Immanuel Velikovsky and the History of Israel

In my last post I reviewed Immanuel Velikovsky’s book Worlds in Collision and his theory that the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians during the days of Moses were caused by a comet which came into contact with Earth at the time the Hebrews were departing from Egypt.

In the same book Velikovsky also said that the comet, which eventually became the planet Venus, caused the sun to stand still in the days of Joshua and caused the shadow to turn back ten degrees on the sun dial of Ahaz when it collided with the planet Mars.

In his books Ages in Chaos (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1952) and Peoples of the Sea (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977), Velikovsky continues developing the theory he proposed in Worlds in Collision and offers a radical revision of Egyptian and Israelite histories. Ages in Chaos is a reconstruction of ancient history from the Exodus to King Akhnaton and Peoples of the Sea is a reconstruction of ancient history from the Persian conquest of Egypt to the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great.

The key to Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history is his belief that there exists a connecting link between the history of Egypt and the history of Israel. This link was provided by an Egyptian eyewitness who wrote a first-hand account of the catastrophe that came upon Egypt.

According to Velikovsky, the Papyrus Ipuwer, published under the title The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage, describes the horrors and the ruins that came upon Egypt when the comet came into contact with Earth. On page 26 of Ages in Chaos, Velikovsky cites Worlds in Collision to affirm that “The papyrus of Ipuwer contains evidence of some natural cataclysm accompanied by earthquakes and bears witness to the appearance of things as they happened at that time.”

One key point in Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history is a statement in the Papyrus Ipuwer (p. 38):

Papyrus 3:1 Forsooth, the Desert is throughout the land. The nomes are laid waste. A foreign tribe from abroad has come to Egypt.

According to Velikovsky, in the aftermath of the catastrophe caused by the comet, tribes from the Arabian desert invaded Egypt pillaging the country, raping women, and killing the population. This group of people were called the “Amu,” whom Velikovsky identified with the Hyksos. He wrote: “If the catastrophes of the Papyrus Ipuwer and of the book of Exodus are identical; if, further, the Hyksos and the Amalekites are one, then world history, as it really ocurred, is entirely different from what we have been taught” (Ages in Chaos, p. 99).

The issue for Velikovsky’s reconstruction of history hinges on the identification of the Hyksos. Although the identity of the Hyksos has been an item of debate, scholars believe that they were a Northwest-Semitic people who invaded Egypt and Syria. Since the Hyksos worshiped Canaanite gods, especially Baal, it is possible that some of them were Canaanites.

Velikovsky identifies the Hyksos with the Amalekites. The Amalekites were an Arabian tribe that lived in the Arabian desert. On their way from Egypt to Canaan, the Israelites fought against the Amalekites at Rephidim (Exodus 17:8).

Velikovsky uses Arabian sources to demonstrate that the Amalekites ruled in Mecca and from there controlled all other Arabian tribes. He also quotes Arab writers of the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. who say that the Amalekites conquered Egypt and Syria. Velikovsky quotes Abulfeda, an Arab writer of the fourteenth century A.D. who wrote: “There were Egyptian Pharaohs of Amalekite descent.”

The traditional view is that the Hyksos invaded Egypt in 1700 B.C (or 1650 B.C.) and were expelled by Amosis in 1542 B.C. This means then, that the Israelites came into Egypt during the reign of the Hyksos. However, in Velikovsky’s reconstruction of history, the Israelites met the Hyksos (or the Amalekites) on their (the Hyksos’) way into Egypt.

In order to demonstrate that the Amalekites were the Hyksos and that the Hyksos conquered Egypt a few months after Israel left Egypt, Velikovsky has to revise Egyptian history and chronology: “His reconstruction places before the reader this question–Are six hundred years missing in Israel’s history or have six hundred ghost years crept into Egyptian history” (this quote is taken from the front flap of the book).

The above quote is a paraphrase of the statement that appears on p. 101: “Six hundred years disappeared from the history of the Jewish people, or six hundred years were doubled in the history of Egypt and in the history of many other people as well.” Velikovsky wrote: “If the fault lies in Egyptian history, the only possibility is that events of that history are described twice, and six hundred years is repeated” (p. 100).

Beginning with the view that the Papyrus Ipuwer is an eyewitness version of what happened in Egypt at the time of the Exodus, Velikovsky lowers Egyptian chronology by several hundred years in order to synchronize Egyptian history with Israelite history. He said: “I shall set down the events of the time following the expulsion of the Hyksos-Amalekites, reign by reign and age by age, in Egypt and in Palestine” (p. 100).

The result of this attempt at revising Egyptian chronology becomes what I consider to be an amusing reconstruction of ancient history. Most people who will read this post may not be familiar with Egyptian history and how it is related to the history found in the Old Testament. Those who know that history will immediately recognize the incongruity of Velikovsky’s synchronisms.

1. The person who expelled the Hyksos from Egypt was Saul (p. 79).

2. King Amosis was fighting with Joab when Joab conquered the Hyksos (the Amalekites; p. 85).

3. Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba (p. 108).

4. Thutmose I was the Shisak of 1 Kings 11:40 (p. 104).

5. Thutmose III was the Egyptian pharaoh who conquered Palestine after the death of Solomon, (p. 144).

6. Shoshenq (the Shishak of the Bible) was King So of Egypt to whom Hoshea paid tribute (2 Kings 17:4; p. 176).

7. The Ras Shamra texts were not written in the 14th-13th centuries B.C. They come from the time of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, that is, between 870-840 B.C. (p. 229).

8. Amenhotep II was Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chronicles 14:9; p. 214).

9. Amenhotep III and Akhnaton were contemporaries with Jehoshaphat.

10. In the El-Amarna letters, the city of Sumur was Samaria and the city of Gubla was Jezreel.

11. The kings mentioned in the Amarna letters:
Abdi-Hiba, king of Jerusalem was Jehoshaphat
Rib-Addi, king of Sumur was Ahab
Abdi-Ashirta, king of Amuru was Ben-Hadad of Damascus
Azaru, the son of Abdi-Ashirta was Hazael (but Hazael was not the son of Ben-Hadad).

12. The Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is contemporary with the Amarna Letters and the Ras Shamra literature.

In Peoples of the Sea Velikovsky says that Ramses III lived in the fourth century B.C., that the Peoples of the Sea were Greek mercenaries, and that the Pereset were Persians.

Time and space do not permit me to give all the details of Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history. Anyone educated in Biblical studies, classical history, or archeology will clearly understand that this reconstruction of history is just not acceptable. Velikovsky wrote:

“The attempt to reconstruct radically the history of the ancient world, twelve hundred years in the life of many nations and kingdoms, unprecedented as it is, will meet severe censure from those who, in their teaching and writing, have already deeply committed themselves to the old concept of history” (Ages in Chaos, p. vii).

Those who “will express their disbelief that a truth could have remained undiscovered so long” will not learn the truth because “the guardians of dogma” will stamp out this new teaching “by exorcism and not by argument” (p. vii).

Velikovsky complains that none of the many people who have reviewed his book has been able “to prove the book or any part of it wrong or any quoted document spurious.” But how can anyone prove that Ipuwer was an eyewitness of the Exodus? How can anyone prove that Islamic writers, writing in the ninth, tenth, eleven, and twelfth centuries of the Christian era were not bragging that Arabians ruled Egypt in the ancient past? The interpretation of ancient documents can be skewed by the presuppositions of the interpreter and we must acknowldge that Velikovsky had a huge presupposition behind the reading of these ancient texts.

I am not a guardian of dogmas nor do I seek to stamp out Velikovsky’s teaching by exorcism. I believe Velikovsky loses by the sheer weight of historical evidence that militates against his theory. It is sad that such a brilliant author spent more than twenty years developing a theory that few people will accept. This is, as I wrote in my previous post, “a magnificent exercise in futility.”

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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25 Responses to Immanuel Velikovsky and the History of Israel

  1. Sanguine as I am to the possibility that there are flaws in the accepted Egyptian chronology, Velikovsky's scheme is just plain nuts! Thanks for the summary.

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  2. Darrell,

    Velikovsky's theory about the Exodus and Egyptian history is too hard to believe. This is the reason many people have rejected it.

    Claude Mariottini

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  3. Adam Stuart says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    Thank you very much for all of your recent posts on Velikovsky. Thank you for the thoughtful and respectful quality of your reviews. Thank you for discussing ideas of Velikovsky and making available video presentations on them at your blog. This comment focuses on your review of Velikovsky’s ‘Ages in Chaos’ and ‘Peoples of the Sea’ above. You have performed a valuable service by outlining many of the identifications in Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history. Thanks especially for discussing Velikovsky’s important identification of the Hyksos with the Amalekites in a substantial portion of your review. Too often in published articles and books discussing the Hyksos, this identification has not even been considered. As for some other conclusions of Velikovsky that you have listed, a problem with listing them without supporting evidence is that your readers, if they only read your post, do not get to see the many different reasons that support these conclusions. Of course conclusions of Velikovsky which are extraordinary may seem unconvincing (or even ‘nuts’) when stated without mentioning reasons pointing to these conclusions. Thus it is important that readers actually read books by Velikovsky to see the supporting reasons. Of course, in a relatively short review, space is limited, and I appreciate how much material you did cover in your review. Item 4 in your post is not a correct representation of Velikovsky’s argument. In Chapter IV of ‘Ages in Chaos’ Velikovsky argues extensively that Thutmose III (not Thutmose I) was the biblical Shishak. On pages 103-104 Velikovsky discusses the Egyptian princess who became a wife of Solomon. Velikovsky proposes that her father (whose name is not given in the Scriptures—Velikovsky writes that talmudic tradition calls him Shishak) was Thutmose I. However, this does not mean that Velikovsky identifies Thutmose I as the Shishak of 1 Kings 11:40. According to your post, scholars believe that the Hyksos were a Northwest-Semitic people who invaded Egypt and Syria. This actually gives some support to Velikovsky’s argument that the Hyksos invaded both Syria and Egypt as historic Arab authors claimed. Velikovsky argued that the period of Hyksos-Amalekite domination in the Near East was a long epoch between approximately the Exodus and the time of Saul. Archaeological finds of the Hyksos may appear to be Northwest-Semitic, Canaanite, Syrian, and/or Mesopotamian because the Hyksos interacted with other peoples within a wide region over a long epoch. Thus they could have been influenced by cultures of other peoples in the region. Hyksos worship of Canaanite gods is therefore not surprising, especially given Velikovsky’s argument that the Amalekites supported the Canaanites.

    I discussed some of this in my July 12, 2009 comment at your blog:http://www.claudemariottini.com/blog/2009/06/joseph-in-egypt-evidence-for-egyptian.html

    Adam Stuart

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  4. Adam Stuart says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    Are ideas in Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history too hard to believe? I think that many of them are believable and plausible, and that some of his arguments are supported by many lines of reasoning. I think that a major problem is that the vast majority of professional archaeologists and scholars in recent decades have been unaware of ideas and evidence in ‘Ages in Chaos’, ‘Ramses II and His Time’, and/or ‘Peoples of the Sea’. Disparaging statements against ‘Worlds in Collision’ and Velikovsky, and the deplorable unfair treatment against Velikovsky that has been done since 1950 (the Velikovsky Affair), have surely led many people to refrain from obtaining and reading Velikovsky’s books on ancient chronology, or to not even be told about these books by their professors and textbooks. For information on the Velikovsky Affair, I recommend the following books:Charles Ginenthal, ‘Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky’ (Phoenix, Arizona: New Falcon Press, 1995). Charles Ginenthal et al., ‘Stephen J. Gould and Immanuel Velikovsky: Essays in the Continuing Velikovsky Affair’ (Forest Hills, NY: Ivy Press Books, 1996). Includes pieces by C. Ginenthal, I. Wolfe, L. E. Rose, D. Cardona, D. N. Talbott, and E. Cochrane. This is a 795-page volume documenting much of the history of the Velikovsky Affair. The opening essay refers to the Velikovsky Affair as one of the blackest episodes in the history of science.As for the sheer weight of historical evidence, have you considered the idea that a lot of archaeological evidence might be interpreted differently under a revised Egyptian chronology? It appears that during the last century, archaeological evidence has been routinely dated and interpreted based on the conventional chronology of ancient Egypt without the slightest consideration of ideas of Velikovsky, Donovan Courville, archaeologist David Down, Peter James, and Egyptologist David Rohl. I hope that in time you will reread parts of Velikovsky’s books and reconsider some of his ideas on chronology. I offer the suggestion that you and other scholars please focus your attention especially on the first 80 pages of ‘Peoples of the Sea’ and its illustrations, and on Velikovsky’s chapter entitled “Alexander”. Two other books that I recommend are ‘Unwrapping the Pharaohs’ (2006) by John Ashton and archaeologist David Down and ‘Pharaohs and Kings’ (1995) by Egyptologist David M. Rohl. Both books discuss ideas of Velikovsky on the Exodus and Hyksos. I again point to the below webpage which supports the idea that Ramses III was Nectanebo I of the fourth century BC and that the Pereset shown at Medinet Habu were Persians, not Philistines: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/ramses3.html#headgear

    Adam Stuart

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  5. Adam,

    Thank you for all the links and all the information you have provided. You have read my posts and now you know where I stand. I do not believe that any additional reading will convince me to accept Velikovski's theory.First of all, his theory is based on the fact that Venus was a comet and that Venus and Mars had a collision in less than three thousand years ago. Second, he believes that Ipuwer was a witness of the events caused by the comet and wrote so in his document. Third, although I am not an Egyptologist, the idea that the chronology of Egypt is off by six hundred years is difficult for me to accept.Comparative myth is not a good proof that Velikovski was right. There are too many historical studies and archaeological evidence that militate against Velikovski's proposal. If I reject Velikovski's theory, and I do, I am not alone. There are thousands of other people who have the same reservations I do.Thank you for challenging me to read Velikovski's book.

    Claude Mariottini

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  6. Adam,

    You are right about Thutmose III. I misread what Velikovsky wrote on page 101. He wrote: "The pharaoh, whose name is also omitted in the Scriptures-talmudic tradition calls him Shishak-was according to the scheme presented here, Thutmose I." So, it was the Talmud that identified Thutmose I with Shishak.

    Claude Mariottini

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  7. Catherine says:

    For a recent theory that extends the works of Velikovsky visit http://www.firmament-chaos.com and blog http://acksblog.firmament-chaos.com

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  8. Catherine,Thank you for this information. I visited the blog you mentioned and thought the material there was very interesting.

    Claude Mariottini

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I found the material interesting as well. I would like to comment at greater length on many of his specifics – perhaps I should direct my comments to his site, and leave a link here for those interested here to follow there – the relevance for biblical chronology is fascinating, but the site delves into astronomy and chemistry and geolgy in depth.Your blog site is more oriented toward the biblical chronology and historiography itself. That said, I would hesitate to reject Velikovsky in anything. Likewise the other emerging chronologies. These should be made known, investigated, and subject to physical tests. Ackerman is right to point to the mishandling of the Magellan data, as did I in lenghty interchange with Tim Thompson at JPL. [Ginenthal's work on this is exemplary.] Previously at your site, I was graciously allowed space to point to the ASH correspondence, in which materials from king Tut's tomb were carbon dated. The results indicated a time of circa 850 for Tut's reign. His mother Tiy's statue was found just under the 700 BCE layer, consistent with an understandable burial in disrepute contemporaneous with the fall of the 18th dynasty. Why would they keep the grand old lady around since 1200 BCE, only to bring the treasured icon to an ignominious interrment at 700? Who would even care by then? Even more embarrasing, the oldest materials from King Tut's tomb, which was not flooded or otherwise invaded, and therefore NOT contaminated, dated from a few hundred years before 850, but also a few hundred years AFTER 1200 – it is conceivable that valuable wood could have been saved and used, collected from the desert, or carved from the core of an old tree and used in King Tut's time – but it is NOT conceivable that wood from some 200 years after Tut's death found its way into his undiscovered and unviolated tomb.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The end of Tiye's life is conventionally thought to have occurred roughly around 1338 BCE. So I should have referred to roughly 1338 BCE or the 14th century BCE instead of 1200 BCE – although Ay and Horemhab ruled for some time after Akhnaton, Smenkhare and Tutankhamon – and so conceivably some time might have passed before a new dynasty. I was intending to refer not only to the end of Tiy's life, but to the time when she/the dynasty fell from favor somewhat closely following the end of her life. Johnny C Godowski ref comment previousEven so – at the fall of the eighteenth dynasty, her statue would be in disrepute. That time, the discovery of her statue now shows, was just prior to 700 BCE. Allowing a generation – we are back at 850 or so – as Velikovsky and the ASH carbon dates show. The Tiy statue corroborates the ASH tests. The results should now be published officially – or the tests should be redone now – especially in light of this unexpected yet powerfully significant corroboration

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  11. Adam Stuart says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    Thanks for your August 25th comments above. It is not necessary to believe the main thesis of Velikovsky’s ‘Worlds in Collision’, involving Venus and Mars, in order to believe the main arguments of his reconstruction of ancient history (or some of them). The writings of Ipuwer appear to be a detailed record of a real catastrophe (series of plagues), i.e., a natural, social, and economic upheaval in Egypt. However, there are other theories and ideas proposed by various authors that might explain the Exodus plagues and which do not involve a comet, Venus, or Mars. You can take your pick of which theories or ideas seem most plausible. The point is, based on the many Ipuwer-Exodus parallels, it appears probable that some kind of catastrophe happened, facilitating the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and also making it possible for the Hyksos to invade and conquer without even a battle. This idea makes sense and would explain how the Hyksos were able to get into power in Egypt. Also one does not have to believe the main thesis of ‘Worlds in Collision’ in order to accept Velikovsky’s well-fortified arguments that Hatshepsut was the queen who visited Solomon in 1 Kings 10, that Thutmose III was the biblical Shishak, that Akhnaton was the historical Oedipus, that the Pereset shown in the reliefs of Medinet Habu are Persians, not Philistines, and that the 21st dynasty Stela of the Banishment is a record of Alexander the Great’s visit to Egypt and the oracle of Amon. I plan to submit a continuation of this comment this weekend, so please stay tuned.

    Thanks,

    Adam Stuart

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  12. Adam Stuart says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    This continues from my previous comment. How many of those thousands of people with the same reservations you have have even read Velikovsky’s ‘Ages in Chaos’, ‘Ramses II and His Time’, and ‘Peoples of the Sea’? Mention of Velikovsky has been nonexistent or rare in many history and archaeology publications for a long time and it appears probable that the vast majority of professional scholars are unaware of or lack familiarity with Velikovsky’s books. This in large part seems to account for why Velikovsky’s most well-fortified arguments do not have a lot of support within mainstream archaeology. If you have not read ‘Ramses II and His Time’ then you might not be aware of when in history Velikovsky places pharaohs of the 19th dynasty, such as Merneptah. I suggest that Velikovsky was correct in arguing that Merneptah’s ‘Israel Stela’ does not fit the time of the Exodus. Israel is desolated, his seed is not: This statement by Merneptah simply does not fit the detailed biblical accounts of the Exodus and Conquest. However, there are times in history that the Israel Stela does seem to fit: the times of destructions and deportations by the Assyrians or Babylonians. At these times, parts of Palestine really were desolated or laid waste. Velikovsky’s ‘Ramses II and His Time’ suggests that the Merneptah Israel Stela dates to the 6th century BC and is from the time of the Exile, not the Exodus. Other authors who have proposed revisions to the conventional chronology of ancient Egypt have placed Ramses II and Merneptah, at least tentatively, in the 8th and/or 7th centuries BC [see ‘Unwrapping the Pharaohs’ (2006) by John Ashton and archaeologist David Down]. Either way, the Israel Stela seems to fit much more convincingly into history as a description of the desolated condition of Palestine after destructions and deportations by either the Assyrians or Babylonians. Do too many studies and evidence militate against ideas in Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history? In the modern era, ancient Egyptian artifacts have routinely been found in association with artifacts of neighboring peoples around the Mediterranean. If many Egyptian artifacts from some dynasties (Hyksos/18th/19th/20th/21st and perhaps others) have been misdated, then many of the artifacts of neighboring peoples found with them have surely also been misdated. One can only speculate on how much error the widespread lack of attention to Velikovsky’s and similar ideas on chronology has introduced into the work of many scholars for generations. It appears that most archaeological work in the modern era has been done only considering the conventional Egyptian chronology and not considering ideas of Velikovsky, Donovan Courville, David Down, Emmet Sweeney, David Rohl, et al. How much different would some or all of the historical studies you mention be if archaeological evidence had been interpreted with some of these ideas in mind?

    Adam Stuart

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  13. Adam,

    Thank you for your comment. Maybe the reason the mention of Velikovsky's works is "nonexistent or rare in many history and archaeology publications" is because his views are based on a premise that is hard for many people to accept, even me.I thank you for this dialogue over the past few months. I do not think we need to continue this dialogue any further because, as I told you, I have read Velikovsky's books and I am not willing to accept his conclusions.Thank you for reading my blog.

    Claude Mariottini

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  14. Roger says:

    I have been following this debate for a little while and thought I might make a contribution. The following is an extract from Emmett Sweeney's book "The Empire of Thebes" that highlights the artificial five century dark age between the late Bronze and Iron ages and how it was created: "I want to take a broader view at the evidence for deleting five centuries from the history of the 18th Dynasty in order to make it tie in with the history of the Bible. "There exists a great body of evidence, some of it missed even by Velikovsky himself, which indicates that the "dark age" gap [an artificial gap created by a faulty Egyptian chronology] between the Late Bronze Age of the second millennium and the Early Iron Age of the first (the latter dated according to the Bible) is in fact just over five centuries long. "This is demonstrated in numerous ways, not least by stratigraphy, where, in the land of Israel, for example, the hiatus (occupation gap) between Late Bronze 2b (end of the 19th Dynasty) and the beginning of the Iron Age (contemporary in Israel with the Neo-Assyrian kings Tiglath-Pileser III and Sargon II) lasts almost exactly 500 years. This was admitted and even argued for in the 1970s by John Bimson and Peter James. (eg John Bimson "Can there be a Revised Chronology without a Revised Stratigraphy?" SIS: Proceedings. Glasgow Conference (April, 1978)."But there is a great deal of other evidence, either missed by Velikovsky and his supporters, or not yet published, which fully [highlights] the 500 year gap. Let's look at just a small sample (and I emphasise that it is a small sample) of this material. Most of the material below is covered in much greater detail in my Ramessides, Medes and Persians (2001), the volume of Ages in Alignment subsequent to this:"1. Thutmose III (c.1460 BC.) plunders a temple in Palestine belonging to a city named Kadesh. This sounds like the plundering of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem (also called Kadesh, the "holy") by pharaoh Shishak (c.920 BC) Gap of 540 years. 2. Abdi-Ashirta of Amurru (Syria), a contemporary of Amenhotep III (c.1420 BC.) has a name identical to Abdastartus (c.875 BC), a king of Tyre mentioned by Menander of Ephesus. Gap of 540 years. 3. In the palaces of Calah (Nimrod), the capital built by the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (c.860 BC) were found scarabs and other artefacts of 18th Dynasty kings, especially of Thutmose III and Amenhotep III (c.1480-1380 BC). Gap of 500-600 years. 4. Cavalry first shown in the Memphis tomb of Horemheb (c.1340 BC) and in action on the Hypostile Hall of Seti I at Karnak (c.1330 BC) are identical (in terms of equipment and deployment) to the first next appearance of cavalry in the bas-reliefs of Ashumasirpal II (860 BC). Gap of c.480 years. 5. Full-length mail shirts used in the time of Ramses II (c.1340 BC) are identical to the first next appearance of full-length mail shirts in the time of Shalmaneser III (c.850 BC). Gap of 490 years. 6. Hilani-house of Nikmepa of Ugarit, a contemporary of Seti I (c.1350 BC), identical in design to next-known hilani-house, of Kilamuwa of Zincirli, a contemporary of Shalmaneser III (c.830 BC). Gap of 520 years. 7. Hittite Great King Tudkhaliash IV, a contemporary of Memeptah (c.1250 BC), is mentioned regarding preparations for a royal marriage, in Carchemish inscription dating from time of Sukhis II or his son Katuwas — believed by Turkish archaeologist Ekrem Akurgal to be a contemporary of Tiglath-Pileser III (c.740 BC). Gap of 520 years. part 2 follows

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  15. Roger says:

    8. Cilician inscription of Azitawatas, mentioning his overlord Awarkus ('Wrks) in Hittite style of 13th century BC, but known to date from time of Tiglath-Pileser III (c.740 BC) because Awarkus is also mentioned (as Urukki) in Assyrian inscriptions of this king. Gap of 520 years 9. Career of Marduk-apil-iddin (Merodach-Baladan) I (c.1240 BC) a Babylonian prince, virtually identical to that of Marduk-apil-iddin III (c.730-710 BC). Gap of 520 years. 10. Aton-city of Israel, Hanaton, built by Akhnaton (c.1370 BC) mentioned in Amama letters and next mentioned in inscription of Tiglath-Pileser III (c.730 BC). Gap of 640 years.11. Aton-city of Nubia, Gem Aton, built c.1370 BC, next mentioned in inscription of Tirhakah (c.690 BC). Gap of 690 years. 12. Seti II, a great warrior-pharaoh (c.1210 BC) mentioned by Herodotus (there named Sethos) as being an enemy of Sennacherib (c.690 BC). Gap of 520 years. 13. Seti II (1210 BC) also called Usikheprure has fort named for him at north-eastern border of Egypt — defending the Asiatic frontier. This is mentioned by Esarhaddon (who calls it Ishhupre) (c.680 BC) and by no one else. Gap of 530 years. 14. Esarhaddon carves inscription of his Egyptian conquests at the Dog River immediately beside one of Ramses II recalling his Asiatic conquests, with obvious ironic intent. Gap of 570 years. 15. A prince called Wenamon is sent to Byblos by Herihor (c.1100 BC) during a time when Egypt is held in no great esteem abroad and is perhaps a conquered territory. Another prince Wenamon is installed in power by Ashurbanipal immediately after his conquest of the country (c.660 BC). Gap of 450 years. "The reader will note how actual persons (as opposed to art-styles, artefacts, etc) are always almost exactly 500-530 years apart…"One of the fundamental principles of Ages in Chaos I is that the changeover from the 18th to the 19th Dynasty (during the time of Nikmepa) represents just the point at which the archaeology of northern Syria ceases to be dated along Egyptological lines and commences being dated according to the chronology of Assyria. This is because, following the reign of Akhnaton, Egypt lost her control and influence in the region, with her place being taken first by the Hittites under Suppiluliumas I and later by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser III. From the time of Shalmaneser III, Assyria becomes dominant politically and the art and culture of Mesopotamia prevails."I may have more to say on Ages in Chaos if Adam posts a link to a brilliant article by David Down he just sent me showing how Egyptian and Israelite histories can be reconciled with regards to the period from Joseph to the Exodus from Egypt.

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  16. Roger,

    Thank you for this information. Those readers who accept Velikovsky's view of Egyptian and Israelite histories will appreciate the information you provide here.

    Claude Mariottini

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Dr Mariottini,

    Thank you for this great service you are providing, to facilitate greater awareness of different schools of thought and emerging new evidence regarding ancient chronology. Just as you mentioned that you believe Velikovsky had quite an agenda of his own and was influenced by it to read perhaps more than you would at first deem warranted in the ancient legends and other materials, other scholars feel that the conventional chronology itself was formulated by people with agendas just as powerful of their own as well. The development of the Sothis theory itself is fascinating history, though the theory itself is now more correctly described as an exercise in futility, since the physical evidence is against it. It is understandable, given the development of the ideas, yet deeply regrettable where alternate ideas were suppressed or ignored, that so many brilliant scholars have wasted everyone's time for so long, even now, forty years after the ASH correspondence, with an elegant and accepted chronology that cannot possibly be correct, because the physical evidence is against it. The futility is only in getting people to choose to change when presently, and with good reason, they don't want to. The physical evidence though already shows the need for a reduced chronology. There are many schools of thought. People have excellent reasons either for innovations, or for reservations. Experts in their fields can come to differing conclusions.The best education is to be respectfully aware of these differences, and continually watch for the opportunity for new evidence to shed light. In a trial, each witness seems right when you listen – then the next witness speaks – and suddenly things look somewhat different. This is where judgment is required. This is also where evidence is crucial. I look forward to the material Roger will post, and Adam. New discoveries in the ground may yield new insights – which we will all be able to recognize if we are cognizant of the varying and discordant hypotheses that currently exist in the field. With only a hammer one sees only nails. With a variety of hypotheses to choose from, we begin to ask which among them, if any at all, best fits the evidence. Someone with only one watch always "knows" what time it is…with two or more that don't agreeone is never sure.. the only thing to be sure of is that any watch could be wrong, and even a stopped watch is right twice a day.Pollen layers in ancient Greece show a decided increase in olive pollen of the cultivated variety in the time gap traditionally attributed to the Dark Age of Greece. Pollen grains are too small to have an agenda either way. I believe the pollen is right. I believe it would be good scholarship to acknowledge that the pollen is right, even if it agrees with [!] Velikovsky, and/or all the others who advocate a reduced chronology in some form. Johnny C GodowskiWith regard to Sheba/Hatshepsut, Israel was conquered by Egypt immediately after Solomon, and she was stricken from the KingList. In preserving her story, Jews remembered for millennia what Egypt herself willfully forgot. Then, in our time the bricks of her obelisk were removed …Archaeology has verified that sometimes … sacred legends can indeed be more correct than the official version of history

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  18. Adam Stuart says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    Thank you again for your four posts regarding Velikovsky and for hosting comments related to works of Velikovsky and revised chronology. Your posts are a valuable service to readers of your blog who may not have been previously aware of many of the issues discussed in these posts and comments. For interested readers, below is the internet address for the article by archaeologist David Down which Roger mentioned. David Down is editor of the Australian archaeology magazine ‘Archaeological Diggings’ and a co-author of ‘Unwrapping the Pharaohs’. The article is entitled ‘The Chronology of Egypt and Israel’.

    http://www.diggings.com.au/resources/Egypt%20and%20Israel.pdf

    Adam Stuart

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  19. Roger says:

    Dr. Mariottini,

    I would be very interested in your thoughts on David Down's article noted above by Adam and where in Egypt's history would you place the Exodus after reading it?Do you believe the conventional Egyptology view that the Exodus occurred during the 18th or 19th Dynasty or has the evidence provided by David Down perhaps convinced you it should be placed during an earlier Egyptian dynasty? The point about us having all the mummies of the 18th and 19th Dynasty is very pertinent because Scripture is very adamant that "there was not one of them left" (Psalm 106:9-11, Exodus 14:28) including the pharaoh.

    Roger Waite

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  20. Adam Stuart says:

    This comment is intended for readers of Dr. Mariottini’s blog who are willing to consider evidence of the need for a revised Egyptian chronology similar to Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history but perhaps with some modication by incorporating ideas of Donovan Courville, David Down, Emmet Sweeney, David Rohl, and/or others. Before proceeding though I want to say a belated thank you to Catherine for providing the links she provided above. Through one of them I was able to find the brilliant paper “An Alternative View of Venus” by John Ackerman. This paper can be seen as providing evidence for some of Velikovsky’s claims in his 1950 ‘Worlds in Collision’ which was written before there even was a space program. Velikovsky argued that Venus is a hot, young planet only thousands of years old, still giving off heat from its recent birth and other events in its early history. Velikovsky argued that Venus gives off heat from its interior—regardless of effects due to the cloud layer of Venus and the sun such as greenhouse effects. Later, Venus turned out to have nearly 900 degree Fahrenheit surface temperatures, tens of thousands of volcanoes and a lack of erosion. Nobody knew these things in 1950, but they sure sound like features of a new planet. I hope that the paper by Ackerman leads many to begin to reconsider Velikovsky’s ‘Worlds in Collision’. Here is the address for it:http://www.firmament-chaos.com/papers/fvenuspaper.pdfThe above being said, it must be emphasized and re-emphasized that it is not necessary to accept Velikovsky’s Venus theory in order to accept many of Velikovsky’s ideas in ‘Ages in Chaos’ and ‘Peoples of the Sea’. In general, Velikovsky’s arguments on chronology do not depend on his Venus theory. Here is a reference from this year which I suggest that interested readers might want to read:John Horrocks, ‘Preserving Velikovsky’s Identification of Thutmose III with ‘Shishak’’, Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Chronology and Catastrophism Workshop 2009:2, pp. 9-14. I recommend reading the above paper by John Horrocks with the reservation that I do not agree with it with regard to the dating of Ramses III. I think that Velikovsky was correct in his dating of Ramses III (who would be Nectanebo I who defended Egypt against invading Persian forces including Greek mercenaries in about 374-373 BC) to the fourth century BC. Thus the Pereset in the reliefs of Medinet Habu would be identified with Persians, not Philistines, and the Denien probably with the Athenians.

    Adam Stuart

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  21. NOTE:

    ALL COMMENTS ON THIS POST ON VELIKOVSKY HAVE COME TO AN END. THANK YOU FOR ALL THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE DISCUSSION.

    CLAUDE MARIOTTINI

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  22. Johnny C Godowski says:

    I would like to thank Dr Mariottini for re-posting on this subject and making the material available again to internet search.

    Many of the comments arguments and references were well thought out and unavailable by search until now. Dr Mariottini has restored a valuable resource for those who take either or any of several possible positions based on discussion of the material.

    Dr Mariottini presents – as advertised – a Christian perspective on the many subjects of his blog, including this controversial one.

    Far be it from me to say that Dr Mariottini’s is the only Christian perspective – even Dr Mariottini would no doubt shy away from such an assertion

    To Dr Mariottini’s great credit – he has actually read some of the material here – some books by Velikovsky – and has conferred with colleagues about it before declaring his position.

    By re-introducing or re-posting the material now – it is once again available to all.

    We have the benefit of Dr Mariottini’s Christian perspective on this controversial topic – and with it just enough of a hint of the controversy and an awareness of the catastrophism and chronology issues as they relate to biblical cataclysm, chronology and even eschatology

    As we await a time of Revelation with its attendant celestial catastrophes – whatever the existing perspectives – it is a very good idea for those so inclined to investigate on their own – and Dr Mariottini’s coverage and perspective – along with the many comments – gives some idea of what might be involved

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    • Johnny,

      Welcome back. It is nice hearing from you again. There is no doubt that Velikovsky has done an amazing work in studying ancient civilizations and proposing his view of history.

      As I mentioned in my posts, I do not agree with Velikovsky’s view of biblical history nor his revised chronology of historical events. However, I believe that people should read Velikovsky’s books and come to their own conclusions about his proposal, in the same way I came to my conclusions after reading his works.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Claude Mariottini

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  23. Johnny C Godowski says:

    Dr Mariottini

    Thank You – of course – and very well said

    Johnny C Godowski

    Like

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