The Sphinx Essay, Research Paper
The Great Sphinx Debate
A reaserch team has discovered evidence that the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt, may date from 5000 and 7000 BCE and possibly earlier. In response , archeoligist have thrown mud at geologist, historians
caught in the middle, and the Sphinx , having revealed one secret, challenges us to unravel even greater
The dicovery originated half a century ago in the work of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, between 1937
and 1952. Schwaller conducted a survey on the pyrimds and surrounding monuments. Schwaller observed a
physical anomaly in the pyrimid complex at Giza. The erosoin on the Sphinx was quite different from the
erosion on the other structures. Schwaller sugested that the cause of erosion on the Sphynx was water
rather than wind-borne sand. Since no one understood the implacations this study went unnoticed until the
1970’s, when an indepent Egyptologist John West took up the question.
Archaeologists atrribute the Sphinx to the Old Kingdom fourth dynasty ruler chepron, though
others belive that the Sphinx dates as far back as 10000 BCE. This is the side that I’m defending because of
all of the convincing evidence that has been found. On the Sphinx the edges were rounded and deep
fissures were prominent. On the other structures the surfaces showed only the sharper abrasion of wind and
sand. Egypt experianced periods of heavy rainfalls in the millennia the marked the post-glacial northward
shift of the tempeture zone. This period lasted from about 10000 to 5000 BCE and by its end the Sahara had
turned from green savanna into a desert. A shorter but more intense period of rainfall lasted from about 4000 to 3000 BCE. Westy thought that flooding from the post-glacial transition caused the distinctive weatering on the Sphinx which meant that the Sphinx must have been carved during or before the transition. Robert Schoch, a geologist, joined West in his investigation on the dating of the Sphinx. Archeologist agreed that the lower half of the Sphinx may have been eroded by the flood waters, but Schoch observed that the upper level and the encloser walls, of the Sphinx was the most heavily eroded, not the bottom half.
The degree of the subsurface weathering could be measured by bouncing sound waves off of
deeper layeers of rocks. Schoch discovered that the encloser floor in front and alongside of the Sphinx had
a weathered depth of six to eight feet. Also that the back of the encloser had weathered only half as far.
Behind the Sphinx had been excavated during the Old Kingdom but he concluded that the sides and front of
the monument were twice as old. Schoch estimated the date of the Sphinx and most of its encloser between
5000 and 7000BCE, far earlier than the date assumed by archeologist. Schoch noted that the weathering
could have been non-linear, slowing as it got deeper because of the increasing mass of rock overhead. On
this assumption, the Sphinx could have been signifigantly older than 7000 BCE.
West disaproved one piece of supposed evidence. With the help of a New York City police artist
, Detective Sgt. Frank Domingo. WEst compared the head of the Sphinx with a known head of chepron.
Sergent Domingo generated profiles of the two heads by computer and by hand and found a very different
facial structure in the profile of the Sphinx compared to the profile of chepron. The difference is easily seen
in photo graphs of the two heads.
To the problem of the archeological context for an earlier Sphinx, Schoch replied that urban centers
had to existed in the eastern Mediterranean at Catal Huyuk from the seventh millenium and at Jericho from
the ninth millennium BCE. At Jericho there were large stone walls and a thirty foot tower. No such
ssettlement had been found in Egypt itself but clearly there was civiazation in the region. More evidence
could be under milennia of the Nile river silt. An advanced civilazation may not have been necessary. A
Neolithic culture was able to erect Stonehenge in Britain.
Astronomist soon joined the debate over the Sphinx and brought more evidence of a possible
earlier civilazation. In 1993 Graham Hancock had a hunch that the curios harking back to the epoch of 10,500 BCEBy the pyrimd builders was an invitation to them to consider the actual age of the Sphinx. If this
hypothesis is true, then the Sphinx must be an “original” time-markerof that remote epoch using a celestial
tag. Hancock pointed out that the First Time date of 10500 BCE also denoted the begining or First Time of
the Age of the Leo. This is the time when the lion constellation would have risen at dawn before the sun on
the day of spring equinox. This event brought the celestial lion to rest due east, thus in perfect elinment
with the Sphinx. The Sphinx , in other words was made to look at his own image in the horizon- – and
consequently at his own “time”. Hancock pointed out that 10500 BCE was no random date.
A ” luck turn of the spade” form one of the laborers unearthed part of ananceint complex of
underground galleries and pathways. It looked as if part of the area had already been excavated some years
ago but the, for reasons unknown, it was covered up again. This was evident by the blotches of moder
mortar and iron bars that were left embedded in the ceiling of the ancient pathways, probably in an attempt
to reinforce the relics. But why the vestiges were covered up again , and why and how they came to be
forgotten remains of mystery.
West has suggested that an ice age date for the Sphinx raises anew the question of a lost ice age
civilazation, posibaly the Atlantis of ancient legend. The evidence dating the Sphinx to an earlier time peroid
doesn’t prove such legends. But if the hypothesis of rainfall erosoin is true, it does call the known
chronology of African and indeed world civilazation into question.
The evidence for an earlier Sphinx raises additional questions: If the Sphinx complex is so much
older who built it and why? Should we be more tenative in what we assume about the first half of the last
ten thousand years? If so, how should that affect what we know about the second half ? Some answers may
come in the next few years as the new findings are examined and tested. Until then, the Sphinx challenges us
to rethink our history and keep an open mind.