Monday, August 20, 2012

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THIS BLOG ON THE SPHINX AND ALL ASSOCIATED BLOGS ON ALTERNATIVE WORLD VIEWS ARE COPYRIGHT JUSTIN MICHAEL SPRING 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PORTION OF THIS BLOG MAY BE COPIED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.

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CLICK HERE TO START READING:  The Sphinx: When Was It Really Built and Why?  Part One  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

*THE PREHISTORIC ORIGIN OF THE SPHINX: PART 3 OF 3










The Sphinx:  When Was It Really Built and Why?  Part 3 OF 3
A FURTHER EXAMINATION OF MY THEORY 
AND OTHER THEORIES

THIS BLOG IS COPYRIGHT JUSTIN MICHAEL SPRING 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PORTION OF THIS BLOG MAY BE COPIED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.







If you're on the go, my site on the Prehistoric Origin 
of the Sphinx is available as fully  featured PDFs 
for Parts 1, 2 and 3.










OK, LET'S START



The Influence of Pre-Hebraic Tribes Migrating into the Nile Delta 6000 B.C. 
 

Right now, however, I want to renew my focus on the early preliterate, Pre-Hebraic tribes. We   know that prior to Moses, the late preliterate Hebrews had a long historical association with Dynastic Egypt. I've discussed some of these earlier, and we also know   that in earlier preliterate times they were also wandering herders and most likely tradesmen, a profession that would have certainly brought them into contact with the Nubian inhabitants of the Nile delta c.6500 thru 3200 B.C..  

When the rivers of those preliterate Pre-Hebraic and Nubian cultures met to form the Proto-Egyptian cultures, both rivers mixed and then, as history indicates, each river pretty much turned back upon on itself, becoming even stronger and more fixed in its original course.

But that  mixing, which resulted in the Proto-Egfyptian culture, gave each a taste of the other that never really went away. That taste was a very complex one, but it seems to me that there were two areas where each detected in the other something that was compelling enough to be adopted before they went their separate ways. As I suggested earlier, I believe that one thing the Nubian/Proto-Egyptians got out of the mixing was the adoption of an  ordered interest in the nature of the  soul, something I would see as being inherently weak in the individualistic and somewhat chaotic shamanic Nubian practices.

Torah
That adoption by the Nubian/ Proto-Egyptians  of an ordered interest  in spiritual matters eventually evolved into their endless discussions and explorations  of the nature of the soul we see in Dynastic Egypt. As I mentioned earlier, this is similar to what we eventually see evolving in the later, literate Hebrew dedication to explicating the intent of the Torah, which held the all important conditions of the Covenant.


Similarly, I am also going to suggest that one of the things the pre-Hebraic tribes got out of their much later mixing with Dynastic Egypt was the adoption of a frame work for establishing an organized religion. No one could match Egypt in this regard, and I suspect it began to become pronounced and mind-bending after 3200 B.C., a time at which the preliterate, pre-Hebraic tribes were still herding cattle on the outskirts of both Sumeria and Egypt.





One only has to look at the design of the Hebrew preliterate sarcophagi I showed earlier, as well as the Ark itself (L)  to see how important the Egyptian influence was. One of the Egyptian counterpart designs to the Ark is shown in photo (R). The same Egyptian influence can be seen in the interior design of the First Temple (below) and the eventual rise of the Hebrew priesthood.


The Hebrew Temple

In sum, the Pre-Hebraic tribes were exposed to Dynastic Egypt's majestic spirituality to such a degree that when they evolved into monotheistic Hebrews they were ready to create and and run a spiritual empire. On the flip side, the Proto-Egyptians learned how to use an ordered approach to psychic exploration of the soul that eventually evolved into the Pyramid Texts of Dynastic Egypt. 

It is interesting that the endless discussions of the nature of the soul that occupied the priests of Dynastic Egypt were not unlike the later institutionalized rabbinical arguments about the meaning of the Torah. 

One of the reasons I see River Mother exerting such an impact on the Nile delta c.6000 B.C. is not only her prophetic role in foreseeing the flood, but her  re-emphasis  of the Nubian Mother Goddess spirituality in the face of a nascent Pre-Hebraic male-God spirituality. 

That clash, of course,  would have been further intensified as the Proto-Egyptian culture itself  approached literacy and logos consciousness with its emphasis on the male Gods. As I've said earlier, I  believe it was this spiritual conflict between muthos vs. logos consciousness and Goddesses vs. Gods that led to a synthesis of a Balanced muthos/logos consciousness and Male/Female spirituality that was to dominate the Proto-Egyptian culture and the later literate Dynastic Egyptian culture for thousands of years.





What we should  bring from this quick look look into the nature of this spiritual and cultural intermixing of the Pre-Hebraic/Nubian tribes in the  Nile delta    is a better appreciation of  the origins of Dynastic Egyptian  spirituality. It was a spirituality built upon the Proto-Egyptian belief in immortality and their related, intense, ongoing study of the nature of the soul. If you need an example of what that intense study brought about, I suggest you read my Excerpt  47  of the Appendix to Alice Hickey. (Egyptian Thinking on The Soul and the Ka)


Spirituality permeated every aspect of  Egyptian life. If you want to really understand what I am proposing as to why the Sphinx was built, you  first have to accept the full import of what I have been trying to tell you about the much different spiritual focus of the Proto-Egyptians (c.6500 thru 3200 B.C.) vis a vis the Dynastic Egyptians.

The artistic expressions of Power and Empire of the Dynastic Egyptians were as far from the minds of the Proto-Egyptians as expressions of Mystic (Psychic) Spirituality were from the minds of  Gutzon Borglum and his supporters. This being so, I am going to try to further explain to you what I mean by the Mystic (Psychic) Spirituality of the  Proto-Egyptians  in the sections that follow.

There must have been  something very distinctive about the Hebrew way of looking at things that was different from the other tribes of the Levant migrating into the Nile delta, namely that their nascent logos consciousness along with their penchant for quick thinking (that grew out of their continual border-crossing as wandering herders)  gave them a unique predisposition for thinking in a critical and orderly manner about  things of interest to them.  

Pyramid Texts
Again, I believe  their distinctive way of thinking became a part of the Proto-Egyptian culture  as the Pre-Hebraic and preliterate Nubian tribes intermixed in the Nile delta. What I see happening is that a synthesis took place in which that distinctive  way of thinking  eventually gave a logical, orderly shape to the Nubians's powerful but  otherwise disorganized spiritual concepts and practices.

I believe this same synthesis also eventually gave birth  to the religious and funerary writings that we  see in the Pyramid Texts of Dynastic Egypt. If this is so, and I believe it is, it might make sense then to take a  even deeper, longer  look at the Pre-Hebraic culture in the period 6500 thru 1500 B.C. since I contend that it influenced the codification and organization of the shaman-oriented, individualized Nubian spiritual/psychic practices as those practices became absorbed into the Nile delta Proto-Egyptian  culture (c.6500 thru 3200 B.C.) and eventually into the Dynastic Egyptian culture (3200 thru 30 B.C.). 

In addition, the continuing Pre-Hebraic interaction with the Dynastic Egyptian culture after 3200 B.C. (personified by Joseph and Moses)  influenced the shape of  the  Hebrew monotheistic spirituality that emerged c.1500 B.C..


Joseph and Pharaoh
If I am correct in this, we should be able to detect it in the various writings and scholarship about the early Hebrews.

The origin of the Hebrews and even the term itself, is a subject of much debate. As I mentioned earlier,  the Bible is one source, as it contains a  number of curiously stylized stories about  Hebraic/Egyptian encounters during literate Dynastic times. We also have some scattered writings on the Hebrews by the Egyptians themselves. For a good Wikipedia  article on the origin of the Hebrews, click here. 



Author's Note

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the etymology of the term Hebrew which I have heavily edited through deletions. I have colored terms  red when I thought they should be emphasized.

"The origin of the term remains uncertain.[7] The biblical word Ivri (Hebrew: עברי), meaning to traverse or pass over. In the plural it is Ivrim, or Ibrim. It is usually rendered as Hebrew in English


Shasu of Yhw

c.1500 B.C.

captive shasu
The hieroglyphic rendering of the Egyptian word š3sw (Shasu) means "those who move on foot". ....The name "Shasu of Yhw", corresponds very precisely to the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH.[9]The demonym ... it can be concluded that the Shasu originated from Moab and northern Edom and eventually helped to constitute the nation of 'Israel' ...The Shasu are mostly depicted hieroglyphically with a determinative indicating rather a land than a people.,

 


Habiru

c.1300 B.C.

Main article: Habiru
captive habiru



Since the discovery of the 2nd millennium inscriptions mentioning the Habiru, there have been many theories linking these to the Hebrews. Some scholars argue that the name "Hebrew" is related to the name of the semi-nomadic Habiru people, who are recorded in Egyptian inscriptions of the 13th and 12th centuries BCE as having settled in Egypt.[13] This is rebutted by others who propose that the Hebrews are mentioned in older texts of the 3rd Intermediate Period of Egypt (15th century BCE) as Shasu of Yhw.[14] ( see above)

 

Hyksos

c.2100/1800 thru 1550 B.C.

The Jewish historian Josephus maintains that the Hyksos were in fact the children of Jacob who joined his son Joseph in Egypt to escape a famine in the land of Canaan. The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt during the eleventh dynasty. They came out of the second intermediate period in control of Avaris and the Nile delta and ruled Lower Egypt as Semite kings (fifteenth dynasty). Kamose, the last king of the Theban 17th Dynasty, refers to the Hyksos King Apophis as a Chieftain of Retjenu (Canaan). At the end of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, they were expelled by an ethnic Egyptian pharaoh. 

 End Author's Note



Depending on the etymology you choose (and we have to remember that these dates are the dates when the terms were first  written down, not used), the term "Hebrew" can mean: (1)  "Habiru", the Egyptian term for a semi-nomadic people in Egypt, c.1300 B.C.), or  (2) "to traverse or pass over" (Ivri-Biblical Hebrew) or (3)  "those who move on foot" (Egyptian c.1500 B.C.)", or  (4) "rulers of foreign lands" (Egyptian c.2100/1800 thru 1550 B.C.)" 


These descriptions of the early Hebrew (Pre-Hebraic) tribes make sense if we understand  that even though  these dates are often disputed, they can still give us a few clues to the growth of these tribes. It is clear that from the Biblical Hebrew's own description of themselves “to traverse or pass over” that the early Proto-Hebraic tribes were wanderers (herdsmen, traders) with no fixed home who often crossed into lands claimed by others. The Biblical significance of Abel (a herder) being preferred by God over Cain (a farmer) emphacizes even more the Pre-Hebraic preference for herding.

The description "those who move on foot" implies that were others at the same time in the Levant (and Egypt) who  moved by ox-cart, donkeys, and possibly horses. It should be noted, however, that it wasn’t until around 2000 B.C. that horses were used for war-chariots, and until around 1000 B.C. that horses were first ridden. 

This says to me that this description is a very early one, and came into being when ox, donkey and horse transportation in the Levant (and Egypt) were being used only by soldiers and the wealthy and not by the Pre-Hebraic herdsmen who would tend their herds on foot. 

Rulers of foreign lands” is a clear indication that these tradesmen and herdsmen had become a formidable military and social entity, taking over and ruling a portion of the Nile delta. 

From all we can infer from the above and what we know of highly mobile preliterate cultures,  the preliterate, Pre-Hebraic tribes seem to have been   herders and most probably  traders, and were also capable of becoming warriors, as I believe happened when they became known as the Hyskos. The Hyskos, who were believed to be the children of Jacob, established themselves in the Nile delta around 2100 B.C. and then went on to rule a portion of the Nile delta between the 15th and 17th Dynasties (1650 thru 1550 B.C.) until they were expelled by the Egyptians. 

There is also  evidence that they would hire themselves out as mercenaries, because there is some evidence that they may have done this after they (The Hyskos Kingdom) were expelled from the Nile delta in 1550 B.C., i.e., they later hired themselves out as border guards for Egypt. There is also the possibility that even though the dates don't exactly match, these same Hyskos were in actuality the Hebrews in Exodus, and thus were a Kingdom with soldiers and were not slaves. I say more about this elsewhere. In short, these Pre-Hebraic tribes were clearly upwardly mobile. 

It goes without saying that you have to be fast on your feet if  you´re continually going  into strange and often unfriendly territory carrying that kind of mixed baggage. Only the successful continue to do it. By all we can tell, the Pre-Hebraic tribes were very successful at it for the very simple reason that they survived. This implies to me that they were undoubtedly quick thinkers, something that helped form a cultural disposition for  thinking critically  about anything of interest to them. I also believe that their nascent logos consciousness boosted that ability. 

Their  even later, almost fanatical pursuit of logos consciousness and writing, especially with regard to interpreting the Covenant, is still another indication of this early cultural disposition for critical thinking. The Hebrew's pursuit of logos consciousness (and writing) seems to have been so extreme that Julian  Jaynes tells us that it brought them to the point where they killed off any Hebrews who wouldn't, or couldn't,  make the transition to logos consciousness.

Although we can't peer back further than 2100 B.C. into the preliterate darkness surrounding these Pre-Hebraic tribes, it is clear to me that the characteristics I have outlined were there in some form or other. These characteristics never appear out of nowhere, like Topsy

After those Pre-Hebraic tribes (Hyskos) migrated into the Nile delta, that unique disposition can be seen in the various Biblical stories where  preliterate Hebrews can be seen advising  and arguing with the Pharaoh, a living God,  while completely ignoring the staggering pyramids and seemingly moving through the highest courts of Dynastic Egypt as though it was their own backyard, which in a way it was, and  in almost every way. 

One of the things these Biblical stories clearly show is that the Hebrews didn't really share the Egyptian obsession with the soul and immortality. They seem more concerned with the nature of  man's relationship to the Gods, which is why we constantly see them talking to the Pharaoh, a living God. I also believe that the sense we sometimes get from the Biblical stories of the Hebrews being smarter than the Egyptians is another  indication that  that they were indeed  a culture with a habit  of taking a very hard look at things. 

As I've indicated earlier, I believe that  this ordered, or disciplined,  way of thinking was eventually adopted by the  Proto-Egyptians in their pursuit of the nature of soul, and that these more orderly spiritual/psychic practices were further refined by the literate Dynastic Egyptians.



I don't think it's stretching it at all to say that the Egyptians were as obsessed with the nature of the soul as the Hebrews were  with  the man/God relationship.  We are not talking apples and oranges when we talk about the Egyptian obsession  with the nature of soul and the Hebrew obsession with the nature of the man /God relationship.  We are talking about different faces of the divine apple. It is simply a question of where each culture instinctively chose to focus their attention.


For the Dynastic Egyptians, the soul was of immense interest because  I believe their entire spirituality, indeed their entire culture,  had roots into the Nubian concept of the body/soul and afterlife that was later transmuted into  a belief in the immortality of the Pharaoh's body and soul. 

The early Hebrews, on the other hand, had little interest in an afterlife, which they saw at best being little better than a dim half-life. Their interest was in the God/man relationship in the here and now. They pursued this with an early logos consciousness that was unrelenting.What resulted was a covenant, or contract, between the Hebrews and an all-powerful God. 

Thus, is seems  logical that when the preliterate Nubian tribes intermixed with  Pre-Hebraic tribes that the Pre-Hebraic disposition for orderly critical thinking gave an orderly shape to the more powerful, but disorganized Nubian psychic/spiritual practices. 

Over the millennia, a further synthesis occurred that resulted in the extremely orderly Proto-Egyptian spiritual/ psychic practices  we have come to know as  the Pyramid Texts that guided the spirituality burial practices of the Dynastic Egyptians.  I don't see any other way it could have happened.







THE NATURE OF MUTHOS ART



Since I contend that  muthos art especially in the case of very early preliterate cultures) was not so much conciously created  as we would today, but created as a result of spiritual/psychic voices and visons, I thought it best to go deeper into that contention.

Some theorists have made semi-successful leaps in that direction, as have some revolutionary thinkers like Terrence McKenna (Below, L). Those leaps, however, are almost always associated with theories about drugs being a component in the creation of preliterate art, as if  without them preliterate man would be at a loss to make art of any significance.This is simply nonsense. 

These theorists may not be able to create art without drugs, but I can assure you preliterate man could do it stone cold. As an artist who works from the unconscious in somewhat the same manner that preliterate man did, I know that drugs weren't required in order for preliterate man to create his art.


Terrence McKenna
There are some convincing cases for drugs that have been made in cases where the cave drawings exhibit certain geometric patterns such as those shown (above, L).

From my own psychedelic drug experiences, I don't find this at all surprising, as these seem to form in the mind automatically.  But this is not art. These cave drawings of zig-zags and the like have simply been recorded by the person as he progressed on his voyage into the spirit world. There shouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that psychedelic drugs were used for shamanic purposes. The record seems clear on that. Zig-zags, however, were not what preliterate man was after. What he was after was knowledge of what was taking place in the Other World, the World of the Gods.

Modern, progressive thinkers, moreover, don't seem to have a good grasp on how familiar preliterate man was with his unconscious because modern thinkers live almost entirely in their conscious minds. Early preliterate man, however, floated between a powerful unconscious mind and a somewhat fragile conscious mind that had little resistance to the eruption of his unconscious.

You might say his unconscious was his dominant mind and one he slipped in and out of quite naturally as he went about his day. Not "day dreaming" but entering the kind of dream states we associate only with our sleeping dreams. When a deeper plunge into the unconscious, or the Other World as he called it, was needed to examine the spirits more closely, drugs were often helpful in getting into a trance state but not at all absolutely necessary. We know this from the practices of shamans, psychics and gurus who exist today. 

Below are examples of art from preliterate cultures. The first three are painted face art from contemporary New Guinea. The fourth is Olmec c.1200 B.C.








The photos above could be said to represent the beginning and end of preliterate art: face painting being the earliest, and three dimensional sculpture being the final form it took. What might help you follow where I'm going with this would be to take you  into the heart of the artistic process of preliterate humans. 

My own feeling (having created art under drugs) is that drawings such as the shaman and bison (below) were not done under the influence. The two cave drawings below are masterpieces. (The illustrations shown are "perfect" copies of the originals, which is why they so clear). They  are preliterate (unconscious) art in all its glory.














As I've said before, preliterate art can be thought of as vision messagesWhat I mean by that is that the creation of preliterate story poems,  drawings and sculpture involved very little if any conscious thought and manipulation. The same goes for their dance and music, but almost all traces of those (in something close to their original state) have disappeared.  

Creating such art meant being sensitive to the directives of the artistic unconscious, the Muse, the Spirits, whatever you want to call it. Those directives came as feelings, not logical thoughts. I believe that preliterate man was sensitive to those feeling to a degree we can only imagine. His stories or art or music or dance formed intuitively. They never involved conscious decisions to do this or that.


Preliterate man was always in the flow, as the hip among us like to say. This was especially so when it came to his art. It was the way his mind worked. He heard voices, saw visions, felt the guiding hand of the Gods. He was a much different artist than today's highly conscious artist who is constantly searching for novelty of some sort. Preliterate man would tell you that everything he created came from the Gods. It was the way the Gods spoke to him on the highest, most sublime, most spiritual level. He responded with the intuitive creation of a poem or drawing or statue or music or dance step. It was his way of saying:


“We have heard the sound of your song, O most beautiful and most dark, and we are returning it to you the only way we know, the way you have shown us”.

If you can begin to understand the above quote (which comes from Excerpt 21. Antiphonal Speaking in the Appendix to ALICE HICKEY), you are a very long way toward understanding the mind and art of preliterate humans.

Visions occurred constantly in the life of preliterate humans. They were considered the greatest of gifts from the Gods. It was not the rare experience it is today. Visions occur rarely in the lives of modern humans, and if they do, the person reporting them is immediately suspected of being unbalanced.
For modern man to even begin to approach what early, preliterate man experienced, he has to completely surrender to the artistic unconscious, the Muse if you will. 

This is  something our art/drug archeologists, and even someone as flexible as McKenna, never seem to consider, being strangers to that kind of artistic process, as indeed are most modern artists, who work mostly from from their conscious minds.

For those who are able, however, to enter preliterate cultures through its art, which is a feeling or muthos process, what difference does it make if there are no archeological findings worth talking about, just a few pot shards and the like? After all, those are garbage. Literally.

The best of the cave drawings are art on the level of a Michelangelo, who by the way, was very much an unconscious artist. This may surprise you, but he tells us himself that he would select a piece of marble because it called to him and then he would begin carving from the navel out and allow the stone to reveal the shape wanting to come into the world. 

All you have to do is to "get" Michelangelo and the Altamira cave drawings is open yourself completely to what is being portrayed and register what you feel, not what you think. If that is difficult, and it probably will be, let me suggest that you try this mind trick, especially if you are not artistic, or psychic, to any extent. 

Call up a very  vivid memory that has been with you since your early childhood. My most vivid memory is a dream I had of my mother, who was quite beautiful. I had it when I was five or six. In the dream, she was naked, tied to a stake, unable to move or speak. That was the entire dream as I still remember it at age 75 and quite vividly I might add.

That is the kind of vivid memory I'm talking about: a pure muthos expression of something emotionally critical in your early life. Everyone has one, or you wouldn't be human. Now, imagine that memory coming to you suddenly today for the first time but being accompanied by the feeling you have during  an orgasm, one of no boundaries, that you are one with everything that surrounds you, and then something even more: a feeling that  what you have been given is unbelievably beautiful and true. This is what Keats means when he says, Beauty is truth, truth beauty,'--that is all  Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." 

Keats
Keats  is talking about the same thing I'm talking about:  that the beauty of the revelation and its truth are inseparable. It is an overwhelming feeling.  In the words of Yeats, Heaven blazing into the head. 

What Keats is  also saying is that revelation is all we get of the divine here on earth: that is all  Ye know on earth. I think the modern spiritual mind can easily accept that, as Keats obviously did, namely, that our vision of the divine is always incomplete, but then Keats  also tells us that the revelation is   all ye need to know. In other words, the blazing beauty and truth of revelation is the only thing we require to fully sense  a divine order. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, got it?

Don't let me give you the impression that preliterate man went through all those little steps so he could understand that the message was divine and was to be imitated. He understood that instinctively. The little steps are for you. I can't think of a better bridge to understanding the artistic nature of muthos consciousness than that quote from Keats.  If what I have just said about it didn't help, read it again.

Let me add  one final important comment. What Keats doesn't say (because he wasn't writing this blog)  is that when a preliterate artist imitated that revelation through words, or picture or sculpture or movement or music, he was not only responding to the Gods that he understood their intent, but he was also giving his brothers and sisters the potential opportunity  of  experiencing that same Heaven blazing into the head. As I've mentioned elsewhere, this usually meant his brother and sisters would participate in the imitation. remember, in preliterate art, there was no separate  audience: the artists were the audience and vice versa.

I hope this has given you a better understanding of what I have been talking about in saying that art for preliterate man was spiritual in nature. The voices and visions  that guided him in his art were voices and vision of sensory revelation, and his muthos response to those sensory revelations was pretty much what is described in the  quote I have been giving you from time to time:

“We have heard the sound of your song, O most beautiful and most dark, and we are returning it to you the only way we know, the way you have shown us”.  

I should add that when a poem comes to me today, I go through the same emotions and response I have just outlined for you. It is nothing new:  these type of artistic revelations have been occurring  since humans first appeared on the planet. 

It is only today that many artists will often prevent these revelations from completely seizing consciousness, preferring to consciously  play with the incomplete fragments. That kind of conscious thinking never entered the mind of preliterate man. It is a product of our modern consciousness: the logos mind loves novelty.

It may interest you to know that the earliest preliterate poetry was communal and multi-voiced, because its antiphonal form imitated the  way early humans heard and responded to the voice of the Muse: “We have heard the sound of your song, O most beautiful and most dark, and we are returning it to you the only way we know, the way you have shown us”. For those who are interested, I have a great deal more to say about this in Part One, Chapter 6 of  SOULSPEAK: The Outward Journey of the Soul.

So, as I was saying earlier, what difference does it make if there are no written records or artifacts going back to 6000 B.C.? Are we to write off this fertile period of human spiritual development, the cradle in which our literate religions  have rocked over the past 3000 years? 

We have to face the fact that what we have for the most part is a blank space in time for all very early preliterate cultures: Asian, European, Middle Eastern, Meso-American, Polynesian, you name it, but it is especially true for the  6000 B.C. Proto-Egyptian period I am talking about.

It is blank mainly because 8000 years  is simply too much time for  much to survive, especially since these cultures were mostly hunter/gatherer  and left few  traces of themselves. And then there is the sand of the Sahara which leaves even less traces. 

There are small miraculous survivals such as cave art and the stone art and megaliths of early agricultural and hunter/gather cultures, and luckily, there are also the fragments of oral myths that were  transcribed into writing. To truly get the truth of that art, however, you  have to work backwards in a muthos way, and if you're rigorous enough and flexible enough, a knowing will develop that will give you a good sense of what those periods were like outside of the potsherds and arrow heads. 









More About The Soul Obsession 

of the Egyptians


SPHINX 2012 AD


It’s time to say even more about the spirituality of the Egyptians, specifically their soul obsession, because it fueled their spirituality to such an extent that it makes the majestic cathedral building of the Middle Ages look like child's play. According to Bauval,  and there is no denying his incredibly accurate, detailed  theory that the Dynastic Egyptians  c.2500 B.C.  created  a pyramid complex in Giza and the surrounding pyramid areas that exactly imitated the position of the Orion constellation and other related stars at the time of the Pharaoh Khufu's death (2450 B.C.). 

Again, imitation is a muthos  way of saying to the Other World, "We hear your song,  O most dark and beautiful, and we are returning it in the only way we know: the way you have shown us."

Let me be very specific so you'll really get what is going on here, because if you don't, you'll miss the boat to Egypt, and if you don't get on it with this example, you may never get on. 

What has been revealed to the Egyptians by the Other World  ("We hear your song,  O most dark and beautiful) is a particular part of the heavens at a particular positional time whose stars  are (literally)  Isis/Sirius, Osiris/Orion, Horus/Sirius B? and other divinities/stars, all of which are associated with the acceptance of the dead Pharaoh's soul into the heavens to become one in the with Osiris in the heavens as well as the subsequent  incarnation of Horus in the new Pharaoh. 

Having been shown this, the Egyptians are then  imitating  that particular part of the heavens at a particular positional time by creating an identically positioned Giza complex, i.e., "we are returning it in the only way we know: the way you have shown us." 

The sole object of this imitation (which  also continued into the nature and position of the rooms and passages inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu) was to create an earthly image of the heavens to guide the Pharaoh's soul in its journey to  the Orion/Osiris constellation and immortality. That same imitation also served as a guide to insure  the incarnation of Horus into  the son of the pharaoh took place properly, thereby making him the new God King.

(The medieval English had an apt saying that covered this  situation: "The King is dead. Long Live the King.")

Building the Giza pyramids was one thing, but incredible as that feat was, even more incredible was how the builders used the Giza pyramids (and others)   to not only imitate the Orion/Isis constellation (and other related stars) but also facilitate the journey of the Pharaoh's soul  to immortal life in that constellation. 

This incredible engineering feat didn't come out of nowhere. It was driven by the Egyptians obsession with the soul and the journey the Pharaoh's soul had to take to achieve immortality, a journey that was at the heart of Dynastic Egyptian spirituality. It is one more indication that what distinguished the Egyptians from other early cultures was their intense interest in the nature of the soul and its immortality, just as an obsession with logically explaining the world distinguished the Greeks, and an obsession with understanding the nature of God and God’s relation to man distinguished the Hebrews.


The elaborate mummification practices of the later Dynasty Egyptians have never been fully understood by scientific observers for the simple reason that mummification grew out of the Egyptian’s obsession with the soul, which is a topic western science doesn’t really know how to handle as the soul cannot be physically measured or examined. Only extreme psychic practices designed to explore the deeper levels of the unconscious will do the job.This is not to say that logical methods can’t be used to indirectly detect its presence and nature.

James Hillman, a Jungian psychologist, was able to point out certain physical traces indicating the existence of the soul. Hillman’s study of identical twins pointed out that while they had identical physical characteristics, and shared an incredible number of habits, likes and dislikes, there remained characteristics that were inexplicably unique per twin, which revealed an individuality that could only be attributable to the uniqueness of their souls. This held for twins raised together or separately from birth.

Despite his success in this area, Hillman, like others who have probed the unconscious, or soul, was fully aware of the difficulty of ever logically establishing physical parameters for this unique, mysterious guiding identity with which we seem to enter the world.


I don’t think the Egyptians, however, ever gave a moment’s thought to approaching the soul logically because they weren’t trapped, as Hillman was, by a culture that thought concepts such as the soul were mumbo-jumbo.

The Egyptians were extremely interested in the nature of the soul and approached it the shaman’s way—through psychic techniques. Knowledge of the soul's journey to the afterlife was critical  when it came to the soul of the Pharaoh, because in order to insure that the divine order (as represented by the living God Pharaoh) continue uninterrupted on earth when the Pharaoh died, extensive rituals  were developed  in order to insure that the soul of the Pharaoh  became one with Osiris  and also, and equally important,  that the God Horus incarnated himself successfully into the new Pharaoh, thereby making him a new living God.  

These funerary rituals are recorded in the Pyramid Texts, but it is clear  to just about all linguists that these rituals have a preliterate origin.  I believe the only place they could have come from are  the Nubian Proto-Egyptian shamanic practices for observing and assisting the soul in its journey from birth to death to eternal afterlife. It is clear these rituals were formalized in literate, Dynastic Egypt, but it also clear to   me that these same Nubian Proto-Egyptian shamanic practices must have been continued in Proto-Egypt and literate Dynastic Egypt. 


 Author's Note


I don't think there is any doubt that both the Pyramid Texts and other writings clearly indicate the soul obsession of the Egyptians, who had five terms for the soul, each of which was a matter of endless discussions. I don't think theorists have ever really understood the Egyptian's descriptions of the soul, primarily because we are a scientific culture that doesn't believe in the soul. This being so, how could we ever have developed enough knowledge of it to properly evaluate Egyptian thinking.  I am not the only one to think so. Here is a quote from Carolyn Seawright's site on the soul:

"The precise meaning of ka, ba, ach (akh), `shm (sekhem), and so on is no longer clear to us. Well-meaning scholars try again and again and again to force the Egyptian idea of the soul into our traditional categories without enabling us to understand even a little of it any better."

-- J. J. Poortman, Vehicles of Consciousness - the Concept of Hylic Pluralism


This lack of understanding the Egyptian concept of the soul is the reason I have tried to share some of my own own psychic knowledge. It is also  the reason why I have tried to make you aware of the encyclopedic psychic knowledge of Rudolph Steiner along with the highly readable insights of Carlos Castaneda and Julian Jaynes.  It is really the only way to shed some light on the  Egyptian's  thinking about the soul as well as the  practices they developed to observe  and  guide the soul in its journey to immortality. 

I have already discussed my own theory on the meaning of the Ka in one of the excerpts I have given you.  I intend at some stage, in a separate section, to introduce some of Steiner's psychic thinking as well. I think it is possible to get a better understanding of Egyptian thinking on the soul by  comparing Steiner's thinking (and the allied thinking of Jaynes and Castaneda)  to what we understand (if incompletely) of the Egyptian description of the soul. 

This proposed comparison should prove useful if the following two factors turn out to be less significant than they now seem at first glance:

1) The Egyptian description of the components of the soul that I will have to work with are suspect themselves, i.e., I believe, as others do, that  the translations and interpretations of the Egyptian writings on the soul are flawed. For example, Julian Jaynes felt the ka was  completely misunderstood by Egyptologists.

2. Steiner's thinking about the soul and the psychic world is somewhat rooted in our literate, logos consciousness culture, whereas  I believe that the the Egyptian thinking is rooted in the preliterate, muthos consciousness of the Proto-Egyptian culture.

Nevertheless, I believe it is worth a try, and I will eventually get to it.


End Author's Note




Psychic knowing is not logical knowing, it is not logos knowing, but felt knowing, muthos knowing, and it is clear that Dynastic Egypt continued to attempt know, to understand the soul in this way, and especially the soul's journey after death.  

I repeat: Muthos knowing is a way of saying to the Other World, “We have heard the sound of your song, O most beautiful and most dark, and we are returning it to you the only way we know, the way you have shown us.” 

I believe that whatever knowledge was gained by these continuing Egyptian psychic observations of the   soul  was used  by them to further understand and perhaps refine the original funerary rituals developed by the Nubian Proto-Egyptian shamans. 


Just so you be clear as to what I am talking about (and reading Rudolph Steiner on this may help) the "song" the Egyptian priests/psychics "heard" was a felt and sometimes visual sense of what an actual  soul encountered once it left the body and began its journey to the afterlife. Just as in modern scientific studies where experiments are repeated many times until  a consensus is reached, many souls would be psychically observed by the Egyptians upon the death of their  bodies and a consensus reached as the nature of their journeys, i.e., the other spiritual entities encountered, dangers, transformations etc.. 

That psychic  understanding of the soul's journey would then be acknowledged (returned to the Gods) by imitating it in the creation (or modification) of rituals for successfully guiding the soul to immortality in the the afterlife. 

This may seem absolute nonsense to our scientific thinkers, which, by the way, is why this critical aspect of Egyptian culture is so misunderstood by them. It is, however, the only way  to explain the   intense soul obsession of the Egyptians.


Let me put it to you this way, if you want to study atoms you get a cyclotron. If you want to study the soul you have to leave your body and feel your way psychically toward its truth. If you can begin to really understand, “We have heard the sound of your song, O most beautiful and most dark, and we are returning it to you the only way we know, the way you have shown us.” which came to me by the way as a psychic voice during the writing of ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds), you can begin to understand  the muthos nature of Egyptian spirituality. For more background on this quote see Excerpt 21 of the Appendix to Alice Hickey

Osiris and Isis
I don't mean to suggest the literate Dynastic Egyptian culture was a stranger to logos consciousness. It was not. You just have to read Bauval's book to understand how unbelievably sophisticated their astronomy and engineering was. In the end, however, much of what they  believed  and did was driven  by the muthos consciousness of preliterate Egypt because it didn't die away but continued alongside the emerging logos  consciousness of literate Dynastic Egypt. 

Unlike the Hebrews and Greeks who moved rapidly into logos consciousness, Egypt seems to have remained balanced or caught between the two ways of perceiving the world, just as they remained balanced  between the male and female Gods. Balance was everything to the Egyptians. Everything. Just as Balance was a critical spiritual principle for the Egyptians, equally important to them, as I have just discussed, was the soul and its journey to immortality.

One important part of the soul were the guiding voices of the soul. According to Julian Jaynes, the Egyptians called this part of the soul the Ka. Most anthropologists had interpreted the Ka as the life force

Julian Jaynes, however, was acute enough to see that there were places in the various texts where this interpretation didn't make sense.  If you interpreted the Ka, however, as those same guiding voices that all preliterate peoples heard as directives, the texts made excellent sense. 

Julian Jaynes saw these internal voices as constituting the critical difference between preliterate (muthos) consciousness and literate (logos) consciousness. Click here for a free PDF of The Origin of Consciousness. In the photo above  the Greek Goddess Athena speaks to Odysseus, the painting being a representation of the directive God voices that all preliterate (muthos consciousness) peoples heard.

The nature of the soul is something science has never been able to grapple with effectively, so it isn't any wonder that the nature of the Ka has never been really understood by us. The Ka however, isn't the only thing science has failed to understand correctly. The entire practice of mummification has never been understood properly because Egyptian mummification was  not an attempt to keep the body alive as we know that to mean. 

It was an attempt to keep the guiding voices of the soul alive. The Egyptians clearly believed that as long as the body didn’t decompose, some part of those guiding voices would continue in the afterlife. My  Appendix to Alice Hickey contains my detailed thinking on the Ka and Mummification in Excerpt 47, Egyptian Thinking on The Soul and the Ka. It is  must reading.





                                          Author's Note

Symbol for Ka
After you read the excerpt, take a look at this very good site on the meaning of the Ka, The site, however, doesn't include what Julian Jaynes saw as its central meaning, namely, that it represented the internal directive voices that preliterate people took to be the guiding voices of the ancestors and the Gods. Yet if we allow that interpretation, most of the other meanings in the above site pretty much fall into place. 

The symbol for the Ka (R) has been something of a puzzle for theorists. Some think it is a symbol for praise, and I tend to concur. One thing I noticed on Egyptian TV many years ago was the upraised arms of pop singers when they sang. I eventually came to understand that this posture was traditional for singing and dancing (which were often one art and the way preliterate peoples praised the Gods). 

It is clear from temple paintings and the like that this posture must have had very long roots, and indeed may have been an early pictograph for praise. Since praise can be seen as a general term used by preliterate peoples to describe that divinely inspired art that came into being as the result of experiencing visions and voices, the Ka symbol can also be seen as a symbol for that art (or praising). 

My own belief is that this symbol is very old, going back far beyond 6000 B.C., and that its origin is Nubian and that it may have several meanings in addition to praising. I believe it is also a muthos expression of the directive voices of the  Ka (which are slightly different from  the voices and visions driving the creation of their art). 


Thus another interpretation of the Ka symbol is that it represents the internal directive voices heard by all preliterate peoples, i.e., it represents  the twin, or double, nature of preliterate thinking, namely that preliterate conscious thought processes were aided by the directive voices they heard. (Thought by the way is one of the interpretations of the Ka passed down to us by the Egyptians.)

Thus, one hand represents  conscious thinking of the body and the other the directive voices of the Ka. What is of equal importance is that the two hands of the symbol are linked.  I believe what this represents is that the body and the Ka form a whole. The body is the home of the Ka and the Ka needs the body to exist.


This interpretation, by the way, doesn't negate the earlier interpretation of the Ka symbol as meaning "praise." The two go hand in hand if for no other reason than the fact that the double nature of preliterate thinking was at the center of preliterate spiritual life and therefore was something to be praised. . We must always remember that ancient, powerful symbols like this are metaphors and can have many meanings. 

The fact that later literate Egyptian beliefs indicate that the Ka can leave the body after death but must eventually return to the body to continue to exist simply reflects the human/divine nature  of the Ka and the fact that without the body, the Ka perishes. This is what mummification really represents: an attempt to provide a home for the Ka so that the spirit body part of the soul of the deceased (the  Sahucould continue to hear the Ka's  guiding voices, something of critical importance in its journey to join Osiris. 

The above site on the parts of the soul defines the Sahu as "the  incorruptible spiritual body of man that could dwell in the heavens, appearing from the physical body after the judgment of the dead was passed (if successful) with all of the mental and spiritual abilities of a living body." 

This corresponds somewhat to the immortal spirit body of Western psychic thought, and is probably close enough, but we have to be aware that the parts of the soul in Egyptian thought, as I mentioned earlier, don't correspond closely to that of modern Western psychic thought about the soul. 



                                                   End Author's Note





  

MORE ABOUT  THE PRELITERATE NUBIANS 




Nubian Shamanic/Psychic Practices and Beliefs 



I am going to suggest again that the central spiritual belief of literate Dynastic Egypt  was the immortality of the soul of the Pharaoh, a belief that absolutely dominated their culture, and that was in a large part due to the Proto-Egyptian shamanic/psychic practices and beliefs that had very ancient Nubian/African  roots. 

I also believe these Nubian/African  practices were more extreme and more sophisticated than the shamanic practices of the preliterate  Semitic peoples of the Levant  who were migrating southward into the the Nile delta c.6500 thru 3200 B.C.. 


These two preliterate peoples intermixed genetically, spiritually and culturally  and eventually formed the distinctive Proto-Egyptian people of the Nile delta who in turn eventually evolved into the Dynastic Egyptians.

As I've just indicated, I believe  that the superior psychic abilities  of Nubian shamans (their superior ability to heal, to  see future events) combined with their Nubian/African  belief in immortality eventually  became the foundation of the shamanic/psychic spiritual beliefs and practices of the Proto-Egyptian culture of 6000 thru 3200 B.C., and that these beliefs eventually evolved into the literate Dynastic Egyptian belief in immortality of the soul of the Pharaoh and the funerary practices associated with it. 

One of my reasons for proposing all this is my sense that the African Mother Goddess culture was more psychically charged than the Semitic  Mother Goddess cultures migrating into the Nile delta. After all, Africa is the the home of the First Mother. Its Mother Goddess culture was not only the first but it was also the source of all the other Mother Goddess cultures throughout the preliterate world. You would expect the African version to be  more potent.  

The primary belief behind all other beliefs in a Mother Goddess culture is that the Mother knows. That kind of spiritual atmosphere has a way of creating highly psychic womenAfter all, the central guiding belief of all Mother Goddess cultures isn't  the belief that  women are stronger or smarter than men, but  that women intuitively know things men don't. 

By knowing I don't mean how to construct a bow or boat or solve spatial problems. Men could do that as well as women. Psychic knowing is what set women apart: the ability to know things that aren't immediately obvious, like the future, or how to heal a strange illness.

In a psychically-charged Nubian Mother Goddess culture where girls would be encouraged from  early childhood  to open themselves to their intuitions, visions and voices, and then later on shown how to use certain shamanic techniques  to open themselves even more to the Other World, there is no doubt in my mind that the result would be  female shamans throughout Nubia with  immense psychic abilities.

For the reasons I've just stated, I also believe the superior  psychic knowing of women in the Nubian Mother Goddess culture was  something that the men in those cultures recognized as being true, if for no other reason than they saw it being demonstrated every day.  Does this mean there were no Nubian men who were psychically gifted? Of course not, just that there were far fewer of them.  




The Face of the Sphinx is Black Nubian Female

Now let's get back fro a moment to my contention that the face of the Sphinx is that of a black African female, specifically Nubian. There  is a much larger contention that Dynastic Egypt was a completely black African civilization, but I don't agree with that argument.  I contend what seems most probable from all the evidence is that the people of Pre-Dynastic and Dynastic Egypt were a mixture of immigrating peoples from the Levant and Nubia.

What I do contend  is that the face of the Sphinx is the face of  a female Nubian shaman c. 6000 B.C.. My contention is based on the fact that there is sufficient physical, artistic, cultural and weathering evidence to strongly suggest that the face of the Sphinx is the face of a prophetic female Nubian shaman/leader who had an enormous impact on the spiritual and physical lives of the preliterate Neolithic inhabitants of the Nile delta, and that her impact was so great that she was held to be a living Goddess and honored as such by carving her face on a Giza cliff overlooking the Nile c.6000 B.C..

A Nubian carving of Hathor
The black African similarities of the Sphinx's face have been investigated by many. You can see some that thinking in these three web sites: Site 1 and Site 2

In addition, the black, female characteristics of the face of the Sphinx have been noted over the centuries, and while those similarities have been ignored by almost all theorists because they were focused on Dynastic Egypt where the male Gods had become dominant by 2500 B.C. (the traditionally agreed-upon date for the creation of the Sphinx).

I believe those black, female similarities can no longer be ignored in light of the artistic and cultural evidence pointing to a preliterate (Mother Goddess culture) origin of the Sphinx.  



Look at the photos (L, below R) and compare the broad face of  a late Nubian sculpture of the Goddess Hathor and a young modern Nubian woman.  I suspect that the photographer may have used the Hathor sculpture as a model for the young girl's photograph, thereby somewhat biasing its complete universality, but it is nevertheless very useful. 




As can be seen, the facial characteristics  of almond eyes, large nose and  full lips are very similar. I'm not saying that all Nubian women in preliterate times had features exactly like the young woman (and like the Hathor sculpture),  but the features are extremely close, as I've shown elsewhere. 

What these two photos don't  fully reflect, however, are the markedly full, square lower faces of contemporary Nubian women (and I contend preliterate Nubian women as well) because of the triangulating effect of the pulled-in wig of Hathor as well as the pulled-in headdress of the young girl. 


The artistically-stylized squareness of Hathor's chin, however, does indicate to us that the squareness of the chin (and therefore the lower face) had been artistically adopted as the ideal, representative shape of ancient Nubian female faces, which pretty much settles the issue of how square the ancient Nubian female face actually was. This characteristic is echoed in  the photo (above, R)  of an older modern Nubian woman. 

What makes the young girl's photo (below, L) useful is that the eyes, nose and lips of Hathor and the young girl are so similar. They are in a sense, interchangeable. 

This being so, I want you to move the young girl's nose onto the Sphinx   in your imagination  so you can see how the Sphinx probably looked. I've done that as well through Photoshop (R). 




There is a slight difference in camera angle between the  photos of the Sphinx and the young woman  that make the result a bit distorted, but I chose the young girl's nose because the chipped tip of Hathor's nose combined with the lack of shadows in the young woman's nose make using the young woman´s nose in a Photoshop overlay of the Sphinx more revealing  (and more accurate) than using  Hathor's heavily shadowed, partially chipped  nose.  


The composite Photoshop image of the Sphinx face (L) will give you a very    rough idea of what the face of a female Nubian Sphinx might have looked like with an overlay of the girl's nose. Don't beat me up on the composite; these are very tough to do. The face, however,  looks rather personal now, doesn't it? I don't have any problem at all in seeing it as the face of a Nubian female shaman and leader

In addition to the  open, female quality of the Sphinx's expression, there is also a leader's quiet determination.  If you have difficulty in seeing the openness of the face of the female Sphinx, just compare it again to the closed, aggressive male face (R) of Djoser (2700 B.C.).

Elsewhere in this blog I've overlaid the face and head of the Sphinx with the head and face of a cheetah to show you that two of its very odd characteristics (the flat top of the head and the too-square jaw) imitate  those of a cheetah. Once you've seen this, you shouldn't have any problem at all in seeing  the Sphinx face as a Nubian female shaman and leader who was seen as a living Goddess and  the Daughter of Mafdet.



It seems clear to me from the available evidence that Nubian female faces, past and present, are broad and relatively square in the lower face, just like  the lower face. of the Sphinx. This squareness is echoed as well as the photo of an older modern Nubian woman (L). I've given many more examples of this squareness  elsewhere in this blog.  






Why Nubia?

Now that I've given you the Sphinx's Nubian face and nose to chew on, let's get back to why I propose our African female shaman came from Nubia. There are a number of reasons why Nubia seems much more probable than say, Ethiopia, or southern Sudan, or some culture to the west of Nubia. Upper Nubia (in the area of the first to third cataracts) developed on an almost parallel course with Egypt in the Nile delta. 

It was fertile land that eventually gave birth to what is known as the pre-Kerma culture, a cattle herding culture, around 5000 B.C..That culture eventually developed into the city of Kerma in 2500 B.C., which was a city of 10,000 with agricultural, herding and trade activities. 

When we take those factors into consideration, the connecting Nile, and what we know of the later intense relationship between Nubia and Egypt in Dynastic times, it is obvious that Nubia and Egypt must have been in constant contact and had many nerve endings in common.  



As we now know that Africa was the home of the First Mother, the Mother of the human race, we can only assume that the African/Nubian Mother Goddess culture was particularly potent as it was in Africa that the Mother Goddess culture first came into being and subsequently spread throughout the preliterate world.




If we combine those two forces: the African Mother Goddess culture and the Nubian historic connections with Egypt, it seems natural that the Nubian culture of 6500 thru 3200 B.C. and earlier would have produced  shamans who were female with highly psychic spiritual natures. Thus it is not difficult to imagine  Nubia producing a series of  shaman/leaders  during the Neolithic period who would have traveled north,  spreading their  Nubian spirituality  into what  was initially a mostly Semitic  Nile delta area.

I don't mean to suggest that this spreading of spirituality was done like a Billy Graham crusade. Preliterate cultures were highly spiritual/psychic cultures, and the "spreading" was done simply by personal contact as these Nubian  shamans traveled  through to the Nile delta.


In Jungian terms, such shamans were powerfully psychic humans capable of things we know today as remote viewing, astral voyages, telepathy, prophecy,  healing and the like. These powerful shamans didn't impress with words, but psychic deeds. Word spread fast if the deeds were powerful, and because of this,  they quickly  developed followers.

19th century shaman
Thus I have no problem in suggesting that our black African female was a not only a powerful Nubian prophet but also a spiritual leader. A modern equivalent would be someone like Joan of Arc. Perhaps today we would call her a queen, but 6000 B.C. is a bit too early in time for that kind of formal title. 

Suffice it to say that when she spoke, people listened very carefully. Such Nubian shaman/leaders must have traveled to the Nile delta many times, because these movements don't happen out of the blue, just as we know that there were probably many First Mothers, but only one whose children survived long enough to become us. I believe this was somewhat the case with our Nubian female shaman of 6000 B.C. The time was right.

As to where she lived in Nubia, I tend to favor Upper Nubia between the the second and third cataract, which was a fertile plain that had a long, continuous history of cultural development.  Archeological studies have shown that Nubian hunter/ gatherer tribes were living in this area even during the "wild Nile" of 10,000 thru 7000 B.C. as evidenced by this very good site on prehistoric Egypt. This area also eventually gave birth to what is known as the pre-Kerma herding culture around 5000 B.C.. It is a distance of about 750 miles from Giza.  

So if you'll grant me for a moment that the more potent Nubian psychic/ spiritual beliefs of 6000 B.C. became the foundation of the psychic/ spiritual beliefs  of the Proto-Egyptian culture of 6500 thru 3200 B.C., then what remains for me to show you is  evidence that those Nubian beliefs  do indeed show up in the literate Dynastic Egyptian spiritual beliefs with which we are all familiar. 

What the Nubians believed (as did all Africans) was the soul was immortal. They also believed  in reincarnation of the soul. It would be natural for that belief  to have evolved in  the Nubian Mother Goddess culture as it was focused  on the  natural cycle of  birth, death and rebirth that they saw all around them in the natural world. Indeed,  recent archeological studies suggest that a belief in reincarnation did exist in  Mother Goddess cultures around the world. So did those Nubian beliefs show up in Dynastic Egyptian spirituality? 

The answer is Yes and No. Immortality does indeed show up, but only for the Pharaoh. Reincarnation does indeed show up but only for the Pharaoh and  only in a the most roundabout, circumscribed way. In other words, they barely make it to first base. How can we account for this?

To make things even more difficult for my proposition, the Dynastic Egyptian practice of mummification did not have ancient Nubian/African  roots, at least as far as we know. Natural mummification may have occurred in Nubia and  Egypt as the area became a desert, but there is no evidence of  formal mummification being practiced in Nubia until after it had become an established practice in Dynastic Egypt.  

Naturally mummified buried bodies have been found in Fgypt dating back to 3100 B.C.. Formal mummification seems to have evolved as a practice in Dynastic Egypt around 2700 B.C., and in the beginning was performed only for Kings (Pharaohs). 

As I've explained earlier, formal mummification became central to Dynastic Egyptian spiritual life because it kept the Pharoah's body from  disappearing after death which in turn insured that some part of his directive voices (his Ka) would remain to guide him on his journey to become one with the immortal Osiris/Orion. (Egyptians believed that the night sky was the place of the afterlife and the immortal stars were the Gods and Goddesses, with the constellation Orion being Osiris.)

So in addition to the fact that central Nubian spiritual concepts like immortality and reincarnation weren't carried wholly forward  into Dynastic times, we also have a central Dynastic belief in mumification that has no Nubian precedent  at all.  

If I'm right in contending that Nubian psychic/spiritual beliefs became the foundation of Dynastic spiritual beliefs, then this shouldn't be happening. I'm going to unravel this conundrum a bit further on because it is something that has to be covered in depth, but first I want to talk a bit more about  the Nubian shamanic/psychic practices and beliefs of 6500 thru 3200 B.C. to make them more real for you.


A good place to start understanding  Nubian shamanic/psychic practices and beliefs is to read the first six books of Carlos Castaneda’s recounting of his time with Don Juan Mateus, a Yaqui shaman he reports having encountered during an anthropological study on the use of hallucinogenic plants in Sonora Mexico.  It doesn't matter that the techniques and beliefs are from two different cultures and two different times in history.They are essentially the same and have been since the first humans walked the earth. Here are the six books:

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) ISBN 0-520-21757-8.
A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (1971) ISBN 0-671-73249-8.
Journey to Ixtlan (1972) ISBN 0-671-73246-3.
Tales of Power (1974) ISBN 0-671-73252-8.
The Second Ring of Power (1977) ISBN 0-671-73247-1.
The Eagle's Gift (1981) ISBN 0-671-73251-X.

It also doesn’t matter that many, including myself, believe Castaneda’s books (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda) are fiction, particularly in regard to the actual physical existence of the Yaqui shaman Don Juan Mateus. Yet it is a very unusual fiction, because what  is immediately evident to anyone knowledgeable about the psychic world is that his descriptions of these practices have the absolute ring of truth about them—and that they are therefore based either on what he personally experienced and/or on information he received from one or several highly developed psychic practitioners.

Castaneda’s great artistic gift to us—as modern, logical, scientific-minded humans—is that he was able to make that mysterious world extremely tangible. You can almost smell it. A second source on psychic practices is Rudolph Steiner. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner) Steiner was a German philosopher with a wide range of interests. One of his many books, An Outline of Esoteric Science, which was published in English in 1922, gives an extremely detailed picture of the exact nature and breadth of psychic practices as we know them today.

A free PDF of An Outline of Esoteric Science is available at: https://steiner.presswarehouse.com/research/archive.aspx

The heaviness of Steiner’s translated German, however, and its somewhat dated terminology make reading Occult Science a bit difficult—especially when compared to the magical ease of reading Castaneda. Yet Esoteric Science is encyclopedic in its breadth and extremely rational in its approach, and is necessary reading if you want to truly understand the psychic world. 

As an aside, you might say that Castaneda's books approach the psychic world in a muthos way, whereas Steiner approaches it in a logos way. Taken together, both Steiner and Castaneda give us a glimpse into the highly psychic spiritual world that preliterate peoples inhabited. It is my contention, however, that it is just a glimpse, and that the actual preliterate practices were much more powerful and extreme. 



I say this because modern psychics  spend a great deal of time reducing the stranglehold of their modern logos consciousness. The last thing the conscious mind wants to do is surrender control to the unconscious. Yet that has to be done, and in certain circumstances can be a very dangerous business. 

Preliterate humans, I believe, had a relatively weak conscious mind compared to ours and were used to shifting back and forth between their  conscious minds and their very powerful unconscious minds. They were constantly experiencing voices and visions and were accustomed to it. It was like a second home that they moved through with ease despite its awesome and often threatening nature.



With all that said,  I want  to give you another equation that can be read in either direction, and will hopefully illustrate the equivalent relationships of some of the forces present  in our preliterate Nubian culture c. 6000 B.C.. In the equation, I have linked  "shamanic /psychic /spiritual" together as an indication that in 6000 B.C. they would have been considered one and the same and were an integral part of the preliterate Nubian  Mother Goddess Culture. If you float them around a bit in your mind you should begin to get a better feel for the  nature of  Nubian Mother Goddess spirituality. 

I further contend that an essential part of that spirituality was  concerned with  psychically observing the journey of the soul from birth to death to immortality to rebirth (reincarnation). These kind of observations may seem impossible for us  brought up in the scientific tradition, but they are not nonsense. These are very sophisticated psychic techniques which take a great deal of training and guidance to master. All mystical religious traditions, like the Kabbalah, or Sufism, or Sikhi use similar techniques to observe the Godhead. OK. Here is the equation:

Mother Goddess = Nubia = Shamanic /Spiritual/Psychic Practices =  Soul Obsession = Immortality = Reincarnation = Nubian Female Shaman 
The equal sign here should be taken to mean that one term implies the next term (either forward or backward).

I’m now going to add a few more factors to the equation I just gave you. This equation  is a blackboard-buster and can also be read either way. Mull it around for a bit. It indicates the Black African origin of the Mother Goddess culture that fed the spiritual/psychic, soul-obsessed  practices of our Nubian shaman River Mother.

Mother Goddess =  First Mother = Mut = Nut = Ma'at= Mafdet Nubia = Spiritual/Psychic Practices = Soul Obsession = Immortality = Reincarnation = Nubian Female Shaman = River Mother   
The equal sign here should be taken to mean that one term implies the next term (either forward or backward). 






SOME ASPECTS OF THE 6000 B.C. WORLD OF RIVER MOTHER

a typical village
cheetah hunters


vision face art
women as shaman/leaders




MY CONCEPTION OF THE NATURE OF RIVER MOTHER 


As I mentioned earlier,   I would liken my story of River Mother leaving Nubia to the story of Abraham leaving Ur in 1850 B.C., which, according to some Biblical scholars, is itself a fabrication put together in 600 B.C. to hearten the Hebrews in Babylonian captivity. So again, I am not alone in creating conjectures, fabrications. In my case, you could say my intent is to give heart to those who find themselves unwilling captives of the current theories about  the Sphinx. 

I see River Mother (like Abraham leaving Ur) leaving her village and going north from Nubia but at an early age. 
Abraham
I see her being accompanied by two hunting cheetahs and a small group of companions. I also see her departure as  being prompted by a vision, just as Abraham’s departure for Egypt was prompted by a vision.

Unlike Abraham’s extraordinary vision, however, in which God revealed to him a plan for the protection and advancement of the Hebrews as his chosen people, I see River Mother having a much different vision. Unlike Abraham, who was wealthy herder and trader coming from Ur, a literate Sumerian culture, I see River Mother as an extraordinary female shaman living in a preliterate world inhabited by a multitude of human and anthropomorphic Goddesses and Gods.

Mother Goddess
Despite this proliferation, this was a preliterate period in which the Mother Goddesses were the dominant divinities, and leadership flowed naturally to women. I should add, however, that according to recent archeological studies, the tasks of ruling and administration in the Mother Goddess period took the form of a shared partnership between men and women, which is the way most women actually work—not by dominance but agreement

shaman's mask
But make no mistake about it: the direction, the leadership, the insight, came from female leader/ shamans representing the First Mother—the historical First Mother who eventually evolved into the psychic archetype we call the Mother Goddess

That psychic archetype had a profound influence on the behavior of preliterate peoples. That influence, by the way, as both Jung and Graves pointed out in completely different ways, is still present in our own psyches. 


Let me digress for a moment to make an important point about the nature of leadership in preliterate tribes. Claude Levi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, describes in his classic  Triste Tropiques the nature of the leaders of two Amazonian hunter-gatherer tribes living in the depths of the Amazon jungle in the 1920s.


Both tribes were small and somewhat bedraggled by an encroaching Brazilian civilization. They each numbered about 15-20 individuals. The first tribe relied on the chief to do everything for them, as though they were children easily baffled by even the simplest tasks. That chief spent most of his waking hours solving their problems.

The second tribe was much different. Their chief slept all day as the tribe went about their business, solving their own problems. Then at night, he would awaken and sing story songs to them throughout the night. 

That just about sums up the two essential forms leadership can take, even in modern times—the practical and the visionary—although the visionary in modern times is a very weak version of the preliterate visionary. I see our River Mother as being the second kind of leader, a shaman who led not so much by practical solutions, but by prophecy—by visions. 

Artist's conception
I see the vision that caused her to leave Nubia as one in which she saw a “Veiled” human/ cheetah God-face (R) on a cliff  overlooking the Nile become her face. Like Abraham, she assembled her followers and headed north toward her destiny. Once she reached Giza and found the “Veiled” God-face, she settled into the hunter-gatherer/ agricultural life along the Nile and waited for a further vision that would direct her.

The Nile delta and river valley in  6000 B.C. was beginning to change from hunter-gatherer to rudimentary agricultural settlements in which elementary irrigation practices were being introduced.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Egypt.  I should note that the closer we get to c.4000 thru 3200 B.C., the closer we get to the organized villages and sophisticated  agriculture  that traditionalists have always seen as necessary for creating art of the kind we see in the Sphinx. 


Gobekli Tepe site
Yet artists have always known that art, especially preliterate art, whether large or small, doesn't need organized cultures to bring it into existence. Today, even the slow among us have been shown the truth of this by the recent discovery of a huge, 22 acre arrangement of large structures containing a vast amount of mid-sized sculpture created by hunter-gatherers in 10,000 B.C. in Turkey, called Gobekli Tepe.

Gobekli Tepe carving
Not only did the inhabitants of  Gobekli Tepe lack an elaborate, agricultural /hierarchical society, they didn’t even have  a rudimentary agricultural type of organization. Thus, as far as I am concerned, either type of early preliterate culture (hunter-gatherer or hunter-gatherer/ rudimentary agricultural) could have given birth to the carving of the face of the Sphinx around  c. 6000 B.C..

I believe that what  brought the inhabitants of the Nile delta to recognize River Mother as a great, God-like leader and shaman was her establishment of a balanced Male/Female spirituality in the delta as well as her prophetic guidance in saving them from a massive tsunami that flooded the Nile delta in 6000 B.C..










THE FORCES THAT DROVE PRELITERATE CULTURES LIKE PROTO-EGYPT



Before I go any further I want to say a few things about this story I am telling you. I again realize that this kind of shaman/vision conjecture will be dismissed  by those oblivious to the spiritual forces that permeated and drove preliterate cultures, preferring conjectures based on physical  forces, even when they’re patently ridiculous.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. One such conjecture is the consistent modern view of Stonehenge, where archaeologists, until very recently, continued to want to see it see it as a structure that was continuously constructed of monstrous stones over a span of almost 2000 years in order to predict  equinoxes and solstices and star positions, even though such studies have shown few positive results. Recent discoveries have shown that Stonehenge was in fact part of a vast series of structures devoted to healing and death, and only incidentally a device for studying the heavens.


Physical concerns like star positions and the like, of course, were always present, but they were far from dominant. One vivid proof of this was the constant eastward exploration of our ancestors who left Africa 60,000 to 40,000 years ago.

There was some later westward exploration, but the dominant early expansion was to the east. First eastward through the Middle East then further east into India and then further eastward into China and then southeast through the Philippines and Malaysia and then eastward and further eastward into Polynesia and southeast to New Guinea and Australia and then even further east it seems as far as southern tip of South America, where there are reports of 40,000 year old negroid bones being found in Patagonia.

What was this eastward exploration all about if not a spiritual search for the birthplace of the Sun, the primary God/Goddess? My ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds has more to say about this in Chapter 23: ISLAUGGH and San Blas.









THE EGYPTIAN FLOOD STORY AND THE TSUNAMI IN 6000 B.C. 



Now that I’ve made a case for the spiritual forces driving preliterate humans, let’s get back to the event that may have served as the catalyst for the carving of the face of my proposed River Mother onto my proposed  “Veiled” God-face at Giza. 

Around 6000 B.C., a massive eruption of Mt. Aetna in Sicily resulted in a mega-tsunami that caused massive flooding in the eastern Mediterranean. The effect on the Nile Delta would have been horrific. It was undoubtedly accompanied by all the side effects of such eruptions: dark skies, red sun, fall out. 

I am going to suggest that River Mother was living in the Nile delta at this time and had a prophetic vision foreseeing this disaster, allowing some of the delta communities to move to the high ground of the Giza plateau along with their food stores, cattle, seeds, tools, weapons and living essentials.

One only has to remember the 2012 tsunami flooding of Japan to visualize the extent of the damage caused by such flooding. If your memory fails you, the photo (L) should refresh it. Maybe a case closer to home would be the recent hurricane Katrina flooding of New Orleans, which is located in the Mississippi Delta. 

The photo (L) shows the  flood breaking through the Corps of Engineer dikes. The Nile delta (below, R) is identical in composition to the Mississippi Delta: sea level land surrounded by water  and sea grasses—completely defenseless against massive flooding. 

The entire dark green area of the delta would have been inundated by the wave, probably back to about five miles, maybe more because of the watery composition of the land in 6000 B.C., which was mostly marsh being slowly converted  to sea-level farm land.

One of the additional effects of tsunami flooding is that the incoming water  flows even easier down whatever rivers they encounter, which in the case of the Nile delta would be the many branches of the Nile that fan out toward the Mediterranean. 

What happens is that the additional water entering the rivers not only causes the rivers to rise and flood their banks, but also creates dangerous whirlpools because of the opposing currents of the incoming flood water and the outgoing river current. How far  this "river-flooding" effect would have brought the flooding is hard to say, but it may have gone as far as Giza if the Nile was at a low point.

So there you have it. You can think of River Mother as an Egyptian Noah. Her name would be remembered and praised in the endless story poems that would be sung by generation after generation about how her vision saved the Delta Egyptians from death by water. 

Well, if this is so, where are the stories? We have the story of Noah, but not of River Mother. I am going to suggest that such a  story poem existed, but in the transition to Male God domination and literacy (c. 3200 B.C.) the River Mother particulars were altered. This female erasure happened also in the Book of Moses, or Torah, the core of the Hebrew Bible. My ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds has more to say about this phenomena in Chapter 37: I Uncover the Myth’s Hebraic Connection
.

Here is a summation of an Egyptian flood myth from the Myth Encyclopedia:

"The Egyptian flood myth begins with the sun god Ra, who feared that people were going to overthrow him. He sent the goddess Hathor, who was his eye, to punish the people. But she killed so many that their blood, flowing into the Nile River and the ocean, caused a flood. Hathor greedily drank the bloody water. Feeling that things had gone too far, Ra ordered slaves to make a lake of beer, dyed red to look like blood. Hathor drank the beer, became very drunk, and failed to finish the task of wiping out humanity. The survivors of her bloodbath started the human race anew."

How do we make sense of this myth? Assuming it is a myth drawn from the c.6000 B. C. tsunami flooding of the Nile delta, I would say that certain male /female values have been inverted, as also happened in the Bible. I am also going to suggest that this story could be a restructuring of an oral story poem celebrating the River Mother’s prophecy of the tsunami. 

This myth was undoubtedly written in the literate Egyptian period (after 3200 B.C.), and most probably from oral story poem sources, perhaps the River Mother’s story poem. Not only did some restructuring take place, but in the transition, female became bad, male became good.

Hathor
Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of Ra, and is sometimes seen as his eye, his seeing, as in this myth. Like the writers of the Torah, however, who had a deep respect for the truth of the oral myths, the Egyptian writers retained certain female aspects, producing in their restructured myth something like a loaf of male bread dotted with female raisins we see in Genesis. One of the examples of those raisins is that the female eye “sees” better, therefore the completely male Ra has a female eye.

Let me retell this myth from the perspective of someone who is aware of how these inversions occur during the transcription (and perhaps restructuring) of oral sources to written documents. My comments are in red:

"The Egyptian flood myth begins with the sun god Ra, who feared that people were going to overthrow him." The real hero of this flood story is  the River Mother Goddess, but she has been replaced by Ra, the Sun god who is a male God being brought to the forefront by priests as Egypt becomes literate. Ra is very insecure because he is not sure if he can replace the  River Mother Goddess and other Mother Goddesses in the hearts of the people.

"He sent the goddess Hathor, who was his eye, to punish the people. He allows the River Mother Goddess, the one who truly sees, who truly knows, to investigate what the disturbance is (a flood soon to come) but the River Mother Goddess has been inverted to another female god, Hathor, the bad mother. Hathor doesn’t investigate, doesn’t have a saving vision, but kills. 

But she killed so many that their blood, flowing into the Nile River and the ocean, caused a flood." This is the exact effect a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami would cause: the sun turning red from atmospheric pollution and the water rising in the ocean and flooding the delta

"Hathor greedily drank the bloody water". A nice touch to really drive home the “bad female.” 

"Feeling that things had gone too far, Ra ordered slaves to make a lake of beer, dyed red to look like blood. Hathor drank the beer, became very drunk, and failed to finish the task of wiping out humanity." This is the well known cover up, ‘I didn’t mean it, things got out of hand, so I’m bringing the Delta Force home to the barracks.'  

"The survivors of her bloodbath started the human race anew." The survivors of the flood started over again, but in the case of the River Mother Goddess not from scratch, but we won’t mention that. 









THE TRANSITION FROM  MOTHER GODDESS CULTURES TO  MALE-GOD DOMINATED  CULTURES



History is written by the victors is the best way to describe the changes that take place in every culture as it went from preliterate to literate.  Let me give you  an example of this in the Egyptian List of Kings naming all  the Pharaohs. With this rise of literacy, the Goddesses gave way to the Male Gods. This is one reason why the true storyb of the Sphinx, as I see it, never made it forward in time.

The King/Pharaohs start in indeterminate preliterate times (prior to 3200 B.C.). However, the lists of names were actually created after 3200 B.C., following the invention of hieroglyphic writing. Unfortunately, the lists that have come down to us have many gaps, which shouldn't surprise us. The list that we currently have is taken from following source documents, which I have copied from Wikipedia.


Let's take a look at the most ancient preliterate periods  to illustrate what I mean by History is written by the victors. What archeologists call the Legendary Period presents a problem for establishment theorists because it contains Divine kings (the Gods) so no dates are given for them. (The Gods don´t exist, they're imaginary, so how can science  assign dates to them?) The other half of the Legendary Period consists of semi-divine Kings who are usually ascribed the dates ?5400 thru 3200 B.C.    

Ra
However, since a critical date in in the theology of Dynastic Egypt is the First Time (10, 400 B.C.), the time when Osiris reigned on earth, I am going to take that date as the start of the rule of the Divine kings. I have no problem with that nor, it would seem,  did the Egyptians. This date was computed by them to be 10,400 B.C.,  so I have given the Divine kings a reign of 10,400 to ?5400 B.C..  

During this period there are eight Divine King/Pharaohs (Gods): Ptah (creation), Ra (sun), Geb (earth), Osirus (afterlife), Set (Evil), Horus (war), Thoth (knowledge), Ma’at (Balance, Truth, Order, Law, Justice)

Only one is female: Ma’at. Just by glancing at Ma’at's attributes it is clear why Ma'at couldn't be dispensed with: she is at the center of the culture in her representation of the critical values (Truth, Balance, etc.). By being included in the initial grouping of male Gods, she continues to play the role of One Who Knows, which is the role women played in earlier Mother Goddess / Proto-Egyptian culture.

Although dates have been roughly assigned to the reign of the semi-divine King/Pharaohs, they are  unnamed and unnumbered. The combined reign of these semi-divine King/Pharaohs lasted at least 2200 years (? c. 5400 B.C.- 3200 B.C.). If you have a hard time figuring out what a semi-divine King/Pharaoh is, think of the God Hercules in Greek mythology. 

Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias,  claimed she was descended from Hercules. In realistic terms, this means that Hercules existed in Greek prehistory as an actual  human hero who mated with one of Olympias' very distant ancestors. Over time, as with other great heroes, Hercules  was elevated to God status and took his minor place in the Pantheon next to the major Gods (Zeus, Hera, Athena, etc.) who were most probably psychic archetypes representing natural forces and essential human emotions and attributes (and not  actual humans) but one can never really be sure about this. 

The major Gods like Zeus may well have  had their origin as distant super-hero/leaders as well, but those characteristics were further combined with natural forces (like Thunder and lightning in the case of Zeus) and/or essential human emotions.  The semi-divine Pharaohs (of which we have no names) would most likely have fallen into the category of someone like Hercules. It is also likely that many of the semi-divine King/Pharaohs  may have been female Pharaohs who were simply forgotten as the male Gods ascended.

This Legendary Period List is followed by the List of Kings for the  Archaic Period, which is the first literate period. The Archaic period (3200 thru 2686) B.C. includes the Early Dynastic Period, when Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were ruled as separate kingdoms, and the First and Second Dynasties.

There are over 69 Pharaohs or Kings during the Archaic period. The count is inexact, as are the length of reigns. All are male and little of significance is known of them, except for Scorpion 1 and Narmer (Early Dynastic: Upper Egypt). Yet we can think of this list as being somewhat reliable because these Kings existed in a literate time where written records were kept even if they didn't survive completely intact. 

But that was not the case with the Legendary Period's (Prior to 3200 B.C.)  list of ancient Living God/Pharaohs, or Divine Kings. The Divine Kings have names because the literate priests had to create a pantheon of Gods, but the semi-Divine kings are unnamed despite the fact that they must have  physically existed in preliterate times. 

This only makes sense if we understand that the actual Legendary list  was created by literate Egyptians thousands of years after the fact.   This is most probably the reason why outside of the eight (8) Divine Pharaohs (Gods): Ptah (creation), Ra ( sun), Geb ( earth), Osirus (afterlife), Set ( Evil), Horus (war), Thoth (knowledge), Ma’at (Balance, Truth, Order, Law, Justice) that the names and reigns of the semi-Divine Kings are missing. Or perhaps the  names were actually remembered from oral sources and written down but lost over time. It is difficult to say.

I believe, however, that when these first lists  (Legendary and Archaic) were first created in literate Egypt they had no missing links, just as the generations of begats back to Adam (below) in the Old Testaments is right on the numbers. A little too on the numbers, I’m afraid.





  
One example of this  (above) is that there are fourteen generations each between Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus, which makes the number 14 a powerful number in the Hebrew culture. Its meaning, since letters are based on numbers in the Hebrew alphabet, is deliverance, salvation. No wonder the Hebrews expected a messiah in the time of Jesus. 

A wise bookie who had to pay out might have suspected someone had fixed the race. In short, I wouldn’t take either the begats or  the Legendary list of Semi-Divine Egyptian Kings (if by some magic we had inherited their actual names) to the bank and expect them to be accepted as legal currency. 

This is because preliterate cultures didn’t keep lists. They worked from story telling memory not verbatim memory, and story telling memory doesn’t do lists well, if at all. The Romans describe the extreme efforts made by the preliterate Celts to overcome this deficiency. They had an elaborate group of specialists to assist their leaders in governing. One of those groups consisted of tribe members whose sole job was to memorize things such as the names of previous leaders etc.  

Since verbatim memory is a byproduct of literacy and unknown to preliterate people, who used storytelling memory, this feat  was probably accomplished by artificially creating stories in which those things played a special role. This was an ongoing, lifetime effort in which these specialists continually tested and renewed the memories they were charged with keeping. 

We don't know if the preliterate Hebrews and Proto-Egyptians had such specialists, but as they were essentially wandering, hunter-gatherer cultures, it seems doubtful. Most probably, both the Hebrew lists of begats and the Legendary list of Kings were created from whatever oral story poems had survived into literate times and been transcribed into writing. It is an iffy task. The holes were filled by imagination and conjecture. Sorry, but that’s the way it works.

If there were any early female Pharaohs, they were left on the cutting room floor as they say. They didn’t fit into the male God plan. This is what happened with the Mother Goddesses (Mut, Nut, Mafdet), all of whom should have been included in the very first list of divine Pharaohs in the Legendary Period in the same way as Ra (Sun), Osirus (afterlife), Set (Evil), and Horus (War) were included. 

As I mentioned earlier, Mut's role as Creator was taken by Amun as the male Gods ascended and replaced the  preliterate Pantheon of Goddesses (Mut, Nut, Mafdet) all very early Nubian Mother Goddesses, as signaled by the "M" sound of their names (or in the case of Nut, a reasonable facsimile that is very close to Mut) were swept aside by the new  Pantheon headed by Amun, the Creator.

Ma'at
Ma’at   only made it because she supplied  the moral basis for Egyptian spirituality (Balance, Truth, Order, Law, Justicewhich couldn't be abandoned. In the transition, she was paired with Thoth (Knowledge). This pairing is the way Goddesses  were handled (controlled) if they couldn’t be dispensed with. 

Obviously Ma’at must have presented a very difficult problem that the King-list makers  couldn’t overcome. I am also going to suggest that some Gods, like Ra, were most probably originally female or both sexes, just as Mut was always considered both sexes. 

When the time came to publish the Lists of Kings, however, Ra may have lost his vagina and breasts and became a male who sometimes had an evil female eye as we have seen. As for the powerful Goddesses of the preliterate period (Mut, Nut, Mafdet), I believe they were pushed into the written background like so many extras in a movie, as was our River Mother.

Yet literacy also provided a means for communicating cults beyond their local origins. It is no coincidence then that the cults of Mut, Nut, (and Isis who I see emerging as a transition Goddess) began to spread rapidly after 3200 B.C., becoming more and more powerful and revered among the Egyptians.  Like the Virgin in Christianity, the female principle wouldn’t go away in literate Egypt, no matter what the male priestly class said. This, I believe, was especially true in Egypt, which never really surrendered completely to logos (male) consciousness, keeping one foot firmly planted in muthos (female) consciousness right up into the late Dynasties of Empire.

Isis
Nut
Mut

















Except for Mut, who was an act onto herself and not exactly the kind who’d look for a mate, the other two Goddesses (Nut, Isis) were powerful Mother Goddesses who went through a transformation (at least on paper) in that they were neutralized somewhat in the later dynasties by pairing them with male counterpart Gods (Geb for Nut, Osirus for Isis).

Mut didn’t get paired until the Middle Kingdom where she was paired off as the wife of Amun( Amon/Amen). She replaced Hathor as the eye of Ra when Ra was merged with Amen to become Amen-Ra who is shown to the right.  Amen's picture is shown to the right. Mut is shown as the tiny wife of Amen to the left.

All these manipulations and merging of Gods may seem crazy to us with our One God beliefs, but it is exactly what happens in a culture that remains firmly planted in a polytheistic, preliterate mindset even as it becomes literate.

It happened in Greece and it happened with the Romans, but nowhere near the perpetual changes seen in the Egyptian Pantheon. Yet these changes simply reflected changes in the Egyptian spiritual culture.  Egypt didn’t have a religion, Egypt was a religion—remember? It was always "alive", and never became frozen or fixed, as, say, the Abrahamic religions did.














If you were to think of the Gods as movie super stars who were always in danger of falling  out of popular spiritual favor and thus were continually reinventing themselves so they didn’t disappear completely from the silver screen of the heavens, you’d have the general idea as to what was going on in Egypt. 

I don't mean to make fun of the way the  Gods and Goddesses were constantly changing by comparing them to movie stars, but there is an element of truth in the comparison. What the Hollywood comparison is meant to point out was the very lively, spiritual way in which the general population and the Gods were connected. What is important to understand is that  it was the largely unconscious changes in the highly spiritual Egyptian and Proto-Egyptian culture that drove this rising and falling of the various divinities.

In a   manner of speaking, the Egyptians simply accepted the formal, public announcement of these divine changes  because they had already experienced them unconsciously. This reinventing of the Gods reached a peak in the transition from a preliterate to literate culture when the dominant Gods began to change  from female to male. This may be one of the  reasons why the story poem about the River Mother never made it into writing. It was no longer in fashion. 

Or maybe it never went out of fashion as I indicated earlier when the various Goddess cults began to emerge only a few centuries after literacy. In this particular case, we could see the announcements of the priests as to the ascendancy of the male Gods as not really being rooted in the muthos consciousness of the general population as it was in preliterate Proto-Egypt. Rather, the priest-initiated change was something that the general population took note of for sure, but in their hearts and minds the Goddesses were never really replaced.






PRELITERATE MEMORY, ORAL STORY POEMS 
AND WRITING


There are other reasons, however, why the story of River Mother may have been lost that have nothing to do with the rise of the male Gods. We have to remember that the oral story poem about River Mother originated c.6000 B.C., which means that 2800 years were going to pass before the first inkling of hieroglyphic writing appeared in 3200 B.C..

In addition, many hundreds of additional years may have passed before an actual transcription took place. That is a lot of time for anything to survive. The time back to Jesus is 2000 years and look at how much first hand information we really know about him—very little. Yet Jesus lived in a highly literate time, with both Hebrew and Roman writers recording events. 

If we go back 600 years prior to Jesus, the time of the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians, we are again in a highly literate time for both the Babylonians and Hebrews. Yet we know very little about the Temple, only what we can gather through the Bible and a few other sources with often conflicting information. 


In the dark Egyptian preliterate period between 6500 B.C. and 3200 B.C., there were no documents, no fixed sources, only rock carvings and petroglyphs and the oral story poems that went back and forth across the land like the wind. Immense changes were occurring in Egypt, which means that the Gods were also changing and evolving. It is possible that the River Mother’s story began to be merged with other story poems. This is a problem we have to contend with when the subject of the story is an ever-changing  God, and not a fixed, historical warrior, like Achilles.

As the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx face (L) gazed eastward toward Heliopolis after 6000 B.C., it is entirely possible that she began to be merged with Ra. After all, as we have seen, Ra had a changing female eye (Hathor, Mut) in literate times. There had to be a preliterate precedent for that eye.   The first “seeing” eye may well have been the eye of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx gazing at the sun. Makes sense doesn’t it, once you know of the Ra connection between Giza, River Mother Goddess/Sphinx face and Heliopolis that I described in Part 2 of this blog?


It is entirely possible that not only did the story poem begin to change to reflect this, but that the female carved face itself also began to take on connotations of Ra in the everyday talk of the Giza inhabitants. It is also entirely possible that the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx was also absorbed into the oral stories of Isis, because as I have indicated earlier, River Mother shares some of the qualities of Isis. It is also  quite possible that she was absorbed into the seeing/prophetic eye or river/water of the stories of: Ra, Mut, Nut, Mafdet, and Ma'at. 

We have to remember that in an oral culture is built on stories. The stories change in a hundred ways, but hopefully critical information remains fixed, like the actual event, the name of the hero, the theme, the essential character of the hero, but there is no guarantee when the story poem is about a God. This is because preliterate Gods, and especially those in Egypt, are always in a state of flux. I’ll talk more about the ability of oral story poems to retain an accurate memory of essential information later on, as it is one key way in which the intent of the original carving could have been maintained over the vast amount of time in which I see the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx being carved.



                                                     Author's Note                                  


We have to realize that in preliterate cultures, oral story poems about the Gods can change in the flick of an eye. And here’s the kicker: all previous  stories about  those Gods then become passé and are forgotten, because they’re not of interest anymore, i.e., they no longer reflect the current forms the Gods have taken in the conscious and unconscious minds of the population. 

Here’s another kicker: a change in the sex and names of the Goddesses is not the result of a conscious decision, because those changes emerge instinctively from the collective unconscious of the culture. How do they emerge? In the form of new story poems that feed the current unconscious needs of the people

Literate cultures, however, by reviewing their documents, can detect a change in their thinking. Preliterate cultures can’t. In short, the change is invisible to the preliterate culture. What they know is what they presently know. Think about this because it is essential to understanding preliterate cultures. Thus our River Mother Goddess, who would be a much younger Goddess than the primal preliterate representations of Ra, Mut, Nut, Mafdet, Ma'at and perhaps Isis, was most probably absorbed by one or more of them over time.


                                               End Author's Note  








Names of the Sphinx


I want to say something more about the name of the Sphinx, which I am going to begin calling  River Mother Goddess /Sphinx (Al-taru Mut Netjeret in Egyptian) from this point on, as the “Sphinx” is really a much later classical name.

One clear  indication of its antiquity is that it has no established name. Here is Wikipedia on the subject:

"It is not known by what name the creators called their statue, as the Great Sphinx does not appear in any known inscription of the Old Kingdom, and there are no inscriptions anywhere describing its construction or its original purpose. In the New Kingdom, the Sphinx was called Hor-em-akhet (English: Horus of the Horizon;…., and the pharaoh Thutmose IV ....... specifically referred to it as such in his Dream Stele…….The commonly used name Sphinx was given to it in classical antiquity, ..... by reference to a Greek mythological beast with a lion's body……, The English word sphinx comes from the ancient Greek Σφίγξ (transliteratedsphinx), apparently from the verb σφίγγω (transliteratedsphingo / English: to squeeze), after the Greek sphinx who strangled anyone who failed to answer her riddle…..The modern Egyptian Arabic name is (Abū al Hūl, English: The Terrifying One)."






THE PHASED CARVING OF THE SPHINX






















Author's Note

One of the things we should come to terms with before I discuss my proposed phased carving of the Sphinx is an estimate of how long it took to carve the Sphinx. Thanks to an excellent carving experiment by Mark Lehner  and Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio,  an estimate of 1,000,000 hours of stone on stone carving  would have been necessary to complete the entire Sphinx. 

Rick and Laura Brown converted this hourly figure to 100 carvers over 3 years (or 300 man/years) to completely carve the Sphinx. There is an excellent video of the experiment that also contains a traditional explanation of when and why the Sphinx was carved if you need refreshing on it.


It might interest you to know that I computed that it took Gutzon Borglum 5.8 man/years to carve out of granite (with modern power tools) an equivalent face area of one of his presidents. As you'll soon see, I have estimated (based on the 300 man/years given us by the Browns for the entire Sphinx) that it would have taken 6 man/years to carve the bas relief face of the Sphinx with stone tools. This is one of those eerie coincidences of history that I have no way of explaining, nor do I want to try.You have my email if you 'd like to offer have an explanation. 



End Author's Note




Here is my suggestion as to how the Sphinx was carved, and in particular the first phase: the carving of River Mother’s face.

I am going to suggest that the technique used for that first carving was similar to that used at Mount Rushmore, and in particular, the carving of Lincoln, with only the first ¼ of the Sphinx's head being carved (L) and stopping far ahead of what are now its ears, so that the face was more of a bas relief than a head. 

Thus, I see the bas relief face carving being surrounded by a large mass of rough, un-carved stone probably much wider than the nemes (head dress) that we see today, which I contend was carved at a later date, as were the front paws and front body (below, L). 

As I said before, I see the date of the bas relief face carving as being somewhere around 6000 B.C., following the Mt. Aetna tsunami of the same date. In 6000 B.C., although Egypt was becoming a desert, there were still the extended periods of heavy sporadic rainfall that Schoch sees as being responsible for the weathering of the body of the Sphinx. 

Here is John Anthony West on rainfall, although I prefer Schoch's scientific estimate of the rainfall ceasing by 3000 B.C. to West's 4000 B.C.. 

"Extensive paleoclimatological studies (paleoclimatology is the study of ancient weather patterns) agreed that Egypt only became desert ……When the worst of the rains stopped around 10,000 B.C., Egypt had become desert, and it has been desert ever since-though enjoying several extended periods of rainfall when areas that are now barren desert were green. …... By 4000 B.C., Egypt had become the desert of today." 

I am also going to suggest that the carvings took place in the sequence shown below and somewhere within the time periods indicated. I’ll explain my reasoning for the dates as I go along. See the time-sliced Sphinx illustration below for the phases of construction. I'll add the times required a bit later.



















1)  Bas relief of face (similar to Rushmore’s Lincoln). (c. 6000 B.C.) Stone tools
 
2)  Head to just before ears (similar to Rushmore’s Roosevelt). (c. 5800 B.C.) Stone tools
 
3) Forelimbs, front paws and chest, head to just behind ears, veil (5600 B.C.). Stone tools
 
4) Nemes, back of head (Djoser c.2660 3rd Dynasty). Bronze/ Copper?/ Stone Tools
 
5) Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?
 
6) Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?
 
7) Rump and tail. (Khafra – c. 2550 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?


Before I go any further, I have to repeat that it is  possible (but not probable) that Phase 1 of the Sphinx could have been  begun anywhere between 6000 B.C and 3500 B.C. with the remaining six phases being completed in much shorter phases by 2550 B.C., the widely accepted date for the creation of the rump and tail.  

Mark Lehner
For any of these scenarios to have happened, there would have had to be enough manpower  to allow the carving to be done with only stone tools. Copper and bronze, although available by  4000 B.C. and 3100 B.C. respectively, were seldom used as tools except for fine finishing because they required constant and time-consuming reheating in order to resharpen them. This is something that the Lehner carving experiment found to be true. 

As for labor, Phase 3 took place (5600 B.C.) in the very latter part of Divine Kings Period (10,400 thru 5400 B.C.) when the Semi-Divine period was about to start, so this labor intensive frontal carving should have had enough organized labor available, and since Phases 4-7 took place in Dynastic Egypt, there should have easily been enough organization of labor for those carvings to have taken place. 

So theoretically, the entire Sphinx could have been begun anytime between c. 6000 B.C. and 3500 B.C., all preliterate periods. Several factors, however,  argue against these shorter scenarios for the carving of the Sphinx during the preliterate period.  I'll discuss these as I go along.

First, let me point out some additional facts about stone tools. For a long time archaeologists insisted  that copper and especially bronze tools were necessary for the carving of the Giza pyramids and temples, but we now know that the huge granite obelisks that were everywhere in Egypt were carved and shaped not with copper and bronze tools (which were too soft) but with extremely hard rock tools composed of dolerite.

One of the astonishing things Mark Lehner's Sphinx-carving experiment showed was that copper and bronze tools, even on limestone, which is much softer than granite, needed sharpening after only a few minutes work, which itself was a time consuming task involving the reheating  and reforming of the blades, so that metal tools, in practice, were only used for fine finishing.  Stone tools, although much slower,  were much more reliable and sturdy, so that in this case, the turtles always beat the hares. Right from the get-go. Stone on stone carves stone best  is the maxim that really describes how the Egyptian monuments were built. 


My Proposed Phases of Carving and Time Required










Summary



I have assigned estimated percentages of the total Sphinx area required for the carving of the various phases. Here are the first three (3) Phases.

Phase 1. Bas relief of face (similar to Rushmore’s Lincoln). (c.6000 B.C.) Stone tools (2 % of total area)
Phase 2. Head to just before ears (similar to Rushmore’s Roosevelt). (c.5800 B.C.) Stone tools (1 % of total area )






Phase 3. Forelimbs, front paws and chest, head to just beyond ears w suggestion of a veil (c.5600 B.C.) 
Stone tools (31% of total area)






  

Here are the phases (4-7) that I see being done in Dynastic times. I'll fill in the details a bit later.

4) Nemes, back of head beyond nemes (Djoser c.2660 3rd Dynasty). Bronze/ Copper?/ Stone Tools

5) Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?

6) Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?




7) Rump and tail. (Khafra – c. 2550 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools /Bronze Tools?


Let me get back to Phases 1-3. Based on the carving of the bas relief face around 6000 B.C., and the partial front head being carved in Phase 2 (c.5800 B.C.), another 200 years had to pass (5600 B.C.) before the carvers got to the all important Phase 3  when the front façade of the body and limbs were carvedthereby establishing the cheetah proportions shown in the Sphinx photo ( L).



                                                                                                                                                                                Author's Note


This carving of cheetah proportions (as contained in the head, chest and limbs) was critical, because I believe that after the front facade was carved, such a long period of time would pass ( nearly 3000 years)   that all memory of the intent of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx would have been lost and only the proportions of the front facade (head, chest, forelimbs) would remain to serve as a proportion guide for future carvers.  

                                            End Author's Note



I have chosen 5600 B.C. as a date in which Phase 3 began because I believe there would have been a growing spiritual desire to create a path to approach the face. Yet there are reasons why it may have taken place towards 4300 B.C., but I eventually chose 5600 B.C. for the reasons I am about to give you.

Whether Phase 3 took place towards 5600 or 4300 B.C., I see as mainly a matter of the availability of organized manpower and spiritual desire. The spiritual desire could have evidenced itself at either date, although the availability of organized labor may not have been as great in 5600 B.C. as it was in 4300 B.C..  

Yet it might have been. We have to keep in mind that the massive organization of the hunter-gatherer tribes who created Gobekli Tepe in 10, 000 B,.C. puts the lie to the traditional position that hunter-gatherer tribes were completely incapable of large organized efforts.

Looking at the topological maps of the Giza plateau and the current "ditch" the Sphinx sits in, it is clear that a great deal of limestone would have  be carved away, not only for the chest but also the front paws. This made me initially favor a date towards  4300 B.C.  primarily because it is more likely that this later period of semi-divine kings would have provided the required organized labor force, although, again,  the success of Gobekli Tepe made me think twice about this,  as the makers of Gobekli Tepe were clearly hunter-gatherers. 

However,  there is such a long period of time between 5600 B.C. and 4300 B.C. (1300 years) it is somewhat doubtful that  an oral story poem would have been capable of carrying the original intent forward over such a long period of time, something I discuss in great detail a bit further on. I also discuss the problems associated  with trying to use petroglyphs to carry this kind of information forward, namely that the stone carving itself has a very long life, but the carved pictorial information can be so misleading as to be useless. 

This pretty much led me to favor the earlier date of c. 5600 B.C. over 4300 B.C., because it is highly likely that the memory of the  original intent of the facial carving would have remained intact through a variety of means including oral story poems, the only difficulty being getting enough organized manpower to complete the job. It is not, however, an insurmountable problem if we take into account the achievements of Gobekli Tepe. 

Here, again, are the first three Phases and my estimates of the percentages of the total sphinx area they each represent along with the man years of effort each phase represents based on 300 man/years for the entire Sphinx. Others may differ as to the percentages, but I believe they are close enough for our purposes.


Phase 1. Bas relief of face (similar to Rushmore’s Lincoln). (c. 6000 B.C.) Stone tools (2 %) = 6 man/years = 6 men for 1 year

Phase 2. Head to just before ears (similar to Rushmore’s Roosevelt). (c. 5800 B.C.) Stone tools (1 % ) =  3 man/years = 3 men for 1 year






Phase 3. Forelimbs, front paws and chest, head to just beyond ears,veil suggestion (c. 5600 B.C.) Stone tools (31%) = 93 man/years = 9 men for 10.3 years or 18 men for 5.15 years or 36 men for 2.6 years.







As you can see, the carving of these phases is nowhere near the manpower effort required to create the Great Pyramid at Giza. The lowest, best estimate of what it took in terms of man years to build the Great Pyramid is 20,000 men for 23 years or 460, 000 man years. Phase 3 of the Sphinx is estimated at 93 man/years. And, again, if Gobekli Tepe can be used as a comparative guide, Phase 3 was easily within the reach of our proto-Egyptian hunter-gatherer culture.

Click here to see the data backing this figure of 460,000 man /years at an excellent site by TOUR EGYPT, who I find produce consistently clear, accurate sites on Ancient Egypt. 




           Author's Note

As an aside, I think it is quite possible that Phase 2 could have been omitted entirely, as Phase 3 was really the spiritually more important Phase. In this case, Phase 2 would probably have become a part of Phase 3 (carving of chest and front limbs and head to just beyond ears, suggestion of veil ).  

                                                    End Author's Note








The Detail, Phases 1-3


Here's the detail on Phase 1:



Bas relief of face (similar to Rushmore’s Lincoln). (c. 6000 B.C.) Stone tools (2 %) 6 man/years


I propose that the first carving was only a bas relief carving "releasing" the “Veiled” God-face. My reasons for this are partly spiritual and partly practical. 

I believe the bas relief face carving took place immediately after the flood or the death of  River Mother, as those would have been the appropriate spiritual times. 

I see  River Mother setting the stage for the carving sometime after her arrival in Giza by publicly revealing her early vision of a “Veiled” human/cheetah face on the Giza outcropping  becoming her face. This would have been a natural thing for River Mother to have done to make it clear who she was and why she had come. Think of Jesus declaring to his followers that he was the Son of Man, which means Son of God.
 
Assuming she played the leadership role I have proposed for her (a role I see reaching its apex at the time of the 6000 B.C. tsunami) there is every reason to believe that the inhabitants would have come to see her as a living Goddess. The next step would have been a general consensus to carve her features upon the “Veiled” face, thereby removing the caul, and  bestowing upon  River Mother the status of a living Goddess, as the underlying "Veiled" face would have been seen as a timeless divine God-face waiting to be fully born, i.e., to have its caul removed.

This kind of artistic birth, in which a human face  is carved  over a  timeless "Veiled" God-face would have been seen by the preliterate Proto-Egyptians as a muthos  expression of  the transformation of River Mother into a Living Goddess and the daughter of Mafdet. This is based on my intuition that the "Veiled" rock face would have been seen as a divine representation of Mafdet.  The carving, then,  would be seen as a muthos expression of River Mother being reborn as a living Goddess, the daughter of Mafdet. 

In later literate times, we see somewhat the same thing being expressed in the belief that the Pharaoh, upon death, being reborn into eternal life and becoming one with Osiris.   

This African Mother Goddess muthos belief in daeth and re-birth into eternal life became formalized much later in Dynastic Egypt in the Egyptian institutionalized belief that the Pharaoh (upon dying) joined with the divine Osirus, so that just as Osiris rose from the dead and was reborn, so the Pharaoh too would be reborn as a God into eternal life.  

This belief was later extended to all Egyptians, but they were not reborn as divine Gods. Just to complete the cycle for you, the new, living Pharaoh was considered an incarnation of Horus, the son of Osiris, and therefore a living God. Here is Wikipedia on this pharaoh/divine relationship:

"Pyramid texts ca. the 25th Century BC describe the nature of the Pharaoh in different characters as both Horus and Osiris. The Pharaoh as Horus in life became the Pharaoh as Osiris in death, where he was united with the rest of the gods. New incarnations of Horus succeeded the deceased pharaoh on earth in the form of new Pharaohs."  

As for the reasons why I see only a bas relief being carved, they are as follows: it is highly likely that only River Mother's face was contained in the vision she had as a young girl because the eyes and face of a God are the most likely vision. We can see this in the way the Gods  are most often represented in preliterate carvings. 

In addition, it is entirely possible that the "veiled face" on the heavily weathered rocky outcropping (yardang) would have suggested only a face, not a head or body. We must also consider that the carving of just a bas relief face would be a considerable task in and of itself, given the carvers had only stone tools and the fact that the limestone at the head level has been classified as Member III limestone, which is extremely hard, and even harder than the  Member I limestone strata making up the base of the Sphinx, and much harder than the kind of soft limestone (Member II) making up the strata between the head and base.
         

Author's Note


Let me again remind the skeptical, who always imagine thousands of Egyptians being gathered for such a task, that Mark Lehner's carving experiment showed it to be a relatively small task, estimating that it would take 300 man/years for the entire Sphinx to be carved with stone tools.  The Great Pyramid, by comparison, took 460,000 man/years to complete

                                              
                                                 End Author's Note





Here's the detail on Phase 2.

Head to just before ears (similar to Rushmore’s Roosevelt). (c. 5800 B.C.) Stone tools (1% ) 3 man/years




Phase 2 I see  as a minor  carving meant to bring the face of the reborn River Mother Goddess further down the birth canal, i.e. to show more of the face. Again, This may seem a bit farfetched to the modern mind, as babies are born "invisibly" within a hospital, but the people of 6000 thru 5800 B.C. would be well acquainted with its progression and the caul of a "veiled" birth. It had enormous significance for preliterate peoples as it signaled the birth of an exceptional person.


I use the example of Roosevelt to show the depth carved being just up to the ears which would have been the face depth of the Sphinx after Phase 2. Such a refinement would have been a natural thing to do, and entirely possible with stone tools, as it would have been a relatively small effort, about half the effort required for the initial bas relief carving. As can be seen by the Photo-shopped Roosevelt head (L), once we get beyond the bas relief and into Phase 2, we are still in a position where very little effort and organization is required.

We still have only stone tools, but only an additional 3 man/years would have been required. See the Mount Rushmore rendering of Roosevelt (L) as an example of the kind of depth I’m talking about.  I suspect this portion of the Sphinx head was done for spiritual/aesthetic reasons. Again, think of a child emerging from the birth canal head first. Such an additional head carving would have made the “birth” more complete. 

I believe  the Proto-Egyptians who carved the initial bas relief face in 6000 B.C. would have had  a good memory  in 5800 B.C. of what the bas relief face represented (most probably through an oral story poem) and  therefore would have had a muthos sense of their   correctness in furthering the divine birth of River Mother. 


    Author's Note

Again, I have to say that is quite possible that Phase 2 could have been omitted entirely, as Phase 3 was really the spiritually more important Phase. In this case, Phase 2 would probably have become a part of Phase 3 (chest and front limbs, head just beyond ears, veil suggestion).  

                                               End Author's Note




Here's the detail on Phase 3:

Phase 3. Forelimbs, front paws and chest, head just beyond ears, suggestion of veil  (c. 5600 B.C.) Stone tools (31%)


We have to also consider that as time passed, there was a need to accommodate  the pilgrims who most probably had begun to visit the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx. I see the forelimb/chest carving  as something that would have been highly desirable from a spiritual point of view. It would have provided a long spiritual pathway upon which they could approach the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx.

Long, dark walled passages (often lined with images and covered by wood or straw or stone ceilings to darken the path leading to a God image) are common in preliterate cultures. In this case, the pilgrim would emerge into the light looking up at the face of the massive River Mother Goddess /Sphinx.



Phase 3 would have been a considerable undertaking because of the amount of limestone that would have to be removed. Even assuming the plateau sloped downwards in the area in front of the Sphinx's face, it would still be a big job. 






Author's Note

It is entirely possible that the carving out of the chest was only very roughly done, just the removal of any parts of the stone cliff that would have blocked viewing the face from below after coming through the narrow passage created by the front limbs. The passageway was most probably  covered by a sunshade to darken the approach to the revered face high above. We see this often in preliterate passageways to spiritual events. 

After all, the important part of the Phase 3 carving would have been the front limbs as they provided a highly desirable approach to the face of the Sphinx. Again, preliterate art always concentrated on reproducing the vision that led to the creation of the art, and there is no doubt in my mind that would have been the passageway. Again, preliterate art was not concerned with the same kind of aesthetic completeness that we are familiar with in literate art.


                                               End Author's Note




After Phase 1 (the initial bas relief- 6000 B.C.),  and the subsequent phase 2 and  Phase 3 carvings, I see the remaining phases being done as follows: Phases 4, 5, 6,7  from 2660 to 2550 B.C.. This is an intuitive proposal based on the fact that this period contained pharaohs who were great builders


I know the modern mind doesn't like to think of this possibility, preferring the "one fell swoop" theory of construction, but both Stonehenge and Gobekli Tepe, and indeed most large stone structures,  are evidence that the spiritually-driven preliterate mind didn't carve such monuments with the same intent as literate cultures. We always have to remember that preliterate cultures created such monuments not as expressions of power as we would, but for spiritual reasons, i.e., as a way of imitating the the divine order.

In other words, they weren't in the hurry we are to proclaim their power, because power wasn't of high interest to them. Imitating the divine order occupied a much higher position, and the impulses to do such imitations came over time. 

Equally important, however, is this: even if the entire Sphinx (outside of Phase One/ 6000 B.C. carving of the bas relief face) were carved in some sort of phased (but quicker)  process over 900 years or so, say starting in 3500 B.C and ending in 2550 B.C., some way would have been needed of maintaining the memory over 2500 years (6000 B.C. thru 3500 B.C.) of why the face of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx was initially carved in 6000 B.C.. 

That is the only way that the carvers of the succeeding Phases 2-7 could maintain the correct proportions. The only way this could have been done would have been with an oral story poem, and 2500 years is simply too long a time span, as we shall see,  for such a story poem to exist, while using petroglyphs for something like this would have been extremely problematic as we shall also see.

This problem, by the way,  is also present in the long phased approach that I favor (6000 B.C.- 2550 B.C.), but the time between phase 1 (6000 B.C.)  and phase 3 (5600 B.C.) is much shorter, being 400 years. Thus, who the Sphinx represents could have been carried forward to phase 3 with an oral story poem. It is also   entirely possible that the oral story poem may  have  disappeared after Phase 3. As we shall see, however, once the face chest and forelimbs have been carved there is enough information to deduce the remaining proportions. 


                                                  Author's Note


It just so happens that the proportions of the remaining body and rear limbs of a cheetah (in the resting position the Sphinx is in) is remarkably similar to the proportions of a lion, so whether the remainder of the Sphinx body was actually carved as that of a cheetah or a lion is not that important. So it doesn't make much difference that the story poems carrying the original intent of the carving were lost during the 2940 years between 5600 and 2660 B.C., as it most assuredly would be. I'll go into all of these things in detail  shortly. 


                                               End Author's Note




Before I go any further though, I have to repeat that it is  also possible (but not probable for the reasons I have also given earlier) that there could have been still another scenario: the Sphinx could have been  begun anywhere between 6000 B.C and 3500 B.C. with the remaining six Phases (2-7) being completed in much shorter phases by 2550 B.C., the date for the creation of the rump and tail proposed by Schoch. 

The Phase 1 date I have chosen (6000 B.C.) is not cast in concrete. If someone could show me that 5000 B.C., or 4500 B.C. or 3500 B.C. were equally critical dates for the inhabitants of Giza and River Mother, I would consider changing the Phase 1 date as well. The remaining phase dates, of course, would have to be proportionally changed but the theory would still hold up.  Right now, however, everything points to c.6000 B.C. being the date when the the initial Sphinx facial carving took place. 


                                               Author's Note

One of the things geologists Shoch and Colin Reader fail to take into account is the reason why the monumental Sphinx, which has no counterpart anywhere in the world, would have been carved at the dates they suggest. In other words, who was it honoring? It is a significant flaw in their theories.

                                             End Author's Note


While I believe a phased approach was the natural way for the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture to have progressed with the carving of the Sphinx, the phase dates themselves are educated guesses  based on weathering considerations and the most probable spiritual inclinations of both the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture and the later literate Dynastic Egyptian  culture. 

Yet, regardless of  the phase dates selected, what was needed was some way of maintaining  a memory (over large gaps of time)   of what the initial  bas relief face of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx represented. It would have been the only way the future carvers of  Phases 2 and  3 could  have proceeded  in harmony with the original intent. 

Remember, there is no writing of any kind. What had to remain intact from Phase 1 to  the critical Phase 3 is the memory of the carving being of a great Nubian female leader/prophet whose protector was Mafdet and who came to be seen as the daughter of Mafdet, the human/ cheetah Goddess.  

Extending the front face back a bit (phase 2) required that the carvers have information about the original intent or else there would have been no reason to carve a bit more of the face to show Mafdet's "Veiled" face being transformed a bit more into River Mother's face, if indeed, that was the way it was done. 

As I discussed earlier, Phase 2 may have been skipped and incorporated into Phase 4 or even Phase 3 itself, as the most important phase was Phase 3, not only spiritually because it provided a passageway to the face, but it also  as it allowed the chest/paws/forelimbs/ head just beyond ears (Phase 3) to be carved with the exact proportions of a cheetah, thereby honoring the River Mother Mafdet/ cheetah connection

After that, all subsequent body carvings (phase 4- 7) would have had to follow those proportions, even if the memory were lost or jumbled, as I suspect it was unless some means existed that would have carried the intent of the carving  forward in time. 

43This means that some way had to exist for conveying this information intact from 5600 B.C. until  2660 B.C.. and I know of no such way being available to preliterate hunter-gatherer cultures except for petroglyphs but they are extremely problematic as I'll  discuss in detail later.


 I think we now have good answers to the following critical questions: 

1) Why would  the bas relief face have been carved in 6000 B.C.. 

and 

2) Could it have been carved in 6000 B.C.?

I think I have also answered the same critical questions with regard to the additional carving of the face (phase 2: 5800 B.C.)  and of the chest and front limbs, head just beyond ears (Phase 3: 5600 B.C.).

The real $64,000 question, however, is this: what were the spiritual and artistic considerations that initially drove the Proto-Egyptians and, much later, the Dynastic Egyptians to complete the bas relief of River Mother Goddess/Sphinx by completing it in six more phases over the next 3500 years, with the last phase ending in 2550 B.C..  







PHASED VS. "ONE FELL SWOOP" CONSTRUCTION OF SPHINX


There remains, of course,  the alternate possibility that the Proto-Egyptians (contrary to the tendencies of all preliterate cultures to carve in divinely inspired stages) carved the Sphinx (Phases 1-7) in "one fell swoop" in 6000 B.C., which would have taken 300 man/ years using  only stone tools (or 30 men over 10 years or 60 men over 5 years).   As I have said before,  all of these scenarios are possible, but only the first  one I suggested (7 phases over  6000 thru 2550 B.C.) is probable.  Here is  my thinking:

My suggestion  that the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx was a  carving done in 7 Phases over the period 6000 thru 2550 B.C. is based on my belief that  a 6000 B.C. bas relief carving of only the face was the most natural way for an early preliterate culture to have honored River Mother. I believe there would have been no desire to go any further than that because I believe it is highly probable that  the "Veiled"  face at Giza was only a face. Therefore its replacement should  have only been a thin, bas relief face. 

Equally important is that the general preliterate tendency on large sculptures of the Gods in other cultures was to carve only the head and possibly the chest/ arms

I believe the Proto-Egyptian focus on only the face  and then at a later time later  the chest /arms was  also due to the fact that the carving of  a large face containing the God's all-seeing eyes was enough to suggest a God/Goddess, and was  probably the way these visions presented themselves, as preliterate art was driven by visions, not conscious planning.

I know the modern mind doesn't like to think of this possibility, preferring the "one fell swoop" theory of construction, but both Stonehenge and Gobekli Tepe are evidence that the spiritually-driven preliterate mind didn't carve such monuments with the same intent as literate cultures. We always have to remember that preliterate cultures created such monuments not as expressions of power as we would, but for spiritual reasons, i.e., as a way of imitating the the divine order.

In other words, they weren't in the hurry we are to proclaim their power, because power wasn't of high interest to them. Imitating the divine order occupied a much higher position, and the impulses to do such imitations came over time. 

Equally important, however, is this: even if the entire Sphinx (outside of Phase One, the 6000 B.C. bas relief face) were carved in some sort of phased (but quicker)  process over say 900 years or so, starting in 3500 B.C and ending in 2550 B.C., some way would have been needed of maintaining the memory over 2500 years (6000 B.C. thru 3500 B.C.) of why the face of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx was initially carved in 6000 B.C.. 

That is the only way that the carvers of the succeeding Phases 2-7 could maintain the correct proportions. The only way this could have been done would have been with an oral story poem, and 2500 years is simply too long a time span, as we shall see,  for such a story poem to exist.


This problem is also present in the long phased approach that I favor (6000 B.C. thru 2550 B.C.), but the time between phase 1 (6000 B.C.)  and phase 3 (5600 B.C.) is much shorter, being 400 years. Thus, who the Sphinx represents could have been carried forward to phase 3 with an oral story poem. It is also   entirely possible that the oral story poem may  have  disappeared after Phase 3. As we shall see, however, once the face chest and forelimbs have been carved there is enough information to deduce the remaining proportions. 

It just so happens that the proportions of the remaining body and rear limbs of a cheetah (in the position the Sphinx is in) is remarkably similar to the proportions of a lion, so whether the remainder of the Sphinx body is carved as that of a cheetah or lion is not that important. 

So it doesn't make much difference that the story poems carrying the original intent of the carving were lost during the 2940 years between 5600 and 2660 B.C., as it most assuredly would be. I'll go into all of these things in detail  shortly. 

Before I go any further though, I have to repeat that it is  also possible (but not probable for the reasons I have also given earlier) that there could have been still another scenario: the Sphinx could have been  begun anywhere between 6000 B.C and 3500 B.C. with the remaining six Phases (2-7) being completed in much shorter phases by 2550 B.C., which Schoch states, based on geologic evidence, is the time when  the rump and tail were carved. 


                                              Author's Note



When I read that Schoch believed the rump and tail were carved in 2550 B.C., it confirmed my earlier intuition that the Sphinx was carved in stages or phases. As can be seen by my discusion of alternative stages and dates of construction, there are many possibilities. However, to my mind, only one is probable: that the face was carved in 6000 B.C., and the tail and rump in 2550 B.C., an intuition confirmed by Schoch's geologic findings.

The in-between dates of the various stages were is a matter of intuition combined with weathering considerations. The intuition part was  based on my knowledge of the spiritial/artistic characteristics of preliterate Proto-Egypt and literate Dynastic Egypt. 

Any start date other than 6000 B.C. needs an event, a huge event, that would have prompted the carving of such a gigantic face, the size and nature of which indicates a living God. None of the other theorists supplies such an event, which would have been absolutely necessary for the carving of such a face, which has no counterpart anywhere in terms of sheer size. 

The only theorists that come close are the traditional theorists of 2500B.C., who see Kafre creating a animal/ human statue of himself as part of his pyramid construction. I have pointed out so many flaws in this theory that I think it can be easily dismissed. 


                                                End Author's Note




The Phase 1 date I have chosen (6000 B.C.) is not cast in concrete. If someone could show me that 5000 B.C., or 4500 B.C. or 3500 B.C. were equally critical dates for the inhabitants of Giza, I would consider changing the Phase 1 date as well. The remaining phase dates, of course, would have to be proportionally changed but the theory would still hold up.  Right now, however, everything points to 6000 B.C. being the date when the the initial Sphinx facial carving took place.  

While I believe a phased approach was the natural way for the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture to have progressed with the carving of the Sphinx, the phase dates themselves are educated/intuitive guesses  based on weathering considerations and the most probable spiritual inclinations of both the preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture and the later literate Dynastic Egyptian  culture. 

Yet, regardless of  the phase dates selected, what was needed was some way of maintaining  a memory (over large gaps of time)   of what the initial  bas relief face of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx represented. It would have been the only way the future carvers of  Phases 2 and  3 could  have proceeded  in harmony with the original intent.    


The preliterate Olmec heads and the Rapa Nui heads back up my contention that the most natural type of carving to honor a dvinity would have been large head carving with no body or a diminished, suggested body dominated by the chest. 

It is evident in these large sculptures that the carvers had no interest in carving a full, detailed body. The Olmec heads have no body at all, which is due to the fact it is modeled after a ball, whereas the Rapa Nui heads  have long stylized chests and tiny arms (similar to those arms seen at Gobekli Tepe) which don't appear in most photos as the chests became buried over time. Originally, the chest was exposed and a red cylindrical cap topped each sculpture as can be seen in the reconstruction below.

Unlike my proposed phased carving of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx, the head/arms/chest of the Rapa Nui sculptures were all carved over a relatively short period of time (600 years) seemingly to keep watch on the graves of the dead, as their backs were originally facing the ocean. (The sculptures have large heads and simplified bodies with small, almost non-existent arms  for the most part.) 

I believe all of the above  backs up my reasoning as to why  only a thin, bas relief face of River Mother was initially carved in 6000 B.C..  However, I can envision that as time progressed,  a desire would arise to further complete River Mother Goddess/Sphinx beyond the initial bas relief face by adding a more complete head as well as a chest and arms, but no more. I'll  give my reasons for this as I go on.

After the bas relief face, I see the entire carving of the Sphinx being done  in  six  phases, starting in 5800 B.C. and ending in 2550 B.C., with Phases 2,3 (head, chest forearms) being done in preliterate times and Phases 4-7 (the remaining body) being done in literate times. Again, my thinking on this is influenced by the fact that the preliterate monumental sculptures of the Olmec and Rapa Nui heads were done over many hundreds of years, as were the monumental structures of many preliterate structures around the world.

The carving of those sculptures was a spiritual activity, not an expression of  power. What  ultimately occupied preliterate cultures were spiritual matters, not matters of Empire. 

We have to put on a muthos head to see the reality of this. The "one fell swoop" theory is a logos way of thinking: get it done. This type of construction is a show of power and is driven by a logos consciousness, as were these monumental sculptures (L) of Ramses and his queen, which were created in much later literate, Dynastic Egypt.   

So I think the "one fell swoop" theory can be easily dismissed, because we're dealing with a highly spiritual  muthos consciousness in a preliterate period. As for the long, 7 Phase approach (6000 thru 2550 B.C.) that  I see as the most likely,  I would suggest that  spiritual veneration of the River Mother   grew considerably after the initial bas relief of her face was  carved  in 6000 B.C..  As it spread, I also would suggest that a desire arose (both spiritually and artistically, which are really the same thing in preliterate cultures) to portray the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx  more completely.

Thus, the next stage most probably would have been a more complete front of the head up to the ears (Phase 2), and after that,  the chest and forelimbs, head just beyond ears  (Phase 3). 

Let me also say again that Phase 2 may have been delayed until Phase 4 or incorporated into Phase 3 itself, so that Phase 3 would have been the second carving, as the more spiritually important phase is really Phase 3, as it provided a pathway  on which to approach the face. I believe, however, that the harder stone that had to be carved in Phase 3 as well as the amount of manpower required to do it probably meant that Phase 3 being was continually put off until pressure mounted to do it in 5600 B.C.. 

I further believe, and this is critical to my thinking,  that for the preliterate Proto-Egyptians, those first three Phases would have been enough, as it would satisfy their spiritual needs (a face to venerate, a pathway to approach the face). This "pathway to the Gods" was not unique to the 6000 B.C. Proto-Egyptians, but is echoed in other large preliterate sculptures and structures.  

Norte Chico Temple
Here is my thinking on this.  The River Mother Goddess/Sphinx chest-forelimb pathway  roughly echoes the  paths that other preliterate cultures  constructed for entering their spiritual structures (such as at Stonehenge,  the Malta stone megaliths, and the temples (L) of the very early preliterate Peruvian Norte Chico  culture). Such pathways were seen as necessary for a proper spiritual approach to these  structures.

In addition,  The River Mother Goddess/Sphinx semi-complete head/chest also roughly echoes the semi-complete nature of the  Rapa Nui sculpturesone of the two large preliterate face sculptures  of which we are aware.  Thus, the carving of  Phases 1-3 of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx (which I contend would have created the body parts of spiritual interest to the preliterate Proto-Egyptians)  roughly correlates with what seems to have been  of spiritual interest to the inhabitants of Rapa Nui. 

The carving (Phases 4-7) of the remainder  of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx I see as taking place in literate Dynastic Egypt, because it is in that time period that the carving of an aesthetically complete body would be of interest, especially because of literate Dynastic Egypt's codification of art with its insistence on prescribed balance, proportion  and symmetry.

Here is some more of my thinking as to why the long, seven phase  approach (6000 thru 2550 B.C. )  is the most likely. Let me first dispose once and for all of the "one fell swoop" theory.  From a practical point of view, only the availability of sufficient manpower would have prevented carving out the full body of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx in "one fell swoop" starting in  6000 B.C..   Assuming that sufficient manpower was not only available but capable of being organized, stone tools could have done it. 

Yet I believe this "one fell swoop" theory can be dismissed  simply because all the evidence shows that large preliterate  sculptures and monuments  were created as an ongoing spiritual activity over a very long period of time. Preliterate peoples simply didn't create large carved art and monuments in a "one fell swoop" manner as we do. 

They created what was of spiritual interest to them at the time of creation. The two examples we have of the Olmec and Rapa Nui large, God sculptures, emphasize the marked tendency of preliterate carvers of large stone "God" sculptures  to create only what was of immediate spiritual  interest to them, which is the "knowing" or "seeing" aspect of the God, which was the head because the all-seeing eyes resided in the face.

I think it can be said that large, balanced, detailed  compositions (which the full body represents) is the tendency of  a literate culture. One thing we always have to keep in mind  is that these early preliterate artists  weren't creating their art to get a showing in the Museum of Modern Art and a good review in the N. Y. Times

As I explained earlier,   creating preliterate art was a profound spiritual act: they were creating vision messages.  The rendering, the process, the correct imitation of these whispers of the Gods and Goddesses was the only thing of importance  to preliterate  artists. The totality of a composition was of secondary importance. 


We can  see  this disregard for the totality of a composition in very early (40,000 thru 17,000 B.C.) cave drawing (L) in the artists' tendency to overlay images that were created earlier, with seemingly no concern as to over-all composition. 

This very, very early  preliterate tendency to overlay and ignore the overall composition can also be seen also in this very early  petroglyph (below, L).

I contend that this intense artistic focus on creating only what spiritually  interested them at the creative moment is a primary  hallmark of preliterate art. 

This  artistic focus on creating only what   interests them at the moment, thereby ignoring the overall composition as well as possibly overlaying the efforts of others.

This,  also happens to be the tendency of today's urban graffiti artists (R), who will overlay the wall-size efforts of a previous artist without blinking an eye. 

 (If you think you can to link the two,  I'd like to hear about it. You know my email.)


So we now have some  early preliterate artistic evidence suggesting  still another reason why  the bas relief of the Sphinx face was the only thing initially carved: it was the only thing that spiritually interested the carvers at the time of creation. 

The overall composition (a detailed complete carving of the remainder of the head and body) would have been of secondary importance to them.  It would be only in the literate Dynastic period that such a completed composition would become of interest.

I do think, however, that  in later preliterate periods, a renewed spiritual  interest  in the  River Mother Goddess/Sphinx (see photo, L) resulted in the carving of a more complete front head (Phase 2), which in turn was followed  by the carving of a  chest and forelimbs, head just beyond ears, asuggested veil (Phase 3) which provided a means of spiritually approaching the face.

Again, I believe that the desire (and consensus) for a more aesthetically complete head and  body  (Phases 4-7) would only have surfaced  in the the literate Egyptian period  (literacy began in 3200 B.C.) with its emphasis on artistic codification.






THE PRELITERATE OLMEC AND RAPA NUI HEADS                          AND WHAT THEY TELL US


Let me return for a moment to my contention that it was preliterate artistic tendency to create only what was of immediate spiritual interest to the artist (and the culture). 

After all,  in a preliterate tribal culture those interests  are one and the same. If we take the large preliterate stone carvings of Gods and Goddesses of which we are aware, we can also see this tendency. Unfortunately, there are only three such large stone carvings: the Sphinx, the Olmec heads, the Rapa Nui heads. I admit that  deducing preliterate artistic tendencies from that small a sample is  risky. Yet, I think I know enough about preliterate art in general  to believe my conclusions are not  that far off the mark.


Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe
I have omitted the bas relief carvings at Gobekli Tepe  because although the site is large, and the slabs themselves large, the carvings themselves are of animals and are relatively  small and full body, like most preliterate drawings/ carvings of animals

These carvings, however, do echo  the preliterate tendency to carve only what was of immediate spiritual interest to them with the slabs providing the carving medium.

Gobekli Tepe was created  by using distinct slabs of quarried stone, which were erected over thousands of years, upon which usually one figure was carved. (as shown above). Some times, however,  several figures were carved (as shown below).

Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe site
In effect, the slabs may be thought of as providing a kind of artificial cave wall when the spiritual desire arose to carve an animal or  Animistic God/Goddesses. The site itself seems to have been dug out of an dirt hillside and there is every indication that the slabs also provided support for a roof. Again, these covered paths between slabs were used to guide pilgrims in  spiritually approaching the animistic Gods/Goddesses. (See above photo of a small portion of entire site.)

Let me now return to the two giant head carvings we have in addition to the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx. Below are examples of those two large  carving groups (Olmec and Rapa Nui) that I believe also reflected the preliterate tendency to carve only what was of immediate spiritual interest to them, something I also see  in the preliterate carving of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx
















As I've said previously, I believe it was the  tendency of preliterate artists to focus only on what spiritually interested them  at the time of creation, and I contend what was of primary interest to them after the "knowing/seeing" face (when it came to large stone God carvings) was always the head/arms chest. 

The chest was important primarily  because it placed the face  high above the viewer.


Let me digress here for a moment as to  the spiritual function of the carved chest. The term "understand", as Julian Jaynes points out, literally means to "to stand under." It has roots back to the   interior directive voices  all preliterate humans heard and which they took to be the voices of the Gods from above.

This sense of the viewer always "standing under" the Gods is of such importance in spiritual carvings that even in literate times  almost all spiritual sculptures are   large. 

We can see this in literate Greece in the giant Athena in the Parthenon (R), and in literate Dynastic Egypt in the  Abu Simbel statues of  Pharaoh Ramesses II (L).



 Or, in much later literate times, if the sculptures were smaller,  like Bernini's St. Theresa in St. Peter's Cathedral, it was placed on a pedestal  so as to be higher than the viewer. 

Thus we can see why a chest was of spiritual importance to preliterate carvers of large stone sculptures. It made the viewer "stand under" the carved face, symbolizing the fact that the viewer "understood and obeyed"  divine directives.  

It was a muthos recognition of the divine nature of the carved face. But if I am correct about the spiritual function of the chest, how do I explain the Olmec heads,  as they not only have no chest or arms;  they don't even have a neck. 

Whether these giant, round, ball-like heads were ever elevated is unclear, as they were found buried (and sometimes  mutilated) which possibly indicates they were moved from their original location and buried by a conquering culture. However, the fact that the back of their heads is flat indicates that their original placement was probably against a wall.

Since the we know from the Olmec architectural fragments that have been found (mostly of altars)  it is  very likely that the heads were originally elevated on some type of altar or platform which performed the function of a chest. Again, this elevating device would have made  the viewer "stand under" the carved face, symbolizing the fact that the viewer "understood and obeyed"  divine directives. It was a muthos recognition of the divine nature of the carved face. 

I should add that it is very  likely that the unique "head-only" (no neck or chest) carving of  the Olmec heads was the result of carving the head in  imitation of an ollamaliztli  ball.  The ball-like heads were probably placed up on an altar of some kind, and is the most probable reason why the chest/arms were not included as they played no part in the Olmec artistic ollamaliztli  ball statement. 

Thus, in the  case of the Olmec heads, we can say that for a number of reasons, what was of immediate spiritual interest was the head, and the head alone, with the role of the chest being taken by the altars that the heads were placed on.

The Olmec heads are  also extremely sophisticated carvings, something I've  discussed in detail in Part One. We should also recognize that this obvious sophistication  (as compared to the Sphinx and Rapa Nui heads) points to  them being carved in  a very late preliterate Olmec culture  that was bordering  on literacy.

There is aremote possibility that  Rapa Nui may also  have been a preliterate culture bordering on literacy, as a glyph "language" Rongorongo inscribed on pieces of wood was found on Rapa Nui. Rongorongo, however, has  never been deciphered. 


Rongorongo
Nor is it  clear when Rongorongo originated, leading some to believe it is not ancient (300 A.D.) but that it originated around 1700 A.D. after the inhabitants viewed Spanish writing and created their own imitation. Complicating the issue is that few of the Rongorongo glyphs match the petroglyphs found throughout the island and the Polynesian culture itself never developed a written language.   


So I think we have to dismiss the possibility that preliterate Rapa Nui may have been bordering on literacy. It's large-eyed heads belong to a preliterate culture and pale in comparison to the sophisticated  Olmec heads.

I believe the Olmec culture was bordering on literacy. This would account for the life-like carving ( outside of the face-squashing) and the normal-sized eyes. This bordering on literacy may be due to the probable partial literate Chinese origins of the Olmec culture, which was a more advanced culture compared to the less advanced Polynesian culture (or possibly pre-literate Peruvian culture a la Thor Heyerdahl)  of Rapa Nui. 

I should also add that  Rapa Nui's complete cultural isolation over 1400 years (300 A.D. to 1700 A.D.) may also have been a contributing factor to its lack of artistic sophistication. 

With all that said about the peculiarities of the two large head types that make up my preliterate sample, what we see in those  Olmec and Rapa Nui heads pretty much backs up my suggestion that the Phase 1-3 head /chest /front limb carving of the Sphinx roughly echoes those same preliterate artistic tendencies to carve only  head/chest/arms of large stone "God/ Living God" sculptures. 




                                               Author's Note



Let me repeat what always drove the preliterate creation of what seems (to us) a partially incomplete  sculpture. First of all, these were sculptures of Gods /Living Gods. They resulted from visions which I contend primarily portrayed the all-seeing eyes of the Gods. The head contained these all-seeing eyes, therefore the head was the primary thing reproduced. 

The head (and therefore eyes) were always very large, which is a muthos way of saying that this is the head of a God. 

These heads were always carved or placed high up. This again is a muthos way of saying that the Gods are above us, superior to us. It also simultaneously signaled that the viewer stood under the God, which was a muthos way of saying that the viewer was to "understand" the intent of the God. 

In the Rapa Nui carvings, this was accomplished by creating a simplified legless long body / chest. This also allowed the heads to gaze inward towards the distant, starving  villages. 

In the Olmec ollamaliztli-ball head carvings, it is almost certain that the height was supplied by an altar that held these living God representations..

In the Sphinx face carving on a high cliff, the height was automatically supplied by the cliff. The chest/front limb subsequent carving was not so much to supply height but provide a passageway ( probably covered) to approach the revered face. 

The use of covered passageways in preliterate cultures is a muthos expression of the mysterious passage to the Other World. In those cultures where numerous caves existed, this dark passageway was supplied automatically by the dark caves themselves.




                                              End Author's Note






Let me add that my favored phased approach (Phase 1-3, 6000 to 5600 B.C., and Phase 4-7,  2660 thru 2550 B.C.)  is not without its own problems. These problems, by the way,  would have also have been shared somewhat by the shorter phased approach (Phases 1 starting in  5000 or  4000 B.C.  that I also have suggested as possible, but not probable.)  

Anyway, here is the $64,000 question: was it possible for the preliterate Proto-Egyptians of 6000 B.C. to carry forward an accurate memory of the reasons behind the initial 6000 B.C. face carving over as much as 400 years (6000 B.C. to 5600 B.C.) so that the initial intent would be accurately transmitted when the chest and limbs were carved? I'll answer that shortly but first I want to draw you attention to some proportional peculiarities of the Sphinx.




PECULIARITIES OF THE SPHINX FACIAL AND CHEST PROPORTIONS



I should also draw your attention to the fact that the carved front limbs of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx are extremely long and reflect the extremely long legs of the cheetah. They are not the legs of a lion. Compare the limb length in the photos below.














The width and thickness of the forelimbs and paws of the Sphinx, however, are greater than that of a cheetah. See photos above of Sphinx and sitting cheetahs.I believe this was done partly to keep the limbs in proportion to the width of the carved  chest of the Sphinx which is also wider than a cheetah’s chest. The necks start out the same, but a "human" chest soon blossoms. See overlay pictures below. I have lined the faces up by the eyes.



There is another aesthetic reason why this difference in width may exist in the carved forelimbs and paws. By making the limbs wider and thicker, an aesthetically “heavy” base was created to anchor the entire sculpture.

Finally, the width of the carved forelimbs and paws we see today may also be due in part to the repeated re-coverings of the forelimbs with new limestone and finally, masonry. This doesn't explain, however, all of the difference in limb width and thickness, nor does it explain the greater width of the carved chest.
 
One thing I will argue in detail in a later section is that the preliterate carvers of Phases 1, 2 and 3 understood proportion, and knew the proportions of the cheetah. The proportions of head to body to limbs they got right, yet they also consciously chose to enlarge the width of the chest and front paws. This wasn't accidental. Outside of the aesthetic reasons I've just mentioned, there is  an artistic/  spiritual reason for the extra limb and chest width.

It is a way of signifying the special nature of the human/animal being that is being portrayed in the sculpture. Again, I go into this in great detail later but suffice it to say here that the pose of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx (lying down, front  limbs extended frontally, chest and head upright) is almost non-existent in the cat family, including lions and cheetahs, all of whom slouch to the side to some degree. (see photos below).










The extended front limbs are the major visual link between human and animal because they simulate the arms of a human on a throne. It is my opinion that in order to balance the larger human chest, the carvers also widened the long forelimbs and paws to keep their inherent ratios intact. 

As shown above, in real life, large cats sometimes sit upright if alerted, but the body (as it approaches the  back limbs) always twists to the side along with their back limbs which are never upright as in the Sphinx. This is because the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx pose we take as "normal" is completely artificial. 

It is a master stroke, because the carvers were able to portray the way an alert human (leader) looks, from the waist up, whether seated or standing. The upright rear limbs emphacize this. In addition, the chest and shoulder dimensions are those of a human, not a cheetah, or any cat for that matter. The carvers then wedded that human "look" to the "artificial" animal pose of a cheetah lying down, but completely upright, including the upright rear limbs, which are never that way in real life. 

Thus, I contend that the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx (as carved in Phases 1,2, 3) has the exact body/ head/limbs proportions of a cheetah,   given that incorporating the "human element " involved thickening some of them. 

This tells us something about the   proportional carving skills of the Proto-Egyptian carvers of  Phases 1-3. 

To get back to the face for a minute. What the Proto-Egyptian carvers of 6000 B.C. didn’t have, however, was the exquisite facial detail carving skills of 2500 B.C.. We can see such exquisite facial skills in the 2500 B.C sculpture of Kafre, and the very sophisticated “squashed” carving techniques of the 1600 B.C Olmec heads.

The crudeness of the facial detail of the River Mother Goddess/Sphinx  again indicates it was a very early carving because   it is obvious that the carvers were "over their heads" when it came to portraying  facial details. This was compounded by the fact that they  obviously didn't have any sophisticated scaling techniques such as those used by literate Dynastic  carvers (2500 B.C. and on) in creating their monumental sculptures and structures.

I think this is a critical point. We can clearly see from the two sculptures above that both the preliterate Olmec and the literate Dynastic Egyptian carvers utilized codified, extremely sophisticated facial carving techniques at the time those sculptures were made.
 
Portraying an emotionally realistic face, as Velázquez pointed out to his detractors, is an art in itself, and his portraits prove it.  Take a look at his Las Meninas to the left and you’ll see what Velázquez was talking about. The sculptors of the Olmec faces and Dynastic carvers of 2500 B.C. had that ability. 

So let me repeat myself again: it is the unsophisticated detail of the face carving of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx (along with its large preliterate eyes) that date the face to a time far earlier than the accepted 2500 B.C.. 

A date of c.6000 B.C. is about right in my mind because of the crudeness of the carving, weathering considerations and the early preliterate indications signaled by the large eyes as well as by the human/cheetah width/depth head similarities I discussed  earlier. 

The date of 6000 B.C. also gives us an event ( the Mt Aetna tsunami) that was large enough to result in the carving of a living God face honoring the leader who saved the Nile delta inhabitants from complete destruction. 





Petroglyphs
 

Petroglyphs, although carved in rock and therefore capable of lasting thousands of years if deep enough, have some problems in terms of conveying accurate messages. Let me give you an example in the case of our Sphinx bas relief face carving c.6000 B.C..

The base of the bas relief face could have contained a glyph grouping showing the following: a veil head dress /a woman/ a cheetah/ the phased moon/ the sun/ the Goddess Mafdet. The preliterate mind would have probably associated them in a  narrative way like this:

"This facial carving celebrates a leader who is a female living Goddess  who shares the same female/cheetah Goddess characteristics as Mafdet: her head is human, her body is the cheetah."



Here are the details backing that suggested narrative interpretation: first of all the large size of the facial carving would have immediately suggested a Goddess or living Goddess. The veil headdress  was most probably used as sun protection by both sexes, so the veil head dress  may  have suggested "leader" if it had a special "leader" decoration, but if not, it and the woman glyph beside it may have simply emphasized that the carving was of a woman who came from the everyday people.  The woman and cheetah glyphs would also have  suggested that the facial carving (which they would have immediately seen as female) was of a Goddess or Living Goddess associated with the cheetah in some way, with the Mafdet glyph suggesting either the woman was associated with Mafdet or Mafdet herself. The moon / sun glyphs would have also suggested something.

                                                       Author's Note

As  to why the moon would have been considered female  in preliterate cultures , one important reason is that the human female  has a menstrual cycle (28+ days) very close to the cycle of the moon (29.5 days). The cycle of all other primates isn’t even close.

                                                 End Author's Note




Although the moon in literate Dynastic Egypt is associated with a male God Khonsu, the moon, or phased moon, is almost  always associated with the Goddess in early preliterate cultures and would have surely been seen a such by the African/Proto-Egyptians of 6000 B.C..  The moon glyph would thus have further suggested that the face depicted was of a Goddess or living Goddess and the sun suggesting that the facial carving was also associated with Ra something that would  have been evident by the fact that the face pointed east to the rising sun.                                                   



As for the sun glyph, it would have indicated the Goddess aspect of the facial carving because the sun was the very first or primal God recognized by all preliterate cultures. Whether the sun was considered male in 6000 B.C. (which is how it is seen in the literate Dynastic Egyptian pantheon) is problematic, as the sun is the “life giver” i.e., without the sun there is no life. It could therefore have been seen by very early humans as either  female, or both male and female. It may also have been included to signify the relationship between the River Mother/ Sphinx face and  the rising of the sun (Ra) at summer solstice. 



Hieroglyphs
One thing immediately evident is that petroglyphs have none of the flexibility or accuracy of  language, even hieroglyphic language. I have interpreted the glyph grouping for you, but as you can probably surmise, the grouping could have several interpretations. Let me give you an alternate one: 

"This facial carving celebrates the Goddess Mafdet who is both woman and cheetah and is the protector of Balance and Order under the moon and the sun."

I don't think this interpretation, although again quite different from the first, would have necessarily resulted in a proportional carving of the chest and forelimbs (Phase 3) any different from the first interpretation, as Mafdet's  proportions (with a female head and cheetah body) were right in line with what was intended. Here is another interpretation, however, which might not have been so in line. 

"This facial carving of a woman celebrates her as a  Goddess or living Goddess who  keeps cheetahs. She is associated with Mafdet  who is also the protector of Balance and Order throughout the day and night." 


I don't think this interpretation, although quite different from the previous one, would have necessarily resulted in a proportional carving of the chest and forelimbs (Phase 3) any different from the first two  interpretations, but it may have, as the interpretation  didn't clearly identify the facial carving as belonging to a cheetah body, like Mafdet, as the first two did.


I think this gives you an idea of the limitations of petroglyphs and why the eventually evolved into hieroglyphs.  In addition, the time span over which the glyphs had to remain visible was 3340 years (6000 thru 2660 B.C.).  This would be extremely problematic if the petroglyphs weren’t deeply etched, as the natural wind/water erosion of the limestone might have erased them. But even if they physically survived, it seems clear that they may not have conveyed the original intent accurately.






                                                   Author's Note 

Let me make something very clear. Any description of intent established in 6000 B.C.  would not have been created to instruct future generations.  This is because preliterate humans lived solely in the present. They wouldn't have had any future plans for  expanding beyond the  bas relief face.      
                                       
The face they carved was a spiritual response to   River Mother. That response began and ended with the carving. This is not to say that another spiritual impulse might develop later on about expanding the  face, as may have happened in Phase 2, and then with each of the later phases, but each spiritually inspired expansion would begin and end with that particular carving.

If you understand that, you begin to understand the preliterate mind. In other words, any description created, say, in Phase 1, which was the most likely time for it to occur, would be to celebrate the carving, not to leave instructions. At any rate, such a celebration could have taken two forms:

1. An oral poem celebrating River Mother becoming reborn as  the cheetah/female daughter of Mafdet.  Oral poems have a surprising durability, sometimes carrying forward the central themes and characters through hundreds  of years and is the most likely way the carving was celebrated. 



2. By a string of small carved pictures (petroglyphs) celebrating the carving. As I've just shown, however, this form of celebration can be problematic in conveying information.


                                             
                                                 End Author's Note 










Oral Story Poems


As for the durability of an oral poem, much depends on the durability of the culture that gives birth to it. As an example of how long a cultural memory can be accurately maintained in an oral poem, we can take the case of the great Greek epic oral poet Homer who lived around 850 B.C., as writing wasn't adopted by the Greeks until around 750 B.C.

Aspects of the Mycenaean culture (1600 thru 1100 B.C.) such as King Nestor's and his palace in Pylos and the Trojan War (1200 B.C.) were included in Homer’s Illiad, so it is evident that the long chain of Greek oral epic poets (aoidoi) carried those memories forward over as much as 350 years to the time of Homer (850 B.C.). .

Even the upsetting effects of the Dorian invasion of Greek Mycenae didn’t  break this long chain. There is a discussion of what things are accurately maintained and what are exaggerated in  Part Five, Chapter 27: Let’s Pretend You’re an Epic Poet of my book SOULSPEAK: the Outward Journey of the Soul, and in my discussion in this site of Noah and the Flood.

Suffice it to say that the memory and the name River Mother (Al-taru Mut in Egyptian) of a great female shaman protected by Mafdet who saved Egypt from a great flood and thus became  the Goddess daughter of Mafdet could possibly have been maintained for that same amount of time, maybe even longer. 

For example, it is believed that the Sumerian source for its  flood myth could be either  the sudden flooding of the Black Sea area, or the rising of the level of the Gulf of Persia,  both of which are  estimated by scientists as having taken place  c. 5500 B.C.. This flooding  seems to have been orally carried forward in a number of oral story poems until the advent of  hieroglyphic Sumerian writing in 3200 B.C.  allowed the Sumerian  transcription of the oral flood story poem into writing.  

In actuality, it was most probably transcribed some time later, but if the Sumerian flood story is indeed one of these 5500 B.C. events, we could say that it survived over a span of over 2000 years. This is a very problematic assumption, but if we accept it, 2000 years could possibly be the maximum period that an oral  story poem can remain intact.

What this gives us then is a period between 350 years (a sure thing) and 2000 years ( a not so sure thing) for the accurate survival of an oral story poem.

The critical period we have to account for with the Sphinx is 3340 years (6000 to 2660 B.C.).  I doubt that this is possible as the maximum time length for  an oral poem's survival as far as I can tell, is 2000 years (the Sumerian flood story) and that, as I've said,  is problematic, as the flood date may not be c.5500 B.C., but much later. 

Yet, let´s examine that 2000 year span in more detail because it will tell us a bit more about an oral poems survivability.  We have to remember that the state of the Sumerian culture (hunter-gatherer/early agricultural) in 5500 B.C. would have been roughly equivalent to the state of of the preliterate Proto/Egyptian culture in 6000 B.C..  

So even though the preliterate Sumerian culture of 5500 B.C. didn’t have the solidity (trading/warrior culture) of Greek Mycenae c.1600 B.C., the Sumerian oral flood tale  (if we accept the historic flood event date of 5500 B..C) seems to have survived over 2000 years until it was transcribed around 3200 B.C.. 

So, here’s the big question we have to answer for our preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture: How much of the 6000 B.C. memory of the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx carving—and what it represented—could  have actually arrived intact for our phase 4 carving date of 2660 B.C..

Assuming the Proto-Egypt of 6000 B.C. thru 4000 B.C,  had a stable culture with an established oral tradition, and a somewhat continuous language, which is something we don't really know, we could say that pretty much all of the story describing the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx carving could have been maintained for 2000 years or until 4000 B.C.. 

There would have been the kinds of changes in her story (mostly exaggerations) that we know occur in oral poems and that can never be avoided. This is exactly the case with Homer’s oral epics. 

The case is somewhat different in the survival of River Mother's story from 6000 thru 5600 B.C., when the Phase 3 carving of the chest and legs took place. 

Again assuming that proto-Egypt during those 400 years had a stable culture with an established artistic tradition, and a continuous language, we can say that pretty much all of the story describing the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx carving could have been maintained for 400 years based on what we know of the 350 year survival of the Trojan war stories. 


                                                 

Author's Note


For those who don’t have the time to read my earlier writings on how accurate oral story poems can be over large periods of time, here’s the lowdown on what changes and what doesn’t change in a preliterate oral story poem:

1) Here's the main rule that is never violated: all oral story poems are based on real physical or psychic events.They were never imaginary fables, which are modern, literate inventions.
 
Agamemnon
2) The names of heroes are one of the few things in oral story poems that are always correct, because in oral cultures, honoring a hero meant repeating his name in song correctly and endlessly. Honor, which to us is expendable, was the highest virtue in an oral culture. This is especially true in warrior cultures such as Greek Mycenae, where it would be unthinkable to change or forget a hero's name.  

This does not necessarily hold true however in the case of the Gods, especially in Egypt, where the names and nature of the Gods were always changing. There are name changes, of course, due to linguistic changes in a language over long time spans, but these are invisible to the culture.

In the case of River Mother, who had warrior aspects, but was seen primarily as a spiritual leader and living Goddess, it is a coin toss as to whether her name would have been honored and maintained as a warrior. As a living Goddess, her name would have been subject to change because it is quite likely that she would have  would have eventually been  merged with one or more of the  Mother Goddesses. 

3) The general theme of an oral story poem always reflects the world-vision of that culture. Like the hero's name, it never changes, nor is it arbitrary because it emerges from the collective unconscious of that culture via the creative act of poetry.   Such powerful story poems emerge when dramatic events occur at a point in time when the collective unconscious of a culture is searching for a way to express a truth.
It is an automatic, unconscious cultural response, which is the nature of these great preliterate story poems.

4) Here is something else that is never arbitrary: the nature or character of the hero. Achilles is always courageous, Odysseus is always wily. Moses always  prophetic .


HOWEVER,

5) Everything else in the story is subject to change. Everything. Oral story poems were never consciously fashioned, as our TV dramas are. They emerged from the collective unconscious of individual poets in hundreds of songs that ebbed and flowed over hundreds of years. Like dreams they needed no prompting from the conscious mind, because they reflected unconscious cultural truths that needed to be sung of over and over.




                                              End Author's Note




 
This then is the case with our story poem about a bas relief face carving of 6000 B.C. that celebrated  the Proto-Egyptians being saved from a terrible flood  by River Mother and her rebirth on a Giza outcropping as River Mother Goddess, the daughter of Mafdet.

I have been calling that first bas relief carving, River Mother Goddess/ Sphinx, so as to establish a linkage with the traditional  name of the carving. The Nile delta flood was a powerful event. Was it as powerful as the Biblical/Sumerian Flood? Perhaps, perhaps not,  who is to say? Let’s presume that it was, at least on a local (Nile Delta level). After all, as they say, All politics is local, which could also be said about floods. 

What should have arrived then  on the shores of time for almost sure in 5650 B.C. if the poem lasted 350 years (or maybe in 4000 B.C. if the poem lasted a problematic 2000 years) was an oral story poem about the River Mother that celebrated:

1. The event: there was a terrible flood in the Nile delta.

2. The name of the leader (River Mother)

3. The spiritual theme:  the Proto-Egyptian belief that the  Gods often interceded to save human life. 

4. The narrative sub-theme most probably was: The Nile delta people were saved from death by River Mother, a prophetic Nubian spiritual  leader whose vision of a coming flood allowed  her to lead the people and their food and belongings  to the safety of higher ground. Mafdet, the Cheetah Goddess, being the Protector of River Mother,  then  honored  River Mother by replacing  Mafdet's “Veiled”  face at Giza with the River Mother’s face, declaring her to be the Goddess daughter of Mafdet. 

5. The character of the hero: living Goddess, Mother, Leader, Prophet, Shaman, protected by Mafdet.

6. Everything else, her physical size, the extent of the flood, the swiftness of the Cheetahs (representing the swiftness of her psychic/shaman abilities), her blackness, the role of the cheetahs, would have been exaggerated

Hopefully, as time progressed beyond 6000 B.C., this River Mother story poem was still being sung, exaggerated in many places but with the central theme and characters somewhat intact, although the names of the characters in a non-warrior culture can get mangled,  as only warrior cultures are absolutely intent on maintaining the glory of its warriors. 

Yet enough would have survived of our River Mother’s story especially her being the daughter of the half-female/half-cheetah Goddess Mafdet to guide the carvers in establishing the frontal cheetah proportions in Phase 3 (5600 B.C.). By 2660 B.C., however, the oral poem would have long ago disappeared.


I want to make clear though that even if the  oral story poem memory of the River Mother were lost after 4000 B.C., it could have clearly survived for 350 years from 6000 B.C until  5650 B.C.. This was enough time for Phase 2 (5800 B.C., head to just beyond ears, veil) and Phase 3 (5600 B.C., (the front chest and limbs) to be accurately carved in correct cheetah proportions. 

The facial/head, frontal chest and limbs carving  could thus have served as a guide for the later carving of the back of the head and the remaining body.


I believe the oral story poem of River Mother didn't survived long after arriving on the shores of  5650 B.C.  or possibly the very questionable date of 4000 B.C.. 

It is highly likely then  that by 2660 B.C. the literate, male-God, Empire-building dynastic Egyptians  simply assumed the Sphinx to be a mysterious and seemingly timeless male God with with the proportions of a cheetah or what seemed to be  a misshapen lion body and head that were way out of proportion to what they should have been. 

Thus, it is entirely possible, in either case, that they would have simply carved the rest of the body as a lion, as the lion would have been the animal they recognized as appropriate for their literate, male-God, Empire-building culture

I should also add that in a lying position, the cheetah proportions of the last 3/4 of its body and rear limbs  are  close to that of a lion, so that  if this later scenario is what  happened, which is very possible, the Sphinx would still look pretty much as it would have  if the "cheetah" knowledge had been passed on. 

It is also seems likely that various literate Dynastic Pharaohs, being Gods themselves, would see it as their duty to complete the sculpture so as to give it the wholeness it deserved artistically and spiritually, which to Egyptians amounted to the same thing. 





OK LET'S TAKE A BREATHER AND SUMMARIZE WHERE WE ARE


So far, I have given further evidence that my theory is correct, namely, that the face of the Sphinx is of a Nubian female shaman and leader, and that it was carved first in 6000 B.C. with the remaining parts being carved over approximately 3340 years. 

Specifically, I have:

1) Taken a deeper look at the Soul Obsession of the Proto-Egyptians as well as the nature of Mother Goddess cultures, and specifically the roles of men and women in those cultures that further buttress my claims that women played a leadership role because of their superior shamanic/psychic abilities

2) Used the work of French anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss in the Amazon to reinforce the accuracy of my portrayal of River Mother as a preliterate, visionary  leader and shaman.

3) Shown that the Sphinx face has many preliterate artistic characteristics that are the same or very similar to the preliterate Olmec living God faces and Rapa Nui God faces, thus  reinforcing my contention that the Sphinx face is a preliterate Proto-Egyptian carving of a living Goddess.

4. Shown by historical example that the time an oral story poem could last was 350 years (The Iliad), and possibly 2000 years (The Sumerian Flood story poem), thereby providing further evidence that the "cheetah" Sphinx could have been carved in phases that I have indicated because the oral story poems would have provided a memory of why the face was carved and who the face represented, thus guiding the carvers of future phases (after the face) so as to maintain the cheetah proportions.

5. Suggested and shown evidence that the flood  River Mother predicted in 6000 B.C. not only has a surviving Dynastic Egyptian flood story that was  most probably changed in literate times to remove River Mother and replace her in the story with Ra as the male Gods ascended in Dynastic Egypt. 

6. Shown the historical and spiritual  effect of the Goddesses being replaced by male Gods as Proto-Egypt evolved into literate, Dynastic Egypt.

7. Shown that carving the Sphinx was not a monumental job like the Giza pyramids, but could have been done by relatively small groups of men over short periods of time. 

To do this, I used a recent working experiment in carving a limestone copy of the the Sphinx nose by the very conservative Mark Lehner and several stone carving experts which showed that the entire Sphinx (100%) could have been carved in 300 man/ years which would equate to 50 men over 6 years.

8. Shown that the "one fell swoop" theory of the way the Sphinx was constructed during preliterate times has no supporting evidence from any preliterate culture at any time, further buttressing my contention that the Sphinx was carved in phases.












THE CARVING OF THE FULL BODY AND HEAD (PHASES  4-7)

Right now, It’s time to get back to the reasoning behind the remainder of the Sphinx carvings ( Phases 4 through 7) being done in literate times.


4. Back of head, nemes (Djoser c.2660 3rd Dynasty)  Stone Tools  (Bronze/ Copper?) 6%- 18 man/ years

I see the decision to begin carving the remaining head as being done for aesthetic and spiritual reasons but also present are the pressures of Empire, as by 2700 B.C. Dynastic Egypt had been literate for 500 years and was at the beginning of Empire and  a regional power. 

One sign of that is the nemes, or veilwhich had by this time been adopted as a sign of the imperial Pharaoh. I also see Djoser as the Pharaoh responsible for this stage of the carving because he was also a builder intent on leaving his mark, having also constructed the Step pyramid. 

My selection of Djoser and the three pharaohs below as being responsible for the completion of the Sphinx is an intuitive  conjecture. Other, earlier pharaohs could have been responsible, even those in the Legendary Period, but my selection seems the best fit, especially  in light of Schoch's pretty solid proposal that the rump and tail were done by Kafra in 2550. Schoch's rump proposal suggests, as I have been suggesting, that the Sphinx was not done in one fell swoop, at least as far as the rump is concerned. The ass is always last is the operative term, I believe.

As I go on to describe the various future Phases (5, 6, 7) it seems to me that each could have been initiated by the following Pharaohs:

5. Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools (Bronze Tools?) 10% -30 man/ years
 
6. Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools (Bronze Tools?) 20% - 60 man/years

7. Rump and tail (Khafra – c. 2550 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone Tools (Bronze Tools?) 10 %- 30 man/ years

What we have here is a rapid succession of Empire-minded Pharaohs, each responsible for the construction of a new type of pyramid during their reign. In other words, they were the Donald Trumps of their time, determined to leave their signature on the landscape.

Like Trump (and all ego maniacs) they always did something that seemed selfless (like Trump’s gratuitous fixing of the always-failing Central Park Skating Rink) but whose real purpose was to advance their “Godliness” in the eyes of the general population.Thus, I see each of these Pharaohs further completing the River Mother Goddess /Sphinx body—but just enough to get the acclaim they desired, but never so much as to interfere with their pyramid construction efforts.

As to whether such carvings would be a sign of disrespect I doubt it. Again they would be seen as steps in aesthetically completing  the divine, mysterious Sphinx. And again, we are now in the time of literate Dynastic Egypt, the Egypt of Empire and probably all knowledge of the original intent of the Sphinx had been lost. Such body additions would be seen as an aesthetic completion of what should have been done had early Egypt  possessed the organization and aesthetic sense of Dynastic Egypt. Think of these carvings as "showing off."

Even carving out the rock a bit behind the ears in Phase 3 so as to suggest of a veil which in turn would allow later Dynastic Pharaohs in Phase 4 to create a nemes (the sign of the Pharaoh) cannot be seen as a a sign of disrespect. For the Egyptians of the time, who probably had no idea who the Sphinx represented, it would have been a natural and proper thing to do as the size of the face of the Sphinx indicated it was of a living God. Therefore it should have the accoutrements of a Pharaoh.










THE PROBLEM OF THE NEMES and CAP CROWN


The nemes shown to the left on the statue (L) of Kafre (2550 B.C.)  shows a much different nemes than the one on the Sphinx, which has no lower flaps. Not does it flare out above the shoulders, and then come in for the lower half. 

The earliest portrayal of the nemes is seen in the First Dynasty on the Pharaoh Den c.2970 B.C. and it became more formal as time progressed. 

The nemes of the Sphinx is much different than the nemes shown on the left. It has no lower half. Perhaps it had a lower half at one time but there is no way of knowing as the soft front limestone is completely eaten away. 

Thus,  a significant aesthetic indication that the nemes was indeed a modification of an earlier, preliterate veil is simply the way the nemes of the Sphinx looks today.
 
There is also the question of the cap crown of the nemes on the Sphinx. There is none. First of all, I believe the initial Sphinx head was flat on top, like a cheetah, thereby establishing the cheetah association. It is also an indication to me that the original top of the outcropping was probably flat to some degree and the unsophisticated carvers  would have taken advantage of that flatness and used it to more easily imitate the flat top of the  cheetah head.


The result is that there is  no stone left there for the carving of the round “cap crown” of the nemes that normally is a part of the nemes and that we see on the  statue of Kafre (L).

This is another indication that the head just beyond the ears would have been carved in Phase 3 (5600 B.C.).  If it was, the surrounding stone surrounding the head would have left the suggestion of a veil. 

If so, I believe that this "suggestion"  was later converted to a nemes in Phase 4 as best as it could be done given the already flat head of the Sphinx.  Are you with me on this?

My timetable also has the front of the neck and chest being  carved in Phase 3 (5600 B.C.)  long before the nemes existed as a formal head dress of the Pharaoh, which again indicates that the suggestion of  a simple veil was initially carved behind the ears in Phase 3 and was later modified in Dynastic times into a nemes as best as could be done. See the Sphinx photo on the left for a rough idea of that very early carving of what the suggested veil might have looked like in Phase 3, which also included the ears.

Below are cotton veils worn by contemporary Nubian women plus an actual veil (below, bottom, rightmost) from  late Dynastic Nubia. It is very probable  that someone like River Mother wore such a veil not only as sun protection but also as a sign of her position as it would have been more elaborate than a mere sun shade..
























After all, we are talking about a powerful shaman, and head dresses would have been an essential part of the way they presented themselves. 



Now let's get back to the much later date (2660 B.C.) that  I suggest was probable for Phase 4 (back of head and nemes).  


One thing that has to be considered is whether the limestone outcropping continued at the same level as the head all the way back to where the rumps is now, or sloped down after the head to where the body is today.  The red lines in the diagram to the left indicate my guess as to the nature of the rocky outcropping and the angle of the cliff face and the general level of the plateau. 

SPHINX 2012 AD
I believe the rocky outcropping went back to where the end of the head is now and then sloped downward to where the back is today. Thus carving the full head in Phase 4 would have meant just trimming the outcropping. It also meant that the carving of the body in phase 5, 6, and 7 would be a bit easier, as there was no limestone worth mentioning to clear from the top of the Sphinx body. Clearing the limestone from the sides of the body, however, would still be a substantial job. 

As for the size of the nemes of the Sphinx, its depth is significant ( see photo above, L) and is greater than the depth of some of the nemes shown in other statues (see photo,R).

I can account for this in a few ways. The first is that the depth of the nemes may have differed over time, which is very  likely, and the nemes carved on the Sphinx in 2660 B.C. is what was in fashion at the time, which may have been a depth similar to that of the much later  funerary mask nemes depth of King Tutankhamun c .1320 B.C.  (see photo below, L). 

If there were more side views of sculptures of the various Pharaohs at various times, I might be able to verify this. 

The other explanation, and the two may complement each other, is that the Dynastic carvers simply honored the long shape of the un-carved head which I see resembling a melon that sloped back down to the spine of the Sphinx. We must not forget that the Dynastic Egyptians had to have viewed  the partially carved Sphinx (See photo  L) as a mysterious, timeless divine carving and would have honored its shape in every respect.
 King Tutankhamun

Which brings us to still another reason why the Dynastic carvers honored the melon shape and that is that the melon shape happens to be the shape of a cheetah's head, something I'll cover shortly, and it is entirely possible that the carvers deduced it was a cheetah's head because of its smallness and suggested depth, even though no knowledge of the origin of the carving was available to them.










THE SIZE, ANGLE AND CARVING OF THE HEAD OF THE SPHINX



I mentioned earlier that an often overlooked feature of the Sphinx is that its face is titled upwards (See photo, L) at about a 10 to 15 degree angle, which is not the head-on gaze of a cheetah. This  could mean that the Sphinx is gazing upwards at a particular stellar event (a la Hancock and Bauval)
or it could simply mean that was the angle of the cliff face (see red line in diagram to the left) and the early carvers took advantage of it to lessen the amount of carving they would have to do. 

A few other things. In Phase 4, we are still pretty much at at a low man/year effort to carve the full head since I believe the rocky outcropping  surrounding the face was minimal. See image (L).

It is this geological oddity that I believe suggested a place to carve the face. One of the things the preliterate carvers would have been looking for is a place where the actual carving would be as easy as possible and also a place that framed or emphasized the face they were going to carve. 

In saying this, I am presuming that the Giza plateau was relatively flat on top in this general area except for an outcropping (yardang) jutting up where the Sphinx head is today. That is to say that the cliff sloping up to the top of the plateau ended in a relatively flat plane except for a rocky outcropping part that continued upwards.  I have diagrammed this in red on the side profile of the Sphinx (R)

My guess is it roughly took the shape of a somewhat flattened half melon with the long side running back from the cliff to the approximate place where the head ends today. The sliced front part of the melon  being where the cliff face is. The illustration (R) should make clear what I am proposing even though the red lines in the photo (L) are square and not rounded as a somewhat flattened melon (and the outcropping) would be. 



I also believe the the "melon" outcropping  jutting up from the plateau edge was probably (at the very top) about the size of the "veiled" weathered face and indeed may have determined the size of the face. After all, there were no precedents for such a large face, so the size decided on must have come from somewhere. I also believe that the melon shaped outcropping sloped down gently on the sides (like a melon) to  somewhere beyond where the nemes is today or we would have no nemes. See Photo (L)

Let me add that the carvers of the back of the head in Phase 4 would have had no thoughts whatsoever about going beyond the end of the "melon," as only the artistic/ spiritual task at hand (the carving of the complete head) would have interested them. The photo at the left shows what they would have seen before Phase 4 was started, which is the head as it stood as the result of the phase 3 carving of the front limbs and chest in 5600 B.C..


Let me drop back to Phase 1 and Phase 2 for a moment and try to enter the minds of the carvers of the face in 6000 and 5800 B.C.. The carving of River Mother's face there on the face of the outcropping  would have been a natural choice. The outcropping would have become even more  attractive, in fact impossible to resist (physically and spiritually)  if the vague, weathered face I have been suggesting was present and filled  the front "sliced part of the melon." 

It is also entirely possible that the rocky outcropping might have begun  a few feet back from the general edge of the plateau, so the carvers could work by standing on the ledge and from simple bamboo scaffolds  set on it. If not, the carvers may have first  created such a ledge to set simple scaffolds on. Or it may have been a combination of the two.  

Scaffolds would make the carving the face  much easier than doing so  hanging  from ropes. Working from a scaffold also made using whatever primitive scaling techniques they had much easier, as the depth to carve could have easily been measured from the scaffold that framed the outcropping. 

The general rule of thumb in any large carving like this with only stones for tools and limited scaling techniques would be to choose a location where the shape of the rock has already done much of the work for you and that also allows you to work in the easiest way. 






One other thing that I mentioned earlier, and that has to be accounted for, is the rather egg-shaped look (see photo, L) of the Sphinx's head from the side, which also resulted in a very deep nemes being carved. I believe this was due to the general shape of the melon-like outcropping. That egg/melon shape is not a human head depth but mimics very well the depth of the cheetah's head as shown above, which is something I discussed earlier. It doesn’t, however, mimic the cheetah's back head and neck exactly, but cuts back like the old bowl over the head haircuts my father use to give my crying sister.

That cutting back, however, which narrows and heightens the neck, gives artistic credence to the very straight, high human chest below it. Taken together, it  is  an artistic illusion that says: this is a cheetah with a proportionally small human head and neck sitting up  like a human  leader.
 

                                             

                                             Author's Note



As an aside, even though  I believe that all knowledge of the original spiritual intent of the Sphinx carving had been lost by 2660 B.C., it was surely recognized by the Dynastic Egyptians  as a mysterious God-like presence, and its incomplete, partial carving would have prompted various literate pharaohs to  carve out  the body, or part of the body on aesthetic reasons, as literate Egyptian aesthetics would have demanded completing the body. I am not alone in thinking this. Schoch believes the weathering indicates that the rump and tail weren’t carved out until 2550 B.C. 



                                      End Author's Note



The following time and manpower estimates for Phases 5, 6, 7 are based on the 300 man /years required to carve the entire Sphinx  as extrapolated from Lehner's nose-carving experiment. 

If the limestone containing the head continued back at the same height to where the rump is today, any carving behind the head (which we see in Phases 5, 6, 7) would have been much more time consuming, and may have been be one of the reasons why only a  portion of the body was carved out  in Phases 5 and 6  a la Mount Rushmore. I believe, however, that the limestone did slope down to where the back is today because, again, in Dynastic Egypt, what would have helped form a consensus to carve would have been some aesthetic indication from the rock shape itself that a body was waiting to be carved out, i.e., the rock behind the head generally sloped down to where the body is today. 





                                      
Phase 5. Front body to 30 feet behind of head. (Sneferu c. 2590 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone tools (Bronze Tools ?) (10% -30 man/ years)


Phase 6. Back body up to rump, back limbs, paws. (Djedefra c. 2560 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone tools (Bronze Tools ?) (20% -60 man /years)


Phase 7. Rump and tail (Khafre – c. 2550 B.C. / 4th Dynasty) Stone tools (Bronze Tools ?) 10% -30 man years

The last two Phases (6 and 7) which were basically  dog work and need no descriptive text. However, what does merit mentioning is that the rear carved body, legs and tail  in Phases 6,7 could be taken as reflecting the proportions of either a lion or cheetah, as in that position their rear legs appear very similar. The only distinguishing feature would have been the tail, as lions and cheetahs have very different tails. I go into this later where I finally conclude that the evidence is problematic because so much of the tail has been damaged.

My own feeling about this is that by 2660 B.C, so much time  had passed (6000 to 2660 B.C. = 3340 years) that all memory of the original cheetah /female/ Mafdet  intention had been lost, and the new carvers simply assumed it was an oddly misshapen lion (because of the head) and went on carving both a rear lion body and a lion tail. The loss of the original intention may also have been brought about  by the way literacy brought with it an altering of the hierarchy of the deities which made the male Gods dominant and the female  Mother Goddesses of lesser importance. 









OK,  LET'S TAKE A BREATHER AND SUMMARIZE WHERE WE ARE 

In the preceding section, I covered five important aspects of my theory that address why the head and face of the Sphinx looks like it does.



1) THE NATURE OF THE CARVING OF THE FULL BODY AND HEAD (PHASES  4-7)

2) . THE PROBLEM OF THE NEMES AND CAP CROWN BEING  PARTIALLY ABSENT, WHICH SHOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED IF THE SPHINX WAS CARVED c.2500 B.C. 

3). THE SIZE, ANGLE AND FINAL LONG SHAPE OF THE HEAD OF THE SPHINX IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.




Right now,  I think it´s time to get back to more substantial matters.  I think I've produced enough evidence that the Sphinx initially started as a preliterate bas relief facial carving in 6000 B.C. celebrating the life-saving prophecy of a Nubian/Proto Egyptian female leader, and  that it was subsequently finished in phases over a 3500 year period by a highly spiritual Proto-Egypt and Dynastic Egypt.

The remainder of this blog contains more detail on the subjects I've covered plus the basic facts of two other theories on the Sphinx, primarily the alternative theory of Bauval and Hancock and their counterparts. I have linked their names to detailed video presentations by each. I have not gone into extensive detail on the  weathering theory of John Anthony West and Robert Schoch, as I have covered that earlier. I have also included the traditional theory of of Mark Lehner and his counterparts. I have linked Lehner's name to a good, detailed article on his background and thinking on the Sphinx. This page also contains further artistic details backing up my own theory: The Sphinx: When Was It really Built and Why? 


                                     

                                             Author's Note

Around 6000 B.C., the Nile would have been at its current level, which reflects the 300 foot rise in all the oceans that ended around 6000 B.C.. I believe that in 6000 B.C., the Nile's path would have been even closer to the Giza plateau than is indicated by the ends of the 2500 B.C. paths leading from the Giza pyramids to the river. As the "wild Nile" would have subsided by around 7000 B.C., I think we can assume that flooding by the Nile was not a major factor in the weathering of the lower parts of the Sphinx if we can believe what Schoch says about the extent of the Nile's annual flood waters in ancient times.

"The floor of the Sphinx enclosure is approximately sixty-five feet (twenty meters) above present-day mean sea level; this is probably near, or only a few meters above, the typical level of Nile flooding during various periods in ancient times."

Shoch is talking about normal  ancient flooding. It's obvious that if The Nile flooding was exceptionally high, the lower parts of the Sphinx would have been flooded during the time of the rising, but it would not have been permanent. If the Sphinx was covered in sand at the time however, the wet sand surrounding the Sphinx would have contributed to the erosion.

                                                        End Author's Note









THE SPHINX THEORY OF 
BAUVAL AND HANCOCK



Besides my own theory and that of West and Schoch, there are currently two other significant theories about the dates of the Sphinx at Giza. The first is the traditional  theory of Mark Lehner and his counterparts which posits  that the Sphinx was created c. 2500 B.C.. and honors and depicts the pharaoh Kafre.

The second is the alternative theory  of Bauval and Hancock published in The Message of the Stars in which Bauval and Hancock suggest that the position of the  the belt stars in the constellation of Orion, the constellation Leo and the Spring Equinox sun rise above the horizon in conjunction only once, at 10, 500 B.C. and as such, signal that the Sphinx was built at that time. A free PDF of the book can be had by clicking here.

Their theory further supposes that the advanced culture that built the Sphinx continued to exist as a phantom culture which (at some stage) passed the 10, 500 B.C. date  to the priests of  Dynastic Egypt. If I read the rambling exposition as to how the date was transmitted, the authors propose that the astronomical time/position data was passed on by inserting  encoded, special numbers such as 12, 36, 72, 360, 432, 2160, 25, 920, 111.111) into oral story poems, which at some future time were translated into writing and inserted into the Pyramid Texts and/or in written documents buried in the undiscovered secret rooms of the Sphinx. 

This is the weak point of their theory. That weakness is caused by the fact that forwarding detailed factual information like astronomical positions and time through oral story poems is impossible. So is inserting numbers into oral story poems: they would be mangled or exagerrated or simply lost as inconsequential. Oral story poems are about matters of the heart, not mathematical  positions. They are muthos based art, not logos based art. 

Yet, Bauval and Hancock's ignorance of the true nature of oral poems allows them to blissfully ignore this problem, so that thousands of years later they see this data being  eventually translated into writing and inserted either into the Pyramid Texts and/or in written documents buried in the undiscovered secret rooms of the Sphinx. 


They could have posited, however, that writing was invented prior to 10, 500 B.C. and then  all evidence of its existence somehow forgotten except for the ancient, written astral document somehow finding its way through thousands of years smack into the hands of the priests of Dynastic Egypt. Hancock and Bauval are wise enough not to have chosen this position even though it would have solved all their problems.

Here are some of the problems they never truly face about preliterate cultures. Preliterate cultures didn't have anything like the large special numbers cited by the authors. The general consensus of scholars is that preliterate cultures counted 1, 2, 3, many, or at most their total fingers (10). Sorry but that's the way it worked. 

Of course, preliterate cultures, if highly advanced, could have kept count simply using stick drawings or sticks to count larger numbers. But there is a limit to that procedure. Longer numbers came about with writing and literacy and number systems. 


                                                 Author's Note

We mustn't forget that almost all alphabets (and writing) started with written symbols for numbers that were needed to record trading and harvest data, and that those numbers were the major fuel that fed the development of alphabetic writing and sophisticated number systems (base 10, base 12, base 5 to name only a few ancient systems) just as the ravenous desire for beer probably fueled the immense plantings of barley undertaken by preliterate cultures. 

The above weren't sophisticated reasons for these two revolutionary undertakings, but history often fools us as to how little is actually required to trigger the development of such sophisticated undertakings 

The need and thirst for beer seems to have led preliterate cultures into very large agriculture, but their endless star-gazing never led them to invent writing and number systems. All the evidence is that the large aricultural efforts necessary to producee beer in the desired quantities was the  catalyst that brought number systems and writing into existence.

                                                  End Author's Note


So the fact of the matter is that the time of the event and the associated astronomical data could not have been described by a  series of numbers inserted into an oral story poem, as number systems as we know them weren't a part of preliterate cultures. This means the event had to have been somehow described and maintained by either an oral story poem describing the astral conjunction at 10, 500 B.C., or by a petroglyph illustrating the same thing. 

This also means that the 10, 500 B.C. advanced culture assumed that future cultures would understand  the principles of precession, as well as the importance of the belt of Orion in "triangulating"  the exact date approximated by the conjunction of the sunrise at vernal equinox and the constellation Leo. 

Of course, this also implies that they shared the same Zodiac signs (Leo, Orion, etc) that are known to us and late Dynastic Egypt.   These assumptions, like the assumption of numbers existing in preliterate cultures, are themselves problematic, especially the shared Zodiac, which wasn't invented until around 1000 B.C by the Babylonians. As we shall see, however) there are other problems  in passing the  10, 500 B.C. information  to Dynastic Egypt by a preliterate "shadow" civilization.


Author's Note

Bauval in an earlier book (The Orion Mystery),  makes a detailed examination of the positioning of the Giza pyramids but  the Sphinx is the one edifice that plays no part in The Orion Mystery's explanation of the complex astronomical alignment of the various pyramid structures to corresponding positions in the heavens. Hancock must have been the one who proposed this new 10, 5000 B.C. connection after The Orion Mystery was published. The date has been widely criticized for a variety of reasons.


                                                End Author's Note






As an aside, I should point out that the constellation Orion also mirrors exactly the way the Egyptians portrayed the human body. 

To the left is a grid guide that formalized and codified this position for Egyptian artists. 

The legs are shown from a side position but the torso is set frontally so it can carry the 3 stars of Orion's belt which point to Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, the star of Isis. The positioning of the body parts, as you can see, is an exact imitation of the Orion constellation. 

As an artist, I had always wondered why the Egyptians, who were "naturalists" in their art, chose this unnatural pose, but I was never really satisfied with any of the explanations I had come across. Then one night many years ago, on one of my long sailing voyages, I looked up at the stars as I often did, knowing the constellations well, and realized that Orion was an exact blueprint for the way Egyptian artists portrayed the body.The answer was in the stars as they say, but this must have escaped the scholars I had been reading. Perhaps they forgot to look up. 

More to the point of this site, this artistic mirroring of heaven and earth is one more indication of how spiritually important Orion was to the Egyptians, and an even more important indication how deeply their spiritual /artistic/ aesthetic considerations were woven into the Egyptian world view. 

This  interweaving of social  order /aesthetics / art/ astronomy/ spirituality/ theology can be seen in some other early Meso-American cultures, but it never seems s overpoweringly intense, seamless, and complete as seems to be the case with Egypt. When we understand this we can understand why Schwaller de Lubicz said that Egypt didn't have a religion, Egypt was a religion.



                                               Author's Note

Schwaller de Lubicz oft quoted statement, Egypt didn't have a religion, Egypt was a religion, meant that in Dynastic Egypt you didn't go to church, you were already in church. Perhaps I can further clarify this by saying  that the  underlying, unquestioned  assumption of Egyptian theology was that harmony with the Other World resulted from imitating the intent of  the Gods and Goddesses and that it was the task of the Pharaohs as living Gods  to focus on that imitation.

When you understand this, you can begin to grasp why enormous structural imitations of the heavens, such as we see in the Giza pyramids, were a natural outcome of that assumption. It is also  the reason why we have to pay attention to their art: it was not a thing apart from the other aspects of their culture as it is in ours, but grew and was guided by that unquestioned spiritual assumption. It was an organic part of the enormous spiritual pageant called Egypt.



                                           End author's Note 








The Galactic Timing of Bauval and Hancock : 
How Solid is It?


Author's Note


If my reading of their theory is correct,  Bauval and Hancock see the distant culture being preliterate and using  special numbers embedded in oral story poems and monuments to carry the 10, 500 B.C. date forward to Dynastic Egypt. As I've indicated earlier, this use of special numbers wouldn't have taken place in a preliterate culture, and that therefore astral diagrams or oral story poems were the only vehicles for carrying the positioning information forward. I should add that these two preliterate methods are problematic in terms of their durability and accuracy as I've discussed earlier in this blog. 

Let me add something  that I've mentioned earlier. Preliterate cultures exist solely in the present. Their sense of the future is vague, almost non-existent. Thus, they were not concerned with informing future cultures of what they had done. Any  petroglyph or oral story poem would have been created solely to celebrate the construction of the Sphinx, not instruct future generations as to when and why it was constructed. 

This lack of concern about the future came not only from the nature of their present-oriented, muthos consciousness but also from the fact that preliterate cultures were essentially cyclical and didn't see history as a linear progression as we do. This complete lack of interest in future cultures is enough in and of itself to seriously question the desire of our 10, 500 B.C. preliterate culture to forward any communication of any kind to a "future" culture. In short, it wouldn't have happened.





End Author's Note





Let me first summarize again the work of Bauval and Hancock. It holds that the Sphinx was originally carved as a lion pointing at the constellation Leo in 10,500 B.C.. There is a problem though: the Zodiac (and Leo, one of its 12 constellations) was not created by the Babylonians until around 1000 B.C.. 

Thus the view of Bauval and Hancock that the "Lion" Sphinx points at the conjunction of Orion's belt and Leo as seen at the Vernal (Spring) sunrise equinox of 10, 500 B.C. fails to hold up because Leo (and the Zodiac) didn't exist.

There is a secondary problem about this ancient "Leo" focus and that is there is no evidence whatsoever of  any preliterate culture at any time ever creating a giant animal sculpture

I've spoken about this in detail earlier  so there is no need  to expand on this here.


My own view is that the positioning of the Sphinx (which points east to the direction of the rising Sun, RA) is not accidental. That much is for sure. However, it may be simply that it points to the rising sun, a sacred direction for all preliterate peoples.


Or it may be more complex, perhaps pointing to a galactic event of which we are unaware, or to an unknown constellation sacred to the very early Proto-Egyptians. We shouldn't assume that they  had no interest in the heavens. All preliterate peoples were intense star gazers, and it is no secret that the Greeks were simply overwhelmed by the sophisticated  astronomical knowledge of the priests at Heliopolis. According to scholars, some of that knowledge, such as that contained in the Pyramid Texts, indicate  preliterate sources




OK, here's some of the rough detail behind what I have just suggested about Bauval and Hancock's proposed  astronomical connection for the Sphinx's position. Much alternative thinking is devoted to correcting the traditional mainstream position that the age of the the Egyptian Sphinx is approximately 4500 years old, i.e, it was built around 2500 B.C..  I agree with much of the alternative thinking which suggests a much earlier date for construction of the Sphinx. My own theory suggests an initial  date of 6000 B.C. for the front of the face. 


Let me give you some more detail on the theory put forth by alternative thinkers Bauval and Hancock. Their theory claims that the positions of the Nile, the 3 Giza pyramids and the "lion-maned" Sphinx, imitates the Spring equinox sunrise position of Orion, the Constellation Leo (the Lion), and the Milky Way as they would have been in 10,500 B.C.. That's a huge statement, and most of it bears out. Here is the Wikipedia summary of that theory:

"An argument put forward by Bauval and Hancock to support the Orion Correlation Theory is that the construction of the Great Sphinx was begun in 10,500 BC; that the Sphinx's lion-shape is a definitive reference to the constellation of Leo; and that the layout and orientation of the Sphinx, the Giza pyramid complex and the Nile River is an accurate reflection or “map” of the constellations of Leo, Orion (specifically, Orion’s Belt) and the Milky Way, respectively.[11]
A date of 10,500 BC is chosen because they maintain this is the only time in the precession of the equinoxes when the astrological age was Leo and when that constellation rose directly east of the Sphinx at the vernal equinox. They also suggest that in this epoch the angles between the three stars of Orion’s Belt and the horizon was an “exact match” to the angles between the three main Giza pyramids. This time period also coincides with the American psychic Edgar Cayce’s “dating” of Atlantis. These and other theories are used to support the overall belief in an advanced and ancient, but now vanished, global progenitor civilization."


As the sun and Orion were key heavenly bodies in Egyptian theology, it is reasonable of Bauval and Hancock to argue that the heavenly positioning of Leo, Orion and the Milky way  all came together at vernal equinox Sunrise in 10, 500 B.C.. 

As I indicated earlier, the numbering systems proposed by the authors don't exist in preliterate cultures, so that only the traditional methods of using  a petroglyph and/or oral story poem to record the 10, 500 B.C. date for future generations can be considered.



Author's Note



One small point. The authors further argue that 10, 500 B.C. is the date when their  line up of the various stars and equinox sunrise is most precise. The problem though,  is that this precession date is also cyclical even if that cycle is in many thousands of years. So 10, 500 B.C. is not the only time when this alignment occurs in the 26,000 year precession cycle, but let's not quibble.


                                                    End Author's Note



As I mentioned earlier, the theory's reliance on the astrological constellation of Leo to determine the exact date of  10,500 B.C. goes to pieces according to scholars  (or does it?) when we realize that the Zodiac was not developed by the Babylonians until around 1000 B.C. 

Despite all this, I still believe the positioning of the Sphinx is not accidental. It is indeed pointing due east, which in general can be said to be a critical (sun/ RA is born) spiritual position, but also the direction of the vernal equinox. 


The eastward-pointing, upward-gazing  Sphinx may be additionally pointing at some heavenly body or galactic event that was in an eastern position at a specific time in the past a la Bauval and Hancock, i.e. it is not unreasonable to posit that the Sphinx is indeed gazing at a critical astral event sometime in the distant past. 


Since it can't be Leo, it is anyone's guess what that astral event might be. Nevertheless, the positioning of the pyramids next to the Sphinx does suggest the possibility that the Sphinx may have been  a very ancient alignment anchor already in place. The question, though, is did the 2500 B.C. Egyptians have any knowledge of that anchor?


As I mentioned earlier, some scholars have used Bauval and Hancock's critical assumption of a Sphinx/Leo connection to shoot down their entire  theory by pointing out that the Leo Constellation would not have been known to the Egyptians, either in 2500 B.C. or 10,500 B.C., because the Zodiac wasn't formulated by the Babylonians until 1000 B.C..  

Other scholars further point out that such an alignment in 10, 500 BC would have pointed to to what we know as Virgo, not Leo. Thus, they say, the  association of the constellation Leo with the "lion-like" Sphinx goes up in smoke. But will this weak link bring their entire house down?


 Not necessarily. We also have to consider this: despite the 1000 B.C. date given for the Babylonian's invention of the Zodiac, it is hard to believe that the Egyptians, who were very sophisticated stargazers, did not have some kind of astronomical scheme similar to the Babylonian zodiac, as even Bronze age (3000 BC) cultures had rough Zodiac-like versions of the cyclical rotating heavens along the ecliptic. 

I believe this may also be true about the Proto-Egyptian culture dating back to Neolithic times, for the simple reason that it is becoming increasingly clear that all preliterate cultures were sophisticated stargazers and sun/moon/star-plotters. Thus, to my mind, these Leo/Virgo/Zodiac objections simply show us that we don't know very much about Egyptian astronomy in any period, the exception being that thanks to Bauval and his counterparts we now know that the Dynastic Egyptians had an extremely sophisticated knowledge of the effects of precession long before the Greeks.

While the association of the "Lion-like" Sphinx with the Babylonian sign Leo most probably has to be thrown out the window, it is entirely possible that it's positioning reflects the positioning of an "Egyptian zodiac" sign at a specific point in time. I wouldn't be surprised, by the way, if an early "Proto-Egyptian zodiac" scheme is ever discovered, to find that one of its signs represented the cheetah.


At any rate, it seems very clear today that the positioning of the Giza pyramids and the Nile imitates the Orion/Milky way astral positioning, and that it is also possible that the Sphinx may be pointing not only east, but additionally at either:  

a) Some very ancient, singular  astral event, e.g. , a nova, or 


b) Some significant "early Egyptian zodiac" sign which occurred  in conjunction with Orion's belt  and a solstice/equinox sunrise.


If this latter proposition is true, then the conjunction of Orion, Leo, vernal equinox sunrise, and the Milky Way  may indeed be related to the Sphinx pointing not only east but to an unknown, very old (10,500 B.C.) astral event a la Bauval and Hancock. 

After all, the Giza pyramids could have been constructed elsewhere and in a completely different arrangement.  The establishment theory on the Giza pyramids' position, by the way,  is that they were built on the Giza plateau in 2500 B.C. because of the stable rock platform. Yet there may be other reasons such as the one I've just suggested. 

My suggestion is somewhat buttressed by fact that Bauval's earlier  Orion Mystery,  states that the Giza complex is not only an exact image of Orion in 2450 B.C., but also a mirror image (left is right)  of  Orion in 10,400 B.C., the Egyptian First Time, when Osiris ruled on earth. Where there is smoke there is usually fire, and the closeness of the 10,400 B.C. date of First Time and Bauval and Hancock's Sphinx /Leo? positioning date of 10, 500 B.C. can't be ignored. 


The positioning of the Sphinx, again, could have merely been to the east at the time of the vernal equinox, but then again it also may have been more complex than that. The real question, therefore,  is this:  If not Leo, what astral event could the Sphinx have been pointing at in 10, 500 B.C..? 

That is not easily answered. I can say, however, that any theoretical answer as to the event  will inevitably have to deal with a real Spaniard in the woodpile, which is how did the 2500 B.C Egyptians obtain knowledge of the historical time (1
0, 500 B.C.) when the Sphinx was built.  


That is a period of 8000 years, far too long for any information to be passed by an oral story poem. A petroglyph, of course, could last that long, but I have my doubts that a detailed petroglyph of the conjunction could be carved accurately enough so that the Sphinx construction date would always be decoded as 10, 500 B.C.. 


The photos below, which were taken from The Message of the Sphinx, will give you some idea of the complexity of the carving. The problem is not so much the complexity of the astral diagram, however, but how finely the constellations and vernal equinox position could have been carved so as to positively indicate their astronomical positions and therefore the  year 10, 500 B.C.. After all, a badly carved positioning may have led future cultures to compute a different date. 


(Let me add, just to thicken the brew, that such a petroglyph would have no way of letting us know that it wasn't referring to an identical astronomical alignment in the previous 26,000 year precession cycle.)










Although I have clearly shown earlier that 8000 years is  far too long a time such an oral story poem  to last, the authors suggest that oral story poems (among other things)  contained numerically-coded astral information. I think I've disposed of that proposal, as numbers as we know them didn't exist in preliterate cultures. 

As a poet familiar with preliterate oral poetry, however, I can also tell you that oral poems aren't about carrying numerical information forward. They are concerned with matters of the soul and fate and the gods. Muthos. Such things as numbers and lists  are generally literate add-ons and even the greatest of oral poems are  subject to their later insertion. 


However, a petroglyph may have survived for that period, although it would suffer the same problems I've just outlined in transmitting its astral information accurately.  If it had survived, and was accurate, it seems inevitable that such a carving would have been honored in the same way Moses tablets were, and  a serious mention of it should exist somewhere in the hieroglyphs that have survived. But there is nothing that we know of at the present time. 

The best I can propose is that the Sphinx points toward something more specific than merely east, but when that distant event actually occurred in historical time is up for grabs. Sorry. Still, there is enough smoke to suggest that there may be a fire, even if we can't find it. In a general sense, however, the thinking behind the 10, 500 B.C. galactic timing theory of Bauvel and Hancock backs up my own contention that the Sphinx is very old, far older than 2500 B.C.

As it should be clear by now that both petroglyphs and oral story poems are extremely problematic in terms of being capable of carrying forward 
 a decipherable story of the Sphinx's construction in 10, 500 B.C., we'll have to content ourselves with finding other types of evidence pointing to an early construction.


I believe the best way to do this is to concentrate on the artistic and cultural evidence such as I have been doing. In the following section, I will go further into my artistic thinking on the Sphinx and why I believe it shows that the construction of the Sphinx was much, much earlier than 2500 B.C..





More Detail on What the Crude Carving of the Sphinx’s Face Tells Us: 













As an artist, the crude carving of the Sphinx's face has always suggested to me that the Sphinx was created much earlier than 2500 B.C. or even 3000 B.C., because by 3000 B.C., Egyptian art had begun to be formalized and codified to insure the exquisite symmetry, beauty and proportions we see in all Egyptian art. The cartouche  to the left is dated 3100 to 2900 B.C..

It is by no means crude and shows the kind of detail, beauty, symmetry and proportions we would expect from much later Dynastic Egyptian art. Seeing pieces like this glyph convinced me that the Egyptian aesthetic began to emerge very early (3100 to 2900 B.C.) in the literate period. This made it impossible for me to believe that the Sphinx was carved at the same time as the beautiful temples and figures created in 2500 B.C. and later because of this codification. It would not have been permitted.


To the right, are three carvings reflecting that codification. They are dated 2500 B.C.- 2400 B.C., the time of the Giza pyramids.




SPHINX 1880 AD


SPHINX 2012 AD
The black and white photo (above) was taken in 1880 and shows the actual wear and tear that existed before cosmetic repairs were made over the next 130 years, the result being seen in the color photo. Look at the recent color photo ( above). Ignore the missing nose and the wear and tear and look at the eye, lip, ears and general facial detail and proportions as compared to these earlier three examples of facial sculptures c. 2400 to 2500 B.C. (photos L, and below, Center). 

Is there anyway you could be convinced that the Sphinx came from the same period as these three sculptures did?   Only if you were blind. Let me say it again: compare the Sphinx carving (less the wear and tear) with these three pieces. If you can't see there is a world of difference in the artistic renderings, I don't what else to say to you. 




 


























Lets take a look now at carvings before 2500 B.C. They are not primitive in any sense and show a remarkable sense of proportion. I'll show even earlier example further on.


2700 B.C






































In the glass cage above is a sculpture of Djoser Third Dynasty (2691B.C.), some 200 years earlier than the traditional date (2500 B.C.) given for the construction of the Sphinx. Although the total carving is not highly detailed (which may have been by choice as there are highly detailed carvings on the base), it is far from crude in proportions and facial expression. Although the close-ups (below) show considerable damage, the face itself is highly expressive and shows a man you wouldn't want to cross. 

Compare this face to the calm face of the Sphinx, and one tentative conclusion you can come to quite easily is that the face of the Sphinx is the calm face of a female, and /or that the face of the Sphinx was a very early preliterate carving in which the proportions were correct but the art of carving detailed facial expressions had not been developed. The detailed carving at the base of Djoser's statue also shows evidence of the aesthetics that were in the process of being codified.


 






3100 thru 2900 B.C.


Shown below are three sculptures from 3100 to 2900 B.C., when the first aspects of codification began to be implemented, which is especially evident in the two top items  seal and cartouche). This art, which is what has survived, is smaller and in the case of the lion, not as elegant as c. 2500 B.C. art, but the proportions  are perfect, even those of the small, cuddly alabaster lion. One of the arguments I have been making is that  preliterate carvers understood proportion perfectly, and knew how to reproduce it. It was in the facial detail that they weren't the equals of their Dynastic counterparts. I'll go back even further in time later on to show you this is true of even earlier sculptures.



















Let me add that the excellently proportioned lion above is what the Sphinx would have looked like (short limbs and body, massive head/ neck/ shoulders/body) if it was initially carved as a lion. For sure it wouldn't have had the extremely long forelimbs, right? Compare the alabaster lion's excellent "chunky"proportions to the slim, long proportions of the Sphinx.  They are completely different in all proportions, not just the head.



small head, very long legs, slim body
small head, very long legs, slim body










Just compare the forelimb length if you have any doubts. It's simply impossible that the Sphinx could have been initially carved as lion.  The Egyptian carvers always got the body proportions right, even in 3100 and, I contend, even in 6000 B.C..  It was in carving the facial detail that the 6000  B.C. carvers had problems.







The Problem of the  Nemes



The nemes argument is as follows: the first known appearance of the nemes, or draped royal head dress, is in 2970 B.C. .










Therefore, the Sphinx could not have been carved before 2970 B.C.  I have no problem with that date for the nemes as I see it by my timetable being carved around 2660 B.C. in what I call Phase 4. 

Or as I said earlier, I can also see a precursor of it being carved in preliterate times (in Phase 3 (5600 B.C.) as a simple desert veil which was later modified to be as close to a  nemes as possible in 2660 B.C., as the nemes portrayed on the Sphinx  is so different from other sculptural portrayals of the  nemes c. 2600 thru 2500 B.C..



Which brings me to the very flat head of the Sphinx.   I believe this flatness resulted from using much of the the actual top of the rocky outcropping  as the top of the head of the Sphinx in the  Phase 2 / 5800 B.C. carving of the front of the head back to just before the ears. I further believe the top was further slightly flattened so as to mimic  the cheetah's flat head. This flatness  prevented the addition of a traditional curved crown cap  which had come to be the Dynastic fashion  when the final nemes was added in Dynastic times. 

See more examples of Dynastic crown caps below. This marked flatness of the Sphinx's forehead prevented the addition of a traditional curved crown cap  which had come to be in fashion  when the final nemes was added in Dynastic times. See examples of Dynastic crown caps below. 






You can see how the final  nemes of the Sphinx lacks the curved crown of the traditional nemes as seen in the later carving examples above and to the right. 

The only explanation for this has to be that there was no stone left on the top of the flat head to carve the high, curved crown cap in 2660 B.C. , an additional proof that the head was carved flat in Phase 1 and  2  in imitation of a cheetah head long  before the final unusual  nemes was added in 2660 B.C.







 

The Problem of the  Uraeus

There is also the problem of the uraeus, which is the serpent’s head in the middle of the forehead of the nemes as shown in the photo (L). In the Sphinx it is pretty much pressed against the forehead and does not rise above it. Since the first known appearance of the uraeus is in 3100 B.C., the Sphinx, according to traditionalists, could not have been constructed until after 3100 B.C.. 

My own take on the matter is that the uraeus of the Sphinx was added at a later time, probably around 2660 B.C. when the final nemes was carved from what was originally a simple veil. 



The flat head, however, prevented the uraeus from enjoying the "standing up above the head" position it enjoys in some other sphinx sculptures and Pharaoh  sculptures (above, L).  

There is, however,  a very small rise of the Sphinx  uraeus, however, above the flat top of the head (as seen in the picture above, L). There is also a small outward projection of the uraeus from the forehead/ crown cap but it in no way duplicates the pronounced outward and upward projection seen in the other Dynastic portrayals of the uraeus.

I believe these were both accomplished by shaving back the front and top of the Sphinx's  forehead. This would explain why that part of the top forehead of the Sphinx (L, above)  slopes inward a bit more than it does in other sculptures of pharaohs (below, R) when seen from a profile point of view.

To the left and right are some profiles of Dynastic pharaohs with straight-up foreheads, projecting uraeus  and  full round crown caps suggesting that the limited crown cap and uraeus of the Sphinx as well as its sloping top forehead can be easily explained by what I have just said.








  The Problem of the Sphinx's Tail



One last thing that has to be explained is the thinness of the Sphinx's tufted tail which is characteristic of a male lion, as we can see in the lion photo left

The tails of cheetahs, however, are full and bushy. They're used for balance, like a rudder, in their high speed pursuits. Let's take a close look then at the tail shape of the Sphinx.


Although the tail of the Sphinx does seem to me a bit thicker  than a lion's tail,  I wouldn't press the distinction as the tail isn't uniformly thick; it tapers somewhat as it wraps around the Sphinx's hindquarters. The fact that the Sphinx's tail lacks a lion's signature tuft could  suggest it is a cheetah's tail, but the constant rebuilding of the Sphinx even in modern times (see the  tail photos above which are 100 years apart) makes the tuft absence somewhat problematic. 


There is also the problem of when the tail was carved. Schoch holds that the rump and tail were carved at a later date, 2550 B.C., and I agree with him. I also think by that time it is highly probable  that the cheetah connection had been completely forgotten and a lion's tail was carved as a matter of common practice.

There is, of course, also the possibility that 
in one of the later re-buildings of the Sphinx, (which we can see from the two photographs above was subject to constant breaking off) the original extremely thick Cheetah tail was unknowingly re-created as a lion's tapered tail.


Yet the problematic tail aside, the long-bodied, small-headed Sphinx 
is clearly a cheetah.









 SOME ADDITIONAL FACTS ABOUT THE POSTICHE, SHAPE OF SPHINX BODY AND NEMES 


The postiche was a sign of sovereignty. It was worn by queens as well as kings. The postiche was held in place by a ribbon tied over the head and attached to a gold chin strap, a fashion existing from about 3000 B.C. to 1580 B.C.. Both traditional and alternative Egyptologists agree, however, that the Giza Sphinx never had a postiche because the chin shows no sign of breakage. This alone points to an earlier than 3000 B.C. carving.
 
The first known appearance of the nemes, or draped royal head dress, is in 2970 B.C..  As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the final shape of the nemes of the Giza Sphinx  was carved in phase 4, c.2660 B.C..
 


As I say there,  it is possible, and likely, that the suggestion of  a simple desert head dress (veil)   was carved in Phase 3. I say this because the final  nemes of the Sphinx is markedly different from other carved nemes of the period, indicating that the initial carving  of a veil in Phase 3 (in addition to the cheetah-flatness of the head carved in Phases 1 and 2) made a good imitation of the traditional nemes impossible to carve in Phase 4.



We can now take a harder look at my proposal that the shape of the Giza Sphinx is not accidental but has definite, distinct characteristics and, moreover, that it's shape and characteristics were determined by its being the carving of a cheetah body with very long forelegs and a small head.

First of all, let me repeat my contention that these proportions were venerated as a spiritual statement of the highest order
by all subsequent generations of Egyptians, so much so that almost all subsequent sphinxes were modeled after it.


Let me sum up some of my thinking on the Giza SphinxFirst of all, as I discussed in great detail earlier,  I dismiss out of hand the idea of the Sphinx being a very early carving of a lion because it shows a dismal ignorance of the fact that a carving of the size of the Sphinx would never have been of an animal alone.  


 

First of all, there has never been a monumental sculpture of an animal in any preliterate culture. A miniature, OK, but never a monumental sculpture.   Egyptians, like all early preliterate cultures, created small sculptures of rams, cats, hippos etc. as a part of their artistic menagerie. But a sculpture as large as the Sphinx placed in such an important East-gazing position speaks of an important spiritual statement, a portrayal of a God or Goddess.

This is not to say that preliterate cultures looked down on animals as we do. Despite the fact that
all preliterate cultures, including the Proto-Egyptians and the later Dynastic Egyptians, recognized the special place that humans held among the animals, 
 they didn't look down on   animals. Rather they saw them as having a special intelligence, an intelligence we would call instinctive. 

This is what I believe was represented (in part) by the human/animal hybrid figures that represent Gods and Goddesses, a combining of human and animal intelligences and physical characteristics, which is a potent combination. 


The earliest human/animal  representations of Zobek (left), the Egyptian alligator God, is dated to 3300B.C., although there may be earlier versions yet to be discovered. 


As I've indicated many times in this blog, I believe that Mafdet (who was portrayed as half cheetah/ half woman) was the reason for the human/cheetah carving of the Sphinx. Mafdet was the protector of the all important Mother Goddess Ma-at (the source of Truth and Balance in early preliterate Proto-Egypt, so it is obvious that Mafdet stood between order and chaos, i.e.,  between a  balanced, just  world and Chaos.


Mafdet was a very early Mother Goddess of Nubian origin who was portrayed both ways: with  a female head/cheetah body  or a cheetah head/female body. Unfortunately, we have only a few minimal surviving portrayals of Mafdet,  and have to rely on written descriptions which, fortunately, are quite detailed and graphic


It seems evident, to me, and I think to anyone who weighs all the evidence I have produced, that from all the cultural and spiritual evidence I've brought forth, that 
all of the  indicators point toward a female human/cheetah hybrid being the original Sphinx, including the size of the human head reflecting the small size of the cheetah head.


















ART IN PRELITERATE vs. LITERATE EGYPT

Let me now give you some specific illustrations of the quality of painting and sculpture produced between 3900 B.C. and 3100 B C., and also between 3100 B.C. and 2200 B.C so you'll have some idea of the Egyptian artistic potential  in the late preliterate period (3900 thru 3100 B.C.) as compared to the early literate period (3100 thru 2200 B.C.).

The dividing line between preliterate and literate Egypt is generally set at 3200 B.C., but since some of these these art pieces were dated at 3100 B.C.,  we can take 3100 B.C. as the dividing line. It won't affect my basic argument.  What we can take away from the art samples below  is that preliterate art had a highly developed preliterate aesthetic,  not as highly developed as it was after 2700 B.C. or 2200 B.C.,  but it is surely not negligible. In addition, I think we can see that even in the earliest preliterate art, the artists understood proportion. Let's take a trip forward in time from 3900 TO 2200 B.C. to illustrate this:






3900 B.C. thru 3500 B.C.
















3500 B.C. thru 3100 B.C.



 






 
3100 B.C. thru 2700 B.C.








2700 B.C. thru 2200 B.C.




 










 



After 2200 B.C.






 







  



SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE SPHINX AND ASTRAL POSITIONING

If we suspect (as Bauval and Hancock do) that the origin of the Sphinx (and its positioning) is connected to a major event in the very distant past, then the Sphinx/pyramid positioning could indeed point to some important heavenly body or galactic event position in the past, although my own thinking hasn't led me down that path.  

Yet I don't have a closed mind.  Bauval, in his mathematically precise  Orion Mystery, points out  that the constellation Orion  in 2450 B.C. not only exactly imitates  the position of of the Giza Pyramids but also is an exact imitation of Orion (but in a mirror image) in 10,400 B.C. which is known in Egyptian astronomy/theology as the First Time.  Something is going on here, but what?

I am content at this stage to simply see it as facing east because no matter what alternative astral event we might choose, we are still left with the problem of how the information about the historical time would be carried forward without writing. 

Yet one thing that Bauval and Hancock have made all theorists focus on is that the same spiritual /aesthetic love of proportion and symmetry that made the Egyptians of 2450 B.C. create the sublime Giza pyramids also made them position the 3 majestic pyramids so that the entire configuration (the three pyramids and the Nile) would mirror the astral positioning of Orion and the Milky Way.

Perhaps, as
Bauval and Hancock propose, the Sphinx's ancient positioning may also indicate a "time-position" of some ancient spiritually-critical heavenly event and time.
The mechanics of carrying that ancient information forward, however, have not been adequately explained to my satisfaction. 

Let me make one small step backward here, and state again that it is entirely possible that the Sphinx does not point to some spiritually-critical heavenly event and time, only directly east, i.e., the  Sphinx may simply point toward the East, because that is the direction of the birthplace of the Sun God. It is a spiritual direction, and for preliterate peoples the most important direction


Our modern archeologists and scientific investigators are often blind to the real reason why all early human migrations were to the east. It wasn't merely for more food or room. It was to find the Gods. And the Egyptians, a highly spiritual culture, were no exception to this obsession.

But if we suspect there is something  very ancient about the Sphinx's positioning than merely pointing to the east, something the Dynastic Egyptians knew but we don't, a critical  question needs to be definitively answered, namely,  what spiritually-critical Egyptian astral position and time does the positioning point to, and how could that position and historical time be carried forward into literate times? 


 
The arguments I've presented, while unusual in that they are based in part on preliterate spiritual and artistic variables usually ignored, are solid arguments and are key to truly understanding the Sphinx: when it was built, how it was built, why it was built, what its "cheetah likeness" meant, and why the literate, more logical Dynastic Egyptians held it in such high esteem. I welcome any inquiries or suggestions. My email is in the profile.






OK,  LET'S TAKE A BREATHER AND SUMMARIZE WHERE WE ARE:


 In this last part of my  Blog on the sphinx, I've  covered:

1.The Sphinx Theory of Bauval and Hancock

2. The Galactic Timing of Bauval and Hancock : How Solid is It?

3. More Details on What the Crude Carving of the Sphinx’s Face Tells Us 

4. The Problem of the  Nemes

5. The Problem of the  Uraeus

6. The Problem of the Sphinx's Tail

7. SOME ADDITIONAL FACTS ABOUT THE POSTICHE, SHAPE OF THE SPHINX BODY, AND NEMES 

8. ART IN PRELITERATE vs. LITERATE EGYPT

9. SOME FINAL  THOUGHTS ON THE SPHINX AND ASTRAL POSITIONING
   



End of Part Three and End of Blog






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