Researcher / Geologist
Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., a full-time faculty member at Boston University’s College of General Studies and director of its Institute for the Study of the Origins of Civilization, earned his doctorate (1983) in geology and geophysics at Yale University.
In the early 1990s, Dr. Schoch stunned the world with his geological analysis of the Great Sphinx of Egypt, demonstrating that the monument, as well as the walls of its enclosure, bears the scars of extreme water weathering and erosion. As Egypt has known hyper-arid climactic conditions for the past five millennia, Schoch concluded that the monument traces its origins to an earlier (pre-Sahara) epoch and a previously unidentified civilization, thus throwing a major monkey wrench into the orthodox view of the rise of civilization. Schoch’s courageous assertions of decades ago have been confirmed by the discovery of the astoundingly sophisticated 12,000-year-old megalithic complex of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey. Initially placing the Great Sphinx in the period of circa 7000–5000 BCE, thousands of years earlier than its standard attribution of circa 2500 BCE, new data and discoveries have led Dr. Schoch to now push the monument back to the end of Earth’s last ice age, a glacial period brought to a close by massive solar events (circa 9700 BCE).
Schoch’s career and interests extend beyond strict geology and geophysics—to anthropology (in which he earned a B.A. at George Washington University), environmental science (he is a co-author of the university textbook, Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions), and biology/paleontology (a genus of fossil mammals is named after him in honor of his graduate research). He has reached audiences around the world via television, radio, live presentations, and the Internet. (The Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which first aired on NBC, remains a favorite among audiences.) In acknowledgement of his scientific contributions to the study of ancient civilizations, in 2014 Schoch was awarded the title of Honorary Professor of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria.
Schoch is the author of numerous books and articles both technical and popular that have been translated into multiple languages, including Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future and Origins of the Sphinx: Celestial Guardian of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization (co-authored with Robert Bauval).