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Captain Risky

How old is the Sphinx ?

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Maidel
2 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

So that brought up plenty of fish, some of them should be carbon dated.:lol:

jmccr8

I do feel violently ill now.

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Swede
37 minutes ago, Maidel said:

Hi

 

I have gone through the thread twice now, the only links to radiocarbon dates I could find was this one:

 

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/3874/3299

 

Is the sphinx temple one of those and I just dont know the proper name for it?

 

 

Thanks in advance.

Bonani et al 2001:1306, at bottom. Just ran a calibration of the average of the dates and deviations through Ox Cal. 2020 CALRCYBC.

Additional information:

http://www.aeraweb.org/sphinx-project/khafres-monuments/

.

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The Wistman

Hi Maidel.  Here's a picture of the Sphinx temple--which was not clad in granite, as some think it was meant to have but never got--next to Khafre's Valley Temple, which was clad in granite:

5b4b7aebe1a2c_z.sphinxtempleandvalleytemple.jpg.f1b34940b51726114d0ca9d5780ed239.jpg 5b4b7d149fd6a_z--Map-of-Khafreu2019s-Valley-Temple.png.a005b1fd10c204a1a94f09a495220c90.png

You can see how well the granite protected the softer limestone megaliths (up to 100 tons) making up the core of the Valley Temple.  The Valley Temple is an order of magnitude more richly constructed than the Sphinx Temple.  Its structural megalithic columns of pink granite, floors of alabaster, roof beams were of granite, alabaster channels ran along the roof.  All of this has survived in situ because the Valley Temple was covered completely in sand for ages, so was not plundered for its valuable hard lithics.  This temple has masterful lithic working by the AE builders, particularly noteworthy are the corner joints of the megalithic limestone walls on the interior.

Here's a fairly good page for understanding the lithic structure of the Valley Temple: http://emhotep.net/2009/08/02/locations/lower-egypt/khafres-valley-temple/

 

Edited by The Wistman
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Maidel
14 minutes ago, Swede said:

Bonani et al 2001:1306, at bottom. Just ran a calibration of the average of the dates and deviations through Ox Cal. 2020 CALRCYBC.

Additional information:

http://www.aeraweb.org/sphinx-project/khafres-monuments/

.

Yes.

 

That will teach me to stop reading at the references....

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Maidel
10 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

Hi Maidel.  Here's a picture of the Sphinx temple--which was not clad in granite, as some think it was meant to have but never got--next to Khafre's Valley Temple, which was clad in granite:

5b4b7aebe1a2c_z.sphinxtempleandvalleytemple.jpg.f1b34940b51726114d0ca9d5780ed239.jpg 5b4b7d149fd6a_z--Map-of-Khafreu2019s-Valley-Temple.png.a005b1fd10c204a1a94f09a495220c90.png

You can see how well the granite protected the softer limestone megaliths (up to 100 tons) making up the core of the Valley Temple.  The Valley Temple is an order of magnitude more richly constructed than the Sphinx Temple.  Its structural megalithic columns of pink granite, floors of alabaster, roof beams were of granite, alabaster channels ran along the roof.  All of this has survived in situ because the Valley Temple was covered completely in sand for ages, so was not plundered for its valuable hard lithics.  This temple has masterful lithic working by the AE builders, particularly noteworthy are the corner joints of the megalithic limestone walls on the interior.

Here's a fairly good page for understanding the lithic structure of the Valley Temple: http://emhotep.net/2009/08/02/locations/lower-egypt/khafres-valley-temple/

 

Thanks very much, you and a few others have answered all my questions brilliantly.

 

I would love more information on how safe the samples are in their proof of what they are dating. and I find one statement in the research to be very concerning - The most suitable samples were selected for dating.

But, for now, thanks again.

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Swede
34 minutes ago, Maidel said:

Ok

My research will continue- however I think I understand what you are saying, and it fits with what I have been reading, but you may not have clicked on the link provide

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/3874/3299

The uncertainty period is there.

Just look at the Khafre pyramid - that has a block at 2520-2500BC as the expected date.

However the date range is 2870-2700

The range is 200-350+ years outside the expected date - and that is consistent across all the major pyramids on giza.

Am I missing something?

Aspects to consider:

  • The 2 sigma (95 % probability) calibration of G1 dates has a 60% probability grouping that averages 2720 BC.
  • The 1sigma (68 % probability) calibration of G1 dates has two adjacent 32 % groupings that, when combined, yield an average date of 2711 BC.
  • The reign of Khufu is conventionally placed between 2551 and 2528 BC.
  • If one subtracts the 2551 figure from the 2 sigma average, the differential is 169 years.
  • If one subtracts the 2551 figure from the youngest date of the 2 sigma calibration range, the differential is 107 years.

Another consideration is the "old wood factor". Wood was not in great supply. It is not unlikely that the woods utilized in the slaking process were "scrap" materials of uncertain age. Also, the dates derived from wood sources can (and do) vary within a single specimen, with the center of the trunk yielding earlier dates than the exterior. Thus, a 150 year old tree would produce a similar date range.

Edit: Typo.

Edited by Swede
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Maidel
6 minutes ago, Swede said:

Aspects to consider:

  • The 2 sigma (95 % probability) calibration of G1 dates has a 60% probability grouping that averages 2720 BC.
  • The 1sigma (68 % probability) calibration of G1 dates have two adjacent 32 % groupings that, when combined, yield an average date of 2711 BC.
  • The reign of Khufu is conventionally placed between 2551 and 2528 BC.
  • If one subtracts the 2551 figure from the 2 sigma average, the differential is 169 years.
  • If one subtracts the 2551 figure from the youngest date of the 2 sigma calibration range, the differential is 107 years.

That is a fair point - but it is still 100-150 years earlier

6 minutes ago, Swede said:

Another consideration is the "old wood factor". Wood was not in great supply. It is not unlikely that the woods utilized in the slaking process were "scrap" materials of uncertain age. Also, the dates derived from wood sources can (and do) vary within a single specimen, with the center of the trunk yielding earlier dates than the exterior. Thus, a 150 year old tree would produce a similar date range.

Ok - I would be happier with this as an answer, if it was remotely consistent across all the samples - but it isnt.

If everyone of the monuments had a date 100+ years earlier than their expected date, then you could say that there was an error in calibraton, or 'old wood' - but there isnt. Some sets are consistently older than expected, but others are coming out much younger.

It feels to me like an answer designed to fit the exiting paradigm, rather than a scientific answer (And I quite realise its not your answer, its the one that egyptologists give.)  

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Harte
3 hours ago, Maidel said:

Hi

 

I have gone through the thread twice now, the only links to radiocarbon dates I could find was this one:

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/3874/3299

Is the sphinx temple one of those and I just dont know the proper name for it?

Thanks in advance.

Yes.

Also

23 hours ago, Harte said:

Neither is much of a contradiction.

Gobekli Tepe was first dated upon discovery as pre-pottery neolithic, and that was from surface finds. That put it at around 10,000 BC in the early sixties (it was only discovered in 1963.)

Gunung Padang has not been reliably dated with radiocarbon. You can read about this fact here.

Regarding the Sphinx, the fact that the temple was built from stone from the enclosure means it dates no earlier than the temple. There are reliable dates for the temple that don't depend on there not being an earlier civilization there.

Radiocarbon dates of samples from the temple put it somewhere between 2700 and 2100 BC, right smack in Old Kingdom Egypt.

There are also architectural means of dating - the temple is typical of other Egyptian temples in its layout.

Harte

Edit: The sphinx temple sampling was also of mortar between two blocks, as in the pyramids and other surrounding structures.

 

Harte

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Swede
3 hours ago, Maidel said:

That is a fair point - but it is still 100-150 years earlier

Ok - I would be happier with this as an answer, if it was remotely consistent across all the samples - but it isnt.

If everyone of the monuments had a date 100+ years earlier than their expected date, then you could say that there was an error in calibraton, or 'old wood' - but there isnt. Some sets are consistently older than expected, but others are coming out much younger.

It feels to me like an answer designed to fit the exiting paradigm, rather than a scientific answer (And I quite realise its not your answer, its the one that egyptologists give.)  

1) Given that the woods utilized quite likely varied (possibly significantly) in regards to their age of harvest, that the 14C samples came from differing growth stages, and that the total survey involved hundreds of samples, some degree of variation is to be expected. What is consistent is that the dates presented in Bonani et al 2001 are sequentially consistent with the currently understood order of the various monument's constructions. Also, the variances in the dates are not, from a professional perspective, as extreme as they may appear to you. When one reaches dates of this age, being able to place an event to within a century or so is not to be disdained.

The studies of the AE cultural phenomenon are complex, ongoing and multi-faceted. Should further supportive data suggest that, for example, the reign of Khufu be modified by some 100 years, this would simply be a matter of refinement. With the ever-advancing technologies being brought to bear in the realm of archaeological research, such refinements are not uncommon. It would be interesting to replicate the research of Bonani et al utilizing the current state of sample pre-treatment and AMS dating.

.

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jaylemurph
4 hours ago, Maidel said:

It feels to me like an answer designed to fit the exiting paradigm, rather than a scientific answer

History is not a science at all, and archaeology is not a hard science. Neither one purports to offer final, hard solutions. Any problem here is with your not understanding those two fields, rather than with the answers they provide.

--Jaylemurph

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Maidel
2 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

History is not a science at all, and archaeology is not a hard science. Neither one purports to offer final, hard solutions. Any problem here is with your not understanding those two fields, rather than with the answers they provide.

--Jaylemurph

Thats a really fair point.

 

It just should be. :)

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kmt_sesh
9 hours ago, Maidel said:

Firstly, I am surprised to hear that Egyptologists use astronomical observations for dating - I thought that was limited to fringe scientists - would be really interested to see that evidence if you have it.

...

I haven't heard of this, myself. The most common method of which I'm aware to check radiometric dating is dendrochronolgy. As the resident professional archaeologist, however, @Swede might want to weigh in on this.

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kmt_sesh
2 hours ago, Swede said:

...It would be interesting to replicate the research of Bonani et al utilizing the current state of sample pre-treatment and AMS dating.

.

I'd also love to see this done. I think these monuments deserve another round of dating. But look how long it took them to do muon imaging of some of the pyramids. Things don't move fast in Egypt.

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Captain Risky
20 hours ago, Lord Harry said:

The answer is actually quite simple if one understands the geological layout of the Giza Plateau. At the time the pyramids were being constructed there existed a naturally occurring limestone outcropping. Rather than allowing its potential to remain unharnassed, one of the Fourth Dynasty kings (Khufu, Djedefre, or Khafre; the jury is still out on this one) decided to have it transformed into a stylized sculpture embodying the divine-royal power of kingship. 

The theory I personally am leaning towards was the idea that it was Djedefre who commissioned the Sphinx in honor of his father Khufu as the Son god Re. It was Djedefre after all who first added the za Ra (Son of Re) ephitet to the royal titulary and evidence does suggest that Khufu declared himself to be the incarnation of the sun god during his lifetime. A privilege a king usually claimed only after his death. And as I mentioned earlier, the lion was both a totemic symbol of Egyptian kingship and the solar divinity.

The reason the limestone comprising the Sphinx isn't as durable as the limestone used in the construction of the pyramids is in all honesty an accident of geology. One must also consider the political context of the Fourth Dynasty when formulating any hypothesis. Djedefre, perhaps to elevate himself closer to the solar deity, chose an elevated area at Abu Roash as the site for his pyramid tomb. Since he had deliberately abandoned Giza, he likely felt the obligation to honor his deified father and predecessor in some manner. This, in my opinion, was the primary motivation for commissioning the Sphinx. It is also known from the Turin Canon that Djedefre didn't reign very long, around 8 years. He may have been an old man by the time he ascended to the throne, and as construction of his pyramid tomb would have been his top priority, he chose a convenient and easy to work limestone outcropping to honor his father. Thus ensuring that the bulk of his economic and material resources were dedicated to constructing his pyramid, while at the same time fulfilling his filial obligations.

thats just your bias speculating. there is no proof for your theory nor any logical explanation why the Egyptians would not have levelled the limestone outcrop. unless of course the sphinx was already there and was revered. anyway I'm not here to change anyones mind just throw in my two cents. 

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Swede
22 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

I haven't heard of this, myself. The most common method of which I'm aware to check radiometric dating is dendrochronolgy. As the resident professional archaeologist, however, @Swede might want to weigh in on this.

Greetings Kmt. To provide a bit of background:

Archaeoastronomy: Am personally unaware of any archaeoastronomy studies that have been utilized for the purpose of radiocarbon calibration. Archaeoastronomy is itself a rather new study that, while it has produced some interesting research, is still in a rather fledgling state with limited academic support. The University of Leicester would be an example of an institution with some interest in the topic. While archaeoastronomy studies do have some apparently worthwhile applications, the topic has also been all too commonly seized upon (and misused) by the fringe, resulting in damage to the topic in general.

Dendrochronolgy: This was indeed the earliest methodology applied to radiocarbon calibration. It is, however, limited in its temporal depth due to preservation limitations.

Additional calibration data: Current calibration resources also include shallow water Pacific corals (U-Th dating), marine sediments, and the Lake Suigetsu (Japan) varved sediments. This latter is quite interesting as it provides calibration data as deep as 52,800 BP, which is near the limit of testable 14C half-life. All of this data is then utilized to formulate the current calibration curves and serves as the basis for the IntCal13 and OxCal programs. The following will provide extensive detail, with each PDF being accessible.

Enjoy!

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/issue/view/1024

It should be further noted that radiocarbon dating is not uncommonly cross-referenced against other hard-dating methods such as TL and OSL in addition to ceramic and lithic sequencing, etc. The evaluation of well studied site areas/cultures is often the result of multiple dating processes.

Edit: Addition.

Edited by Swede
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jaylemurph
On 7/15/2018 at 3:17 PM, Maidel said:

Thats a really fair point.

 

It just should be. :)

My response came out  lot b****ier than I intended. We get a lot of people here who slag off mainstream academic knowledge without a scintilla of knowledge about it. You clearly aren't one of those, so I apologize.

--Jaylemurph

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kmt_sesh
3 hours ago, Swede said:

Greetings Kmt. To provide a bit of background:

Archaeoastronomy: Am personally unaware of any archaeoastronomy studies that have been utilized for the purpose of radiocarbon calibration. Archaeoastronomy is itself a rather new study that, while it has produced some interesting research, is still in a rather fledgling state with limited academic support. The University of Leicester would be an example of an institution with some interest in the topic. While archaeoastronomy studies do have some apparently worthwhile applications, the topic has also been all too commonly seized upon (and misused) by the fringe, resulting in damage to the topic in general.

Dendrochronolgy: This was indeed the earliest methodology applied to radiocarbon calibration. It is, however, limited in its temporal depth due to preservation limitations.

Additional calibration data: Current calibration resources also include shallow water Pacific corals (U-Th dating), marine sediments, and the Lake Suigetsu (Japan) varved sediments. This latter is quite interesting as it provides calibration data as deep as 52,800 BP, which is near the limit of testable 14C half-life. All of this data is then utilized to formulate the current calibration curves and serves as the basis for the IntCal13 and OxCal programs. The following will provide extensive detail, with each PDF being accessible.

Enjoy!

https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/issue/view/1024

It should be further noted that radiocarbon dating is not uncommonly cross-referenced against other hard-dating methods such as TL and OSL in addition to ceramic and lithic sequencing, etc. The evaluation of well studied site areas/cultures is often the result of multiple dating processes.

Edit: Addition.

Thanks for this, Swede. I wasn't aware that these marine-based methods were used for calibration.

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Lord Harry

The Sphinx is approximately 4550 years old. Case closed.

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kmt_sesh
4 hours ago, Lord Harry said:

The Sphinx is approximately 4550 years old. Case closed.

You know that. I know that. Anyone educated in the history of that site knows that.

But those in the fringe have their own...incorrect...way of thinking.

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jaylemurph
4 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

You know that. I know that. Anyone educated in the history of that site knows that.

But those in the fringe have their own...incorrect...way of thinking.

Are... are you indirectly suggesting I am a member of the fringe?!

--Jaylemurph

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kmt_sesh
17 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

Are... are you indirectly suggesting I am a member of the fringe?!

--Jaylemurph

Hell, no! Perish that thought!

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Kenemet
20 hours ago, jaylemurph said:

Are... are you indirectly suggesting I am a member of the fringe?!

--Jaylemurph

I thought I saw you mincing somewhere once.  It was probably just the impressive flapping of those velvety ears.

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