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Segereh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramses II left a writing on the walls of the Ramesseum in fact:
"I hath looked through the windows of my compartment in the great palace and my heart rejoiced when I saw the falling of the snow."

...
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably knew it from Hittite sources, a lot of messengers travelled there, so it appears. Don't quote my last message btw, please don't. Smile
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't his great Palace located in the Delta?

Note btw that there are freak occurennces of snow in Egypt:
Quote:
CAIRO, Egypt, Jan. 10 — Snow blanketed the Egyptian village of St.
Catherine on Thursday, near a biblical site where tradition says God
told Moses to guide his people from Egypt to the promised land. Snow is
rare in sunny Egypt, which is hot and dry for much of the year.


http://www.weathhttp://www.weathermatrix.net/archive/stormreports/200112-200201/0069.htmlermatrix.net/archive/stormreports/200112-200201/0069.html
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet. I don't know how high the mountain lands of the Sinaï are, but apparently it's possible he got his info from closer to his home. Seems difficult to picture a pharaoh with a winter-coat though.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa-I always thought of egypt as a hot sunny country, now thatnks to you guys if I ever go there I'll have to pack my woolly coat and winter clothes!!!
I understand it snowing in high, mountainous areas of Egypt in winter, but it still seems far fetched to have snow in the delta...unless there was some kind of climate change event at the time that caused snow in Egypt, I'm not sure.
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Diorite
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:32 pm    Post subject: Rain and Weathering on the Sphinx Reply with quote

First of all, the absence of the nose is not due to wind erosion. If it were there would be no traces of paint left on the head at all. As there are some, not to mention that wind erosion would leave it with a smooth surface. Where the nose used to be is too uneven.

Now for the rain. As Robert Schoch (sp?) stated, there is definitely evidence of weathering by rain on the Sphinx. It's not limited to the upper Sphinx, but is seen on the body anywhere it isn't encased in later material. This kind of weathering is also seen with the same intensity on the walls of the Sphinx enclosure and on the limestone portions of the Sphinx Temple and Valley Temple. Thus, the original structures and the enclosure date to the same time.

The question then becomes how long would it take to achieve the observed amount of weathering? One factor is the amount of rainfall. Like most arid areas, I would suspect that Egypt sees short, torrential rains. The other factor in the length of time required is the resistence of the limestone. How dense is the rock? Has it already been weathered in the near surface? As I understand it, the limestone the Sphinx is made of is relatively "soft", so easier to erode than denser, more compacted limestone. There is a relatively simple way to determine how fast the stuff would erode, just cut a new face on part the enclosure or dig a new. similar enclosure nearby and take routine observations. The climate because of Cairo is a little "wetter" and smog will make erosion faster, but it should be possible to determine within, say, 20-50 years whether the surface is showing signs of weathering. The problem? The Egyption government would probably never go for it.

Now, for climate at the end of the Ice Age. First of all, it isn't my specialty at all! But I do know some stuff. We know that during the Ice Ages there were warmer periods and that rainfall varied. However, there is a debate whether it was warmer-wetter or warmer-drier. The Ice Age ended roughly 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. We know that many areas that are arid now, like the Sahara and the Middle East, were much wetter than they are now. During the melting of the glaciers, my personal opinion is that there would be a much wetter period. We do know that temperatures rose abruptly about 6 degrees Celsius. Sea level rose abruptly. How abruptly is open to debate. Any early settlements or civilizations along the coast are now under water. (Isn't it true that some of the Megalithic sites are partially submerged?) My personal opinion is that many of the flood legends worldwide are the result of heavy rains and sea level rise right at the end of the Ice Age. The world truly would have flooded to the people then.

Since the end of the Ice Age, the climate has progressively gotten warmer (on average), some areas have undergone prolonged drying of climate, and sea level has risen. There is continuing change in the ideas of exactly how fast the drying has taken place, which is the big part of the problem. Every time I read something on sea level and the drying of the climate the timeline changes. Sad Climate study among Holocene geologist/glaciologists and meteorologists is a really hot topic. Maybe we'll have answers soon.

Diorite
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard somewhere that the Sphinx is going to be totally eroded in about 20-50 years because of the smog and growing tourism. A lot of it only looks new because of restoration efforts. So I'd better go see it quick!

But as the rainfall in Egypt is so rare (like, once a decade or less) could it really have enough erosive power in such a short amount of time? I suppose it depends on the softness of the stone too.

So, what in your opinion did strike off the Sphinx's nose? I'm pretty sure it was a man made cause-but was it Napoleon's cannon, or, as one TV programme said, a muslim cleric who chipped it off because he thought the statue was heathen? or someone else?

But, here's the big thing. If the sphinx was built at the same time as the pyramids-then why is there no rain erosion on the pyramids??? Confused I suppose all the alternative theorists would say that is evidence that the sphinx was built thousands of years earlier than the pyramids...but I doubt it because the sphinx, according to most, was built around the same time.
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Diorite
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:04 pm    Post subject: Nosing around Reply with quote

From the irregularity of the break, I'd say it was from some type of blow but it doesn't look like a cannon shot unless it was from the side.

As for the lack of weathering on the pyramids - aren't the exterior blocks granite? As I understand it, the things are cased in granite and the limestone is only seen internally, but I could be wrong. Granite weathers much more slowly than limestone under most circumstances.

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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the granite was on the inside, the chambers were made of it, and the majority of the pyramid, including the outside, is limestone...
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Meresankh
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hasn't the outer casing of the pyramids disappeared though, removed for building purposes?
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I thought the granite was on the inside, the chambers were made of it, and the majority of the pyramid, including the outside, is limestone...


Many interior features of the Giza pyramids were composed of dressed granite (quarried in far southern Egypt), such as roof beams and door lintels. But for the most part the outside of these pyramids were encased in bright-white limestone quarried from nearby Turah. The interior blocks are also limestone intermixed with fill, but this limestone is not of the same quality though still incredibly durable. Some of the outer casing stones are still evident near the top of the second pyramid, which was like the Sphinx built for the pharaoh Khafre. However, the base of the third pyramid--that of Menkaure's--was in fact encased with granite slabs.

The Sphinx is a different story. Awhile ago we discussed the geologist Robert Schoch and his theories. It should be remembered that Schoch brought new life to a very old theory about the age of the Sphinx, and for the sake of ratings even got a special to expound his beliefs on the Discovery Channel. The man is well educated and very intelligent, but he travelled far beyond the limits of his expertise and his theories regarding the Sphinx have been dismissed by almost all other geologists, Egyptologists, and scientists.

The Sphinx most likely began life as a massif or outcropping of limestone on the Giza Plateau. It lies at the southwest edge of what were the main quarries for the building of Khufu's pyramid. Then, during the construction of Khafre's complex, the Sphinx most likely took its present form. The stones for Khafre's valley temple and the Sphinx temple have been conclusively shown to have come from the area immediately around the Sphinx--the building of these two temples created the Sphinx enclosure. There are numerous strata of limestone in the Sphinx, and they are of different qualities. Some weather easily, others are far more durable. Almost all geologists and scientists who have studied the Sphinx are convinced that more than 4500 years of wind and rain and blowing sand have been enough to weather the Sphinx to the condition we see today.

As many of us have said on Egyptian Dreams, there's no need to search out the fantastic and unlikely when enough evidence is at hand to explain what's there. Simply put, there's no evidence whatsoever for a sophisticated and cohesive civilization existing in Egypt prior to about 5100 years ago.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've heard somewhere that the Sphinx is going to be totally eroded in about 20-50 years because of the smog and growing tourism. A lot of it only looks new because of restoration efforts. So I'd better go see it quick!


The Sphinx has been around now for over 4500 years and I don't think it's going to crumble apart anytime soon. But you're right, modern smog is very harmful. The restoration efforts recently completed were far more than superficial, though. These efforts included a lot of masonry work to rebuild the monument's strength. One thing's for sure: the Sphinx has probably seen more extensive repairs down through time than any monument on earth.

But if all else fails, why don't they just encase it in tons of Lucite? Wouldn't it be a Kodak moment to see the Sphinx shrink-wrapped? Very Happy

Quote:
So, what in your opinion did strike off the Sphinx's nose?


No one is sure exactly how this happened. Some blame Napoleon and his army, which is where the cannon theory comes from, though this is highly unlikely considering he brought over 160 scientists, historians, and artisans to study Egypt. It could well have been done under the orders of some Muslim cleric who considered the Sphinx an offensive pagan idol. My own guess is the Copts, who were particularly unkind to countless monuments all over Egypt in their zeal to erase all traces of heretical images. They did their share of damage, but thank goodness they weren't any more thorough than they were.
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bastetmax
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just at the Sphinx with John Anthony West and he showed us the channels cut by water in the Sphinx enclosure. It's not the kind of thing you would get with a few torrential rains. It would take years of rain weathering and the visual evidence is pretty impressive. He's going to get together a "geo-panel" of many geologists (most *do* agree with Schoch) to try and settle this issue once and for all. I personally don't see what all the fuss is about and why people can't believe a pre-dynastic group of people could have sculpted a lion-shaped Sphinx (the head I'm sure was redone) out of an existing rock that looked somewhat like a lion.

As for Schoch being out of his field: lots of information comes from experts who bring in new knowledge from outside. Most geologists agree with Schoch and I think when that geo-panel is assembled, the science will settled the issue overwhelmingly.

Has anyone heard of Nabta Playa? It's down in Nubia and contains the remains of a giant stone circle/astonomical calendar much like Stonehenge, only far older. It's more evidence of a pre-dynastic culture tha was very ancient in Egypt. I don't understand the resistence to considering that these people could have been sophisticated many thousands of years ago. When the climate changed and the Sahara covered everything, much was buried, I'm sure.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the contrary, I don't know of any vetted and respected geologists or scientists who agree at all with Schoch and West. West would sure like you to think so and his website tries to intimate that, but there's no truth to it.

If this "geo-panel" comes together, it will likely be an assemblage of people who go at it from Schoch and West's way: make the evidence fit your theory. A scientist or historian must base his theory on the extant evidence, and Schoch and West ignore a great deal of the geological and historical evidence to try to push their argument.

I would suggest this article by Hawass, which explains point by point the inaccuracies and mistakes in Schoch and West's logic.

In 1980 a geologist named Thomas Aigner worked with Mark Lehner on the Sphinx Project to get a better idea of the Sphinx and its associated structures. Here's a web page discussing this project. I am fully aware that Schoch is a geologist and an educated man, but he's gone far astray from science and has become a practitioner of science fiction. Aigner was able to show that the Sphinx and its temple were created at the same time but were not finished till after the completion of Khafre's valley temple. Further, other tests have shown that some of the stone that forms the core of Khufu's pyramid originates from what's now the trench around the Sphinx.

Geologically and scientifically it's clear the Sphinx did not exist before Dynasty 4; at most it was a limestone massif popping out of the Plateau. There are also important cultural and historical arguments that further sink Schoch and West's theory and reveal their lack of fundamental understanding of ancient Egypt, but geological and scientific evidence is enough for our purposes here and now.

Quote:
Has anyone heard of Nabta Playa?


Nabta Playa is well known. It's also a Neolithic site and far removed from the time and context of the Sphinx. Egypt's predynastic history is well understood, as is its evolution and development leading up to state formation about 5,100 years ago. Nabta Playa did not really play a part in any of that and wasn't even a part of the regional centers of power that would later coalesce prior to state formation.

Yes, Nabta Playa is evidence of a failry sophisticated culture in prehistory. No one's arguing that. Cultures with firm social hierarchies developed in Upper Egypt and later spread to Lower Egypt, but until about the Naqada II or early Naqada III period shortly before state formation there is no evidence in Lower Egypt of a well-organized and stratified society. In other words, at the time Nabta Playa was being settled, there was no society or culture around the Delta that was sophisticated enough to have engineered something like the Sphinx. The archaeological record clearly shows that.
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bastetmax
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we all have opinions. I find this a pleasant group, so I'm not going to get into an argument about it. I respect your opinion and I expect others to respect mine. No bad feelings either way.

I certainly do not believe the wild alien theories or other Out There things you'll find on other Internet sites. But I do think that the idea of an older civilization is not so extreme.

Lynn
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