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I first met the Great Sphinx face-to-face on 17 June 1990. She (yes, I consider the Great Sphinx a female) has influenced and in many ways defined my life ever since. It has been apparent to me that many a person knows me, or believes they know me, or more accurately knows of me, due to the controversy over the age of the Sphinx that my research has engendered.

For those not familiar with my research on the Great Sphinx, I will summarize it very briefly. For more extended discussions, I refer the reader to my books (listed in the notes to this article).

History of an Enigma

The Great Sphinx, carved out of solid bedrock limestone, sits on the eastern edge of the Giza Plateau, the area famous for containing the Great Pyramid attributed to the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khufu (Cheops), on the west bank of the Nile across from Cairo. The Sphinx sits due east of the second pyramid, the pyramid generally attributed to the pharaoh Khafre (Chephren, Khephren), possibly the son or brother of Khufu. The second pyramid is just slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid. A third major pyramid, though considerably smaller than the other two, is also located on the Giza Plateau; it is attributed to the pharaoh Menkaura (Menkaure, Mycerinus), possibly a grandson or son of Khufu. It is these three pyramids that various researchers, most notably Robert Bauval, have correlated with the belt of the constellation Orion (representative of, in some guises, the Egyptian god Osiris).

The traditional academics of the late twentieth century attributed the Great Sphinx to the pharaoh Khafre, builder of the second pyramid, circa 2500 B.C. In contrast, some classical Egyptologists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries dated the Great Sphinx to an earlier, pre-dynastic, period, foreshadowing my own work. There are no definitive ancient records of who originally carved the Sphinx, when, or why. We do not even know the name that the Old Kingdom Egyptians gave to the Sphinx.

A granite stela erected between the paws of the Sphinx by Thutmose IV, circa 1400 B.C., when first excavated was reported to include in its inscription the name, or at least part of the name, of Khafre (this portion of the inscription has since flaked away). This has been variously interpreted to indicate that either Khafre ordered the Sphinx carved, or that Khafre ordered the Sphinx renovated, as Thutmose IV did over a millennium later. In reality, however, it is unclear if indeed it was the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khafre being named on the stela, or what relationship the stela may have suggested that Khafre had to the Sphinx: builder, restorer, supplicant, or something else. Bottom line: The Thutmose IV stela provides no definitive evidence of when, or by whom, the Sphinx was constructed. Also possibly bearing on the origins of the Great Sphinx is the so-called Inventory Stela, alternatively known as the Stela of Cheops’ (Khufu’s) Daughter. Although the actual stela dates to the seventh or sixth century B.C., it purports to be a copy of an Old Kingdom text. According to the Inventory Stela, the Great Sphinx was already in existence during the reign of Khufu. Indeed, Khufu is credited with repairing the Sphinx after it was struck by lightning. Modern Egyptologists generally dismiss the Inventory Stela as a late period fabrication.

In New Kingdom times (circa 1550 to 1070 B.C. or so) the Great Sphinx was sometimes referred to as Horemakhet (Hor-em-akhet, Harmakhet, Harmachis), which can be translated as Horus of the Horizon or Horus in the Horizon, or as Ra-horakhty, translated as Ra of the Two Horizons. In medieval Arabic times one appellation given to the Great Sphinx was Abu el-Hol (Abu al-Hol, Abou el Hôl), or Father of Terror(s). The name ‘Sphinx’ may come from a Greek word meaning “to strangle” as, according to one legend, the Greek sphinx, often depicted as a winged lion with the head of a woman, had the habit of strangling and devouring those who could not answer her riddles. Another interpretation is that the word sphinx was derived, possibly through Greeks visiting Egypt, from the ancient Egyptian Shesep-ankh, sometimes translated as “living statue” or “living image,” a term used to refer to royal statues during the Old Kingdom.

I have extensively studied the nature and extent of the weathering and erosional features found on the Great Sphinx directly, under the numerous repairs to the Sphinx (some of which date back to Old Kingdom times), in the so-called Sphinx enclosure (the Sphinx sits in a hole or quarry, with its body below the level of the plateau behind it), and in the subsurface under and around the Sphinx. Based on my geological analyses, I have calculated that the oldest portions of the Sphinx date back to the period of approximately 7,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C. I arrived at this conclusion through a variety of independent means, such as correlating the nature of the weathering with the climatic history of the area, calculating the amount of rock eroded away on the surface and estimating how long this may have taken, and calibrating the depth of subsurface weathering around and below the Sphinx.

Key to my redating of the Sphinx is the interpretation that the weathering observed on the body and the walls of the Sphinx enclosure is not due to the arid desert conditions found in the region during the last four to five thousand years. Rather, the observed weathering resulted from rain, precipitation, and water runoff – and sufficient precipitation was available only during pre-Sahara conditions, prior to circa 3,000 B.C. Other geologists, such as Colin Reader and David Coxill (each working independently of me, and also independently of each other), have corroborated my analyses of the nature of the weathering and erosion, concluding that the causative agent was water and not wind and sand. I must note, however, that while Reader, Coxill, and I agree that the Sphinx is weathered by water and must date to an earlier period than the traditional attribution, we do not all agree on the same age estimate. In particular, Reader has argued that the Sphinx can still be accommodated into a very early dynastic timeframe and thus is perhaps only a few hundred years older than the traditional date of circa 2500 B.C. However, I firmly believe that the extent of the erosion and weathering firmly push the core body of the Sphinx into a much more remote period. Furthermore, Reader does not take into adequate account the subsurface data that Thomas Dobecki and I collected (see discussion below), which allows me to calibrate the rate of subsurface weathering and arrive at my age estimate for the Sphinx. My dating places the Sphinx well back into pre-dynastic times, a period when many suppose that the technology and social organization did not exist to create such a monument.

Even though the Sphinx exhibits water erosion, this erosion was clearly from precipitation and rain runoff, not from flooding or the rising of the Nile. I want to be clear about this, since some people have misrepresented my data as supporting the notion that the Sphinx witnessed “Noah’s Flood” or a worldwide deluge. Furthermore, fossil shells, sea urchins, and so forth can be found on the Giza Plateau, but these have nothing to do with the water erosion seen on the Sphinx. Rather, the fossil sea organisms are millions of years old and have weathered out of the limestone rocks from which the Sphinx, pyramids, and many other structures are built.

Concerning my redating of the Sphinx, I emphasize that I am comfortable attributing it to the period of circa 5,000 B.C. or a bit earlier. Could it be considerably older? Based on the geological data, and depending on how one interprets the data, possibly. However, I have never claimed an age for the Great Sphinx prior to the 7,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C. period. It is simply false when people state that I have confirmed the age of the Sphinx as being on the order of 10,500 B.C. It is also sometimes suggested that the leonine aspect of the Sphinx connects it to the constellation Leo, and thus with the precessional Age of Leo, placing the Sphinx in the period of circa 10,500 B.C. (if it was carved at the beginning of that age). I question this association, however, as I am not certain that the constellation of Leo as such was recognized some 12,000 or more years ago, and even if the Great Sphinx does represent or commemorate, in some aspect, the Age of Leo, that does not necessarily imply that it was sculpted during that age. Even more widely speculative is the idea that the Great Sphinx was carved not in the last Age of Leo, but in the preceding Age of Leo some 36,000 or so years ago. Another widespread notion is to view the leonine-human hybrid aspect of the Sphinx as a representation of Leo and Virgo combined, the masculine and feminine, the animal or beastly vitality and the human intellect united.

While most of the focus of, and controversy surrounding, my work has been on the Great Sphinx, to my mind the so-called Sphinx Temple – sitting directly in front of (east of) the Sphinx – is in many ways even more significant than the Sphinx itself from a construction and dating point of view. The Sphinx Temple is built of megalithic limestone blocks, many weighing tens of tons, assembled in a tightly enclosed space. How these blocks were maneuvered is difficult to fathom. Pertinent to our current theme, however, is the fact that the Sphinx Temple (or at least the original parts of the temple, as it too, like the Sphinx, was reworked and repaired in dynastic times) was built contemporaneously with the oldest portions of the Great Sphinx. The blocks from which the temple was constructed were removed from around the body of the Sphinx as the statue was carved. The sculptors of the Sphinx did not simply chisel, pound, and shovel out the excess rock they needed to remove; rather, they meticulously quarried it as huge blocks used to construct the Sphinx Temple. Although in ruins today, I consider the building of the Sphinx Temple to be an engineering feat even more incredible than the carving of the Great Sphinx, and this occurred in circa 5,000 B.C. or earlier.

We Never Forget a Face?

I must stress that in my assessment, the Great Sphinx of pre-dynastic times did not look like the Sphinx we see today. It is only what I refer to as the core body (the torso or trunk) of the Sphinx that dates back to that much earlier period. The front paws have been heavily reworked and repaired (today they are mostly covered with modern blocks of limestone), and the head is surely not the original head. I have always contended that the head of the Great Sphinx is out of proportion relative to the size of the body. It is too small. In my opinion, the head was originally larger, but it was damaged by weathering and erosion, and to “repair” it the ancients recarved the head, resulting in its relatively small size today. Originally the head may not have been that of a human. Although I have no hard evidence, my speculation is that the head was originally that of a lion, to fit the leonine body. As an aside, some years ago a noted Egyptologist refused to believe my observation that the current head of the Great Sphinx is too small for the body. He subsequently undertook an analysis of the proportions of many ancient Egyptian sphinxes, only to find that virtually all had similar head to body ratios, except for the Great Sphinx, in which case the head was proportionally smaller.

In my opinion, based on analyses of the weathering and chisel marks, as well as on stylistic considerations and the ethnicity of the head (clearly a “black African” or “Nubian” in my opinion), the current head of the Sphinx is a dynastic recarving, but probably older than the Fourth Dynasty. Some researchers have claimed that the current face of the Great Sphinx resembles the face found on statues of the pharaoh Khafre (builder of the second pyramid on the Giza Plateau), and have used this supposed evidence to support the attribution of the Sphinx to the period of Khafre, circa 2500 B.C. However, in the early 1990s forensic expert Frank Domingo (formerly with the New York City Police Department) undertook a detailed comparison of the face of the Sphinx and the face of Khafre, concluding that they certainly do not represent the same individual (and indeed, they do not appear to represent persons of the same race or ethnicity). In recent years some researchers have suggested that the face of the Sphinx represents that of Khufu (builder of the Great Pyramid), and either the Great Sphinx was ordered built by Khufu himself, or by his son Djedefre (Ra’djedef, who reigned for a short period between Khufu and Khafre) in the image of Khufu. Personally, I am not convinced that the current face of the Sphinx represents Khufu. As an aside, when Domingo first came out with the results of his analysis, I was teaching an evening college course in a local Massachusetts prison. I mentioned Domingo’s conclusions to the class and immediately one of the students commented (here I paraphrase, after all these years), without any apparent bitterness or sarcasm, “Oh, I know about Domingo. He’s good. His reconstructions resulted in my cousin being convicted of murder.”

I suspect the head of the Great Sphinx was recarved during the period of the First to Third dynasties (circa 2920 to 2575 B.C.). Stylistically, to my eye, it might fit this early dynastic period. And the African or Nubian ethnicity of the Sphinx might fit an earlier period when the southern element of Egypt had greater sway than during certain later periods of Egyptian history. One must also remember that the head may have been further altered in later dynastic times. For instance, the entire Great Sphinx may have been modified, repaired, and brightly painted at various periods in its history, including during the New Kingdom. The current head as we view it today has been damaged, apparently both by weathering and by vandalism over the ages, and is incomplete. The researcher Colette Dowell has suggested that the Sphinx appears to be missing the uppermost part of its skull, the region of the crown, or top of the head, chakra. Is this simply coincidental? Or was the crown purposefully removed for symbolic purposes? Also, to my eye the face of the Great Sphinx has always appeared to be either androgynous or female, and my personal intuition is that in fact it is a female face. Admittedly this is a subjective impression. Yes, parts of the Sphinx’s “beard” (actually a ceremonial false beard) have been found and now reside in various museums, but that proves nothing. The beard was added much later, and subsequently removed or lost again. At any rate, a beard on the Sphinx would be a symbol, such as of royal power and authority, and not indicative of the gender of the statue. I have seen more than one living African woman whose face strongly resembled that of the Great Sphinx.

Secret Chambers?

As part of our research on the Sphinx, geophysicist Thomas Dobecki and I undertook low-energy seismic studies around the Sphinx and elsewhere on the plateau. My primary concern with these studies was not to search for “buried treasure,” but to gather good data on the nature, degree, and depth of subsurface weathering, both around the Sphinx and in areas of confidently dated dynastic structures. Indeed, we acquired excellent data supporting my attribution of the Sphinx to 5,000 B.C. or earlier. However, we also discovered clear evidence of a cavity or chamber under the left paw of the Sphinx. Additionally, we found some lesser (and previously known) cavities under and around the Sphinx, and the data also indicated that there may be a tunnel-like structure running the length of the body under the Sphinx.

A chamber in the vicinity of the paws of the Sphinx was certainly interesting to me, but I did not put that much emphasis on it. However, upon publication of our data, I soon found that a number of parties considered the chamber to be of extreme interest and importance. I still remember well the day, sitting in my office between teaching classes, that I received a phone call from the Virginia Beach headquarters of the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment, informally known as the Edgar Cayce Foundation). Unbeknownst to me, the American psychic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) had predicted that a “Hall of Records” would be found in the general area where we had discovered the chamber. According to Cayce, the ancient continent of Atlantis had been destroyed circa 10,500 B.C. The survivors dispersed to the far corners of Earth, founding new offshoot civilizations, including what in time would come to be recognized as ancient Egypt. In several locations they had secreted libraries recording their history, science, and accomplishments, including in the region of the Great Sphinx. Furthermore, the representative of the A.R.E. informed me that my research on redating the Great Sphinx went a long way toward confirming the Cayce chronology of Atlantis and the building of structures on the Giza Plateau well before dynastic times. I found myself formally interviewed for the A.R.E.’s magazine, and I have spoken at their conferences in Virginia Beach. (To their credit, I would note that the A.R.E. has a history of attracting topnotch researchers to speak at some of their conferences, researchers who in some cases are clearly antithetical to the main tenets and interests of the organization. I have always found the leaders and members of the A.R.E. to be warm, friendly, open, and honest.)

It turns out that not only the members of the A.R.E. have a special interest in the discovery of chambers and tunnels under the Sphinx, but many other groups as well, such as various Rosicrucian and Masonic groups, who believe (with some good basis) that there is a complex network of tunnels and chambers below the surface of the Giza Plateau.

Questions I am often asked include: Where is the entrance to the chamber under the left paw of the Sphinx? Have the Egyptian authorities allowed you to explore the chamber, and if not, why not?

In answer to the first question, I have not located any entrance to the chamber on the surface. However, based on the seismic data and analyses, we found that just in front of (just east of) the Sphinx Temple, buried under the sand, there is a substantial drop in the bedrock. That is, if the sand and debris were removed from in front of the Sphinx Temple, it would be found that the temple sits atop a cliff with the Great Sphinx itself looming behind the temple. This must have been a very dramatic sight. I speculate that the entrance to the chamber under the paw of the Sphinx may be found in the cliff face.

To this date, the Egyptian authorities have not allowed me to explore the chamber that we found. Certainly, they are well aware that I would like to, and for the record, I have never been denied permission to do so outright; I have simply not yet been granted permission. I have some understanding of the complex intricacies and highly sensitive nature of exploring and excavating new archaeological finds in Egypt. I am not surprised that the authorities do not want to open more “cans of worms” at this time, and I am not an advocate of conspiracy theories – I am not aware of any credible evidence that the chamber has already been entered, as certain persons have contended. The area of the Sphinx is very open and public and it would be incredibly difficult to successfully hide such surreptitious activities. Even drilling into the chamber and inserting a miniature camera, as many have suggested, could risk damaging any artifacts that may be contained therein. In recent years, however, the Egyptians have begun, ever so slowly, to excavate the area in front of the Sphinx Temple. If they persist in their endeavors, at some point they should uncover the cliff we discovered using geophysics, and I will not be surprised if a door or opening, leading to a passage under the Sphinx Temple and thus into the chamber under the Sphinx, is eventually found. Something I have learned while working in Egypt is patience.

Meeting the Sphinx

How did I ever become involved with the Great Sphinx? I was first introduced to the problem of the age of the Sphinx in the late 1980s by the “independent Egyptologist” John Anthony West, perhaps best known for his studies and popularization of the Egyptological work of the philosopher and mathematician R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961), and for his guidebook titled The Traveler’s Key to Ancient Egypt. The way I met West was through a colleague then teaching in the same college as I; he had met West while teaching in Cairo. I quickly became interested in the problem of the age of the Sphinx, realizing that my own expertise in geology might shed light on the issue.

Even before I met West, however, I had given some thought to the Great Sphinx. As a teenager I loved ancient history, read profusely on the subject, and even acquired a few minor Egyptian antiquities from an aged fellow whose family had brought them out of Egypt when it was still legal to do so. But more directly applicable to my later research, I remember as a graduate student reading a couple of articles on the geology of the Great Sphinx.

In particular, a certain Egyptian researcher, now living and teaching in America, promulgated the notion that the Great Sphinx began as a yardang, that is, a natural hill or rock outcropping that had been weathered and shaped by the elements, primarily wind in the case of desert yardangs as found in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians, so the hypothesis went, saw in the yardang the crude shape of a Sphinx (sort of like seeing the shapes of animals or people in clouds), and decided to start chiseling and carving the yardang to turn it into an actual Sphinx. I remember sitting in the geology department graduate student lounge at Yale laughing over this crazy notion with my peers. Remember, to free the body of the Sphinx from the bedrock, large blocks of limestone were quarried and removed. We thought it was hilarious that someone would think that wind could somehow carve out multi-ton blocks from around the body of the Sphinx and reassemble them as a temple in front of the statue. Furthermore, the weathering features on the Sphinx (and mind you, we were basing this just on photos, as none of us had actually been to Egypt) did not appear to fit the yardang hypothesis. At most, perhaps the head of the Sphinx, which does sit above the level of the plateau, was once a yardang, but it has now been too heavily carved and recarved to tell for sure. We had our own theory: the author of the yardang hypothesis grew up in Egypt and as a small child visited the Great Sphinx. He was impressed by its size and majesty, and also noted the heavy weathering to the statue, but did not at that time pay attention to the details of the geological and cultural context. Years later, without revisiting the Sphinx to check the geology and location, he based his theory on those formative impressions from childhood.

Once I had traveled to Egypt to study the Great Sphinx firsthand, I reinvestigated the yardang hypothesis. As we had discussed in graduate school, it made absolutely no sense (except, perhaps, for the head), but there was one important aspect to it. The author of the yardang theory observed, and acknowledged, the very ancient weathering features still preserved on the body of the Sphinx. Indeed, one way to view the yardang theory is that it provides a way to explain how such incredibly ancient weathering can be found on a dynastic structure. According to the yardang theory, the weathering came first, followed by the carving of the Sphinx. But given the context, this is patently impossible. The body of the Sphinx and the walls of the Sphinx enclosure were clearly weathered after being carved, and the weathering bears on the age of the Sphinx.

My work researching the Sphinx was done on my own time without remuneration, and the travel expenses to Egypt were funded by a group, spearheaded by West, intent upon producing a documentary on the subject. The immediate result was The Mystery of the Sphinx (hosted by “Moses,” also known as Charlton Heston; Heston played the role of Moses in the famous 1956 Cecil DeMille movie The Ten Commandments), which aired on NBC in the United States the evening of 10 November 1993, and is now available on DVD.

Not long after I became “notorious” for my work on the Sphinx, a senior faculty member at my college (College of General Studies, Boston University; I have taught there full-time since 1984), now deceased, told me that I had managed to immortalize myself by connecting my name to what is arguably the greatest and most recognizable sculpture on Earth – though this was certainly never my intention.

An Unsuspecting Heretic

I first presented my analyses of the data on the Great Sphinx – coming to the conclusion that the core body dates well back to pre-dynastic times – at the 1991 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA). Before the formal presentation I happened to run into a colleague of mine, a very talented geologist whose specialty was stratigraphy, the exact field that pertained to my data and analyses of the Great Sphinx. I showed him my data and explained my conclusions. His response? He began to laugh. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. I was sure I must have made some fundamental mistake to induce such laughter from him, and in the next hour I was scheduled to present my work in the public forum. I asked hesitantly what was wrong. He answered (again, a paraphrase after all these years), “Nothing, nothing at all. It is just so obvious. Hasn’t anyone ever looked at the Sphinx before? Where have all the Egyptologists been? Why didn’t they see this long ago?”

Some weeks after the 1991 GSA presentation, I heard from one of my former undergraduate professors, a man I had always respected, though never known well. He was scathing in his comments regarding my work on the Sphinx, vehemently contending that I was quite wrong in recasting the age as anything other than circa 2500 B.C. But, his arguments against me made no logical or scientific sense, as far as I could determine. Then it came out that he was a devout, and apparently somewhat fundamentalist, Christian (although by no means a creationist or a proponent of a young Earth), and basically he somehow viewed the implications of my redating of the Sphinx as questioning his religious faith (how, I am not exactly sure). Scientists are humans too, and their deep beliefs and long-held assumptions can certainly cloud their ability to think clearly.

At one Egyptological conference to which I was invited to speak, I gave a nice, stolid, presentation on the evidence for an older Sphinx. I did not get many comments from the audience, but afterwards I was approached by a very senior, elderly, and rather grandfatherly, Egyptologist. His comment to me, and I can only paraphrase it now as it was many years ago, was to the effect “I do not understand geology, and I cannot refute your evidence, but I know you are wrong. Now there are lots of rocks other than at Giza and in Egypt; I suggest you go study the rocks somewhere else.” By his demeanor and the tone of his voice, I took this as more than just a friendly suggestion. It was clear that he did not want me studying the Sphinx, and he was not beyond gently threatening me that there could be untold consequences if I persisted in my endeavors along such lines.

At another conference, to which I was invited to debate the age of the Great Sphinx, prior to the public discussions I was sharing some of my data with a member of the “opposition.” It was not that I was required to do so, but I shared my data of my own free will. I have never treated the controversy over the age of the Sphinx as a situation where I am determined to “win” and “prove” my hypothesis for an older Sphinx. Rather, my concern as a scientist and researcher is to gather data, share the data, and honestly follow the data to wherever it should lead. Anyway, I was showing this professional “geoarchaeologist” some of the seismic data that we had collected around and under the Sphinx. He was having a difficult time interpreting it; looking down at the table, I saw a potential problem. Gently, and trying not to embarrass him, I said “You might want to look at it this way” and I turned the charts around, as he had been trying to read them upside down. Even when viewing them in their correct orientation, he seemed not to be able to follow them. I quickly realized that despite his position at a major university, and a Ph.D. in a relevant field, this man had absolutely no clue as to what he was looking at or how to interpret the data, and he was too proud to ask for help. The rest of the so-called debate was not very illuminating from my point of view. I attempted to present and discuss real data while my opponents at best skirted the issues and at worst lowered themselves to ad hominem attacks and insults against me personally.

At the same conference, I ran into one of my “opponents” in a back hall, a man hailed as one of the world’s experts on the Great Sphinx. We were alone and standing face-to-face, eye-to-eye. He said to me something like, “You can’t really believe that the Sphinx is older than the Fourth Dynasty. You must know that is nonsense.” Clearly, he was attempting to appeal to my academic, orthodox side. I almost felt like he was trying to “save” me from the unholy alternative theorists and “New Age” camp. He then asked me some question about my analyses of the Sphinx data. I honestly no longer remember the question, but I remember that the tone of his voice was rather bitter and sarcastic. I proceeded to answer in detail as he just stared at me with a blank look on his face, saying nothing. Then, as I was in mid-sentence, he simply turned around and walked away. I realized afterwards that his “question” was meant as a rhetorical comment, and he had neither expected me to be able to answer it, nor dare try to answer it. When I did answer him, he was caught off-guard and apparently felt he had no other choice but to ignore me and walk away.

I have often felt that I am misunderstood when it comes to my work on the Sphinx. I am trained as a staid, traditional academic, with a Ph.D. from an Ivy League school (Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from Yale University, 1983) and a tenured teaching position. I think of myself as quite conventional, not as the radical alternative thinker that some have cast me. But, I believe in following the data to wherever it may lead, and my hypotheses and conclusions have not always gone over well with my traditional academic colleagues. For some years after first becoming involved with the Sphinx, realizing that the implications of an older Sphinx suggest – at least to some – a lost civilization as epitomized in Plato’s concept of Atlantis, I refused to actually say the word “Atlantis” in public for fear of being ridiculed and condemned by my more traditional colleagues in academia. Rather, I referred to the “A-word.” Sometimes I feel I straddle a tenuous existence between two worlds. I am not “normal” and “conventional” enough for the traditionalists, but I am not sufficiently “radical” and “far-out” for some members of the alternative camp. The Sphinx has taught me to live in my own world.

Notes Section:

For Further Reading:

Schoch, Robert M., with Robert Aquinas McNally. Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations. New York: Harmony Books, 1999. [See especially Chapter 2, “A Shape with Lion Body and the Head of a Man,” pp. 33-51.]

Schoch, Robert M., with Robert Aquinas McNally. Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003. [See especially the appendix, “Redating the Great Sphinx of Giza,” pp. 278-298.]

Schoch, Robert M., and Robert Aquinas McNally. Pyramid Quest: Secrets of the Great Pyramid and the Dawn of Civilization. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005. [See especially Chapter 4, “A Certain Age,” pp. 61-81, and the section of the appendices titled “Seeking Wisdom on the Giza Plateau,” pp. 327-331.]