Robert M. Schoch
Robert M. Schoch is an American associate professor of Natural Sciences at the College of General Studies, Boston University. Since 1991, Schoch has been a proponent of the fringe Sphinx water erosion hypothesis.
Schoch received a BA in Anthropology and a BS in Geology from George Washington University in 1979. He was awarded MS and PhD degrees in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University (PhD, 1983). Schoch's PhD dissertation, Systematics, Functional Morphology and Macroevolution of the Extinct Mammalian Order Taeniodonta, was published in 1986 by the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
Schoch has taught at Boston University since 1984. He is an associate professor of Natural Sciences at the College of General Studies, a two-year core curriculum for bachelor's degree candidates. He teaches undergraduate science courses, including biology, geology, environmental science, geography, and science and public policy.
He has received his college's Peyton Richter Award for interdisciplinary teaching. He is a co-author of the college textbook Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions, now in its fifth edition.
Schoch is best known for his fringe argument that the Great Sphinx of Giza is much older than conventionally thought and that some kind of catastrophe was responsible for wiping out evidence of a significantly older civilization. In 1991, Schoch redated the monument to 10,000–5,000 BC, based on his argument that its erosion was due mainly to the effects of water, rather than wind and sand, and also based on findings from seismic studies around the base of the Sphinx and elsewhere on the plateau. These conclusions do not have consensus in the scientific community.
Schoch's arguments were featured in the 1993 documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which was aired by NBC and presented by Charlton Heston. Schoch stars in the film alongside author John Anthony West.
Schoch also claims that possibly all pyramids — in Egypt, Mesoamerica and elsewhere — represent, with other cultural commonalities, a much older global culture, either through common inheritance or ancient cultural contact around the world. In 2006, at the invitation of locals, he investigated the so-called Bosnian pyramid excavations north of Sarajevo, but he concluded that the site held "absolutely no evidence of pyramids per se or of a great ancient civilization in the Visoko region".
He is also known for his writing on the Yonaguni underwater monuments, where he has dived on several occasions, beginning in 1997. His conclusion from analyzing the formations is that this is a natural site modified by humans to suit their needs: "We should also consider the possibility that the Yonaguni Monument is fundamentally a natural structure that was utilized, enhanced, and modified by humans in ancient times."
Response from academics
Mark Lehner, an American archaeologist and egyptologist, has disputed Schoch's analysis, stating, "You don't overthrow Egyptian history based on one phenomenon like a weathering profile... that is how pseudoscience is done, not real science."
Schoch has been criticized for his unorthodox idea that Göbekli Tepe, an ancient civilization revealed in an archeological site in present-day Turkey, was influenced by a solar event that may have been witnessed at Easter Island in the Pacific west of South America. Author Jason Colavito suggested he "abandons all reality in favor of a bizarre fantasy".
- Phylogeny Reconstruction in Paleontology, 1986. ISBN 0-442-27967-1.
- Systematics, Functional Morphology and Macroevolution of the Extinct Mammalian Order Taeniodonta, 1986. ISBN 0-912532-04
- Stratigraphy: Principles and Methods, 1989. ISBN 0-442-28021-1.
- Case Studies in Environmental Science, 1996. ISBN 0-314-20397-4.
- Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations, 1999. ISBN 0-609-60369-8.
- Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals, with Donald R. Prothero, 2003. ISBN 0-8018-7135-2.
- Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America, 2003. ISBN 1-58542-320-3.
- Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions, with Michael McKinney, 2003. ISBN 0-7637-0918-2.
- Pyramid Quest: Secrets of the Great Pyramid and the Dawn of Civilization, TarcherPerigee, 2005. ISBN 1-58542-405-6.
- Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions, with Michael L. Mcinney, Logan Yonavjak, 2007. ISBN 0-7637-4262-7.
- Environmental Science, with Andrew H. Lapinski, Anne Tweed, 2007. ISBN 0-13-069900-4.
- The Parapsychology Revolution: A Concise Anthology of Paranormal and Psychical Research, 2008. ISBN 1-58542-616-4.
- Forgotten Civilization, The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future, 2012. ISBN 978-1-59477-497-3.
- Origins of the Sphinx: Celestial Guardian of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization, with Robert Bauval, 2017 ISBN 978-1-62055-526-2
- "Robert Schoch - General Studies - Boston University". Boston University. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- McKinney, Michael L.; Schoch, Robert M.; Yonavjak, Logan (2013). Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions (5 ed.). Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. viii. ISBN 978-1-4496-6139-7.
- Coombs, Margery C. (1988). "Review: Systematics, Functional Morphology and Macroevolution of the Extinct Mammalian Order Taeniodonta". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 8 (2): 236–237. doi:10.1080/02724634.1988.10011705.
- "Teaching Awards - General Studies - Boston University". Boston University. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Lucas, Spencer G.; Williamson, Thomas E. "A New Taeniodont from the Paleocene of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico". Journal of Mammalogy. 74 (1): 175–179. doi:10.2307/1381918.
- Schoch, Robert M.; West, John Anthony (1991). Redating the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt. Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America. San Diego, California: Geological Society of America. p. A253.
- Dobecki, Thomas L.; Schoch, Robert M. (1992). "Seismic Investigations in the Vicinity of the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt". Geoarchaeology. 7 (6): 527–544. doi:10.1002/gea.3340070603. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
- Schoch, Robert M.; West, John Anthony (2000). Further Evidence Supporting a Pre-2500 B.C. Date for the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt. Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America. Reno, Nevada: Geological Society of America. p. A276.
- "Mystery of the Sphinx (TV Movie 1993) - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
- Schoch, Robert M. (2006). "Pyramid No More" (PDF). Sub Rosa (6): 6–9. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- "Yonaguni: The Mysterious Underwater Pyramid Structure". Morien Institute website. The Morien Institute. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- "Lost Secrets of the Gods" New Page Books.
- "Robert M. Schoch". Coast to Coast AM.
- "Parapsychology". Robert M. Schoch.
- "Scholars Dispute Claim That Sphinx Is Much Older". The New York Times, 09 February 1992.
- Fritze, Ronald H. (2009). Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-Religions. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-86189-430-4
- "Robert Schoch's Wacky Easter Island-Gobekli Tepe Theory: The Hypocrisy of Alternative Dating". Jason Colavito.
- Loft, Kurt (24 February 2003). "Pyramid Schemes". The Tampa Tribune. 109 (47). Tampa, Florida: Media General. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.