You’ve probably heard of “the Egyptian Sphinx mystery”?
Jonathan Gray shares some fascinating secrets about its true age.
So how old is the Sphinx – really?
On the plateau of Giza west of Cairo, Egypt, sits the Great Sphinx of Giza, a statue 240 feet long, with a lion’s body and a human head wearing the headdress of the Pharaohs.
WATER DID IT!
It is surrounded by desert sand. But there’s evidence of erosion.Erosion by wind-borne sand? No. By water! says Gray.
The edges of the rock are rounded. And there are apparently deep fissures in the rock.The impressions on the stones are not horizontal, as would be caused by sand and wind (like the pyramids in the area); instead, they are vertical.This suggests that the Sphinx has been subjected to heavy rainfall.
The erosion is stronger on the upper parts of the Sphinx and its enclosure walls than around the base.
This erosion of these “upper” surfaces exhibits a pattern of weathering commonly associated with exposure to rainwater run-off.
There is a rolling and undulating vertical profile, with many vertical and sloping channels where joints in the bedrock have been opened up.
French scholar R. A. Schwaller, independent Egyptologist John West, and geologist Robert Schoch examined it. Schoch contrasted this situation at the Sphinx with the state of weathering seen at other rock-cut features of the Giza Plateau.
For example, in various Old Kingdom tombs, erosion by windblown sand has picked out areas of poorer quality rock, but has left the anciently cut facades and doorways not markedly damaged. But the highly rounded weathering on the Sphinx and its enclosure indicates the action of rainwater over a long period.
WAS IT FLOOD OR RAIN?
You ask, could the erosion have been caused by the Nile flooding and washing around the Sphinx at some remote time? The answer is that to erode the monument up to its neck would have required floods of twenty meters or more over the Nile Valley. No, if this was erosion by water, then it had to be rainwater.
RAIN SO HEAVY!
Do you know, there is good evidence that Egypt experienced very heavy rainfall in the earliest period.
According to popular view, the transition from ice age to the present desert environment took place between 10,000 and 3000 BC.
Then rainfall tapered off to its current level of about 20 cm per year by about 2200 BC.
CONSTRUCTED 7000 BC?
So if we must go back 9,000 years for sufficient precipitation to cause this pattern of rainfall erosion on limestone, thought West and Schoch, then the Sphinx must have been constructed either during or before this transition – say, 7000 BC.
That meant, it could be twice as old as “officially” claimed.
OR 10,500 BC?
Enter Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock. These two writers believe that the Sphinx was built not around 2500 BC… not in 7000 BC… but in 10,500 B.C.
According to their theory, the stars of the Belt of Orion and Leo the Lion, as arranged in the sky, almost match the positions of the pyramids of Giza. And they believe that the time when the pyramids were in perfect alignment with the Belt of Orion was when it was at its lowest point, in 10,450 B.C.
They believe the Sphinx was probably built during this time.
Of course, however attractive this may sound, it is a theory not proven. Gray says there is no stable background of fact to support 10,500 B.C.
Tilt angles computed from ancient gnomon observations deviate markedly from the theoretical curve. The alignment of the ancient Egyptian temple at Karnak and other oriented sites extend the deviation toward the date 2345 B.C. Either the ancient observations were systematically in error all over the world or the earth’s tilt angle changed in historical times.
According to The Paradise Post, Dodwell’s conclusion means that the Earth’s axis had once been almost upright, but it had suddenly changed to a 26½ degrees tilt, from which it had been wobbling back to its present mean tilt of 23½ degrees. Dodwell’s research was confirmed by Dr. Rhodes W. Fairbridge of Columbia University, in Science Magazine, May 15, 1970.
Dodwell concluded that something ‘struck’ the earth at that time. He realised that this would have resulted in massive, worldwide flooding and catastrophic geological effects. The date of this event, from his curve of observations, is 2345 BC – about 4,355 years ago. There is a clear pattern of recovery since 2345 BC that has not been disrupted. (http://www.setterfield.org/Dodwell_Manuscript_1.html”)
According to Barry Setterfield, Dodwell in The Obliquity Of The Ecliptic assumed that the original axis tilt of the earth, before 2345 B.C., was nearly upright. For that reason, he supposed a very strong impact was necessary to jolt the earth from that position to its current 23.5 degree tilt. This is why a number of astronomers have rejected Dodwell’s work in this area. However, if the axis tilt was greater than its current axis tilt before 2345 B.C., then an impact of much less force would have been required to restore the earth to a slightly more upright position. The evidence for this greater axis tilt may be seen in the evidence of the ice age which covered most of Europe prior to 2345 B.C.
“The locations of the stars as seen from every fixed point on earth were radically altered.So you cannot count back using earth’s present stability as a reference point. To claim that you can is wishful thinking,” asserts Gray.
A remarkable confirmation of the obliquity in the year 2045 B.C. is given by the oriented solar Temple of Amen Ra at Karnak, Egypt, the largest temple that has ever been built. This is described in Chapter 8 of The Obliquity Of The Ecliptic. Hieroglyphic inscriptions, engraved in granite, show that the ancient Egyptians took great pains to orient their solar temples. The rays of the rising or setting sun, on certain important dates, then shone straight down the long central avenue, or temple axis, into the darkened sanctuary and illuminated the image of the sun-god within it.
A panorama of a frieze in the Precinct of Amun Re
In the great Solar Temple at Karnak, this occurred at sunset on the day of the summer solstice. It will be shown that in 2045 B.C., the foundation date of the Temple, the sun’s solstitial declination, or maximum distance from the celestial equator, was 25 degrees, 9 minutes, 55 seconds. This value is in exact agreement with the prolongation of the curve of the ancient observations, and exceeds Newcomb’s value for that date by 1 degree 14 minutes. Further confirmation, at other points on the curve, is given by the famous solar monuments at Stonehenge, England, and Tiahuanaco, Peru.
Photograph of the Karnak, temple complex taken in 1914
Credit: Cornell University Library
WHAT ABOUT 2000+ BC?
The 10,500 BC and 7000 BC theories are rejected by other scientists for several reasons:1. There is no evidence of an Egyptian civilization so old.
2. Architectural evidence dates the Sphinx to around the same time as the nearby Pyramid of Khafra. And that pyramid may now be dated to 2144 BC. (See Gray’s recent book The Corpse Came Back, p.251)
(a) Khafra had four twenty-six foot long sphinxes constructed. Two were in front of each entrance to his Valley Temple. A drainage channel from the causeway to Khafra’s pyramid empties into the Sphinx enclosure, which presumably would have desecrated the enclosure if it had already existed.
(b) The center court of the Sphinx Temple is identical to the center court in Khafra’s Mortuary Temple adjacent to his pyramid.
(c) The core blocks of the Sphinx Temple match some of the strata of bedrock in the Sphinx enclosure and show that the Temple was built as the enclosure was being excavated. It may be inferred that if other Khafra structures and the Sphinx Temple dated to the same time, then the excavation of the Sphinx itself dated to that time as well.
3. The Sphinx, a rapidly weathering structure, appears older than it is.
4. Subsurface water drainage (periodic wetting of the limestone by water-saturated sand) or Nile flooding could have produced the pattern of erosion. The water in the surrounding sand would have been drawn up to elevations higher than flood levels due to capillary action. (The Sphinx and Valley temples have been covered by sand for most of the time of their existence.)
5. There are thought to be two reasons why the erosion of the higher elevated Giza Pyramids is different from the erosion of the less lower altitude Sphinx: (a) The Nile floods were partly the source of the flood water filling the Sphinx enclosure (which is lower than the pyramids).
(b) If the Sphinx erosion was caused by rainfall 7000 years ago and if the other structures in the Giza
Plateau (built 4000 years ago) show normal wind based erosion, why didn’t the weathering by wind destroy the older water-based weathering? (You must admit, that’s good logic!)
6. The Sphinx is believed to resemble Khafre, the pharaoh who built one of the nearby pyramids of Giza. He lived not too long before 2000 BC.It has also been suggested that weathering on the Sphinx depends more on the properties of the rock itself. The middle layer of the Sphinx shows the most erosion because it is made of more porous limestone.The pores of the rock being larger, they invite a process called “salt crystallization”.
This occurs when morning moisture condenses on and in the rock, dissolving the natural salt present in the rock. During the day, this moisture evaporates. The salt crystallizes then presses against the pore walls. This process generally weakens the rock and enlarges pre-existing fissures.
RADICAL NEW EVIDENCE
The climate of Egypt right up to 2000 BC was rain…rain…rain.
Plant and animal species depicted in the early tomb paintings show that the weather of Egypt was then wetter than it is now.
Yes, it did rain in the Old Kingdom, more than today.Gray now tosses a cat among the pigeons. There is startling new evidence that Egypt did not spring up until afer the Great Flood of 2345 BC.
That’s right! There’s been a massive dating mistake! (But that’s for another time.) And the transition from ice age to the present desert environment did not take place between 10,000 and 3000 BC, but as recently as 2250 to 2000 BC.
But we also announced the special 7-ebook set at a big reduction. And within minutes, the requests started pouring in. (they’re an instant download).
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