West, John Anthony
John Anthony West (1932-2018 ) was born in New York City and is often referred to as a maverick Egyptologist. The principal reason for this soubriquet is his contention that the Sphinx is far older than conventionally accepted. He was greatly influenced by the writings of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz who was the first to question the date of the monument based on what he considered extensive water erosion that could only have occurred many thousands of years earlier than the establishment view. It was at West’s request that Robert Schoch, the American geologist, agreed to investigate the Sphinx. Schoch’s conclusion was that water erosion was indeed evident and he controversially dated the carving of the front of the Sphinx to somewhere between 7000 BC and 5000 BC.
West has also questioned the age of the Osirion at Abydos dating it back to 10,000 BC or earlier. He is convinced that a more ancient Sphinx and Osirion raises the question of a lost civilisation at the end of the last Ice Age that may have been the Atlantis of legend.>In an interview some years ago he revealed that “I’m very careful to use ‘Atlantis’ in inverted quotes, as, let’s say, a name applied to some lost civilization.”(c)<However he supported the idea of Atlantis without specifying a location, declaring that, “Given all this evidence, ‘Atlantis’ can no longer be ignored by anyone seriously interested in the truth.” [0452.230]
Apart from his non-fiction output West has written a book of short stories, a novel, plays and film scripts. His TV documentary on the Sphinx won acclaim in the UK and USA. West also maintains a website(a).
West and Robert Schoch have now formed a documentary production company, Akio Enterprises, that already has a couple of projects in the pipeline.
In January 2017, it was announced that West was suffering from Stage 4 cancer. Athough he won his fight with cancer, his body had been badly weakened and on February 7th 2018, his death was announced(b).
>(c) Atlantis Rising No.1, Nov/Dec 1994, p.18<