Egypt (Giza)

The most famous spot in Egypt is probably the Giza Plateau.

As always, click on the thumbnail to view the full size picture.
Links to other pages


Our hotel is already inside the desert. Just outside the hotel entry we can clearly see the most famous structures of Egypt, the only surviving Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the Pyramids of Giza.

We took a camel ride in the desert. Although they are well built for the climate, they are much more difficult to ride than horses. Especially when they are sitting down for you to dismount: it could easily throw you off. But it feels really good to ride a camel trotting in the middle of a desert.

Then we move to the breath taking Giza pyramids. Giza, or Gizeh, means border. The Great Pyramids of Giza were built at the border between Upper and Lower Egypt, and on the border between the fertile soil of Nile and the dry sand of the Sahara desert.

Back to top

Pyramids of Giza

Beautiful, aren’t they? and aren’t us? They (not us) are one of the oldest structures and arguably the best built.

Sidebar: did slaves built the pyramids?
Sidebar: why did they build pyramids?

The Giza Pyramids are situated between Upper and Lower Egypt, and at the border between the Nile river valley and the Sahara desert. Each pyramid is carefully placed so that its sides aligns with North, East, South and West. The best effort in modern days, the Paris Observatory, is six minutes (0.1 degree of arc) off true north. The Great Pyramid is only three minutes deviant (half of modern technology!) and the error is probably due mainly to subsidence. With all our vaunted technological prowess, we could not build the structure today.

Sidebar: Mysteries of the Pyramids

Visit the Giza Pyramids at Guardian’s Giza.

Back to Giza
Back to top

Pyramid Building

There are over 100 pyramids discovered in Egypt. Who built them? Tyrannical pharaoh commanding cruel overseers whipping 100,000 slaves to work for decades? This story fabricated by the Greek historian Herodotus 2500 years ago are still deeply rooted into the mind of many.

But no! The larger pyramids took about 10 to 20 years to build, with about 15000 to 20000 free, voluntary workers. The workers drank beer, ate lots of bread and were generally well cared-for. Moreover they only worked 3 months a year: in winter, they had nothing better to do and went pyramid building; when spring came, they went back to their farms. And that means it is built in as little as 30 working months only.

Ancient Egyptians started building pyramids from the Old Kingdom (4636 — 4031 BC). In the 3rd Dynasty, many Step Pyramids had been built, representing stairs which god and the Pharaoh can ride up to the sky. In the 4th Dynasty, pyramid building came to its perfection. Religious changes led to building of smooth pyramids like those at Giza, representing rays of sun from the sky. Unlike the pyramids of the 3rd Dynasty, the Giza pyramids were not finished during the reign: all three pharaohs died before the construction was completed. After the Giza Pyramids, subsequent pyramids were smaller, probably because of decline in royal power. Or just that the people found something better to do. Pyramid building continued through the Middle Kingdom (3941 — 3736 BC), but later pyramids were built with unfired bricks instead of hard rocks, and did not pass the test of time. And none is comparable to the grace and competence of the Giza Pyramids.

Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Why they built Pyramids

The Great Pyramid was called Khufu belongs to the Horizon in ancient texts (the Giza plateau was called The Horizon) and was probably built by Khufu (called Cheops in Greek) in the 4th Dynasty. Now in ruins, it had a Mortuary Temple on its East side, and a Processional Ramp leading to the Valley Temple. The Valley Temple was built at the river bank where ships brought boulders and finally the body of the Pharaoh.

Following his lead, his son Khafre (Chephren in Greek) built the second Giza Pyramid on the same area, which was called Khafre is great. Although the Khafre Pyramid is about 10 meters shorter than the Kufu Pyramid, he exploited the higher ground to achieve the illusion of his pyramid looking the taller of the two. It is also the only Giza Pyramid with the Valley Temple and the Processional Ramp still in rather good shape.

The third Giza Pyramid, called Menkaure is divine, was build by Menkaura (Mycerinus in Greek). While it is markedly smaller than the other two, its three subsidiary pyramids and the mortuary temple remains intact. Moreover, its lower portion is encased in granite. But only the lower portion is covered, probably because of the early death of the pharaoh.

Near the three Giza Pyramids are tombs of many nobles. It was a great honour to be able to be buried here, to lie next to the pharaoh who became deity in his afterlife.

Note that there is no document on who or when or why the pyramids were built. The earlier Pyramids have nothing drawn on its interior. So all are archeological guesswork. We cannot even be sure whether any Pharaoh was ever buried inside.

Back to Pyramid Building
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

The Pyramid Mysteries

The hottest talk about the Pyramids in the 1990s is the Orion Mystery, ignited by the book of the same name. You see, the three big pyramids seem randomly located: they do not even align on a straight line. Basically, the Orion Mystery says that the three big Giza Pyramics are deliberately constructed to resemble the formation of the stars at the belt of Orion.

Sidebar: What is so special about Orion?

You probably have come across many other mysteries about the Great Pyramid from different sources:

See all of these issues demystified at The Pyramid Mystery also by Frank Doernenburg.

Are there any mysteries that are more serious?

Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top


Ancient Egyptians believed that in the period called First Time (Zep Tepi), god Osiris descended from Orion to rule over Egypt. He was later ambushed by 72 conspirators. His jealous brother Seth chopped his dead body into many pieces and scattered them throughtout Egypt. When his wife Isis finally recovered all the pieces, and Sun god Ra sent Anubis to mummify him. Isis changed into a kite and fanned breath back into Osiris. However, Osiris was not allowed to stay in the land of the living, and was sent to rull the underworld and to judge the souls of the dead. His son Horus, also from Orion, came to take revenge and became Pharaoh. Since then, all pharaohs were identified with Horus.

For Ancient Egyptians, death is not the end of life, but the start of the afterlife. The purpose of the whole life is the preparation of this. Pyramids are not tombs for the Pharaohs. It is the place where they start their journey. Pharaohs came from Orion. When they died, they return there.

Robert Bauval first noticed in the 1980s that the alignment of the Giza Pyramids resembles that of the Orion stars. He also found that the alignment was best at 10,500 BC, which is now commonly accepted as the date of First Time. A theory was then constructed where the Ancient Egyptians had constructed at Giza an exact replica of the Duat (destination of the Pharaoh). The pyramid was the starting point of the his journey back to the stars from whence he came, back to the First Time.

Read more about the Mysteries of Orion at AA & ES and from the book reviewed here. Here is a datasheet about Bauval and the Orion Mystery.

But is it a bit far fetched to rest a theory on the alignment of only three points? Go and see The Truth about Orion for a second opinion from Frank Doernenburg .

Back to Pyramid Mysteries
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Mystery of the Great Pyramid Chambers

The Great Pyramid of Khufu has three chambers, conventionally called (from top to bottom) King’s Chamber, Queen’s Chamber and the Subterranean Chamber. We are sure the Subterranean Chamber is under the ground level, and that is about all we know about these three chambers.

What is the purpose of the King’s Chamber? When we find it, it is an empty room with an empty sarcophagus without a lid. There is no evidence whether anybody is ever buried here, or whether the room is meant for burial. Much less whether this chamber has anything to do with Khufu, or with any Pharaoh.

The Queen’s Chamber is even stranger. In no other pyramid have we found a second chamber above the ground level. But it is nearly certain the chamber has nothing to do with the Queen. The chamber is empty, and has a niche near the entrance, which is also empty.

Before Egyptians built pyramids, they built mastabas. For mastabas (see the cross section of a typical mastaba), the above-the-ground chamber (d) is used for worship (from c) while the mummy is buried in the subterranean chamber (b). But does it apply to the Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid? The chamber looks unfinished and incapable of hiding anything.

Besides the three Chambers, there is a Great Gallery. Not that it exhibits anything. It is just an upward corridor to the King’s Chamber, but it is even taller than the chambers. What was it built for?

But there are things more mysterious than the chambers.

Back to Pyramid Mysteries
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Mystery of the Shafts

Only the Great Pyramid has shafts, and nobody has any idea what they are. Or should I say too many people has too many ideas what they should be?

There are two shafts starting from the King’s Chamber: one going up towards the North, one towards the South. They have a rectangular cross section with sides varying from 14cm to 21cm, so they are not intended for human access. It is commonly claimed that the North one points at Draco and the South one at the belt of Orion, the final destination of the Pharaoh. On TV programmes, you can even see a narrow tunnel with a star appearing through it. Unfortunately, it is too far from the truth.

Both shafts start with a meter-long horizontal section before climbing up. During their climb, the shafts vary in inclination several times so it is impractical to say where they is pointing to. It is completely out of question to look through a shaft, or else they would not have been so difficult to examine.

The shafts had better be built for some purpose, because they were very difficult to build, to prevent them from collapsing and sliding. It must be properly sealed during the contruction, because the Sahara has on average four sandstorms a year and a leakage would have been disastrous. One might as well say that the shafts were intended to fill the pyramid interior with sand after the Pharaoh had been buried.

Still stranger things await us.

Back to Mystery of the Chambers
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Mystery of the Lower Shafts

It was not until later where two more shafts were found. These two, called the Lower Shafts, start from the Queen’s Chamber. Like the Upper Shafts, one of them goes North while the other goes South. And the four shafts climb up at different angles.

While the two Upper Shafts are clearly visible on the walls of the King’s Chamber, the two lower shafts cannot be seen. Until their recent opening, the shafts ended about 8cm before entering the Queen’s Chamber. So it was deliberately built to be there, and built to be invisible.

The Lower North Shaft is the shortest among the shafts. Soon after it start rising upwards, it ran into the Great Gallery. It is an indication that the architects hadn’t seriously thought about the geometry. It should have been obvious because everything lies on the same central plane. It is even more curious that they didn’t learn the lesson and the same thing happened again with the Upper North Shaft. It seems that the clever builders suddenly turned stupid. The North shaft ran into the Great Gallery and ended up having a big West turn to avoid it. Or is it because all four shafts must start from the central plane at all costs?

But the deepest mystery might be hiding in the Lower South Shaft.

Back to Mystery of the Shafts
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Mystery of the Lower South Shaft

In March 1993, a group made an important discovery. They used a small robot named Upuaut (meaning Opener of the Ways) to carry a camera up the Lower South Shaft. The shaft is shorter than expected, and at the end is a blocking stone with two copper handles. The copper fittings are very old, so old that they have begun to corrode and are shedding copper residue down the surface of the door. There was a small triangluar gap at the lower right corner of the door, which was probed by the robot’s laser and proved to go back into darkness. The door may be designed to slide upwards like a portcullis, and there may be a room or continuing passageway behind it. This stone become known as the Gantenbrink’s Door, named after the German scientist Rudolf Gantenbrink. And the secret area behind the door is called the Isis Chamber (although there is no evidence that a chamber is behind the door).

After the story is let out, the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (now called the Supreme Council for Antiquities) suddenly rescinded the permit of Gantenbrink. Gantenbrink offered to let EAO to use his robot, and to freely training EAO personnel to continue the research, but he was completely ignored. Since then, the Queen’s Chamber is closed to the public and any explorations of the shafts and door, if any, have occured in secret. Read more about this at The Door in the Great Pyramid. And you must not miss the Gantenbrink Report at the UPUAUT Project Official Site.

Back to Mystery of the Lower Shafts
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Hall of Records

Then in 1996, Dr. Joseph Schor was doing seismological investigations and made the biggest discovery of the century: a “hidden excavation” inside the Great Pyramid itself! In April, his team videoed the initial beginnings of a “clandestine tunnel” above the King’s Chamber. In November, several new power cable appeared, and bags of Tura limestone were found, looked like they were waiting to be carried away. Somebody seemed to be trying to dig a tunnel from the top of the Great Gallery going South. The obvious destination is the Isis Chamber. And that somebody is trying to hide this digging from the whole world. Read the full story at The Enterprise Mission.

In Summer 1997, independent researchers reported on similar findings, and on 1st April 1998 the Great Pyramid is officially closed indefinitely. As of today, the outside world still does not know what is going on inside.

This leads many to believe that the Isis Chamber is actually the Hall of Records. The Hall of Records, according to legend, is made of granite and sheathed in gold; it is said to contain artefacts and documents on the history of mankind whose discovery will herald a new dawn for civilisation. According to Plato (yes, the Plato, disciple of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle), Atlantis sank in around 10,500 BC and the survivors migrated to other parts of the world. His dialgoues Timaeus and Critias are the earliest original references to Atlantis that we still have today. The people from Atlantis saved all their knowledge in a Hall of Records at Giza. The legendary Hall of Records is said to be opened to selected individuals in 1999, but the prophecy also mentioned that world at large will only learn about the opening several years later. So has it been opened?

Seismic survey indicated the existence of several unexplored tunnels and cavities in the bedrock beneath the Sphinx, including a large rectangular chamber at a depth of some 25 feet beneath the monument’s front paws. Are we going to find the records from Atlantis after so many millenia? Is it history or myth? Let’s wait and see.

Back to Mystery of the Lower South Shaft
Back to Giza Pyramids
Back to top

Pyramid of Krafre

Since Khufu is closed (don’t you know it has already been closed for two years without explanation? go back to read the Pyramid Mysteries!), we visited the Khafre Pyramid. The corridors inside the Khafre is much simpler than the Great Pyramid. The tourist entry is at point c, but the formal entrance is at point a, blocked by rocks at point g. Point e is a subterranean chamber but it is not yet finished. After a lot of back breaking climbing, we finally arrived at the main chamber.

The only thing in the chamber is a sarcophgus. It is bigger than the corridors, so it must have been here since the chamber was built. And that is probably the reason why it still sits here, while the rest of the things (if there were anything in the chamber at all) have gone.

Then we have to climb all the way back, with two-way traffic on the narrow corridors designed not to be accessed. We should be returning to the coach for a ride to the Valley Temple, but we heard about something interesting and rushed there before the others were ready to leave.

Back to Pyramids of Giza
Back to top

Solar Barge

A Solar Barge is unearthed in the decade after World War II. It is found in one of the boat shaped pits, sealed under about 40 gigantic blocks of limestone, each weighing 17 to 20 tonnes. The barge is neatly disassembled into 1224 pieces as if it is meant for reassembling at a later time. Perhaps it is one of the boats that carried the mummy of Khufu to Giza. Or maybe the barge had never been used before and had only a symbolic or ritual meaning: at the end of his earthly life, the soul of the pharaoh rides the solar boat for his trip to the afterworld.

The pit for a second barge had also been found, but the second pit is currently left as is. As for the first, it is assembled (using more than 10 years) and placed inside a museum next to the Great Pyramid. The museum is built to look like a boat, sitting next to Khufu. When we emerged from the Khafre Pyramid, instead of waiting for the coach (and for other people to board the coach), we ran to the museum to have a look.

Look at their relative positions. On the right (South) is the Khafre, and on the left (North) Khufu, with the museum next to it. The dark line is a road going East, West and North. Doesn’t seem too far away, unless you realize how big the pyramids are. And you cannot run in a straight line, because there are mastabas and small hills around. And running on the windy Sahara isn’t easy at all. And we didn’t exactly have a lot of time to spare, especially when nobody knew that we were sneaking to the museum.

After an exhausting run, we arrived at the museum. Then we put on the special shoes required to enter the museum (after paying for it, of course). With all the remaining strength, we climbed the stairs to the exhibition hall where the Solar Barge sat. It is BIG. 43.4 meters long, 4.6 meters wide. And breath-taking, that is, if we still have any breath inside to be taken away. It doesn’t use any metallic parts — just pieces of wood bent and tied together using ropes and wooden pegs. If placed into water, wood swells and ropes tighten, making a perfect seal. Strange thing is, the barge is designed for ocean going, not for the river Nile. And it is a good boat, better than the ones Columbus rode to find the New Continent!

Finally we hurry back to find our coach among dozens of other coaches in a big desert.

Back to Khafre
Back to top

The Valley Temple of Khafre

We rode the couch Eastward to the Valley Temple of Khafre. The temple is built from huge blocks of stone perfectly fit together. It used to have a ceiling but only a few of the rocks now remain.

Note that the huge limestone megaliths in the background is heavily eroded while the granite stones in the foreground are large intact. Rock strata analysis shows that the megaliths are quarried from the enclosure where the Sphinx is sitting. It proves that the Sphinx and the Valley Temple were built at the same period. Furthermore, many the granite stones fit into the eroded pattern of the megaliths, showing that they are added at a much later time (for example, during the Old Kingdom where the Great Pyramids were built), when the megaliths are already heavily eroded.

Then, we proceed to the Processional Ramp connecting the Valley Temple to the Funerary Temple of Khafre. And the thing next to us immediately caught our full attention.

And it is of course the Sphinx. From the photo you can see the Causeway leading straight ahead to Khafre. And everybody is stand on the right side, for the Sphinx is on the right side of the Causeway. Far behind the Sphinx is the Great Pyramid of Khufu. On the left you also see a liny bit of Menkaura, the third Giza Pyramid.

Back to Solar Barge
Back to top

The Sphinx

If there is anything more impressive and mysterious than the Pyramids of Giza, it is the Sphinx. Looking North from the Khafre Causeway, we can see the side-view of the Sphinx with the Great Pyramid of Khufu in the background. And if there is anymore more impressive than the Sphinx, it is of course Irene, now standing in front of it.

The Sphinx is the first large, royal statue known in ancient Egypt, a symbol that has represented the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. Nothing can prepare a first-time visitor for the awe-inspiring and humbling experience of meeting the Great Sphinx face to face. No matter who you are, no matter what your disposition and temperament are, the Great Sphinx will not leave you unmoved.

Recently restored, you can see it up close and personal and explore its mysterious presence. The head of a king, body of a lion, the sphinx has come to symbolize strength and wisdom. This colossus is carved out of the very bedrock in which it sits (instead of quarried blocks like the pyramids). The Sphinx is truly a mysterious marvel from the days of ancient Egypt.

Although the head of the Sphinx is badly battered in some places, traces of the original paint can still be seen near one ear. It is believed that the Sphinx was at one time painted and was quite colorful.

Back to Valley Temple
Back to top

The Sphinx and Khafre

Crouching in front of the Khafre Pyramid as if protecting it, the Sphinx was always thought to be built by Khafre; and the face of the Sphinx was carved to represent him. However when Ancient Egyptians protect things, they always did with a pair of guardians. A causeway guarded with a Sphinx on a single side was unthinkable. Therefore, it led to the belief that a Second Sphinx is still waiting for excavation. But as of now nothing has been found.

By such standards, future generations of archaeologists may one day attribute St. Paul’s Cathedral to General Gordon of Khartoum just because his statue was found in it. Not until recently is it established that the Sphinx is much older than the pyramids. Khafre chose to build his pyramid behind the existing Sphinx. In fact, he has to diverge his causeway (joining the Funerary Temple to the Valley Temple) to the South to avoid the Sphinx, so that the causeway entered the Valley Temple at a slanted angle instead of a right angle. Refer to this map:
  • a: Khafre Pyramid
  • b: Khafre Subsidiary pyramid
  • c: Khafre Funerary Temple
  • d: Causeway of Khafre
  • e: Sphinx
  • f: Khafre Valley Temple
  • g: Sphinx Temple

A careful look at the Sphinx reveals that the head is surprisingly small when compared with the body. It is because the head had been reshaped several times in its long history to reflect the face of several different pharaohs, Khafre probably being one of them. Each recarving made the head smaller and therefore it is now out of proportion with its body. What did it originally look like? Some even says it is the head of a girl. Who knows.

Back to Sphinx
Back to top

Reconstruction of the Sphinx

Over the years, the Sphinx has been buried by sand numerous times, causing the softer stone of the monument to be worn away. The natural limestone of the sphinx disintegrated over the years, and entire pieces dropped off to the desert floor below. Recently, the Sphinx has undergone a major restoration effort, done solely by Egyptians.

Yet the Sphinx restoration project has been severely criticised (see this June 1999 article). Despite the completion of a ten-year restoration project, the Great Sphinx of Giza is still at risk of being damaged and a complete collapse could occur in a few years time! Since the building of the Aswan Dam, the underground water level beneath the rock of the Giza Plateau has been rising. It caused salt to develop inside the stone forming the Sphinx’s body. These salts react with the limestone, causing it to become powdery and to crumble.

Instead of treating the real problem, the restorers built a layer of stone to cover the body of the Sphinx, thus leaving it to deteriorate from the inside away from our eyes. UNESCO has threatened to take the Sphinx off the list of protected world heritage monuments unless these problems are dealt with.

So go and see the Sphinx when it is still sitting there!

Back to Sphinx and Khafre
Back to top

Nose of the Sphinx

The Sphinx once had a nose and a beard, at least it had one when it was recarved to look like a pharaoh. Both the nose and the beard have been broken away.

It is often erroneously assumed that the nose was shot off by Napolean’s men, but 18th century drawings reveal that the nose was missing long before Napolean’s arrival. But who did it? Nearly anybody who had been in Egypt had been accused of the crime. I have heard that the nose was the unfortunate victim of target practice by the Turks in the Turkish period or by he Arab sheikh or by the Mamelukes. Andrew Warinner has collected a handful of these stories for your verdict.

On the other hand, it is agreed that the beard has entirely been worn away by wind and sand erosion. Pieces of it were found between its paws by the archaeologist Caviglia in 1816, but these fragments represented only about 15% of the original beard. Attempts at restoration were abandoned, particularly as the beardless Sphinx was already famous worldwide. Caviglia therefore donated some of the fragments to the Cairo Museum; others can now be seen in the British Museum in London.

Back to Reconstruction of the Sphinx
Back to top

The Dream Stela

Prior to the 1905 clearing of the Sphinx, the Sphinx has been buried by the desert sand and cleared several other times throughout history. A red granite Stela, called the “Dream Stela”, sits between the front paws. It tells a story of Tuthmosis IV, the favorite son of Pharaoh Amenhotep of the 18th Dynasty. He had many brothers and half-brothers who were forever plotting against him before he rose to power. One day Thutmose went hunting near Giza. He could see no more than head and shoulders of the Sphine, plus a little ridge in the desert to mark the line of its back: during the long centuries the sands of the desert had almost buried the Sphinx.

He felt asleep and the awesome lion appeared before him in a dream. It heaved and struggled as if trying in vain to throw off the sand which buried its body and paws. Then its eyes shone with life and vision as they looked down upon him. It complained that his body was falling into ruin. The Sphinx asked him to restore the monument and it would guide him and make him great. Tuthmosis IV made an oath that if he became Pharaoh, his first act would be to free the Sphinx from the sand.

Tuthmosis IV did become pharaoh. He removed sand from around the Sphinx and erected the Stella to tell his story.

But it is more likely that the story was created by Tuthmosis IV for political purposes.

Back to Nose the Sphinx
Back to top

How old is the Sphinx?

The Sphinx is carved of bedrock, so it cannot be dated by the radio carbon technique (it would say the Sphinx is as old as Earth itself). The only other method of dating is by using contemporary texts that refer to its construction. Yet there was no inscriptions carved on a wall or a stela or written on the throngs of papyri that identified when or why the Sphinx was built. Therefore, no definite facts are known.

A neglected French scholar, R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz observed a curious physical anomaly at Giza. While every tourist goes to the Processional Ramp connecting the Valley Temple to the Funerary Temple of Khafre, few ever realized that right beneath their feet lies the clue to the puzzle. Look at this picture from Ancient Mysteries, any one can notice that the erosion on the Sphinx (and its enclosure) was different from that on all other structures.

At the time, nobody understood the implications and it went largely unnoticed until the 1970s, when the independent Egyptologist John Anthony West took up the question. He asked Dr. Robert Schoch to examine the unique weathering patterns on the Sphinx. The conclusion convulsed the world of archaeology. The vertical weathering patterns on the Sphinx and its enclosure are water erosions, while all other Giza monuments only received horizontal weathering from the exposure to strong winds and sandstorms. Although the erosion on the Sphinx has largely been covered up by recent renovation works and is hardly visible nowadays, any geologist looking at the erosion on the enclosure can only arrive at the same conclusion.

So, did heavy rains only fall on the Sphinx but not on the Giza Pyramids?

Back to the Dream Stela
Back to top

Heavy Rain in Sahara?

The Sphinx must have been built at an epoch when such rains were common in this region, while the other monuments at Giza were built after these rains had stopped occurring. We know that the Sahara was once fertile, but over the millennia, it slowly eroded. This explains for the water damage done to the outer walls of the Sphinx.

Or look at it this way. Throughout history, the Sphinx is covered by sand up to its neck. Many pharoahs excavated the Sphinx, and it has been done many times again in our times. Left unattended, it will be buried again within 20 years. Therefore, throughout most of the recorded history, the Sphinx is buried most of the time. Why should anybody want to build a Sphinx in such a place? It is much more likely that when the Sphinx was build, sand was not a problem.

Egyptologists have difficulties accepting that, because such heavy rains stopped occurring thousands of years before the time of Khafre, long before the known history of Ancient Egypt. It means the Sphinx was carved at the end of the last Ice Age, when heavy rains fell on the eastern Sahara — perhaps more than 12,000 years ago. This contrasts starkly with the orthodox Egyptological dating for the Sphinx of around 4,500 years ago. The implications are far-reaching. History books will have to be re-written and scientists will have to reconsider the origins of civilization.

Back to Age of the Sphinx
Back to top

Who built the Sphinx

The ancient Egyptians constantly refer to a remote golden age they called “The First Time” of Osiris (Zep Tepi), which long predated the Pyramid Age. Osiris was Orion, but how could the stars of Orion have a “First Time”?

First, because of Precession, stars cross the meridian at different altitudes at different epoch.

Sidebar: what is Precession?

As a result, all constellations moves North and South in a 26000 year cycle. Very likely Egyptians considered The First Time to start when the constellation of Orion is at the south-most location. The stars of Orion can be said to have a starting point or beginning at the nadir of their Precessional cycle. When did that happen? 10,500 BC. And this agrees with the dating of the Sphinx.

Placing the pieces together, we get a glimpse of the full story. During “The First Time”, at around 10,500 BC, Atlantis sank and their people flew to Egypt to build the Hall of Records. Then they built the Sphinx on top of it, either to commemorate the event or to hide the hall, or both. And stories about their civilization are passed down to the Egyptians as myths about the golden age.

Incidentally, it also explains why Egyptians can built superb ocean going barges recently excavated next to the Great Pyramids.

Back to Age of the Sphinx
Back to top


The rotation axis of Earth does not always point to the same direction. The axis itself is slowing revolving, and as a result the North Pole will be pointing at different regions of the sky at different times in history. Nowadays the North Pole is near Polaris (the Pole Star) but in ancient times it is nearer to Alpha Draconis. Go and read a very good explanation of Precession at the University of Tennessee.

It takes about 26000 years for the rotation axis to make a full revolution. We call this duration a Great Year or Platonic Year.

Read about the Platonic Year from

When viewed on successive Vernal Equinoxes, Precesion caused a slow backward movement of the apparent position of the sun in the Zodiac. Or put it the other way round, the vernal equinox moves with respect to the constellations in the Zodiac. We refer to this slow-backwards movement as the Precession of the Equinoxes. In each Platonic Year, the Vernal Equinox moves a full cycle through the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. Therefore, the Vernal Equinox moves from one constellation to the next in about 2,160 years.

The Platonic Year is divided into 12 Ages. The name of each Age is taken from the constellation in which sun resides on the Vernal Equinox. Astrology books suggested that the Vernal Equinox used to be in Aries in ancient times, but it is already leaving Pisces and will enter Aquarius soon. Since constellations do not have well agreed upon boundaries so some may say that we have already entered the Age of Aquarius now.

Back to Builders of the Sphinx
Back to top

Story of the Sphinx

There are four important questions about the Sphinx that we are going to solve:

The first one is easy. The Sphinx is facing the point where the sun rises on the day of the Vernal Equinox.

As suggested by the archeology, the Sphinx was built around 10,500 BC, during the Age of Leo. In the Age of Leo, the lion constellation rose with the sun on the day of the Vernal Equinox. So its eyes gaze forever at the distant horizon, at something not of this world but beyond it, not at our time but long ago, at the very image of itself in the sky at Vernal Equinox, 10,500 BC.

Therefore the Sphinx was a time-marker of that epoch using an obvious celestial tag valid for the Age. It is not built like the lions of Africa, but the lion in the Constellation of Leo. It was built to look at his own image in the horizon at his own time, and is a living image of the Constellation of Leo.

Read more about the Age of the Sphinx at AA&ES and the Ancient Civilizations of Atlantis and Egypt at ARE.

Back to Builders of the Sphinx
Back to top

Further Reading

At Active Mind is a very good page on Fact and Fiction about Atlantis. In particular, under this page you can read the story of Atlantis told by Plato around 360BC.

Another important site is Atlantis Insights where you can find Frequently Asked Questions and Timeline for major events.

Ancient Mysteries is a nice site about the Giza mysteries. Visit in particular his pages on the Valley Temple and the Solar Barge.

Dr. Selim Hassan discovered an underground tunnel with several chambers under the Khafre Processional Ramp and the results were published in 1936. Yet it is ignored and discovered again by Doctor Hawass in 1998 and claimed that it is the Tomb of Osiris. FOX Television Network broadcast a programme about these chambers in March 1999 and made them famous. The lowest chambers are currently still flooded with water and not yet explored.

Read more about Archaeological Developments at Giza.

Read about other Planetary Mysteries of our world.

Back to Story of the Sphinx
Back to top

Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Join the Online Free Speech Campaign! Help Stamp Out Spamming