Two sphinxes existed on the Pyramids Plateau, according
to a study which was published in 2007 by Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa.
El Shammaa said the famed half-lion, half-man statute was
an Egyptian deity that had been 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 that had been 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. Whenever anything comes up
that deals 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, according to Mr el Shammaa.
The double avenue of 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
such as the double crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, Isis, Osiris,
Habtoor and Horus. Egyptian records and mythology suggested that
lightening destroyed part of the sphinx, but Mr el Shammaa suggested
that this may reference the second sphinx, which was eliminated after
being cursed 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. 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.
The idea of there being two sphinxes at Giza was
intriguing and plausible, but it was totally opposed to another theory
that the one and only Sphinx was constructed well before Egyptian
influences could be brought to bear on it. Only later was its
proportionally-sized head carved down to produce something that
looked suitably pharaonic. Weather patterns along the flank suggest
water-wear which could only have come, according to the theory, from
rainfall much heavier than pharaonic Egypt would have seen.