The Great Sphinx of Giza, a giant limestone figure with the body of a lion and the head of a man wearing a pharaoh’s headdress, is the national symbol of Egypt—both ancient and modern—and one of the world’s most famous monuments.Despite its iconic status, geologists, archaeologists, Egyptologists and others continue to debate the Sphinx’s enduring “riddle”: Exactly how old is it?Egyptologists would have us believe that the Great Pyramid and its two sister pyramids were built in the early dynastic period of the Old Kingdom, about 4,600 years ago.Looking at the evidence objectively, however, their case is far from clear cut.Supporters of this hypothesis point to extensive erosion of the limestone near the top of the Great Sphinx, arguing that the last time the region experienced enough rainfall in the region to cause this type of erosion on limestone was 7000 B. Dating the Sphinx back this far suggests the statue was the work of an advanced civilization predating the ancient Egyptians—an intriguing, if highly controversial, proposition.Most scholars still accept the traditional dating of the Sphinx to Khafre’s era, arguing that the new theory doesn’t take into account all the evidence on the table.The most common wisdom holds that the monolith is around 4,500 years old, and was built for Khafre, a pharaoh of Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty who lived circa 2603-2578 B. His pyramid is the second tallest of the pyramids built at Giza, next to his father Khufu’s Great Pyramid.To make up for its lesser size, Khafre’s pyramid was built at a higher elevation and surrounded by a more elaborate complex with numerous statues, including the Sphinx, the head of which is thought to be built in the pharaoh’s own image.
In the New Kingdom, the Sphinx was called Hor-em-akhet (English: Horus of the Horizon; Hellenized: Harmachis), and the pharaoh Thutmose IV (1401–1391 or 1397–1388 BC) specifically referred to it as such in his "Dream Stele." The commonly used name "Sphinx" was given to it in classical antiquity, about 2000 years after the commonly accepted date of its construction by reference to a Greek mythological beast with a lion's body, a woman's head and the wings of an eagle (although, like most Egyptian sphinxes, the Great Sphinx has a man's head and no wings).
In addition to renovating these structures, they and their successors built the causeways which ran between the mortuary and valley temples, and the smaller pyramids and masteba.
According to Alsford, this massive building program would explain the presence of the early dynastic workers’ villages which have recently been excavated at Giza.
It was an odd sensation climbing over the Great Pyramid, looking for minute flecks of charcoal or other datable material, loaded down with cameras, scales, notebooks, and forms with entries for sample number, site, monument, area, feature, material (charcoal, reed, wood, etc.), matrix (gypsum mortar, mud brick, etc.), date, time, notes on details, extracted by, logged by, photograph numbers, and sketches. The 1984 radiocarbon dates from monuments spanning Dynasty 3 (Djoser) to late Dynasty 5 (Unas), averaged 374 years older than the Cambridge Ancient History dates of the kings with whom the pyramids are identified.
It was 1984 and the Edgar Cayce Foundation, named for an early twentieth-century psychic who claimed that the Sphinx and Khufu's Great Pyramid were built in 10,500 B. Old friends and supporters of the deceased psychic had visited Giza in the early 1980s and several of them were willing to put their beliefs to the test by radiocarbon dating the Great Pyramid. and built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 25 B. In spite of this discrepancy, the radiocarbon dates confirmed that the Great Pyramid belonged to the historical era studied by Egyptologists.