> What, in your view, is the exact reason for those 12 ft ?
First of all I don't think there is one single reason for the erosion on any part of the Sphinx, including those 12ft. Mr. West seems to think that I deny the fact that water runoff played a role in the erosion process of the Sphinx. However, in the initial thread I referred to various papers that acknowledged this water runoff, in ADDITION to the effects of wind, sand, exfoliation and industrial pollution. Mr. West on the other hand said:
That western third and rear end is weathered the way it is because of extensive water runoff, and for no other reason whatsoever.’
Of course it is incorrect that the other erosion processes had no effect on this particular part of the Sphinx.
So where do I disagree with the West/Schoch hypothesis? It seems that West is eager to see as much erosion as possible because he needs it to explain his extremely early dating of the monument. This earlier dating is not necessary though, as the current erosion damage is perfectly explainable for a Dynastic dating as well.
In his paper "A Geomorphological Study of the Giza Necropolis, with implications for the development of the site" Colin Reader writes:
"Under the processes of chemical weathering that Gauri et al. describe, it is the bedded nature of limestones that has controlled the development of the vertical degradation profile, with the less durable units receding further from the cut face than the interbedded more durable strata. The development of this vertical profile can be seen, therefore, to be consistent with chemical weathering of the stratified limestones."
However, the development of the more intense degradation along the western Sphinx enclosure walls cannot be explained in this way. This lateral variation is independent of the bedding, with degradation becoming more intense along, rather than across, the exposed beds. Likewise, the processes of chemical weathering cannot explain the distribution of sub-vertical degradation features within the Sphinx enclosure.
Here we are witnessing erosion caused by rainfall run-off, or in other words flowing water. Schoch immediately set back the date of construction to 7,000 to 5,000 BC, because that is the wet period preceeding the Dynastic times. However, during the Old Kingdom The Giza plateau was subject to a transition phase between the wet period from before and the arid conditions from after the fifth Dynasty and on. In this transition period, heavy seasonal rains would take place, which could account for the water run-off erosion we see on the Sphinx. A Pre-Dynastic dating is not necessary though.
> Why did the geological society twice agree with West
> and Schoch ?
Well here there are a few things to consider. First of all how should we interpret this "agreement" by the Geological Society of America. The "twice" refers to the 1991 and 2000 Annual Meetings of this organization. Again I think it's best to quote someone about this topic. Geologist Paul Heinrich addressed the topic on the Ma'at message board :
The statement the "...1991 and 2000 Annual Meetings of the
Geological Society of America, effectively the Super Bowl
of Geology." is rather silly besides being completely
inaccurate. In meetings like the Geological Society of
America, the level of peer-review is minimal at best. Any
abstract that sounds the least bit plausible, regardless of its
validity of its science, is often accepted. A person would
have to send in an abstract that concludes something
patently absurd, i.e. that the Earth is only 6,000 years old
or the moon is made of Green cheese, to have it rejected."
In other words, this is not a meeting on which new theories are put to the test. They are presented, but there is no time for a complete study of the evidence. Therefore West's claim is not entirely correct.
Mr West's statement "Most geologists agree with us, not the other way around." is not valid at all. One could wonder where he gets that impression.
Guy, I have to admit I'm having trouble finding any papers from geologists that do accept the Schoch/West hypothesis. Perhaps you could refer me to some...
Hope this answers your questions.