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News: Plato's Atlantis: Fact, Fiction or Prophecy?
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Author Topic: THE SPHINX  (Read 5812 times)
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« Reply #90 on: October 16, 2007, 04:38:43 pm »

While geologists and conservators may not agree on why the surface of Member II is constantly shedding, or what to do about it, anyone can see that this erosion does progress daily. Schoch is aware that if the same rapid deterioration occurred in antiquity, we would not need to push back the origin of the Sphinx 5,000 years. The 1,100 years between Khafre and first major restoration in the 18th Dynasty. or even half this time, would have been more than enough to erode the Member II into the deep recesses behind Phase I I restoration masonry. In the unabridged version of The Mystery of the Sphinx, a video production about the West-Schoch hypothesis, narrated by Charlton Heston, Schoch dodges this issue: "But the weathering I'm looking at," he says, "is ancient weathering...that we see under ancient repairs, and that's a whole different ball game, a whole different set of evidence than modern weathering." Schoch cites pollution and "acid rain" as possible causes for faster weathering but offers no data to back this claim. Given that we are dealing with the weathering processes (wind or water erosion) on the same limestone layers with the same intrinsic qualities. ancient and modern weathering on the Sphinx are, for the most part, the same ball game.

The Member I and II rock is also transected by many fractures or joints, eroded by subsurface water to form fissures. These run through the rock for many yards. When joints intersect near the surface of the Sphinx they isolate boulder-size pieces that will eventually fall off the body if not supported. This is precisely why a three ton chunk fell from south shoulder in 1988. Such fractures occur throughout the Giza Plateau and were probably created in post-Eocine geological times when regional tectonic forces lifted the formation at Giza. Underground water dissolved the limestone along the joints to create subsurface channels and cavities. When the Egyptians quarried the Sphinx ditch they had to cope with these fissures and cavities. the largest and most problematic of which passes through the waist and is more than three feet across at the top of the back. It extends vertically through the entire 40 feet of the lion body and deep into the floor of Member I. The Major Fissure, as we call it, is formed from a series of  of smaller joints that traverse this part of the geological formation and run together at the Sphinx. It can be easily traced on both sides of the Sphinx, and through the wall of the ditch to the south.
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