Theories surrounding the Great Sphinx, et. al.

Doug Bailey (
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 13:15:36 -0500

Someone mentioned theories regarding the age of the Great Sphinx. You may want to check out "The Message of the Sphinx" (aka "Keepers of Genesis") by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval. The general theory was espoused by John Anthony West, an archeologist of sorts, and Robert Schoch, a geologist at Case Western Reserve University. The general theory surrounds Schoch's analysis of erosion patterns on the Sphinx enclosure. Schoch asserts that this erosion was caused by heavy rainfall, not wind erosion. Heavy rainfall was only prevalent in the area, at the latest, some 10,000+ years ago. There was a PBS special about this some years ago. West also states that the head of the Sphinx is not the original head and bears no resemblance to Khufu (who conventional wisdom says it is). Finally, West points out that, with the use of "new" software that allows astronomers to construct how the night sky looked in any previous epoch, it can be shown that the lion-like Sphinx faces the direction of the
sunrise on the Summer Solstices of the 10,500 BP era and that the constellation Leo rises just before the sun in a manner not unlike the positioning of the Sphinx.

The Schoch-West Sphinx theory also corroborates Bauval's own Orion theory. "The Orion Mystery", by Bauval and hermetic researcher Adrian Gilbert, explores alternative theories of Egyptian religion in early and pre-dynastic times. The most sensational claim though arise from the alleged relationship between the size and relative positions of the Nile, the three Pyramids at Giza and various other. Using the same archaeo-astronomy that West uses, Bauval attempts to show how the angles and sizes of the Giza Pyramids correspond with the belt stars of Orion and that the Nile is fairly similar to the Milky Way galaxy across the sky.

Finally, Graham Hancock ties all this together in his book (though it was written first), "Fingerprints of the Gods" which has interesting discourse on various subjects. Hancock asserts that there was a civilization in existence some 10,000+ years ago with fairly advanced technolody (not Atlantis type stuff but close to it. By the way, Hancock also thinks Atlantis is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice sheets).

I have read all the books and there is some liberty to some of the points Bauval, West, Hancock and Schoch make. Archeology is a provincial science with lots of old guys clinging on to theories and not very quick to welcome new viewpoints. This rigidity has led to some embarrassing retractions by archeology over time. However, Hancock and company (especially Hancock) do not know when to stop and take things too far. Hancock, for example, has a theory that the crust of the Earth has suddenely shifted over the mantle in the past causing sudden 2,000 mile shifts in where continents lie relative to the poles and so forth. Bauval and Hancock have a new book coming out also called "The Mars Mystery". The title speaks for itself.

Doug Bailey