Is the Sphinx of prehistoric origin? Why was it built? In this provocative, rigorously argued report, revisionist Egyptologists Hancock (The Fingerprints of the Gods) and Bauval (The Orion Mystery) join forces to answer these questions and more as they examine the Sphinx and its relation to the other monuments of the Giza plateau. Working from the premise that the Giza complex encodes a message, they begin with recently discovered geological evidence indicating that the deep erosion patterns on the flanks of the Sphinx were caused by 1000 years of heavy rain. Such conditions last existed in Egypt at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000-9,000 B.C., meaning that the Sphinx may be more than 12,000 years old (not the generally accepted 4500 years). The authors go on to suggest, using computer simulations of the sky, that the pyramids, representing the three stars of Orion's Belt, along with associated causeways and alignments, constitute a record in stone of the celestial array at the vernal equinox in 10,500 B.C. This moment, they contend, represents Zep Tepi, the "First Time," often referred to in the hieroglyphic record. They show how the initiation rituals of the Egyptian pharaohs replicate on Earth the sun's journey through the stars in this remote era, and they suggest that the "Hall of Records" of a lost civilization may be located by treating the Giza Plateau as a template of these same ancient skies. These daring, well-argued theories will raise the hackles of orthodox Egyptologists?but that doesn't mean they're wrong.