Robert Schoch at Göbekli Tepe, Turkey, 2020. Photo by Catherine Ulissey.
Dr. Robert M. Schoch, a full-time faculty member at the College of General Studies at Boston University since 1984, and a recipient of its Peyton Richter Award for interdisciplinary teaching, earned his Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics at Yale University in 1983. He also holds an M.S. and M.Phil. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale, as well as degrees in Anthropology (B.A.) and Geology (B.S.) from George Washington University. In recognition of his research into ancient civilizations, Dr. Schoch was awarded (in 2014) the title of Honorary Professor of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria. In 2017, the College of General Studies at Boston University named him Director of its Institute for the Study of the Origins of Civilization (ISOC).
In the early 1990s, Dr. Schoch stunned the world with his revolutionary research that recast the date of the Great Sphinx of Egypt to a period thousands of years earlier than its standard attribution. In demonstrating that the leonine monument has been heavily eroded by water despite the fact that its location on the edge of the Sahara has endured hyper-arid climactic conditions for the past 5,000 years, Dr. Schoch revealed to the world that mankind’s history is greater and older than previously believed. The subsequently excavated 12,000-year-old megalithic site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey confirmed these assertions.
Dr. Schoch’s more recent research has focused on the cataclysmic events that ended Earth’s last ice age, circa 9700 BCE, simultaneously decimating the high civilizations of the time. The overwhelming evidence drawn from varying disciplines, put forth in his book Forgotten Civilization: New Discoveries on the Solar-Induced Dark Age (2021), points to enormous solar outbursts as the cause.
Dr. Schoch has been quoted extensively in the media for his work on ancient cultures and monuments around the globe. His research has been instrumental in spurring renewed attention to the interrelationships between geological and astronomical phenomena, natural catastrophes, and the early history of civilization. He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows and is featured in the Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which first aired on NBC in 1993.
The author and coauthor of books both technical and popular, Dr. Schoch’s works include Phylogeny Reconstruction in Paleontology (1986), Stratigraphy: Principles and Methods (1989), Voices of the Rocks (1999), Voyages of the Pyramid Builders (2003), Pyramid Quest (2005), The Parapsychology Revolution (2008), Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future (2012), Origins of the Sphinx (2017), and the 2nd edition (revised and expanded) of Forgotten Civilization, subtitled New Discoveries on the Solar-Induced Dark Age (2021), among others. Dr. Schoch is also the coauthor of an environmental science textbook used in universities across the United States, and he has contributed to numerous magazines, journals, and reviews on geology, ancient civilizations, parapsychology, and other topics. His works have been translated into a number of languages and distributed around the world.
Besides his academic and scholarly studies, Dr. Schoch is an active environmental advocate who stresses a pragmatic, hands-on approach. In this connection, he helped found a local community land trust devoted to protecting land from harmful development, serving on its Board of Directors for many years. And despite acknowledging that our Sun is a major driver of climate on the planet, Dr. Schoch takes an active part in “green” politics; for over a decade he served as an elected member of his local city council.
In 1993, an extinct mammal genus was named Schochia in honor of Dr. Schoch’s paleontological contributions.
It was at the instigation of the late John Anthony West (1932—2018) that Dr. Schoch first began studying the age of the Sphinx. The chamber beneath the Sphinx's paw, which Dr. Schoch, working with Dr. Thomas Dobecki, discovered in the early 1990s and which many people believe is an ancient archive or "Hall of Records" remains unexplored.
In 2010 (and grateful to the dignitaries who made it possible), Dr. Schoch married former ballet and Broadway dancer Catherine Ulissey in both civil and traditional Rapanui ceremonies on Easter Island.
Dr. Schoch's website is www.robertschoch.com.
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Some additional background information regarding Schoch’s graduate studies for those who may find it of interest: Schoch was the recipient of an academically highly competitive U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and Grant, which made it possible for him to attend Yale University. To this day he remains grateful for this funding as it opened opportunities for him which would have otherwise been out of reach. In addition to his other studies, while at Yale, Schoch was trained in museology and served as a curatorial assistant at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. Dr. Schoch’s Ph.D. dissertation, Systematics, Functional Morphology and Macroevolution of the Extinct Mammalian Order Taeniodonta, was deemed significant and important enough to be published in its entirety (xii + 307 printed pages) as Bulletin 42 (dated 21 July 1986) of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University. The Taeniodonta comprised an extinct group of mammals that flourished approximately 66 to 45 million years ago.
Robert Schoch by the Great Sphinx of Egypt, 2012. Photo by Catherine Ulissey.
Robert Schoch at Göbekli Tepe, Turkey, 2010. Photo by Catherine Ulissey.
Robert Schoch with wife Catherine Ulissey; photo taken in 2022.