The Great Sphinx of Giza Essay

The Great Sphinx of Giza Essay

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In Schoch’s analysis of the Sphinx and its enclosure, he found multiple types of weathering from water, wind, flaking and disintegration. He believed the rounded edges that appear on the Sphinx and the enclosure are a “classic textbook example of what happens to limestone wall when you have rain beating down on it for thousands of years”. This type of erosion would require a lot of rain, and given the present climate of Egypt, it would have to have happened before the drying up of the Sahara between 6000-5000BC. Schoch says this amount of rain happened in the Nabtian Pluvial or the Neolithic wet phase a period between 7000-5000BC. This was a time of erratic floods thus the Sphinx must have been carved prior, giving the rock thousands of years to be eroded. One thing geologists do not know is the rate that rock erodes due to various types of weathering factors that can accelerate the process.
In 1991 Schoch and seismologist Dr. Thomas L. Dobecki preformed low-level seismic surveys around the Sphinx. A seismic survey is a geological subterranean investigation based on the waves received back from a medium such as soil or rock. The interpretation of the depths depends on the distance between points and the depth of the strata. The data received from the seismic survey showed the subsurface weathering of the Sphinx was not uniform, showing less weathering at the rump (western end) of the monument. Schoch explains this uniformity and says the rump was carved later and the statue was only meant to be seen from the front and side views.
As for the two-stage construction, Schoch says the Sphinx temple and possibly the valley temple have a core layer of deeply weathered limestone covered by granite and ashlar. He believes the cor...


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Temple, Robert K. G., and Olivia Temple. The Sphinx Mystery: The Forgotten Origins of the Sanctuary of Anubis. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2009.
Vandecruys, G. "The Sphinx: dramatising data… and dating." PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt 1 (2006): 1-13.
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