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Author Topic: THE SPHINX  (Read 7623 times)
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« Reply #90 on: October 16, 2007, 04:51:47 pm »


                      Response in 'Archaeology Magazine' to Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner


by Robert M. Schoch

            In their critique of my research on the age of the Great Sphinx (ARCHAEOLOGY, September/October 1994); Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner direct their attack primarily toward a popular television show, The Mystery of the Sphinx, which was never intended to take the place of the serious articles I have published on the subject.

            I do not know who was responsible for carving out the core body of the Sphinx. However, carving the core need not have been beyond the capabilities of the Neolithic peoples who inhabited the area. I am familiar with the works by Thomas Aigner and K. Lal Gauri on the stratigraphy of the Sphinx enclosure. These contributions, however, do not fully explain the weathering profiles seen on these rocks. The work of geologists M.M. El Aref and E. Refai, and my own work, supplements Aigner and Gauri's studies and demonstrates that various types of weathering and erosion can be observed on the Giza Plateau, each type being dominated to varying degrees by different weathering/erosional agents: rainfall or wind. El Aref and Refai have independently confirmed water weathering in the Sphinx enclosure. These features can only be the result of the significantly wetter climatic regime that occurred in the region during predynastic times. The seismic studies that Thomas Dobecki and I pursued in the Sphinx enclosure support these conclusions and allow one to confidently propose a minimum age for the oldest portion of the core body of the Sphinx.

            Much of the Hawass-Lehner argument for a younger Sphinx hinges on the assertion that its present style and rate of weathering and erosion are representative of its past weathering. They state "ancient and modern weathering on the Sphinx are, for the most part, the same ball game." They discuss how soft the limestone is in some places and the flaking of the stone to produce "giant potato chips" without realizing that these superficial weathering features are due to modern-day pollution, acid deposition, salt deposited by rising water tables from the adjacent village, the damming of the Nile, and so forth. Arguably the Sphinx has suffered more during the past century than it did during the previous 5,000+ years.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 05:19:33 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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