Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mysteries of the Sphinx

Finally our trip ends where it began: in Cairo. There is so much to say about the Giza plateau and Cairo itself (although really we will only be visiting Old Cairo and the famous Cairo Museum), and so much to say about both the Sphinx and the Pyramids that I'll be splitting all of the information into several posts after I gather it together into some kind of coherent form.

For now, let's just consider the standard view of Egyptologists: the Sphinx was erected by the Pharoah Khafre (Khufu's son, Khufu who built the Great Pyramid) and that's Khafre's head on the Sphinx. (Khafre is also known as Chefren.) This would put the date of the Sphinx's construction to be around 2500 BCE.

But, that date is being challenged. The video above (which won an Emmy) highlights the work of "rogue Egyptologist" John Anthony West, whom I've referred to several times over the past weeks in various posts. West, inspired by the works of Schwaller de Lubicz, made note of water weathering on the Sphinx, then called in a geologist to confirm what he was seeing. Yup, no doubt about it, that is WATER weathering (not flying sand or wind) on the Sphinx itself and the Sphinx enclosure. The question is, how did it get there? Since this video aired and more information has been published on the problem, other geologists have confirmed that it is indeed water erosion, and the problem is, without years and years of rain and/or flooding, it shouldn't be there. The conclusion can only be that the Sphinx is much older than Egyptologists think. So, there's a fight in academia over it. Note in the video from yesterday that Zahi Hawass is very careful (cunning fellow that he is) to point out that the pottery shards he found in the Osiris Tomb underneath the Giza Plateau date to 2500 BCE. So, we know what side he's on: that of the standard thinking about the dating of the Sphinx. But if you accept that the weathering on the Sphinx is from water, you have to accept that the Sphinx had to have been constructed when the Sahara was not desert but was lush, green land--that is, around 10,000 BCE or earlier.

Maybe, just maybe, there is some sort of link between the Sphinx and the Osirieon (the original one, not Seti I's duplicate). Perhaps the earliest Egyptians were way, way more advanced a civilization than we have always thought. Perhaps--and not to get all "ancient aliens" on you again--but perhaps the history of human civilization really does run in cycles and there are rises and falls in knowledge and technology. Perhaps sometimes we don't progress but we regress.

I'll throw one example at you: after the fall of the Roman Empire and early Greek civilization (which took many of their ideas from the ancient Egyptians), Western civilization plunged into the Dark Ages, a barbaric time of much superstition and persecution for heresy. If it weren't for the Persians, Ottomans, and early Muslims, whose scholars diligently copied ancient Greek texts and so on, all of that information would have been lost to us. We now know that Archimedes understood calculus. In short, we took a big step backwards. Western civilization did not start progressing again until the Renaissance.

We may be "smart" today, but how civilized are we, truly?

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