‘Brilliant! A remarkable work of detailed and painstaking research, integrative thinking, and original insight. The Temples’ reinterpretation of some of Egypt’s abiding mysteries is more than thought-provoking: it is inspiring.’
- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake
‘I was swept straight into this marvellous book. It’s brilliant, original, occasionally delightfully malicious, and it showed me just how little I really knew about the Sphinx.’
- Colin Wilson
'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
The Sphinx Mystery
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 with his wife Olivia address 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.
PROFESSOR ROBERT TEMPLE is author of a dozen challenging and
provocative books, commencing with the international best-seller, The Sirius
. His books have been translated into a total of 44 foreign languages. He
combines solid academic scholarship with an ability to communicate with the mass
public. He is Visiting Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at
Tsinghua University in Beijing, and previously held a similar position at an
American university. For many years he was a science writer for the Sunday Times
, and a science reporter for Time-Life
, as well as a frequent reviewer
and profile writer for The New Scientist
. He is a Fellow of the Royal
Astronomical Society, and has been a member of the Egypt Exploration Society
since the 1970s, as well as a member of numerous other academic societies. He has
produced, written and presented a documentary for Channel Four and National
Geographic Channels on his archaeological discoveries in Greece and Italy, and he
was at one time an arts reviewer on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Kaleidoscope’. In 1993, his
translation of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh was performed at the Royal
National Theatre in London. With his wife, Olivia, he is co-author and translator of
the first complete English version of Aesop’s Fables, which attracted a great deal of
international press attention at the time of its release, as the earlier translations had
suppressed some of the fables because of Victorian prudery.
Temple was a
colleague of the late Dr. Joseph Needham of Cambridge, in association with whom
he wrote The Genius of China
, which has been approved as an official reference
book (in Chinese) for the Chinese secondary school system, and which won five
national awards in the USA. He has done archaeometric dating work and intensive
exploration of closed sites in Egypt with the permission of the Egyptian Supreme
Council of Antiquities. His research into historical accounts of the Sphinx is the
first comprehensive survey ever undertaken.
OLIVIA TEMPLE is an artist and writer, who has contributed to many wellknown
magazines in the UK. She was co-author with her husband of Aesop: The
Complete Fables (Penguin Classics). She organised the Egyptian, Greek and Italian
archaeological research trips for the Project for Historical Dating, and took part in
all the archaeometric dating work in Egypt with the permission of the Egyptian
Supreme Council of Antiquities. She works closely with her husband, she translated
all the French early travellers’ reports on the Sphinx, consulted on and edited the
book, and took many of the photos which appear in The Sphinx Mystery. She has
co-designed this website. Olivia is also director of
an opera and theatrical design archive.