The sphinx is 800.000 years old

One of the most mysterious and enigmatic monuments on the surface of the planet is without a doubt the Great Sphinx at the Giza plateau in Egypt. It is an ancient construction that has baffled researchers ever since its discovery and until today, no one has been able to accurately date the Sphinx, since there are no written records or mentions in the past about it. Now, two Ukrainian researchers have proposed a new provocative theory where the two scientists propose that the Great Sphinx of Egypt is around 800,000 years old. A Revolutionary theory that is backed up by science.

The study was presented at the International Conference of Geoarchaeology and Archaeomineralogy held in Sofia titled: GEOLOGICAL ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM OF DATING THE GREAT EGYPTIAN SPHINX CONSTRUCTION.

The authors of this paper are scientists Manichev Vjacheslav I. (Institute of Environmental Geochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and Alexander G. Parkhomenko (Institute of Geography of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine).

The starting point of these two experts is the paradigm shift initiated by West and Schoch, a ‘debate’ intended to overcome the orthodox view of Egyptology referring to the possible remote origins of the Egyptian civilization and, on the other, physical evidence of water erosion present at the monuments of the Giza Plateau.

According to Manichev and Parkhomenko:

“The problem of dating the Great Egyptian Sphinx construction is still valid, despite of the long-term history of its research. Geological approach in connection to other scientific-natural methods permits to answer the question about the relative age of the Sphinx. The conducted visual investigation of the Sphinx allowed the conclusion about the important role of water from large water bodies which partially flooded the monument with formation of wave-cut hollows on its vertical walls.”

“The morphology of these formations has an analogy with similar such hollows formed by the sea in the coastal zones. Genetic resemblance of the compared erosion forms and the geological structure and petrographic composition of sedimentary rock complexes lead to a conclusion that the decisive factor of destruction of the historic monument is the wave energy rather than sand abrasion in Eolian process. Voluminous geological literature confirms the fact of existence of long-living fresh-water lakes in various periods of the Quaternary from the Lower Pleistocene to the Holocene. These lakes were distributed in the territories adjacent to the Nile. The absolute mark of the upper large erosion hollow of the Sphinx corresponds to the level of water surface which took place in the Early Pleistocene. The Great Egyptian Sphinx had already stood on the Giza Plateau by that geological (historical) time.”

A strong argument was made by Ukrainian scientists in regards of the Sphinx, arguments based upon geological studies which support Schoch’s view regarding the Sphinx and its age. Manichev and Parkhomenko focus on the deteriorated aspect of the body of the Sphinx, leaving aside the erosive features where the Sphinx is located, which had been studied previously by Schoch. Ukrainian scholars focused on the undulating terrain of the Sphinx which displays the mysterious pattern.

Mainstream scientists offer explanations for this sharp feature and state that it is based on the abrasive effect of the wind and sand, the undulations were formed because the harder layers of rock are better at withstanding the erosions while the softer layers would have been more affected, forming voids.

However, as noted Manichev and Parkhomenko, this argument does not explain why the front of the head of the Sphinx lacks such features. In regards to the argument made by Schoch about the heavy rain period which occurred around 13,000 BC, the Ukrainian scientists recognized Schoch hypothesis partially suggesting that the erosive features of the Sphinx go further back than 13.000 BC. Manichev and Parkhomenko argue is that the mountainous and coastal areas of the Caucasus and Crimea, which they know well, have a type of wind erosion that differs morphologically to the erosive features noted on the Sphinx. Essentially, they argue that such wind erosion has a very soft effect, regardless of the geological composition of the rocks.

“In our geological field expeditions in different mountains and littoral zones of the Crimea and Caucasus we could often observe the forms of Eolian weathering which morphology differs considerably from the weathering taking place on the GES. Most natural forms of weathering are of smoothed character, independent of lithological composition of the rocks.”

They continue further and explain:

“Our personal experience in scientific investigation of geology of the sea coasts gives reasons to draw an analogy with the GES and to suggest another mechanism of its destruction. Specialists-geologists, who work in the field of sea-coast geomorphology, know such forms of relief as wave-cut hollows (Morskaya Geomorfologiya, 1980). They can be one- and multi-storey. They are arranged horizontally to the sea water surface, if the coast makes a vertical wall (cliff). Especially deep wave-cut hollows are formed in precipitous cliffs built by the strata of carbonaceous rocks. Such forms of the coast relief are well-known and studied in detail on the Black-Sea coast of the Caucasus and Crimea (Popov, 1953; Zenkovich, 1960). General model of formation of the wave-cut hollows in the rocks of the Caucasian flysch is given by Popov (1953, 162; Fig. 3). In dynamics of the process of wave-cut hollows formation one can notice such a characteristic feature that the wave energy is directed to the rock stratum at the level of water surface. Besides, both saline and fresh water can dissolve the rocks.”

Manichev and Parkhomenko propose a new natural mechanism that may explain the undulations and mysterious features of the Sphinx. This mechanism is the impact of waves on the rocks of the coast. Basically, this could produce, in a period of thousands of years the formation of one or more layers of ripples, a fact that is clearly visible, for example, on the shores of the Black Sea. This process, which acts horizontally (that is, when the waves hit the rock up to the surface), will produce a wear or dissolution of the rock.

The fact is that the observation of these cavities in the Great Sphinx made the Ukranian scientists think that this great monument could have been affected by above said process in the context of immersion in large bodies of water, not the regular flooding of the Nile.

Manichev and Parkhomenko suggest that the geological composition of the body of the Sphinx is a sequence of layers composed of limestone with small interlayers of clays. Manichev and Parkhomenko explain that these rocks possess different degree of resistance to the water effect and say that if the hollows formation were due to sand abrasion only, the hollows had to correspond to the strata of a certain lithological composition. They suggest that the Great Sphinx hollows are formed in fact within several strata, or occupy some part of the stratum of homogeneous composition.

Manichev and Parkhomenko firmly believe that the Sphinx had to be submerged for a long time under water and, to support this hypothesis, they point towards existing literature of geological studies of the Giza Plateau. According to these studies at the end of the Pliocene geologic period (between 5.2 and 1.6 million years ago), sea water entered the Nile valley and gradually creating flooding in the area. This led to formation of lacustrine deposits which are at the mark of 180 m above the present level of the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Manichev and Parkhomenko, it is the sea level during the Calabrian phase which is the closest to the present mark with the highest GES hollow at its level. High level of sea water also caused the Nile overflowing and created long-living water-bodies. As to time it corresponds to 800000 years.

What we have here is evidence which contradicts the conventional theory of deterioration caused by Sand and Water, a theory already criticized by West and Schoch, who recalled that during many centuries, the body of the Sphinx was buried by the sands of the desert, so Wind and Sand erosion would not have done any damage to the enigmatic Sphinx.

However, where Schoch clearly saw the action of streams of water caused by continuous rains, Ukrainian geologists see the effect of erosion caused by the direct contact of the waters of the lakes formed in the Pleistocene on the body Sphinx. This means that the Great Sphinx of Egypt is one of the oldest monuments on the surface of the Earth, pushing back drastically the origin of mankind and civilization.

Some might say that the theory proposed by Manichev and Parkhomenko is very extreme because it places the Great Sphinx in an era where there were no humans, according to currently accepted evolutionary patterns. Furthermore, as it has been demonstrated, the two megalithic temples, located adjacent to the Great Sphinx were built by the same stone which means that the new dating of the Sphinx drags these monuments with the Sphinx back 800,000 years. In other words, this means that ancient civilizations inhabited our planet much longer than mainstream scientists are willing to accept.

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Outside a woman’s womb?

A report says a man-made womb could be reality within 30 years. But when the womb—the most politicized body part in history—is separated from the woman, what will it mean for feminism?
The idea that a human fetus can be raised outside of a woman’s body is so radical that our language can barely describe it.

The term “gestation,” for instance, is derived from the Latin verb gestāre, used to describe a mammal carrying a burden. And the Latin mātrīx for “womb” comes from the same Indo-European root that gives us the English “mother.” How, then, can gestation happen if no one is carrying the fetus? And how can a womb exist outside of a mother? Given these linguistic impossibilities, British scientist J.B.S. Haldane had to coin the term ectogenesis—literally “developing outside”—in 1924 to describe a scientific advance that was then nothing but a science-fiction fantasy: the artificial womb.

But ectogenesis may pass from the pages of Brave New World into reality within 30 years, according to a new Motherboard report by transhumanist futurist Zoltan Istvan.

The technology behind ectogenesis, as feminist journalist Soraya Chemaly notes, has been in development for at least a decade. In 2003, a team of Cornell scientists began growing mouse embryos in artificial wombs but could only grow human embryos for 10 days due to current legislation, which places a two-week restriction on this line of research. Istvan believes that these legal obstacles can be circumvented, and that the artificial womb will be here by the end of the 21st century, along with a host of legal and cultural consequences.

What will ectogenesis mean for feminism in particular as it navigates this staggeringly complex intersection of medicine, bioethics, and reproductive politics? Istvan frames the debate surrounding ectogenesis as a fight between feminists who don’t want to “hand over women’s sacred birthing ability to science” and scientists who believe it can help mothers avoid the medical dangers of childbirth. Newsweek, too, pits a particular brand of second-wave feminism that sees reproduction as the exclusive and necessary province of women against the scientists developing artificial womb technology.

But the implications of ectogenesis for feminism far exceed a conflict between scientific researchers and a small but established group of old-guard feminists. In a culture that is founded on the symbolic link between womanhood and reproduction, and in a political climate where so many feminist political efforts of the past have been predicated on that link out of sheer necessity, the separation of gestation from a woman’s body will have earth-shattering consequences for the contemporary feminist movement. The artificial womb, after all, is a 21st-century technology and with it will come with 21st-century consequences.

Ectogenesis will pry open every gendered fault-line in contemporary cultural politics, from workplace politics to the men’s rights movement to an increasingly virulent abortion debate.
Ectogenesis will pry open every gendered fault-line in contemporary cultural politics, from workplace politics to the men’s rights movement to an increasingly virulent abortion debate. The artificial womb will undoubtedly improve the lives of some women who opt to use it, but the separation of childbirth from a woman’s body will also give the anti-feminist Right terrifying new points of leverage at a crucial moment in feminist history.

The feminist rationale for ectogenesis seems to practically write itself. In theory, it could allow prospective mothers to completely circumvent the medical dangers of pregnancy and childbirth. While maternal death is relatively rare in the developed nations that would likely have access to ectogenesis initially, the maternal mortality rate is actually on the rise in the United States, with 18.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, as opposed to 12.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 1990. But the manifold complications of pregnancy are likely motivation enough for many prospective mothers to choose an artificial womb over the one inside their own bodies.

In professional climates, too, where women feel social pressure to hide their pregnancies, ectogenesis would allow women to have babies on their own timetable, away from the prying eyes of supervisors and co-workers. As new data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows, pregnancy discrimination continues to affect women in every field in every locality in the country. If ectogenesis becomes an affordable option for working women, pregnancy discrimination could be avoided altogether by rendering gestation and childbirth completely invisible to employers and prospective employers alike.

But while many women would gladly sidestep the physical and professional consequences of pregnancy and childbirth, the anti-feminist Right is also poised and ready to celebrate the additional distance that ectogenesis would place between a woman and her child.

Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), for example, are already claiming the artificial womb as karmic payback for the recent discussion surrounding the diminishing role of men and masculinity in a post-industrial world, a discussion that reached its high-water mark around “The End of Men,” Hannah Rosin’s widely-read column in The Atlantic and her 2012 book of the same name. Starting from evidence that parents in the United States who use new sperm selection techniques are starting to express a stronger preference for girls, Rosin considered what it would mean to live in a world where women dominate the workforce, the academy, and the home.

When last week’s Newsweek report on the artificial womb found its way to the Men’s Rights subreddit, an Internet message board that has been marked by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “woman-hating site” since 2012, members of the subreddit reacted as if they had just pulled off a stunning wrestling reversal while down for the count. “Maybe the article should have been titled ‘The End of Women,’” one commenter wryly observed. Another commenter ventriloquized feminist concerns with ectogenesis in this way: “We can kill all men and keep the species going based off of sperm banks! Wait, you don’t need us for reproduction anymore? That’s misogyny!” The tone, across the board, was nothing short of jubilant. Finally, it seemed, the artificial womb would literalize their claims of equal importance in human reproduction by making a woman’s body unnecessary for gestation.

Another thread of comments shows MRAs imagining a future in which women who want to receive an abortion are required to transplant their fetus into an artificial womb to be raised by the father or a “charitable organization” upon birth.
MRAs have long resented women for receiving paid maternity leave, for being favored in child custody decisions, and for insisting that women’s bodies remain at the center of reproductive politics. On the subreddit, the artificial womb is already being hailed as the solution to these perceived inequalities. Some MRAs are preemptively celebrating a future in which women do not have access to the supposed “social power” that women have by virtue of childbirth. And another thread of comments shows MRAs imagining a future in which women who want to receive an abortion are required to transplant their fetus into an artificial womb to be raised by the father or a “charitable organization” upon birth. Soraya Chemaly already predicted this particularly “surreal” argument in her initial report on ectogenesis.

But conservative politicians who take up this same line of anti-abortion argumentation would be forced to choose between celebrating the artificial womb as a medical innovation that can preserve the lives of endangered fetuses, and denouncing the artificial womb on religious and moral grounds. The 2012 Republican Platform still states definitively: “We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.” And some religious commentators who have caught wind of ectogenesis certainly don’t seem to hold it in very high esteem. In America: The National Catholic Review, for example, John Nassivera solemnly intones that ectogenesis is “a very serious thing.”

These portentous rumblings aside, no coherent position on ectogenesis has emerged so far within the pro-life movement. National Right to Life issued a single fact sheet on ectogenesis in 2005 that expresses alarm at the prospect of a functional artificial womb, but primarily seems to take exception to the fact that the development of the artificial womb will require human embryos to be developed to “later stages of development before killing them.” In 2003, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a more optimistic register that “ectogenesis is a significant threat to the culture of death and the logic of Roe,” but the Southern Baptist Convention has yet to articulate any formal position on the artificial womb.

But if Zoltan Istvan is correct, ectogenesis is inevitable, and pro-life political groups will be forced to take a stand. By removing gestation from the bodies of women, the artificial womb will put the rhetoric of pro-life politicians to the ultimate test: is their stated concern for the “life of the child” earnest, or is it nothing but a pretext for gaining control over women’s bodies? If ectogenesis becomes a cultural reality in spite of religious and moral objections, will Republicans insist that artificial wombs be used to save the lives of soon-to-be-aborted fetuses or will they continue to condemn both ectogenesis and abortion in equal measure? Simply put, if you remove women’s bodies from the equation of childbirth, will that take all of the perverse, misogynistic fun out of pro-life political efforts?

Feminists face new enemies in the 21st century: a vocal group of male activists embittered by the political successes of feminism over the past few decades and a religious Right that is desperate to regain a foothold in the abortion debate after 40 years of Roe v. Wade. Ectogenesis will change women’s relationship to childbirth forever, potentially allowing them to avoid the physically and professionally deleterious consequences of pregnancy.

But feminism’s new enemies are also waiting in the wings, carefully eyeing the political strategies that ectogenesis will open up for them. The womb may become artificial by the end of the century but it will still be the battleground for feminist politics.

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