Two Great Sphinxes?

Is this another Bosnian Pyramid?

The theory is based on a lot of interpretative readings of old inventories and suppositions about mythology. It’s a nice theory, but from what i’ve read, there is not actual concrete evidence, just a desire for symmetry through duality.

Cairo, Aug 31 (ANI): Two Sphinxes existed on the Pyramids Plateau, according to a new study by Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa.

El Shammaa said the famed half-lion, half man statute was an Egyptian deity erected next to another Sphinx, which has since vanished without a trace.

This theory, however, is in contradiction to the general belief that a single colossal statue functioned as a guard to the pyramids.

El Shammaa said the idea of two Sphinxes is more in line with ancient Egyptian beliefs, which were mainly based on duality.

“The pyramid texts recovered at Saqqara, especially from the Wanis Pyramid, contain descriptions of the ancient Egyptian conception of how the universe was created. Basically, this concept underlined the belief in duality,” El Shammaa said.

“Whenever we have to deal with the solar cult, we should speak of one lion and one lioness facing each other, posing parallel to each other or sitting in a back-to-back position.

“The double avenue of the ram-headed Sphinxes fronting the first Karnak pylon and its counterpart of human-headed Sphinxes at the Temple of Luxor emphasize this duality, alongside other indications like the double crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, Isis, Osiris, Habtoor and Horus,” elaborated El Shammaa,” he said.

He said ancient Egyptian records and mythology suggested that lightening destroyed part of the Sphinx, adding that this might be in reference to the second Sphinx, which was eliminated after a curse by the chief Egyptian deity.

“Utterance No. 600 says that Atum – the ‘complete one’ and creator god in ancient Egyptian mythology – created his son Shu and daughter Tefnut, shaping them as a lion and a lioness and placing each one on an extreme tip of the universe,” he said.

“Shu was to take the solar disc between his jaws and hand it to his sister Tefnut who in turn would capture it between her jaws and by so doing they would achieve the full cycle of the sun,” he added.

He said that cycle represented sunrise and sunset and the journey from life to death, and also accounted for the presence of two Sphinxes.

El Shammaa also pointed out the Dream Stela carved by Thutmosis IV, which he said, clearly depicted two Sphinxes.

“The inventory Stela exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo did the same. The display showed that King Cheops – builder of the Great Pyramid – had undertaken the task of restoring the damage to the Sphinx’s neck caused by lightening,” El Shammaa said.

“Examination of the Sphinx revealed that damage in its neck, matching the measurements mentioned in the inventory Stela, had been restored. But we also discover that, besides the Sphinx’s neck, the lightening destroyed a sycamore tree as well as an object between the tree and the Sphinx whose remains have settled behind the Valley Temple.

“The Endeavor Satellite released by NASA over the Pyramids Plateau confirmed the finding. But it makes a lot of sense that lightening could have damaged the Sphinx because the statue was often depicted wearing a double metal crown that must have conducted the shock to the neck,” he said.

He said the Pyramids of Giza predated the magical utterances recovered at Saqqara.

However, the lion deities were predynastic and mythological figures, which always appeared in duo inspired the building of the pyramids, he said.

“My own interpretation is that the miracle structures were dedicated to the lion deities that also ensured their protection. The demolished temple in front of the Sphinx’s paws and the Valley Temple that stands next to the site of what we assume to be the second Sphinx are proof that those two statues were deities,” he said.

“For some reason Tefnut has been cursed, as it is not uncommon in world mythology that the chief deity would curse one of the minor gods. The incident of the lightening that wiped out Tefnut must have been exploited by priests to justify her curse and the silence on her disappearance.

“Because they hunt from night to dawn, lionesses have been associated with moisture perceived by priests as destructive for temples and tombs and this is one reason they must have been banished.

“But I would also like to note that the monuments at the Pyramids Plateau are devoid of any hieroglyphic texts and they must have been a riddle for the Ancient Egyptians who lived after the era of the Old Kingdom,” he added.

El Shammaa said the temples raised near the Sphinxes also came after the Giza Pyramids were built, further proof of the sacred status of these statues.

“At the end of the day our interpretation of mythology could be right or wrong. But we can’t ignore the archaeological evidence existing at the site and the stelae. John Wilkinson (1797-1875), who depicted the Dream Stela in one famous painting, placed two hieroglyphic words under the second Sphinx, which meant ‘shun,’ or ‘avoid’. This issue will always be shrouded in mystery,” Daily News Egypt quoted him as saying. (ANI)

via Egyptology blog.

Tell Brak

There are a couple of stories on the Tell Brak site in Syria, on BBC and New Scientist. New research suggests that the city did not arise from centrally directed, autocratic rule. There seems to have been 15,000 people living there 5,400 years ago. Nifty. More details at the stories obviously.

It’s wrong of me to think of Space Ghost.

double standards for Republican senators

I just noticed that Senators Coleman and McCain are demanding that Senator Craig resign. Eh.

David Vitter has admitted to the same crime essentially, except he still seems to be hetero and the governor of Idaho is Republican. Butch Otter will appoint another Republican to replace Craig, but if Vitter resigned, Blanco would likely have picked a Democrat. It’s a safe bet to throw Craig under the bus.

McCain says:

But my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, then you shouldn’t serve. And that’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier than thou. It’s just a factual situation. I don’t try to judge people. but in this case, it’s clear that it was disgraceful.

Again, Vitter admitted soliciting a prostitute. He confessed to a crime. That’s guilt.

Yeah, they are so principled.

That’s not a defect. That’s a feature.

Apparently a creationist decided not to ignore the two creation accounts included in the the Book of Genesis, and built a new creationist theory out of it, declaring that there were two separate creations, in an attempt to work around geological evidence of the earth’s extreme age and still stick with the recent arrival of humans.

Whoever has come up with this might have a decent career as a fantasist, but someone in the comments already blows it out of the water comparing the story to the Talmudic story.

I doubt if i could handle someone who actually believe that new, crazy theory, which actually sounds extremely familiar to me… it sounds like something out of the mouth of a certain zealot that i used to debate with at the university close to twenty years ago. Rationalizing the irrational can sometimes be a great spectator sport though.

cannot get much more pulpy than comics

I love that Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction are drawing from pulp traditions, like referencing relatively larger-than-life historical figures to flesh out the story. Immortal Iron Fist #7, the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay obviously was inspired in part by the real pirate queen Cheng I Sao. Brubaker’s Wu Ao-Shi is a very different character after all. She’s an Iron Fist, not a ruthless, somewhat innovative businesswoman.

It kind of has the feel of a more noble version of entry from a book like A Universal History of Infamy. Most cool.

How I Became a Nun

Conversational Reading has a post pointing to some Roberto Bolano and Cesar Aira links.

César Aira’s How I Became a Nun is the one of the books that Bill loaned to me last month. The Boston Review describe it better than i can, but i still must add, it’s a very peculiar book. With each chapter, the story twists in way that seems that Aira is deliberately trying to write himself into a corner, and proceeds to escape it. As well as the narrator being unreliable, her voice changes slightly in each chapter, and it felt as if the reader was being led into a trap. As experimental and arch as it might seem, it’s a breezy, playful read, extremely accessible. It’s a shame only two of his books are in English translation right now.

(Wait, there are three in translation? What’s the third?)

Pivar Versus PZ

I read that PZ Myers was being sued for reviewing a crap book, but i didn’t realize the suit is really going to court, as the litigant actually had the money to go through with it.

Lots of bloggers think that Myers is essentially home-free, as topology doesn’t have a damned thing to do with evolutionary biology. Pivar’s suit should be dismissed, and probably slapped around for wasting the court’s valuable time as well.

I worry… i doubt the wisdom and objectivity of the courts.