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 emphasise this duality, alongside other indications
like the double crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, Isis, Osiris,
Habtoor and Horus," elaborated El Shammaa.
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.