Sphinx 'may have had the face of a lion'

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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 the 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.

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