John Anthony West is today the leading authority and proponent of the 'Symbolist' school of Egyptology, an alternative interpretation of ancient Egyptian culture advanced by the French scholar and philosopher, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. In the Symbolist view, Egyptian architecture and art disclose a richer and more universal wisdom than conventional Egyptology has assumed.
In 1993 his work with Robert M. Schoch, a geologist and associate professor of natural science at the College of General Studies at Boston University was presented by Charlton Heston in a NBC special called “The Mystery of the Sphinx” that won West a News & Documentary Emmy Award for Best Research and a nomination for Best Documentary. The documentary contends that the main type of weathering evident on the Great Sphinx and surrounding enclosure walls could only have been caused by prolonged and extensive rainfall during the time period from 10,000 to 5000 BCE and was carved out of limestone bedrock by an ancient advanced culture (such as the Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture). This challenged the conventional dating of the carving of the statue circa 2500 BCE. West suggested that the Sphinx may be over twice as old as originally determined, whereas Schoch made a more conservative determination of between 5000 and 7000 BCE.