Date: Sat, 01 Jun 1996 18:35:09 -0400
To: Athena Discuss 
Subject: Re: Age of Sphinx (3)

Thomas Anderson wrote:

> However, even if R, then AD does not necessarily follow.  The
> sphinx could have been carved from an already eroded outcropping.  

This one I had not heard before, but a priori it does not seem
to me to be reasonable.  That's like saying the carvings of the
four U.S presidents on Mt. Rushmore already showed signs of
weathering just after being finished.  I would expect the carving
process to have removed the weathered layer that would have been
there (we assume) in the rock outcropping to begin with.
 

> I really didn't think you were serious.  I'm not exactly sure how high
> Mt. Rushmore is, but I would guess that long before archaeologists got
> that deep they would be at bedrock that was laid down a geologic age
> ago. Furthermore, you clearly suggest that archaeologists must go
> deeper to find evidence of societies of, say, 8,000 years ago.  That
> simply isn't the case, excavations have already uncovered earlier
> remains in the Nile valley.

I can't imagine how you would *know* that that is not the case.

> ST also wrote:
> >  I also asked the implied question whether future archaeologists
> >digging around an outcropping bearing the likenesses of
> >four U.S presidents carved into the rock, would find the
> >essential evidence of 20th century U.S civilization, and wouldn't
> >they instead have to look fairly far away, in New York city
> >or Washington, DC.  The same might be the case for the
> >sphinx.
> 
> TA replies:
> Not comparable situations, unless you suppose the Egyptians (scratch
> that, the putative pre-Egyptian builders of the sphinx) had modern
> conveniences.  The Nile river was the "highway" of ancient Egypt and
> any evidence of a society that built the sphinx would have to be in the
> vicinity of the valley of the Nile.

Two reactions: (1) Re modern conveniences, don't be so literal-minded--
I'm not saying go look in what is now Cape Town, or Dakar.  I'm merely
saying that the remains of the society that built the sphinx need not
be in the *immediate* vicinity of the rocky outcropping they chose
for the purpose of carving the sphinx.  They may be miles away. 
(2) If the region of the sphinx was not yet desert, why would the remains
of the builders *have* to be in the vicinity of the valley of the Nile?

> (I also read Paul's post on this subject, let me make a couple of quick
> comments).
> 
> Even if the Sothic calendar does date to sometime in the fifth
> millennium BCE, that still means that it _post-dates_ the putative
> Schoch/West age of the sphinx by 1,000 to 3,000 years.

So?  I don't see that Schoch-West have to account for the Sothic
calendar.

> Also, yes there are new discoveries quite often, but they are mostly
> well within the historical period--like the discoveries associated with
> Rameses II reported last year.  Those that are not within the
> historical period have only extended the range of known neolithic (or
> proto-neolithic) settlement further up the Nile.  Still no signs of an
> early complex civilization predating dynastic Egypt by millennia, but
> plenty of signs confirming current archaeological theory.

Absence of evidence...

> Tom

Regards,

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