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The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Is the Sphinx of prehistoric origin? Why was it built? In this provocative, rigorously argued report, revisionist Egyptologists Hancock (The Fingerprints of the Gods) and Bauval (The Orion Mystery) join forces to answer these questions and more as they examine the Sphinx and its relation to the other monuments of the Giza plateau. Working from the premise that the Giza complex encodes a message, they begin with recently discovered geological evidence indicating that the deep erosion patterns on the flanks of the Sphinx were caused by 1000 years of heavy rain. Such conditions last existed in Egypt at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000-9,000 B.C., meaning that the Sphinx may be more than 12,000 years old (not the generally accepted 4500 years). The authors go on to suggest, using computer simulations of the sky, that the pyramids, representing the three stars of Orion's Belt, along with associated causeways and alignments, constitute a record in stone of the celestial array at the vernal equinox in 10,500 B.C. This moment, they contend, represents Zep Tepi, the "First Time," often referred to in the hieroglyphic record. They show how the initiation rituals of the Egyptian pharaohs replicate on Earth the sun's journey through the stars in this remote era, and they suggest that the "Hall of Records" of a lost civilization may be located by treating the Giza Plateau as a template of these same ancient skies. These daring, well-argued theories will raise the hackles of orthodox Egyptologists?but that doesn't mean they're wrong. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The authors of Fingerprints of the Gods (Crown, 1995) posit, among other things, that the Sphinx may be three times older than we think. A 50,000-copy first printing.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8403 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Publication Date: June 10, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CK8VIE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I am the author of the forthcoming Magicians of the Gods, published on 10 November 2015, and of the major international bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, Heaven's Mirror, Underworld, and Supernatural.

I share below the story of the journey that led me to these books

In the early 1980's, when I was East Africa correspondent of The Economist, writing about wars, politics, economics and aid programmes, I had no idea where fate was going to lead me or what strange seas of thought I would find myself sailing on. But in 1983 I made my first visit to Axum in northern Ethiopia, then in the midst of a war zone, and found myself in the presence of an ancient monk outside a little chapel in the grounds of the cathedral of Saint Mary of Zion. The monk told me that the chapel was the sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant and that he was the guardian of the Ark, the most sacred relic of the Bible, supposedly lost since Old Testament times. What he said seemed ludicrous but for some reason it intrigued me. I began to look into the Ethiopian claim and found much surprising and neglected evidence that supported it, not least the faint traces of a mission to Ethiopia undertaken by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century. I kept adding to that dossier of evidence while also continuing to pursue my current affairs interests (including Lords of Poverty, my controversial book about foreign aid, published in 1989), and finally, in 1992, I published The Sign and the Seal: A Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, my first full-fledged investigation of a historical mystery.

As well as to Ethiopia and to Israel, my research for The Sign and the Seal had taken me to Egypt and opened my eyes to the incredible enigma of the Great Pyramid of Giza, while the "technological" aspects of the Ark (shooting out bolts of fire, striking people dead, etc) had alerted me to the existence of out of place technologies in antiquity. The stage was now set for my next project - a worldwide investigation into the possibility of a lost, prehistoric civilisation that resulted, in 1995, in the publication of Fingerprints of the Gods, undoubtedly my best known book. The Message of the Sphinx (co-authored with Robert Bauval) followed in 1996, looking specifically into the mysteries of the Great Sphinx of Giza, and then in 1998 Heaven's Mirror, photographed by my wife Santha Faiia, which shows why many ancient sites in all parts of the globe replicate the patterns of constellations on the ground and are aligned to important celestial events such as the rising points of the sun on the equinoxes and the solstices. In 2002, I published Underworld, the result of five years of scuba diving across all the world's oceans to find ancient ruins submerged by rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age.

After Underworld, I decided to step away from lost civilisation mysteries for a while and my next non-fiction book, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, published in 2005, focussed on shamanism, altered states of consciousness and the astonishing universal themes that appear in rock and cave art from deepest antiquity right through to the paintings done by shamans in the Amazon rainforest today.

From my years as a journalist I've always distrusted armchair theorising and believed I have a responsibility to seek out direct personal, "boots on the ground" experience of what I'm writing about. That was why I did five years of often difficult and dangerous scuba diving for Underworld. And it's also why, as part of my research for Supernatural I travelled to the Amazon to drink the visionary brew Ayahuasca with shamans there. As well as better equipping me to write Supernatural, my experiences in the Amazon changed my life and brought out a new side of my own creativity. I've continued working with Ayahuasca ever since and in 2006, during a series of sessions in Brazil, in a ceremonial space overlooked by images of a blue goddess, my visions gave me the basic characters, dilemmas and plot of the book that would become my first novel, Entangled, published in 2010. Entangled tells the story of two young women, one living 24,000 years ago in the Stone Age, and the other in modern Los Angeles, who are brought together by a supernatural being to do battle with a demon who travels through time.

Since the publication of Entangled I have also written the first two volumes of a series of three epic novels about the Spanish conquest of Mexico - the War God trilogy. The first volume, War God: Nights of the Witch, was published in 2013, and the second volume, War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent, was published in 2014. The third volume, War God: Apocalypse, is already more than half written and will be published in 2016 but in the meantime my new non-fiction book, Magicians of the Gods, is published on 10 November 2015. Magicians is the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods, and presents all the new evidence that has emerged since 1995 for a great lost civilisation of prehistoric antiquity and for the global cataclysm that destroyed that civilisation almost 13,000 years ago - a cataclysm on such a scale that it forced mankind, as Plato put it, "to begin again like children with no memory of what went before."

My ideas on prehistory and on the mysterious nature of reality have made me something of a controversial figure. In 1999, for example BBC Horizon made a documentary ("Atlantis Reborn") attacking my position on the lost civilisation. But part of that documentary was found by the UK's Broadcasting Standards Commission to be unfair - the first time ever that the flagship Horizon series had been judged guilty of unfairness. The BBC took the problem seriously enough to put out a revised re-edited version of the programme a year later. More recently, in 2013, my TED talk "The War on Consciousness" was deleted from the TED Youtube channel on grounds that TED itself later admitted to be spurious by striking out every one of the objections it had originally raised to my talk. TED, however, refused to restore the talk to its Youtube channel resulting in dozens of pirate uploads all over the internet that have now registered well over a million views.

I make mistakes like everyone else, but ever since my time with The Economist I've felt it is important to strive for rigour and accuracy, to check facts, to set out my sources clearly and openly for all to see and to admit my mistakes when I make them. As I continue to explore extraordinary ideas in my works of non-fiction, and in my novels, I'll also continue to do that.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 101 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader of Scientific American--and this is an extraordinarily interesting book. Intelligently written, well-researched, each chapter presents new discoveries and surprises--some of which are astonishing for their implications.
Here, perhaps for the first time in a single reference, is a recounting of all the remarkable achievements of the pyramid builders with ample evidence to document just how fantastic those achievements were. The scientific community's notion of people putting 200 ton blocks of stone in place with precision by sliding them up long ramps of mud is preposterous--now here is the engineering to prove it.
The book argues that the pyramids were built by a much older civilization of great wisdom and practical knowledge.
The book also provides an intelligent account of the importance of eastern (Vedic) astrology in the spiritual journey of mankind, at least as accepted by the ancients.
One caveat: The book is an easy read--an exciting book--and I sent it to five friends, four of whom couldn't get through it. The fifth loved it. You will need to have an interest in the subject manner and scientific detail. This is not a book that replaces scientific reasoning with easily rebuked, flaky theories so popular with the Atlantis/Aliens crowd.
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120 of 128 people found the following review helpful By L. Blumenthal on September 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book at a bookstore, I figured it was another one of those goofy conspiracy-theory books. This time the bad guy was academia and they were conspiring to keep us from the truth about the Sphinx.
Thank goodness I actually gave the book a try. It's incredibly well written, full of well-documented facts and packed with footnotes and pictures. Hancock and Bauval turn out not to be conspiracy cranks at all; they have found amazing evidence about the age and orientation of the Sphinx and the pyramids. The problem is that the evidence flies in the face of everything that Egyptologists want to believe.
I went on to read source material on the Sphinx and am now reading Hancock's "Fingerprints of the Gods" and am now more convinced than ever that Hancock and Bauval speak the truth.
Pseduo-scientists? Well, only if you think that you have to be a PhD to do painstaking research. Sometimes all it takes is a dediction to discovering the truth.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lau on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a controversial yet thought-provoking book in which the authors put forward a theory, based primarily on archeo-astronomy, which suggests that certain man-made structures at the Giza necropolis (e.g. the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the temples nearby) may have had their origin traced back to around 10,500BC, making them vastly more ancient than most orthodox Egyptologists would have us believe.
While it is difficult at this stage to prove conclusively whether or not such a provocative theory is correct (although, as this work has become a best-seller, it would hopefully lead to more transparency in future excavation work at Giza, which, after all, houses one of the greatest heritage of human civilisation), the arguments put forward in support of the authors' views are very interesting and, at times, even enlightening. In particular, with the aid of well-produced diagrams, the authors have successfully led the reader step by step through a historical and astronomical minefield towards the startling revelation that the heaven (as represented by the stars) and the earth (as represented by the mega-structures at Giza) actually mirrored each other to an astonishing extent in that mysterious early epoch and that such heaven-earth symmetry appears to be consistent with the ideas apparently expressed in certain ancient Egyptian texts, leaving the reader wondering whether it is all mere coincidence or whether there has indeed been some clever planning by our forebears which is now lost in the mist of time.
It is evident that the authors have put in much effort in explaining their propositions clearly from basic principles and thus knowledge in astronomy or Egyptololgy is not a prerequisite before one can follow their train of reasoning.
Read more ›
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By D. Hill on June 1, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is a revolution in Egyptology. The reviews I've read of this book, the ones who have dismissed it only prove how narrow-minded people can be, after being spoon-fed a certain history for all their lives. Hancock and Bauval capture, in comprehensive detail many of the riddles of the origin of the Sphinx and solve many of them. From other recent books, we know that the pyramids mirror the exact position of the constellation Orion in the skies as it was in about 10,500 b.c.,that they are aligned exactly north, and we also know that the Sphinx and the pyramids show signs of water damage in an area that has been arid according to scientists for at least 8,000 years. The question is this, what if the pyramids, and the Sphinx, were built by a civilization far older than Egypt, not 2500 b.c., but in 10,500 b.c.? Egyptologists and the narrow minded scoff at this, of course, because it would mean a radical rewriting of Egyptology, not to mention human history, but consider this: even the best archeology is just guesswork, no matter how educated the academic, no matter how logical the theory sounds. The bottom line is no one really knows why or when the pyramids were truly built, carbon-dating is inaccurate, and the Pyramids of Giza were built with more advanced design methods than any other pyramids in Egypt, not only the ones that came before, but after. In fact, some that came after are mere piles of rubble now on the sands. None of the bodies of the three pharoahs the pyramids were supposedly built for were ever found in any of them and Khufe himself, supposedly the builder of the Great Pyramid, said in his records that he only did repair work on it, was not the one to build it. History attributes the Pyramids to Khufe and his descendents, the pharoahs themselves do not.Read more ›
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