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After reading these boards for a while now, and participating for the past few days, I'll go out on a limb and 'theorize' what our problem really is; in the previous threads in this topic, I think we become obsessed with INDIVIDUAL details too often, and forget to take a SYSTEM approach. Basically, we tend to spend great effort and energy analyzing small groups of 'trees' that we may no longer realize that there is a 'forest' to consider. We are presenting 'bits' of evidence, and arguing those points, and forgetting to look for a 'preponderance of evidence' (careful, I don't want to get too legalistic).

Perhaps it is my background in USAF maintenance, integration, research, but I learned long ago that failing to consider enough indicators (evidence) when considering a problem inevitably leads you to a view of the system (big picture) that is skewed, at best. This doesn't apply only to equipment, but to organisations, history, archaeology, anthropology, and really, every other 'ology.

In debating Sphinx weathering, we have seen advocates for rainwater, runoff, salt exfoliation, etc. basically putting the theories forward in opposition/rebuttal. ALL are likely to have had their effects, as well as wind/sand erosion on whatever portion was exposed in any given period;

Question: How much weight to give to EACH mechanism?

To do this, we would need to agree (at least a range of) the % of time that the enclosure was sand filled, along with the estimated individual time periods (in BC/AD times). NOT DONE YET...let's add a pinch of geology; there have been many posts stating that the Sphinx head is of 'better quality...harder' material...perhaps so, but simply referring to "member 1 and member 2' limestone doesn't give us much to work with; to properly consider this factor in the weathering debate, we need multi-point, multi elevation maps of the RELATIVE durability of this sculpture...what hardness is the very top of the head? and every couple of feet down, all the way to the bottom, and similarly along the outside of the sculpture, and its enclosure. If someone has such a map, please post it.

This is only another step...what do we have from archaeo-climatology to add into the mix? Do we have a good, contunuous, tree-ring record of this stretch of the Nile? What info do we have regarding rainfall onsite, in southern Egypt, north, central, southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda...we need this to determine the degree/frequency of Nile flooding over the past several thousand years, and how this may impact the debate.

Archaeology...with the nose of the Sphinx missing, and some erosion of the head in its current appearance, assigning it to any particular Pharoah is problematic, at best; while there are differences in Egyptian statuary, one must also notice a great deal of rather generic similarity, as well. Just what are the indicators that it belongs to Khufu? What weight to give them? Alternates? What relative weight should they have? Then add these factors to those derived above.

This post could wind up being about 15ft long if I went into full throttle, but you can guess, I hope, what I'm getting at; we are getting distracted by individual factors, out of the overall 'system' context, that we are forgetting to integrate the factors together and come up with a fully considered view.

Just another factor, suggested by the last paragraph...psychology. We need to consider this factor, not only in ancient times, but perhaps moreso in the present, for those of us pondering the topic. Avery has stated his dismissal of the idea of an 'advanced' culture existing in pre-dynastic times, as a requirement to produce this massive Sphinx. So how, exactly, is 'advanced' to be defined? Technology? We still use chisels to sculpt stone today, only we periodically use explosives, and that is only for very early 'roughing out'. Does advanced ONLY apply to US? An attitude about the nature of 'advanced' will color our view of past activities and achievements, and will risk ignoring their significance. The psychology of our attitude/interpretation/assumption plays a major role in our debate, even if we would rather not acknowledge it at the time.
And, I believe it was Gerd who advocated the use of 'logic'; unfortunately, 'logic' itself is a sadly SUBJECTIVE term. A logical thesis to Gerd, only MAY be logical to Steve, Avery, Cardinal, etc.

Until we put together and INTEGRATE the various points of information, factors, and their relative weights, in a 'macro' scale, we will likely miss the answer we are looking for in this topic.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 281 scimitar 13-Jan-04 19:46
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseam 155 Nejc 13-Jan-04 20:18
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseam 180 scimitar 13-Jan-04 20:43
p.s. 143 scimitar 13-Jan-04 20:52
Re: p.s. 144 Nejc 13-Jan-04 20:59
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseam 125 Nejc 13-Jan-04 21:07
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseam 189 Steve_L 14-Jan-04 01:58
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 162 Laird Scranton 13-Jan-04 22:03
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 152 Steve_L 14-Jan-04 02:00
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 122 Cynnara 14-Jan-04 03:30
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 172 scimitar 14-Jan-04 10:40
Re: Sphinx-ad infinitum, ad nauseum 220 catrowan 14-Jan-04 17:46

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