“…it is the sea level during the Calabrian phase which is the closest to the present mark with the highest GES (Great Egyptian Sphinx) hollow at its level. High level of seawater also caused the Nile overflowing and created long-living water-bodies. As to time, it corresponds to 800,000 years.”
Great, mysterious, almost mystical, shrouded in mystery, millennial, how else would you describe this amazing ancient monument?
It is probably one of the most recognized monuments in the world, one of the icons representative of the power and culture of the ancient Egyptian civilization, cradle, and tomb of pharaohs.
It is ironic then, that the Great Sphinx of Giza is also one of the least understood architectural wonders of ancient Egypt, even though researchers from around the globe have tried to understand when the Sphinx was carved, how, why and what it represents.
But the most mysterious part of the Sphinx is probably its age. Egyptologists estimate that it was sculpted around the XXVI century BC., as part of the funerary complex.
Having a lion’s body and a human head, this strange hybrid being, which we know with the term of the Sphinx, is one of the most striking productions of Egyptian art.
The ancient Egyptians called it Shesep-ankh, “living image,” the name given to the royal statues.
They symbolized the idea of strength and power, and the Pharaoh was generally represented in this form.
This is indicated by the fact that the sphinxes wore Nemes— the striped headcloth worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
This ancient monument faces from West to East and stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.
The face of the Sphinx is commonly assumed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre.
The Great Sphinx was created by carving a mound of limestone located on the Giza plateau.
It has a height of about twenty meters and the fact of the creatures measures around five meters.
In ancient times it was painted in bright colors: red body and face, and the Nemes that covered the head was decorated with yellow and blue stripes.
Titled “Geological aspect of the problem of dating the great Egyptian sphinx construction” a study presented in 2008 offers controversial details about the Great Sphinx of Giza, and particularly its age.
As noted by Vjacheslav I. Manichev and Alexander G. Parkhomenko in their study, after all these years of intensive scientific work trying to determine the exact age of the Sphinx, we still have problems coming to an agreement.
“The problem of dating the Great Egyptian Sphinx is still valid, despite the long-term history of its research. A geological approach in connection to other scientific-natural methods allows answering the question about the relative age of the Sphinx. The conducted visual research of the Sphinx allowed the conclusion about the important role of water from large water bodies which partially flooded the structure with the formation of wave-cut hollows on its vertical walls,” wrote experts in the study.
“The morphology of these formations has an analogy with similar hollows formed by the sea in the coastal zones. The genetic similarity of the compared erosion forms and the geological formation and petrographic composition of sedimentary rock complexes lead to a conclusion that the decisive factor of destruction of the Great Sphinx is the wave energy rather than sand abrasion in Eolian process.”
“Voluminous geological literature confirms the fact of the existence of long-living fresh-water lakes in various periods of the Quaternary from the Lower Pleistocene to the Holocene.”
“These lakes were distributed in the territories adjacent to the Nile. The absolute mark of the large upper erosion hollow of the Sphinx corresponds to the level of water surface which took place in the Early Pleistocene.”
“The Great Egyptian Sphinx was already present on the Giza Plateau by that geological (historical) time,” concluded experts.
Manichev and Parkhomenko are convinced that the Great Sphinx had to have been submerged for a long time underwater and, to support this theory, they point towards existing literature of geological studies of the Giza Plateau.
According to a number of studies, it was at the end of the Pliocene geologic period (sometime between 5.2 and 1.6 million years ago) that seawater entered the Nile valley and gradually created flooding in the area.
This phenomenon led to the formation of lacustrine deposits which are at the mark of 180 m above the present level of the Mediterranean Sea.
According to Manichev and Parkhomenko, it is the sea level during the Calabrian phase which is the closest to the present mark with the highest GES (Great Egyptian Sphinx) hollow at its level.
High level of seawater also caused the Nile overflowing and created long-living water-bodies. As to time, it corresponds to 800000 years.
Read the entire study here.