I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend, and I survived! It was a great weekend, with interesting keynote speakers, as well as a bit of controversy related to one of them (Barry Eisler), which resulted in a bit of a social media war between agents/editors and writers, debating some of what he said about legacy/traditional publishing versus self-publishing.
Anyway, I was exhausted after the conference, and I made the executive decision to NOT stay up and research a topic for Monday's "S" post, instead deciding I would write it Monday. My kids had the day off school, though, and I had to take my son to his 8-year checkup, in addition to some other things, so here I sit at 11 p.m., just beginning the post.
Before I get to my "S" topics, I'd like to pass along a short story contest that one of our faculty members has thrown out with an Amazon GC as a prize. It's not as simple as just writing a short story. No, the faculty member, DeAnna Knippling, has issued an additional challenge. She wants you to not only send your short story, but proof that you've submitted it to someone. This was issued in her 4-Hour Short Story workshop, where she taught how to write and submit a short story in four hours. You can find more on the contest at the PPW blog, Writing From the Peak.
Now, S is for the riddle of the Sphinx.
Did you know that a mystery surrounds the date of the creation of the Sphinx? You see, while it has generally been assumed that the Sphinx was made during the same period as the nearby pyramids, the era of the Old Kingdom, sometime between 2589 B.C. and 2500 B.C., there is a discrepancy in the type of weathering that has occurred, and how much there's been.
There is evidence that water erosion occurred on the Sphinx, but after 5000 B.C. there has been extremely insignificant rainfall in the region, and none of the pyramids or surrounding sculptures show the same type of weathering. Before 5000 B.C., there was more significant rainfall in the area.
Some have postulated that it could be wet sand that weathered the Sphinx, not just water, but to do that, wouldn't that still indicate more water in the sand, meaning more rainfall?
|By en:User:Hajor [CC-BY-SA-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons|
There is also possible evidence of its age carved into a stone tablet/breast plate between the feet of the Sphinx. A translation has been made that says King Thutmose IV discovered the Sphinx already buried up to its next around 1400 B.C. In order to be buried to its neck in sand, it would have to have been much older than Old Kingdom era.
There is no documentation on the building of the Sphinx. It isn't mentioned anywhere. Why might that be?
One of the indications that it is Old Kingdom era is the fact that the style matches that of surrounding sculptures. Styles of building and design change over time, so if it had been built in 5000 B.C., for instance, it should have been a significantly different style of building from the pyramids. That is far too long for designs to stay the same.
And yes, for those of you who love the alien tales, it has been suggested that aliens built the Sphinx, then returned to teach the Old Kingdom Egyptians to build in a similar fashion.
So, was it aliens? Did the Sphinx stand long before the Old Kingdom was a desert? Or was there perhaps a mystery underground spring that might have eroded the Sphinx?
Other topics to look up that start with "S" are Stonehenge and the Servant Girl Annihilator, a serial killer some insist was actually Jack the Ripper, living in Austin, Texas before he struck in Whitechapel. Although I have my doubts...lots of them.
May you find your Muse.