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Sphinx head

Old 1941 photograph shows major restoration?

MMDE: The Sphinx is a dog

Current: The Sphinx is a cat

A amazing photograph from 1941 has been found which appears to show some major restoration work being done on the Sphinx. 

It's long been assumed the Sphinx is older than the pyramids, but the new photograph appears to show it's been worked on, and changed it's appearance significantly, much more recently. It seems to show a new head, a new set of secret tunnels and has no shoulders, which all suggests the familiar landmark we see today has had a modern makeover.

There is even a suggestion it was not originally a cat due to the posture and the fact the Egyptians of the day worshipped dogs. The photograph shows restorations along the base from various ancient times, such as distinctive elongated roman brickwork, as well as Ptolemaic and Greek building styles.

Mystery

Situated near Giza's Great Pyramind, The Great Sphinx of Giza, to give it its full title, is thought to be about 4500 years old. It's one of the world's oldest monuments. The word Sphinx is given to a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human, and was a major mythological creature in ancient Greek, Asian and of course Egyptian mythology.

Statues of Sphinxes can be found in the tombs of the mummified remains of the kings, as well as in the temples. The well-known Sphinx Alley connecting Luxor to Karnak is a two mile passage lined with their statues, for example. Sphinxes with a female human head are also seen sometimes.

The Asian/Greek Sphinx is usually female and seems to have become a variation on the familiar Egyptian one from around the 14th Century BC - this one gained eagles wings and is often seen sitting on its haunches with one paw raised.

It's also been suggested that the monument was carved from an oddly shaped rock outcrop which had been weathered naturally to roughly resemble the creature it came to be sculpted into.

Older than Khafre?

There's a theory that the Sphinx is much older than currently thought, and in fact the Egyptians of 4500 years ago merely decorated something they came across which was much older. This theory is proposed by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz from his analysis of water erosion around the base and enclosures of the monument, and claims the length of time taken to produce such erosion in water directly contradicts what is known about the climate in the region from the assumed construction date. This theory is called The Sphinx water erosion hypothesis.

Face of a lion

As well as the confusion over the Sphinx being a cat or a dog, there is also a theory that the mythical human/lion creature came much later, and in fact the original monument was just a lion.