The Controversy Continues, and Deepens…

In the New York Times of 9 February 1992, there was the following report under the heading, ‘Scientists Clash on Age of Sphinx’:


CHICAGO, Feb 8 (AP) – A geologist whose research findings suggest that the Great Sphinx of Egypt is thousands of years older than scholars generally believe clashed in a heated debate on Friday with a leading Egyptologist, who assailed the geologist’s conclusions as ‘pseudoscience’.

The debate took place at the convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here, where several thousand scientists in many disciplines are meeting through Tuesday.

The exchange was to last an hour, but it spilled over to a news conference and then a hallway confrontation in which voices were raised and words skated on the icy edge of scientific politeness.

Situated on the Giza Plateau west of Cairo, the Great Sphinx, depicting a recumbent lion with the head of a man, is one of the largest limestone carvings in the world: 66 feet high and 240 feet long. Scholars of Egyptian history have long held that it was carved out of a solid limestone formation around 2500 BC, during what is called the Old Kingdom Fourth Dynasty.

But reiterating findings that he first reported last fall, the geologist, Dr Robert M. Schoch of Boston University, told his adversary on Friday that his seismic studies of the sphinx’s erosion suggested that it was carved sometime between 7000 and 5000 BC.

Dr Schoch noted that a nearby tomb, also carved out of limestone, was thought to have been built at the same time as the Sphinx. But, he said, his studies clearly show that the Sphinx was so much more weathered than the tomb that it had to be more than 2,000 years older, So if the tomb was dated at 2500 BC, the Great Sphinx had to be dated no later than 5000 BC, he said.

That assertion has enraged scholars of Egyptian history who say disputes generations of archeological research into the Great Sphinx and the civilisation that built it.

Dr Mark Lehner of the University of Chicago, a leading expert on the Sphinx, heatedly rejected Dr Shoch’s findings. “You don’t overthrow Egyptian history based on one phenomenon like a weathering profile,’ Dr Lehner said. ‘That is how pseudoscience is done, not real science.’

The major fact disputing Dr Shoch’s conclusion, Dr Lehner said, was the absence of any evidence that a civilisation advanced enough to carve the Great Sphinx existed in Egypt from 7000 to 5000 BC.


In the Solstice Special Issue (December 1991), I reproduced a similar report from the same newspaper, dated 24 October 1991. No doubt Dr Schoch is a part of that same study team that first presented to the scientific world the startling news that the Sphinx is much older than commonly held by archaeologists. It is the last paragraph of the above report that contains the vital clue to the problem: the position held by science that no civilisation existed at the dawn of history which could have built such a monument. This is the block regarding Egyptian history. It is the block in India regarding the Vedic civilisation. And unfortunately, in India’s case, the refusal to accept that the Rigveda was a product of the soil of Bharat Mata and not an import, and in addition that it dates to a much earlier period than currently held, has gone to consolidate a divide-and-rule policy and fortified a north/south cleavage in the nation.

The hold these backward, biased ‘scientists’ have over academia in India and throughout the world is deplorable and insidious. Its purpose is simply to sanction a Mediterranean and Euro-centred dominance over world history. No matter what evidence is provided to contradict this notion, the researcher will invariably meet with the same cries of PSEUDOSCIENCE!

The Sphinx may one day escape this web of distortion, but this is hardly likely in India where the Rigveda is a closed book for the scientific and academic community. They persist in foisting upon it a parameter which is entirely foreign to its inspiration. The Rigveda is not an historical document of any sort. It is entirely YOGIC. And it is only a person of the highest yogic accomplishments who can ‘interpret’ the Rigveda rightly.


8 March 1992                                                                             Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

Aeon Centre of Cosmology at Skambha



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