Robert M. Schoch

  1. The Monuments
  2. Age of the Great Sphinx
  3. Khufu?
  4. Heart of the Debate
  5. Well-watered Everywhere
  6. Catastrophism
  7. Stalagmites
  8. Schoch's Own Words
  9. Some Conclusions
  10. Some More Conclusions
  11. Still More Conclusions
  12. Links
  13. Books

John Anthony West

Rene Aor Schwaller de Lubicz, an eccentric occult scholar, spent decades studying the surviving monuments and religion of ancient Egypt. He once noted that the erosion on the Great Sphinx had been caused by water rather than wind, and that the neighboring monuments didn't share that characteristic. This suggested that the Sphinx had a different origin and history.

In Serpent in the Sky John Anthony West put it this way:
"Schwaller de Lubicz observed that the severe erosion of the body of the great Sphinx of Giza is due to the action of water, not of wind and sand. If the single fact of the water erosion of the Sphinx could be confirmed, it would in itself overthrow all accepted chronologies of the history of civilization..." [p 198]
West was unable to interest "a well known Oxford geologist" in this controversy, even after his "bit of a trick" in which the geologist looked at a masked photo of the Sphinx and identified the erosion as having been caused by water. [Mysteries of the Sphinx alternate source]

Eventually he was introduced to Robert M. Schoch, a geologist from Boston University. Schoch told West that if he could get him to Egypt he'd take a look, but not to expect confirmation. [Voices of the Rocks, p 36; alternate source]

It should also be noted that West revived the idea of water erosion on the Sphinx and built an intimidating case in favor of its predynastic origin long before he introduced Schoch to the idea. Saqqara's structures, supposedly older than the Sphinx, are made of mud brick. While Schoch and West use this to support the greater antiquity of the Sphinx, conventional Egyptologists use it to support the idea that the Sphinx wasn't eroded by rain.

The Monuments

During his first trip to Giza, Schoch could only view the monuments from a distance. For his second trip he drafted a proposal to the Egyptian Antiquities Organization for nondestructive geological testing of the Sphinx, the Sphinx Temple, and the Valley Temple, all of which showed similar weathering. The EAO approved the proposal, and he returned to Giza with West and Thomas L. Dobecki for help with the seismic study. [pp 37-38]

Precipitation induced weathering on the Sphinx, its enclosure, and the different weathering of the floor of the enclosure, prove to Schoch that the front of the Sphinx was carved first, between 7000 B.C. and 5000 B.C., while the rear of the Sphinx was carved in Old Kingdom times, 2600 B.C. Due to the deceleration of weathering (because of declining rainfall), Schoch concludes that the Sphinx may have been carved earlier than 7000 B.C., [pp 40-42] and by the same token, the present writer concludes that the rear of the Sphinx must have been carved earlier than 2600 B.C. It seems unlikely that precipitation was heavy enough to cause the observed erosion since the 4th dynasty.

The mastabas at Saqqara are mud brick structures built before the Giza pyramids. They don't show the precipitation induced weathering, and neither do the Giza pyramids (ignoring the fact that the finished surface of the pyramids has largely been removed over the centuries). This indicates that the Sphinx, its enclosure, and the Valley and Sphinx temples are earlier. [pp 38-39] Therefore, Schoch and West should conclude that, since the rump was carved much later, all of the carving was completed in predynastic times.

The Sphinx head is not in scale with the body. There isn't a resemblance between the surviving statues of Khafre and the face on the Sphinx (despite decades of claims to the contrary by many people). Frank Domingo, a former NYPD forensic officer, found that the face has Nubian features. Schoch concludes that the head was recarved. [pp 43-45]

Age of the Great Sphinx

ArabicNews is an online source of politically homogeneous reporting (propaganda). It therefore surprised me to find a largely factual synopsis of the controversy in one of their articles:
The Sphinx's origin is mired in mystery and controversy. It has been claimed that there is a chamber under it, that if it is allowed to be dug, will reveal in it the origin of the limestone monument, which some say goes back 5,000 years and represents the Pharaoh Khafre, while a new and controversial study by Boston University's Professor Robert M. Schoch, accompanied by John Anthony West, claims that the Sphinx's age is more than 9,000 years, and its origin goes back to pre-pharoanic [sic] times and that the statue's current head was carved over an older representation of an animal's head. [Egypt celebrates the renovation of the Sphinx]
Misrepresentations of Dr. Schoch's and Mr. West's work, and the weak or invalid (and in some cases unscientific and unscholarly) criticisms persist. Even those refuted as long ago as the early 1990s are repeated without reference to the refutations. This must be attributed either to ignorance or an inability to grasp principles of logic and scholarly debate. Tactics of this kind don't bolster the weak, indirect, circumstantial, even insubstantial case for Khafre's role in Sphinx construction.

One wonders why the idea originated of Khafre's having had the Sphinx carved, since the faces don't match, the inscriptions -- all from the New Kingdom -- regarding the Sphinx' origin run more than two to one against (and the one allegedly in support no longer exists), and geologists have been walking by the evidence for water erosion for nearly a century.

It's easy to believe that there are political reasons for toeing the line on the Khafre origin for the Great Sphinx. Egyptology isn't rooted in science, and Egyptologists have resisted radiocarbon dating and other scientific dating techniques in order to prop up its conventional pseudochronology. Any work done at Giza that disconfirms the pseudochronology or finds the previously unknown -- even the Upuaut probe in the Khufu pyramid -- seems to usually result in the blackballing from Giza of the heretical scholars. Zahi Hawass has been a vocal critic of Dr. Schoch, as has Mark Lehner, and scientific tests which would confirm or disprove Dr. Schoch's findings have been prohibited.

One advantage to academic specialization is the ability to ignore evidence accumulated by other specialties. While this definitely works, it doesn't work indefinitely.

Regarding cosmic ray exposure as a way to date the carving rather than the stone, Schoch wrote in his 1992 KMT paper that "...there is even the possibility of attempting to date the exposure age of the surface of the rock (which, in turn, could date the initial carving of the Sphinx) by measuring the concentration of isotopes produced in situ on the surface of the rock by the bombardment of cosmic rays." As Schoch wrote in an email reply on this issue, the Egyptians won't permit the testing insofar as they won't permit the collection of samples.

There's also the possibility that the surface has been so eroded that the dating wouldn't be of the carving, but of the erosion. That could be useful in and of itself. Perhaps the best way to test the date would be to get samples from various parts of the Sphinx, the enclosure, the temples Schoch and West associate with the Sphinx, and various parts of the head of the Sphinx, since it is likely to have been recarved. The constructed portions (such as the front legs / paws, which appear to be mostly made of blocks) should also reveal a different date than the body.

But, due to the fact that the Sphinx has spent most of the last 4500 years buried up to the neck in sand, it's at least possible that the entire carving will seem to be of the same date.


David M. Rohl, author of the recent Legend: The Genesis of Civilization and the better known Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, has a number of essays on his website. Beware the "mystery meat" navigation there.
Dr Robert Schoch... has pointed out that the erosion patterns, formed in the vertical rock walls of the cutting in which the Sphinx is located, must have been made by water. They appear to show that the Sphinx enclosure was already in existence when the period of heavy rainfall subsided towards the beginning of the Old Kingdom. As a result, Schoch places the carving of the Sphinx in circa 6000 BC when the Neolithic Wet Phase (Nabtian Pluvial) was at its peak... I would just mention two factors here which might give pause for thought. First, as Lawton and Ogilvie-Herald rightly point out, the salts in the limestone of the Giza plateau tend to cause very rapid erosion, still observable in modern times even though the rainfall around Cairo is now very low. Second, the Neolithic Wet Phase continued right down to the beginning of the 4th Dynasty when the pyramids were built. So the water erosion features could have been created as late as the early third millennium, over a period of say 300 years. This would be consistent with the inscriptional evidence of the 'Inventory Stela' which states that the Sphinx was already standing when the Great Pyramid was being built (and therefore not the work of Khufu's successor, Khafre). [Riddle of the Sands by David M. Rohl]
Actually, there's no way for the Sphinx erosion to have occurred in such a time frame, because the mudbrick mastabas at nearby Saqqara would have to show even worse erosion from rain -- but they don't. Rohl hasn't done his homework, in that he's not sufficiently familiar with what Schoch has written on the topic.

Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid, was the father and predecessor of Khafre (Djedefre succeeded Khufu, but apparently had a very short reign). The face of Khufu is known from a single small statuette -- one easily held in one hand -- which is probably not surprising given the antiquity, and the fact that the monuments of Egypt have been picked at by explorers, treasurehunters, and even children for millennia. A colossal stone head broken from a larger sculpture, excavated some years ago, has now been attributed to Khufu by at least one scholar [Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids, ed by Dorothea Arnold]

Rainer Stadelmann is a conventional Egyptologist who has worked at Giza since the late 1960s. Zahi Hawass has called him an honorary Egyptian, a good friend, one of his oldest friends, etc. While Stadelmann doesn't advocate a predynastic origin of the Sphinx, he no longer advocates an origin during the reign of Khafre.
Abstract: The Great Sphinx of Giza -- A Creation of Khufu/Cheops (Rainer Stadelmann) -- The so-called Dream Stela of Tuthmosis IV does not mention that the Great Sphinx was created by Khafre (Chephren), but the older stela of Amenhotep II mentions both Khufu and Khafre. It is located within the quarries of Khufu. Since the causeway of Khafre runs slightly to the southeast, rather than straight to the east, and since his valley temple lies beyond the axis of his pyramid complex, also toward the southeast, it is suggested that it was to avoid something important that already stood there -- the Great Sphinx. The features also point to Khufu -- the square face and broad chin, the pleated nemes without a band, the wide open eyes and large ears, and the fact the statue was beardless in the Old Kingdom. [Jerome M. Eisenberg, Ph.D., "Egyptian Congress In Cairo", Minerva v 11 n 4, July-August 2000, p 42.]
Moving the date back a generation isn't adequate to explain its need for repair in the time of Khufu or Khafre, much less water erosion, but it may help to break up this particular piece of Egyptological dogma.

I just had to know Dr. Schoch's opinion of Stadelmann's paper. He hadn't seen it until I emailed it, but was glad to know about it and emailed a reply to the effect that Stadelmann's analysis as abstracted seems to be compatible with Schoch's dating of the Sphinx, since Stadelmann agrees that it predates Khafre, and Schoch has said all along that the head has been recarved, which is (at least part of) the reason the head is out of proportion. [Schoch, Robert M., private correspondence]

Heart of the Debate

Dr. Schoch also snail mailed an abstract of his recent paper presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. It's similar to the article available on his Lawton/Ogilvie-Herald page. Despite the total ignorance professed for decades regarding the water erosion features on the Sphinx etcetera, people have dreamed up "scientific" reasons for them which are intended as props for the conventional view.
Abstract: Geoarchaeologists K. Lal Gauri and James Harrell have disputed these findings, asserting that migrating groundwater, efflorescing salts, recent rainfall, and wet sand can explain the observed degradation of the Sphinx and Sphinx enclosure walls, and thus preserve the standard dating scheme... Summer 2000 field studies established that dynastic tombs located just south of the Sphinx and also within the Sphinx enclosure do not exhibit the features predicted by Gauri and Harrell, thus falsifying their hypotheses. The evidence for an older Sphinx is further strengthened by new discoveries. These include other monuments at Giza and elsewhere exhibiting water-weathering features preserved beneath or within Old Kingdom (ca. 2575-2150 B.C.) repair campaigns and structures (for example, Tomb of Queen Khentkaus at Giza; a weathered chamber protected within the Red [North] Pyramid at Dahshur). Deeply weathered shaft tombs adjacent to or near much less weathered Third Dynasty (ca. 2600 B.C.) shafts at Saqqara provide further possible evidence for previously unsuspected large-scale pre-Third Dynasty cultural projects in Egypt. [Schoch, Robert M., West, John Anthony, "Further Evidence Supporting a Pre-2500 B.C. Date for the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt", "Geological Society of America abstracts with programs (2000), v. 32, no. 7, p. A276."]
Dr. Schoch's uniformitarian orientation coupled with the evidence required him to push back the date by thousands of years. When he came to this conclusion the consensus was that the last regular rains occurred at the end of the European glaciation, and gradually tapered off to near zero, ending nine or ten thousand years ago.

While the Geological Society presentation over ten years ago revealed a consensus in favor of Schoch and West, the debate at the AAAS was got ugly for the insurgents. There are short edits of the confrontation in the Mysteries of the Sphinx video, and Schoch refers to "[Mark] Lehner's tendency to indulge in name-calling and insult." [p 46] Ultimately the physical evidence prevails over assumptions as to the Sphinx' antiquity, because the assumptions are not based on scientific dating techniques. Even the handful of inscriptions involved don't support the conventional dating.

It would be interesting to have data showing how long it would take a (presumably) perpendicular piece of Giza limestone cliff to become as eroded as it is today. Naturally the study would involved a steady, 24-7 spray of water to simulate rainfall from different angles. This wouldn't answer the question of how old the carving is, because further assumptions would have to be made, namely, how regular was the rainfall, and how long ago did it taper off to modern levels?

Well-watered Everywhere

Even within historical times the Sahara wasn't in the form we see today. Along with a long belt of sand, Herodotus describes the environs of Lake Tritonis and the inhabitants thereof. A large river called the Triton flowed into the lake, suggesting a landlocked body of water, presumably one or more of the large dry lakebeds once fed by one or more of the now-dry riverbeds. The only clue to its whereabouts is that it was somewhere in northern Africa, west of Egypt, and probably west of Cyrenaica. It's difficult to tell from the text whether this was one of the many places to which Herodotus traveled or merely the descriptions he gleaned from other travelers, but it appears to be in the former category. [Herodotus, The Histories Book IV, tr. by George Rawlinson]
The change to today's arid climate was not gradual, but occurred in two episodes -- the first 6,700 to 5,500 years ago and the second 4,000 to 3,600 years ago, according to a paper published Thursday by the journal Geophysical Research Letters. [Sahara turned to desert in abrupt climate change CNN, July 15, 1999]

Final Desertification 4000-3600 yrs BP
4700 BC is nearly a thousand years after the fall of Catal Huyuk and the catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea. 3500 BC is about a thousand years before the Giza pyramids were completed. Without seeing the full paper I'd have to guess that some kind of correlation is drawn in order to explain the rise of predynastic Egypt. This first period of dessication has a range of 1200 years, which implies a gradual change, but this could be the result of an inability to get more solid dates.

2000 BC to 1600 BC corresponds to the period from the Old Kingdom in Egypt to the middle of the Middle Kingdom. The Israelites began their sojourn and captivity in Goshen during the 12th dynasty. This 400 year range could imply another more rapid but still gradual change, and this narrowing could be the result of slightly more solid dating. Official denials that slavery ever existed in ancient Egypt wouldn't emerge until late in the 20th century of our era.

The researchers attribute the change to alteration of Earth's orbit and tilt of its axis. It should be noted that there's no evidence for such a change. The sudden change to the desert climate was not at all gradual, despite the claim of very gradual change to the Earth itself. Their computer models had little data of the temperature and level of the oceans, so it should not be a surprise that they conclude that there was little impact by the oceans on this climate change.

It's a relief to me that they discounted human cultivation of the land as a cause, because I had begun to suspect that these researchers were just more global warming ninnies and liars. I was amused by their caution regarding the hypothesis that the dessication caused migration to the Nile. *
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, is home to more than 300 species of cichlids. These fish, which are popular in aquariums, are deep-bodied and have one nostril, rather than the usual two, on each side of the head. Seismic profiles and cores of the lake taken by a team headed by Thomas C. Johnson of the University of Minnesota, reveal that the lake dried up completely about 12,400 years ago. This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years! [Patrick Huyghe, Evolution in Your Face]
Interesting that Lake Victoria ceased to be, then came back, and all so recently. Rapid evolution of the kind described is probably unnecessary. The data is probably a consequence of the rapidity of the events. In other words, the Lake was emptied quite suddenly, and refilled in a matter of days or weeks.

Regardless of the length of time involved, this is important in the context of the Sphinx because it shows that the Nile's upper reaches completely dried out for some reason at least once within human times. A culture capable of carving the Sphinx might be expected to be reliant on the Nile, regardless of the climate conditions, provided the Nile were actually there. If the lake dried out over years rather than days or weeks, the Nile's flow must have been significantly less than today's, and could mark a period of decline. If the lake dried out and refilled quickly (say, over the course of a year, any population reliant on the river for its survival and livelihood would have suffered.

Since Lake Victoria probably dried outdue to decreased rainfall, this drying out may provide the earliest date for the ingress of the Sphinx builders, regardless of their point of origin.
"From the end of the Ice Age about 11,600 years ago until about 6,000 years ago, the Nile River Valley was a good place to live where the people of the Ice Age Civilization could continue their high culture without much disruption, in marked contrast to the situation in China where the end of the Ice Age brought great turbulence. At 11,600 years ago, about when the Vela X supernova was seen in Earth, a very sudden (50 years or so) warming event ended the Ice Age and marked the start of the Holocene Age of warm climate and glacial retreat. The 11,600 to 6,000 year old civilization occured after the sudden warming event ended the Ice Age 11,600 years ago. There was a continual benevolent Nile River Valley climate until the rains stopped and the lakes dried up 6,000 years ago." [Tony Smith, Nile Lakes]
While I'm convinced that Schoch et all are correct that the Sphinx and its enclosure (as well as two structures built apparently at the same time) were heavily eroded by water, and that this means a pre-4th dynasty origin of the Sphinx, I'm not clear why Smith brought up the supposed first sighting of the Vela X supernova, since he doesn't mention it any further, and there's no way to determine the antiquity of that event, given the lack of known written records. In short, I don't think Smith knows what he's talking about.
"Researchers Elfatih A.B. Eltahir and Guiling Wang looked at Nile flood records dating back to A.D. 650 to develop an estimate of past El Ninos. They have discovered a period, just over 1,000 years ago, that had relatively frequent El Ninos, similar to the pattern of the past 20 year. When an El Nino is under way, rain is reduced over the sources of the Nile. Studies have found that about 30 percent of the change in water flow on the Nile at Aswan can be attributed to El Nino. The paper shows frequent El Ninos between about 750 and 1000 with a reduction after that, and then an increase again in the latter years of this century." [Randolph E. Schmid, El Nino Secrets in Old Egypt Early Nile Records Valuable to Scientists]

"The full sediment record indicates that 15,000 years ago severe El Nino-like storms occurred at least about every 15 years, and that they have since occurred with progressively increasing frequency. Over the past 5,000 years, storms from El Nino-like climate fluctuations have occurred about every two to eight and one-half years, possibly due to enhanced trade winds," said the study's lead author, Donald T. Rodbell of Union College, in Schenectady, N.Y. [Evidence of ancient El Ninos found]
Most geologists who have looked at the data agree with Robert M. Schoch regarding the water erosion, and from an interdisciplinary perspective, realize the significance -- that the Sphinx was eroded by rainfall of a kind that no longer occurs there. What little wind erosion that shows is overlaid on the older water erosion. The surviving ancient records which mention the Sphinx point to its pre-4th dynasty origin.

In case you're wondering, no, I'm not a Young Earth- or any other kind of Creationist, nor does that enter into the question of dating the Sphinx. Neither for that matter does Darwinism.
...and I observed that there were shells upon the hills, and that salt exuded from the soil to such an extent as even to injure the pyramids; and I noticed also that there is but a single hill in all Egypt where sand is found, namely, the hill above Memphis; and further, I found the country to bear no resemblance either to its borderland Arabia, or to Libya- nay, nor even to Syria, which forms the seaboard of Arabia; but whereas the soil of Libya is, we know, sandy and of a reddish hue, and that of Arabia and Syria inclines to stone and clay, Egypt has a soil that is black and crumbly, as being alluvial and formed of the deposits brought down by the river from Ethiopia. [Herodotus, The Histories Book II, tr. by George Rawlinson]
Herodotus also speculates that the story of the Delta having been as far south as Memphis is probably true, and that the Nile could easily have filled in the intervening space in less than 20,000 years. At Aswan the river is only 87 meters above sea level. Apparently five million years ago the Nile ran in a gorge nearly 1000 feet below its current surface. As the Mediterranean rose -- whatever the reason -- the inundation pushed at least as far south as the location of the Aswan High Dam [Ryan and Pitman, Noah's Flood p 88]. Since that time the Nile silt has filled in the gorge. [Walter C. Pitman, William B. F. Ryan, Noah's Flood]


Dr. Schoch discusses a lot of catastrophist scenarios, including true polar wander, pole shift, crustal displacement, floods, and impact. He also discusses precession and the speculation that the zodiac signs are many thousands of years old. I was pretty pleased to learn that he had not heard of the following article. It may not have any impact on his other theories, but if he planned to resort to astronomical or archaeoastronomical arguments in support of anything, he'd do well to think again.
At 8.45 on the morning of 15 April 136 BC, Babylon was plunged into darkness when the Moon passed in front of the Sun. So extensive were their records that the Babylonians even spotted that eclipses with similar characteristics recur every 18 years and 11-13ths days, known today as the saros cycle. There is no reason to doubt this ancient account of a total eclipse. But the total eclipse of 15 April 136 BC should not have been visible from Babylon at all. The zone of totality should have passed over the Spanish island of Mallorca, 48.8 degrees west of Babylon-a difference of more than one-eighth of a complete rotation of the Earth, or 3.25 hours. The only explanation is that the planet's rotation has slowed since 136 BC, making the day longer. [In The Shadow Of The Moon]
The researchers who discovered this tidbit of course assumed a uniform decrease in the speed of the Earth's rotation, then used this assumption to build a computer model which confirmed everything. The decrease in rotation rate is greater than anyone had assumed, but those assumptions were based on the presence of the Moon. As the Moon, regardless of its origin, orbits the Earth, it is accelerated away and the energy required for the acceleration comes from the deceleration of the Earth's rotation.

The rate of slowing was found to be too large to be accounted for using this model of energy transfer through gravity and tidal forces. These researchers attributed it to the disappearance of the ice sheets. This is convenient, since whatever amount of rebound is needed can be assumed. This calls into question the idea of a gradual onset and end to glaciation. I'd also point out that this supposed decrease in the altitude at the equator would tend to accelerate the rate of rotation, and the smaller diameter proposed, slight though it may be, would further decrease the length of the day.
"Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs... The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC. They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land." [Robert Matthews, Meteor clue to end of Middle East civilisations]
To put the impact into some perspective, the Barringer or Meteor Crater in AZ is about 3/4 mile across; this more recent crater would be the result of an impact about seven times greater. An online archaeologist (or archaeology student, hard to tell) online referred to the premise cited in the article as "total crap". Another testimonial for the American public school system.
Researchers say similar environmental calamities occurred about 3200 BC, 2300 BC, 1628 BC and 1159 BC. Each led to the collapse of urban societies... "Earth is currently enjoying a quiescent period," said Robert S[c]hoch, a Boston University geologist. "But around 2200 AD, it is likely that a new flow of comet fragments will enter Earth-crossing orbits and pose a real threat to our planet." [Robert S. Boyd, Comets Tied To Fall Of Empires] *
This article and a number of similar ones refer to the ideas of Clube, Napier, Baillie, et al, regarding the role impact has played in civilization, and are interesting, despite the misspelling of Schoch in this one. At first I thought David Keys' book was about such impacts, but it turns out that he goes with volcanic eruption, an idea that gets more ridiculous by the day. The "total crap" guy mentioned above claims that the Thera eruption indirectly brought on the end of the Bronze Age as the Sea Peoples fled the devastated area (across the Aegean by chariot I guess, to Anatolia and points west and south).
A century later, all these civilizations had begun to unravel. Cities burned, trade became almost nonexistent, and large groups of people migrated from one place to another. When calm returned, a new world had dawned. In the wake of the magnificent Late Bronze Age civilizations, new peoples eventually arose, including the classical Greeks and biblical Israelites -- two of the most significant precursors of modern Western civilization. [William H. Stiebing, Jr., Death of the Bronze Age, map]
That's an online (or formerly online) article regarding the unraveling of the Bronze Age civilizations.
Occurrence in a previously recorded thick tephra deposit of particles identical to some of the mysterious layer and resemblance of its original pseudo-sand fabric with the exploded one of the mysterious layer confirms that the later is contemporaneous with the tephra deposit. It has been however impossible to find typical tephra shards in sites located at a few km around the one with the tephra deposit The restricted occurrence of the later suggests that the massive tephra accumulation can no longer be considered as a typical fallout derived from the dispersion of material from a terrestrial volcanic explosion. [Marie-Agnès Courty, Causes And Effects Of The 2350 BC Middle East Anomaly Evidenced By Micro-debris Fallout, Surface Combustion And Soil Explosion]
Courty concludes, based on the data, that impact, not volcanic eruption, led to the downfall of various Near Eastern civilizations and dynasties of that time. The paper was written before the identification of the crater in that "total crap" article.
Professor Fekri Hassan, from University College London, UK, wanted to solve the mystery, by gathering together scientific clues. His inspiration was the little known tomb in southern Egypt of a regional governor, Ankhtifi. The hieroglyphs there reported "all of Upper Egypt was dying of hunger to such a degree that everyone had come to eating their children". Dismissed as exaggeration and fantasy by most other Egyptologists, Fekri was determined to prove the writings were true and accurate. He also had to find a culprit capable of producing such misery. He studied the meticulous records, kept since the 7th Century, of Nile floods. He was amazed to see that there was a huge variation in the size of the annual Nile floods - the floods that were vital for irrigating the land. But no records existed for 2,200BC. Then came a breakthrough - a new discovery in the hills of neighbouring Israel. Mira Bar-Matthews of the Geological Survey of Israel had found a unique record of past climates, locked in the stalactites and stalagmites of a cave near Tel Aviv. What they show is a sudden and dramatic drop in rainfall, by 20%. It is the largest climate event in 5,000 years. And the date? 2,200 BC. [Disaster that struck the ancients]
The movements of Abraham (circa 2200 B.C.) imply some sort of migratory lifestyle necessitated by the climate. There's even an indication that Abraham left Canaan for Egypt due to a drought or other natural disaster. The destruction of the Cities of the Plain also took place at that time, and that qualifies as a natural disaster, despite its having been attributed in the Old Testament to retribution for evil behavior.


In recent years the use of proxy dating has more or less taken over, regardless of the merit. The advantage to stalagmite studies is that so much chemical information is retained, and there isn't any danger of loss of data through melting or diffusion as there is with ice cores.
Stalagmites from a number of caves have now been analysed by Dr Andy Baker at Newcastle University. After splitting and polishing the rock, he can measure its growth precisely. He has built up a precipitation history going back thousands of years... At Pooles Cavern in Derbyshire, it was discovered that the stalagmites grow faster in the winter months when it rains more. Alan Walker, who guides visitors through the caves, says the changes in rainfall are recorded in the stalactites and stalagmites like the growth rings in trees. Stalagmites from a number of caves have now been analysed by Dr Andy Baker at Newcastle University. After splitting and polishing the rock, he can measure its growth precisely and has built up a precipitation history going back thousands of years. His study suggests this autumn's rainfall is not at all unusual when looked at over such a timescale but is well within historic variations. He believes politicians find it expedient to blame a man-made change in our weather rather than addressing the complex scientific picture. [Tom Heap, Stalagmites]
Alas, this data is from Britain, not Egypt, but there is much more:
The researchers examined four stalagmites from Crevice Cave, the longest cave known in Missouri, located about 75 miles south of St. Louis. The stalagmites appeared to have been broken by natural forces such as floods or earthquakes and were found about 80 feet below the ground surface, says Dorale. The team determined when the stalagmite layers were deposited, then deduced paleotemperatures and the general types of vegetation growing in the vicinity during that era by examining the carbon and oxygen isotopes within the calcium carbonate. The profile showed that the area had been covered by forest 75,000 years ago, but by 71,000 years ago, it was savannah and by 59,000 years ago, had become a prairie. Between 55,000 and 25,000 years ago, the forest had returned and persisted. Dorale explains that the pattern is consistent with climatological records from the ocean [Kristina Bartlett and Devra Wexler, Stalagmites reveal past climate]

A study led by physicist Warren Beck of the University of Arizona discovered an enormous peak in the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere between 45 thousand and 11 thousand years ago. Living organisms and some geological features absorb stable carbon-12 and radioactive carbon-14, which are present in the air in a well-known ratio. Scientists use carbon dating to determine when objects ceased to absorb carbon by measuring how much of the carbon-14 - which has a half-life of 5730 years - has decayed. Beck and colleagues tested slices of a half-metre long stalagmite that grew between 45 000 and 11 000 years ago in a cave in the Bahamas. Galactic cosmic rays create most of the carbon-14 in our atmosphere, while solar cosmic rays generate a smaller fraction. The Earth is partially shielded from galactic cosmic rays by its own magnetic field and the solar magnetic field, which fluctuates as the solar cycle proceeds. These effects are predictable and are thought to have changed little in the last million years - which means they cannot explain the glut of carbon-14. The team speculates that a supernova shock wave could have produced a flurry of cosmic rays. [Carbon clock could show the wrong time]

Charles Arthur, Stalagmite discovery throws doubt on carbon dating

Dating study 'means human history rethink'

Roger Highfield, Carbon dating 'might be wrong by 10,000 years'

Mark E. Howerter, Radiometric Dating: An Exercise in Faith
The "total crap" guy also dumped on the idea of inaccurate assumptions underlying radiocarbon dating, but I do thank him for posting the first online article I saw on the topic.

Schoch's Own Words

The idea is a simple one, and the data is clear-cut. The problem has been that it has kicked the skids from behind a parked bus with flat tires, no driver, and bad brakes, parked on a steep hill.
In my opinion, the nature and degree of weathering and erosion (degradation) on the Sphinx and in the Sphinx enclosure is much different than what would be expected if the Sphinx had not been carved until 2800 B.C., or even 3000 B.C. Also, mudbrick mastabas on the Saqqara Plateau, dated to circa 2800 B.C., show no evidence of significant rain weathering, indicating just how dry the climate has been for the last 5,000 years. I continue to believe that the erosional features on the Sphinx and in the Sphinx enclosure indicate a much earlier date than 3000 or 2800 B.C. [New Studies Confirm Very Old Sphinx by Robert M. Schoch, May 2000 issue Atlantis Rising]
The article linked above also discusses the Coxil and Reader findings and introduces some other ideas not included in Dr. Schoch's book.
I have come to the conclusion that the structure commonly known as the Great Sphinx was built in stages (originally it may not have even been a Sphinx). Initial carving of the core body of the Sphinx is estimated to have taken place during the period of approximately 7,000 to 5,000 B.C. The Sphinx has subsequently been reworked and refurbished many times over the succeeding millennia -- including, probably, during the reign of Khafre. In particular, the rump or rear of the Sphinx was carved out much later than the core body, and the head of the Sphinx has been recarved. My geological work suggests that Khafre merely restored the Sphinx. [Robert M. Schoch, Abstract: Erosion Processes On The Great Sphinx And Its Dating, alt src]
The work during the time of Khafre consisted at most of refacing the Sphinx and Valley temples, possibly recarving some of the facial features, and reconstructing or refacing the body.
Sporadic heavy rains and the resulting flash floods commonly found in arid regions do have tremendous potential to move loose debris and even cause serious erosion. However, in my opinion as a geologist, the nature and especially degree of weathering seen in the Sphinx enclosure and on the body of the Sphinx itself, is incompatible with sporadic flash floods since dynastic times. K. Lal Gauri has maintained that the weathering and erosion of the Sphinx and walls of the Sphinx enclosure are the result of the various effects of chemical weathering. However, it alone cannot account for all of the weathering features seen in the Sphinx enclosure, and more importantly it alone cannot account for the specific distribution of weathering features actually found in the Sphinx enclosure. [Robert M. Schoch, Abstract: Comments By Robert M. Schoch On Chapter 7 of Giza: The Truth]

Some Conclusions

  • Regarding the stones used for the Valley and Sphinx temples, it's clear that in addition to cosmic ray exposure dating (which would tell us something), analysis to determine where they were quarried is needed. The idea that the stones must have come from the Sphinx enclosure may have no basis. Miroslav Verner wrote that stone used in the burial chamber of the Khufu pyramid was quarried from the enclosure. [The Pyramids]

  • The more deeply weathered area in front of the Sphinx isn't bedrock, but some form of concretion. Windborne dust, sand, etc, has been transformed by flooding, time, and tourists into a hard material, analogous to the debris that previously jammed KV5 in the Valley of the Kings. The alternative is that Thutmosis' stele included a detail that was obviously wrong, and easy to disprove, which is unlikely.

  • The Sphinx wasn't carved at first. Two temples were built from the quarried stone, leaving an artificial outcrop, which was later carved to resemble a lion. All of the construction and carving was completed in predynastic times.

  • The forelegs and paws appear to be entirely constructed of blocks, as are parts of the rear legs, paws, and tail.

  • Perhaps Thutmosis IV's reference to the door over which the Sphinx was set refers to what had been carved to resemble a gaping mouth, in which case the front of the Sphinx was originally carved to resemble a face. But it probably resulted from the ancient rediscovery and exploration of "Campbell's Tomb".

  • Thutmosis IV (896-886 B.C.) cleared the enclosure and discovered the door recorded on the stele. His interest in the Sphinx began a sort of renaissance at Giza, with a number of New Kingdom burials and other activities on the Plateau, including reuse of "Campbell's Tomb", the construction or adaptation of the stone box on the Sphinx' right side, and the construction or reconstruction of the forelegs and front paws.]

  • The age of the Nubian features of the face is the Ethiopian (25th) dynasty [716-633 B.C.] since the head protrudes from the sands and is subject to wind erosion. If the recarving were predynastic, any facial features are unlikely to have survived. As circumstantial evidence, pyramid building (small scale tombs etc) began in Meroe after the Ethiopian dynasty.
  • Some More Conclusions

  • The monuments of Egypt have inspired a lot of people to make a lot of claims about both its rituals and its antiquity. These can be dismissed for the most part as modern invention. Surviving ancient documents should be used to come to conclusions, otherwise the subject should be avoided.

  • The idea that the Sphinx is 10,000 years old is a uniformitarian geologist's approach to what at its root may be a catastrophist problem -- i.e., because slow change only is assumed, the lands around Giza are said to not have had any appreciable rainfall in 10,000 years; the erosion of the rocks of the Sphinx is mostly due to the action of flowing water; therefore the Sphinx must have been made 10,000 years ago.

  • If the change in the climate has been rapid, which it appears to have been, there will have to be a reduction in the age of the Sphinx, although for other reasons it must still be predynastic.

  • The Giza pyramids are in very bad condition, and furthermore used to be covered with facing stones which were reused elsewhere over the centuries. This could have erased damage due to ancient precipitation induced weathering. However, the Old Kingdom attribution of the Giza pyramids isn't in question as far as I know, and the origin of the Great Pyramid is well documented in graffiti ("how mighty is the Great White Crown of Khufu gang?") and in the ancient writers. Furthermore, there is or was a sarcophagus in each of the Giza pyramids which was plundered sometime before the Middle Ages.

  • Following West and Schoch, and assuming a gradualist model for decline in rainfall and precipitation induced weathering at Giza, the limiting factor for the age of the Sphinx is that the Saqqara monuments are older than the Giza monuments, and were made from mud brick. If precipitation used to be heavier as recently as the Fourth Dynasty, Saqqara is so nearby that it would have been similarly damaged, and would in fact be in much worse shape.

  • While I don't accept Donovan Courville's down-dating of the Old Kingdom dynasties, those who do could resort to his scheme or something like it to possibly rearrange the dynasties. But this wouldn't solve the lack of precipitation induced weathering on the Giza pyramids.
  • Still More Conclusions

  • IMHO there are three choices regarding the water erosion on the Sphinx. (1) Either its age is much greater, going back the 8000 or 9000 years required due to the era of the supposed end to the supposed most recent Ice Age; or (2) the literary evidence (among others, Herodotus) of the drying out of Lake Tritonis to form the Sahara in much more recent times must be accepted, in which case the claims for somewhat greater antiquity -- still predynastic -- would be acceptable; or (3) geopolymerization was used to construct the Giza pyramids, and that required water.

  • In other words, in the second case, the water erosion of the Sphinx took place some centuries prior to the construction at Saqqara, rather than three or four thousand years (or more!) before. The Sphinx and the Sphinx Temple show the same kind of erosion and extensive repairs, probably from the Fourth Dynasty, which militates against their having been built during that dynasty. So does the lack of water erosion on the older monuments at Saqqara, or the on the Giza pyramids. Herodotus mentions in Euterpe that salt (from groundwater) had damaged even the pyramids, but he may have been referring to the Middle Kingdom monuments to the west, as he was very impressed with those.

  • In the third case, the water erosion of the Sphinx probably wasn't caused by rain, but by human diversion of water to the plateau. This pertains to Davidovits' theory of geopolymerization. It accounts for all the data in the way least damaging to the conventional view of the Sphinx' antiquity, and does so with the credibility lacking in the usual responses by those holding conventional views. Even the problem of eroded stone used for Valley and Sphinx temple construction vanishes.

  • Even without geopolymerization, the fact that there was water erosion in the little basin where the Sphinx is found does not necessarily mean that the statue was not carved long after the erosion took place. If the erosion is really of such great antiquity, the statue could easily have been inspired by the shape of the formations left behind. The argument against that is that one of the temples in front of the Sphinx has the same patterns of erosion, but this isn't much of an argument because, again, the stone could have been quarried in its eroded state, then fitted with the finishing stones.

  • The difference in weathering could be accounted for in at least two ways. (1) The windborne (or waterborne) erosion kept the rear of the Sphinx covered; or (2) the area in front of the Sphinx is a secondary accumulation which was deposited by erosion and filled in a natural or artificial void (such as a staircase or ramp) then the debris hardened to a concrete-like consistency.

  • * Schoch spends chapter seven regurgitating the myths of global warming, ozone hole, and greenhouse gases, even throwing in the Gaia hypothesis. It's curious, because in chapter six he discusses the impacts by extraterrestrial natural objects, as reconstructed from proxy dating methods based on ancient climate and weather, which have probably caused civilizations to collapse. Since even the medieval warming resulted in a measurable rise in sealevel, while the supposed global warming (accompanied by the post-"Little Ice Age" warming) most emphatically has not, the only scientific conclusion to be drawn is that human activity has nothing to do with climate change.
  • Haughton Astrobleme

    Schoch considers himself a uniformitarian ["A Personal Note", p x] with experience in catastrophic scenarios. Of his work in the Haughton impact crater he writes:
    "The world those fossils described, the one that flourished on the order of 20 million years ago, during the early Miocene epoch, was strikingly different from today's Arctic... Devon Island was covered with a forest of birch trees and conifers, a landscape that one now finds about 2,000 miles to the south, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maine. Now-extinct forms of rhinoceros and mouse deer browsed among the trees; shrews and pika-like relatives of modern rabbits darted through the shadows; and freshwater fish swam the lakes and streams... Even farther back, on the order of 45 to 65 million years ago, during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, the fossil record shows Devon Island to have been still more profoundly different. Back then, what is now the Arctic was a region of swampy lowlands, slow-moving rivers, and towering forests of dawn redwood, kadsura, and ancestral forms of hickory, elm, birch, sycamore, and maple. Primitive fishes, crocodiles, salamanders, newts, and turtles inhabited the rivers and marshes, while the forests and meadows supported flying lemurs, early primates, forerunners of today's cats and dogs, and ancestors of the rhinos, tapirs, and horses." [pp 1-3]
    Here's a press clipping from September 1983:
    "Some plant and animal life flourished in the polar chill of the Arctic millions of years before comparable organisms flowered in the tropic zone... The scientists found they could not date the rocks by using biostratigraphy, the traditional technique of using fossils to date rock strata, because they got conflicting results depending on what specimens they used for comparison... The research team instead turned toward paleomagnetics, measuring the magnetism of the rocks and comparing it against a worldwide standard to see how old it is... Some plant species turned up in Arctic fossils 18 million years earlier than those found in the tropic, while some mammal fossils in the Arctic were 2 million to 4 million years older than those to the south... Some scientists "disagreed violently"... "Some of them said, 'This is terrific, it's exactly the same pattern that's showing up in Antarctica.'"
    There will be much more about polar climate, shifts, etc on the Antarctica page.


    Some of these links are probably dead by now. Same goes for some of those above. Sorry for the inconvenience. [report a dead link]

    Even the pejorative pages turned up by a web search engine are useful in illuminating the pitfalls of "damning by association" and other logical errors. They are not listed here at this time (Thursday, December 14, 2000) but may appear if I devote more time to critiques. Prior to the broadcast of Mysteries of the Sphinx -- and prior to the publication of Dr. Schoch's Giza work -- Dr. Schoch and John Anthony West were attacked in the press. In that broadcast Dr. Schoch's work is nicely summarized, but mingled with a lecture by "Face on Mars" advocate Richard C. Hoagland. Dr. Schoch gets the next to last word, and to his great credit is shown distancing himself from the ideas of an extraterrestrial, Martian, or Atlantean origin for the Giza monuments.

    Obviously, an Atlantean origin is possible though unlikely for the Great Sphinx, but not for the Giza pyramids and associated mastabas and catacombs, or obviously any of the New Kingdom tombs on the plateau.

  • Robert M. Schoch and Robert McNally, Voices of the Rocks

  • Dr. Robert M. Schoch

  • Articles

  • Comments by Robert M. Schoch on the Geological Analysis of Ian Lawton and Chris Ogilvie-Herald -- "As far as I am concerned, Reader is one more geologist who has corroborated my basic observations and conclusions. The oldest portions of the Sphinx date back to a period well before circa 2500 B.C."

  • Comments (another copy)

  • Comments (another copy)

  • Comments (another copy)

  • Team Atlantis homepage

  • An Enigmatic Ancient Underwater Structure off the Coast of Yonaguni Island, Japan

  • Yonaguni (another copy)

  • Yonaguni (another copy)

  • Comments On The Geological Evidence For The Sphinx's Age by J. A. Harrell

  • Yonaguni (another copy)

  • Research Resources

  • Credentials

  • John Anthony West, AOL homepage

  • The Official Mystery of the Sphinx page

  • Dumb and Dumber

  • Colin D. Reader, Khufu Knew The Sphinx

  • Khufu Knew The Sphinx (another copy)

  • Khufu Knew The Sphinx (another copy)

  • Paul William Roberts, Official Homepage

  • Laura Lee, Paul William Roberts

  • Academy For Future Science

  • James J. Hurtak, Ph.D., Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., The Ryukyuan Submerged Landforms of the Late Quaternary: Possible Cultural Context and Significance

  • John W. Di Turo, James J. Hurtak, Ph.D., Innovative Technique for In Situ Treatment of Contaminated Surface Waters and Submerged Sediments by Enhanced Aerobic Bioremediation

  • David Billington, Redating the Sphinx

  • Brian M. Fagan, The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 Paperback

  • Brian M. Fagan, Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations Paperback

  • The Official Website of Dr. Zahi Hawass

  • Guardian's Egypt

  • Map of the Giza plateau

  • InScription: Journal of Ancient Egypt

  • Graham Hancock

  • Robert Bauval

  • Robert G. Bauval, BBC Horizon: Atlantis Uncovered and Atlantis Reborn

  • Patricia Reaney, How Egyptians Aligned Pyramids to True North

  • Robert C. Cowen, Surprising celestial help for ancient builders

  • David Rohl, Eternal Riddle Of The Sands

  • The Daily Grail

  • Bibliography of Ancient Egypt

  • The Upuaut Project

  • Photos of Egypt

  • True Origins

  • Morien Institute

  • Atlantis Rising

  • Hieronimus and Co. / 21st Century Radio

  • Ancient Egypt and Prehistory

  • The Sphinx Group

  • Sphinx Bulletin

  • Pharaoh's Pump Foundation -- This claimed pump has nothing going for it. The "well" and its chamber which were dug into the bedrock beneath the Great Pyramid, evidently before the Pyramid was constructed, has no outlet. This pump idea includes the untenable idea that this pump design lifts 100 per cent of the water which enters through the motion of the water which enters, a violation of various accepted principles as well as everyday experience. The higher the water is to be pumped, the more energy is required, so that while a waterwheel of some sort can harvest the energy of a moving stream in order to lift some part of it, the greater the load (for example, the higher it is lifted) the less of the stream will be pumped. Period.

  • Giza: The Truth

  • Giza: The Truth discussion site

  • Institute of Noetic Sciences

  • Willis Harman, A Re-Examination of the Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science -- This IONS research report examines the unarticulated assumptions underlying science as it is now understood and practiced. Such characteristics as positivism, reductionism, and objectivism are examined in the light of current scientific anomalies which challenge the explanatory powers of a science based on these assumptions.

  • Christopher Dunn, The Giza Power Plant

  • Chris Dunn -- Gizapower -- "The Great Pyramid was a geomechanical power plant that responded sympathetically with the earth's vibrations and converted that energy into electricity! They used the electricity to power their civilization, which included machine tools with which they shaped hard igneous rock."

  • I got an email from one Margaret Morris, a geopolymerization disciple of Davidovits'. [note: Morris has written to object to my description of her as a disciple. Disciple is a positive term, but she regards my use of it here as a part of a personal attack. I've not made any personal attack on Morris, period, either here or in private correspondence.] She noted that a reader review I'd posted was no longer on Amazon. "They removed it because our opponents wrote in protesting that you included Davidovits's url, and posting urls is against the rules... In any case, when DeSalvo reviewed Chris Dunn's The Giza Power Plant and included the DeSalvo URL, Amazon did not pull the review. They only edited out the url, leaving the review intact."

    Amazon's standards for reviews are not what anyone would call elevated. Most of the reviews are barely distinguishable as English, they're usually deeply polarized between extravagant praise and derision. The more stars the book gets from a reader, the closer to the beginning the review is listed, unless the number of reviews is small, in which case they seem to appear in chronological order.

    I'd included Davidovits' URL on my personal page anyway, along with a couple of other things, including my email address, and that remains. DeSalvo turned out to be a purported PhD who gives a very high review to The Giza Power Plant but I got some satisfaction just now by clicking "no, this review wasn't helpful to me" and clicking "yes" on Margaret's.

    One of the Amazon anonymous reader reviews of Dunn's book gave it one star, and pointed out that if the Egyptians had used electricity and advanced machine tools to build their civilization, and the pyramids were the source of that electricity, and if they truly used these tools to build the Giza pyramids, from whence came the electricity for the first (largest) one? I have to think it was a really long extension cord from Saqqara -- the Egyptians did have copper, after all -- in which case that particular artifact may have survived. Smirk smirk.

  • Giza Power Plant Meltdown -- "Some of the most celebrated stone work of ancient Egypt was produced by a northerner, the famous 18th Dynasty priest-architect Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu. He went to live in the Theban capital and was commissioned to construct the 63-feet-high Colossi of Memnon on the Theban plains. These colossi have defied modern research. No extraction site has ever been found, even though researchers have scoured the quartzite ranges. If the Colossi of Memnon were quarried as monoliths, it would be impossible not to find the extraction sites because they would be over either 60 feet deep or 60 feet long. The lack of a giant extraction site suggests that the stone was removed from the quarry as aggregate, and then agglomerated to form the Colossi of Memnon."

  • The Giza Power Plant Debate

  • Students

  • This Old Pyramid debunked

  • Ramps Unworkable

  • Parry's cylinders

  • Levering blocks

  • Copper Tools Are Inadequate

  • Pounding balls are inadequate

  • Why Chris Dunn's Theory Fails

  • What is wrong with the Atlantean theory?

  • Violent rains in historical times most likely damaged the Sphinx -- Morris falls to the ground here, and that's the main reason for my disclaimer about her remarks on Dunn. She really doesn't know Schoch's work, perhaps apart from the mainstream press info-bytes made by some of Schoch's better known critics. Morris claims that there's a lot more rainfall in Egypt than people know, and that the erosion has occurred to rock faces on the Sphinx, Sphinx enclosure, and Sphinx temple, during a large number of short downpours lasting minutes or hours, and the aftermath.

    This doesn't hold up under close scrutiny (as Schoch would say). The other monuments at Giza, including some which are literally a stone's throw away, show no erosion whatsoever, apart from ordinary wind erosion. She attempts to dodge this by claiming that even Schoch knows that the Sphinx is carved of very poor limestone, but that's not at all what he knows. He has said otherwise, he has written otherwise, and more to the point, he's a geologist who has studied the site in person.
    The fact remains that, if the sudden downpours had an impact on the Sphinx etc, then the only slightly less ancient structures in the vicinity would show similar erosional features, regardless of how much harder their stone. Furthermore, Saqqara is only ten miles or so south of Giza, and the Pharaonic structures there are made of mud brick -- much more vulnerable to erosion -- and most are conventionally dated prior to the structures at Giza. That's the first problem.

    The second problem is that, under the conventional chronology, the Sphinx has spent most of its history buried in sand. While it is true that water would flow into the sand, it's not credible that the erosion marks left by water -- and water erosion isn't denied by Morris -- would be so pronounced in the covered areas, while leaving no traces at all on slightly more recent structures at Giza, or on the structures at Saqqara -- or on the face and head of the Sphinx itself!
    The third problem is that geopolymerization as a building method may or may not have been available to the ancient Egyptians -- I agree with Davidovits and Morris that it was -- but Morris is under the impression that this, and Schoch and West's predynastic Sphinx are incompatible or mutually exclusive. They are not. Morris may be trying to stake a claim to respectibility by dumping on Schoch, but it's a very amateurish attempt. The bad part is, this could result in the continued Egyptological exile of Davidovits.

    Morris is also not entirely honest in her treatment of Mark Lehner, citing and quoting his 1974 article for the A.R.E., back when he was a follower of Edgar Cayce (did you happen to know that one? I found out a mere five years ago, and have to say, my jaw dropped), and treating it as if it represented his current views. Morris then transitions into her Schoch critique, claiming that West based his views about Sphinx antiquity on the views of Schoch, when in fact West learned of the water erosion by reading the work of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, and thereafter got Schoch to Egypt to investigate this claim.

  • Redating the Giza Monuments

  • No Space Alien Intervention at the Pyramids!

  • The Egyptian Pyramid Mystery Is Solved reviewed

  • Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America Voyages of the Pyramid Builders:
    The True Origins of the Pyramids
    from Lost Egypt to Ancient America

    by Robert M. Schoch
    with Robert Aquinas McNally
    larger image Voices of the Rocks:
    A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes
    and Ancient Civilizations

    by Robert M. Schoch Ph.D.
    with Robert Aquinas McNally
    larger image Serpent in the Sky
    by John Anthony West

    Thanks for visiting.
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    Copyright 1998-2002 all rights reserved. Originated Sunday, January 13, 2002. Last updated Monday, March 3, 2003.