Any suggestion that it is not will really require documentation better than your uninformed opinion.
That is a line from the initial post of John Anthony West, which can be found here .
However, the opinion was by far not as 'uninformed' as West assumed, because I replied with data from several geologists.
The article John Anthony West published on the forum of Graham Hancock dot com is an attempt to soften earlier made claims on a thread on the message board of that same website. In his hasty, unprofessional comments in that discussion Mr. West claimed amongst other things that "salt crystallization had nothing to do with the weathering to the Sphinx."
Today, a little over a week later, Mr. West has revised his view and seems to regret his rather hasty, might we even say uninformed, unprofessional claim. This also serves as a response to the -to use his own words- "avalanche" of posts that followed his incorrect statement. Mr. West does not have a convincing case though, despite the juggling with claims like "most geologists are on our side" etc. The truth is this article does little more to strengthen the questioning of his methodology.
"Bloody minded and f****** stupid". That applies to me according to Mr. West. However, that f****** has a different meaning than most would assume. According to Mr. West it's "frankly". I fail to see the need to mask the letters of the word "frankly" though. Perhaps he should have done so with bloody as well?
The misleading title combined with lines like...
It was also inaccurate and ungenerous to boot, to characterize G. VDC as ‘uninformed’. I apologize for that as well
...made me think at first that Mr. West's article was a genuine apology. However, the following paragraph shows that nothing could be further away from the truth, as Mr. West continues with more of the same:
As the voluminous posts from him and his co-critics amply demonstrate, they are not ‘uninformed’ at all, but rather comprehensively, systematically and magisterially mis-informed. If their methodology were translated into the field of current events, they would be getting all their information from Fox News. They would conscientiously record and catalog everything so that it might be easily referenced, giving it an appearance of scholarly thoroughness and integrity, and they would re-disseminate it as the situation demanded, under the familiar Fox banner as ‘fair and balanced’ reportage. Anything deviating from, or contradicting the Fox party line can be safely ignored, misrepresented, slandered or twisted with impunity. For if it isn’t Fox, why then, by definition, it can’t be fair and balanced, can it?
This incorrect outlay of the facts says a lot about Mr. West's integrity and methodology. His conspiracy theory (*yawns*, heard so often) makes little or no sense at all. Fox News seems to be a pseudonym for the orthodox supporters' methodology here, but this is not how it works though.
There is nothing wrong with recording and cataloging data so that it can be easily referenced. It might be helpful to Mr. West, as this is obviously a way of working which is unaware to him. Our goal however is not to "ignore" and to "misrepresent" anything deviating from this data. This "anything" that deviates from the data of other scholars is Mr. West's "evidence", of which he fails to see it's not evidence at all. Showing Mr. West where he was wrong is hardly "ignoring, misrepresenting, slandering and twisting with impunity". The last line of this paragraph "for if it isn't Fox,..." shows that Mr. West doesn't understand that it is not important WHO puts forth the data. The important thing is the quality of the content!
In another part of this article Mr. West acknowledges that he doesn't understand this concept:
So, taking my strategic cue from Kurtz,the unalterable fact is; none of you guys are public enough to warrant that amount of time spent on you. Sorry.
With this statement he leaves no doubt at all. We are unworthy of a reply from Mr. West, and for some reason he thinks it's an important point to raise.
Back to the rest of his article:
So, in all those G. CDV/Solenhofen/Nixon/Cynnara posts, in all that verbiage, and for all those extensive quoted references couched in impressive-sounding geological terminology, they have managed to evade the central issue.
It might all sound "impressive" to Mr. West, the bottom line is that these references were valid and convincing evidence that his view was wrong. and they most certainly don't evade the central issue about the extensive water runoff. In my first post in reply to West's comments I quoted Gould on this:
"The primary cause of erosion is not water in the form of sheet wash, but that of a chemical weathering process in the form of salt Exfoliation. The underground pictures testify to this. Additionally, if you look for these types of erosion patterns, you will find them everywhere."
Also this mentions the water:
"Another fine example where we see this same type of erosion patterns in at Hatshepsut’s temple at Dier el Bahari. This temple was carved into the living rock circa 1,470 B.C. and immediately above the upper tier we see the same erosion pattern again. Above this, the limestone seems to be of a better or harder quality, as the erosion stops some fifty feet above the temple. The interesting thing here is that at the top of the cliff it slopes away from the temple, thus making it incredibly difficult for water to cascade down to where the temple is. Water has never run uphill."
But that's not all of course ... the story continues, and in that same post I see:
"Although arid conditions have dominated the dynastic period of Egyptian history, wetter periods are known to have been experienced, with the current arid conditions not becoming fully established until as late as ca. 2350 BC21 (i.e. until the late Fifth Dynasty). The rainy conditions of ca. 5000 to 7000 BC, to which Schoch attributed the degradation of the Sphinx, will have been separated from these later arid conditions by a transitional phase, during which increasingly arid conditions will have been interrupted by occasional, probably seasonal rains."
"With limited vegetation or sub-soil cover at Giza, sporadic heavy rainfall would have quickly saturated the upper strata, leading to run-off over the plateau towards the Nile valley. Although these rain storms would have been of short duration, the momentum gained by run-off across extensive areas can produce surface flows capable of significant erosion. Flood damage to Menkaure's valley temple22 attests to the fact that, during the Old Kingdom, rainfall run-off was a significant agent of erosion at Giza."
And what about:
I never said the salt exfoliation explains it all. I explained the process of salt exfoliation to Anomalies because he wanted to know more about it. However, that doesn't mean it's the only erosion that took place! I agree that rain was a factor of erosion as well, as is also explained on the paper on Cultnat
"In 1988, the Sphinx was exposed to unusually high levels of rainfall. There is clear evidence of raindrop pitting, as well as rills on the surface of the adobe walls of the Amenhotep temple."
C. Reader about the rain:
"It is evident that, when the erosive potential of rainfall run-off is considered (in addition to the effects of groundwater movement, chemical weathering and exfoliation) a comprehensive interpretation of the degradation within the Sphinx enclosure can be made, which is consistent with the observable features and can account for both the more intense degradation in the west of the Sphinx enclosure and the marked distribution of sub-vertical degradation features."
Notice that he writes "in ADDITION" to the effects of groundwater movement, chemical weathering AND exfoliation. So Mr. West, saying that exfoliation is not at all part of what causes the erosion is really incorrect.
Point is that I never said that there is no erosion from heavy rainfall on the Sphinx. Had Mr West taken the time to carefully read what I wrote, he would have seen that too. My only point is that the rainfall is not a reason for redating in itself. Rain is definitely a factor of erosion amongst other factors like wind, sand, salt exfoliation and industrial pollution.
Mr. West speculates some more on the conspiracy theory and says: This has been made clear, endlessly reiterated for the past 13 years. And yet that differential weathering, (even more to the point, the extent of that differential weathering) continues to be conveniently ignored by G. VDC and by everyone else trying so desperately to preserve the archaeological status quo.
It's not the case that orthodox archaeologists are against progression, as Mr. West assumes here. In the last 100 years a lot has changed in archaeology, and a lot of established archaeologists have been proven wrong. Orthodox science is not afraid of correcting itself. Mr. West seems to mix that up with following certain rules in the investigation. This is nothing new of course, and just shows that in the last 10 years nothing has changed in the methods and logic of John Anthony West.
Now we get to the interesting part. Where Mr. West makes it seem as if I deliberately tried to put him in the position of a man with a theory that is not accepted by the majority of geologists and archaeologists. That is of course not the case. Mr. West was in that position long before I even started posting on message boards, and my posts really don't change anything about that.
This shows in the following extract:
But before returning to the differential weathering, it is worth addressing an impression deliberately created by G. VDC and his colleagues in their efforts to appear fair and balanced. From their posts it would appear (to those not intimately familiar with the long, convoluted history of this controversy) that Schoch, myself and a handful of others are challenging the massed opposition of geological authorities.
This article is an attempt from Mr. West's side to make it appear as if his theory is accepted material amongst scholars and it may be pretty misleading to those who haven't done the research in the field. Of course, on GHMB they're "thrilled" to have an article of John Anthony West in their forum. Might generate some hits...
I'm still awaiting an apology though, despite the misleading title. Oh no wait, I'm not awaiting it... I know it won't come. Good thing I handle these things with a smile.