" Sphinx Mystery" Miscellany (Part 1)

Here's some minor items from the book that are worthy of "honorable mention":

Robert Temple mentions (and maligns) another popularly-written Sphinx book by Paul Jordan called "The Riddles of the Sphinx". Temple is mainly disappointed that Jordan's book did not cover previous exploration of the Sphinx passages. Temple's hypocritical ("bites the hand that feeds him") style finds its equally annoying complement in Jordan's book. Jordan makes lengthy attacks on alternative researchers, but using that peculiar academic practice of doing so without actually mentioning the attacked person's name. Academics don't want to dignify a "rogue" researcher by using their name, so they'll just refer to them as "that moron with the Sphinx rainwater theory" (or the like). This is supposed to inoculate the public against heretical pseudo-scholars, but in my option only exposes "certain not-to-be-named" academics for the ignorant jerks that they are. Anyway, despite the fact that Jordan is a only a general archaeologist (not an Egyptologist, and therefore by his own standard has no business expounding on the Sphinx) his book (notwithstanding the diatribe directed at Schoch, J.A. West, et. al.) is valuable and includes a number of photos and references omitted by Temple.

Robert Temple in his zeal to prove that the Sphinx was dog-headed even asserts that the famous Rome graffito of Jesus Christ is dog-headed and not ass-headed. I doubt this, but it probably is moot. If the "artist" did make Jesus dog-headed this likely inspired by the Serapis faith that Christianity was designed to supersede and which included Anubis (as well as Osiris, Isis, and Joseph) as part of its peculiar theological formulation.

Note: At some point in Egyptian history the original association of Anubis with Anu/On was itself replaced by the association with Thoth. Thoth was himself a great usurper of divine attributes, not only those of Anu/On. And Anu/On usurped the typecasting from some even earlier bull-dog for all we know.

Temple notes (p30) that pharaoh Aye also identified with the Sphinx. I would attribute this to his role as a true son of Thutmose IV and therefore a Horus the Younger son of Horus the Elder figure.

Temple discusses the claim by Thutmose IV (on his Dream Stela) that he "silenced" the Sphinx. This appears to be part of the recurring role and not a "once and for all" feat. We find that Akhenaten (Oedipus) also has to perform the same miracle. The goddess just wouldn't shut up! Thutmose IV did not produce a son by his mother, so his qualification as "Horus the Elder" was not as strong as it could have been. As mentioned previously, it was his brother prince Amenhotep that should have more "properly" cleared the Sphinx of its covering sand, but he was murdered. Thutmose IV was only then pressed into that service (and only to meet a similar fate). In any event, the tradition of mother-son incest did not die with Akhenaten, so it cannot be said that his "taming of the (insatiable) shrew" was final either.

Note: Temple mentions (p153) evidence that Thutmose IV substituted his own name in place of another prince (possibly named Amen-em-Apt/Opet, if the erased name has been deduced correctly) in certain Sphinx inscriptions. Also of note, Temple includes an 1819 translation (p137) of the text of the Dream Stela, which he heavily interpolates for effect.

Temple's conclusion that the New Kingdom pharaohs understood nothing of the Sphinx's history is quite a riddle, especially in light of the many photos and drawings his provides showing the Sphinx Temple of Amenhotep II. This temple was deliberately erected as close to the Valley Temple of Khafre as possible (without building over it). Amenhotep II had to have been aware of the original Giza lay-out. We of course know that Amenhotep II was cast in the role of the sun god Re during his generation/dynasty. In fulfillment of that role it was necessary for him to "go down to Egypt" with his family. Hence the acute interest of Amenhotep II in the Giza plateau and Sphinx in particular. The Middle Kingdom pharaoh Amenemhet II and his father Senusret (who put himself forth in the role of Re in his time) showed the same attention to Giza and for the exact same reason. It was required in order to fulfill their assumed roles. These roles must have been exceedingly ancient even by the time of the Old Kingdom. And these roles appear to have been imprinted on the pre-historic ruling elite. Strictly speaking, the divine roles were devolving in the dynastic period rather than evolving.