>I remember in a class I took with Kent Weeks, back in the early 90's (before he spent all his time on KV5) someone asked him about John Anthony West. Without missing a beat, Doc Weeks said "John Anthony West? What can I say? He's not a real Egyptologist...His methods are sloppy, his ideas are ludicrous, and his mother dresses him funny."
We all had a great laugh about that.<
>Without missing a beat, Doc Weeks said "John Anthony West? What can I say? He's not a real Egyptologist..<
Correct; I am not a ‘real’ Egyptologist. That is why I know something.
The ‘real’ Egyptologists (with a very few exceptions, Weeks not among them) spend their time arguing over how many asps killed Cleopatra* or, like Doc Weeks, scrabble around on their knees (apposite position) in the dust of yet another meaningless tomb, sifting rubble and eventually publishing a meaningless book or meaningless paper of zero interest or significance to anyone. **
*Serpent in the Sky, p.9, margin note.
**cf., a list of abstracts of any Egyptological conference anywhere in the world.
>His methods are sloppy, his ideas are ludicrous,<
Without examples or citations it is impossible to address the charge of sloppiness, but no examples are needed to address ‘ludicrous’.
If Doc Weeks is talking about my work on the water-weathering of the Sphinx and the need to drastically redate it, it should be enough to say that at two separate Annual Meetings of the Geological Society of America (1991, 2000) the overwhelming, indeed, near unanimous reaction of hundreds of professional geologists was that our evidence looked very convincing indeed. The word ‘sloppy’ was never used, nor did anyone shout ‘ludicrous’.
I should also like to point out here, or re-point out (as George Bernard Shaw liked to say, ‘I always quote myself. It adds spice to the conversation.’) the argument about the Sphinx is based upon weathering patterns in rock, plain and simple, and when it comes to opinions about weathering patterns in rocks, an Egyptologist’s opinion is no better than a proctologist’s.
If ‘ludicrous’ refers to the ‘Symbolist’ interpretation of Egypt that I champion, as developed by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, well, that is another matter; one not to be solved by ‘hard’ science as such but rather supported by a corpus of meticulously accumulated and detailed factual documentation.
Thereafter, what is required is an ability to accurately interpret those facts. This is where ‘real’ Egyptologists like Doc Weeks find themselves in uncharted and, for them, scary territory. Their reaction to this work is, however, perfectly understandable.
The Tao Te Ching (google it up, Adrastus) summarizes the situation well.
‘When the best student is taught the Tao, he practices it assiduously.
When the average student is taught the Tao it seems to him there one moment and gone the next.
When the worst student is taught the Tao, he laughs out loud; if he did not laugh, it would be unworthy of being the Tao.’
Or put another way; it is futile to talk moonbeams to the blind, or music to the deaf, and dangerous to talk sex to eunuchs, they just get angry, sometimes violent.
BTW, I note that the career of the legendary Adrastus was marked chiefly by a succession of failures; certainly a well-chosen pseudonym.
>‘…and his mother dresses him funny ‘ We all had a great laugh about that’<
I trust you’re still laughing.
John Anthony West