New information casts doubt on one of alternative Egyptology's boldest claims: that the Sphinx had nothing to do with Khafre.
When Pharoah Thutmosis IV fell asleep before the head of the Great Sphinx at
He said the Sphinx had told him to clear away the centuries of sand that choked its body and hid all but its head from view.
The Sphinx then promised the young Thutmosis (also spelled Tutmosis) the throne of
Alternative authors have long claimed that the traditional attribution of the Sphinx to Khafre is flawed because Egyptologist James Henry Breasted had said the stela before the Sphinx that bore Khafre's name did not contain a cartouche, the circle enclosing the name of a king or god. Alternative authors Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval quoted this belief in their Message of the Sphinx (1996):
"It is therefore extremely difficult to understand how on the granite stela between the paws of the Sphinx the name of as powerful a king as Khafre--or indeed any other king--could have been written without its pre-required cartouche."
New evidence shows this is not the case.
EROSION AND THE SPHINX
In the early 1990s a small group of maverick researchers began to look at the distinctive pattern of rippling waves visible on the body of the Sphinx and the walls surrounding it. When they examined the erosion on the limestone body of the statue, they came to a stunning conclusion: the Sphinx had been weathered by water, not by wind. Up until that point, most Egyptologists had believed that wind had carved out channels on the Sphinx, abated only by long periods when the statue was hidden beneath encroaching desert sands.
The team consisted of geologist Robert Schoch and maverick archaeologist and tour guide John Anthony West. West did extensive work on the statue, measuring and photographing all of the weathering on the body of the lion and the walls of the "Sphinx enclosure" surrounding it. His conclusions were mind-blowing.
West concluded that the weathering occurred by falling water, not blowing wind. This meant that extensive rainfall must have weathered the statue before the desert sands had buried it. Since the last Egyptian rainfall of that magnitude was over 7,000 years ago, this meant that history as we know it needed an overhaul. A team of geologists led by Dr. Robert Schoch of
Egyptology regrouped and arrived at a new theory, that the Sphinx was weathered by "salt crystal exfoliation" where
"Schoch's ideas ignore several things. 'Precipitation-induced weathering' versus 'wind-induced weathering' producing different weathering morphologies is not an accepted idea, rather variations in the rock usually account for the different weathering morphologies."
Matthusen claims that different densities of the layers of Giza limestone account for the weathering pattern. However, neither side has absolute proof, and the water-weathering is a seductive hypothesis, much simpler to understand and agree with than an obscure "hydrostatic exfoliation."
West went on to say that Schoch's proposed building date of 5,000-7,000 B.C. did not go far enough. Without any formal geological training, West revised the figure to 10,500 B.C. based on French mathematician R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz's 1961 book Sacred Science. In it, Lubicz postulated, "A great civilization must have preceded the vast movements of water that passed over Egypt [in 10,000 B.C.], which leads us to assume that the Sphinx already existed... whose leonine body, except for the head, shows indisputable signs of aquatic erosion."
West, Hancock and Bauval then go on to use the assumption that the Sphinx predated dynastic
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)