>From: "Jeffrey W. Zents" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "Adam Crowl" <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: Legend... an Origins solution?
>Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 08:54:03 -0600
>Why do you think that the timetables are off by such a large amount?
Good question. Simple answer: according to Archaeology the events of the
Bible never happened, and I don't just mean Noah's Flood. Everything
down to the time of Ahab is mismatched with archaeology's time-lines,
and even some events after. Nothing fits.
For example, Solomon had great material wealth and used ashlar[sawn
block] masonry to build up a number of cities and Jerusalem. According
to the Bible this was in the period c. 970 - 930, but stratigraphically
there is NO evidence for Solomon's wealth in "10th" century Palestine.
However in the 14th and 13th Centuries there's abundant evidence for a
wealthy "Canaanite" Palestine.
David Rohl uses various genealogies, odd building mismatches and
astronomical texts to readjust New Kingdom chronology so what was c.1300
BC is now c.950 BC. This brings into line much of the evidence and
allows reinterpretation of textual sources like Akenaten's hymns, the
library of Ugarit and the Amarna letters. He redates the end of the
Middle Kindom [Old Chronology (OC) c. 1620 BC] to the Biblical 1447 BC
and makes the last Pharaoh, Dudimose, the Exodus Pharaoh - NOT Ramesses
II as the movies tell us. This fits the near Universal agreement of
early sources, such as Manetho and his interpreters.
To me the Bible/History mismatch is real and in screaming need of
solution. Rohl might be wrong, though I've yet to see a convincing
rebuttal, but he's made a note-worthy attempt. I have reservations on
some of his identifications - he places the oppression in the 13th
Dynasty, though Josephus reports that the Hebrews built pyramids and
straw-brick pyramids are known from the 12th Dynasty - but his case is
well evidenced and plausible.
It could be that the chronology of Kings and Judges is incorrect and
some 300 years has been deleted, but a new chronology also allows
resolution of other archaeological anomalies. The king-lists of Elam
have multi-hundred year gaps between kings who are explicitly said to be
father and son, and Hellenic archaeology has a 300 year "Dark Age" which
contains very little stratigraphic remains. With a 300 year reduction
most of these anomalies disappear, or improve dramatically.
That's my short answer. To find out more details look around for Rohl's
"Pharaohs and Kings" and Peter James' "Centuries of Darkness". Neither
text is the last word on this subject, but the facts scream that
something is seriously amiss. C14 dating is also affected since it dates
the Thera/Santorini eruption to c.1630 BC, but stratigraphically it's
roughly 1450 - 1350 BC, and in the New Chronology it's even worse. Why?
C14 is correlated against dendrological records, but for the Middle East
these have certain anomalies. Currently the record is reonstructed via
statistical matching of patterns in the tree-ring samples used - however
these can produce several equally valid dates. More work and better
samples are needed before this anomaly can be resolved. Even worse
anomalies exist in the period 4000 - 6000 BC with some sites producing
dates from BOTH ends of this period.
North American dendrological records don't have this problem due to the
much greater age ranges of trees involved and the low levels of human
interference. So don't mistake this as an attack on C14 dating, just a
challenging of one interpretation of ambiguous evidence with real
Enough for now. Look up the books. They're discussed all over the Net as
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