new in Ancient Egypt
As you are all no doubt aware, the controversy swirling about the age of the Sphinx, the Orion correlation and other related issues peaked some years back, though it has by no means disappeared. The presentation given by Robert Schoch at the Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Reno NV in Novermber 2000 was attended by a packed house of some 500 geologists. Schoch's talk was devoted to new supporting evidence mostly gathered by myself over the past decade (some of it supplied by sharp-eyed grockles on my trips, pointing out to me important details that had escaped my own notice, even after having visited the sites dozens of times! Science goes like that.) The attending geologists, with two easily answered exceptions, were overwhelmingly receptive and supportive. But because the presentation was followed by a total and disappointing silence from the media, the controversy was not in any way re-stimulated.
However, for at least seven or eight years, I have been trying to put together a project designed to answer the single valid objection/reservation raised so far by our academic opposition. Initially, this took the form of: 'Schoch is the only geologist in the world who supports this theory.' This was, of course, perfectly irrelevant. Back in 1600 Galileo was the only astronomer who supported the Copernican heliocentric theory. Galileo was right, and the massed opposition was wrong. But when the overwhelming support of geologists at the GSA meetings was cited in response, the answer was: 'These geologists have never studied the evidence on site.' Then in the late 90's, two English geologists, David Coxill and Colin Reader, independent of each other and of ourselves, went to Egypt separately to study the water weathering hypothesis in situ.
Both without reservation supported the basic hypothesis, though there was (and is) no agreement as to the dating. The Sphinx had been weathered by water, specifically by rain, and by water runoff from the Giza Plateau, and therefore the attribution to Khafre (Chephren) was incorrect. We now had two formal allies. But this support also gave rise to no press coverage to speak of; the opposition tune did not change.
There was, however, a kernel of validity to the charge that the bulk of our support did in fact come from geologists impressed by our photographic evidence but who had not actually visited the site. Though this may sound like sheer obduracy, Schoch's and my own experience several years back, scuba diving the impressive underwater formation on the little Japanese island of Yonaguni, forced us to concede that the reservation (hardly a rebuttal!) required a response. Judging from clear photographs it did not seem to us possible that this amazing wall of sheer, geometric-looking steps and terraces could be anything but artificial, i.e., man-made. But a week of diving (and two subsequent investigations by Schoch) convinced us that despite the photographs it was indeed a natural formation and we believed we could account for the geological/tidal factors responsible for producing it.. So if this held true for Yonaguni, might it not also apply to the Sphinx?
There was only one way to counter the argument.. And that was to put together a panel of uncommitted geologists with credentials in the relevant areas, bring them to Egypt, have them study the matter on site, and write formal papers on their conclusions.
As I said above, this idea was formulated years ago, but the hostility then prevailing between ourselves and the Egyptian Antiquities authorities made it futile even to try to put forward a proposal. The matter lay dormant. However, with the personal detente established back in 1998, specifically with Dr. Zahi Hawass, the idea for a Geologists Panel became feasible, at least in principle. Dr. Hawass expressed on several occasions his willingness to support such an investigation; it was up to us to organize it. But organization is hardly my forte; there was no money available to finance the project; gathering the geologists together involved time, much correspondence...in other words a lot of work and neither Schoch nor I could see our way to putting it together. In the meanwhile, however, I did set up our Ancient Wisdom Foundation to act as a potential funding source for this and other still more ambitious future projects.
Enter Philip La Porta: In November 2001, a curious set of serendipitous circumstances put me in touch with Philip LaPorta, a geologist specializing in geo-archaeology, formerly head of the geology Department at Hunter College in New York, and now in the private sector, working mainly with archeological teams studying the geology of sites under investigation. LaPorta was familiar with our work (in fact had been at Schoch's GSA presentation in Reno in November 2000) and felt it deserved the kind of detailed investigation we were proposing with our Panel. (See LaPorta's web site).
To add to the interest, we've also recently become aware of the work of physicist/archeoastronomer Thomas Brophy. Brophy has written a fascinating preliminary study of the sophisticated astronomy involved in the recently discovered (1997 or so) megalithic stone circle at Nabta (currently dated to ca. 4500 BC! And therefore the oldest known stone circle in the world) deep in the Southern Sahara, west of Abu Simbel. We hope to include Brophy in our team to look into various astronomical elements of the Giza controversy, and, with luck, get down to Nabta ourselves to do the kind of detailed investigation needed for him to carry out his own studies.
And, (in the works) we've recently also become aware of the work of forensic engineer James O'Kon. (see the article The Meso American Mystery by Will Hart in the current #24 Mar/Apr 2002 Atlantis Rising.) O'Kon's input could be invaluable in addressing some of the technical mysteries involved in the pyramids, Sphinx temples, the Oseirion, the 'megalithic' so-called burial chamber of the Red Pyramid, and other sites. O'Kon could be another member of our prospective team.
So I'm pleased to report that the first steps to implementing this crucial project to decisively validate (or rebut) the water weathering hypothesis is now finally under way. Schoch and LaPorta are putting together a panel of credentialed, uncommitted geologists and working out a preliminary proposal to present to Dr. Hawass when I go to Egypt on March 9. We shall invite Dr. Hawass to add geologists of his own choosing to the panel as well.
And it is our hope, funding and permissions forthcoming, to get over to Egypt in the not-too-distant future to carry out our investigation. Gottesmuhle mahlen langsam, aber mahlen trefflich klein - The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. Much too slowly to suit me, actually... but they do grind.
It is my belief that an unequivocal endorsement from the Panel could prove to be the battering ram that blows open the portcullis to the Ivory Tower; the decisive act that finally routs the Paradigm Police and forces not just the necessary rewrite of history, but the reconsideration of the ancient doctrine of Return to the Source, the Science of Immortality, without which no civilization in the true meaning of that word, is even possible.
It goes without saying that we would like to hear from anyone interested in helping fund our panel.
P.S. And The Band Played On
A friend recently furnished me with the following quote from Egyptologist Miroslav Verner's new book: THE PYRAMIDS. 'Discussion of the Sphinx Age has recently been encouraged for commercial reasons, especially by certain American private organizations. However, suggestions that it was created between 7000 and 5000 BCE, and possibly even earlier, are so incompatible with the specific archeological and general historical context that they need not be taken seriously.' It was, I think, Theodore Roosevelt who said, 'There is nothing more irritating than the smugness of the ignorant.' --jaw