Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Beyond the boundaries of established science an avalanche of exotic ideas compete for our attention. Experts tell us that these ideas should not be permitted to take up the time of working scientists, and for the most part they are surely correct. But what about the gems in the rubble pile? By what ground-rules might we bring extraordinary new possibilities to light?

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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:33 am

Sketch,
Where to begin?
There is no need to post huge chunks of text fron a site you link to. Just post a 'taster' quote and the link.

If you wish to know about the mysteries, try:
Iamblichus - The Mysteries.
Plutarch - Isis and Osiris (The book is called Moralia).
Apeulius - The Metamorphoses (a.k.a. The Golden Ass).
Porphyry - The Cave of the Nymphs.

You may also want to do some reading on yoga.

I am fairly well versed in the story of Dionysos, Bacchus, Zagreus and Orpheus.
You really should not read any Greek tragedy literally. They were only performed at religious festivals and their subject matter was always related to Dionysos (at least up until the classical period).

Your comment about Phillip II, initiation and the birth of Alexander is a non-sequitor.

. . . the druggies win!
Good.

None of this has anything to do with Fomenko or chronology.

Now I shall return to reading my book:
Roger Beck, The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire: Mysteries of the Unconquered Sun
http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2006/2006-12-08.html
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:03 am

Hi Grey Cloud,
I'll try to be brief.. and deal with your points one by one.

Shorter posts, no problems,
I was trying to make it easy by keeping things one dimensional without people having to dive back and forward too many times away from the main argument.

I wasn't trying to learn about the mysteries, only trying to point out they were widespread and influential, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Phillip, Alcibiades, Pythagorus, Jason, etc more or less everyone was involved, and the system was most likely related to seafaring, trade, knowledge, money as well as religion.

All the countries around the Mediterranean had their oracles, temples, and mysteries, they are mentioned in Herodotus, and the Argonautica. Jason goes to the mysteries before his voyage. I was just laying the groundwork for why the Argonautica might have been a trans-Atlantic epic instead of a Black Sea picnic.

At the Pillars of Hercules, the Straits of Gibraltar, there was a temple of Hercules, the Atlas mountains are at the west of the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians controlled the western end of the Mediterranean, they traded out past the straits, the city of Tartessos was outside the straits on the south coast of Portugal, Columbus and other sailors used the trade winds to sail easily across to the Americas, the harder thing was to get back

The Phoenicians most likely discovered the trade winds in the early part of the first millenium BC, at the time of Hiram of Tyre and the trading reported in the bible to Solomon's mines at Ophir, which could have been in the Americas somewhere... Solomon not only grew replete with gold, but got so much silver that it was devalued... sounds uncannily like the Spanish experience with South and Central American gold... if they used the northern route with westerly winds it might explain how they came to discover and trade with the Cornish for the all important ingredient of bronze, tin....

The Phoenicians would build ships with nasty bow spikes to sink rival ships in their western sphere of influence until crushed by Rome in the Punic Wars. The Phoenicians, and early people in the Hebrew tradition, and the the Aztecs, had a nasty habit of killing their children as gifts to their gods, a bad habit which caught on to quite a few 'bad' Kings in the bible history...
The Aztecs had a tradition that bearded white people taught them...

This link is a very good summary of the history of the Pillars of Gibraltar... lots of good quotes... I'll let everyone look for themselves...

" The Phoenicians: There is plenty of evidence that Turdetani established a substantial links with the Phoenicians - a trading people who came from Tyre - the Lebanon of today. According to Strabo the first Phoenician seamen were ordered by their oracles to establish trading towns on what was then considered to be the end of the western side of the known world."

"The story goes that when they arrived they anchored near the Rock and offered sacrifices to the Gods. As these were inauspicious they returned home. But they came back once again and this time managed to sail through the Strait ."

" Their sacrifices - rather anticlimactically - were again inauspicious and they returned home yet again. Their third visit saw them travel through the Strait this time ending up in Gades - or Cadiz - where they are reputed to have made their first proper settlement in Iberia around the 10th century BC."

"All of which begs one particular question. What were all these sailors doing traipsing through the Strait and into what was supposed to have been uncharted territory. The answer of course is that even as early as the 9th century BC this area was anything but uncharted...."

http://gibraltar-intro.blogspot.com.au/ ... olboy.html

GC, you probably know all this stuff already? but those interested in chronology may find it interesting, a lot of people don't realise how far and how pervasive was bronze age seafaring...

The point about Alex: Even Alexander the Great's dad and mum were linked to the mysteries, illustrating an almost humorous thing, that if Alex's ma and pa hadn't drugged out and played up at the mysteries, then we wouldn't have had a Greek empire, we all might be worshipping Mithra and doing whatever they did, wasn't it bull sacrifices, blood and semen?

Did Mithraists only kill the bull? What's with the blindfolds and sacrifices, were they only simulated?

I've read quite a bit about yoga... but...
mmm sorry, i'm straying off topic again.. :-)

Fomenko: didn't he say there was no history before 1000 AD?
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:37 pm

MA Rinella - Pharmakon, Plato Drug Culture and Identity in Ancient Athens
http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=P ... EQgQMIGDAA
I have this but haven't got around to reading it yet.

And then there is this:
THE NEW ZEALAND EXPLOSION OF 1178 AD WHICH TILTED THE EARTH
https://www.scribd.com/document/2582053 ... -the-Earth
Ditto.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Location: NW UK

Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:45 pm

Hi Grey Cloud,
In my opinion that devasting fire in the South Island approx five hundred years ago is better explained by the Mahuika crater 250 km south of the island... the local Maori 'legend' calls it 'the fires of Tamatea'
criticised by Goff and others who didn't appear to 'get' that the Maori legend of Tamatea as a fire god, son of the sky god, was an earlier legend possibly even imported from the Tahiti area, so the South Island Maori would naturally associate this dramatic fiery event to Tamatea...

about 500 years ago, a bolide, comet or meteorite left a approx 20 km crater on the sea floor
(compared to the 1.4 km crater in Arizona, this would have been a devastating and memorable event to the survivors)

Maori 'legend':
"The Moa disappeared after the coming of Tamaatea who set
fire to the land. The fire was not the same as our fire but embers
sent by Rongi [the sky] (Hill 1913, p. 331)"

"On the South Island of New Zealand, the Mahuika Comet impact would have been a dramatic event.
Within 50 km of the southern coastline, it would have appeared as a fireball ten times larger than the sun, blown over 90% of the tree cover, and ignited grass and trees (Marcus et al. 2005).
However, these effects would have ceased within 100 km of the coast. "

"Steel & Snow (1992) believe that local Maori legends and place names refer to
a comet event such as this one. They base their hypothesis on the legend of the Fires of Tamaatea (or Tamatea). Local ethnographic evidence is best chronicled in the Southland and Otago regions, centred on the town of Tapanui (Fig. 1b). Here there appears to be evidence for an airburst that flattened trees in a manner similar to the Tunguska event. The remains of fallen trees are aligned radially away from the point of explosion out to a distance of 40–80 km. "

"Local Maori legends in the area tell about the falling of the skies, raging winds, and mysterious and massive firestorms from space. Tapanui, itself, translates as ‘the big explosion,’ while Waipahi means ‘the place of the exploding fire’. Place names such as Waitepeka, Kaka Point, and Oweka contain the southern Maori word ka, which means fire. The local Maori also attribute the demise of the Moas, as well as their culture, to an extraterrestrial event. The extinction of the Moa is remembered as Manu Whakatau, ‘the bird felled by strange fire’"

I'm not much convinced by UFO's until I see one,
if this was a UFO, I think you could say the driver 'totalled' it... :-)

http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cg ... =scipapers
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:52 pm

Hi Grey Cloud,
Thanks for the link about the drugs involved in the ancient world... I read the introduction, not really sure about that writer so far...

Grey Cloud wrote:You really should not read any Greek tragedy literally.


mmm sorry, I have to disagree...

I believe there is a ***some real world truth in the Greek myths and stories... the principle being that hero's feats and so on get woven into a fabric that includes morals, ethics, history, exaggeration and conflation, but are still based on memorable events or characters, evidence is many writers use recurrant themes, and although often inconsistent, the characters have genealogies and there was a general belief in their historicity.

An example of some truth found in the Odyssey:

In Homer's Odyssey: (quoted from link below)

"This is the sorceress Circe — fabled daughter of the goddess of magic, Hecate — and as she prepared the feast for the men, the story says she:

"… made for them a potion of cheese and barley meal and yellow honey with Pramnian wine; but in the food she mixed baneful ***drugs, that they might utterly forget their native land. Now when she had given them the potion, and they had drunk it off, then she presently smote them with her wand and penned them in the sties."

The sailors believe they are pigs, and Circe pens them up, their companion who is not drugged is horrified...

"....Hermes, aware of potential danger, digs up a plant in a nearby meadow and hands it to the hero, saying:"

"Here, take this potent herb, and go to the house of Circe, and it shall ward off from thy head the evil day. And I will tell thee all the baneful wiles of Circe. She will mix thee a potion, and cast ***drugs into the food; but even so she shall not be able to bewitch thee, for the potent herb that I shall give thee will not suffer it."

"...Without the mention of ***drugs being mixed into the food, it would be easy to shrug off such a myth as the stuff of pure imagination. However, that Circe’s power seems to stem from a knowledge of poisons suggests something real might be behind the tale."

"One of the most common arguments is that Circe was feeding the crew jimson weed. While that sounds innocent enough, Datura stramonium, as it is known in the scientific world, belongs to the deadly nightshade family and contains high levels of anti-cholinergic alkaloids such as scopolamine, hyoscyamine and atropine."

Hermes provides the antidote:
"What is most intriguing about the text is that it is specific about where Hermes’ medicine comes from and what it looks like. Odysseus says:"

"So saying, [Hermes] gave me the herb, drawing it from the ground, and showed me its nature. At the root it was black, but its flower was like milk. Moly the gods call it, and it is hard for mortal men to dig; but with the gods all things are possible."

"Based on Homer’s description, many experts think the “potent herb” Hermes gave Odysseus as a cure to Circe’s potion was actually the snowdrop plant. Scientists have studied the plant and found that it contains properties that protect brain cells from damaging toxins."

"In 1981, as the drug’s origins started to become better known, neurologists Andreas Plaitakis at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Roger Duvoisin at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey proposed at the Twelfth World Congress of Neurology that snowdrop might have been the plant that Hermes handed to Odysseus."

"To support their argument, they pointed out that the plant was commonly found in Greece, that it grows in forest glens like the one visited by Hermes, and that it is an effective antidote to Datura. They also noted that its petals were milky white and that it had a darkly pigmented root just as the moly described in The Odyssey. Moreover, galantamine is not like many other anti-cholinesterases that break apart and become useless in the body rather quickly. Galantamine endures, producing a lasting protection that prevents acetylcholine from being blocked, which would have made it perfect for the situation Odysseus found himself in."

"Did the Greeks really know that snowdrop could stave off neurotransmitter-attacking poisons and diseases? I suspect they did."

http://discovermagazine.com/2015/nov/17-rooted-in-truth

"KIRKE (Circe) was a goddess of sorcery (pharmakeia) who was skilled in the magic of transmutation, illusion, and necromancy. She lived on the mythical island of Aiaia (Aeaea) <...> located in the far ***west, near the earth-encircling River Okeanos (Oceanus). ['the great ocean that encircles the world']

http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Kirke.html

The Americas were rotten with psychoactive drugs... mushrooms, cocaine, etc, especially in the Amazon, in Peru, in Mexico etc...
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:40 pm

The Maori, like the Saxons in England, had an attachment to genealogies, and were recorded by European ethnologists as commonly being able to recite involved genealogical sequences, linking each person to relatives, past events, even to the canoe on which their ancestor came to New Zealand, even including the captain and navigator of that canoe

This skill is a pre-writing way of preserving records, not always consistent, but consistent in a broad sense... one tribe might add a few generations and another might forget a generation or two.. but from these oral chanted genealogies a fairly good chronology can be derived...

So the event of the 'fires of Tamatea' can be placed on a scale where the Maori yardstick chronologically-speaking is calculated by generations... so if this was a real event linked to a Korean comet sighting, then it is a good example of how oral histories can be linked to real events, and can then be folded back to better cross-reference the genealogies to dates.

There was a comet reported in Korea with a specific date in 1492 which could have hit the earth at that time, it sort of disappeared off the radar... the sighting was translated into Japanese and is a strong candidate to identify the fiery embers that rained down on the South Island of New
Zealand, so there is double evidence here.. first to pin down a date for the cosmic impact, and second to verify the accuracy of the Maori and place a fixed point in the chronology of their oral tradition

Mahuika Impact crater with Arizona impact crater.jpg

The impact produced mega-tsunamis that have left physical evidence on the coasts of Southern New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia, and also left an 'mark' in the legends and stories of the Australian Aboriginals and New Zealand Maoris

http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cg ... =scipapers
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:06 pm

Well then, if Discover magazine says so it must be correct. If it was a snowdrop why didn't Homer just say snowdrop? Snowdrops have bulbs not roots. Snowdrops should be appearing any day here, they are one of the first plants to flower.

All the way from Australia:
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/humanities/re ... art/issues
Try read 'Homer prophet of maya'. Issue 4 I think. It will give you some idea of how far off the pace Discover magazine is.

Grey Cloud wrote:
You really should not read any Greek tragedy literally.

mmm sorry, I have to disagree...
Ever heard of allegory? Or symbolism? See EotH articles above.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
Grey Cloud
 
Posts: 2477
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:47 am
Location: NW UK

Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:25 pm

G'day Grey Cloud,
I found this article which discusses Medical Historians who are reading Homer 'not literally' in the description of the sailors turning into pigs, but reading that part of the story as a description of what the men thought... ie an altered state of consciousness... or it could also have been a metaphorical description of their behaviour, since if Circe's drug was jimson weed, it makes you shit yourself... a common experience of drug users, or people poisoned accidentally or intentionally by drugs, you would have heard of 'spiked' drinks... another modern echo of the story of Circe...

"Medical historians have speculated that the transformation to pigs was not intended literally but refers to anticholinergic intoxication. Symptoms include amnesia, hallucinations, and delusions. The description of "moly" fits the snowdrop, a flower of the region that contains galantamine, which is an anticholinesterase and can therefore counteract anticholinergics."

so it more or less confirms the snowdrop identification as the antidote to jimson weed and the identification of these two plants in the Circe episode, you might need to know this if anyone tries to take advantage of you through adding some Deadly Nightshade to your drink... :-)

So what about this deadly nightshade, Datura stramonium?

It's all over the America's, it's known and used in Indian druggie mysteries,
It's known in Ethiopia, (see previous post about the origin of Dionysus into Greece, some thought the east, some thought Ethiopia... I thought the Americas)

it is thought to have originated in ***Mexico :

"Across the Americas, other indigenous peoples such as the Algonquin, Navajo, Cherokee, Luiseño and the indigenous peoples of Marie-Galante also used this plant in sacred ceremonies for its hallucinogenic properties. In Ethiopia, some students and debtrawoch (lay priests), use D. stramonium to "open the mind" to be more receptive to learning, and creative and imaginative thinking."

It causes memory loss, and incontinence ie 'pigs', just like in the Odyssey Circe story:

"...in the United States, the plant is called "jimsonweed", or more rarely "Jamestown weed"; it got this name from the town of Jamestown, Virginia, where British soldiers consumed it while attempting to suppress Bacon's Rebellion. They spent 11 days in ***altered mental states:"

" The James-Town Weed (which resembles the Thorny Apple of ***Peru, and I take to be the plant so call'd) is supposed to be one of the greatest coolers in the world. This being an early plant, was gather'd very young for a boil'd salad, by some of the soldiers sent thither to quell the rebellion of Bacon (1676); and some of them ate plentifully of it, the effect of which was a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows [grimaces] at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll."

They shat themselves, behaved like pigs, and had to be 'penned' just like the Circe story...

" In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves—though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed, they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after eleven days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed.
— Robert Beverley, Jr., The History and Present State of Virginia, Book II: Of the Natural Product and Conveniencies in Its Unimprov'd State, Before the English Went Thither, 1705

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_stramonium

In the Circe episode, Homer says she wanted them to lose their memory of their native land
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby allynh » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:52 pm

This is a good example of what Fomenko is talking about. How people are still inventing and fabricating the past for political reasons. Do that for a thousand years, and you fill whole libraries with fake history. HA!

Decoding the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert | Aeon Essays
https://aeon.co/essays/decoding-the-anc ... ean-desert
20 February, 2017
In 73 or 74 CE, 960 Jewish zealots – men, women and children – committed suicide on top of the mountain of Masada by the Dead Sea in Israel rather than be captured by the Romans. The story, told by the Roman historian Josephus, is one of the most famous from antiquity. But did it actually happen? Yigael Yadin, the late Israeli archaeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who excavated the site in the mid-1960s, said that it did. Moreover, he also said that the objects found during his dig proved it. His subsequently published book, Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand (1966), was a bestseller.

It was no secret that Yadin’s excavations at sites in Israel, such as at Hazor in the 1950s and at Masada in the 1960s, were in part under­taken in the hope of reinforcing Jewish claims to the land by linking them to biblical stories and other famous events. Some have long charged Yadin with a political agenda detached from the truth – and cast a shadow over his interpretations of the finds at Masada and elsewhere in the Levant. In 1995 and 2002, Nachman Ben-Yehuda, a sociologist also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, published his own interpretation of the finds from Masada in two separate books – The Masada Myth and Sacrificing Truth. He con­cluded that Yadin had been incorrect in many of his interpretations, perhaps deliberately so, in the interest of creating a nationalist narrative to help the young state of Israel forge an identity for itself.

Subsequently, Amnon Ben-Tor, who is now the Yigael Yadin Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and who had excavated with Yadin at Masada, published a spirited defence of Yadin and his findings, titled Back to Masada (2009). In this book, Ben-Tor went through the archaeology again, dismissing each of Ben-Yehuda’s points and basically confirming Yadin’s point of view.

Yet the dispute goes on. The story of Masada is more than just a story of the archae­ological excavations. It is an example of how archaeologists use histori­cal information to supplement what they find during their excavations and to flesh out the bare details provided by the archaeological discov­eries. Yadin made particular use of the writings of Flavius Josephus – the Jewish general turned Roman historian who wrote two books about the Jews in the first century CE and who is the primary source for what might have taken place on top of Masada nearly 2,000 years ago. And Masada shows how the relationship between archaeology and the historical record cuts both ways; since we cannot be certain that Josephus’s discussions are 100 per cent accurate, we can use archaeology to corroborate – or to challenge – the ancient text.

Masada also serves as a cautionary tale about using (or misusing) archaeological evi­dence to support a nationalistic agenda, as some scholars have suggested Yadin did. The debate over Masada involves the trustworthiness of Josephus’s account; the credibility of Yadin, perhaps the most famous of all Israeli archaeolo­gists; and the influence of nationalism on the interpretation of archaeo­logical discoveries. Whom do we believe? How should we view this seemingly tragic, heart-wrenching ancient site and event? And can we ever tap evidence from thousands of years in the past to establish the origins, legal claims and birthright of peoples today?

Masada is a tall mountain with a flat plateau on top, longer than it is wide, rising high above the surrounding dry and arid desert. It has been a tourist attraction ever since Yadin’s excavations in the mid-1960s. Hun­dreds of tourists per day now roam around the ruins on top of the mountain – half a million visit every year. It is the second most popular tourist site in Israel, after Jerusalem, and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

It lies at the southern end of the Dead Sea, far to the south of Qum­ran and most of the caves in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The top is accessible on foot only via a narrow winding track known as the Snake Path, which leads 400 metres (1,300 feet) up the front face of the massif and the Roman siege ramp still in place on the western side. It gets so hot here that rules have been put in place instructing tourists that they may begin the climb only if it is before 9:30 in the morning. After that, there’s too much chance of getting dehy­drated during the ascent. Those who begin climbing before dawn are rewarded by one of the most spectacular sunrises they will ever see, but most tourists opt to ride up in the cable cars that have been installed, gliding above the Snake Path and waving to those below.

The work that Yadin conducted at Masada over two excavation sea­sons – from October 1963 to May 1964, and again from November 1964 to April 1965 – was a milestone for archaeology in several ways. For example, Yadin was the first to use international volunteers to help dig the site. He recruited participants by placing ads in newspapers, both in Israel and in England, and wound up with volunteers from 28 countries.

The sheer numbers that took part is also amazing – Yadin claimed to have had no fewer than 300 volunteers digging at Masada at any given moment during his excavations. Those included volunteers from the Israel Defense Forces, high-school students and kibbutz members, in addition to the international participants.

The logistics of running the dig were staggering. Archaeologists active today, who were graduate students at the time, talk about helicopters flying tools and equipment up to the top of the mound, though the more usual route was to carry everything up the western side of the mound via the Roman siege ramp. Expedition members lived in tents pitched at the foot of this same Roman ramp.

The excavation itself has become the stuff of legend. Yadin said that when they first began planning the excavation, they couldn’t see any structures with a recognisable plan on top of Masada. The entire area, he said, seemed to be covered with ‘mounds of stone and rubble’. In actuality, many of the buildings could be seen quite plainly, once the team took aerial photographs so that they knew where to dig.

By the time they finished the excavations, they had discovered that Masada was an elaborate palatial settlement, originally built by King Herod after his successful journey to Rome in 40 BCE, in case he ever had to flee Jerusalem and seek refuge elsewhere. It was later taken over and occupied by the Sicarii, or Dagger Men, rebels fighting Rome in the aftermath of the First Jewish Revolt more than seven decades later.

they found numerous small items: hundreds of coins, pieces of pottery with inscriptions on them, and small pieces of jewellery

Masada actually boasted two palaces. One was at the northern end of the rock plateau. It had three levels embedded in the side of the cliff and was placed to grab summer breezes in the intense heat of the Judaean desert. The other palace was on Masada’s western side. In addition to the two palaces, Yadin’s team found rooms and buildings that served as tanneries, workshops and even a synagogue. They also found numer­ous storage areas to hold food and other provisions, some of which had jars that still contained charred grain and cisterns for holding rainwater, for there was no fresh water to be had in the arid desert region that surrounded Masada.

Some of the walls were covered in plaster painted with images in deep blues, brilliant reds, yellow and black, of which only fragments now remain. A few of the floors were inlaid with mosaics featuring elaborate designs like those found more commonly in Greece or Rome. Presumably artisans hired by Herod the Great created these, perhaps to emulate what he had seen in Rome.

Yadin reconstructed some of the original buildings from fallen stones. The best example of this at Masada was the large complex of storerooms that were in the northeastern part of the site. Here, just the lower portions of the walls were left, but the stones from higher up in the walls were all lying right where they had fallen. Yadin and his team used every available stone to rebuild the walls, which turned out to be 11 feet high. In order to show what they had done, they painted a black line to separate the lower part that they had exca­vated from the upper part that they had reconstructed.

Yadin said they put ‘every grain of earth … through a special sieve’. Nearly 50,000 cubic yards of dirt was sifted – the first time that every single bucket of dirt had been sifted at an excavation in Israel. As a result, they found numerous small items that would probably have been missed oth­erwise, including hundreds of coins, pieces of pottery with inscriptions on them, and small pieces of jewellery such as rings and beads. The coins allowed Yadin to date very precisely the remains that they were uncovering – particularly the coins that had been made just a few years earlier, during the First Jewish Revolt.

The first Jewish rebellion began in 66 CE, when the Jews in what is now Israel rose up against the Romans who were occupying their land. The revolt lasted until 70 CE, at which point the Romans captured Jerusalem and burnt most of it to the ground, including the Temple that had been built there by Herod the Great to replace the original one constructed by King Solomon, which had been destroyed by the Neo-Babylonians centuries earlier. It is said that both the First and Second Temples – that is, those built by Solomon and Herod, respec­tively – were destroyed on the same day of the year, which is today a Jewish day of mourning known as Tisha B’Av.

When the rebellion ended, a group of rebels managed to escape the destruction of Jerusalem and settled at Masada. Led by a man named Eleazar ben Ya’ir, these were the Sicarii. They took over the fortified buildings and palaces that Herod had originally built on top of Masada as a place of last refuge.

In his account of what happened, though, Josephus got some of the details wrong, and so we suspect that perhaps he wasn’t ever there him­self, but was using someone else’s notes. For instance, he says that Herod ‘built a palace … at the western ascent … but inclined to its north side.’ In actuality, as noted, the archaeologists found two palaces, not one – at the west and at the north – on top of Masada.

Some of the other details that Josephus gives, though, are quite correct – for instance, he describes the baths that were built there, the fact that the floors in some of the buildings ‘were paved with stones of several colours’, and that many pits were cut into the living rock to serve as cisterns. Josephus must be referring to the sort of mosaics that Yadin found still partially intact on some of the floors. As to the cisterns that he mentions, some of them dug into the rock on top of Masada were simply enormous. Yadin estimated that they each had a capacity of up to 140,000 cubic feet of water; added together, they could hold almost 1.4 million cubic feet or more than 10 million gallons of water.

The Romans sur­rounded Masada with a wall that went the entire way around the moun­tain on the desert floor, so that no one could escape

In the end, the rebel group held out for three years, raiding the sur­rounding countryside for food, until the Romans decided to put an end to them and the final remnants of the rebellion.

Josephus wrote that the Romans, led by General Flavius Silva, sur­rounded Masada with a wall that went the entire way around the moun­tain on the desert floor, with separate garrisons or fortresses built at spaced intervals along the wall, so that no one could escape. Today, eight of Flavius’s fortresses can still be seen from the top of Masada when looking down at the surrounding countryside.

Next, the Romans began constructing a long ramp built of earth and stones, making use of a natural ridge that reached from the desert floor to within ‘300 cubits’ of the top of Masada. Once the ramp was constructed, siege engines, like a battering ram and catapults that flung large stones and ballistae that shot huge arrows, could be wheeled upon its length and used against the walls of Masada. Josephus noted:

There was … a tower made of the height of 60 cubits, and all over plated with iron, out of which the Romans threw darts and stones from the engines, and soon made those that fought from the walls of the place to retire, and would not let them lift up their heads above the works.

Today, full-size replicas of some of these siege engines can be seen at the site, left there after ABC filmed a miniseries about Masada that aired in 1981. Yadin and the other archaeologists uncovered other objects during their excavations in the 1960s that can also still be seen at the site, including what look like catapult balls that were flung up by the Romans, and possibly slingstones that were thrown back down by the Jewish defenders.

After the Roman siege engines were set up, the real siege began. Jose­phus wrote that General Silva ordered the battering ram to be dragged up the ramp and set against the wall. Several men grabbed the rope that was tied to the great piece of pointed wood that formed the battering ram and pulled it back, back, back. When they let go, the ram smashed against the fortification wall with a huge crash. It wasn’t going to be long before they had breached the wall.

The Jewish defenders, however, had created their own wall just inside, which was made of wood and earth, so that it would be soft and yielding, as Josephus wrote. He said that they laid down great beams of wood lengthwise right next to the inside of the wall, then did the same about 10 feet or so away, so that they had two large stacks of wooden beams. In between the two stacks, they poured earth, so that in the end, they had an extremely thick wall with wood on both sides and an earthen core. This second wall, set up against the stone fortification wall, helped to absorb the blows of the battering ram, spreading the impact. Thus, it took the Romans far longer than they expected to knock a hole in the wall. And even when they did punch a hole in the outer wall, they were still faced with this thick wood-and-earth wall.

‘It is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom, which has not been the case of others, who were conquered unexpectedly’

In the end, they simply set fire to it, Josephus wrote, and then made preparations to enter the city. By the time the flames had died down, night had fallen, and Josephus said that the Romans returned to their camps for the night and prepared to overrun the defenders the next morning.

This brief respite from the Roman attack provided the Jewish defenders the time and opportunity to decide to kill themselves rather than be killed or taken prisoner and enslaved by the Romans. Josephus wrote that Eleazar asked each family man to kill his own wife and children, declaring: ‘[I]t is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom, which has not been the case of others, who were conquered unexpectedly.’

The men then drew lots, choosing 10 of their number to kill all the others. The 10 then drew lots and selected one to kill the other nine. He then killed himself, thereby becoming the only person to commit suicide, technically speaking, which is against Jewish law. In effect, though, it was a mass suicide and when the Romans entered the next morning, they were greeted by a vast silence. Only when two women and five children emerged from their hiding place in a cistern did the Romans learn the truth of what had happened, for the women told them of Eleazar’s speech, repeating it word for word. According to Jose­phus, 960 people died that night.

The dramatic story has reverberated through the ages until the present day. In fact, after Yadin’s excavations at the site, the Israeli army used to hold its induction ceremonies for new recruits up on top of Masada, making them swear at a dramatic nighttime ritual in front of a blazing bonfire that ‘never again; never again’ would they allow such a thing to happen.

Problems with Josephus’s story remain, not least of which is the fact that, if the two women and five children really had been hiding in the cistern, there is no way that they would have been able to hear Eleazar’s speech, and hear it so clearly that they were able to repeat it and Josephus could quote it word for word.

The Romans poured in and massacred the Jewish defenders. It was not a mass suicide, but a mass slaughter

A larger problem is the fact that, if the Romans had punched a hole in the wall even as night was falling, they would never have returned to their camps for the evening. Roman military tactics at the time called for them to press the advantage whenever and wherever they had it, regardless of the time of day or night. Thus, they would have gone straight through the breached and burning wall, leaving no time for a discussion of the plan and a vote on it, for Eleazar to make his speech, for successive lots to be drawn, no time for the husbands to kill their wives and families, no time for the 10 men to kill the others, and no time for the last man to kill the other nine. In short, it couldn’t have happened as Josephus has described it.

More likely what happened was exactly what we might have expected. When the Romans breached the wall, they poured in and massacred the Jewish defenders. It was not a mass suicide, but a mass slaughter. Josephus, writing later back in Rome and using notes and daybooks from the commanding officers who were present, was probably asked to whitewash the whole thing. In fact, Josephus took the story that he tells about the men killing their families, 10 men killing the others, and then one man killing the rest, from his own experience.

Several years earlier, in 67 CE, during the initial rebellion against Rome, Josephus had been a Jewish general fighting the Romans at a site called Jotapata. They managed to hold off the Romans for 47 days, but then he and 40 others took refuge in a cave, where they decided to commit suicide, with each man killing another, rather than surrender. In the end, only Josephus was left alive with one other man, whom he persuaded to surrender with him. The story Josephus told of what happened at Masada seems to be the story of what hap­pened to him at Jotapata.

It was with some of these Josephus-related problems in mind, including the story of the women and children hiding in the cistern while the rest of the people committed suicide, that Yadin decided to go to Masada. His excavation was solid, but his interpretation remains a matter of great debate. For instance, among the objects that Yadin found were belt buckles, door keys, arrowheads, spoons, rings and other items made of iron, in addi­tion to much pottery and numerous coins. He interpreted these as belonging to the Jewish defenders of Masada, as indeed they might have, but some could have belonged to the Roman besiegers or even to later inhabitants or squatters at the site.

He also found fragments of scrolls, including scraps from the Book of Psalms, one containing portions of Psalms 81 to 85 and another from the last chapter in the book, Psalm 150, which reads ‘Praise ye the Lord … Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.’ Other very import­ant but fragmentary nonbiblical texts were also in place, including a fragment from a scroll whose lines of text are identical to one found in the Dead Sea caves at Qumran, which led Yadin, and many other schol­ars since then, to wonder whether there was any connection between the defenders of Masada and the inhabitants of Qumran.

‘Even the veterans and the more cynical among us stood frozen, gazing in awe at what had been uncovered’

Perhaps most important, Yadin also found bodies at the site, though fewer than 30 in all (and certainly not anywhere near the 960 that Josephus reported), some with hair still intact and leather sandals nearby. It is these that have generated the most debate in recent years. Twenty-five of them were in a cave near the top of the southern cliff face; they were given a state funeral in 1969, though over Yadin’s objec­tions, since he said they couldn’t be sure whether they were the Jewish defenders of Masada, the Roman attackers or some other group of peo­ple, perhaps from a different period altogether.

Three other bodies were found near a small bathhouse on the lower terrace of the northern palace. Professor Ben-Tor, the current director of the excavations at Hazor, says that he was the one who excavated these three skeletons and that it was the most thrilling day in his professional life. In his book, Yadin made the most of these three bodies, stating that when they first came across the remains: ‘Even the veterans and the more cynical among us stood frozen, gazing in awe at what had been uncovered.’

One of the bodies, Yadin said, was ‘that of a man of about 20 – perhaps one of the commanders of Masada’. Next to him were armour scales, dozens of arrows, an inscribed potsherd, and fragments of a prayer shawl. Nearby, on a plaster floor stained with what looked like blood, was the skeleton of a young woman. Her hair was still preserved, ‘beautifully plaited … as if it had been just been freshly coiffured’. Her sandals also were preserved, next to her body. The third body, Yadin said, ‘was that of a child’.

Yadin believed that they formed a family group who died in close proximity to each other. This has been the focus of much debate over the years, as have the pottery sherds with names written on them in ink that he found, including one that says ‘ben Ya’ir’. To Yadin, these bod­ies and the sherds confirmed Josephus’s story and the existence of Elea­zar ben Ya’ir.

Unfortunately for Yadin, more recent forensic analysis indicates that the members of the so-called family group were only a few years apart in age and couldn’t possibly have been a ‘family’. The man was more likely about 22 years old, the woman was 18, and the child was a boy about 11 years old.

There are other problems as well, including the fact that there were 11 inscribed sherds found instead of 10; pig bones, indicating that non-Jews resided there, were mixed in with some of the burials; and so on. These were duly listed in the books written by Ben-Yehuda and then dismissed in turn by Ben-Tor.

Regardless of whether one follows Ben-Yehuda or Ben-Tor in reviling or revering Yadin, Ben-Tor’s concluding remarks in his book in defence of Yadin still ring true. As he said: ‘Placing Masada on the scientific agenda … on the one hand, and in the public consciousness as a tourist site on the other, are both the proper expression and a true monument to the two aspects of Yadin’s personality: the scholar and the public figure.’

Overall, Yadin’s excavations at Masada served as a milestone for archaeology in Israel, especially for use of multinational volunteers and numerous other aspects of the logistics of the operation. They remain significant today for tourism, of course, but also because they are at the heart of recent discussions on the nature of interpretations made by archaeologists, especially those who might or might not have a national­ist agenda beyond a simple reading of the data that they have uncovered.

The link between archaeology and nationalism is not unique to Yadin or Israel; a recent edited book on nationalism and archaeology in Europe points out that it was actually the appearance of nationalism in Germany, Italy, Denmark, and elsewhere that created and institutionalised archaeology as a science, complete with museums in which to store the retrieved artefacts, academic societies for the professionals, journals in which to publish the results of excavations, and university professorships to help teach students about their own recovered history. While there is a concerted effort among archaeologists today to avoid being unduly influenced by nationalism or other similar sentiments, that may not always be possible.

Excerpted from ‘Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology’ by Eric H Cline. © 2017 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission.
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:31 pm

Allyn,
This is not what Fomenko was talking about. Fomenko is saying there was a pre-meditated, comprehensive and global re-writing of history - history as both the past and the discipline (along with all the associated disciplines such as archaeology, numismatics etc).
What Yadin did was to put a bit of 'spin' on an otherwise minor incident in history. The revolt and ensuing siege still took place when and where everyone thought it did pre-Yadin and where and when it did post-Yadin.
All scholarly disciplines are ongoing dialogues. Scholars constantly agree and disagree about virtually every subject. They always have and probably always will - it is part and parcel of human nature. That a scholar or group of scholars may go too far in their interpretation of a given body of evidence is well known and well documented. Note that Yadin's book was published in 1966 and Kline's in 2017 - 50 years later - new eyes + new evidence = new take on the subject.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby allynh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:26 pm

Look at the pdf of Book One, first edition, Chapter 7, part 5.4, page 469, or the second edition on Google Books, page 427. This is a similar example to the Masada article.
page 427 5.4.jpg
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:42 pm

Allyn,
Sorry but I don't see how this is anything like the Massada article.
Fomenko is just making assertions without any credible sources or facts.
The Turks are not being blamed for all (or even most?) of the destruction of Greek buildings etc. Earthquakes and the ravages of time are major culprits.
His photos clearly show the damage from shot and shell. (And I've seen those photos elsewhere in better quality).
He puts [?] after a quote from a British writer saying that the Turks smashed some of the Greek marbles to use as ammunition. It was not unheard of even at that time to use stone cannonballs.
The reason the Ottoman tower and the temple of Nike use the same stone is that it has been recycled, i.e. the Turks used the bricks that were there rather than transport thousands of bricks from elsewhere.
The tower is not Doric and the Greeks would not have put a rectangular tower next to the Parthenon for aesthetic reasons. Would Christians or Muslims construct and edifice covered in pagan idols? (I couldn't figure out from Fomeko who was supposed to have built it).
One could also argue that Islamic architecture favours arches rather than columns and lintels. (The former are stronger and allow a greater span and thus a larger open area).
The original Parthenon was destroyed by the Persians when they captured Athens. This is well documented in ancient texts (or are they all forged too?) and has been found by archaelogists.
The story of the rebuilding of the Parthenon is also well documented in the ancient texts. What it cost; where the money came from; how long it took to build; who the architects/craftsmen were; etc. Is that all forged too?

The only common denominator between Fomenko and Yadin is nationalism.
Russia qua Russia has no history prior to the mediaeval period. Western Europe, S. Europe, the ME, Iran, India and round to China all have history going back thousands of years. Fomenko cannot produce a Russian ancient history out of a hat so he tries to bring everyone else to the same starting position as Russia.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby sketch1946 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:20 pm

Josephus was not free to say anything he liked, but was a Jewish nationalist descended from the Jewish High-priestly Theocratic line, living and writing under Roman 'protection', the Romans had crushed a major revolt in his home country.

"Critics of Josephus regard him as an untrustworthy propagandist for the Flavian dynasty, as evidenced by his treatment of Titus' actions at the siege of Jerusalem. His descriptions of Titus saving an entire legion by single-handedly fighting back crowds of armed Judeans are laughable. But modern readings of Josephus treat these embarrassing passages with more sympathy. Josephus did not have freedom of speech: he was living under a dictatorship, and over the past century we have had ample understanding of what that does to a writer."

"The Temple was destroyed despite Titus' order that it be preserved, and despite his attempts to put out the fire once it started. So writes Josephus, and so this is how Titus wished to be seen. But a later historian, Sulpicius Severus (apparently based on Tacitus' lost history) says the opposite -- that Titus ordered the destruction."

This is no big deal to a student of history, it's not hard to see that there were contradictory causes and/or motives given for events by interested parties.. but the essential events are still confirmed... like the destruction of the Jewish temple, and the massacre/suicide at Masada... today the graphic evidence at Masada is that Josephus was substantially accurate, to a standard probably seldom seen in modern war reporting.
masada1.jpg

fortress-masada-travel-50k.jpg

The criticism that the Romans would not have suspended their attack at nightfall is seen to be a sensible decision, the defenders had no-where to to go, the top of that mountain fortress is quite large, with many buildings and presumably had half a thousand desperate men still to overcome in building to building fighting... the text of Josephus describes how five women came out from hiding, two adults and five children, so the exact sequence of decisions made by the involved parties is probably always going to be open to speculation, maybe the women didn't want to commit suicide, maybe the Romans slaughtered all the others and then made up the suicide story to justify their actions, the fact of the seige, the dates quoted by Josephus, the location of Masada, the visible remains of the Roman seige-ramp and stone walled military camp, and the other events of the 'Jewish War' show that Josephus is largely reliable, but not 100%.

When pig bones are found, were the pork-eaters Jewish?
I would guess it depends how hungry they were... maybe the bones were from the conqering Romans having a victory meal after their hard work...
who knows?

It's not a big deal to a real historian without an axe to grind...

Josephus in his writings sometimes gives exact dates:
"Where Josephus explicitly give dates of the Hebrew calendar (or the Macedonian equivalent), they are cited here; [Dec 69 AD to May 1st, 70 AD]"
(then follows a table of events that happened between those dates....)

http://www.josephus.org/FlJosephus2/war ... 7Fall.html
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby allynh » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:38 am

Look at the pdf of Book One, first edition, Chapter 7, part 5.0, page 457, or the second edition on Google Books, page 415. This goes into more detail about the origin of the Parthenon as the Temple of Mary. That may help clarify what you read in part 5.4.
5.0.jpg
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Re: Anatoly Fomenko: False Chonology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:46 am

Allyn,
More rubbish.
You once again fail to address any of my objections, presumably because you cannot, and instead produce another piece of Fomenko's insanity.

The Gregorovius book cited by Fomenko dates back to 1889! Gregorovius was a historian of Mediaeval Rome. This is typical Fomenko. Where does he take on modern scholarship; where are his references to primary sources? Trawl through his bibliography and produce for me a list of his primary sources. And while you are at it, look at the published dates for his secondary and tertiary sources.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Gregorovius Hardly a producer of a 'fundamental work' as Fomenko calls it.

His twaddle about the Parthenon and Athene is full of shit it is difficult to know where to start.
If Athene is just another name for the Virgin Mary then why do the early church fathers, e.g. the heresiologists, attack her and the other pagan dieties? Why, as I asked in my previous post, would Christians decorate 'their' temple with pagan dieties and scenes from 'ancient' pagan history? Why are the exterior and interior of the Parthenon not laid out like virtually every other Christian church?
Athenaia is a female Athenian. Parthenos is Greek for virgin or maid.

The decline of Athens is well documented - the Peloponessian War, the Macedonian conquest, the Roman conquest, the Muslim conquest.

I await your response to my points.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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