A lion that was a dog and the island of the sphinx
However, the scholar Robert Temple and his wife Olivia have published a book of 565 pages in English titled “The Sphinx Mystery, the forgotten origins of the sanctuary of Anubis”, well documented with many elements excavated from oblivion or multiple scattered collections inaccessible to the public, in which he explains: “The moat of the sphinx in the Ancient Empire was known in the Texts of the Pyramids as the lake of the jackal, the channel of God, the channel of Anubis, the Lake of Life …” port_devant_temple_du_sphinx
Now there are many references to this throughout ancient Egyptian literature: for example on the altars in the tomb of Tutankhamon in reference to Rostau (Giza), it is cited that its topography is that of water and there is mention of “The house of the lake” regarding the island of the Sphinx. Even Auguste Mariette, who dug around the Sphinx in 1858, admits that the Sphinx enclosure had to contain water of the Nile in ancient times (see references). In the Text of the Sarcophagi, we hear about : the lustral basin, Lake of the Jackal. Why? Quite simply, because of the academic Temple‘s assertion that the Sphinx was originally made in the image of Anubis (“Jackal” is a bad name translation because there have never been jackals in Lower Egypt, but rather wild dogs) the guardian of the site par excellence, and he proves it with forceful analysis, photos and research. enclos_du_sphinx
Enclosure of the sphinx the past was full of water
The sphinx would have become leonine towards the Fourth Dynasty when lions were very fashionable in all representations; then the Middle Kingdom Amenemhat II would have affixed this image to his face (and not Cheops). But I will not go into too much detail of the work of Temple here, only a few points here and there. The fact that the original Sphinx could be the representation of Anubis is something I’ve been announcing for years in front of the Sphinx itself to those who accompany me in my tours: showing “in situ” the slope of the back, the tail, signs of erosion from water of the moat.
It should be understood that since antiquity the Sphinx has undergone many restorations, the last modern of which consisted of additions of thick courses of ugly and useless stones which only make the contours of the sphinx appear clumsy and without finesse. This is very visible today in the legs, which now look like huge papier-mache bars. We have pictures from the early 19th century and many later photos and after careful analysis we see big differences in the “modern” restorations and successive ones.
The “Coffin Texts” does not only speak of the lake of the “jackal” (Anubis) but it also mentions: “His name is ‘dog faced’, his size is huge” (verses 1165-1185). Twice in the “Pyramid Texts”, Anubis is cited as being “the height of the West” and the Lake of the “Jackal” is also cited in the book of The Caverns. The outstanding researcher Terence Du Quesne enumerated many references to Anubis “Lord of Rostau (Giza)” in inscriptions and on the walls; he has listed ten sources of this particular title to date. sphinx_by_shinkel
Painting by K.F. Schinkel, Public domain
It is only after the fifth dynasty that the title “Lord of Rostau” is given to Osiris. Let us recall that Anubis in Egyptian is “Inpou“, “that which has the shape of dog”; he is also known as “The Way Opener” and guide of the souls and is represented under the name of “Upuaout, path opener” at Abydos in the South. He is also “Lord of the Land of Dawn” and as Rene Lachaud excellently writes: “(…) He brings out the Anubis light of initiation that corresponds to the ambiguous moment ‘between dog and wolf ‘ where day and night interpenetrate.” Also, in “The Book of Going Forth by Day” (which is the real title of The Book “of the Dead”): “Oh! Anubis who is with his secrets. Lord of the secrets of the West. Lord of what is hidden.” That Anubis presides on the Giza plateau is hardly surprising because in Giza/Rostau we are at the crossroads of the greatest mysteries. You’ll quickly understand why.