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No. 83: Sep-Oct 1992

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Flat-faced chephren not sphinx!

J.A. West, mentioned above, holds that the Sphinx was not built by the pharaoh Chephren circa 2500 BC. Rather, the revisionists say, it was constructed some 5000 years earlier by predecessors of the "classical" Ancient Egyptians.

Adding fuel to the controversy is a reconstruction of the Sphinx's visage by F. Domingo, top forensic artist of the New York Police Department. Domingo traveled to Egypt to measure first-hand the exact dimensions of the statue's facial features. When Domingo compared the Sphinx's profile as it probably appeared originally with the profile of Chephren taken from a statue in the Cairo Museum, there was scant resemblance.

(West, John Anthony; "The Case of the Missing Pharaoh," New York Times, June 27, 1992. Cr. J. Covey)

But the story doesn't end there. Orthodontist S. Peck responded to the Times article suggesting an even more radical notion:

"The analytical techniques he [West] and Detective Frank Domingo used on facial photographs are not unlike methods orthodontists and surgeons use to study facial disfigurements. From the right lateral tracing of the statue's worn profile a pattern of bimaxilliary prognathism is clearly detectable. This is an anatomical condition of forward development in both jaws, more frequently found in people of African ancestry than in those from Asian or Indo-European stock. The carving of Chephren in the Cairo Museum has the facial proportions expected of a proto-European."

(Peck, Sheldon; "Sphinx May Really Be a Black African," New York Times, July 18, 1992. Cr. J. Covey)

Comment. Any similarity between the above title and one appearing in the Biology section is clearly the product of "parallel evolution!" Flat-faced Chephren from Asian stock? Don't be ridiculous!

From Science Frontiers #83, SEP-OCT 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss