- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Inner Traditions (January 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781594772719
- ISBN-13: 978-1594772719
- ASIN: 1594772711
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sphinx Mystery: The Forgotten Origins of the Sanctuary of Anubis Paperback – January 20, 2009
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"The author blends his expertise as a professor of history and philosophy to provide a fine in-depth probe of Egyptian mysteries." (The Midwest Book Review, May 2009)
"Robert and Olivia not only did an outstanding job of pulling together a treasure trove of little known historic facts and photos but they put them together in a way that tells an exciting and compelling story. This book clearly lays out the age-old Sphinx mystery like a puzzle, and then solves it while making sense of every anomaly along the way. What an excellent piece of work!" (Walter Cruttenden, Director, Binary Research Institute)
"More than the unraveling of a mystery story, this book is a close-up look at the vanishing art of historical research and how academic infighting, politics, reckless restoration, and economic concerns affect such work. Temple makes an excellent case for the restoration of rigorous scholarly standards and the teaching of research techniques that go beyond electronic searches." (Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, Jan 2009)
“The true mysteries of the Sphinx, both hidden and forgotten, are brilliantly exposed in this compelling book by Robert and Olivia Temple. They have uncovered hard data revealing the manipulation and misinterpretation that dominate this area of Egyptology. Their use of solid evidence, textual and photographic, make their case unarguable.” (Michael Baigent, coauthor of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and author of The Jesus Papers)
“Brilliant! A remarkable work of detailed and painstaking research, integrative thinking, and original insight. The Temples’ reinterpretation of some Egypt’s abiding mysteries is more than thought-provoking: it is inspiring.” (Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of The Presence of the Past)
“I was swept straight into this marvelous book. It’s brilliant, original, occasionally delightfully malicious, and it showed me just how little I really knew about the Sphinx.” (Colin Wilson, author of Atlantis and the Kingdom of Neanderthals and The Outsider)
"Quite brilliant detective work and deduction has gone into the book and the photographic reproductions (most of them from the massive collection that Robert holds personally) are simply immense. . . . This is a book not to be missed." (Simon Cox, Into the Duat Magazine, Feb 2009)
"Although moderately technical (there really is no way to avoid it on a subject this compex), it is eminently readable and fairly easily understood. . . . Professor Temple makes no attempt to placate either side of the debate. He simply lays out his conclusions and allows the reader to decide whether they agree or not." (Michael Gleason, Witchgrove.com, Feb 2009)
"For anyone interested in ancient Egypt this book is required reading. It is a fascinating and compelling study of how consensus blindness, adopted too often with a dogged arrogance, is the perennial enemy of research and understanding." (Michael Baigent, Freemasonry Today, Issue 48, Spring 2009)
"Temple analyses ancient texts, commentaries, later eyewitness accounts, and early photographs, uncovering overlooked details. He discusses now-sealed secret chambers and his exploration of a tunnel at the rear of the structure (see www.sphinxmystery.info). This is indeed a monumental work!" (Nexus New Times Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 3, May-June 2009)
From the Back Cover
ANCIENT MYSTERIES / EGYPT
“The true mysteries of the Sphinx, both hidden and forgotten, are brilliantly exposed in this compelling book by Robert and Olivia Temple. They have uncovered hard data revealing the manipulation and misinterpretation that dominate this area of Egyptology. Their use of solid evidence, textual and photographic, make their case unarguable.”
--Michael Baigent, coauthor of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and author of The Jesus Papers
Shrouded in mystery for centuries, the Sphinx of Giza has frustrated many who have attempted to discover its original purpose. Accounts exist of the Sphinx as an oracle, as a king’s burial chamber, and as a temple for initiation into the Hermetic Mysteries. Egyptologists have argued for decades about whether there are secret chambers underneath the Sphinx, why the head-to-body ratio is out of proportion, and whose face adorns it.
In The Sphinx Mystery, Robert Temple addresses the many mysteries of the Sphinx. He presents eyewitness accounts, published over a period of 281 years, of people who saw the secret chambers and even went inside them before they were sealed in 1926--accounts that had been forgotten until the author rediscovered them. He also describes his own exploration of a tunnel at the rear of the Sphinx, perhaps used for obtaining sacred divinatory dreams.
Robert Temple reveals that the Sphinx was originally a monumental Anubis, the Egyptian jackal god, and that its face is that of a Middle Kingdom pharaoh, Amenemhet II, which was a later re-carving. In addition, he provides photographic evidence of ancient sluice gate traces to demonstrate that, during the Old Kingdom, the Sphinx as Anubis sat surrounded by a moat filled with water--called Jackal Lake in the ancient Pyramid Texts--where religious ceremonies were held. He also provides evidence that the exact size and position of the Sphinx were geometrically determined in relation to the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren and that it was part of a pharaonic resurrection cult.
ROBERT TEMPLE is a visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the Egypt Exploration Society, Royal Historical Society, Institute of Classical Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. He is the author of 12 books, including The Sirius Mystery, Oracles of the Dead, and The Genius of China. He and his wife, Olivia, also translated Aesop: The Complete Fables. They live in England.
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Temple does offer many speculations that the reader can ponder. The book is not perfect, and I do not agree with several of Temple's conclusions. For example, after undertaking a fascinating analysis of the Sphinx Temple and its adjacent Valley Temple, the author points out much evidence regarding water weathering due to filling and emptying the moat from the Nile river, the buildings' functional purposes, and underground chamber placement. However, he doesn't mention anything about how the granite block in the Valley Temple are cut to fit the already weathered, and much larger, limestone blocks.
Thus, one of the major arguments presented by John West and Robert Shoch are not considered when Temple dismisses the rainfall theory of the weathering. The author apparently considers the interior granite blocks to have been in existence since the origin of the Valley Temple, which does not seem to fit the on-site evidence. And even though the author is fully aware of other megalithic structures across the world, they are not considered here at all.
In addition, the author simply states that he is not an expert on the climate history of the Giza plateau, and does not even consider this worthy of analysis. This is not an insignificant point, because much of Temple's view regarding Egyptian textual interpretation depends on the Giza plateau being a somewhat sandy desert for several centuries or millenia prior to 3000 BC.
It also seems illogical at times to ascribe high knowledge and understanding to the middle and new kingdom Egyptian priests, and then at other times, to assume a very low level of understanding and petty and/or egotistical behavior that it inconsistent with highly enlightened and spiritually adept priestly initiates.
Another shortcoming of the book is that it does not present the exact date at which the author would place the building of the Giza plateau; rather, it only gives the opinion that it must precede 2700 BC by several centuries. The author makes many references to his forthcoming book, which is titled "Egyptian Dawn." This book will apparently provide Temple's opinion on this matter as well as many others. This is somewhat annoying because it leaves Temple's conclusions on certain issues in limbo. Nonetheless, it is a given that the reader will certainly read this next book when it is published.
The book would have read better if Temple would have stated his thesis and conclusion to each section at the first of the section, rather than forcing the reader to explore whole chapters and then lead up to the climax at the end. Sometimes, this made me impatient for the author to just get straight to the point.
There are many long picture captions that strain the eyes a little, but the captions are at least fully explained. The text does an excellent job of referencing the numbers of the figures and the pages where they occur--and there are lots and lots of pictures and figures!
For those readers interested in Temple's analysis of the Anubis-Sphinx-Sirius connection, it should be mentioned that the author does not mention this at all. Perhaps this will be addressed in his next book. In fact, Sirius is mentioned only once in passing.
It would also have been helpful if Temple would have considered the shamanic interpretation of the relevant Egyptian texts, such as that presented by Jeremy Naydler's book, "Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts," rather than only the funerary interepretation.
Altough the book has several shortcomings, is still an excellent read for everybody.
Thank you Mr. Temple.