Is there really Evidence of Civilizations predating our Recorded History?
The early civilizations
I have yet to visit Egypt and have never been to any of the Mayan temples but I have always been fascinated by whom these people were and how did they build such amazing structures. It seems all too much for one generation to build. How did they move such large objects to locations many miles away from their original quarry? How did they perform such remarkable carvings with only soft bronze or copper tools to work with?
We give credit to the early Egyptians and the Indus-Harrapa civilization with strong mathematical skill, but the first written evidence of advanced arithmetic dates from Sumeria, where 4500-year old clay tablets show multiplication and division problems. So were the Egyptian’s of the Old Kingdom the most advanced or did they just learn what previous civilizations taught them?
Questions regarding the age of the Great Sphinx
The image of the Sphinx is a very interesting problem. Why would someone want a large body of a lion and a small head of a pharaoh? Could it have been simply a case of the Egyptians taking a statue that already existed and modifying it? For thousands of years, sand buried the colossus up to its shoulders, creating a vast disembodied head atop the eastern edge of the Sahara. Around 1400 BC, Thutmose IV partially unearthed the lower portion of the great statue and attempted to protect it with stone encasements. The head of the Sphinx appears to be much newer and its size is significantly disproportionate with the body of the statue. In Thutmose’s time, he describes lying against the head as it is the only thing visible, all else buried under the drifting sands. If a Pharaoh decided to have his face immortally present, it is a perfect opportunity to reconstruct the face while it is so close to the surface. Was it still buried in time of Pharaoh Khafre? Was it just a ruin from a previous epoch and the ancient Egyptian’s wanted to put their mark on it?
The Sphinx has undergone several attempts at restoration or protection but it has been subject to the shifting sands of the Sahara. In 1817, a Genoese adventurer, Capt. Giovanni Battista Caviglia led the first modern attempt to dig out the Sphinx. Again the sand prevented the full recovery. Finally, in 1931, the Sphinx was fully excavated. With that excavation, we see the full body of the Sphinx and the wind and water erosion on the quarry around the sculpture and on the body of the Sphinx.
The most common wisdom holds that the monolith is around 4,500 years old and the human head is that of Pharaoh Khafre. If the Sphinx was built by Khafre, why are there water erosion marks all over the body of the Sphinx and not the head? The Sahara is a very dry environment and has been that way since the times of the Pharaohs. Forensic investigation of a known statue of Khafre and the head on the Sphinx shows significant differences and concludes that this is not a statue of Khafre.
How could Egypt have been tropical
If it is not Khafre, who is it? More importantly, when was it carved?
Famed Egyptologist Mark Lehner has studied the Sphinx for many years and readily admits that the Sphinx must have originally been carved at a time when Egypt had a much wetter climate.
40 million years ago, the African tectonic plate was moving northward with the Tethys Sea separating it from the European continent. 20 million years ago, it started to isolate the Tethys Sea and began to form the basis that all the material for the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids were made from. But core drillings in the Atlantic off the western coast of Africa show that sand from the newly formed Sahara desert was first deposited there 3 million years ago, giving an accurate date of the birth of the Sahara. But clues from our modern technology (our satellite images) show the presence of ancient river beds, suggesting that even in the birth of the Sahara, it had rainy periods. The Discovery Channel produced an in-depth video on the age, formation and cycles of the great Sahara Desert.
Some of the rivers were from freshwater lakes. Scientists have found the beds of freshwater lakes as old as 90,000 years old. It turns out that the Sahara has a dry/wet period of 20,000 years and the last time it was wet was 7,000 ago. Evidence of a settled human community next to a dry lake bed dates has been found deep in the Sahara that dates to 10-6,000 years ago. More analysis of the ocean core shows the latest drying of the Sahara was 5,500 years ago and the transition period occurred within 200 years.
So, if the Sphinx was exposed to wet climates, it had to have been built 1000 years or more before the currently accepted date.
Other stories documenting periods of a wet Sahara can be found:
Photo Source: Pixabay