The Message of the Sphinx: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind

by Graham Hancock

Hardcover, 1996



Call number

BF1999 .H344


Crown (1996), Edition: 1st American ed, 362 pages


NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Two Egypt experts posit a revolutionary theory: The Sphinx and other great Egyptian monuments are older than common history books tell us and are arranged in such a way as to send us a message from the silent past.   Guardian of the ancient mysteries, the keeper of secrets . . . For thousands of years the Great Sphinx of Egypt has gazed toward the east, its eyes focused on eternity, reading a message in the stars that mankind has long forgotten. And today as our civilization stands poised at the end of a great cycle, it is a message that beckons insistently to be understood.   All the clues are in place. Geology and archeo-astronomy have already indicated that the lion-bodied Sphinx may be vastly older than Egyptologists currently believe, dating not from 2500 B.C., but from 10,500 B.C.--the beginning of the astrological Age of Leo. And we now know that the three pyramids of Giza, standing on high ground half a mile to the west of the Sphinx, are in fact a precise map of the three stars of Orion's belt, formed in fifteen million tons of solid stone.   Are these monuments trying to tell us something? And, if so, what?   In The Message of the Sphinx, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock present a tour de force of historical and scientific detective work that unravels the millennial code embodied in these structures. Using sophisticated computer simulations of ancient skies, they unravel the riddle of the Sphinx, and they present a startling new theory concerning the enigmatic Pyramid Texts and other archaic Egyptian scriptures.   Their discoveries lead the authors to this question: Does mankind have a rendezvous with destiny--a rendezvous not in the future, but in the distant past, at a precise place and time?   The secrets can be kept no longer. The Message of the Sphinx brings them to light.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jasmyn9
This is the second book on Egypt that I have read by Robert Bauval. I would recommend reading the first, The Orion Mystery, before starting this as it occassionally references back to topics written there, and I found it very helpful to have the background on the pyramids discussed in The Orion
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The Message of the Sphinx moves away from the Great Pyramids a bit and centers on the meaning, purpose and age of the Great Sphinx. Newer theories (1996) suggest that the Sphinx is much older than originally thought and also suggest a new purpose for the anciet monument. These discoveries are based in science and lead to a very compelling argument for the writers' theories.

If you are interested in Egyptology, this book should be on your must read book. Even if we choose not to believe the authors' theories, it shows a new picture of the ancients that helps piece together how and when they lived, specifically their religion and funeral rites. The writing gets a littel overly scientific for easy reading so I've been picking it up on and off all year.

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LibraryThing member tuckerresearch
Not quite as good as Sign or Fingerprints, but interesting nevertheless. Hancock begins to get kooky with this book, culminating in the rancid Mars Mystery. He is rich though.
LibraryThing member bastet
Probably one of the most believable and brain-altering books you can read about Egypt. Hancock and Bauval will no longer let the old paradigm of Egypt take over this new generation of Egyptologists.
Even if you don't agree with it, it's fascinating reading. Not a UFO in sight.
LibraryThing member TheoClarke
Pseodoscience can be identified by the aggrieved tone of the author whose theory is not accepted by academia. Not all of this is demonstrably wrong: there are unanswered questions about why the flanks of the sphinx bear anomalous weathering but the authors' assertion that it is water from a pre-Ice
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Age climate seems less likely than those proposed by more orthodox scholars. The openess of my mind towards Bauval's theories snapped shut when he deduced the age of of the Great Sphinx to be the time when the Mesopotamian zodiacal symbol of Leo (unknown in Egypt until over a millennium after the pyramids were built) was rising on the eyeline of the statue some 12.5 millennia ago. I admire the creativity behind this book but there is too much defensive argument here and I find that I do not know what to trust.
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LibraryThing member adeeba_zamaan
First, an explanation of my bias. I loved Zahi Hawass from his first appearances on Nat Geo, because he's so charismatic and he reminded me of my father. Like him, I hated von Daniken and those Ancient Aliens guys, in my case because they have so deficient a sense of the relation between claim and
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evidence that even if their claims were true I couldn't accept them, because they haven't really been argued. I'm reminded of trying to submit algebra homework with the right answers but no proofs.

Then, down with flu and napping through HuluPlus, I clicked on The Pyramid Code. Episode one, still skeptical. Episode two, socks knocked off. Remaining episodes, becoming skeptical again about some bits but moved to inquire further into others. Found one lecture by Bauval and one by Hancock, also on Hulu. Then, still bedridden, I ordered Laird Scranton's The Science of the Dogon for my Kindle. As soon as I could get up, I headed for the library and borrowed Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods and The Message of the Sphinx, co-authored by Hancock and Bauval.

There's a lot of astronomy in Message, more than even I needed, so to me it's a less breathtaking read than Fingerprints. But both writers present compelling--I mean that literally--evidence for their claims, enough evidence in fact to make orthodox archaeology look about as scientific as the Ancient Alien guys, to make it look less like a theory than like a belief system.

As for claims, Hancock and Bauval are restrained. If they believe in alien visitations, they're careful not to show it. But if you would like to consider the possibility of an antediluvian culture that got lost, here are some facts and arguments.
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LibraryThing member paperloverevolution
Not entertaining.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

362 p.; 7 inches


0517705036 / 9780517705032


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