Discovered by Auguste Mariette in the 1850's, the Inventory Stela has been rejected by traditional Egyptologists as a forgery (an incredibly made one at that). That is because they refuse to believe it can be telling the truth, as it flies in the face of everything they believe. The Stela (kind of an obelisk with writing on its sides) was found in a 21 Dynasty temple of Isis built into the pyramid temple of Henutsen, daughter of Khufu.

"Everybody" knows that Khufu (Cheops), the famous Pharoah of the Fourth Dynasty, erected the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx, and many other monuments in Giza. The Great Pyramid is supposed to be his tomb. The only real evidence of this is a few bits of statuary, some heiroglyphics outside of the monuments, and some paint markings inside the upper chambers (weight-bearing relief spaces) of Great Pyramid, which some discount as forgeries to supplement the claims of Col. Richard Howard-Vyse in 1837, who claimed originally that Khufu built the Great Pyramid.

The Inventory Stela, however, states unequivocally that the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx existed long before Khufu (The Sphinx much, much longer) and that he built his temple near the "house of the Sphinx" and so possibly only renovated the Great Pyramid (or possibly completed it, as the size of the blocks changes significantly in the construction.) Regardless of the interpretation as it concerns the Pyramid, it states the Sphinx was already there a great while. The Stela also mentions that lightening struck the tail of the nemes headdress of the Sphinx and destroyed it. This of course could only have happened if the Sphinx already existed in Khufu's time.

In support of this is the fact that nothing was ever found in the Great Pyramid, not even leavings of looters, and no carvings exist in the entire structure. The so-called "King's Chamber" is a perfect (well, almost perfect), featureless, near-seamless "golden rectangle"-shaped chamber made out of massive granite blocks with an identically-proportioned granite box (also found completely empty) inside of it. In the case of the Sphinx, it is weathered by water (with the exception of the head, which was probably carved from a lion's head to that of a man in Egyptian times, possibly by Khufu), a geological fact that makes it over 8-10,000 years old.

The Stela is but one of the many puzzle pieces we have left of the enigmatic builders of the Sphinx and Great Pyramid, and we will probably never determine to any real accuracy their true builders or the nature of the civilization that created them. Unfortunately, the only evidence pro or con exist in the Sphinx and Pyramids themselves, and in the beliefs and imaginations of Egyptologists.

The Inventory Stela now sits in the Cairo Museum.

Thanks to Ouroboros for asking the hard questions that made this a better wu.

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