Legend... an Origins solution?

Adam Crowl (qraal@hotmail.com)
Sat, 16 Jan 1999 05:45:05 PST

Hi Group,

Just seen a provocative new book from maverick Egyptologist, David Rohl.
Remember him? A neo-Velikovskian who's redated Egypt's history and the
rest of the Middle East as a consequence of that, he claimed in his
first book "Pharaohs and Kings" ["A Test of Time" here in Oz] that
Egypt's New-Kingdom is off-set from its true chronological position by
some 350 years. As a result "Shishak" of the Bible is really Ramesses
II, whose nickname was Sysa or Shysha in Akkadian, and Solomon actually
married the daughter of Haremhab... etc.

Rohl's new book "Legend" tries to reconcile archaeology and the Bible on
the issue of the Genesis tales of Pre-Abramic times. He redates - or at
least sets out the chronological constraints - Egypt and Mesopotamia,
and then tries to track down the various key events of Genesis, by
shifting through the data of king lists and flood tales, as well as
dodgey geography. Eden, he says, was a valley near Lake Urmia. The Flood
happened c.3100 BC, though in current stratigraphy its exact level is
confused and misdated etc etc...

Kind of reminded me of Dick's efforts. I don't know what Rohl believes,
but he's not totally averse to religion, just not a supernaturalist.
Much of the religious images of Genesis he tries to identify with
physical events or people - the cherubim are the karibu, a fierce
mountain tribe, for example. Maybe. I've yet to sit down and analyse the

I liked his attempt in "Pharaohs and Kings" and his new effort is worthy
of study. I agree 100% that modern archaeology is skewed off true time
by some centuries, tho whether his scheme is 100% remains to be seen.
He's made some interesting identifications in Palestine, but ancient
Mesopotamia may not be so tractable. On a different issue he strongly
supports the "migrant" view of Egyptian Pharaonic culture, that the
ruling elite migrated in from Mesopotamia - perhaps the people of
Misraim after Babel? The Bible has a lot more to tell us about
prehistory in the Middle East, just we get so hung-up on its
universalising language... sheesh.

Are Britons ex-Trojans? That's the claim in another book I've read on
King Arthur. In which case, was Iapetus = Japheth? Perhaps Genesis has
more surprises yet. All Indo-European prehistory is a muddle...

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