i Pre-Noseless Depictions of the Great Sphinx....Page 51

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Pre-Noseless Depictions of the Great Sphinx....Page 51

Previously, on Black, Brown or White, The Egyptians on the Egyptians... Not that it matters, s8int.com took a look at the "race" of the Egyptians, based on the art of the Egyptians themselves. Prior to the advent of the internet, it was not very easy for the average person to view a copious amount of Egyptian art--now it is literally possible to view hundreds of thousands of examples on the internet.

Here at s8int.com, we can state without fear of contradiction that the Egyptians were what would today be called "Black". Actually through their art they appeared to be "multi-hued" with Nubian and Arabic influence, primarily black or brown-skinned.

This appears to continue to be a problem for some people but the open minded can simply look at Egyptian art and reach their own conclusions.

When the great achievements of Egyptian culture were being discovered and written about, there was something going on in the history of that time which "colored" everything. That something was the institution of slavery.

"From about the 1640s until 1865, people of African descent were legally enslaved within the boundaries of the present U. S. mostly by whites, but also by a comparatively small number of American Indians and free blacks."...Wikipedia

The idea of a high civilization and technology created by dark skinned peoples was clearly unacceptable when one of the main rationales for slavery was the superiority of some "races" over others. The association of Black Africans with certain wonders of the ancient world was obscured.

How well did it work? No one remembers that there were drawings of the Sphinx prior to the later damage which caused certain features to be obscured. It is still possible, as the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas has done to render a culturally ambiguous Great Sphinx even though the actual monument is located in the heart of Africa. True suppressions indeed!

Great Sphinx of Giza
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Great Sphinx. Mayer, Luigi d.1803. Views in Egypt : from the original drawings in the possession of Sir Robert Ainslie, taken during his embassy to Constantinople by Luigi Mayer: engraved by and under the direction of Thomas Milton: with historical observations , and incidental illustrations of the manners and customs of the natives of that country London : Thomas Bensley ... for R. Bowyer, 1801
Item held in the Overstone Library, Reading University Library
by Fiona Barnard Rare Books Librarian

"Luigi Mayer (d. 1803), a watercolourist and draughtsman, is renowned as the most accurate delineator of the Near East before David Roberts, who produced the monumental volumes The Holy Land (1842) and Views in ancient Egypt and Nubia (1846), copies of which are also held in the Overstone Library. Despite the success of Mayer’s publications, very little is known about his life." ...Overstone Library, Reading University Library

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a large half-human, half-lion Sphinx statue in Egypt, on the Giza Plateau at the west bank of the Nile River, near modern-day Cairo It is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium BC.

What name ancient Egyptians called the statue is not completely known. The commonly used name “Sphinx” was given to it in Antiquity based on the legendary Greek creature with the body of a lion, the head of a woman and the wings of an eagle, though Egyptian sphinxes have the head of a man.

The word “sphinx” comes from the Greek Σφινξ — Sphinx, apparently from the verb σφινγω — sphingo, meaning “to strangle,” as the sphinx from Greek mythology strangled anyone incapable of answering her riddle.

A few, however, have postulated it to be a corruption of the ancient Egyptian Shesep-ankh, a name applied to royal statues in the Fourth Dynasty, though it came to be more specifically associated with the Great Sphinx in the New Kingdom.

In medieval texts, the names balhib and bilhaw referring to the Sphinx are attested, including by Egyptian historian Maqrizi, which suggest Coptic constructions, but the Egyptian Arabic name Abul-Hôl, which translates as “Father of Terror,” came to be more widely used.


After the Giza Necropolis was abandoned, the Sphinx became buried up to its shoulders in sand. The first attempt to dig it out dates back to 1400 BC, when the young Tutmosis IV formed an excavation party which, after much effort, managed to dig the front paws out. Tutmosis IV had a granite stela known as the Dream Stela placed between the paws. The stela reads, in part:

...the royal son, Thothmos, having been arrived, while walking at midday and seating himself under the shadow of this mighty god, was overcome by slumber and slept at the very moment when Ra is at the summit (of heaven).

He found that the Majesty of this august god spoke to him with his own mouth, as a father speaks to his son, saying: Look upon me, contemplate me, O my son Thothmos; I am thy father, Harmakhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum; I bestow upon thee the sovereignty over my domain, the supremacy over the living ...

Behold my actual condition that thou mayest protect all my perfect limbs. The sand of the desert whereon I am laid has covered me. Save me, causing all that is in my heart to be executed.

Ramesses II may have also performed restoration work on the Sphinx.

It was in 1817 that the first modern dig, supervised by Captain Caviglia, uncovered the Sphinx’s chest completely. The entirety of the Sphinx was finally dug out in 1925.

French Traveller Constantine de Volney, in Egypt (1783-85)

Vivant Denon drew this image of the Sphinx of Giza around 1798, prior to its defacement.

This image and written account (a part of the collection) is from the 1803 issue of Universal Magazine. From that same magazine, here is the written account in Denon's own words,

"...Though its proportions are colossal, the outline is pure and graceful; the expression of the head is mild, gracious, and tranquil; the character is African, but the mouth, and lips of which are thick, has a softness and delicacy of execution truly admirable; it seems real life and flesh.

Art must have been at a high pitch when this monument was executed; for, if the head wants what is called style, that is the say, the straight and bold lines which give expression to the figures under which the Greeks have designated their deities, yet sufficient justice has been rendered to the fine simplicity and character of nature which is displayed in this figure....Freedman.org

(De Volney was a French nobleman who was much troubled by the institution of slavery. His expressed opinion that the ancient Egyptians were black Africans much departed from the typical European view of the late eighteenth century, but it gave many people cause for reflection.)

"When I visited the Sphinx, I could not help thinking that the figure of that monster furnished the true solution to the enigma (of how the modern Egyptians came to have their Ômulatto' appearance)

(It's features) were those of the negro.. (the Egyptians therefore must have been) real negroes, of the same species of the natives of Africa.

...How are we astonished when we reflect that to the race of negroes, at present our slaves, and the objects of our extreme contempt, we owe our arts, sciences, and even the very use of speech; and when we recollect that in the midst of those nations who call themselves the friends of liberty and humanity, the most barbarous of slaveries is justified, and that it is even a problem whether the understanding of negroes be of the same species with that of white men!"

In other words the ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same stock as all the autochthonous peoples of Africa and from the datum one sees how their race, after some centuries of mixing with the blood of Romans and Greeks, must have lost the full blackness of its original colour but retained the impress of its original mould."

M. Constantine de Volney, Travels through Syria and Egypt in the Years 1783, 1784, and 1785 (London: 1787), p. 80-83..www.holmstead.com

Left, the Luxor Sphinx, right the Great Sphinx today. Click and drag photo to resize.

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