air for about 1/5 of its total existence if we assume it was built sometime around 2500 B.C.. This is because the generally accepted estimate by just about everyone is that the Sphinx body was buried for about 4/5 of its existence. Here is David Billington on this.

“The Sphinx has been buried in desert sand for about four-fifths of its known existence. Shifting of the sand cover has exposed the upper strata of the monument from time to time, but only the head seems to have been continuously exposed. The intervals in which the Sphinx is believed to have stood fully in the open were the centuries from 2500 to 2100 BCE (before the current arid regime set in) and the periods of restoration and sand clearance from about 1400 to 1200, 600 to 500, 30 BCE to 200 CE, and from the 1920s to the present.”

Billington goes on to cite geologist James Harrell on the significance of burial under sand and exfoliation and how it affects the accuracy of Shoch’s findings:

“First, Harrell observed, the weathering effects of atmospheric condensation, wind, and occasional rain would not have operated on the monument when it was protected by sand. But rainfall and occasional Nile river flooding could have wetted the sand that filled the Sphinx enclosure during periods of sand burial. Wetness in the sand could have dissolved minerals in the Sphinx and enclosure walls, causing the rock to weather, although less rapidly than from exfoliation during periods of exposure to the air.”

End Author's Note

It is clear from Harrell’s statement that he is talking about erosion events that could have been caused by rain and flooding when the Sphinx was buried under dry sand after 2350 B.C.. In the information I initially had on Harrell, however, there doesn't seem to be even  a rough estimate of the amount of erosion after 2350 B.C. that was due to these factors.

Without such an estimate, I at first thought it to be  negligible, although, as I later found out, this was not the case. 

Yet it isn't clear to me that Reader  took Harrell's observations into account in his calculations, so I have to conclude that Reader was content to state that the amount and type of erosion on the body of the Sphinx and walls we see today occurred because of burial under wet sand between 2900 thru 2350 B.C., and furthermore that his Sphinx was  completely buried under sand for that entire 550 year period, which, as I said earlier, is somewhat unbelievable.
So much for the weaknesses of Reader’s theory. 

Now let's turn to the weaknesses in Schoch's theory.

I also believe that the heavy, sporadic rains (10,000 thru 2350 B.C.) that Schoch cites as the cause of the amount and type of body erosion we see today is also questionable, as I would like to see the empirical proof Schoch can produce to back that claim up. 

In addition, and this is extremely important, there seems to be the incredible assumption by Schoch that during those periods of heavy, sporadic rainfall that the body of the Sphinx was completely exposed to heavy sporadic rain.

Thus if we posit that Shoch's Sphinx was built in 6000 B.C., there were 6000 thru 2350 years = 3650 years for his rainfall to work

Yet the fact of the matter is that during the periods of heavy, sporadic rain followed by periods of complete desertification  (10,000 thru 2250 B.C.), Schoch's Sphinx (if built in entirety in 6000 B.C.) would most probably have been buried in sand half that time (during the desertification periods). 

The remaining half of the time (heavy, sporadic rains for 1825 years) the extent of the burial of the Sphinx is somewhat problematic, but let us assume that the heavy sporadic rains drained the sand out of the open east end into the Nile so that the rainfall damge could take place. 

But 1825 years hardly  gives Schoch enough time for his rainfall on exposed limestone to work its damage. 

The only way out of this for Schoch is to postulate that the Sphinx was never buried as it was in literate times because:

1) the Sphinx enclosure was open at the Nile river end and allowed sand to flow down the gentle slope, because the Nile end wasn't enclosed until Dynastic times when the temples were built. See diagram above left for actual rock floor at Nile end.


2) the hunter/gatherer tribes of Proto-Egypt  were much better at keeping the sand off the Sphinx than Dynastic Egypt was.

These may seem like extraordinary claims but as we shall see, they are not that far-fetched.

We just have to look directly above at these early drawings (c. 1700 A.D.)  and these early photographs (c. 1890 A.D.) to see that the normal condition of the Sphinx is to be buried up to the neck in sand. 

If we then look at  diagram  (above,L) of where the Sphinx sits in relation to the rock ground level of the Giza plateau, we can see that  the rock ( slanted lines) slopes down to the Nile.

It doesn’t matter that the diagram I have used  is about supposed subterranean temples and passageways, what is important for our purposes is where the Sphinx sits in relation to the rock surface of the Giza plateau. 

If we forget about the supposed buried passageways and the supposed sand used to hide the passageways, and connect the rock underneath the Sphinx to the original sloping rock of the plateau, we can see that most probably the paws of the Sphinx rested on rock sloping down to the Nile.

It is possible, of course, that when the periods of heavy sporadic rains came, the desert sands that had covered the Sphinx during the dry desert periods could have been washed away out of the enclosure (if the Nile end were open) at least down to the level of the lower body and front limbs. 

We have to remember though that lots of rain on sand can quickly result in lush, deeply rooted vegetation, which would have stopped the easy washing away of the sand by rain, and made clearing of the enclosure more difficult. If you have any doubts as to how fast this can happen, you just have to look at California's Central Valley desert ( L) which has been turned into a vast green farm simply by the addition of water.

This means that to believe Schoch's theory,  we have to believe that the enclosure was almost always kept clear of sand for thousands of years (even during the periods of rain and lush vegetation). The various literate Dynasties failed in this clearing  task, yet given my proposed open Nile end of the enclosure in preliterate times it is not out of the question.

In addition, from what we know of the 2000 year period  in which hunter/ gatherer tribes maintained Gobekli Tepe) it is not completely out of the question for the Proto-Egyptian hunter/gatherer tribes to have done somewhat the same thing for the simple reason they seem to have been much more stable than the always collapsing literate Dynastic Empires.

What this means is that Shoch’s time table for erosion due to heavy sporadic rain on an exposed Sphinx is very suspect unless we grant him the two possibilities I've cited above. 

If we don't grant him those possibilities, and we take Reader’s estimate of 550 years of burial under sand as being sufficient to achieve the amount and type of body erosion we see today, then Schoch's almost always buried Sphinx would have been completely wasted away by burial under wet sand for thousands of years.

So Schoch's theory has its problems as well, and although they are not insurmountable, they are considerable.

What is perhaps even more important to take away from all this confusion on body erosion is that the face, unlike the body, was never buried and therefore could not be damaged by burial under sand, only by heavy sporadic  rain and exfoliation due to exposure to air, both of which seem to have had little effect on the face. 

I should add that the relatively good condition of the face is also due to the fact that the limestone composing the face and head is a much harder limestone (Member lll) than the soft limestone (Member ll)  composing the middle body or the hard limestone at the base (Member l.) 

So we're in a bit of a quandary as to why the face is in such good shape. Is it because the Member lll limestone of the face is too hard to be affected by exfoliation, or more to the point by heavy, sporadic rain, or is it because the erosive effect of heavy sporadic rain isn't as effective as Schoch has led us to believe? The jury is still out on that one.

Just to make this factor of limestone quality clear, you should be aware that the limestone that makes up a first 3 feet of the front limbs and the lower third of the body is a hard (Member l) limestone, slightly softer than that of the head (Member lll) but much harder than the soft limestone making up the middle body and the bulk of the front limbs. (Member ll). 

Sphinx 1910-20 cleared of sand but before restoration. Note good paws.
Although the paws seem in good shape today, that may be due  to the fact that they were covered by new masonry in 1400 B.C and again in the Roman restoration (c.200 A.D.) (see photo above). The softer Member ll sides were also restored in the Roman times, but they don’t look as good today as the paws do. 

This burial under sand conundrum also confuses Reader’s claim that the western enclosure wall (which Reader says is a prime element in Schoch’s theory) was   eroded as we see it today  because of rain run off over a short period of time (2900 thru 2350 B.C.), and not by heavy sporadic rain over  thousands of years. 

Yet if Reader’s enclosure was possibly filled with sand most of the time, how can there be rain run off damage on the western enclosure wall if the enclosure is filled with sand most of the time? 

Reader may be saved from this situation (as Schoch was ) by the possibility that the Nile end of the enclosure was open during the first 400 years of his time frame of 2900 thru 2350 B.C..

So much for the weaknesses inherent in each theory. They are both possible, but then again anything is possible. What has to be determined is which is more probable. 

What all this means to me as a theorist is that the cause of the body erosion we see and thus the theoretical time tables proposed by Reader and Schoch for construction of the Sphinx are still up in the air.  For sure they both point  to a much earlier construction date than 2500 B.C., but saying exactly how much earlier is problematic

Thus I’m going to leave Reader and his camp arguing for a Sphinx built during the period when Egypt was literate (2900 B.C.), and Schoch arguing for a Sphinx that was created in preliterate Egypt somewhere between 7000 thru 5000 B.C., and  go on to my own theory about  when the Sphinx was created, because as we shall see the strong points of both theories fit my time table for the construction of the Sphinx.

My theory is not only quite different from both of their theories but it also happens to lends itself somewhat to the strong points of both theories of erosion. 

This is because in my theory I see the Sphinx face and chest and paws being created in stages in preliterate times (c. 6000 thru 5600 B.C)—as was the case with all preliterate monuments—with the rest of the body being completed in literate times ( c. 2660 thru 2550 B.C.).

Thus my Sphinx has a bas relief face created in 6000 B.C.,  the front  1/4 of the head in 5800 B.C., and its front paws and chest being created in 5600 B.C., and and then the rest of it ( back of head and remaining body) being completed in literate times in four additional stages between 2660 and 2550 B.C..

I had arrived at this theory of construction without any thought of weathering, but once I had to face the various weathering factors, I have come to believe that the damage we see today to the face, chest and front paws of my Sphinx being primarily caused by exposure to heavy sporadic rain (the face) and the erosion to the chest and front paws due to occasional burial under wet sand combined with occasional exposure to the heavy sporadic rain during the heavy sporadic rain period (10, 000 thru 2350 B.C.).

I see the erosion of the rest of the head and body—which I see being built between 2660 and 2550 B.C.—being caused by occasional burial under wet sand, as the close construction dates for each stage would have left the enclosure clear most of the time. .

Here is my schedule for the carving of the body and sides: 

Phase 5.  Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 6. Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) 

Phase 7.  tail     2550 B.C. Kafre

Thus based on my own proposed timetable for the carving of the body (phases 5-7 from 2590 thru 2550 B.C.), when the Sphinx would have been most likely completely enclosed because of the accompanying temple construction at the Nile end, I have come to favor the burial under sand theory as being responsible for most of the side surface and front limb damage that we see today on my Sphinx.

Since by my timetable, the face was carved in 6000 B.C. and was never buried in sand but received only heavy sporadic rains until 2350 B.C. it is easy to see why it is in such good condition.  The front limbs, however, I see as being carved in c. 5600 B.C., and thus susceptible to both heavy sporadic rains and burial under wet sand, which leads me to believe that they are responsible for the  poor condition of the front limbs even though they appear less eroded than the sides because they were restored ( at a minimum) in both 1400 B.C. and in Roman times.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe the passageway between the limbs was kept relatively free of sand because it was a spiritual path to see the face, and that fact kept the limbs from being completely eroded over 3000 odd years, as they surely would have been if Reader's estimates are correct

As for the chest, I believe that the flow of sand down the open slope prevented it from being buried until sometime around 2600 thru 2500 B.C. when the front of the enclosure was probably built to accommodate temple construction, and that its initial erosion was caused solely by sporadic heavy rains. 

When the Sphinx was eventually enclosed, however, the chest became subject to erosion caused by burial under wet sand. 

Since the sporadic heavy rains that came after 10,000 B.C. had stopped completely according to Schoch by 2350 B.C., by my timetable for construction of the limbs and chest (5600 B.C.), the type of heavy rain damage cited by Schoch would have had 3250 years (5600 less 2600 B.C. = 3000 years)  to do its damage to the chest before the enclosure was sealed on the Nile end so that the temples could be built. That is plenty of time.

The damage to the front limbs would be a combination of sporadic heavy rain to exposed limestone combined with   partial burial under wet sand from 2600 B.C on when the enclosure was probably completed. From that time until 2350 B.C., which is 250 years,  my Sphinx's front chest and limbs could have been buried under wet sand because I  believe the Nile end of the Sphinx enclosure would have been completely sealed as part of the Sphinx Temple construction.

Author´s Note

There is considerable contention as to when the Sphinx Temple was built. Schoch contends it is the same age as the Sphinx, which means somewhere between 7000 and 5000 B.C.. Lehner sees it as being built around 2500 B.C., contemporaneous with his date for the construction of the Sphinx, which he sees as around 2500 B.C..

In the case of my Sphinx I tend to favor Lehner's general timetable because the Proto-Egyptian preliterate culture responsible for partially carving out my Sprhinx and fully (?) carving out Schoch's Sphinx wouldn't necessarily have bulit a temple, and for sure, not a temple whose architecture so closely resembles that of the literate Dynastic temples. 

The carving of the Sphinx itself would have been enough for preliterate hunter-gatherers. Only the Dynastic Egyptians would be concerned with building formal temples.

As to why the Sphinx Temple seems to have never been used and abandoned for all intents and purposes is a bit of a mystery, but I have a suggestion that makes sense according to my timetable for my Sphinx.

In terms of my Sphinx's body being built between 2660 and 2550 B.C., it is entirely possible that the Sphinx Temple was built around 2660 B.C., about 100 years prior to the planning and building of Kafre's pyramid (which was built c.2550 B.C.). 

If this were the case, the Valley Temple would also have been constructed also around 2550 B.C., and directly linked to Kafre's pyramid.  If this was what happened, it would have been the reason why the Sphinx Temple (which was meant to honor the Sphinx) was abandoned, i.e., it was Kafre (and his pyramid) who was to be honored not an enigmatic statue. 

End Author´s Note

If we accept my theory and timetable, we have to conclude then that the weathering we currently see on the face, chest and limbs of my Sphinx is only partially due to due to burial under wet sand (part of chest, front  limbs) and mostly due to heavy sporadic rain over thousands of years (chest and face). 

But what about the sides and rear of the body of my Sphinx? By my timetable for construction, I have to believe the sides were exposed from 2660 B.C. to 2550 B.C. and probably to 2350 B.C., but that is hardly enough time (310 years) to do the damage Reader says is caused by 550 years of burial under wet sand. 

Colin Reader's theory of  burial under sand being the cause of the side erosion of my Sphinx is further weakened because it seems more than likely that the Sphinx enclosure would have been kept clear during the 110 years of staged construction  (2660 B.C. to 2550 B.C.). I have to believe it was also kept clear for most of the 200 years from 2550 to 2350 B.C.. 

Given these facts, how can I explain the obvious erosion damage to the sides of my Sphinx? While I had overlooked the erosion ideas of Harrel at first, the closer I looked at them, the more they made sense.

East and north side
of Sphinx body 1910
South enclosure wall 1910

South side 1910

East and north side of Sphinx body 1910
Could Harrell be right? Could the side body damage we see today in these old  photos of the Sphinx taken around 1900 A.D.  be an indication of the kind of body weathering that can be done by exfoliation, burial under sand with occasional light rain a la Harrell combined with Nile flooding over a 1700 years period (200 A.D to 1900 A.D)? 

This would assume of course that the body repairs supposedly made by the Romans  c.200 A.D. were as the historical record indicates.

There is another alternative, of course, and that is to push my time table for phases 4-7 of the carving of the body back  to the alternative timetable for the construction of my Sphinx I had set out earlier and then let the body (as it is being carved in stages) be buried under sand almost immediately. 

As a reminder, here is that alternative timetable:

Phase 1. Bas relief face 6000 B.C.

Phase 2. Face back to ears 5800 BC.

Phase 3. Front chest and limbs, head to just behind ears, veil 5600 B.C.

Phase4. Back of head. (c.3300 B.C. Narmer / Pre-Dynastic))

Phase 5 front body to 30 feet behind  the head. (c.3300 B.C. Narmer / 1st Dynasty)

Phase 6. Modification of the Phase 3 veil to include  menesuraeus, crown cap, back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (2970 B.C. Den / 1st Dynasty )

Phase 7.  Rump, tail.   (2550 B.C. Kafre / 4th Dynasty)

Again, this immediate burial doesn't make sense, anymore than it did in Colin Reader's case, because the various body carvings of my alternative timetable Sphinx would also have to have been immediately buried for  950 years (phases 4 and 5)  to  550 years (Phase 6)  which is more than enough time as Reader estimates (550 years) is necessary to cause erosion because of burial under wet sand. 

Still, that scenerio has some possibilities, as does Reader's scenario, so I can't dismis it out of hand. After all, my timetable for phases 4-7 was an intuitive one, and perhaps Narmer  (who unified Lower and Upper Egypt) and Den (who championed female pharaohs) were exactly the kind of long-lived, empire-building pharaohs  who would fit the profiles of the later Pharaohs I initially chose. 

Sphinx body 1910
After much thought, however, I decided   to step back and do some rethinking about Harrell, because  Harrell's suggestions would go a long way toward showing the amount and type erosion and especially the kind of burial under sand erosion that can happen without heavy, sporadic rain. 

If the 1900 are any indication, the type and amount of erosion to the Roman restorations of 200 A.D. is quite substantial, as what we see in the photographs of the sides of the Sphinx is the type and amount of erosion that 1700 years of burial under dry sand without heavy, sporadic rain can produce a la Harrell. Only occassional flooding and rain would have been necessary. 

Since that erosion is substantial, it would buttress my argument as to when (2660 thru 2550 B.C.) the body of my Sphinx was built, as Harrell's theory is sufficient to explain the surface damage to the Roman restorations  (which is what we are looking at), and I can therefore dismiss the minimum effect  that I believe burial under wet sand had upon my original Phases 4-7 of my Sphinx.

Here is a diagram of the ancient repairs as well as extensive documentation on those repairs.

What we clearly have here is a glorious mess because so many of the factors involved can only be guessed at. At some stage the gods of science will hopefully sort out this weathering controversy and come up with time and damage estimates we can use with some certainty. 

Right now, with regard to my Sphinx, I feel comfortable in asuming that my estimates of the damage done by heavy sporadic rain a la Schoch and very partial burial under sand a la Colin Reader on the preliterate phases 1-3 of my Sphinx is correct. 

I also feel comfortable in assuming that  the damage to  the later phases 4-7 of the sides of my Sphinx after the sporadic rains stopped (2350 B.C.) until it was repaired by the Romans 200 A.D. is   due to the kind of damage Harrell spoke about (burial under dry sand with occasional flooding and rain). Similarly Harrell's theory also explains the amount of damage done to the 200 A.D. restored sides of my Sphinx that we can see in 1900 A.D.). 

That is good enough for me.


1) I've outlined a new approach to the mystery of the Sphinx that uses artistic intuition as well as factual, archaeological findings, which I contend is the only way to evaluate the Sphinx

2) I've used overlay pictures to show that the small head of the Sphinx is the size of a cheetah's head and given preliterate cultural and spiritual evidence that the current Sphinx face and head is the original human head. I also give the artistic and spiritual reasons why the head is not a re-carving of a lion's head.

3) I've used cultural and artistic evidence to show that the face of the Sphinx is a preliterate carving.

4) I've gone deeper into the distinct characteristics and nature  of preliterate art to back up my theory about the face of the Sphinx being a preliterate carving.

5) I've outlined a short but comprehensive summary of my theory that will help you keep your eye on the ball

6) I've backed up my theory on the Sphinx  by showing the similarity between the face of the Sphinx and the  preliterate monumental faces that we see in the Olmec heads and Rapa Nui heads.

7) I've shown the historical, spiritual connections between my proposed Nubian female shaman, the cheetah and the Mother Goddess Mafdet.

8) I've shown that the poet and novelist Robert Graves used a similar intuitive / artistic / factual approach in writing his famous The White Goddess, a study of the European Mother Goddesses and her relationship to poetry

9) I've detailed the characteristics of Mafdetthe Cheetah/Female Mother Goddess to show her importance and why she would have become the Patron Goddess of my proposed female shaman 

10)  I've explored in great detail the three factors driving my theory: 



                  c.THE WEATHERING OF THE SPHINX.

The Proto-Egyptians of 6000 Thru 3200 B.C.

Now that we've laid out some of the factors that would have brought about a 6000 B.C. carving of the face of the Sphinx, let's take a look at what the people of that Proto-Egyptian culture in the Nile delta area looked like. When we go back into a preliterate period such as 6000 to 3200 B.C. , or even earlier, the appearance of the residents of the Nile delta down through Memphis was not what we would see today, or even in 2500 B.C., but a Proto-Egyptian hunter/gatherer people whose members had differing amounts of both Semitic and black African genes.

South of Memphis, the Semitic influence would begin to diminish, so that Proto-Egyptians would begin to show more black African traits than Semitic, eventually becoming entirely black African as the first cataract is approached. We should also recognize that preliterate peoples were not stationary. Travel was always going on, both for food and for trade. This would be especially true of Egypt 6000 thru 3200 B.C., as it was also a time when Egypt was emerging from a hunter/gatherer culture and becoming a rudimentary agricultural culture.

We must also not forget that up until 10, 000 B.C. (and for several long periods afterwards up until c.2350 B.C.), what is now the Sahara desert was a fertile green plain filled with plants and game animals. The Nile valley and delta, however, were uninhabitable up until c.7000 B.C. because of the intense flooding of the "wild" Nile by melting African mountain ice caps.  

This means to me that after 7000 B.C., most probably around 6500 B.C., non-Semitic hunter-gatherer tribes from the Levant probably began settling mainly in the Delta. At the same time, from the south, Nubians and Ethiopians began settling in the upper reaches of fertile Nile Valley,,which was much closer to their homelands than the Delta. 

Then around 6000 B.C., Semitic hunter-gatherer tribes from the Levant began migrating into the Delta. The Nile Delta area must have been especially attractive to them not only because it was so fertile but even more because the "wild" Nile of 3000 years had left the Delta completely uninhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes except for some some early non-Semitic immigrants from the Levant and perhaps some Nubians and Ethiopians who had come north to the Delta from the upper reaches of the Nile valley.  In other words, there was no real struggle for territory. There was penty of land. You simply moved in and started to fish and hunt and gather.

Over time, these peoples intermixed, but the primary mixture I believe came from the Nubian and Semitic immigrants, that mixing eventually becoming a Proto-Egyptian hunter/gatherer-rudimentary agricultural people with a mixture of Semitic and black African racial characteristics. These are the people I see inhabiting the Nile delta c.6000 thru 3200 B.C.

If you think that going back and forth between Nubia and the Nile delta was like going to the moon in 6500 thru 3200 B.C., think again.It's true that the distance from Giza to the second cataract in Nubia  is about 750 miles, but there were both land and boat routes along the Nile.

They also had rudimentary sailing craft. And the Nile below the cataracts was wide and placid, making sailing very easy.

We also must not forget that the Nile always flowed downriver from Nubia, and once down past the cataracts, a good breeze always blew upriver from the delta. As an old sailor who has sailed the Nile, I can tell you it's a piece of cake going both north and south.  

You blow up river towards Nubia.

You drift down to the delta.


Robert Bauval, whose work I always respect, proposes in his book, BLACK GENESIS, that the astronomical and organizational capability of Dynastic Egypt came from the inhabitants of Nabta Playa.

Today, Nabta Playa is an ancient, dried up, lake area in Nubia about 150 miles southwest of Aswan. See map (L). See Red Circle on map for Nabta Playa location. 

Bauval, who co-wrote BLACK GENESIS with Thomas Brophy, contends the inhabitants migrated to the southern part of Nile Valley near Aswan in 3300 B.C. as a result of the rains stopping and the lakes drying up.

Here is Wikipedia on Nabta Playa :

Here is a link for a free PDf of Bauval and Brophy’s BLACK GENESIS

Nupta Playa markers of
astronomical events
According to Bauval, the Nubian inhabitants of Playa Nabta developed a complex circle of stones and markers describing a range of astronomical events that he sees as eventually becoming the source of Dynastic Egypt’s vast astronomical knowledge.

Bauval’s theory doesn’t really conflict with my own, as we both see Nubia as a genetic and cultural contributor to the literate Dynastic Egypt culture.

Where we differ is that he sees the Nubian inhabitants of Nabta Playa  migrating around 3300 B.C. into the southern Nile Valley around Aswan, where they brought with them the complex astronomical knowledge that he sees as the source of the astronomical knowledge of Dynastic Egypt. He also sees them bringing the organizational abilities critical to the establishment of Dynastic Egypt.  

On the other hand, I see the Nubian tribes between the second and third cataracts  (about 150 miles southeast of Playa Nabta)  migrating into the Nile delta and valley between 6500 B.C.-3200 B.C. where around 6000 B.C. they intermixed with Semitic tribes from the Levant to create a preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture whose psychic/spiritual values eventually evolved into those of Dynastic Egypt. 

I see the Semitic tribes, partucularly the Pre-Hebraic tribes, with their early form of logos consciousness, as supplying the Proto-Egyptian culture with the organizational abilities it required to evolve into the orderly Dynastic Egyptian culture.  It is in the Nile delta, around 6000 B.C., that I also see the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture creating the face and front limbs of what came to be known as the Sphinx to celebrate a powerful female shaman/leader as a living Goddess.  

I should add that I believe that the Nabta Playa Nubians had the same spiritual/psychic beliefs as the second cataract Nubians, as those beliefs were (and still are) present throughout Africa.

Thus, the Nabta Playa astronomical beliefs were most probably already intertwined with those Nubian psychic/spiritual beliefs, making the integration of Playa Nabta astronomical beliefs into the beliefs of the Proto-Egyptian culture almost seamless. 

Thus I see it entirely possible that the Nubian immigrants from Nabta Playa were a late (c.3300 B.C.) contributor to the beliefs of the Proto-Egyptian culture.

Indeed the Nubian migration northwards from the second cataract would have passed through the Aswan home (Elephantineof the Nabta Playa Nubians, so it is hard to believe they weren't aware of one another, and indeed some part of the Napta Playa/Aswan  Nubians may have also migrated north to the delta. 

The only  real discrepancy I see between my theory and Bauval's ( outside of the source of the organizational abilities of Dynastic Egypt) has to do with the date Bauval gives for the cessation of rains at Playa Napta, which he sees as being around 3300 B.C., whereas the generally accepted date for the cessation of the heavy intermittent rains has been 2350 BC, a date agreed upon by both Schoch and Colin Reader.

This discrepancy, however, may be a false one, as Bauval is generally very accurate on his factual information, and the slowing rains may have had an earlier, more critical effect on the Playa Nabta lake area than it did on the Giza / Nile area.

At any rate the earliest astronomical constructions on Elephantine seem to date to 3200 B.C,, which indicates the migration probably did take place around 3300 B.C. as described in the excerpt (below) from BLACK GENESIS

Based on Bauval's dating, however, I believe that the Nabta  Playa  people arrived too late (3300 B.C.) to set in motion the critical spiritual/psychic beliefs that drove the Proto-Egyptian/ Nile delta culture. Those deep spiritual beliefs are critical because they eventually became the source of the all-important Pyramid Funerary Texts of Dynastic Egypt.

For those complex spiritual/psychic beliefs to  become deeply rooted enough to eventually evolve into (and drive)  Dynastic Egypt, they would have had to come from an earlier preliterate source, which I see as being the potent Proto-Egyptian culture created by the intermixing of the Mother Goddess cultures from Nubia and the Levant during the period c.6000 thru 3200 BC..

Thus I see the Nabta Playa beliefs not as the sole source of the beliefs that evolved into Dynastic Egypt, but as a late contributor of astronomical knowledge to the overall set of beliefs that drove the Proto-Egyptian culture as it evolved into Dynastic Egypt.

That late contribution, however, could have taken place quite quickly, as the spiritual/pyschic beliefs of the Nabta Playa Nubians were undoubtedly the same as that of the Nubians  coming down from the second cataract, and it was those Nubian beliefs that formed the core of the spiritual beliefs of the Proto-Egyptian culture. 

This also explains why the spiritual/psychic/astronomical beliefs of the late Proto-Egyptian culture  could have been the source of the central beliefs of Dynastic Egypt with its critical intertwining of astronomy, spirituality and the immortality of the Pharaoh. 

Here is an excerpt from Bauval’s and Brophy’s   BLACK GENESIS on the migration of the tribes of Playa Nabta into the area around Aswan, most probably Elephantine Island. I have edited it for brevity and clarity.

“Thus life for these people went on peacefully for generations until around 3300 BCE, when huge changes in the climate caused the lake to recede and the wells to dry up. It soon became obvious that they could not stay here much longer. For centuries they had heard of a wonderful river valley in the east, a cornucopia of plenty, with miles upon miles of banks of green pastures—a place where food and fresh water could be found in abundance.

Indeed, their distant ancestors had trade relations with the people of the Nile Valley and even more distant regions. Therefore, forced out by the climate and lured by the legend of the great river, the people of Nabta Playa turned their attention east, toward the place of the rising sun, and dreamed of a new life in the green valley yonder.

When they could stay in the desert no more, they rounded up their cattle, packed their meager belongings, and, leaving the ceremonial complex with its stone circle, tumuli, and alignments that their ancestors had raised, they started their march to a new promised land. According to one of the most prominent anthropologists of the Egyptian Sahara, Romuald Schild writes, “And where might they have gone if not to the relatively close Nile Valley? They brought with them the various achievements of their culture and their belief system. Perhaps it was indeed these people who provided the crucial stimulus towards the emergence of state organization in ancient Egypt.”

Fred Wendorf echoes these words: “About the time the rains were falling off in the desert, the people in the Nile Valley suddenly started taking an interest in cows, building things with big stones, and getting interested in star worship and solar observatories. Is it possible that the Nabta nomads migrated up the Nile, influencing the great Egyptian dynasties?” Fekry Hassan, professor of Egyptology at London University, adds: “It is very likely that the concept of the cow goddess in dynastic Egypt is a continuation of a much older tradition of a primordial cow goddess or goddesses that emerged in the context of Neolithic herding in the Egyptian Sahara.”

Journey on foot. This would have been the most obvious route to take to reach the Nile Valley. We recall, however, that the central theme of the desert peoples’ cosmological beliefs was fixated on the summer solstice sunrise—the time when both sunrise and the appearance of Orion and Sirius at dawn heralded the monsoon rains that brought life to the desert. Now that the rains came no more, however, did they still look toward the summer solstice for guidance? What propitious sign might the cattle people have taken? 

The Calendar Circle’s summer solstice has an alignment to azimuth of about   62 degrees—that is, the place of sunrise at summer solsticedegrees—that is, the place of sunrise at summer solstice. Was this a sort of prehistoric pointer for an exodus from Nabta Playa toward the Nile Valley? Was there among the star people of Nabta Playa a prehistoric Moses who led the way toward the rising sun and took his people toward a promised land in the east? At summer solstice the sun remains at more or less the same place for about eight days, with a variation of azimuth as little as 2-arc minutes.

This means that the party of people leaving Nabta Playa had ample time to reach the Nile Valley
by walking toward the sunrise. To where might this direction of azimuth 62 degrees have finally led them?


The region of Aswan is some 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Nabta Playa. A party traveling from Nabta Playa toward the rising sun at summer solstice would have reached Aswan after a journey of four to five days. This region is without doubt the choicest place to settle in the Nile Valley. The climate is perfect, with sunshine throughout the year, and at Aswan the river is at its very best—wide with clean, clear water dotted with beautiful islands, the most beautiful being the island of Elephantine.

Elephantine, as far as islands go, is rather small. It is 1.2 kilometers (.75 mile) long and 0.5 kilometer (.3 mile) wide and is located downriver within sight of the first cataract and opposite the modern town of Aswan. Today half of the island has been developed into a tourist resort, but the remainder is an archaeological wonderland that contains the great temple of Khnum and the lovely temple of the goddess Satis, as well as many other ancient vestiges from the entire age of ancient Egypt. There are no bridges that link the island to the mainland; it can be accessed only by boat or ferry.

On the east of the island and across the river is the lush Nile Valley, to the west are high sand dunes, and beyond them is the open desert. The Nile here is at its widest, about 1 kilometer (.62 mile), and the water is clear, cool, and wonderfully refreshing. The banks are lined with palm and banana trees, and there are many colorful bougainvillea and oleander trees.

….In very ancient times, Elephantine was the capital of the First Nome (district) of Upper Egypt. It was considered a place sacred to Khnum, the ram-headed creator god who is said to have fashioned humankind on his potter’s wheel. Khnum’s consort was the goddess Satet—also known as Satis. The notoriety of Elephantine rested on the belief that it was here where the floodwaters emerged from the underworld, or Duat, to rejuvenate the land of Egypt.

…..In 1983 the American astronomer Ron Wells of the University of California took an interest in the alignments of the many superimposed Satis temples. Working under the aegis of the Swiss Archaeological Institute in Cairo, Wells was permitted to take azimuth measurements of all the temples that were stacked on top of each other. It quickly became obvious to him that the azimuths of the temples differed slightly from one another, progressively changing in a counterclockwise direction.

To a trained astronomer, this implied that the ancient builders were tracking the rising point of a celestial object, which changed azimuth proportionally. Ron Wells knew of the symbolic links between the goddess Satis and the star Sirius and thus had a hunch that the changing azimuths of the temple’s axes through the epoch may have something to do with the changing azimuths of the rising of Sirius. Making use of the pole star Polaris (Alpha Canis Minor) to establish true north, Wells calculated the azimuth of the topmost (Ptolemaic) temple and found it to be 114.65 degrees. He then calculated the azimuth of the earlier (New Kingdom) temple beneath it and found it to be 120.60 degrees. The 5.95-degree difference in azimuth exactly matched the difference in azimuth of Sirius for the same two epochs!

The azimuth changes of the axes of the temples implies an awareness of the precessional shift. Skeptics have argued that successive ancient surveyors were not aware that the older axis was no longer directed to Sirius, and they simply oriented a new temple’s axis without being conscious of the change. This may perhaps be an explanation, however, if only one change had taken place; but the original axis was changed at least four times. The ancient surveyors surely must have known that the temple was dedicated to Satis, goddess of the flood linked to the heliacal rising of Sirius, and it seems inconceivable that they did not notice the change in azimuth of the axes of the various temples that were aligned to this star.

More recently, in 2004, the Spanish astronomer Juan Belmonte, along with the Egyptian astronomer Mossalam Shaltout, undertook a new study of the orientations of the superimposed Satis temples and confirmed Wells’s measurements as well as the orientation of the lowest, and thus oldest, shrine: “The archaic sacred precinct of Satet [Satis] at Elephantine: this area was enclosed on three sides by three large boulders of granite and opened roughly towards the south-eastern area of the horizon, where the sun rises at the winter solstice and where Sirius rose heliacally in 3200 B.C.... .”

Interestingly, Wells also determined that the topmost Satis temple had been aligned to other star systems. One set of alignments was toward Orion’s belt and another set was toward the Big Dipper. These were the very same constellations and stars to which the various alignments of the ceremonial complex at Nabta Playa had been directed thousands of years before. This was too much of an actual coincidence to be merely accidental... The earliest date for the Satis temple is about 3200 BCE, a date that uncannily coincides with the departure of the cattle people from Nabta Playa. Had the latter come here and brought along with them the astronomical ideas that were incorporated into the multileveled temples of Satis?

At Elephantine, in about 3200 BCE, it was not the monsoon rains that brought renewal and regeneration of the land but the Nile’s flood, which was the direct result of the monsoon rains that no longer occur in this part of Egypt, but instead occur much farther south, in central Africa. In other words, the same system of astronomical knowledge that was developed in the Sahara in prehistoric times could have been used in the Nile Valley, because the time of arrival of the monsoon rains exactly matched the time of arrival of the flood, with both occurring at the summer solstice.

To be more specific, the flooding of the Nile is caused by the same monsoon rains that flooded Nabta Playa every year, except that the monsoon wind pattern has moved south and is now inundating the great lakes at the source of the Nile, which sends the flood north to the lower Nile. In light of this new evidence, we can therefore see why it was at about 3200 BCE that Elephantine began to acquire great religious importance as the source of the flood."

                                                 END AUTHOR'S NOTE

What were Giza and the Nile Delta 
like in 6000 Thru 3200 B.C.?

I am not only suggesting that our proposed Nubian shaman left her tribe at an early age and journeyed to Giza as the result of a vision telling her to do so, but I am also going to suggest that she established a home either in what was known in Dynastic times as  Giza, or Sais, or Sybennytos, the latter two being very close to each other and only 70 miles north of Giza. 

All three locations (Sais, Sybennytos, Giza) have advantageous trading locations on the Nile, which would have been evident even in 6000 B.C. (See map, L.) Those  locations allowed Sais and Sybennytos to become prominent cities by the First Dynasty (c. 3000 B.C.), two hundred years after Egypt became literate.

This was was also around the time (c. 3000 B.C.) that the ancient preliterate roots of the Isis cult surfaced in Sais and spread throughout Egypt. Isis is a Mother Goddess who was seen in literate, Dynastic Egypt as the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.  

It is one indication of the strength of the earlier preliterate Mother Goddess culture that these Goddesses emerged in such a  powerful way in the literate male God culture of  Dynastic Egypt.

About the same time, the ancient preliterate roots of the Nut cult surfaced in Sybennytos and spread throughout Egypt. Nut ( L) is a very early Mother Goddess and is often shown as over-arching the people of Egypt, protecting them. In literate Dynastic Egypt, she was also seen as the mother of Isis and Osiris.

Archeological findings indicate, however, that Giza, was not associated with any ancient cult c. 3000 B.C., despite my contention that Giza contained a partially carved female Sphinx (the face) by 6000 B.C, and a more complete Sphinx (head, chest,forelimbs) by 5600 B.C.. 

So why didn't a literate Sphinx cult erupt in Giza in 3000 B.C.? 

Well, one reason is that it is highly likely that if the face was carved in 6000 B.C. and the head, front chest and limbs by 5600 B.C.,  it is very probable that all original knowledge about the creation of the Sphinx's face  would have been lost  by 3000 B.C..

There is also the problem that by 3000 B.C., the establishment of a literate culture was taking place. With it, as in other cultures throughout the world, the male Gods were rising and the female Goddesses  were descending.  (In the case of Egypt, most of them were being paired off as "wives" to the male Gods). 

This male/female readjustment also gave rise to a curious conflict between  the Dynastic Priestly class and the population as a whole.

We can see the same thing in the Cathedral-building period of medieval  Europe, where the cathedrals were being built and dedicated to the Virgin by the people while  the Catholic theology in Rome was basically still focused on God the Father and Son. 

Similarly, in Dynastic Egypt, while the priestly class was heralding the male Gods as the proper Gods for a Dynastic Empire, the population as a whole continued to be drawn to the Mother Goddesses. It is  an indication that the Male/Female Balance that was a critical and unique part of Egyptian spirituality was already well established in the spiritual lives of early Egyptians. Even the ascending male God Dynastic  culture bowed to its importance.

 Yet if  there were any remaining oral stories or fragments of stories about the  Sphinx being a carving of a living Goddess, it is highly likely they would have been officially ignored and thus would have   never made it into written form. 

This likelihood plus the fact, as I mentioned earlier, that so much time would have passed,  that no one in 3000 B.C.  really knew what the  partially-completed Sphinx was about. 

I am going to suggest that the Dynastic Egyptians were simply in awe of the Sphinx in the same way the Aztecs were in awe of the enormous pyramid complex at Teotihucan.  

I believe there was, however,  a  very old  preliterate connection  (c.6000 B.C. and perhaps even earlier) between the predecessor of the Sphinx (my suggested "Veiled face" at Giza) and  the location of what was to eventually become Heliopolis. The first indication of that older connection took the form of  a Sphinx/Ra  cult emerging c. 2686 B.C. that  continued to flourish under different names  until around 1070 B.C.

The 6000 B.C. Giza /Ra /Heliopolis Connection

I believe that there was a very old connection between the Giza "Veiled" face and Ra, and that it preceded by thousands of years the Ra cult of Heliopolis which sprang up in the Old through New Kingdoms (2686- 1070 B.C.). Follow me closely on this, because it covers critical ground. Ra is the very ancient Sun-God. In preliterate cultures, the sun God was perhaps the most ancient, being instinctively associated with warmth and life and light. Most likely, Ra at that time was either female or both sexes.

If, as I believe,  the Sphinx was indeed a representation of a very early living Goddess, River Mother, she and other early Goddesses were erased, forgotten or transformed when the male Gods rose to prominence with the introduction of writing. This transition from a preliterate to literate culture is a very tricky business. 

Essentially what happens is a female-oriented, cooperative culture becomes a male-dominated, aggressive culture. If you want an idea of the immense, rapid changes that always take place, I suggest you read my section on books that explain the changes that occur when a preliterate culture becomes literate.  

Here are some of those changes in the way Ra was viewed. 

In the Dynastic period, the Ra/Heliopolis cult I just mentioned began  in Heliopolis (2686 B.C.).  By this time, Ra had become a male God  associated with the God Atum (who had become the new Creator God) thereby becoming Atum Ra

This came about as as a result of the priests at Heliopolis in the literate Dynastic period recognizing Atum as the Creator of Everything, replacing Mut, the Mother Goddess Creator of Everything. I have more to say about this later.

Later on, Ra became associated  with the God Horus (the son of Isis and Osiris) as Ra-Horakhty (L), Horus being the God who incarnates himself into the new Pharaoh, thereby making him a living God.  Ra-harakhty means literally Ra, [who is] Horus of the Two Horizons). His symbol  became a sun above Horus' head (L). The two horizons  refer to the east (rising sun) horizon and the west (setting sun) horizon representing respectively, Birth and Death. 

As we shall see later, thanks to the work of  Robert Bauval (The Orion Mystery), the two horizons also played a key role in the journey of the dead Pharaoh to become one with Osiris/Orion and the incarnation of Horus into the new Pharaoh. 

Toward the end of the Ra/Atum/Horus/ Heliopolis cult during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.), there was a sea-change. Pharaohs began to built monuments to the Sphinx at Giza. This was called the cult of the Sphinx. At that time, the Sphinx began to be called Hor-em-akhet Horus in the Horizon." 

This association with Horus endowed the Sphinx with tremendous spiritual power.  Horus was a very ancient, powerful God whose origin seems to be  far back somewhere  in preliterate times, so that (as a God) he seems to have preceded even  Osiris and Isis (who were later assigned as his parents in order to bring him into the Dynastic Pantheon.) 

With this pedigree, it is no wonder that Horus became  the most ancient of the God-names given to the Pharaohs. That naming tradition was strengthened in Dynastic  times by the fact that   Horus was also seen as the God who incarnates himself into the new Pharaoh, making him a living God. As Bauval points out in The Orion Mystery, the term Horizon also has a death/rebirth significance. Each Pharaoh's rebirth into immortality and the new Pharaoh's incarnation by Horus was signaled when the Orion constellation (and the  star groups associated with it) rose above the horizon at vernal equinox.

I wasn't aware of this connection with the stars until  reading The Orion Mystery, but it seems clear to me now that the two competing astronomical death/ rebirth theologies (one star- based and one sun-based)  that dominated Dynastic Egyptian theology must have also colored how the mysterious Sphinx was viewed spiritually. 

Most of this coloring of the Sphinx  has been lost, so we don't exactly know the total effect of the Orion/stellar theology and the competing sun theology. Prior to Bauval's findings, however, the scholarship on Dynastic Egyptian theology indicated that the sun theology was the only theology, with the star theology playing no role. 

Great Pyramid and alignments
Although Bauval shows in great detail the alignment connections between the stars and the various pyramids and structures that play a part in the death and burial of the Pharaoh burial, he doesn't astronomically connect the Sphinx  (and its eastward gaze toward the Vernal/Spring Equinox)  to any of the constellations and stars he describes in his stellar theory in The Orion Mystery. 

Bauval and Hancock
Bauval, however, does associate the Sphinx with the Giza pyramid site in a later book (The Message of the Sphinx) that he wrote with Graham Hancock that posits (somewhat questionably) that the position and stellar alignment of the Sphinx (which they see as being built in 10, 500 B.C. by a now lost civilization) is perhaps related to the stellar alignment and location of the much later Giza pyramids. 

What we can gather from all this is how complicated (and astronomically connected) the Death/Birth theologies were. Those same theologies are also a good example of how both muthos and logos thinking were co-existent in Dynastic Egyptian thought. 

It is this balance that not only set Dynastic Egyptian thinking apart from all its neighboring civilizations but is also an excellent indication of the important role Nubian  muthos spirituality (which was intimately concerned with death and rebirth) had in the eventual formation  of Dynastic Egyptian spiritual thought.

It is also an indication how seriously the  Dynastic Egyptians took the Pharaoh's position as a living God because these complicated theologies linked the very movements of the heavens with the Pharaoh's death and successful rebirth. 

Knowing this, we can see that these Dynastic Ra/ Sphinx/Horus/Horizon/Heliopolis  cults appear to be an effort on the part of the Pharaohs of the later Dynasties (after 2500 B.C.) to assert a spiritual  link to the sun theology. According to Bauval, the force of the Orion/stellar theology with its great astronomical star positioning of the Giza pyramids in the Fourth Dynasty (c.2500 B.C.) began to wane after ensuing dynasties favoring the sun theology began gaining force again

While I see these  cults (the Ra/Atum/Horus/Heliopolis cult and the Sphinx/“Horus in the Horizon” cult) as political/religious moves, the two being intricately interlinked in Egypt, that is not the only possibility. 

They may also have been a cultural  echo of  a very ancient preliterate connection between my proposed Giza "Veiled" face (or even the later 6000 B.C. carved face) and Ra (the sun) and Heliopolis, both of which can be seen looking in an  eastward direction from the Sphinx.

So what is going on here, some kind of musical God-chairs?  We start out with Heliopolis being the center of a huge Ra cult that builds up around Atum and suddenly switches to Horus, and then, as the that cult grows older, a new cult of the Sphinx/Ra suddenly rises up in Giza. 

I believe what is going on here is not quite musical chairs, but this: literate Egypt is responding (among other things) to deep, often unconscious cultural memories of a strong, very ancient connection  between my proposed "Veiled" face/Sphinx and Ra the sun God. 

I am reminded of those little magnetic dogs I played with as a child. I thought I was quite clever putting a magnet beneath the table and making the little dogs seem to move about all by themselves. If you don't get the simile, think of the little dogs being the literate cults and the hand beneath the table as the unconscious cultural memories.

Let me add that I have also gone through this somewhat dizzying stream of God transformations to illustrate the ever changing roles of the Gods in Egypt. You have to get used to it because it never stops. It is a reflection of how deeply the spiritual beliefs of Egypt were connected to the lives of the Egyptians. When one changed, so did the other. 

By comparison, our western religions today are essentially static, having little to do with the changes that are constantly occurring in our everyday lives. The little magnetic dogs have long since stopped moving.That was never true about Egypt. 

 But there is another  point I want to make here, and that is this:  these formal, literate God/Goddess cults didn't come out of nowhere. They never do.    I am further going to propose that these late literate cults were also built in part upon the unconscious, "felt" framework of a much earlier preliterate connection.

There are no literate records of this, but this shouldn't come as a surprise. In oral, preliterate cultures, there are no written records. The preliterate connections I am suggesting would exist only in tribal story poems, and those existed  only in the minds of the tellers and listeners. 

Over long periods of time, they disappear from the conscious memories of the culture in question, but they always remain in the collective unconscious and can erupt into consciousness in the form of visions under the right conditions. 

I believe this is what happened  in the case of the Goddess cults, and the Ra cults.

I am now going to develop in some detail what I had suggested in the opening of this section: that Ra had a very ancient (prior to 6000 B.C.) connection with Giza thousands of years before the Sphinx was first carved as a face, and for sure before the rise of any of the literate  Ra cults I've been speaking about.

Let me  guide you through my proposed very early connection of Ra and the Giza "Veiled" face/Sphinx. First, let's take another  look at the cult of Ra/Atum/Horus/Heliopolis.  This  cult was centered, in Heliopolis, 14 miles northeast of Giza. The earliest known literate mention of this  cult in Heliopolis is in the Second dynasty (2686 B.C.), but it may have been in existence much earlier. As I have indicated previously, literate cults always have distant preliterate roots. They don't appear out of nowhere, like Topsy.

The Ra/Atum/Horus/Heliopolis cult was highly active from the Old thru New Kingdoms (2686 -1069 B.C. ). To refresh your minds: In the initial Ra/Heliopolis cult, Ra was associated with the local sun God Atum, becoming Atum-Ra (far L). Later on, Ra became associated with Horus (the one-eyed hawk). 

His symbol, Ra-Horakhty, (near L) then became a sun above Horus' head.  This changing of the attributes of a God was quite common and almost inevitable as the Egyptians' spiritual sense of a given God changed over time. To portray this, symbols were concatenated, as in the addition of the sun symbol (Ra) over Horus.

With these cults in mind, let's take a look at Heliopolis, which  is a very ancient city dating back to Pre-Dynastic times (before 3200 B.C.). How far back is unknown, but the scholarship indicates that it predates almost all Egyptian cities. Here is Wikipedia on ancient Heliopolis:

Heliopolis (/hiliˈɒpɵlʌs/; Ancient Greek: Ἡλιούπολις, "City of the Sun" or "City of Helios"; Egyptian: ỉwnw; Arabic: عين شمس, Ain Shams, "Eye of the Sun") was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome that was located five miles (8 km) east of the Nile to the north of the apex of the Nile Delta. Heliopolis has been occupied since the Predynastic Period,[1] with extensive building campaigns during the Old and Middle Kingdoms

Today it is mostly destroyed; its temples and other buildings were used for the construction of medieval Cairo; most information about the ancient city comes from textual sources.

Beneath a maze of busy narrow streets of a middle and lower-class district, lie vast hidden remains of ancient Heliopolis about fifteen to twenty metres down. This ancient Egyptian site lies predominantly in the northern Cairo suburb of Al-Matariyyah,

We can pinpoint ancient Heliopolis, however, because the exact, ancient position of the great Temple of Atum-Ra is marked today by the Al-Masalla obelisk in the northern Cairo suburb of Al-Matariyyah. This obelisk is shown in the photo to the left. Let's hold there for a moment and switch to preliterate Giza.

If I am correct about the prehistoric. weathered, "veiled" human/cheetah face at Giza, it is not much of a stretch to imagine that for as far back as the people of preliterate Giza could remember, they had revered and been in awe of the “Veiled” God-face. Not only because it faced east (90°) toward the spring equinox rising sun but  also because the summer solstice rising sun, when the sun is at its fiercest, appears northeast of the Sphinx.

Guess what? The compass bearing from Giza to the summer solstice rising sun (59°) is also the exact bearing from Giza to ancient Heliopolis and its nascent prehistoric antecedents.That's not an accident. Similarly, looking from Heliopolis towards Giza on the same day, that same bearing line (extended to the west) would show the summer solstice setting sun (Ra) setting behind the "Veiled" face at Giza.

The setting sun had special significance for the Egyptians, representing death. Atum was one of the most ancient Gods in Egypt and became a part of the Heliopolitan cosmology as it began to develop and Atum became associated with Ra, the sun God. Specifically, Atum-Ra was considered to be the setting sun. 

So there you have it: there is a definite, non-accidental connection between the Giza "Veiled" face and Heliopolis. How far back it goes is anybody's guess. My guess it goes back as far as the "Veiled" face existed on the weathered rock outcropping, which means it goes back way past 6000 B.C.. 

So now let's switch back to preliterate Heliopolis and take a closer look at it. If we go back to 6000 B.C. (or earlier) and imagine standing next to the "Veiled" face on the weathered rock outcropping on the Giza plateau, what would we see on the horizon? If we were standing at Giza facing directly east at the same height as the eyes of the "Veiled" face, the horizon would be 18 miles away. Anything beyond that wouldn't be visible. 

However, what we would see to the northeast 14 miles away would be none other than the antecedents of preliterate Heliopolis. What were those antecedents? Slight for sure,  trees and grass for the most part,  as in 6000 B.C., the rains were still falling from time to time and the area would not have become a complete desert yet.

My intuition tells me, however, that there was something else at that site, something that any visitor would be immediately drawn to:  perhaps a small meteorite, like the one enshrined at Mecca.

More to the point, perhaps the preliterate Proto-Egyptians saw that meteorite fall from the sky one night and took it for a sign. 

These things happen you know, and may be the reason why Heliopolis came into existence, because otherwise it is in  the middle of nowhere. 

I arrived at this insight of a meteor falling at nascent preliterate Heliopolis through analeptic thinking. It surprised me to find out later that Bauval mentions the probability of a conical iron meteor falling out of the sky to became enshrined at Heliopolis as the Ben Ben stone.  (For some unstated reason, he sees it landing near Memphis, but why I have no idea. )

 Imitation of Ben Ben stone
 Conical meteor near Cairo

The Ben Ben stone was held by the Egyptians as the most sacred of objects. Bauval posits that its conical shape is possibly the reason for the shape of the pyramids. For sure, an imitation of the Ben Ben stone capped every pyramid.  Constable Research gives a concise definition of the spiritual significance of the  Ben Ben stone:
"The Benben Stone was seen as the solidified Seed of Atum, the Stone of Creation. It was on this stone that the Phoenix or Benu Bird would return every 12,594 years and place its new Egg. At that moment a new Era of Mankind was started. The Benu Bird came from the ‘Isle of Fire’, the mythical place where the gods were born."

Author´s Note

12,594 years is approximately half of the earth's precession cycle of approximately 26,000 years, indicating how advanced Egyptian astronomy was, having discovered and calculated this critical astronomical cycle before any other culture.

End Author´s Note

Here are two other large conical iron meteorites.

The Dynastic Egyptians believed the bones of the heavenly Goddesses and Gods were made of iron. This must have been a  Proto-Egyptian belief as well. How else to explain what the falling iron meteorites were? When the iron meteorites were tear-shaped, they were taken to be the sperm of Osiris in Dynastic times. In Proto-Egyptian times, they would probably have been seen as the sperm of Ras.

Even at that early period, they must have believed the Gods and Goddesses were stars in the heavens. Anything sent to earth then was from the Gods and Goddesses, and if it was iron (which usually survived, unlike rock) it had to be the very stuff of the Gods and Goddesses.  

So it makes sense that the preliterate Egyptians who first saw the conical iron meteor lying on the ground at nascent Heliopolis would believe it to be  "the solidified Seed of Atum", i.e.,  a drop of sperm, because of its conical shape. 

What our startled and amazed Proto-Egyptians would  have known nothing about, however, were things like compass bearings  and the like. 

But what they would have known is that if they looked south westerly from the "heavenly" meteoric rock they could see the "Veiled" face at Giza.  They would also eventually realize   that if they stood next to the meteoric rock on summer solstice sunrise and looked towards Giza, they could see the first rising light falling on the "Veiled" face in the distance. 

As an aside, the painting (above, R) has either been photographically flipped or the original painter was painting from a very bad memory. 

To help you get your bearings, the 45 degree line in the map (R)  is pointing from the Great Pyramid to  Heliopolis. 

Heliopolis looking at Giza
Thus, if the faint pyramids in painting (upper R) are the Giza pyramids, they should be on the far left as Heliopolis is northeast of the Giza pyramids. 

The same painting ( L) has been flipped back by me in Photoshop to show what it should have looked like.

To get back to the matter at hand: if the Proto-Egyptians also stood next to the meteoric rock at summer solstice sunset, they could see the sun setting behind the "Veiled" face in the distance. 

In addition, they would eventually come to know that if they stood next to the "Veiled" face at summer solstice sunrise, they would see the sun rising behind where the meteoric rock lay. It had to be something like this that gave rise to Heliopolis. The fact of the matter is Heliopolis is an interior city, having no direct river access, and really shouldn't have come into existence at all. But it did.

I am thus suggesting a scenario that could have brought preliterate Heliopolis into existence. You can be sure that the site didn't grow into a significant preliterate city for no reason. What I am contending is that it is quite probable that Heliopolis came into existence because its antecedents (and  our meteoric rock) were sitting right on the horizon if you looked northeast from the "Veiled" face at Giza to the summer solstice sunrise.

If, however, the landing place of the Ben Ben meteorite had been 5 or  10 miles more to the northeast, it couldn't have been seen at all from Giza. More importantly, the spiritual/astronomical connection between the Ben Ben meteorite, Heliopolis, Ra , the summer solstice and the Sphinx would never have been established. 

My analeptic thinking tells me that the meteor stayed where it landed because the point of impact itself would have been taken as a divine sign marking a divine point on earth.

Over time, Heliopolis eventually built itself around that divine point. The fact that the divine point also was in such a position as to  mark the summer solstice as seen from the "Veiled"/carved face at Giza must have absolutely cemented its divinity. I hope you're beginning to see why the Proto-Egyptians of 6000 B.C. and earlier may have gathered at the site that became preliterate Heliopolis. 

If you can't see it yet, let me say it again: if they stood next to the Giza "Veiled" face at summer solstice sunrise, they would see the sun rising behind the Ben Ben meteorite at nascent Heliopolis. And at sunrise, from the Ben Ben meteorite  at nascent Heliopolis, they could see the summer solstice sun (Ra) fall directly on the "Veiled face" while in the late afternoon  they could also see the summer solstice  sun (Ra) setting behind the "Veiled" face.

There is no doubt in my mind that my proposed "Veiled" face  did have a very, very early association with Ra and our preliterate, nascent Heliopolis area, probably for millennia prior to 6000 B.C., the earliest date I have proposed for the carving of the Sphinx face over the naturally occurring "Veiled" face. 

I am now going to suggest that the carving of the initial bas relief face of the Sphinx in 6000 B.C. further cemented the spiritual/astronomical connection of the "Veiled"/carved Giza face  with Ra as well as the position of Heliopolis as the city of Ra, the city of the sun.

I also believe that some simple structure supplementing  my proposed meteorite was created in nascent Heliopolis to mark that formal connection. Perhaps a marker of some kind. (Bauval states that the Ben Ben stone topped a pillar in the holiest of temples in Dynastic Heliopolis.)  

This Dynastic temple pillar would obviously be an outgrowth of my suggested preliterate summer solstice marker. The photo to the left is from preliterate Britain. It is an equinox/solstice marker similar to the one I am proposing was built at the site of the fallen Ben Ben meteorite.   I also have no doubt that this structure was then used by those standing next to the "Veiled" Giza face  to easily focus on the exact point where Ra would appear at summer solstice sunrise, thus visually completing the "Veiled" Giza face/Ra connection as would the Sphinx/ River Mother carving as it unfolded.  

I have indicated that the compass bearing from the "Veiled" face to both Heliopolis and the summer solstice sunrise is identical, but let me give you some idea of how that was calculated. Thanks to a web service (Location Works) that computes equinox events at various global positions and dates, I was able to determine that the summer solstice rising sun seen from Cairo (which is very close to Giza) in 2012 is at a bearing of 59°.

After much erroneous computation caused by the fact that I was using the location ( long/lat) of modern Heliopolis, I found that as soon as I plugged in the location of ancient Heliopolis, I got a bearing of 59° from the Giza Sphinx to ancient Heliopolis.

Coincidence? I don't think so. It is a clear indication that my proposed "Veiled" face at Giza was connected to the rising of  Ra at summer solstice from the earliest of times. Let me be as clear as I can on this: it is no coincidence that the summer solstice rising sun, when the sun is at its fiercest, bears 59° from the Sphinx while the bearing from the Sphinx towards preliterate Ra/Heliopolis is also 59°. Sorry, but accidents like that just don't happen. It is clear that ancient Heliopolis was built around the site where the Ben Ben meteorite landed and eventually became enshrined.

I have tried to determine if the earth's precession would have had any effect upon the summer solstice bearing from Giza in the summer of  6000 B.C., but it is a very complex process and no one has so far stepped up to the plate and offered to compute it. Suffice it to say that due to the precession of the earth, a 26,000 year cyclical wobble of the earth on its axis, the summer equinox compass bearing from preliterate Giza to nascent Heliopolis may have been slightly different in other times within that 26,000 year cycle than it is today.  

From what I can gather, however, most astro-archeologists seem to consider any sunrise  solstice/ equinox bearing changes caused by precession (even over very long periods of time)  to be negligible and not worth considering. That being so, I am going to assume it was approximately 59 degrees in 6000 B.C. as it is today. 

If anyone steps up to the plate and shows me that it is not negligible, and that there is a small consistent bearing change (as there is with the stars)  in that 26,000 year wobble and that it is significant enough to make the current 59° summer solstice bearing from Giza to Heliopolis appear only at one other time, that distant historical time will most probably be the  time when the Giza / Heliopolis /summer solstice position  first occurred as a result of our falling divine Ben Ben meteorite.

The Sun God is a primary “life-giving” God in all preliterate cultures and had to exist in prehistoric Egypt in some form (most probably as a very early female Goddess, and then later as a male/female God and finally as a male God). 

It is a toss-up as to which would have been the case c.6000 B.C. and earlier, but that is relatively unimportant with regard to my proposal that there was a very early connection between the "Veiled" Goddess face at Giza,  Ra, and the site of Heliopolis.  

Both sites (the "Veiled"/carved Giza face  and nascent preliterate Heliopolis) could have easily seen each other over small obstacles like trees as nascent Heliopolis was 4 miles in from the visible horizon. Early 20th century travelers report that same visibility.

(For those who are gear-heads, I have a section at the end of Part One outlining in detail how I computed the horizon and bearings for my proof of a very early preliterate Giza/ Heliopolis/ Ra connection.).

As I suggested earlier, once the meteoric Ben Ben Stone (and its sight lines vis a vis the "Veiled" face at  Giza and the summer solstice sunrise were discovered) a marker was most probably erected on the spot of impact in nascent Heliopolis to honor the Ra/"Veiled" Giza face connection. 

Based on later Dynastic descriptions  of how the the Ben Ben meteorite was displayed on top of a pillar, I believe that in preliterate times the meteorite was placed on a small pillar(s) or a small pillar(s) constructed on top of an earth mound imitating the Mound of Creation.  

This mound and its marker(s) or pillar(s) most probably would have raised the visible height of  the Ben Ben meteorite  by about ten feet, assuming a five  foot pillar and a five foot mound, so the site would have been highly visible in preliterate times. (The remnant of that mound (imitating the Mound of Creation) may indeed be what is now  referred to as Petrie's Mound.

By the way, the original Egyptian name for Heliopolis was Iunu, "Place of Pillars." Some might say this name referred to the large number of obelisks in literate Heliopolis, and this may be true, but it is possible the name may also have a much earlier origin and reflected the pillar markers erected to pin point the place of impact as well as the point on the horizon where the summer solstice sun rose. 

After all, as these photos from Great Britain show, two small framing pillars (above, L, or 3 pillars placed in a row (L) pointing at a specific solstice/equinox position, say the summer solstice sunrise, would have been almost a necessity in a sun-centered place like nascent Heliopolis. 

As an aside, some might question why I focused on the summer solstice position rather than the spring equinox position, 90°. The answer is simple. The spring /vernal equinox (an important spiritual/astronomical/rebirth position) wasn't really used as a planting date by the Egyptians.  

The Egyptians would have preferred, even in prehistoric times, to use the rising Nile as an indication whether to plant or not. After all, if seeds were planted and the Nile flooded afterwards, the seeds would be lost. Even more important, however, is the fact that the summer solstice displays the intense heat of the sun (Ra) at its fiercest, or strongest.

Knowing this, we can  now say that Giza (because of the “Veiled” Giza face and  its ancient “sun/Ra” connection to Heliopolis) was an important spiritual location in 6000 B.C. (or earlier.) I also believe Sais (Isis)and Sybennytos (Nut) were most probably important preliterate spiritual locations much earlier than the Dynastic dates given.

Again, even though the female Goddesses and their associated cult sites seem to appear like Topsy out of nowhere around 3000 B.C. once Egypt becomes literate (3200 B.C.), we have to remember that there are, in reality, long unseen roots trailing back through the millennia connecting those sudden literate cult  appearances (and cult sites) to their distant preliterate counterparts.  

Sorry, but that’s the way it happens. The same goes for a cult of Ra also suddenly rising and spreading out from Heliopolis c. 2686 B.C. It too, as I have just suggested, had ancient preliterate roots.

Thus I am going to suggest again that the spiritual forces that caused the Isis/Nut/Ra cults to seemingly gain strength in early Dynastic times and spread out in their respective cities were not new forces. 

I believe these spiritual forces were already present in some nascent form, that is to say, the three sites were already spiritual gathering places that would have attracted our female shaman. I am going to suggest that either she chose one of these sites, or perhaps she journeyed between them, which is more likely.  After all, Sais and Sybennytos are very close being only 60 miles north of Giza and each can easily be reached on the Nile. See map (R).

The  "Veiled" Face at Giza and the Carving of the Sphinx Face

Now that it is clear that the Nile delta would have been a spiritual home for our Nubian female shaman, I want to get back to the particulars of what was eventually carved upon my proposed vague, “Veiled” face (L) that I propose had been weathered onto a rocky outcropping on top of the Giza plateau.  I am going to suggest that the Sphinx, as we know it, consisted initially of only a bas relief face carved on top of a vague, “Veiled” face that resembled both the face of a human and a cheetah. I have suggested what that vague, veiled face might have looked like in the drawing to the left. 

It was undoubtedly less symmetrical and less detailed, just enough to suggest a human/cheetah face. I have added the split coloring to help you see both halves. You may want to enlarge the image to see both halves more clearly because  I purposely made them very vague. 

I have been suggesting that the carving of the Sphinx face took place somewhere around 6000 B.C.. However, as I've said before, there is no way of really knowing if it was done in 6000 B.C., or 5000 B.C., or 4000 B.C., or some date in between, as the preliterate cultural and artistic forces governing the characteristics of the carving would have been the same for all of these dates. At this stage, however, I am going to go with my earlier proposition that it took place in 6000 B.C. because of the following:

1. Any such very large facial carving must have been done in response to a great event in which my proposed female Nubian shaman played a significant role. The only great event I am aware of during the period  6000 B.C. and 3200 B.C. is the massive 6000 B.C. flooding of the  Nile Delta, which came about as the result of  a gigantic explosion of Mt. Aetna in Sicily which sent 25 foot waves racing through the Nile Delta.

2. The 6000 B.C. time period was critical in the development of Giza. It  marks the beginning of its transformation from a hunter/ gatherer culture to a prmitive herding/agricultural one. The effects of a massive flood on a sea-level herding/agricultural culture would have been catastrophic. It would have wiped out everything.

3. 6000 B.C. presents the most difficult case to prove (of the Sphinx being carved in  phases) for two main reasons:

a) Despite the findings at Göbekli Tepe, many theorists  continue to hold the mistaken position that  a hunter / gatherer culture could not have produced a carving like the Sphinx's face.

b) Some will argue that the large amount of time that I propose separated the phases of carving would have made any communication between the carvers in each phase  extremely difficult, as there was no writing, and therefore no written records to pass down explaining what the Sphinx was all about. 

I will answer both objections in the sections that follow.

Author's Note

As I mentioned earlier, I am open to the fact that there may have been other great events that occurred in preliterate Proto-Egypt (6000 thru 3200 B.C.) of which I am not aware. In that case, the various arguments I have presented (and will present) for the creation of the Sphinx in phases would still be valid. What would differ is that the time spans between phases would be much smaller.

 End Author's Note

The  Intensely Spiritual Nature 
of Preliterate Art. 

With our focus now set on 6000 B.C. as the most likely date of the first face carving of the Sphinx, I  want to go deeper into something else of equal importance in understanding why and how the Sphinx was carved: the intensely spiritual nature of preliterate art.  Preliterate art was always created  in imitation of a divine intent that  preliterate peoples became aware of through their visions and voices. 

Preliterate peoples created art in imitation of that  intuitively perceived divine intent because it was their way of "knowing" that intent. Knowing was intuitive for preliterate peoples, not logical.


                                                    Author´s Note

Does this mean that preliterate people never drew or told stories or sang or danced unless they had a vision or heard voices from the 
Other World

Of course not. Things like making pottery or minor decorations on wood or animal skins or pictures of a boat or a bow would have been done by imitating what had been done before by other tribe members. Humans are by nature imitators. They can't stop doing it. I do believe, however, that the very first creation of a particular common design or song or story was  the result of vision or voice from the Other World, but because these were created on perishable materials,  they  seldom survived thousands of years of weather damage.

Preliterate humans, however, knew the difference between those common imitations and spiritual imitations of  voices and visions from the Other World.

Those were clearly indications of the intent of the Other World and were to be imitated so the tribe could align themselves with that intent and thereby acknowledge that the tribe understood that intent. Petroglyphs (which were very difficult and time-consuming to carve into stone) are examples of this kind of imitation, as were the various type of cave drawings which were obviously drawn in a sacred place as these caves were considered passages to the Other World.

Again, we have to remember that this kind of  imitation was a muthos  way of saying to the Other World, "We hear your song,  O most dark and beautiful, and we are returning it in the only way we know: the way you have shown us."

                                                End Author´s Note


The psychic nature of preliterate art also explains why their monumental art was an ongoing rather than a one-time process: it was  the result of the divine intent being revealed to them over time. The essential nature of preliterate  muthos consciousness was to feel the truth of the divine intent by the act of  imitating it. Artists know what I mean when I say this. I doubt many scientists do. It is away of knowing diametrically opposed to our modern logos consciousness, which seeks to know the universe by logically explaining it. 

I contend, however, that it was this  muthos way of imitating the divine order that brought about the initial carving of the face of the Sphinx and its subsequent phases.

We understand the political forces that brought about the carving of the Lincoln memorial, and we may understand the religious forces that brought about the cathedrals of Europe, but I doubt that our theorists have ever understood the radically different nature of the muthos consciousness that I contend would have brought about the carving of the face of the Sphinx in 6000 B.C.. 

Once that muthos consciousness is understood, however, and the various artistic and weathering considerations are added to it, my proposal as to the way the Sphinx was carved and why  and when is almost inevitable.

With all that said,  let's take a look the problems inherent in my proposal of such a phased (or periodic) carving of the Sphinx. If we assume a carving of the initial face c.6000 B.C., this means the Sphinx began to be carved 2800 years before Egypt became literate though the invention of a hieroglyphic language (3200 B.C.). 

These dates are critical, because the scenario I am suggesting would only have taken place in a preliterate Proto-Egypt. This is because the cultural/spiritual forces present in preliterate Egypt c.6000 B.C. were radically different from those driving literate Dynastic Egypt in 2500 B.C.. Let me repeat myself on this: the consciousness of preliterate Egyptians and the consciousness of literate Egyptians were radically different.

By consciousness I mean an instinctual way of looking at the world. It has nothing to do with native intelligence. 

Preliterate Egyptians were just as natively intelligent as literate Egyptians. What separated them was not intelligence, but what interested them.  

Another way of putting this is to say that the preliterate mind was interested in artistically imitating everything it had  experienced as a way of knowing it, whereas the literate mind is  interested in logically examining everything it has experienced as a way of knowing it.

I am not alone in contending that the mind of preliterate humans was different from literate humans. Julian Jaynes in his Origin of Consciousness blew that door open some 50 years ago and revolutionized our thinking about the true nature of preliterate cultures and preliterate consciousness. If we really want to understand what I am saying about preliterate Egypt and the Sphinx, his work is must reading. Click here for a free PDF of The Origin of Consciousness.

My own ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds adds a small but significant coda to Jaynes monumental work. When you read these two books, you’ll have a deeper knowledge of the fact that preliterate cultures attempted to explain the world by imitating it through stories (the Greeks called this muthos), whereas literate cultures attempt to explain the world by examining it with reason and logic (the Greeks called this logos.)

If you're still unsure of the differences between  art created by  literate logos consciousness and art created by preliterate muthos consciousness, take a look at the preliterate drawing (L) of a shaman/God and compare it to the literate sculpture of a  Pharaoh (below, L).

I believe that the Egyptians never quite made the clean break into logos consciousness that the Greeks did. That failure, or refusal, depending on how you look at it, is at the heart of the true nature of Egyptian culture. 

Literate Dynastic Egypt by 2500 B.C. was an Empire rising to grasp the bait of logical inquiry and  military power and dominance that logos consciousness makes possible, yet at the same time it remained anchored to some degree in the muthos consciousness of preliterate Egypt. 

In effect, literate, Dynastic Egypt was always caught between the two ways of looking at the world, so that even in literate times the same cultural and spiritual forces that supported preliterate Egypt's  muthos consciousness were still in play. 

The Egyptians never completely threw off their muthos consciousness as the Greeks did with their pursuit of a logical knowing of the world, and as the Hebrews did with their pursuit of a single, personal God. That is one measure of how strong the Egyptian spiritual/psychic nature was.  We have to pay attention to it (and its interests)  if we want to really understand what  the Sphinx represents. 

Both I and Julian Jaynes believe that Egypt remained caught between the two ways of looking at the world, the muthos and the logos, i.e., they operated with both forms of consciousness.

Jaynes proposed that this was the reason why the early Dynasties kept collapsing, i.e., the "chain" of directive voices that muthos-consciousness depended on for guidance could not be maintained as the Dynasties grew larger and larger. 

I believe it is more likely that these collapses were due to catostrophic climatic events that resulted in famines. One of the weaknesses of large organized agricultural socities, such  Dynastic Egypt, is that they became too large to fufill their food needs through hunting and gathering if a harvest or series of harvests failed and the stores of grain were exhausted. 

A similar situation exists today in our western cultures which are built around a sophisticated food production and distribution system in which we store very little and basically produce and distribute the food on demand. If our distribution system were to break down for along period of time our large urban centers would starve to death. 

But let me get back to my belief that Egypt remained caught between the two ways of looking at the world, the muthos and the logos, i.e., they operated with both forms of consciousness.

I see this split muthos/logos consciousness as the reason why Dynastic Egypt's Balanced Male/ Female spirituality and Balanced Pharaonic burial practices developed as they did. By this I mean that the burial practices were based both on psychic practices (muthos consciousness) and a devastaingly accurate astronomical knowledge (logos consciousness)

This consciousness split is unique to Dynastic Egypt and critical to really understanding why it evolved as it did out of the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture. 

Despite this split (or perhaps because of it) Dynastic Egypt always remained intensely spiritually-driven, perhaps not as purely as in preliterate times, but it was present enough to make Dynastic Egyptian civilization immensely interesting to the later Greek and Roman civilizations, although in practice they seem to have focused mainly on its astronomical, architectural, and governing practices rather than its psychic-based spirituality.

There was one culture however, that was immensely interested in Egypt's spirituality per se, which was the Pre-Hebraic (c.6000 thru 1500 B.C) and Hebrew cultures (c.1500 B.C. and onwards).  

I have used the time of Moses as the dividing line based on two factors: it was a time where we see a definitive vision of monotheism emerge as well as a very early Hebraic writing system. Monotheism and writing were critical to the development of the Hebrew religion and culture.

Let me make one thing clear. When we attempt to go back to 6000 B.C., or 5000 B.C. or even 4500 B.C., we are walking in the dark as to the particular influence of the various preliterate hunter/gatherer tribes from the Near East coming into the Nile delta area from 6000 B.C thru 3200 B.C..

We know from various archeological findings that there were cultural interchanges between Sumeria and Dynastic Egypt after 3200 B.C., (which is also about the time Sumeria came into existence as a literate Kingdom) but we know nothing about the earlier preliterate periods we are interested in. One question that arises is this: did immigrants from early preliterate Sumeria come into the Nile Delta and Valley and influence its growth

In fact,  all the evidence points toward the fact that Dynastic Egypt and the Sumerian Empire blossomed into literate existence completely independently of each other almost at the same time (3200 B.C.) Furthermore, as far as we can tell, their preliterate stages also developed independently of each other

Where there is smoke however is in the Levant, especially after 6000 B.C., when Semitic tribes began migrating into the Nile Delta Outside of the fact that we know there was a migration,  we don't even know if the various Semitic tribes were really that much different from each other outside of the Semitic language variations that were probably used by  a given tribe. By that I mean they didn't see themselves as belonging to a particular country / religion  as we would do today, seeing certain areas of the Levant as Syrian or Lebanese or Jordanian or Hebraic etc. 

Rather, they most probably identified themselves as belonging to a particular tribe rather than a particular country or religion, mainly because countries and religions as we know them really didn't develop until literate times. What these tribes had was a loose collection of spiritual/ shamanic beliefs revolving around their tribal Gods and Goddesses.

Thus the preliterate hunter-gatherer tribes I have identified as Pre-Hebraic  didn't see themselves as "monotheistic Hebrews of Caanan" as they did after the spiritual transformation brought about by Abraham and Moses (2000 thru 1500 B.C.).

I say all this because I believe that the Nile delta Proto-Egyptian culture (6000 thru 3200 B.C.) evolved as it did  because of the cultural, spiritual and physical intermixing of Semitic tribes from the Levant and tribes from Nubia that began to move into the fertile Nile delta around 6000 B.C.. 

Prior to that time, as we now know, the entire Nile river valley and delta was uninhabitable (from 10,000 thru 7000 B.C.)  because the melting African snow caps  had turned the Nile into a continual raging flood state known as the "wild Nile". 

I am going to suggest,  however, that among the various Semitic tribes coming down to the Nile delta with their beliefs, there was one that had a particularly critical  influence on the  development of the Proto-Egyptian culture and that is the collection  of Semitic tribes I am going to call Pre-Hebraic (6000 thru 1500 B.C.). 

I believe that those  Pre-Hebraic tribes were significantly different from the other Semitic tribes in one particular area, and that is in their early development of logos consciousness, as there are many indicators that this took place. 

There is no direct evidence of this, of course, just as there is no direct evidence of  anything that took place in the Nile delta during the period 6000 thru 3200 B.C.. All we have to go on is the fact that of all the Semitic peoples, the Hebrews took particular pains when they created the Bible around 700 B.C. to document the interaction of their Pre-Hebraic ancestors with Dynastic Egypt during the period 2000 thru 1500 B.C.. 

This is the period in which the Biblical stories of  Abraham, Joseph and Moses take place. As it turns out, the scholarship indicates that Joseph was much more than a boy with a coat of many colors, because there is good evidence that he is connected in some way to the emergence of the Hyskos empire, which was a non-Egyptian  Nile delta empire within Dynastic Egypt from 1700 thru 1500 B.C.. I'll go into this shortly.

So there is a definite and unique connection between the literate Dynastic Egypt and the Pre-Hebraic tribes that indicates that the connection not only ran deep, but both ways. The question is how far back does that deep connection go? I believe it went back into the period 6000 thru 3200 B.C., but proving it will take a little doing, so bear with me.

If you have any initial doubts about the depth of that connection before I spell out the particulars, take a look at these Hebrew sarcophagi c. 1200 B.C.. They look oddly familiar, don't they? The fact that they also resemble the Saul Steinberg's New Yorker cartoons only thickens the brew.

Without going very deeply into the complexities of this relationship right now, let me mention a few things about the Hebrew/Egypt relationship as portrayed in the Bible, which often says more between the lines than it does directly: 

1) Pre-Hebraic people visiting Dynastic Egypt always went directly to the Pharaoh: Abraham being an indirect example of that in his fear that Pharaoh would covet his wife. (As though the Pharaoh had nothing better to do).  And then again with Moses and Joseph: no middleman, just, Hey, I'm here. This would be like a visiting car dealer from Cleveland walking into the Oval Office unannounced. Sorry. It would never happen.

2) Pre-Hebraic people seemingly rose to very high positions with great ease: Moses and Joseph being two examples. This implies to me that the Egyptians viewed   the Hebrews as possessing a superior mental acuity. Yet we know that the court intrigue was as devilish in Egypt as in any other high culture, probably more so because of the Egyptians known dislike for outsiders. 

The kind of murderous maze that would have awaited Joseph and Moses would have been as formidable as any set forth in Shakespeare's Histories of the English Kings. 

Anyone trying to make their way to the top would have had their work cut out for them and then some, especially since they were non-Egyptians. It could never have been quite the kind of cakewalk it appears to be in the Bible. So how do we explain this kind of reporting? 

The  Bible Writers were scrupulous reporters. What were they up to when they wrote these highly stylized accounts of the easy, influential access of the Pre-Hebraic tribes to Dynastic Egypt?

3) The Pre-Hebraic vistors seemed totally oblivious to everything Egyptian except the Pharaoh. The Pyramids and Sphinx, which were surely in place before Abraham, Joseph and Moses entered Egypt, are never mentioned. How could such blindness be possible? Even more to the point, what does this strange view of Egypt mean? 

It means just this: to the Bible writers' way of looking at things, there was an intimate connection between the two cultures that is never quite spelled out.

Part of that connection may be that Dynastic Egypt evolved out of a Proto-Egyptian culture that grew out of the physical and spiritual merging of Nubian and Semitic hunter-gatherer tribes, with  the most influential of those Semtic tribes, as far as I can tell, being the Pre-Hebraic tribes.

So in some sense, the later Pre-Hebraic tribes we see visiting Dynastic Egypt in the Bible between 2000 thru 1500 B.C., were visiting their distant half cousins. I don't mean to be flip about this, but the Pre-Hebraic influence not only helped shape Proto-Egypt but also the Dynastic Egyprtian culture that grew out of Proto-Egypt. 

In other words, there must have been a sense of familiarity that those later Pre-Hebraic tribes experienced upon visiting Dynastic Egypt. And we shouldn't be so dense as to not realize that the Biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph and Moses  were really symbolic representaions of many visits and interactions between the Pre-Hebraic tribes and Dynastic Egypt going back to its formation in 3200 B.C. 

In a way, the Pre-Hebraic tribes were visiting a culture they helped build, but which, around 3200 B.C.,  had suddenly jumped ahead of them in becoming Dynastic Egypt. Thus I see  the Pre-Hebraic influence as one long continuous influence going back to 6000 B.C.. 

In the first 3000 years they helped bulid it and after that they helped guide it. The fact that Ahkenaton's grandfather was of Pre-Hebraic ancestry is one indicator how deeply the Pre-Hebraic tribes had worked their way into Dynastic Egypt.

This connection, this familiarity, is also seen  in the Bible  and ask ourselves why this very easy, constant Pre-Hebraic visiting, curiousity and advising of Dynastic Egyot is portrayed as it is. 

From my point of view,  we can easily say it is portrayed as it is because:

1. The Pre-Hebraic visitors saw themselves as mentally superior to the Dynastic Egyptians and the Egyptians in turn acknowledged this, especially in times of crisis, when they had no alternative.

2. The Pre-Hebraic visitors were attracted to the vast spiritual empire of the Dynastic Egyptians and in particular  the person of the Pharaoh, a living God who ruled over Egypt with absolute power. 

(We mustn't forget that the Bible Writers were creating the Bible around 700 B.C., long after these events, yet they saw these Pre-Hebraic encounters (and the stories they created about them) as setting the stage for the eventual  creation of the Hebrew nation with its personal, monotheistic God.)

So in effect, nothing else mattered except showing these two things about the Hebrew-Egyptian relationship. After all, by the time of Moses,  the Pre-Hebraic tribes were beginning to move towards having an orderly relationship with a single God, something unthinkable in all the other polytheistic, animistic Mediterranean cultures surrounding them.

It was because of this obsession that it would be only  natural for the Bible Writers to portray  Joseph very calmly walking into the court of the Pharaoh (who is also the living God Horus) and interpreting his dreams, and in the case of Moses, directly challenging his authority, while at the same time ignoring everything else around them, including the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.

I bring this oddity up  because to really understand the full extent of what I am  going to propose, you will have to come to grips with the fact that not only were  the Dynastic Egyptians   intensely drawn to the Pre-Hebraic  tribes because of their mental acuity, but the Pre-Hebraic tribes were equally drawn to the spirituality of the Egyptians and especially to the person of the Pharaoh, a living God who guided and ruled  his people with absolute yet benevolent power.

                                          Author´s Note

I have taken 1500 B.C. as the dividing line between the preliterate Pre-Hebraic culture and the literate Hebrew culture established by Moses. The emergence of Monotheism and a writing system were the two factors that caused me to pick that date. However,  as a matter of record there seems to have been archaic forms of Hebrew writing as early as 1750 B.C., but I don't believe that invalidates my choice of 1500 B.C. as the dividing line. 

                                       End Author´s Note

The fact that the Biblical  examples I've just used come from the Dynastic period, doesn't discount what I've just said about Proto-Egyptian spirituality. The Biblical examples I've given are simply what has survived historically because of the invention of writing and the particular oral tales selected by the Bible Writers. The fact of the matter is that  Dynastic Egypt didn't become an intensely spiritual empire by opening a box of Crackerjacks. That spirituality had deep preliterate Proto-Egyptian roots as does the literate spirituality of every culture. Again, sorry, but that's the way it works.

Author's Note

Perhaps the best description of how deep that spirituality was is this one by Schwaller de Lubicz: Egypt didn't have a religion, Egypt was a religion. In other words, Egypt  didn't have the kind of religion where you went to church on Sunday and that was it.  Egypt was the church and you never left it. Got it? Dynastic Egypt was nothing less than a muthos imitation  of the divine order.

                                        End Author´s Note

It might also help if I take Shakespeare's, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances." and paraphrase its truths to fit those of Egyptian spirituality

"All of Egypt is but a stage,

And all the kings and queens 

are merely players.

As are all its men and women
in the Divine Play

of Life and Death and Resurrection.

They all have their exits and their entrances,

as do the sun and moon and stars."

It was all one long pageant that never ended. Note that the stars are included in the pageant, as are the sun and moon. Nothing was separate in Egypt. The intensity of that spiritual pageant is reflected in the Hebrew obsession with Egypt. Even the infant Jesus has to escape to Egypt to be safe. Egypt was the mother lode. 

Again, I believe you can get a glimpse of that by reading between the lines of the Bible.  When  you do, it is clear that  these Pre-Hebraic tribes couldn't stop being attracted to Dynastic Egypt's immense spiritual empire and the Pharaoh, a living God, nor could the Egyptians stop being attracted to the superior mental acuity of the Pre-Hebraic tribes
Moses and Pharaoh
The Bible writers, of course,  who produced the first Hebraic Torah around 700 B.C.,  could never directly state that it was Egypt's spirituality that attracted the Pre-Hebraic tribes, as by that time the Hebrews' radical monotheistic religion  was directly opposed to Egypt's still polytheistic beliefs.

The Bible Writers, however,  were also fanatical about conveying the entire truth of any given matter, and they often did this between the lines.  

In this situation, they did it  by including stories about the Hebrews'  various Pre-Hebraic interactions with the Egyptians. 

Imagine what  early preliterate Pre-Hebraic tribes witnessed in their wanderings through Dynastic Egypt around 2500 B.C. and earlier as herdsman and traders. These  Pre-Hebraic tribes would have been in awe of the intense spirituality of Dynastic Egypt. They would have seen it as the Mother Lode. How could these wandering herders have had any  other reaction to the intense, majestic, living God spirituality they witnessed in the Pharaoh?

At the same time, these same Pre-Hebraic tribes would have been aware of their superior mental acuity,  which I believe had begun to develop out of the way they lived as quick-thinking trespassing herdsmen and their very early logos consciousness. 

We can never forget that  the early logos consciousness and intense spiritual interest of these  Pre-Hebraic tribes would eventually give birth in 1500 B.C. to a monotheistic concept of God and man so  different from anything else before it that it may as well as come from outer space. But it didn't. 

It developed out of  their own preliterate spiritual roots, an early form of logos consciousness,  and their exposure to the spirituality of Egypt, most especially the Pharaoh, a living God. 

It is no accident that Moses and the Pharaoh Akhenaton lived at essentially the same time. There are libraries full of books about their possible relationship, including the possibility that they are the same person. Whether monotheism was the insight of Moses or of Akhenaton will never be known, but we do know this: Egypt dropped the ball on monotheism whereas the Hebrews took it and ran all the way to Israel with it. 
Moses  Pharaoh
Let me get back to the Torah and the Bible Writers.  If we only read the lines themselves in the stories of Joseph (1700 B.C.) and Moses (1500 B.C.), we could come away with the impression that the Hebrews saw themselves as superior to the Egyptians, and indeed that is the direct message of the lines

As I have previously indicated, however, the Bible  can also be very indirect, and thus also has to be read between the lines, especially when the subject was contentious, as any suggestion would be of the Hebrews being  drawn to the spiritual nature of Egypt. 

I believe the core spiritual attraction for the Pre-Hebraic tribes was   the Pharaoh, living GodTo gaze upon, or stand before, or speak to such a God would have been a a heady experience for any preliterate Hebrew tribes moving, however blindly, toward a single God. 

Although we are talking here about the interaction between the Pre-Hebraic tribes and  the Pharaohs of literate Dynastic Egypt in the period 3200 thru 1500 B.C., I believe that even in very early preliterate times, say around c.6000 thru 5000 B.C., that some of the Pre-Hebraic tribes were experiencing the evolution of an early stage of logos consciousness  and may have begun to have vague thoughts of one, not many Gods, because that is the nature of logos consciousness: to seek unity out of the many. 

I say this even though this was also  time when the preliterate Pre-Hebraic tribes  still possessed muthos consciousness and were still driven by a polytheistic spirituality. 

This is going so far back into the darkness of preliterate times, however, that there is no hard evidence of such early Pre-Hebraic movements toward one God except the peculiar nature of  the Biblical visits themselves in 2000 thru 1500 B.C., which were always focused on the living god Pharaoh to the exclusion of everything else. You could say that these Biblical  visits were demonstrations to the living God Pharaoh of the superior Pre-Hebraic mental capabilities.

Joseph with Pharaoh
There is the problem, of course,  that the earliest recorded interaction  (Joseph, c.1700 B.C.)  is hardly close to the 6000 thru 5000 B.C. period we'd like to investigate. 

Yet, there is enough smoke around Joseph's interaction with the Pharaoh c.1700 B.C. (namely, the establishment of an Hebraic, non-Egyptian Hyskos Empire in the Nile delta) to convince me that Joseph's Pre-Hebraic interactions with Egypt were not the first. It was one of many is the most likely case.

I'll say more shortly about what this establishment of an non-Egyptian empire within Egypt means, especially  in terms of what it tells us of the military and organizational capability of the  Pre-Hebraic tribes immigrating into the delta c 1700 B.C.. I contend that it reflects their possessing  an early form of logos consciousness that made them mentally superior not only to the preliterate Nubians immigrating into the Nile delta c. 6000 thru 3200  B.C , but also  to the literate Dynastic Egyptians, who I contend never fully gave up their muthos consciousness.

At any rate, what eventually emerged in 1500 B.C. from this brew of Pre-Hebraic spirituality and superior logos consciousness was Moses and a revolutionary monotheistic spirituality that expressed a completely new picture of the God/man relationship. 

The idea that man not only had only one God but also a God who could  be bound by a contract of behavior (The Covenant) was utterly unthinkable to the other Semitic cultures  surrounding the Hebrews. 

What I mean by that is that The Covenant can be seen as an agreement between God  and the Hebrews aimed at insuring that God would act reasonably in His interactions with the Hebrews and that the Hebrews would obey God's laws. 

Ia manner of speaking, The Covenant   made the Hebrews  and God contractual equals under the law, each being bound by the conditions of the agreement. 

                                                Author's Note

The Hebrew's revolutionary "One God" spiritual insight indicates that the overwhelming spiritual concern of the Hebrews (and to some extent the Pre-Hebraic tribes) was the God/man relationship, whereas the Dynastic Egyptians, as I've been pointing out,   became obsessed with something completely different: the Nubian/Proto-Egyptian  Mother Goddess beliefs in immortality and the soul, something of little interest to the Hebrews and the other Semitic tribes. 

As we shall see later on, this difference in interest explains why, out of all of the groups immigrating into the Nile delta, the spirituality of Dynastic Egypt had to have evolved out of the Nubian/Proto-Egyptian interest in immortality and the soul.

                                             End Author's Note

Daniel in the Lion's Den
One proof of the spiritual fascination of the Pre-Hebraic tribes with Egypt is that we never see the Pre-Hebraic tribes interacting with any other culture and interpreting the dreams of their Kings  in quite the way they do with the Egyptian pharaohs, who they saw as living Gods. 

The one exception to this, and it is only partial, is the much later case (600 B.C.)  of the prophet Daniel, who was taken prisoner as a young Hebrew noble by the Babylonians during their destruction of Jerusalem. I bring up the story of Daniel because it somewhat mirrors the stories of Joseph and Moses and the   living God Pharaoh, giving it a special energy. 

It also repeats a theme of immense importance to the now literate Hebrews. The Bible Writers had first stated it in the  Pre-Hebraic stories of Joseph and Moses and their  encounters with the Pharaohs of Dynastic Egypt: that the Hebrews were mentally superior to other cultures and capable of speaking directly and guiding rulers, even rulers  who were living Gods. 

Daniel  rose to a very high position in the Court of Nebuchadnezzar because of his superior ability to interpret the King’s dreams. When Babylon was subsequently conquered by Persia, Daniel rose to an equally high position in the Persian court of Darius. 

Bible Writers
The story of Daniel also repeats another  theme first introduced in the story of Moses: that the Hebrews were guided and protected by a Covenant with a single, all powerful  God superior to the Gods of other cultures. 

I also believe what the Bible writers were saying between the lines is that they had gone the Egyptians one better when it came to a deity: that the Pharaoh, a living god and incarnation of Horus, was no match for Yaweh, and in the case of Daniel, nor were the kings and gods of Babylon and Persia. 

The fact that Daniel was imprisoned by the Babylonians and Persians never altered these beliefs, because to the Hebrew way of thinking they were imprisoned because they had failed to live up to the conditions of the Covenant. It was a momentary set back, but Yaweh was still with them. 

The story of Daniel is a powerful one of captivity that echoes the haunting stories of Joseph and Moses. Like those earlier stories,  Daniel's story was undoubtedly meant to again show the mental superiority of the literate, monotheistic Hebrews of c.600 B.C., but not so much to the Dynastic Egyptians (who were fading)  but to their polytheistic  contemporaries, which in this case were their captors, Babylon and Persia.  

Author's Note

The reason why I'm mentioning Daniel, who appears very late in Hebrew history, is that  it sheds some more light on what I contend was an early form of logos consciousness that developed as the Pre-Hebraic tribes progressed from a preliterate culture to a literate one. I also contend that this early form of logos consciousness (with its rational, examining characteristics) gave the Pre-Hebraic tribes a distinct mental advantage over their contemporaries. 

This can not only be seen in the stories of Joseph and Moses and Daniel but also in what I contend happened as the  Pre-Hebraic tribes and the preliterate Nubian tribes  immigrated into the Nile delta from 6000 B.C. to 3200 B.C., namely that their mixing eventually resulted in the development of  an orderly approach to the powerful but unorganized shamanic practices of the Nubians. 

I believe this orderly approach eventually became formalized in some manner in the late Proto-Egyptian period and then eventually evolved into the Dynastic Egyptian Pyramid Texts with their psychic directions for insuring the Pharaoh's safe journey to join Osiris in immortality. 

I have gone through all of this on Daniel and Moses and Joseph because I believe that an early form of  logos consciousness was also present to some degree in the Pre-Hebraic tribes coming down  to the Nile delta with other Semitic tribes from the Levant c.6000 thru 3200 B.C.. 

I will go into more evidence for this as I go along, but it is a very important because I also contend that this Pre-Hebraic early form of logos consciousness eventually helped give birth to the extremely orderly, written spiritual practices of the Dynastic Egyptians, the source of which had to be the powerful, disorderly, shaman-oriented Nubian beliefs in the soul and immortality that became a part of Proto-Egyptian spirituality as the Nubian and Semitic tribes mixed in the Nile delta c.6000 thru 3200 B.C..

I want to point out here that even though  the Nubian and Pre-Hebraic tribes were Mother Goddess cultures, the roles they played in creating the spiritual beliefs and practices that eventually evolved into those of Dynastic Egypt were aided by the fact that both of these Mother Godess cultures  were moving in the same, and yet at the same time, different spiritual directions: the Semitic Pre-Hebraics   towards the male divinities and logos consciousness with the Nubians holding on to the Mother Goddesses and muthos consciousness. 

I believe what happened in the Nile delta during the cultural/biological mixing period of 6000 thru 3200 B.C. was that the nascent logos consciousness of those Pre-Hebraic tribes merged with  muthos spiritual consciousness of the Nubians so as to eventually evolve into the literate, logos/muthos consciousness, male/female Balance of the  Dynastic Egyptians. 

Let me be more specific about this. There are three distinct aspects of Dynastic Egypt that have to be accounted for: their deep knowledge of astronomy, their belief in the immortality of the soul, their highly organized culture centered around a living God, the Pharaoh.

As I have outlined earlier, the Dynastic Egyptian's deep knowledge of astronomy seems to have come from the Nubians living just to the west of Aswan,  a knowledge  that went back to the stone age  according to Bauval, whose theory I  outlined earlier. The Semitic tribes, including the Pre-Hebraic tribes,  could not have been the source of this knowledge as there is no indication that they had any deep astronomical interests.  Nor did they have any interest worth talking about when it came to the soul and immortality, whereas it was central to the African/ Nubian spiritual beliefs. So the Nubians had to be the source of this interest

What the Pre-Hebraic tribes contributed, I contend, was an organized way of thinking about all matters that came out of their early form of logos consciousness. I believe this organized thinking extended itself into the social, religious and astronomical aspects of Proto-Egypt as it evolved into Dynastic Egypt. The other contribution of the Pre-Hebraic tribeswas that they seemed to have had a keen interest in the God-man relationship in this world.  I  believe that this strong interest in the God-man relationship was instumental in shaping the spiritual thinking that gave birth to the concept of the Pharaoh as a living God. 

                                              End Author's Note

Let me indicate how important logos consciousness had become among the Hebrews by 600 B.C., the time of Daniel. Around 900 B.C the Hebrew alphabet had become fully developed and by 700 B.C. the written Torah was finally put together by the logos-consciousness Bible Writers to celebrate and record the long journey of the Hebrews to their Promised Land. 

The Torah  is such  a magnificently written document (just think how original and beautiful Genesis is) that it is clear that the Hebrews of that time possessed a fully-formed logos consciousness.

Yet in the case of the Hebrews, the Biblical accounts of their peculiar interactions with the Dynastic Egyptians when they were still polytheistic herders points to the distinct probability  of an early form of logos consciousness having developed among the Pre-Hebraic tribes much earlier than  the date Jaynes associates with the emergence of a fully-formed logos-consciousness among the Hebrews and nearby cultures, which was late in the second millennium B.C., approximately 1200 B.C..  

Yet I believe that both Joseph (1700 B.C.) and Moses (1500 B.C.) possessed an early form of logos consciousness.  They must have also lived on the edge of literacy because  there also existed an archaic form of Hebraic hieroglyphic writing by 1800 B.C., something I go into later. 

If we link these two early developments together, they set the stage for a later, fully-developed logos-consciousness (c.1200 B.C) along with a fully-developed Hebrew alphabet (900 B.C), as writing and logos consciousness, according to Jaynes, seem to be coterminous developments within a culture.

Let me go back for amoment to that early mental developement. I believe it took place in two stages: 

1) The earliest came out of what I think was a penchant for quick (and perhaps deceptive) thinking that grew out of the somewhat dangerous herding activities of these Pre-Hebraic tribes who  seemed to have no qualms about grazing their herds on lands normally used by other tribes. They seem to have specialized in this kind of trespassing, so much so that one derivation of their name (Hebrew)  translates as "to pass over", which most scholars have interpreted as "border-crossers". 

What this says to me is that these Pre-Hebraic herding tribes didn't have any compunction about going into someone  else's back yard, and everyone knew it. They must have had not only a great deal of nerve but also the quick-thinking (and if necessary the fists) to back up their trespassing. 

We also have to remember that it was Cain (the farmer) who killed Abel (the herder) which I take to imply  that these Pre-Hebraic herders saw farming as evil. Herding then must have been (in their eyes) the right stuff. In short, these were cowboys with an attitude, and as we know from our westerns, they must have had a ready answer for any objections to what they were doing.

So this penchant for quick (and perhaps deceptive) thinking seems to me the reason why they were probably more mentally developed than other preliterate tribes, and most assuredly the preliterate Nubians they mixed with in the Nile delta from 6000 thru 3200 B.C..

By the way, this penchant for quick (and perhaps deceptive) thinking is another way of describing an early form of logos-consciousness.  

2) I believe that the evolution of a fully-formed logos consciousness among the Pre-Hebraic tribes came after 3200 B.C.   through their exposure  to Egyptian hieroglyphic writing,  as there is evidence of archaic Hebraic hieroglyphics existing (1750 B.C.) well before   the development of the Hebrew alphabet c.900 B.C.. 

If this is so, those hieroglyphics could have acted as a catalyst  in  the early evolution of a fully-formed  logos consciousness. I say this because Janyes tells us that the invention of writing in a given culture seems to have been coterminous with the evolution of their logos consciousness, although which came first is up in the air. 

This has been a bit of a digression, but I thought it necessary to back  up my contention that both Moses and Joseph most probably possessed an early form of logos consciousness and that it probably went back  to somewhere between 6000 thru 3200 B.C..

Between the time of Moses (1500 B.C.) and that of Daniel (600 B.C.) the Hebrew  logos consciousness would have become fully developed. In fact it became an obsession because the Hebrews came to believe (quite correctly) that they could never successfully interpret and obey the Covenant without logos consciousness and the permanent record that writing supplied.  Chaim Potok in Wanderings, his remarkable history of the Jews, goes into this in great detail. 

All this has been to give you some background on what I believe was the mental make up of the Pre-Hebraic tribes as they wandered into the Nile delta during the period from 6000 thru 3200 B.C.. 

There is no way to go back to that very early period (6000 thru 3200 B.C.) to show you direct evidence of this very  early mental acuity, but the nature of who they seem to have been (quick-thinking, herding trespassers) along with the evidently early  logos consciousness  possessed by Joseph c.1700 B.C and the existence at the same time of the Pre-Hebraic Hyskos kingdom  is some indication of the avidity of these Pre-Hebraic tribes in absorbing and adopting Dynastic ways. They were on their way up as they say. 

One of the things I wanted to show you by going through all of this was that Joseph in 1700 B.C. and Moses in 1500 B.C. didn't come out of nowhere. These were two leaders who took it right to the Pharaoh. They didn't win those battles with the Pharaoh, but the fact that they challenged the Pharaoh so openly is a good indication how sure of themselves they were. That sureness had early roots, but where does it come from?

I believe this sureness came from their sense of  being mentally superior to their contemporaries. As I mentioned earlier, one  meaning of the name Hebrew is "to pass over" which I take to mean that they were known to pass freely over borders with their herds. 

You can think of them as "free-rangers", but you know what happens to "free-rangers" in our westerns. They get challenged by the local ranchers. Guns get drawn. Time for quick, cool thinking. That is exactly the kind of situation that these early Pre-Hebraic tribes found themselves in time after time because of the way they chose to live by wandering across the lands of others. That not only takes quick-thinking if caught, but also a great deal of nerve just to attempt it. 

Thus I contend that the wandering, border-crossing Pre-Hebraic herders developed an  early ability  to think quickly  because it was a necessity given  their way of life. I further contend that this ability resulted in the development of an early form of logos consciousness sometime between 6000 thru 3200 B.C..  

During the period 6000 B.C to 3200 B.C., the Proto-Egyptian culture was a mixing pot of spiritual interests. Of special interest to us during this period was the early mental  superiority of the  Pre-Hebraic tribes migrating into the Proto-Egyptian Nile delta, which I contend  would eventually leadto their putting some sense of order into what had to be very disorderly Nubian psychic beliefs and practices. Each culture, as I've shown, and will show, contributed characteristics that eventually led to the spiritual practices formed in Proto-Egypt  and that eventually evolved into the Pyramid Texts.

When we do finally get to the start of Dynastic Egypt in 3200 B.C., we see those same Pre-Hebraic tribes in a much different position. They are still clearly preliterate and polytheistic, but it is clear in the Biblical story of Joseph (1700 B.C.) that the living God spirituality of the Pharaoh was of immense spiritual interest to the Pre-Hebraic tribes.

It is also clear in the Biblical story of Joseph that both the Pre-Hebraic tribes and the Dynastic Egyptians shared a belief in the superior mental acuity of the Pre-Hebraic tribes. It doesn't matter that the core spiritual interests of the Pre-Hebraic tribes and the Dynastic Egyptians were so different. 

It's like that in any love affair. The light and heat were there. The Pre-Hebraic tribes were obviously spiritually interested not only in the Pharaoh, a living God, but as history shows, also in the Egyptian's sophisticated religious empire, which the literate Hebrews eventually imitated in the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant. 

The Dynastic Egyptians,  on the surface of it, shouldn't have been interested in anything from the wandering Pre-Hebraic tribes, except of course, their mental accuity, which leads me to believe there were many, many  "Josephs" who visited the Pharaohs.  


1. I've proposed that the Proto-Egyptians of 6000 thru 3200 B.C. as a Nile delta  mixture of immigrating  Nubian from the south and and Semitic hunter-gatherer tribes from the Levant to the north.

2. Based on the characteristics of the face of the Sphinx, I've proposed that is Black African Female, specifically Nubian.

3. I've given reasons why the African characteristics of the Proto-Egyptian peoples came from Nubia and not other African areas.

4. I've described the Nile Delta in 6000 thru 3200 B.C. as supporting a Proto-Egyptian hunter-gatherer culture that was evolving into a simple agricultural culture.

5. I've shown that a preliterate,  6000 B.C. Giza /Ra /Heliopolis Connection existed prior to any Sphinx cult arising in literate times.

Here's how I calculated  my proposed 6000 B.C. and earlier connection between the  Giza "Veiled" face /Heliopolis/ Ra .

I am an old sailor who would often compute my distance to a distant landmark if I knew its height. There is a formula for that distance based on your height and the height of the landmark.  It is 1.17 x sq/root of your eye height + 1.17x sq/root of distant object height = distance in miles.This assumes you only have the sea between you and the landmark, but it would also hold true for Nile delta Egypt which is relatively level.

Heliopolis today is average 108 feet above sea level. In 2800 B.C. it was about 45 feet lower, or 53' above sea level, but trash over the next 5000 years brought it up to today's 108 feet above sea level.

Let's say in 6000 B.C., it was another 45' lower or 8 feet above sea level, but it was probably higher than that because the mostly natural trash left from 6000 thru 2800 B.C. would have been much less than the man made trash from 2800 B.C. - 2000A.D., but let's take the worse case scenario.

Now, if I were our female shaman standing next to the rocky outcropping containing the "Veiled" face, my eyes would be 146 feet above sea level, which is just 15 ' below the eyes of the "Veiled" face itself (161'). (Sea level, by the way, has remained pretty much the same since 6000 B.C.)

Heliopolis is 14.13 miles to the north east of the Sphinx. The visible distance between the eyes of the "Veiled" face and nascent Heliopolis is 18.2 milesSo if someone is looking from the bottom of the "Veiled" face  at a bearing of 59° east, Heliopolis is clearly visible. This also holds true if someone is looking from the height of the eyes of  the "Veiled" face.

Let me do the actual calculations from the eyes of the "Veiled" face to Heliopolis so you'll see how it's done:

1.17x sq rt of 161 = 14.8 miles visibility from Sphinx + (1.17 x sq rt of 8) = 3.3 miles visibility from Heliopolis = 18.2 miles visibility from the eyes of the Sphinx in Giza to nascent Heliopolis. 

This would be true also for the eyes of our female shaman which are a bit lower. Do the math yourself, it's a good exercise. The answer by the way is 17.2 miles.

Thus both sites (the "Veiled" face and nascent Heliopolis) could have seen each other even over small obstacles like trees. Early 20th century travelers report the same thing.

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