January 31st 2013

Title: Origins of the Concept of the Sphinx in the Early Dynastic Period

Speaker: Colin Reader

Colin Reader is an English geologist with an interest in Ancient Egypt and is secretary to the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society.  His studies of the Sphinx at Giza are making an important contribution to the debate on the age of that monument.

We were treated to an absorbing and closely argued analysis of the evidence, very accessible to our speaker’s appreciative audience. 

On the evidence of his study of the erosion of the strata within the Sphinx enclosure Colin believes that it is more likely that the structure, carved out of the solid rock, was there in the early dynastic period, and thus pre dates the Pyramids.  He thinks it possible that the Sphinx relates to the second Dynasty worship of the sun, and, originally, had the head of a lion.

This would explain why the human head we now see seems rather small in proportion to its lion’s body.  There are other examples of lion heads being transformed in this way from the same period.

by Mary Bonsall

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