A Conversation for Ask h2g2

How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 41

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

I'm going to partly agree with you on a lot of these, but disagree on others.

I think you are right to be wary of Vel's overall motivation, and perhaps of the scope of his reliance on the bible as a historical source, but without a specific example of an illegitimate use of biblical material it remains something of an ad hominem. And bear in mind that conventional chronology also relies on the bible eg for the dating of Sheshonk I.

I agree also that Vel is too quick to go from "this is an anomaly" to "the standard chronology is wrong." But again, this is not a refutation, and Vel's overall methodology is by no means so simplistic.

Workers' genealogies I'm going to come back to another time, when I have more of it.

Now for a disagreement smiley - smiley . I really don't see why the fact that the different reduction in date of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties should be seen as a reason for saying that Vel is wrong (even if he is, this particular argument seems like a non-sequitur. In the standard chronology the three dynasties follow one after the other. In Vel, they don't. Other dynasties come in between.) And in the case of the transition from the 19th to the 20th, the Harris Papyrus certainly seems to indicate a substantial period between them (many years, empty years, and afterwards Arsu was with them as chief).

So yes, interesting subject. How should such an anomaly be handled? Looking in the first instance at Harris, there seem to be three possibilities. Retranslate it so it means something different, dismiss it altogether, or agree that there is a gap between the two dynasties which we are currently clueless how to fill.

I should say that Harris by itself doesn't prove Vel. In general, it takes more than one thing to really prove a conclusion.

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 42

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

I've hardly been on hootoo for a couple of months (pressure of work), so I don't know if you're still interesred in this.

First some things we agree on.

The correspondence between the Assyrian annals (and some other sources)and the bible, establishes that the latter is historical (though not necessarily accurate) for the period between Ahab and Omri, and the Babylonian conquest. The big question, given that there is no obvious break in the narrative, is how far back does it maintain a reasonably reliable historical basis? Can we relate (going backwards in time) Zerah the Ethiopian, Shishak, and the unnamed pharaoh who burned Gezer and gave it to Solomon as a dowry, to figures that appear in other sources?

Of these three, the standard chronology identifies only one - Shishak. In the mid 19th century an inscription of the Pharaoh Sheshonk was found that detailed a military adventure into Palestine in his 20th year, and on the basis of this, the similarity of names, and the fact that Sheshonk was of approximately the right period, led to his identification as Shishak, and his reign was dated to 945-923 BC. At the time, that "approximate" was very approximate - the records left by Manetho's copyists indicate about 100+ "missing" years. Since then, the missing years have been filled up, new Libyan kings added to the record, and their detailed chronology amended and adjusted. No real problem with that, as the period is agreed to be both obscure and difficult. Throughout these changes, however, the biblically derived date of 925 BC for the campaign of Shishak has remained fixed, a point to which all reconstructions had to be aimed.

Acceptance of this identification does lead to some historical problems, which we have mentioned before, and don't seem to fundamentally disagree on - namely the identity of Zerah the Ethiopian, and of the pharaoh who organised the alliance that fought against Shalmaneser at Quarquar in 853 BC. They have generally been taken to be Osorkon I and Osorkon II, respectively, but unfortunately, none of the Libyan pharaohs have left us any record of these events. It seems very strange, moreover, that the bible would refer to a Libyan pharaoh as an "Ethiopian". It has been suggested, but not widely accepted that he may have been a general, not a pharaoh, but this, while not totally impossible, is both ad hoc and unlikely. Alternatively, it has been claimed that Zerah is an invention, but to accept the date of Shishak as fixed by the bible, and then dismiss Zerah as an invention, seems at the least to be inconsistent.

So how solid is the identification of Shoshenk and Shishak? How similar are the Egyptian and Biblical accounts? The names are certainly similar, though Shoshenk gives us S-s-n-k, rather than S-s-k. Rohl suggests that Shishak is derived from the -ses element of Rameses (though, logically, it could be from any pharaoh with a name of this form). Again, we have similarity, but not concordance, and though I'm not an expert, it does look as if the philological argument is not conclusive. There's no doubt, however, that the campaign described by Sheshonk does not resemble the one described in the bible. The places he lists are mostly insignificant locations in the north of Israel, and neither Megiddo nor Jerusalem, the principal targets of Shishak, are even mentioned.

So, do we have any other evidence for the dates of these Libyan kings? It has been claimed that a jar of Osorkon II found at Samaria in a building containing ostraca that refer to the 17th year of an unnamed king, shows him to be a contemporary of Ahab, but this is questioned by Velikovsky on grounds of both stratigraphy and epigraphy, http://www.varchive.org/tac/jeroboam.htm ,the form of the letters on the ostraca being more similar to those of Hezekiah than Mesha, and the jar itself being later than the ostraca.

In similar vein, the Phoenician kings Itobaal and Etobaal left inscriptions on the bases of statues of their patrons, Sheshonk I and Osorkon I, of the late 10th century. The form of the letters, however, was thought to be a little later than those of the Mesha stele, and therefore of the late 9th century. The form of the letters in the tomb of Ahiram, discovered later, was also very similar to the letters of I & E, and this is why some archaeologists are unhappy with an early 13th century (Rameses II) date for the tomb, and prefer instead an 11th or even 10th century date, even though none of it's material contents are of that date.

Now, you may well argue, correctly, that none of this is enough to *disprove* the standard chronology, but I think it's enough to make serious questioning legitimate. Just about the only thing that all the revisionists agree on, based on the arguments above, among others, is that the start date for the Libyan period should be reduced to the middle part of the second half of the 9th century. It might be interesting to explore the possible consequences, should they be correct,but without prejudice as to anything else. What should we be looking for? What new questions would it throw up? and so on.

Noggin




How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 43

Giford

Hi Nog,

Just a quick note to say I've seen this - like you, I'm reasonably busy (and I've kind of lost the thread of this complex but fascinating conversation) so it may take me a little while to respond.

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 44

Giford

Hi Nog,

I'm certainly still interested in this, I think the whole subject is fascinating. However, not having looked at it for several months, I have kind of lost the thread of a lot of what we were discussing, so apologies if you've already responded to any of the below (or if I've contradicted something I said earlier do pick me up on it smiley - winkeye).

Yes, I think there's some broad agreement there.

Perhaps the point where we diverge is where you talk about the Standard Chron being 'not conclusive'. It seems that Vel argues that if the SC is not conclusive, then the door is open for him to propose whatever he wants as a credible alternative. I would argue that in order to be credible, his solution needs to be at least as conclusive as the SC. There's no point in throwing out one theory and putting an even worse one in its place!

So, for instance, to take the example you gave on the similarity of Shishak, Shoshenq and Ramesses; there is a slight difference between S-S-K and S-S-N-K. However, to get to Ramesses (presumably R-M-S-S) clearly requires a still-greater change, and in fact Vel (and Rohl) are forced to look at alternative names for Ramesses entirely. There is also the fact that name-changes between languages typically follow certain patterns; Hebrew often (always?) drops the N before a consonant (at least according to Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shishaq#Shishak_identified_as_another_Pharaoh), so 'Shishak' would be the natural way for Hebrews to pronounce 'Shoshenq'. There is no such parallel for 'Ramesses'.

In other words, here the problem for the SC is small; the problem for Vel is much larger. And that's before we even consider the evidence that there was a Pharaoh called 'Ramesses' (in Egyptian) and that this is a different name from 'Sheshonq' (in Egyptian), which kind of pulls the rug from under this particular line of argument.

Then there is the evidence of Shoshenq's campaign into Israel. It is true that Jerusalem is not listed among his conquests. This is clearly a significant omission; however, our only copy of his conquest list is damaged. Furthermore, from the ordering of the surviving names (which is roughly geographical), if Jerusalem were on the list, it would likely be in the damaged section. So although the natural instinct is to say that it is unlikely for Jerusalem to be missing, on closer inspection it is actually quite possible. This doesn't prove that Jerusalem *was* on the list, but it does mean Vel can't read too much into its absence.

Now some smaller points we disagree on...

>the biblically derived date of 925 BC for the campaign of Shishak has remained fixed, a point to which all reconstructions had to be aimed.

Well, I'd half agree. That Shishak's dates have remained fixed is indisputable, but I suspect that's because further discoveries have confirmed that date (e.g. inscriptions detailing the 22nd Dynasty, then counting backwards from the fixed date of the Babylonian exile), rather that because it is a 'fixed point' (but I don't know enough of the history of Egyptology to say for certain). In fact, isn't Vel reversing his usual argument here, saying that Egyptologists treat the Bible with *too much* reverence, and refuse to doubt its testimony?

>It seems very strange, moreover, that the bible would refer to a Libyan pharaoh as an "Ethiopian".

Or not. Those terms were used much more vaguely in antiquity than they are now. It is hardly beyond the realms of possibility that a Palestinian writer might not know the distinction between non-Egyptian African tribes, or so it seems to me.

>but to accept the date of Shishak as fixed by the bible, and then dismiss Zerah as an invention, seems at the least to be inconsistent.

Again, 'or not' smiley - smiley. This is dangerously close to saying that if anything in the Bible is true, the whole thing must be inerrant. I have no problem with these 'borderline' areas of the Bible being a mixture of fact and fiction. Indeed, I suspect that David and Solomon were real people, although the description of their 'united kingdom' is clearly fantastical.

But that's by-the-by. We know that Osorkon II did enter Canaan with a massive army around this time, but only passing through, with no intent of conquest. What could be more natural for the Hebrews but to assume - Sheshonq still fresh in their minds - that he had come to conquer, and the only explanation for their salvation (at least according to the priests) being divine intervention?



>Now, you may well argue, correctly, that none of this is enough to *disprove* the standard chronology, but I think it's enough to make serious questioning legitimate.

Well, of course, it's not disproof. But it goes further than that. This is basically a string of 'could haves' and 'might haves'. Even taken on its own merits, it is less strong than the conventional chronology. Therefore it should be rejected in favour of the SC on those grounds. The *only* reason I can see for doing otherwise is an a priori insistence that the Bible must be literally accurate. Or a 'smoking gun', a single fact that cannot be reconciled (reasonably) with the SC; to date, Vel and his supporters have not been able to provide this, and indeed it seems that the reverse is true, with the genealogies of the workers from the 18th-20th dynastis.

>the pharaoh who organised the alliance that fought against Shalmaneser at Quarquar in 853 BC

smiley - erm There seems to be some dispute about this. Shalmaneser's victory stela mentions 1000 troops from Kur Mu'usra - these might be Egyptians, or they might be from modern Turkey. Either way, they were certainly not the leaders or organisers of the force; that fell to Damascus and Israel, who sent 30,000 soldiers between them. Incidentally, there is some suggestion that Osorkon had a co-regent (rather than a general); and for a force of 1000 men, it seems very reasonable that the Pharaoh would not take personal command of such a comparatively small army. I forget what the relevance of this was, now...

>the Phoenician kings Itobaal and Etobaal left inscriptions on the bases of statues of their patrons, Sheshonk I and Osorkon I, of the late 10th century. The form of the letters, however, was thought to be a little later than those of the Mesha stele, and therefore of the late 9th century.

Again, maybe I've lost the thread here, but if Ittobaal's inscription in Ahiram's tomb is the earliest Phoenician writing known, what makes you think it's more similar to later Phoenician?
http://phoenicia.org/ahiromgrave.html

>The form of the letters in the tomb of Ahiram, discovered later, was also very similar to the letters of I & E

If by 'I & E' your mean Ittobaal and Ettobaal, wasn't it Ittobaal who built Ahiram's tomb? So hardly surprising the letters are similar? Confused...

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 45

Noggin the Nog

Just to say I've seen this and will reply soon.

<<If by 'I & E' your mean Ittobaal and Ettobaal, wasn't it Ittobaal who built Ahiram's tomb? So hardly surprising the letters are similar? Confused...>> And righly so. This was my memory playing tricks. The two kings are Abibaal and Ebibaal. Ittobaal did indeed build Ahiram's tomb.

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 46

Giford

OK - still not sure what the inscription you referred to is, so it would help me out if you could go into a little more detail in your response... I don't know who Ebibaal was, either smiley - blush

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 47

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

Just a brief and partial reply.

Nobody really knows who Abibaal and Ebibaal were, other than that they were kings in Phoenicia (probably Tyre). They are known from only one inscription apiece, written on the bases of statues of Shoshenk I and Osorkon I respectively (ie late 10th century). The style of the letters, however, is considered to be later than that of the Mesha stele (ie late 9th century), but at the same time is very similar to the style of the letters in Ahiram's tomb (ie 13th century). There is still disagreement on when these kings, as well as Ahiram, should be dated.

Vel doesn't actually criticise the standard chronology for relying too heavily on the bible. You criticised Vel for that and I was pointing out that there's a bit of pot-kettle going on there (as there often is on both sides, unfortunately).

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 48

Giford

Hi Nog,

I might have to reserve comment on Abibaal and Ebibaal, as I can't find any reference to Ebibaal at all, or to inscriptions by Abibaal.

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 49

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

Finally got a bit of time to reply to your post 44.

I just want to start with this.

<>

I basically agree, but would point out that Vel offers the evidence for his reconstruction first, then follows this with the acknowledgement that in order for it to stand the standard chronology must also be shown to be flawed. It's that second part I'm looking at now. I'll come back to the first part later.

We've agreed, I think, that the basis for the identification of Sheshonk and Shishak was the similarity of names, and the fact that both of them campaigned in Palestine.

We can also agree, I hope, that, even if it has been confirmed since, the date of 925BC was originally taken from the bible, since at that time our only chronological source for the date on the Egyptian side at that time was Manetho. I can't find anything for the length of the XXII dynasty from Manetho's copyists Josephus or Eusebius, but Africanus gives 120 years. If we take c715BC as the end date for the dynasty (there are minor variations on this, but they are only of the order of 3-4 years, so need not detain us here), then 120 years gives us c835BC for the beginning of the dynasty, clearly substantially short of the date required by the standard chronology (but in reasonable agreement with Vel at c830BC, and slightly less with Rohl, who, IIRC, offers c820BC). This was also why Sheshonk was placed at the beginning of the dynasty, though there was no evidence for this at the time.

On the identity of names Vel and Rohl both argue the precise opposite of the Wikipedia article you cited, saying that the rules for changing heiroglyphs to Hebrew names are being violated. The argument that Shishak is a diminutive of Rameses based on the -ses element of the name is Rohl's, but it would also apply to Vel's identification of Shishak as Tuthmoses III. For myself, my philology is not up to to deciding the merits of the arguments. I merely remark that in the past you've warned against making identifications based on similarity of names. I'm not convinced that the similarity of names *establishes* the identity, though I'd agree that it's not ruled out.

On the campaign point - yes, it's *possible* that Jerusalem is in the damaged portion of the inscription. But again, as you've often reminded me, lots of pharaohs have campaigned in Palestine (including Rameses II and Tuthmoses III, of course). Again, the *possibility* is not enough to establish the identification.

On the reconstruction of the history of the Libyan period, I'm again going to have to admit to some ignorance, but looking at the material on Wikipedia, I am struck by the fact that it involves chains of reasoning that are highly dependent on the correctness of their starting points. I would also remark that Kenneth Kitchen, who has probably contributed more to this reconstruction than anyone else, is a confirmed biblicist and regards the 925 date as fixed, at least to within a couple of years at most.

It is, I think, reasonable to hope that if the standard chronology is correct, that this would be confirmed by the establishment of synchronicities between the Egyptian and other histories (the identities of Zerah the Ethiopian, of the pharaoh at the time of the battle of Quarquar against Shalmaneser III, and of Pharaoh So of the time of Hosea), and of the available archaeological and epigraphic evidence. Would that make a sensible departure point?

Finally, very briefly, I want to make a list of the synchronicities that Vel finds between the history of the XVIII dynasty when it is placed between c.1030 and c830BC, and the biblical account of the same period. We can argue about it later.

1. Ahmose and Saul. According to the inscription of one of his generals, Ahmose is assisted in overthrowing the Hyksos by an unnamed foreigner, in a battle in a dry river bed. Saul defeats the Amalakites (already identified by Vel as the Hyksos) in a battle in a dry river bed.

2. Tuthmoses I captures and burns Gezer. Early in the reign of Solomon an unnamed pharaoh burns Gezer, and gives it to Solomon as a dowry.

3. The female Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut undertakes a journey to the land of Punt. Solomon receives as a guest a powerful female ruler, the Queen of Sheba.

4. Tuthmoses III, whose campaign started with a lightning strike on Megiddo, and carried away a great quantity of booty, is Shishak, who advanced at great speed to Megiddo before sacking Jerusalem and its temple. Kadesh, which heads the list of the cities he conquered in Palestine is Jerusalem (modern day El-Quds).

5. Zerah the Ethiopian is Amenhotep II, in whose time Egypt seems to have lost control of Palestine, as the next pharaoh, Tuthmoses IV, had to reconquer it.

6. The time of the El Amarna letters is the time of Jehoshaphat and Ahab. The cities of S-m-r and G-bl- are Samaria and Jezreel, and their king Rib-Addi (the son of the father) is Ahab (the son of the father). In both accounts this country was devastated by a terrible famine. The Sa-gaz-Mesh of the letters are the people of Mesha, King of Moab, and the feared king of Hatti, who threatened Syria from the north, is Shalmaneser III.

These are just the basic points of contact, of course. Vel offers fairly extended discussions of all of them.

Plenty to be going on with there, I think.

Noggin






How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 50

Noggin the Nog

Just for clarification

<>

You seem to be confusing the two Osorkons. Osorkon I is the contemporary of Zerah, Osorkon II had the army - or not, as the claim seems to have disappeared from the Wikipedia page, and I've never been able to find any reference to any inscriptional material substantiating the claim. It seems to be pure surmise.

Just to complete the triumvirate, Osorkon VI, supposedly Pharaoh So, also left no records of any campaign into, or tribute received from, Israel. So 0 out of 3 for the standard chronology.

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 51

Giford

Hi Nog,

As ever, it will take me a while to respond to this. A couple of points do leap out that I will respond to immediately however.

On Osorkon vs Zerah:
>You seem to be confusing the two Osorkons. Osorkon I is the contemporary of Zerah, Osorkon II had the army - or not, as the claim seems to have disappeared from the Wikipedia page

Well, no. Osorkon II had the army indeed, and on that basis, in the absence of any other evidence (the Biblically derived date is one year before Osorkon II's ascension under the SC; we are both tolerating this level of inaccuracy), I am suggesting him as a likely candidate for Zerah. Wikipedia suggests that Zerah in fact has nothing to do with Egypt at all (though it does mention Osorkon II's army):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zerah#The_Cushite

And Vel's point 3, that Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba, is a singular stretch. Hatshepsut *funded* an expedition to Punt, but there is no indication she personally left Egypt, to Punt, Sheba, Palestine or anywhere else. Nor is there an obvious reason she should be referred to as 'Queen of Sheba' (probably Yemen), rather than Queen of Egypt. Aside from the fact that she's female, Vel really has no direct evidence linking Hattie to Sheba.

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 52

Giford

Hi Nog,

Next point:
>We can also agree, I hope, that, even if it has been confirmed since, the date of 925BC was originally taken from the bible, since at that time our only chronological source for the date on the Egyptian side at that time was Manetho. I can't find anything for the length of the XXII dynasty from Manetho's copyists Josephus or Eusebius, but Africanus gives 120 years. If we take c715BC as the end date for the dynasty (there are minor variations on this, but they are only of the order of 3-4 years, so need not detain us here), then 120 years gives us c835BC for the beginning of the dynasty, clearly substantially short of the date required by the standard chronology (but in reasonable agreement with Vel at c830BC, and slightly less with Rohl, who, IIRC, offers c820BC). This was also why Sheshonk was placed at the beginning of the dynasty, though there was no evidence for this at the time.

Well, first up we already know that this part of Egyptian history is dubious in the versions of Manetho that have come down to us; Eusebius lists 3 kings in the 22nd Dyn, whereas Africanus lists 9. So we should already be rather wary here (and, indeed, throughout Manetho; the evidence suggests that he has missed numerous kings).

If we go with your date of 835BC for the start of D22, we are left with the obvious problem of how we fit all 11 Pharaohs now thought to comprise it into that time. We need about 220 years. Shoshenq III created surviving inscriptions dating themselves to his 22nd year in power and Shoshenq V for 38 years, and for similar reasons we know that Osorkon I ruled for at least 30 years (NB: meaning Manetho is in error here, since he states that Osorkon I ruled for just 15 years) and, although the exact length is disputed, it seems that Osorkon II ruled for at least 30 years also. So those 4 Pharaohs *alone* - discarding the whole of the rest of the Dynasty - already fill Africanus' 120 years (and debunk Rohl's 'improvement' on Vel's chronology - he's only allowed 105 years), and we still have 7 Pharaohs to account for! Not to mention some more recent putative additions to the 22D family tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutkheperre (perhaps ironically, this goes some way to confirming Manetho when he claims that three kings separated Osorkon I from Takelot; where before we only knew of one, we may now have two).

I'm not sure why Shoshenq I was *originally* placed at the start of the Dynasty - but if what you say is correct, that this was done purely on the assumption that the SC is correct, then it would have to now be regarded as a confirmed prediction, as we are 'certain' (according to Wiki) that Osorkon I succeeded Shoshenq I.

So, to conclude, Vel (and Rohl) propose impossibly short timelines for the 22nd Dynasty. Manetho is a basic framework to start from, but we should remember he was writing centuries later (and we don't actually have his work) so primary evidence should be given priority where the two conflict - which is relatively frequently.

I really should have gone to bed an hour ago, more when I get the time...

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 53

Giford

Hi Nog,

OK, here's my third and final instalment...

>1. Ahmose and Saul. According to the inscription of one of his generals, Ahmose is assisted in overthrowing the Hyksos by an unnamed foreigner, in a battle in a dry river bed. Saul defeats the Amalakites (already identified by Vel as the Hyksos) in a battle in a dry river bed.

I can't find any Biblical reference to Saul fighting any battle in a riverbed. He fought the Amalekites in a pass of some description in 1 Sam 14, is that what Vel is referring to? Ahmose is specified as having fought in a riverbed at Avaris, nowhere near anywhere Saul is said to have fought. Nor is a foreigner specified; this is assumed by Vel based on the use of an indefinite pronoun ('one fought...') in the inscription.

So this is a real stretch.

>2. Tuthmoses I captures and burns Gezer. Early in the reign of Solomon an unnamed pharaoh burns Gezer, and gives it to Solomon as a dowry.

Thutmose I burned a lot of cities. In fact, lots of Pharaohs burned lots of cities - Thutmose III is noted as having burned Gezer, for instance. There is no record of Thutmose I gifting Gezer (or anywhere else) to a foreign ruler. You will note that the Biblical motivation for this extravagent gift is that Solomon is the Pharaoh's son-in-law. Solomon had many wives, but the only one mentioned by name - presumably his 'main' wife - is an Amalekite (not an Egyptian). Likewise, Thutmose probably had many children, but there is no record of him giving them away to foreign rulers as wives, much less second or third wives with massive dowries. One daughter was Hatshepsut, though it's very likely he has others as well.

So this isn't really a match.

>3. The female Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut undertakes a journey to the land of Punt. Solomon receives as a guest a powerful female ruler, the Queen of Sheba.

As noted above, this is something of a stretch. Add to that that no-one in the Bible seems to notice that the 'Queen of Sheba' is Solomon's sister-in-law. I notice that Vel even tries re-translating Hatshepsut's name (from 'Foremost of the Noble Ladies' to 'Queen of Sheba') to bolster his theory here.

>4. Tuthmoses III, whose campaign started with a lightning strike on Megiddo, and carried away a great quantity of booty, is Shishak, who advanced at great speed to Megiddo before sacking Jerusalem and its temple. Kadesh, which heads the list of the cities he conquered in Palestine is Jerusalem (modern day El-Quds).

Kadesh is Jerusalem? Erm, no it's not. Again, any number of Pharaohs sacked Palestine. Tuthmoses makes no mention of sacking Jerusalem, which would be a major omission from a Pharaoh. He was fighting the Canaanites, under the king of Kadesh. By contrast, the Biblical description of Shishak says nothing of an assault on Megiddo, 'at great speed' or not, and he was fighting the Israelites under the 'king of Jerusalem'.

So here, Vel needs to pretend that Kadesh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadesh) is the same place as Jerusalem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem). This is just plain wrong.

>5. Zerah the Ethiopian is Amenhotep II, in whose time Egypt seems to have lost control of Palestine, as the next pharaoh, Tuthmoses IV, had to reconquer it.

Again, that's a contentious statement. Amenhotep II was a son of Tuthmoses III, so not an Egyptian/Kushite. I'm not sure that Egypt ever really had control of Canaan and Syria during this period, they just periodically extracted tribute by an armed tour - but I don't think that affects the argument.

>6. The time of the El Amarna letters is the time of Jehoshaphat and Ahab. The cities of S-m-r and G-bl- are Samaria and Jezreel, and their king Rib-Addi (the son of the father) is Ahab (the son of the father). In both accounts this country was devastated by a terrible famine. The Sa-gaz-Mesh of the letters are the people of Mesha, King of Moab, and the feared king of Hatti, who threatened Syria from the north, is Shalmaneser III.

Wikipedia translates Ahab as 'brother of the father', and Rib-Addi as a reference to the god Hadad, so again we seem to have some 'creative translations' by Vel. Take those away, and there is really no connection between the two individuals. The political situation Rib-Addi describes bears little resemblance to the Biblical Two Kingdoms period. Ahab seems to have been a powerful ruler in the region at the time, rather unlike the somewhat pitiful Rib-Addi, always begging for help from Ankhenaten (there's even a letter where Ankhenaten says something of the sort to Rib-Addi).



So, to surmise: on points 3, 4 and 5 there is convincing (imo) evidence that Vel is flat wrong. On points 1 and 2 the parallels are so vague (essentially: two people both fought battles, therefore they must be the same person) as to be meaningless. Point 6 is so complex (there are literally hundreds of Amarna letters) that I won't trivialise it with a simplistic verdict, but nothing you've said so far indicates that there is any connection to any Biblical figure.



It turns out that there is good, positive evidence for dating the 18th Dyn too. Amenhotep I's reign coincided with a Heliacal Rise of Sothis, an even that occurs only once every 1,461 years. The exact date depends on where in Egypt you measure from, but the difference is a matter of decades, max. This puts his reign reliably at around 1545-1505BC (20 years reign, plus 20 years uncertainty). No other option is reconcilable with the independent, astronomical data - even Vel would balk at a date of c100BC!

On this basis, I can't see any reason for supporting Vel's revised dating; and there are many very convincing reasons to suppose he is wrong.

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 54

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

Lots to talk about there, but I'm going to start with a quick reply to post 51.

I'm not sure why you're proposing Osorkon II as a possible candidate for Zerah the Ethiopian, as this is not the view of the standard chronology It's plain in the Wikipedia article that the existence of Osorkon II's army, or at least its march across Palestine, is being inferred from its presence at the battle of Quarquar in 853BC, at least 20 years after Zerah, since Osorkon himself does not record this event, and Shalmaneser gives no name for the leader of the Egyptians there (probably for the reasons you gave in an earlier post). So there is no documentary evidence confirming that Osorkon II is the pharaoh concerned. One might just as well infer from the story of Zerah that he was Osorkon I (or Sheshonq II or Takeloth I, who were contemporary with the last part of Asa's reign), as none of the Libyan pharaohs left any account of foreign adventures in Palestine except Shoshenk I.

I'm also not at all convinced by the idea that the Hebrews couldn't tell the difference between Ethiopians and Libyans. The Bible has plenty of examples of lists of the different peoples that lived around them, which they were well able to distinguish.

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 55

Giford

Hi Nog,

I don't see how Osorkon could have got to Qarqar without going through at least part of Canaan (assuming he was involved in the battle). And the timing discrepancy I could live with - I'm not particularly tied to Biblical inerrancy on dates, as you may have noticed smiley - winkeye But the ethnicity issue is a good point and a difficulty for this theory (but do look at your/Vel's point 5, which relies on Hebrews being unable to distinguish Egyptians and Ethiopians).

The Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zerah) gives at least two alternative explanations for 'Zerah' that have nothing to do with Egypt at all. It is very possible that either of these - or some other option - is correct.

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 56

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

*delurks* smiley - lurk

>>Zerah the Ethiopian is Amenhotep II, in whose time Egypt seems to have lost control of Palestine, as the next pharaoh, Tuthmoses IV, had to reconquer it.<<

>>that's a contentious statement.<<



I admit I smiley - laugh at this. Historians squabbling. It's so well-mannered. smiley - rofl


*relurks* smiley - lurk


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 57

Giford

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nCKYEM8qRc

Gif smiley - geek


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 58

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.


Shades of that, yes. smiley - laugh


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 59

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

Whoever the pharaoh at Quarquar was, he was an ally of Ahab of Israel (among others), which we know from Shalmaneser's inscriptions, and it's hard to see how his this event could be also be contemporary with Asa.

But it's by the by. At the moment, we're just trying to find confirmation of the reconstruction of the Libyan period in the standard chronology by way of synchronicities with the histories of other peoples. The accounts in the bible and the Assyrian records gave us three possibilities, but the Egyptian records mention none of them. Even accepting that there are plausible reasons for this we haven't obtained any confirmation.

What else can we find?

In 1910 a jar with cartouches of Osorkon II was found in the ruins of a palace of Samaria. The palace was built on virgin rock and was tentatively identified as the palace built by Omri, and enlarged by Ahab. In the ruins were found scores of ostraca detailing deliveries of oil and wine to the king's palace, and giving the dates of the king's reign up to year 17. The king is unnamed but was presumed to be Ahab, because of the presence of the Osorkon jar, and this was claimed to show their synchronicity.

There were two problems, however.

The original excavator's report describes the exact location of the find - "The southern wall of the Osorkon House [so-called because of Osorkon’s jar] was built in part over the foundations of the north wall of rooms 406, 407, and 408. The foundations of the assumed northern part of the Ostraca House must have been destroyed previous to the construction of the Osorkon House."

This means that the jar must have come to its resting place *after* the period of the ostraca.

A second problem was that the letters on the ostraca were not the same as the letters on the contemporary Mesha stele, as would have been expected, but were intermediate between them and the Hezekiah letters. At first it was surmised that the development of the alphabet was different in Samaria and Moab, but subsequently ivories engraved with letters in the same form as those on the Mesha stele were unearthed in Samaria. Scholars such as Pritchard and Albright came to the conclusion that the Samaria ostraca could not be Ahab's, and because the year dates went up to year 17, it was concluded that the king must have been Jeroboam II (785-744). So the jar must have been deposited after 768 at the very earliest, and probably a generation later.

This would indicate that Osorkon II reigned about a hundred years later than the dates given by the standard chronology.

Noggin


How Credible is Velikovsky's New Chronology?

Post 60

Noggin the Nog

Hi Gif

Very quickly

The inscriptions of Abibaal and Elibaal are mentioned in the link
http://phoenicia.org/ahiromgrave.html which you gave in post 44 (last paragraph but one). This Abibaal is presumably a different one to the one here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abibaal

Vel also cites Josephus, "Against Apion I, 156" saying "Under King Ithobaal, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for thirteen years", but I can't find it online.

More on the epigraphic arguments later.

Noggin


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