Revising Ancient Chronology

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: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by venn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:09 am

Lloyd wrote: * I think I also read that Heinsohn supports Fomenko's theories, that Jesus lived about a thousand years later than claimed and that includes the Roman Empire too and everything connected to it. Now that really sounds absurd and I've read that it's unfounded.
Fomenko is totally focused on documents, whereas Heinsohn focuses on stratigraphy and archaeological evidence. Fomenkos work in general is contradicted heavily by archaeological evidence and Heinsohn rejects it because of that. But that does not exclude that at least some of Fomenkos identifications might be supportable by archaeological evidence and therefore might be worth to look at in single instances.
"If you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality.” - Halton Arp.

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by seasmith » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:25 pm

or put another way, were there global catastrophes after the accepted 3r M bce date for the beginning of historical times?
Nick c,

quick note, maybe just a typo, but sounds as though a ~thousand years of post-diluvial Sumerian written history were just cut off there.
(and maybe the first Nebo, as well)

s

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by seasmith » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:49 am

Ubaid Culture - 5900-3800 BC
A team of archaeologists from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, along with a team of Syrian colleagues, uncovered new clues in 2010 about a prehistoric society that formed the foundation of urban life in the Middle East prior to invention of the wheel. The mound of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years, revealing a society rich in trade, copper metallurgy and pottery production. The Tell Zeidan site is about 48 feet high at its tallest point and covers about 30 acres. It sits in an area of irrigated fields at the junction of the Euphrates and Balikh Rivers in what is now northern Syria. The location was at the crossroads of major, ancient trade routes in Mesopotamia that followed the course of the Euphrates River valley.

Artifacts found there provide more support for the view that Tell Zeidan was among the first societies in the Middle East to develop social classes according to power and wealth. Tell Zeidan dates from between 6000 and 4000 BC, and immediately preceded the world's first urban civilizations in the ancient Middle East. It is one of the largest sites of the Ubaid culture in northern Mesopotamia. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of this society's trade inobsidian and production and development of copper processing, as well as the existence of a social elite that used stone seals to mark ownership of goods and culturally significant items.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... -ubaid.htm

Sumer
One of the most remarkable finds was a stone stamp seal depicting a deer. The seal was about two inches by two-and-a-half inches and was carved from a red stone not native to the area. A similar seal design was found 185 miles to the east near Mosul in northern Iraq. The existence of very elaborate seals with near-identical motifs at such widely distant sites suggests that in this period, high-ranking elites were assuming leadership positions across a very broad region, and those dispersed elites shared a common set of symbols and perhaps even a common ideology of superior social status
.
A Sumerian seal dating from about 5,000 years ago, shows the first pictorial representation of two people shaking hands, Sumerian gold...
http://www.atlastours.net/iraq/baghdad_museums.html
HISTORY OF WRITING
the dating of the earliest cuneiform tablets from Sumeria has been pushed further back, also to around 3200 BC. So any claim to priority by either side [sumer-Egypt] is at present too speculative to carry conviction.

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/Pla ... z1YQ6savPK
Image
Clay Tărtăria tablets, dated to ca. 4500 BCE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tartaria_tablets.png

Image
The Dispilio tablet markings (charagmata) dated around the final Middle Neolithic stage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispilio_tablet

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nick c
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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by nick c » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:32 pm

hi seasmith,
How were those dates, as given in Wikipedia and other mainstream sources, arrived at?
From digging in the ground?
No. Results of excavations are fit into the preconceived (see below) chronological structure. The primary means of arriving at a date for any ancient culture is to pin it to Egypt. For example, Mycenaean sites in Greece are dated to the 14th C BCE because those sites routinely yield Egyptian artifacts from the 18th dynasty; Mycenaean civilization was a trading partner of Egypt.
So what is the problem?
All other evidence is subordinate to this Egyptian date (of the 18th dyn) because Egyptian chronology is not debatable, to do so is to incur the full fledged wrath of all mainstream historians. Well without the pinning of this culture to the 18th dynasty in the 2nd M BCE, Mycenaean civilization would have (through stratigraphy and other means) been placed in the 7th and 8th C BCE. So as a result there is a "Dark Age of Greece" of over 400 years. Nothing like the dark ages of Medieval Europe, in the ancient Greek dark age there was no writing, no building, no wars, no kings, no history....nothing. One would expect that excavators would have noticed that there is no hiatus stratigraphically...Mycenaean culture is directly under Hellenistic Greece with no intervening layers that one would expect if the sites were abandoned for over 400 years! In fact, Mycenaean layers show the beginnings of Greek culture, pottery for example shows a smooth connection to the Helenistic period, and the Mycenaen language known as Linear B would, when deciphered, turn out to be a form of Greek. Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B and it was just as Velikovsky predicted- Greek. Velikovsky, as he often did, just cut the Gordian knot...the 400+ year "dark age" is not real, but the result of a defective Egyptian chronology and then as follows, the chronology of the whole ancient world is wrong.

The Revision of Ancient History
8.1 Velikovsky's Pillars Supporting the Conventional Chronology have Changed.
Velikovsky ended People of the Sea with an observation that the unduly high early conventional dates were supported primarily by three 'Pillars'. These were (i) Sothic dating; (ii) that the Menophres of Theon, as mentioned by Censorinus (139AD), was Ramesses I, and dated c1321 BC. even though he was apparently not mentioned by Manetho; and (iii) the interpretation of Manetho's king lists as a sequential list of rulers.

Revisiting these 'Pillars' today, we note from the Establishment response to Centuries of Darkness and Test of Time that they did not mention Sothic Dating. In SISR4:1 1979 it was reported that Dr James Mellaart, London Institute of Archaeology, said 'the astronomical date of 1872BC for Sesostris III yr7 cannot be upheld any longer, it must somehow be wrong astronomically, or refer to some D13 king'. And Porter (C&CR 13 p28) reported 'the increasing abandonment of the Ebers Papyrus Sothic date in the early D18' in 1991.

At a meeting in 1998 of the Thames Valley Ancient Egyptian Society, a British Museum assistant curator from the Egyptology Department, who came to talk to us, replied to my two questions about Sothic dating as follows:
◦'Does the Ebers Papyrus give a Sothic date?' Answer, 'It definitely has nothing to do with Sothic dating.'
◦'Then why is the Sothic Date from the Ilahun Papyrus for the end of the MK still used?' Answer - with a smile as he left the room at the tea break - 'Because it fits.'

This is a classical example of pure circular reasoning. Since the Establishment has been making it fit for over a hundred years, of course it 'fits'. I think we can conclude that the younger members of the Establishment seem to accept that Sothic Dating has been discredited, but it will take a further generation before it ceases to constrain thinking at the highest and most influential levels.

Most Egyptologists now shy away from what they often call the 'thorny subject' of chronology. However, recent articles suggest that three 'pillars' still remain for the high conventional chronology. Sothic dating has been replaced, in the minds of some, by a new 'pillar', the occasional reference to the corpus of carbon 14 dates. This 'pillar', however, is but an illusion; the inevitable consequence of including in archaeological reports only those carbon 14 results that fit the preconceived conventional dates. From reports in C&CR, this has been blatantly admitted by one or two archaeologists. Were all the analysed results published, C14 dating would be well and truly discredited.

Behind the smokescreens, the truth is now that it is now only the two most important pillars of faith; a) the Manetho inspired Shishak = Shoshenk I equation, and b) faith in a sequential Manetho, that keep the early Egyptian dates artificially high. Thus, as James has pointed out, the Egyptian chronology for the New Kingdom is dependent upon a belief in Solomon and Biblical chronology. Once these pillars are demolished, and after the dust has settled, the fun will really start. The Establishment must then, with or without assistance from revisionists, find a convincing alternative Shishak. Once one is identified and agreed, we can start, with the help of evidence provided by the OT, Courville, Dayton, Heinsohn and others to attack the earlier dates. But that will be another story.
Velikovsky has shown (see the Appendix to Peoples of the Sea ) that the currently accepted chronology is based on three pillars which are no longer accepted by mainstream historians, yet the chronology that followed from these "pillars of history" has remained. It is a a house of cards, a building without a foundation. Dismantling the conventional chronology is one thing, but how does one reconstruct history? Several groups of scholars have made attempts, and no doubt it is a work in progress.

Heinsohn's alternative:
5.5 G Heinsohn and the Evidence of Stratigraphy
Heinsohn has made a very important contribution to the revisionist debate by focussing attention on the evidence of stratigraphy outside Egypt. Dayton had uncovered many examples in museums around the world where near identical ancient artefacts of very similar styles and manufacturing techniques were given dates which varied sometimes by as much as 1000-1500 years. Heinsohn, from an extensive study of archaeological reports from most of the better known sites across Asia Minor, showed how these anachronisms had arisen. At site after site, archaeologists had artificially increased the age of the lower strata by inserting, without supporting evidence, 'occupation gaps' of many centuries. They did this in order to meet the expectations of excessive antiquity among historians, who had used Biblically derived dates for Abraham (c. 2100), initially seen as broadly contemporary with the great Assyrian king Hammurabi. Using this elongated time frame, great empires of the past such as the Sumerians, Akkadians and Old Babylonians were invented by late 19th C and early 20th C scholars to fill the historical voids. The ancient Greek and Roman historians, not surprisingly, knew nothing of these ancient peoples. Sumerian, said Heinsohn, 'is the language of the well known Kassite/Chaldeans, whose literacy deserves its fame'.

He showed that the Bronze Age started in China and Mesoamerica some 1500 years later than in the Near East and proposed this gap be largely closed by lowering the ages of the Mediterranean civilisations. He cited the Indus Valley where the early period civilisations, dated from Mesopotamian seals to c. 2400BC, sit right underneath the Buddhist strata of 7-6C. Seals from Mesopotamia are found in the Indus valley and in Mesopotamia there are seals from the Indus Valley. So the excavators have to say they have an occupation gap of some 1700 years. Thus some sites only about 30km apart have chronologies some 1500 years apart. But in the same strata, supposedly 1500 years apart, they frequently find the same pottery.

C&CR had insufficient space to provide a full forum for Heinsohn's work, but a volume entitled Ghost Empires of the Past was published in C&CR format in 1988, thanks to help from SIS stalwarts Birgit Liesching and Derek Shelley-Pearce. In this, Heinsohn set out many chronological 'problems' and 'riddles', and argued persuasively for equating, among others, the Mittani with the Medes (as did Velikovsky) and the Empire Hittites with the Late Chaldeans.

His excellent paper on the archaeology of Hazor (C&CR 1996:1) revealed some important anachronisms. For example, two cuneiform tablets written in Old-Babylonian Akkadian and two more written in the Akaddian of the Amarna era were found in the upper layers of the site. Heinsohn asks 'How did tablets from the early second millennium end up in a stratum reaching its peak in the period of the Persian Empire (550-330 BC)?'. The tablets were, of course, immediately labelled 'heirlooms' by their finders. But, as Heinsohn pointed out, it seems strange that the later Hazoreans kept tablets for over 1000yr as heirlooms from the MBA or LBA, yet were apparently incapable of producing any texts of their own. Also, a clay jar inscribed in 23C Old-Akkadian was found in the Hyksos layer c17C. Yes, you've guessed - this was explained as yet another boring old 'heirloom'. Heinsohn makes a plea to archaeologists to 'set textbooks aside and allow oneself the liberty of following reason and hard stratigraphical evidence'. The textbook schemes 'separate by enormous time spans what is found in parallel stratigraphical locations, exhibiting very similar material cultures.' Unfortunately for archaeologists, the writers of the textbooks are often the 'Guardians of the Dogma' who control the funding for archaeological research. As a result, an archaeologist brave enough to confront conventional thinking may quickly find himself both professionally discredited and out of a job.

Heinsohn has presented many well-researched papers exposing stratigraphical problems, and suggesting much lower chronologies for Near Eastern civilisations. His stratigraphy and stylistic-based chronologies and, more recently his explanation for the 'lost' Persian layer throughout the Persian Empire have generated much debate and some unanswered controversy among revisionists.
Nick

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by seasmith » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:28 pm

nick c,

With due respect to your own investigations Nick, one must go to the actual resources.
The dates are not from Wiki, only the images, which are very old and are the same images, wether viewed online or viewed in the museums.

( As an aside, i once had the extreme good fortune to wander through the Cairo museum (closed due to war) for about 8 hours, by myself,
back before the delusional Zahi Hawass and his tenured academic enablers purged that great resource of the many amazing Pre-Dynastic artifacts, in order to secure own their personal power and standing as the modern priestly caste.)

Like you, i am not glazed over by the current condescending pronouncements from public-funded ivory towers and ethno-centric propaganda mills. ;)

s

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by Lloyd » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:31 pm

* Nick, regarding Heinsohn's equating the Mittani with the Medes, Ev explained that they are two different peoples in different places at different times. So it seems that Heinsohn and Velikovsky were wrong on that score. I posted his explanation in an earlier post on this thread, I believe.
* I hope to ask Ev soon about what he thinks is wrong with Heinsohn's and others' methods. I also want to ask him about stratigraphy. Ev had told me a year or so ago, as I recall, that some ancient history needs redating, but I don't remember if he said which.

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by nick c » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:08 pm

seasmith,
With due respect to your own investigations Nick, one must go to the actual resources.
The dates are not from Wiki, only the images, which are very old and are the same images, wether viewed online or viewed in the museums.
The dates are mainstream dates, as would be expected from wiki. The question which I touched upon was how the mainstream dates were determined by dubious methods. Looking at the actual artifacts in a museum or in pictures is a worthwhile activity, however, it is all about interpreting what you are seeing. A revisionist is going to have a different description of the objects than the museum guide book.

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by nick c » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Lloyd,
Pillars of the Past, vol. II, Ginenthal , chapter 3 is titled "Medes and Mitanni," it is 125 pages of forensic evidence supporting his (Heinsohn's) claims; Cochrane's criticisms are also addressed.
The format of this forum is not conducive to a debate on the details of Cochrane's criticisms and Ginenthal's rebuttals. Those who have an interest in discussing such specific issues should acquaint themselves with the material. Am I supposed to regurgitate all of that material? I do not have time to type that much!
On a more general note, Heinsohn's theory could be easily falsified.
Let see a demonstration of a column of stratigraphy at a Mesopotamian site where the deepest layer showing the 1st signs of civilization is Sumerian, and then on top of that Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian layers, followed by a Chaldean layer, then Persian etc. Since Heinsohn requires that the 3rd Millenium Sumerians are the same as the 1st Millenium Chaldeans it should be a simple matter to falsify by producing the strata that has both in their appropriate level.

Nick

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by Lloyd » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:14 pm

Nick said: On a more general note, Heinsohn's theory could be easily falsified.
Let see a demonstration of a column of stratigraphy at a Mesopotamian site where the deepest layer showing the 1st signs of civilization is Sumerian, and then on top of that Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian layers, followed by a Chaldean layer, then Persian etc. Since Heinsohn requires that the 3rd Millenium Sumerians are the same as the 1st Millenium Chaldeans it should be a simple matter to falsify by producing the strata that has both in their appropriate level.
* Thanks, Nick. I'll try to ask Ev about that soon. I started an interview thread with him, so, hopefully, we'll eventually get some of these matters somewhat settled. Eh? Does Heinsohn answer emails?

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by tholden » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:41 pm

nick c wrote: On a more general note, Heinsohn's theory could be easily falsified.
Let see a demonstration of a column of stratigraphy at a Mesopotamian site where the deepest layer showing the 1st signs of civilization is Sumerian, and then on top of that Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian layers, followed by a Chaldean layer, then Persian etc. Since Heinsohn requires that the 3rd Millenium Sumerians are the same as the 1st Millenium Chaldeans it should be a simple matter to falsify by producing the strata that has both in their appropriate level.

Nick
I might have mentioned this before, but a number of European archaeologists in fact set out to do just that and thus falsify Heinsohn a number of years back. It didn't go very well for them and I doubt that either they or anybody familiar with the story would want to try a second shot at it.

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The bigger picture

Unread post by The Aten » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:19 am

Stepping back and trying to look at the bigger picture

Why is ancient chronology in such a mess? Why is it so difficult to synchronise one king with another, one culture with another? With the God King Scenario I believe I have a plausible explanation as to why.

Unlike today where we number the years sequentially i.e., 2011, 2012, and so on, and so on, conversely throughout the ancient world years were counted from the divine kings accession to the throne i.e. 'Year one of Ramesses the Great,' Year two of Ramesses the Great' etc. This, understandably has caused no end of problems for historians. I suggest this is an unnatural way of counting the years, but not in the context of the God King Scenario (GKS).

As proposed, the god kings of ALL ancient cultures were first and foremost names (guises) given to planetary bodies. They were in the second instant represented here on earth numerous times over (as they appeared to move back and forth) by people who believed they were 'at one' or the earthly manifestation of astral bodies. A 'soul' (Egyptian Ka), astral double they would join with after death to ultimately attain (if they'd led a good life) a life of eternity in the firmament above (as stars, catasterism). Pretty much the same belief as some of today's major religions (joining with one's soul that is).

Egyptologists are fully aware of this duel existence but unfortunately instead of giving the 'ka' (double) real physical presence above, it is demoted to yet just another weird belief/practice.

"It was, perhaps, not so much the man who was identified with Horus himself, but rather the ka (soul, double) of the pharaoh, which, created as the body's twin, was an expression of the life force, rather than just an aspect of his person." http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/adm ... haraoh.htm

The god king planets were by their very location intermediaries between heaven and earth, the mortal and the divine. Everything went through the king - without the king it was believed the whole world would fall into chaos.

This is why sequential time was centred around the divine kings of ancient times. The sun god dictated the length of year, however, it was the god kings (as 'offspring of Re') who, in an act of veneration (they dominated the heavens for god's sake!) were 'naturally' honoured with the annual sequential numbering.

The above has to be mentioned because it is one of the fundamental problems as to why ancient chronology is in such a mess. Different cultures ascribed not only different names to the same body but different viewpoints would give them varying reigning lengths. Some bodies were seen to co-rule, others saw a conflict. Some would see a natural death (moving away) others a murder or assassination. Some bodes appeared larger and thus deemed king whereas other cultures deemed the largest body to them god king, the permutations are really endless.

It does stop there, the god kings were accompanied by numerous satellites, moons and incalculable amounts of trailing debris, these were the king's viziers, priests, wives, concubines and of the upmost importance, the kings army. Again, in an as above so below, different cultures many times associated themselves with the same 'royal court' and 'armies' of above.

If I am correct, what may we expect to find? Revisionists proposing certain kings from different cultures were one and the same, and in some cases perhaps whole cultures were one and the same? But this is exactly what we find. Below is just a collection of notes (some taken from above posts) to give a rough idea as to what I mean.

Sargon II and Sennacherib: One and the Same King
http://sargonsennacherib-amaic.blogspot.com/
http://www.specialtyinterests.net/sargon.html

Pharaoh Thutmose III as the Biblical Shishak King of Egypt
http://shishak-amaic.blogspot.com/

Velikovsky 'Ages in Chaos.'
Identifies the Hyksos with the biblical Amalekites
The Hittite kings are held to be ghost doubles of the Neo-Babylonian kings
the Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut (Gg Venus) with the Biblical Queen of Sheba, the land of Punt with Solomon's kingdom
He claimed that the story of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaton was the origin of the Greek legend of Oedipus, and that Amenophis III was Laius, and Tutankhamun was Eteocles.
Nectanebo I is a ghost double of Rameses III.
In Ramses II and His Time, Velikovsky identified each of the major 19th dynasty pharaohs with a corresponding pharaoh of the 26th dynasty. Thus, Ramses I becomes Necho I, Seti I becomes Psamtik I, Ramses II is Necho II, and Merneptah is Apries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_in_Chaos

Velikovsky wrote that the battle of Carchemish is recorded in a Babylonian Chronicle and also in the book of Jeremiah, but in Egyptian sources it is recorded as the battle of Kadesh.

Gg; The battle of Kadesh remains unverified, even the location has yet to be found (wars in the heavens).

"Heinsohn ... argued persuasively for equating, among others, the Mittani with the Medes (as did Velikovsky) and the Empire Hittites with the Late Chaldeans."

"Among other sensational claims advanced by Heinsohn are that Sargon I of Akkad is to be identified with Sargon II of Assyria; that Hammurabi is to be identified with Darius; and that the Mitanni and Median empires are one and the same. .."

Heinsohn proposes Mesopotamian history began at the start of the first millennium BC and the Sumerian and Akkadian civilisation, the contemporaries of the Old Kingdom pharaohs, were actually alter egos of the Chaldeans and Assyrians.

Thutmose I is the alter ego of king David
http://www.specialtyinterests.net/thutmose1.html

Old-Akkadians*** of Naram Sin Assyria of Ninos/Nimrod and Sharkalisharri = and Sardanapalus/Sharakos
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/History/m ... ssyria.htm

Heinsohn's work involves many alter-ego identifications. Dismissed by most because they show different reign lengths. GG: As proposed above different viewpoints would give variable reign lengths for the same kingly bodies.

"Consider, for example, Heinsohn’s arguments with respect to the alter egos of Cyrus and Astyages [claiming Astyages was Cyrus]. "

Was Darius and Artaxerxes are one and the same king?
http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j22_ ... _46-52.pdf

D. Rohl suggests the Habiru are the Israelites.

Barry Curnock sees Ramesses II and the Pharaoh Necho of the old Testament as one and the same.

Emmet Sweeney also proposes many alter egos. I've listed a few below.

Cyrus = Tiglath Pileser III
Cambyses = Shalmanlser V
Darius I = Sargon II
Xerxes = Semmachenib
Artaxerxes I = Esarhaddon
Artaxerxes III = Nebuchadrezzar

Sweeney also has the Persian empire of the Achaemenids, as identical to the Babylonian Empire and part of the Assyrian empire.

GG: On the above, in a roundabout way we are on the right track, however, as I have been shouting for a number of years now, ancient history is upside down, we need to invert it, place it in the heavens above, it then becomes possible to understand why ancient chronology (and thus ancient history) is in such a mess.

Time permitting, I'll keep shouting.

Gg: http://gks.uk.com/

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by gwtw382 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:28 am

Good question Aten.

It may be in part due to money. In order to get funding, a plan...an idea....needs to be hashed. One must have a 'valid' argument to testify to in order to first get financial backing to carry out an expedition. Then at times, they must have a different angle by which they can appraoch those-with-the-money. Even though a prior expedition may have done the same thing, the ones seeking financial backing will have to put a twist on the idea to show that theirs is different from prior archelogical expeditions that others have already carried out. Then of course to show that the money was 'well spent'...they have to come back with 'results'....results which at times just happen to 'miraculously' jive with their original ideas they used to get the financial backing in the first place.

I believe mush gets lost in this type of posturing and then so much gets so inner-mingled that it becomes one big cluster-.......

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by gwtw382 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:41 am

In reagards to my above-post:

Take for example the Western Hemisphere and how many theories there are on 'who discovered' it. We have those who say the Chinese did, those who say Polynesians island-hopped over the Pacific, those who promote the land bridge, those that promote the Phoenecians sailed here to the Westrn Hemisphere...or the Vikings...or the Knights Templar, etc, etc.

Each one has to get funding in order to carry out their theories, and of course they better come back with some kinds of results or else. And in this 'results-process', they then get lost into forcing evidence to fit into an equation.

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by venn » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:10 am

Lloyd wrote:
Nick said: On a more general note, Heinsohn's theory could be easily falsified.
Let see a demonstration of a column of stratigraphy at a Mesopotamian site where the deepest layer showing the 1st signs of civilization is Sumerian, and then on top of that Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian layers, followed by a Chaldean layer, then Persian etc. Since Heinsohn requires that the 3rd Millenium Sumerians are the same as the 1st Millenium Chaldeans it should be a simple matter to falsify by producing the strata that has both in their appropriate level.
* Thanks, Nick. I'll try to ask Ev about that soon. I started an interview thread with him, so, hopefully, we'll eventually get some of these matters somewhat settled. Eh? Does Heinsohn answer emails?
The main point with Heinsohns theories is, that the stratigraphy and the archaeological finds more or less force or at least suggest the identifications he gives. And yes, usually he does answer emails.
"If you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality.” - Halton Arp.

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Re: Revising Ancient Chronology

Unread post by Lloyd » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:56 pm

Heinsohn Is Refuted
* Here are some highlights from Ev's article at http://www.maverickscience.com/gunnar.pdf. Text in blue are my paraphrasings and underlining is mine.
The argument from stratigraphy
... According to Heinsohn, there are really only four distinct strata recognizable in the ground between the Stone Age and Hellenistic times [i.e.: 1. Early Assyrian; 2. Assyrian; 3. Median; 4. Persian].
[He apparently thinks Sumerian, Akkadian, Early Babylonian, Babylonian, Kassite, Syro-Hittite and Chaldean (also called Neo-Babylonian) are not associated with separate strata.]

... Heinsohn claims that, at Mari and a handful of other sites, the strata associated with the “Old Babylonian” period are found directly beneath the Greek levels [making early Babylonian equivalent to Persian. And he thinks Babylonian king Hammurabi was Persian king Darius].
... At most, one would be forced to entertain the conclusion that the Old Babylonian period needs to be downdated to some extent, a scenario that I, for one, would welcome. Before one could entertain that hypothesis, however, it would first be necessary [to] show that the presence of Old Babylonian strata [immediately] beneath the Hellenistic is not a result of pure chance, such as the abandonment of a particular site for two thousand years before reoccupation under the Greeks (this appears to have been the general situation which prevailed at Mari, for example).
- One would also have to rule out the possibility of intentional destruction of intermediate levels. How many ancient kings boast of razing a particular city to the very foundations before constructing their own city?
- Note further that it is not the occasional presence of Old Babylonian remains beneath Hellenistic strata that would prove Heinsohn’s case; rather it would be necessary for such a relationship to consistently prevail at different stratigraphical sites. If Persian strata were to be found immediately beneath the Hellenistic strata accompanied by the presence of Old Babylonian or other intermediate strata below the Persian [as is typically the case,] then Heinsohn’s thesis would be disproved immediately.
- As an example, let’s examine the stratigraphy at Mari.... [It has] arguably the most extensive collection of Old Babylonian remains in the entire ancient Near East. According to his royal inscriptions, … Hammurabi first attacked the famed city in his 32nd year, returning two years later, whereupon he proceeded to thoroughly loot the city’s many treasures and burn the palace to the ground. Here’s how one archaeologist summarized the situation prevailing at this rich site: “The destruction of 1760 BCE, put an end to Mari as the capital of a realm playing a major role in the interchange of the cities of the ancient Near East. However, the traces of later structures attest that the city did not disappear overnight. People continued to live in the ruins of the city Hammurabi devastated. The remains of that epoch, the Khana period (seventeenth-sixteenth centuries BCE), are generally rather poor;…The Middle Assyrian period (thirteenth-twelfth centuries BCE) is represented by a modest structure located on the tell’s northwest promontory and chiefly by a cemet[e]ry installed in the ruins of the Royal Palace, which demonstrates a certain affluence of the population. …56
- In Heinsohn’s scheme, however, … the Middle Assyrian period is identified with the early Achaemenid [Persian] period.57 [But] it is quite impossible for the Middle Assyrian strata (which Heinsohn would associate with the reigns of Cyrus the Great and Cambyses) to follow the Old Babylonian strata (which Heinsohn would associate with Darius/Hammurabi), as at Mari.
- Heinsohn [often wrongly refers to] the relative paucity of Persian strata throughout the ancient Near East. … Here’s how one scholar summarized the relative scarcity of architectural remains from this period in ancient Palestine: “Three characteristic features of Persian-period strata have contributed to the archaeological picture and the disappointing results from the excavations at the large mounds: (1) after the Persian period, numerous mounds were abandoned and never resettled (e.g., Megiddo, Tell el-Hesi, and Jericho, among others), and because the stratum from this period was the topmost on the site, it was exposed to the dangers of denudation; (2) at those sites where settlement continued (at Samaria, Shechem, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ramat Rehel, for example), the Persian-period level of occupation was severely damaged by intensive building activities in the Hellenistic-Roman period; and (3) at most of the large sites excavated (such as Hazor, Megiddo, Tell Jemmeh, Tel Sera‘, Lachish, and Tell el-Far‘ah [South]), the mound was largely occupied by a palace-fort or other large building.”58
- Heinsohn has written as follows of the Persian remains: “Mainstream’s shock over the archaeological absence of the imperial dimensions of the Persians is softened only by local finds in Persia proper.”59 Yet this statement is quite false. While relatively rare, perhaps, Persian remains are hardly confined to Persia proper. Far from it. In addition to the spectacular Persian cities unearthed at Persepolis, Pasargadae, and Susa [now in Iran], Persian remains are definitely attested throughout Palestine. Here’s how one scholar summarized the situation with respect to the Persian strata in the Sinai region:
“The conquest of Egypt by the Persian Empire heralded the establishment of a well organized road system along the coast of northern Sinai, which included the building of forts, way stations, and landing facilities…The North Sinai Expedition recorded 235 settlement sites from the Persian period…The expedition’s distribution map indicates large concentrations in northwestern Sinai…Impressive remains from the Persian period were explored at the coastal site of Tell Ruqeish…Exploration at the large site of Tell el- Her revealed, beneath the rich settlement strata of the Roman and Hellenistic periods, extensive occupational debris from the Persian period.”60
- Note: The Persian strata are found right where we would expect them—immediately beneath the Hellenistic remains.
- It is significant that, in his short list of Babylonian cities which have Old Babylonian strata found immediately beneath Hellenistic strata, Heinsohn neglects to include Babylon itself. Whelton, however, is not so cautious: “In Babylon, directly beneath the Greeks are found ‘Old Babylonians’ who are said to have ruled in the -2nd millennium, but whose archaeological layers show continuity with the Greek period.”
- What do we know, then, of the stratigraphy which prevails in Hammurabi’s own city [Babylon]? Simply this: Old Babylonian remains are not found directly beneath Hellenestic strata. Rather, the famous Neo-Babylonian palace of Nebuchadnezzar—among other remains—lies intermediate between the Hellenistic and Old Babylonian strata. One archaeologist summarized the years of excavation as follows: “One primary result of the excavation was the exposure of the layers of the Neo-Babylonian period, which document the time of Nebuchadnezzar and his dynasty." Because of the high level of the groundwater, the deeper layers of the Old Babylonian period could be reached only rarely. …61 According to Klengel-Brandt, the Old Babylonian strata were found deeper than those of Nebuchadnezzar, the infamous Chaldean ruler of the so-called Neo-Babylonian period. Contrary to Heinsohn’s expectation, the Old Babylonian strata do not lie directly beneath the Hellenistic strata. This singular fact is enough to disprove Heinsohn’s argument from stratigraphy once and for all. ...

On Darics and Deadends
- Ancient coinage practices offer an excellent test for Heinsohn’s thesis. As is well known, archaeologists frequently employ coins in correlating various strata, as distinctive coins from one king or culture serve to provide a secure context for their level of deposit. The practice of minting coins for commerce was first developed by the Lydians in the seventh century BCE. Cyrus the Great, upon conquering Lydia, appears to have begun minting coins of his own in gold and silver shortly thereafter.71 Yet it was the coins issued by Darius himself, depicting a crouching Persian archer on one side, which were to become famous throughout the Persian empire. The gold coins became known as darics, and the silver ones as sigloi.
- Such coins present seemingly insurmountable difficulties for Heinsohn’s reconstruction. For if he is right in identifying Darius with Hammurabi, one would naturally expect to find gold darics galore in Old Babylonian deposits, such as those at Mari. Yet such coins are nowhere attested in Old Babylonian strata, to the best of my knowledge. One might also expect to find gold coins showing the Old Babylonian king in garb typical of that period. Once again, such coins are not to be found. Yet Persian coins were found in Babylon itself.72 How likely is it that Darius only minted coins in his Persian avatar, even when in Babylon?

The Interlocking Web of History
- While no one would claim that conventional history as we have it is completely secure or without flaws, certain facts seem so well established as to approach certainty. For example, various Babylonian king-lists, chronicles, and inscriptions make the Assyrian king Sennacherib precede the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar and the latter precede Nabonidus, the king whom Cyrus overthrew while conquering Babylon in 539 BCE.73
- 73 Babylonian King List A, for example, includes a list of kings from the First Dynasty (Ammizaduqa) through the foundation of the Chaldean dynasty in 625 BCE. There Sennacherib definitely follows Hammurabi’s dynasty but precedes that of the Chaldeans. The Uruk King List preserves a list of kings from Kandalanu (647 BCE) to Seleucus II (246 BCE), and there Cyrus and Darius are listed as following
- These Babylonian records, in turn, agree with the general order of these kings in the Old Testament, which leaves little room for doubt that Sennacherib lived before either Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus. That Cyrus lived after Nebuchadnezzar is insured by the fact that he is credited with having freed the Jews from captivity, thereby reversing the earlier actions of the Chaldean king, who had ordered the Jews carried off to Babylon. This general chronology of the Old Testament accounts, in turn, agrees with Greek historians such as Herodotus, who likewise places Sennacherib well before Cyrus.74 Nor does stratigraphy contradict the ancient texts on this score: The three uppermost strata at Lachish, for example, are clearly associated with Sennacherib’s conquest of the city in 701 BCE (level III); Nebuchadnezzar’s sacking of the city in 588/86 BCE (level II); and the Persian occupation (level I).75
- In recent years, however, Heinsohn has thrown all caution to the winds and sought to rearrange the periods of even these well-known kings....
- ... Given these apparently insurmountable problems, one can’t help but wonder why Heinsohn and his followers would seek to remove Nabonidus from his proper place in history alongside Cyrus the Great and downdate him to the time of Cyrus the Younger? As near as I can determine, Heinsohn seems motivated by the need to counter an important objection to his thesis raised by the historian William Stiebing. As Stiebing showed in 1988, Nabonidus excavated an inscription bearing the name of Hammurabi, an impossible situation given Heinsohn’s reconstruction, whereby Hammurabi (Darius) comes to rule after Nabonidus....

Conclusion
- ... Heinsohn’s reconstruction cannot be taken seriously for the simple reason that it is entirely at odds with the historical record it seeks to reform. The mark of a sound theory is how many anomalies and unexplained problems it can handle without introducing a host of new problems requiring ad hoc solutions. While I do think it is possible that Heinsohn’s historical reconstruction answers a few anomalies of history, it seems clear that his theory raises more problems than it solves and requires ad hoc suppositions galore. That Heinsohn is forever misrepresenting his sources does not inspire confidence in his methodology. Nor has Heinsohn been forthright or prompt in responding to criticisms as they arise. Witness his response to the objection raised by Stiebing: The fact that Nabonidus excavated an inscription of Hammurabi is impossible under Heinsohn’s scheme. Rather than just admit he was wrong or offer a substantive rebuttal, Heinsohn recently admitted that he hadn’t even bothered to check out the source in the ten years since it has come to his attention! Having previously offered up the claim that Nabonidus wasn’t really referring to Hammurabi the lawgiver, Heinsohn then seized upon the idea that Nabonidus didn’t really come before Darius/Hammurabi after all, as all the history books inform us. Now Heinsohn would have us believe that Nabonidus actually lived after Darius! The desperation apparent in this gambit is indicative of what many of us had known for some years now: Heinsohn’s reconstruction cannot be made to square with the historical record.

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