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No. 109: Jan-Feb 1997

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Riddles Of The Sphinx

To answer both riddles, R. Waters suggests that the original Sphinx was actually carved as a complete lion several millennia before the Giza pyramids were erected. It was these later pyramid builders -- those master craftsmen in stone -- who recarved the head into human form, necessarily reducing its size relative to the body.

(Waters, Richard; "The Lion King," Fortean Times, p. 54, no. 91, October 1996)

Comment. Waters is not the first to reinterpret the Sphinx's head. Others have noticed that the surviving facial features of the Sphinx do not match those of the Pharaoh Chephren, the supposed builder of the adjacent Great Pyramid. J.A. West, in his 1979 book Serpent in the Sky, advances this idea. The lion-head surmise has also been mentioned in the recent TV documentary Mystery of the Sphinx. Another suggestion is that the surviving features more closely resemble those of Subsaharan Africans. (SF#83)

The sphinx today. Was the original a lion? (Top) The sphinx today. (Bottom) Was the original Sphinx really a lion?

From Science Frontiers #109, JAN-FEB 1997. 1997-2000 William R. Corliss