London, Dec 9 (ANI): New evidence has emerged that suggests the Sphinx may have originally had the face of lion, and not that of an ancient pharaoh, as generally believed by historians.
Egyptologists have long believed that the huge statue on the bank of the Nile depicted an ancient pharoah's head on the body of a lion.
The 65ft high, 260ft long limestone sculpture was thought to have been built in the image of a great ruler, probably King Khafra, around 4,500 years ago.
But now, according to a report in the Telegraph, geologist Colin Reader, who has studied the erosion patterns around the Sphinx in Giza, is now claiming that it was actually constructed several hundred earlier, well before the nearby Great Pyramid.
Reader believes that the style of the Sphinx supports the view that it is older than the other tombs on the site, raising the possibility that the statue had been modified and embellished by later generations.
According to Dr Jonathan Foyle, a historical architect who worked with Reader on his research, the statue may have originally have had a different face - most likely that of a lion, as that would fit with the rest of the statue.
This could explain why the current head is out of proportion to the body, with the face being re-modelled at a later date to take a more human form.
Computer experts have already created an image of what the lion Sphinx may have looked like, which features in a documentary on Channel 5 in the UK. (ANI)