It is significant that the god Soker (perhaps to Egyptians connoting S'Aker, "he of the lion/lioness") wore the leopard skin of a sem priest, which in the dynastic era designated the heir/"eldest son". Soker therefore would have been a god of rebirth and not merely of the dead. Certainly the god Osiris, who was associated with water and became the "Super-Soker" if you please, was a god of rebirth and fertility. However, during the dynastic era the prince that succeeded in producing a son by his mother was not typically considered the family Osiris but the latest incarnation of Horus the Elder.
Note: The plural form Akeru was associated with Ru-ty ("The Two Lions/Lionesses") an epithet of the Sphinx. Some now think that there was a second Sphinx on the opposite side of the Nile and that it created a "Gateway of the Gods" into Egypt, a kind of Babylon on the Nile. (And like the Biblical Tower of Babel in Mesopotamia, the Great Pyramid shows signs of deliberate sabotage.) Sphinxes often lined both sides of avenues in Egypt. It makes sense that the same symmetry was applied to the greatest passageway in Egypt. In the dynastic era, the Hathor figure ("The God's Wife, The Chief Wife") also had multiple identities. She could be the consort of two or more kings, and this was generally disguised by using multiple names.
Note: Only when there was a shortage of eligible princes might one prince function as both Horus the Elder and Osiris, as with Montuhotep (Rimush) son of Inyotef (Sargon).
Note: At Denderah the goddess Hathor is closely linked to Horus. Hathor had many sons, but at Denderah only two are important, the two Horus gods, the older Horus called Harsomtus and the younger Ihy. (The suffix -somtus may have morphed into the Greek epithet Thomas, "twin". The god Re was a "triplet", i.e., one of three prominent sons of Hathor, however he is not given place among Hathor's sons at the Temple of Horus in Denderah! Hathor was likely a daughter of Ptah, and this likely became the precedent for "the daughter of Joseph" being so important during the dynastic period. In the Roman pantheon, Minerva - associated with the Sphinx and violence - was the daughter of Jupiter. Jupiter is a form of Iapeter/Joseph. The Greeks myths named the father of the Sphinx as either Typhon or Orthrus.)
Note: The three Giza Pyramids were sometimes called "brothers". This would have derived from the brotherly relationship between Re, Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger, all sons of Hathor. However, this doesn't also suggest that the three pyramids were built by these three, only adopted by them. It is another indication that divine role playing extended quite far back into pre-dynastic times, especially if the Giza Pyramids pre-date the beginning of the so-called dynastic era by roughly 1,000 years, and the Sphinx possibly even more. Interestingly, among the Pyramids the oldest is unquestionably the greatest, but among kings of the dynastic era it was often the youngest/smallest that proved the mightiest (ala King David). Egyptologists ignore that Khufu's boats were carbon dated to 3400 BC. http://www.domainofman.com/forum/index.cgi?read=13338
Note: Robert Temple mentions that the shadow of the 2nd Pyramid forms a golden angle on the Great Pyramid at the winter solstice. Symbolically the sun is reborn on the winter solstice. Rebirth in this case takes the form of the 2nd Pyramid. It is the "son" and "heir" of the Great Pyramid. Likewise the 3rd Pyramid can be visualized as "son" and heir of the 2nd Pyramid and by maternity of the Sphinx. (The "solar feminine" as represented by the Sphinx is often neglected. Goddesses as well as gods were considered solar deities.) This concept is probably related to the "notion" (a word that Robert Temple hates!) of the world having endured the deaths of a certain number of suns and with each new civilization being inferior to the previous one. It seems that rulers in the time of the "fourth sun" were incapable of even constructing a fourth great pyramid at Giza, much less those rulers in the dynastic era ("fifth sun").
Note: Both summer and winter solstice alignments are found at Giza. At the summer solstice the earth was renewed by flood and mire. At the winter solstice the sun was renewed by blood and fire. There are certainly parallels between Egyptian beliefs in this regard and those of the Mayans and Aztecs of pre-Colombian America. And there are even more parallels in Greek mythology, which was far closer to home. (For example, compare the Giza underworld of caves/caverns with the one of Peloponnesian Greece. A similar cavern world of Karst Topography was of course a prominent feature of the Yucatan.)
The son born to the mother-son union was the new Horus the Younger. Consistent with this, it was no longer a prince modeled after Soker/Osiris that typically wore the leopard skin but one in the role of Horus. (This child was sired FOR Osiris and not literally BY Osiris.) The elder Horus prince rather than the Osiris prince was the one that perpetuated the traditional incestuous relationship between heir apparent and chief queen (as "Mother Goddess"), or in other words, the prince entitled to "uncover the nakedness" of the Sphinx as a public statement of his very private achievement.
Innovation was a negative term in the ancient world. Conformance to tradition was the ideal. A glaring exception to the rule involved the Sphinx. The mother-son bond was one that could result in socially acceptable mutation, both genetically and culturally. However, Robert Temple criticizes the New Kingdom Sphinx make-over directed by Thutmose IV as vulgar and degenerate, a gross aberration from tradition. Yet, this appears to be exactly what Thutmose IV was striving for, as well as Akhenaten after him.
Note: Temple discusses the obsession of Saite Period pharaohs with the Sphinx, especially Ahmose II (Amasis), but likewise considers their understanding to be lacking, especially in regard to the Inventory Stela which implies the Sphinx was not created but only restored during the Old Kingdom. This is despite Temple's belief that the original Sphinx actually does predate the Old Kingdom by many centuries!
Robert Temple notes that the Sphinx was cleared of sand during the Ptolemaic Period and that the Ptolemies were especially fixated on the rump/womb of the Sphinx. The Ptolemies above all other dynasties advertized their commitment to incest, not only between sister and brother but also parent and child. This evidently was not disconcerting and posed no public relations problem. It only became an issue during the Roman take-over of Egypt. As an Egyptian pharaoh a marriage between Ptolemy XII Auletes (Marc Antony) and his daughter Cleopatra VII would have posed no threat. However, from the Roman perspective, this relationship was completely unacceptable and had to be hidden.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.