The Sphinx, the pyramids of Giza, and other mysteries of Egypt have bewildered, enticed, and even confused archaeologist since the 1800s, when scientists really begin to explore Cairo. Even to this day, there are many mysteries waiting to be uncovered. What important information do these discoveries hold for humanity?
Fourth Pyramid Discovered In Giza
A fourth pyramid, estimated to be 4,000-years-old, has been discovered in Giza. According to antiquities chief Zahi Hawass, the pyramid seems to be been treated in an unimportant fashion, possibly due to whom the pyramid belonged. CBS News reveals the fourth pyramid was built during the eight-year rule of King Menkauhor. The pyramid was buried under 25 feet of sand, which was removed over an 18-month period by Hawass and his team. He states the mysterious structure was built shortly after the three pyramids of Giza, which dates back to 2,500 BCE.
A cartouche (hieroglyphics that reveal the identity of the body that inhabits the pyramid) has yet to be found. However, based on his evidence, Hawass is certain it belongs to King Menkauhor. During his rule, Menkauhor did not seem to have a significant impact on Egyptian history, and this could be why this single pyramid may have been neglected. Hawass and his team are still discovering the pyramid, and searching for other clues on Menkauhor.
Lost City of Heracleion
Heracleion, an ancient city of Egypt, was an import and export trade stop based at the heart of the Egyptian coast. The city existed 1,200 years ago, but scientists are stumped as to how the city descended to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The director of maritime archaeology at Oxford University, Dr. Damien Robinson, who leads the current discovery team, told the Telegraph of his excitement about unraveling the mysteries of this forgotten city.
“It is a major city we are excavating. The site has amazing preservation. We are now starting to look at some of the more interesting areas within it to try to understand life there.”
The city was found under 150 feet of seawater at the bay of Aboukir, which is at the border of the river Nile and the Mediterranean. So far, 16 large statues, in addition to hundreds of smaller statues, have been discovered. Some even include Egyptian and Greek writing on them. The writing has yet to be deciphered.
The Disappearance of Neferititi
The disappearance of Queen Nefertiti, has prompted many theories that have plagued archaeologist according to AncientEgyptonline. Some people believe she lost favor with then Pharaoh Akhenaton. Another theory is she died shortly after the death of Pharaoh Akhenaton due to heartbreak.
The last and most accepted theory about the disappearance of Nefertiti is that she did not disappear at all, but rather changed her name to Neferneferuaten. This was her new, more masculine name as she became co-ruler of Egypt. At the time, women were not allowed to be co-ruler, so in order to keep her position, Nefertiti had to change her name.
Unfortunately, her body has yet to be identified. Once her body is discovered, it may hold the key to finding out what truly happened to the Queen.
The Riddle of The Sphinx
The Sphinx of Giza has yet to be topped as the most mysterious ancient artifact on Earth. Smithsonian Magazine thinks very few historical artifacts provide as much mystery as the Egyptian Sphinx. The riddle of the Sphinx is not just a metaphor, as to this very day, little is known about the Sphinx or what purpose it served. Built in 1,400 BCE, the Sphinx was carved from a single piece of limestone measuring 66 feet tall and 240 feet long.
As a testament to just how clueless scientist all right regarding the sphinx leading Egyptologist at Brown University, James Allen made it very clear.
“The Egyptians didn’t write history, so we have no solid evidence for what its builders thought the Sphinx was….Certainly something divine, presumably the image of a king, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.”
Even the name “Sphinx” has archaeologist confused. The Sphinx name derived from Greek mythology. The Sphinx was a mythical creature with a human head and a lion body, and it is sometimes shown to have wings. The name may have been adopted from the Greeks some 2000 years after the Sphinx was built, but still no one knows where the name comes from, or what it refers to.
New discoveries are happening every day in Egypt. What New mysteries will archaeologist unravel next?
[Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images]