Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sphinx, I Survived & Short Story Contest

Hello! I'm writing this late, so will also delay my "T" post until later today in order to give both some reading time.

I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend, and I survived! It was a great weekend, with interesting keynote speakers, as well as a bit of controversy related to one of them (Barry Eisler), which resulted in a bit of a social media war between agents/editors and writers, debating some of what he said about legacy/traditional publishing versus self-publishing.

Anyway, I was exhausted after the conference, and I made the executive decision to NOT stay up and research a topic for Monday's "S" post, instead deciding I would write it Monday. My kids had the day off school, though, and I had to take my son to his 8-year checkup, in addition to some other things, so here I sit at 11 p.m., just beginning the post.

Before I get to my "S" topics, I'd like to pass along a short story contest that one of our faculty members has thrown out with an Amazon GC as a prize. It's not as simple as just writing a short story. No, the faculty member, DeAnna Knippling, has issued an additional challenge. She wants you to not only send your short story, but proof that you've submitted it to someone. This was issued in her 4-Hour Short Story workshop, where she taught how to write and submit a short story in four hours. You can find more on the contest at the PPW blog, Writing From the Peak.

Now, S is for the riddle of the Sphinx.

Did you know that a mystery surrounds the date of the creation of the Sphinx? You see, while it has generally been assumed that the Sphinx was made during the same period as the nearby pyramids, the era of the Old Kingdom, sometime between 2589 B.C. and 2500 B.C., there is a discrepancy in the type of weathering that has occurred, and how much there's been.

There is evidence that water erosion occurred on the Sphinx, but after 5000 B.C. there has been extremely insignificant rainfall in the region, and none of the pyramids or surrounding sculptures show the same type of weathering. Before 5000 B.C., there was more significant rainfall in the area.

Some have postulated that it could be wet sand that weathered the Sphinx, not just water, but to do that, wouldn't that still indicate more water in the sand, meaning more rainfall?

By en:User:Hajor [CC-BY-SA-1.0 (, GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

There is also possible evidence of its age carved into a stone tablet/breast plate between the feet of the Sphinx. A translation has been made that says King Thutmose IV discovered the Sphinx already buried up to its next around 1400 B.C. In order to be buried to its neck in sand, it would have to have been much older than Old Kingdom era.

There is no documentation on the building of the Sphinx. It isn't mentioned anywhere. Why might that be?

One of the indications that it is Old Kingdom era is the fact that the style matches that of surrounding sculptures. Styles of building and design change over time, so if it had been built in 5000 B.C., for instance, it should have been a significantly different style of building from the pyramids. That is far too long for designs to stay the same.

And yes, for those of you who love the alien tales, it has been suggested that aliens built the Sphinx, then returned to teach the Old Kingdom Egyptians to build in a similar fashion.

So, was it aliens? Did the Sphinx stand long before the Old Kingdom was a desert? Or was there perhaps a mystery underground spring that might have eroded the Sphinx?

Other topics to look up that start with "S" are Stonehenge and the Servant Girl Annihilator, a serial killer some insist was actually Jack the Ripper, living in Austin, Texas before he struck in Whitechapel. Although I have my doubts...lots of them.

May you find your Muse.


  1. I didn't realise so much mystery surrounded the Sphinx, thanks for the info!
    Also, I find it hilarious how many of these mysteries have been linked to aliens. People really do like their aliens!

  2. Good choice although the others might not have been bad either.

  3. Aliens are ALWAYS blamed, poor things. I'm going with the whole erosion/spring theory. Sounds plausible to me...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  4. I'm with Tina here. Those aliens are the ones to blame for everything that happens, including the times I've lost my keys.

  5. I thought everyone knew that that was a real sphinx that got turned to stone by a wizard. Or a basilisk. It's hard to say.

  6. I didn't realize they weren't built at the same time? I wonder who broke the nose?

  7. Great word for S, with lots of good information you passed along. Wouldn't have thought it would be so difficult to research. Quite an interesting riddle indeed.

    Also, I finally got around to answering the question you asked on my crochet blog a while back. Check it out: Gave you some blog love in the post too:)Best of the day to you!

  8. Sphinx was a good choice over Stonehenge. I'd never heard this stuff about the Sphinx.

  9. I loved the Barry Eisler controversy, simply because he got people talking about it. The industry needs to talk about this, and we couldn't agree with him more. We wish we had been there to hear him speak. We also hope you had a good conference!

    Oh, and I'm willing to hear alien theories about the Sphinx, as long as it's not presented by that wild-haired guy from Ancient Aliens. He's just too much of a crackpot to actually come off as credible.

  10. The Sphynx is a mystery for sure. I wonder what it looked like when it was new.

  11. I can't believe aliens would make such a strange thing, surely only a human would make something that has a wo/man's head with a lion's body and birds wings.

  12. The Sphinx has more unknowns than knowns, so it was a great choice.

  13. Ah the Sphinx. What a great choice. I have no clue what happened here. That is interesting that there is the translation saying it was there from before. I had never heard that part of it before.
    We Are Adventure

  14. I think the Sphinx was there before the Old Kingdom. It did have a chamber under its paws. Now was that with the original Sphinx or after?

  15. Wait! I want to know about this controversy!

  16. I really love the whole "Aliens did it and taught others." Now, that is quite a theory.

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  17. Aliens! No, not really. But it is a very interesting monument. I always wanted to know, how did the sphinx lose its nose? That must have been the aliens...

  18. My guess would be underground spring. Or somehow transporting enough water to get into the sand when it was created.

  19. It could be an underground spring, but I think it's also possible that it was built earlier, found, then the style was matched to it because it was so impressive.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  20. I'd never heard of this mystery involving the sphinx. I always assumed it was build around the same time as the pyramids.

    Kind of curious when the placard was placed with the "finder's" name/date, were they then the ones to uncover it? If it was buried up to its neck at the time?

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink