John Anthony West: The Sphinx and Advanced Pre-Dynastic Science
John Anthony West (July 9, 1932 – February 6, 2018) was an American author, lecturer, guide, and a proponent of the Sphinx water erosion hypothesis. His early career was as a copywriter in Manhattan and as a science fiction writer. He received a Hugo Award Honorable Mention in 1962.
In 1993, his controversial work with geologist Robert M. Schoch was presented by Charlton Heston in an NBC special called The Mystery of the Sphinx. This won West a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Best Research and a nomination for Best Documentary. The documentary contends that the main type of weathering evident on the Great Sphinx and surrounding enclosure walls could only have been caused by prolonged and extensive rainfall during the time period from 10,000 to 5000 BCE and was carved out of limestone bedrock by an ancient advanced culture (such as the Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture). This challenged the conventional dating of the carving of the statue circa 2500 BCE. West suggested that the Sphinx may be more than twice as old as originally determined, estimating it be from 35000 BCE, some 37,000 years ago whereas Schoch made a more conservative determination of between 5000 and 7000 BCE.
West died from cancer at the age of 85 on February 6, 2018.