The Sphinx Water Erosion Debate - The Joe Rogan Experience


7 years ago



Michael Shermer

7 appearances

Dr. Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, host of the podcast "The Michael Shermer Show," and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is "Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational."

Graham Hancock

12 appearances

Graham Hancock, formerly a foreign correspondent for "The Economist," has been an international bestselling author for more than 30 years with a series of books, notably "Fingerprints of the Gods," "Magicians of the Gods" and "America Before," which investigate the controversial possibility of a lost civilization of the Ice Age destroyed in a global cataclysm some 12,000 years ago. Graham is the presenter of the hit Netflix documentary series "Ancient Apocalypse." https://grahamhancock.com

Randall Carlson

7 appearances

Randall Carlson is a researcher, master builder, architectural designer, geometrician, and host of the podcast "Kosmographia."


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Hello freak bitches. What is the argument about the sphinx, the enclosure of the sphinx, and Dr. Robert Schock from Boston University, who's a geologist, what was his conclusion? What Schock is saying is that the sphinx and the trench out of which the sphinx is cut bears the unmistakable evidence of precipitation-induced weathering, weathering caused by exposure to a substantial period of heavy rainfall, and that is particularly pointed out in the vertical fissures in the trench. You see the sphinx itself has been subject to so much restoration over so many years that it's difficult for people to even see the core body of the sphinx today. But it's these, you can see the vertical fissures even down at the back of there. That is what Schock counts as rainfall, precipitation-induced weathering, heavy rainfall, which is selectively removing the softer layers and leaving the harder layers in place. And the problem is we don't have that rainfall in Giza, in Egypt, four and a half thousand years ago. You have to go back much earlier to get that rainfall. That's the suggestion. So that's the suggestion by Robert Schock independently of your conclusions. Totally independently. Schock disagrees with me on many things as a matter of fact, and I disagree with him on many things, but I think he's on the money on this. So that alone would set back at least that one, I mean it's pretty much established that the Great was constructed about 2500 BC, right? There's absolutely no doubt that a huge project went on at Giza around 2500 BC. So your argument is not that the whole thing was that much older, was that parts of it seem to have been from an earlier civilization, or at least that civilization far, far earlier than... I would say that the ground plan, what we have at Giza, the basic layout of the site, was established in what the ancient Egyptians called Zeptepi the first time. Astronomically and geologically, I and my colleagues suggest that the first time can be dated to the period of about 12,500 to 13,000 years ago. That was when the site was laid out, because there's intriguing astronomical alignments of the Great Pyramids to the Belt of Orion. I know Ed Krupp has a completely opposite view on this, and of the Great Sphinx to the constellation of Leo, rising due east, housing the sun on the equinox, the astrological age of Leo. Again, I have slides I can show. And that was aligned with the geological evidence that Robert Schock concludes... It aligns with the geological evidence. The age of Leo pretty much exactly spans the younger dry ice, as a matter of fact. And so the only argument against that at the time was that there were no other structures like that from 12,000 years ago. Correct. And then Krupp said that the Orion correlation wasn't real because it was upside down. But do you want to get into that now? Well, first, that's not the only argument. It's that, okay, if the Sphinx is built, or the layout for the whole thing is built in, say, 10,000, 11,000 years ago, and then the pyramids are built, you know, 2,500 B.C., what happened in between? Where are all the people, the trash, the places where they lived in that area? Well, there's a bunch of different styles of construction. Something like that. But not dated in between. I would propose, Michael, something like a monastery, which has a relatively small archaeological footprint is on the site. I mean, the idea of information, knowledge and traditions lasting for thousands of years within a religious system shouldn't be too absurd to us. I mean, Judaism is dealing with ideas that are already best part of 4,000 years old if we go back to Ur of the Chaldees and so on and so forth. So that's all I'm suggesting, really, that the idea is preserved, maintained, that the survivors are on the site. But in something like a monastery, which has got a very small archaeological footprint, it is not high. Perhaps again, one can only speculate, and I think there's a lot of speculation on the archaeological side, too. One can only speculate, perhaps having gone through a cataclysm, perhaps they felt to blame for this wrongly or rightly. I mean, there are many, many traditions in which humanity's behavior is implicated in the cataclysm that takes place. And perhaps they didn't want to switch civilization on completely right there. Perhaps they waited, passed down the knowledge through initiates. Enough was there to create a mystery because it's undoubtedly a mystery that the construction of the Great Pyramids, the first huge pyramids in Egypt, preceded only really by the Zosa Pyramid at Saqqara, that the construction of the Great Pyramids is vastly superior to the construction of the pyramids of the 5th and 6th dynasties that follow it. And that's a little bit counterintuitive that we have this collapse in schools, one would have expected it to get better. It sounds like the work on the pyramids started already with a level of knowledge in hand. Yes, but okay, so here's how I would think about that. There's a lot of perhaps-ing and maybes. Always. Yes, well, so you have a bunch of Egyptologists and archaeologists who have been working on this site for centuries. This is one of the most ancient mysteries and so on. And so let's say there's like 20 lines of evidence that point to built roughly around this time period here. And then you come on and say, okay, but there's this one anomaly of the rain thing that there was only rain at this time. Now there's a huge gap. You have one anomaly or line of evidence here and like 20 here. Well, we're talking about different structures, so there's not a lot of evidence that points to the Sphinx being from a particular time period. Well, he's saying like 12,000, right? I'm saying the rainfall evidence suggests that. Right, but other evidence. And its alignment with the constellation of Leo housing the sun at dawn on the spring equinox. It's an equinoxial market. Nobody would dispute that. Nobody would dispute that the ancient Egypt. Well, no, I mean, if you make a monument pointing perfectly to us, I've stood on the back of the Sphinx at dawn on the spring equinox. And believe me, again, I could show a picture. Its head lines up perfectly with the rising sun. But no, I don't think anybody even Krupp is disputing that it's an equinoxial market. Now, here's the thing. You're an ancient Egyptian. You're building an equinoxial marker in 2500 B.C. Do you know what constellation is housing the sun in 2500 B.C.? I haven't run the little program. Well, it's the constellation of Taurus. So? So logically, if you're creating an equinoxial market, and the ancient Egyptians were not shy about making images of bulls, plenty of them. If you're making an equinoxial marker in 2500 B.C., you really should create it in the form of a bull, not in the form of a lion, you know. That's the puzzling issue. And yet we do have a time when a lion constellation housed the sun at dawn on the spring equinox. And that is the period of the younger dryers. Okay, I'd say that's a pretty big leap. Well, I know you'd say that. And your colleagues all say that, too. And then we have a gap of about five or six thousand years where there's nothing. Well, let me interject there. Yeah, please do. I'm going to refer back to several articles that were published in the 80s and 90s. This one is from Nature, early 80s, Late Quaternary History of the Nile. And what it's discussing is the evidence that there was a major shift in the hydraulic regime of the Nile River. It says, between 20,000 and 12,000 years before present, when timberline in the headwaters was lower, vegetation cover more open than today, the Nile was a highly seasonal braided river, which brought mixed coarse and fine sediments down to Egypt and Sudan. This cold, dry interval had entered ended by 12,500 years before present, when overflow from Lake Victoria and higher rainfall in Ethiopia sent extraordinary floods down the main Nile. And those floods have been documented to have been 120 feet above the modern floodplain of the Nile. Any civilization, or whatever you want to call it, living along the Nile River at that time, would have had to abandon whatever they were doing there in this regime, this intensified hydraulic regime. And it goes on to say, it marked a revolutionary change to continuous flow with a superimposed flood peak. So what happened is that there was a major environmental change that occurred right there around 12,000 to 12,500 years. The dating could be adjusted somewhat since the early 80s. But the point is made is that because of a major hydrological change, major vegetational cover change, major environmental change, this would have caused also imposed changes upon whatever culture was existing there or living there at the time. Now what we have is in the aftermath of that event, we have basically the emergence of desert, which now would require serious adaptation. It's very likely too that these events could have also decimated the population at the time, leaving basically no workforce. And then over a period of two or three or four thousand years, you find that there's enough of a recovery that these kind of monumental structures can be renewed. But it's clear from this and a lot of other studies, studies in the eastern Mediterranean showing that there are sapropel layers, which is basically material that has been washed in from the continental surface that has not oxidized. It has essentially become rotten and carried in, organic material carried in off of the continents by this enhanced regime of water flow, actually forcing so much water that there was a freshwater lid on the eastern Mediterranean that caused a cessation in the circulation between the upper waters and the lower waters, reducing the amount of oxygen brought down to the lower waters. And so you had these layers of mud that formed on the bottom of the Mediterranean that show this massive influx of freshwater flowing off of, out of the Nile and off of the Egyptian continent at this same time. So clearly the evidence shows that there were major climatic changes that occurred around this time. It is not so speculative to imagine that whoever, whatever, and we don't have to invoke any kind of a super advanced civilization, but whatever cultures were there that were perhaps capable of carving blocks of stone, transporting blocks of stone, as they were at Gobekli Tepe during this time range, would have been, that their activity would have been interrupted to the extent that it might have taken millennia to recover, to get the labor force necessary to undertake major monumental programs under the Giza Plateau. So I think that if we assume this gradualistic scenario, yeah, that's a fair question to ask. What happened in that interval? But if there is a major climatic downturn and a major disruption of the settled patterns of whatever culture was already there, then now we might have an explanation why there would be a gap, especially if these events caused a bottleneck in the population of the area. Of course this is all speculative, but it is not speculative to say that there is multiple lines of evidence suggesting these major, even cataclysmic, changes that engulfed that part of the world during that era. So that could provide an explanation of why there is a gap there. Makes ton of sense. Well, does it? Does it not? Only if you have to have the Sphinx in conjunction with 12,000 years ago in the Lost Civilization, if you just say that rainwater erosion on the Sphinx is not an explanation for the age and that the traditional accepted age is what we think it is, then there is no gap to fill. So really, all we are talking about is we have, again, lots of evidence here, one anomaly here. I really want the anomaly thing to stick. So I have got to explain the gap. The gap is explained by environmental changes. But what is the lots of evidence other than a lot of assumptions and a lot of maybes? Actually, can you cite me a single contemporary inscription from the date that the Sphinx is supposed to have been made that refers to the Sphinx? I am sorry, say that again. Can you cite a single contemporary inscription? Contemporary to the time. Contemporary to the date that Egyptologists ascribe to the Sphinx. In other words, to the reign of Khufu, can you cite me a single inscription that talks about the Sphinx being built? I do not study this area. I do not know. Okay, well, you cannot because there is no such inscription. Okay, well, so? Well, one would have thought there would be. Well, maybe. It is a giant project. It is 270 feet long. It is 70 feet high. It is carved out of solid rock. Okay, but you have all these other... No reference to it at all in the Old Kingdom. You actually have to come down to the New Kingdom to get references to the Sphinx in inscriptions. But you have already said that the pyramids were built at the time. We think they were built, not thousands of... I would say that a great deal of work was done on the pyramids at the time of 2500 BC. I think the ground plan was laid out earlier. And we have like the Step Pyramid, which is cruder and not as well designed as the other pyramids. That is a transitional stage at that time. Often argued to be a transitional stage. Have you been to the Step Pyramid, I am sure? No, no, I am not. Right, and you have been to Giza though? No, I have never been to Giza. Oh dear. Well, they do make a very different impact. I mean, I have climbed the Great Pyramid five times. I mean, you are dealing with something orders of magnitude different in terms of what is required. I mean, this thing weighs 6 million tons. Oh, I understand. It is 481 feet high. It consists of two and a half million individual blocks of stone. It is aligned to true north within 360th of a single degree. I mean, to compare that to Zoser is really not a valid comparison at all. What is more interesting to me is the radical decline that takes place in pyramid building skills in the 5th and 6th Dynasty. Go to Unas, go to Pepe, go to Tetti at Saqqara. These are shambles. You can hardly even recognize them as a pyramid. What happened to all that knowledge that is invested in the Great Pyramid? Why does Egypt devolve so rapidly? How do we explain this pristine, amazing work that is done on the Great Pyramid unless there is a legacy of knowledge being attached to it? Okay, so every Egyptian archaeologist knows everything you just said. They don't accept any of your arguments. Why not? That is why I am needed because somebody has got to counter this. Is it just that they are closed-minded and they follow Zahi Avash and they never think for themselves? You want to see a closed mind? I will play you a one and a half minute video of Zahi Avash refusing to debate with me. But all of them, every one of the Egyptologists and archaeologists over the last two centuries and so on, they are all dogmatically closed-minded and they can't see the arguments that cleared you? Or is it they are not convinced by your argument? They are not convinced by my argument. They genuinely and absolutely believe that their argument is right. The notion that I am proposing is apparently so preposterous to them that it isn't even worthy of consideration. But it is worthy of insults and attacks on me, on my integrity, on my decency as a human being, on my honesty. All of those things get attacked. That is fine. I am ready for that. By the way, I know that archaeologists and academics constantly attack each other all the time. I used to take this stuff personally but then when I see what they do to each other, the ravaging attack dogs are let loose on any new idea. I sometimes wish scientists would actually look for what is good in a new idea rather than what is bad. But I get why they do look for what is bad. In other words, some young graduate student working in that area could make a name for himself by overturning this. My son was a young graduate student at the University of Cardiff studying Egyptology. He got marked down in his degree because he proposed the possibility that the pyramids and the Sphinx might be or might have older origins. He was impressed by my work. It did him a lot of harm in his degree. And if all this was true, then eventually it would come out. You have not answered my point. If you go against the mainstream view, your career does not progress as an Egyptologist. I disagree. I mean, how is it that we know anything that we know about Egyptology now? Give me an example from Egyptology of somebody who has gone against the mainstream view and been lauded for so doing. Well, look, we don't believe everything about it that we believed two centuries ago at, say, Napoleon's time. Right? How did all that knowledge come about? How did all the change in that science develop? Well, it only begins with Champollion and the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone. How was he able to do that against the mainstream? There was no mainstream. All right, so this is my point. The mainstream has taken time to form and it's very solid now. I mean, Egyptologists all sing from the same hymn book. You'll find very little disagreement about it. But this is true in every field. But somehow or another, Einstein managed to make an impact because he turned out to be right. Well, I'm no Einstein and I don't know if I'm right, but I'm going to continue to oppose that mainstream. Somebody has to. That's a valid comparison. Einstein and archaeology. All right. Take paleoanthropology. I mean, it's a completely different field now than a century ago. How did that happen if no one ever accepts new ideas? They do. It happens all the time.