Last week, archaeologists reported the unearthing of a couple from the ancient city of Troy. They believed the two had died around 1200 BCE about the time when the best-known Troy was thought to have fallen. The date given for Homerâ€™s Troy is usually in the late Bronze Age in the 13th century BCE. Radiocarbon testing may well confirm the year of their death, but this is not the time of Homerâ€™s Troy. Homerâ€™s Troy belongs in the 8th century BCE.
Ancient history of the Mediterranean basin is based on two chronologies. On the one side, there is the Egyptian one, which includes the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures; on the other is everyone elseâ€™s. Homerâ€™s Troy has been placed with the Mycenaean. The trouble is that the chronologies are about 500 years out of sync. So we end up with situations such as the Mycenaean civilization flourishing in isolation from the rest of Greece, and then suddenly dying out to be followed by five centuries of dark ages. Then, lo and behold, half a millennium later, the same civilization appears nearby on the Greek mainland! These kinds of anomalies appear everywhere, requiring ingenious solutions and other fictions.
As an example of fiction, one major problem was the identification of a hostile peopleâ€”hostile to the Egyptians, that is. Who were these people of Hatti? No record could be found of them, except in Egyptian records. The problem was â€œsolvedâ€ when an English missionary, just back from the field, suggested that they should be called the Hittites. Problem solved, yes, except for the lack of corroboration outside of Egypt. These â€œHittitesâ€ had many similarities to the Chaldeans who were active around Babylon 500 years later. That there should be such similarities is no surprise, for when the chronologies are realigned, the â€œHittitesâ€ turn out to be the Chaldeans, and Hatti is nothing more than the Egyptian word for the general area around Babylon.
Here is another, absurd example. A tomb was found in what is now Syria. The grave clearly belonged to the 7th century BCE in all respects. It contained a number of vessels, all but two of them belonging to the time of the tomb. The problem was that the two other vessels were Egyptian, and, because Egyptian chronology takes precedence over any other, the grave had to be dated some 500 to 600 years earlier! Now the mystery was how did those later vessels get into the tomb. Finally, an acceptable â€œsolutionâ€ was devised: 500 years later, thieves entered the tomb, looking for jewelry, and they must have left those vessels there. Brilliant! Itâ€™s like thieves breaking into your house, looking for money, and leaving a couple plasma TV sets. I can just visualize those would-be thieves of the 7th century BCE, climbing over mounds, looking for ancient tombs, carrying vessels with them, so they can leave them in the tomb. The obvious answer, that the vessels were all contemporary, was never considered.
I also wonder how the Egyptian workmen of the 13th century BCE could chisel their records into rock surfaces, some of which were harder than granite, using Bronze Age tools and soft meteorite iron. Some centuries later, it would have been so much easier with the forging of iron and the ability to harden that iron into a kind of steel. Egyptians could not have been making steel hundreds of years before their neighbors; because the quality of their iron ore was so poor, they had to import from other countries, notably Greece.
The fault in all this lies with the Egyptian chronology, which in the last 200 years has been considered inviolate.Â In itself, this chronology does account for all the required years. The problem is that some of the kings (pharaohs) about whom very little is known, around 500 years worth of these guys, are really duplicates of earlier pharaohs, but listed under their Greek names or one of their many other ones.
Would not radiocarbon dating show the errors in the dates? Very little carbon dating has been done. As one Egyptologist said, radiocarbon dating is unnecessary since we already know the date. Dating of wood gives the time when the wood was growing, not when it was cut down and used. One piece that was carbon dated, indicated that the wood was at least a hundred years later than the level it was found in. The explanation? Somehow that piece of wood got pushed down from a higher level.
Once the chronologies are realigned, everything falls into place. And there are other bonuses. The Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon in Jerusalem, is identified as Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt. The detailed record of her visit to Punt matches the record in the Bible. The pharaoh of the exodus of the Israelites is identified, and it is not Ramses II, but Thom. There is even a record of Thomâ€™s death in the whirlpool, the closing of the Red Sea waters as recorded in the book Exodus.
All this is detailed by Immanuel Velikovsky in Ages in Chaos, Ramses II and His Time, The Peoples of the Sea, and in the outline drafts of two other books, The Dark Age of Greece and The Assyrian Conquest, which were unfinished at his death and may be found at www.varchive.org. While one may question his theories of major world catastrophes in our recent past, there is no doubt that he is correct on the chronologies of ancient history.
More than 50 years have passed since he first proposed bringing the chronologies into alignment, but it is going to be a long time before the error is fixed. The problem is not just human ego (i.e. a reluctance to admit oneâ€™s errors) that prevents acceptance of the new chronology; itâ€™s the enormity of the problem.
(References to Velikovsky are appearing in my blogs around this time, since I have been rereading his works.)