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THE BIBLE UNEARTHED

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  • macnietspingal
    Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that takes the same
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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      Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the
      hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that
      takes the same data and has a different overview?

      I used the search and came up with 0 results.
    • wllacer
      ... Finkelstein is one of the leading figures of Israelite archaeology, so -may he be wrong or not- his is serious scholarship. For a critique of a single
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "macnietspingal" <nietgal@...> wrote:
        >
        > Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the
        > hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that
        > takes the same data and has a different overview?
        >
        > I used the search and came up with 0 results.
        >
        Finkelstein is one of the leading figures of Israelite archaeology, so
        -may he be wrong or not- his is serious scholarship.
        For a critique of a single detail (but about a cornerstone in
        Finkelstein's view) look at
        http://www.rehov.org/
        and look into the articles Ahimai Mazar et al., have recently put on
        it about the chronolgy debate and the C14 determinations they madeand
        other articles in the same web site.
        Mazar (and his colleges) point to a -probable- flaw in the C14
        determinations around which Finkelstein based his datings and
        (consecuently) his demise of the United Monarchy
        It is one of the last references i picked in the original ANE list,
        and I'm still wadding into them, but probably others in the list can
        share more information

        Regards
        Werner Llácer
        IT Project Manager (and physicist by education)
      • wllacer
        A small (self) correction ... The reference was supplied by Peter Cowie already in the new list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ANE-2/message/69). Apologies for
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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          A small (self) correction
          > It is one of the last references i picked in the original ANE list,
          > and I'm still wadding into them, but probably others in the list can
          > share more information
          >
          The reference was supplied by Peter Cowie already in the new list
          (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ANE-2/message/69).
          Apologies for my mistake
          Werner Llacer
        • Yitzhak Sapir
          ... The following critical review of Finkelstein s book is available online: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2001/2001-7.html
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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            On 2/19/06, macnietspingal wrote:
            > Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the
            > hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that
            > takes the same data and has a different overview?

            The following critical review of Finkelstein's book is available online:

            http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2001/2001-7.html
            http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/pdf/2001-7.pdf

            Roddy, Nicolae, "The Bible Unearthed in the Context of the Tenth Century (BCE)
            Debate: A Review of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, 'The Bible
            Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin
            of its Sacred
            Texts' (New York: Free Press, 2000)". Journal of Religion and Society 3 (2001).

            Finkelstein is a serious scholar. He has proposed a new theory to
            explain various
            archaeological findings that relate more to the "United Kingdom"
            period, than to
            the 7th and 6th centuries which figure prominently in this book. My
            impression is
            that in this book, he attempts to take his theory and investigate the
            implications
            within the literary study of the Bible. I don't know if these
            implications have ever
            been presented in a scholarly study rather than a popular book (the above is a
            popular book).

            Regarding his archaeological theories, you might want to read the
            following, from
            the book "The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text, and Science":

            "The Debate over the Chronology of the Iron Age in the Southern Levant", by
            Amihai Mazar: http://www.rehov.org/Iron%20Age%20Chronology%20Debate.pdf

            But I think that if the issue is the claims that have to do with a
            literary study of
            the bible, then there is probably no archaeological data that clearly
            supports one
            or another theory. The evidence is the Bible, and the support comes from a
            subjective assessment of how well each theory explains the evidence (the
            Bible). A popular introduction to the standard theory is Richard E.
            Friedman's "Who wrote the Bible?" This theory is the closest that comes to a
            consensus among scholars, although probably no consensus exists.

            Finkelstein and Silberman also recently published a book that deals with the
            United Kingdom period: "David and Solomon : In Search of the Bible's Sacred
            Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition."

            Yitzhak Sapir
            Software Engineer
          • Lisbeth S. Fried
            My problem with the book is that he assumes Josiah s reform and a 7th century dating of the biblical text. Since I don t buy a Josianic reform, I had trouble
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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              My problem with the book is that he assumes Josiah's reform and a 7th
              century dating of the biblical text. Since I don't buy a Josianic reform, I
              had trouble with that part of the book. I found the part dealing with the
              early period better researched (but that may only be because I don't know
              that period so well).

              Liz Fried



              _____

              From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
              macnietspingal
              Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 7:24 PM
              To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [ANE-2] THE BIBLE UNEARTHED



              Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the
              hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that
              takes the same data and has a different overview?

              I used the search and came up with 0 results.









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            • Vern Crisler
              ... Re: the Bible Unearthed (or Buried) I have an essay on the subject of the Low Chronology that might be of interest, whether one agrees with the
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "macnietspingal" <nietgal@...> wrote:
                >
                > Finally am reading this book. Do scholars take into consideration the
                > hypotheses in this book? Is there another such archeological book that
                > takes the same data and has a different overview?
                >
                > I used the search and came up with 0 results.

                Re: the Bible Unearthed (or Buried)

                I have an essay on the subject of the Low
                Chronology that might be of interest, whether
                one agrees with the chronological proposals
                or not. It's at:

                http://vernerable.tripod.com/low_chronology.htm

                Confer, especially section 6.

                I also mention Mazar's new dates for the Iron
                Age period at:

                http://vernerable.tripod.com/HistoryofGreece.htm

                Cf., at sec. 8, which says in relevant part:

                "Since writing his book on the Archaeology of the
                Land of the Bible, Mazar has changed his views on
                the extent of Iron Age 2a, and now believes it
                covers not only the 10th century but also the 9th
                century. (IEJ, 54:1, 2004; pp. 30-31.) Since
                Iron 2a has been extended downward by a century,
                it follows that Iron Age 2b on Mazar's chronology
                would start at around 800 B.C., nearly the same
                time as New Courville's start date for Iron 2b, c.
                800-780 B.C.

                "Mazar's "extension" is mainly a reaction to the
                Low Chronology. Whatever one might think of this
                extension, it is at least remarkable to see that a
                pottery stratum can be so easily extended by a
                hundred years by an orthodox archaeologists, and no
                one bat an eye. In any case, the dates of the strata
                would not appear to be all that fixed in stone, nor
                pegged too strictly to an absolute chronology, if
                they can be so readily displaced. Mazar also picks
                and chooses which radiocarbon dating he will use to
                fix the strata to the B.C. time scale. It may be
                thought that this is an exaggeration, but sadly it
                is not. In responding to an article by Gilboa and
                Sharon, (Radiocarbon 43:1343-1352, [2001]), who argued
                for "extremely low" dates based on twenty C14 dates,
                Mazar rejects the results of two radiocarbon methods
                in favor of the results of one radiocarbon method.
                Why? Because the two rejected methods showed
                "consistently lower" dates while the one Mazar
                accepts shows higher dates. And why should higher
                dates be preferred? Here is Mazar's answer:

                " "[Y]et the Groningen cross-dating of the same horizons
                or even of the same loci fits the conventional chronology
                for the Iron Age I and the `extended conventional
                chronology' of the Iron Age IIA." (Ibid., p. 34.)

                "In other words, if it supports conventional chronology—-
                as the Groningen method does--it is acceptable. If it
                does not—-even if two independent methods support lower
                dates—-it must be rejected. This is the kind of petitio
                principii that Low Chronologists and chronological
                revisionists have objected to for many years."

                Perhaps one of these days, the current paradigm will
                allow for the possibility that the date of the end of
                the Late Bronze Age can be lowered considerably, much
                more so than current proposals allow. Then "conserva-
                tive" scholars won't have to worry about Solomon losing
                his kingdom by the downdating of the Iron Age.

                Cordially,

                Vern Crisler, BA
                vcrisler3@...
                Homepage: http://vernerable.tripod.com
                Moderator: Ancient Chronology Group:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ancient_chronology
              • siaxares
                ... clearly ... This will soon change based upon the advancement of another chronologic discipline: historical astrochronology. I have two comments in this
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 16, 2006
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                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > But I think that if the issue is the claims that have to do with a
                  > literary study of
                  > the bible, then there is probably no archaeological data that
                  clearly
                  > supports one
                  > or another theory.
                  >
                  > Yitzhak Sapir
                  > Software Engineer
                  >
                  This will soon change based upon the advancement of another
                  chronologic discipline: historical astrochronology. I have two
                  comments in this regard with respect to dating Shishak and the
                  radiocarbon evidence from Rehov:

                  1) The Biblical record is, indeed, as Mazar notes, often naively
                  referenced, so please first note that there was a 7-year co-rulership
                  between Solomon and Rehoboam and thus year 5 of Rehoboam was only
                  year 38 of Solomon. Thus 2 Chronicles 12:6 notes "At that the
                  princes of ISRAEL and the king humbled themselves...[due to Shishak]"
                  Very important for archaeological comparison for the geo-political
                  state of Judah/Israel at the time of the invasion. This is a very
                  common error that even Finkelstein/Silberman make when they presume
                  Shishak's focus is inconsisent with the Biblical focus on Rehoboam.
                  Lack of understanding of Biblically indicated co-rulerships is a
                  major problem.

                  2) But perhaps more interesting from a scientific point of view is
                  that astrochronologically speaking, since the entire Assyrian Period
                  is based on a single solar eclipse event now dated to June 15,
                  763BCE, month three, is that this dating is incorrect from a strict
                  astrohistorical point of view. That is, the Babylonians and
                  Assyrians followed the "natural" lunisolar pattern, thus observing
                  the natural first month of the year (first NEW MOON after the
                  equinox). In that case, since solar eclipses occur on the last day
                  of the month, June 15th is misdated to month three, Simanu/Sivan,
                  since it would naturally fall in month two. That is, the Julian
                  spring equinox occurring around March 28 at that time, would date the
                  earliest solar eclipse for the first month around April 28, the
                  earliest second month solar eclipse to May 28, and the earliest third
                  month eclipse to June 28. Thus the first range for third month
                  eclipses for "Simanu" would be between June 28 and July 28. June
                  15th falls during the second month range of May 28-June 28. But
                  based upon other critical astrochronological evidence, this limmu
                  reference is more strongly confirmed for the next eclipse in a rare
                  series of eclipses occurring in this region every 54 years and 1
                  month later and thus June 17, 709BCE would be the corrected reference
                  for the third-month eclipse mentioned in the eponym list. When that
                  happens, though, Shishak's invasion dated to 925BCE gets downdated to
                  871BCE. When you compare that corrected date, though, to the Rehov
                  radiocarbon dating chart, it is an EXACT MATCH! That is, looking at
                  the chart, the highest consistent peak for dating samples is around
                  871BCE! It's quite amazing! Look at the chart here:

                  http://www.rehov.org/Rehov/publications/Chapter15%20Bayesian%
                  20Analysis%20Tel%20Rehov%20-%20Bruins%20et%20al.pdf

                  Thus, if you were going strictly by astrochronological best dating
                  and scientific radiocarbon dating for Shishak's invasion, you have
                  complete agreement. The only thing thus left is to adjust the
                  Biblical and secular timelines to agree with the scientific
                  chronology now available. Both timelines are quite "flexible" enough
                  to accommodate this precise adjustment.

                  That is, if you were to ASTROCORRECT the currently misdated Assyrian
                  eponym solar eclipse from 763BCE (month two) to 709BCE (month three),
                  and then apply a Biblical timeline that downdates Solomon's rule to
                  910-870 BCE (i.e. Martin Anstey's timeline), then Shishak's invasion
                  chronologically dated to 871BCE would be the same as the higest
                  average peak range from the radiocarbon dating from Rehov for level
                  IV, which peaks out right at 871BCE!! So when astrochronology,
                  radiocarbon dating science and historical chronologic accuracy are
                  combined, you get both precision and the same timeline!

                  So in fact, the contradictions are not with science, astronomy,
                  Biblical and extra-Biblical references, but the lack of complete
                  expertise in all these areas, but that is greatly improving now. But
                  you need to be expert and correct in all areas. Right now the
                  radiocarbon dating for Shishak's invasion around 871BCE is the only
                  absolutely "correct" reference that's out there right now. The
                  Assyrian Period will be astrochronologically correct when it gets
                  redated from 763BCE to 709BCE,which will give you two corrected
                  scientific dates in complete agreement.

                  Larry Wilson
                  Biblical and Extra-Biblical historical astrochronologist
                • Niels Peter Lemche
                  Now you have sent us two mails about this. Wouln t be nice to present some fact other than a dubious reading of 2 Chron 12,6? Since it looks like an obsession
                  Message 8 of 19 , Aug 17, 2006
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                    Now you have sent us two mails about this. Wouln't be nice to present
                    some fact other than a dubious reading of 2 Chron 12,6? Since it looks
                    like an obsession to create a co-regency between Solomon and Rehoboam of
                    which the OT knows nothing, what do you do with 2 Chron 9,31, telling us
                    that Solomon died and was buried in the city of David, after which
                    Rehoboam became king -- after him?

                    If you want to prove that the Bible is right after, please do it
                    properly.

                    I will leave all this about Assyrian chronology to the specialists on
                    the list.

                    I/we need reference backing up your argument. Have you ever tried
                    Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers, who simply build up his chronological
                    system ased on co-regencies?

                    My old professor, Eduard Nielsen, always warned me against chronological
                    speculation: It will drive you craze. I published a couple of articles
                    about it to prove him wrong--well I am not sure that that I did so.

                    So, now, please some substance for your assumptions. Chronicles will not
                    do.

                    Niels Peter Lemche
                  • Ever Wilson
                    Hello Niels, ... Dubious reading? Let s see. This is what I m dealing with: 12:1 And it came about that, as soon as the kingship of Rehoboam was firmly
                    Message 9 of 19 , Aug 17, 2006
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                      Hello Niels,


                      >From: "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...>
                      >Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
                      >Subject: SV: [ANE-2] Re: THE BIBLE UNEARTHED
                      >Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 18:51:08 +0200
                      >
                      >Now you have sent us two mails about this. Wouln't be nice to present
                      >some fact other than a dubious reading of 2 Chron 12,6?

                      Dubious reading? Let's see. This is what I'm dealing with:

                      12:1 "And it came about that, as soon as the kingship of Rehoboam
                      was firmly established and as soon as he was strong, he left the law of
                      YHWH, and also ALL ISRAEL with him."

                      This suggests to me he was over ALL ISRAEL at the time. Of note, we
                      know that he was divinely assigned the kingship during the reign of Solomon
                      at the same time Jeroboam was. Co-rulerships were quite common and
                      good for the stability of the nation. Given the choice of whether this
                      was during a presumed co-rulership with Solomon immediately after his
                      appointment, or after the division of the nation with Jeroboam over the
                      10 tribes, I would say that he was more in a position to mislead ALL ISRAEL
                      during the co-rulership while Jeroboam was still in Egypt.

                      Thus added to this thought when we get to 12:6 "At that the princes of
                      ISRAEL and _THE_ KING humbled themselves."

                      Now from the Shishak inscription and evidence from archaeology we know
                      Shishak
                      attacked a lot of cities in the northern kingdom area, which explains why
                      the
                      "princes of Israel" are now repenting along with the king.

                      Now if this was after Jeroboam returned and became king over the northern
                      ten
                      tribes, then Shishak would have been focussing his attack on the cities now
                      under
                      the rule of his "friend". Why would he do that when it was Rehoboam who had
                      misled ALL ISRAEL in this lawbreaking? And if this was after Jeroboam had
                      begun to
                      reign as king over the princes of Israel. Where is he? Wouldn't he be
                      there repenting
                      with the "princes of Israel" after Shishak's attack on all those northern
                      cities?

                      So given a choice, I'd say the evidence leans more toward this occurring
                      before
                      Jeroboam arrives on the scene.

                      Since it looks
                      >like an obsession to create a co-regency between Solomon and Rehoboam of
                      >which the OT knows nothing,

                      ..you mean YOU know nothing. The co-rulership is implied by 2 Chron 12:1,6.

                      ..what do you do with 2 Chron 9,31, telling us
                      >that Solomon died and was buried in the city of David, after which
                      >Rehoboam became king -- after him?
                      >
                      Nothing. This is one aspect not understood by many regarding the
                      co-rulerships, the key factor being that when the co-rulership began
                      the title given to the son-coruler was "king". Thus in reference to
                      co-rulerships the Bible will give two reference to when a persong "became
                      king". One will be for the co-rulership, the latter reference to the sole
                      rulership. So the reference above that Rehobam "became king" is the
                      reference to his second coronation as sole ruler when he "became king"
                      a second time.

                      As as comparison, since you asked for proof is the two "kingship" references
                      for Ahaziah of Judah who became king in both the 11th and 12th year of
                      Jehoram of Israel yet he only ruled for one year.

                      2 Kings 8:25, 2 Kings 9:29

                      Ahaziah's father began to rule in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel and so
                      he
                      died in the 12th year of Jehoroam of Israel. So the latter kingship
                      reference
                      to his becoming king in the 12th year is when he was coronated as sole
                      ruler after his father's death. But he must have been appointed as king
                      co-ruler shortly before in the 11th year of Jehoram of Israel. So that's
                      how the Bible subtly makes reference to the co-rulership, but there is
                      no contradiction since he could have, within a year, become king near
                      the end of the 11th year of JOI while his father was still alive, who
                      then died early in the 12th year of JOI when he became sole ruler but
                      then was killed before he reached his second year of rule.

                      Following this general rule, when you are given two dates for any king
                      you can connect all the co-rulerships and align them perfectly together.
                      >
                      >I will leave all this about Assyrian chronology to the specialists on
                      >the list.
                      >
                      Good idea.

                      >I/we need reference backing up your argument. Have you ever tried
                      >Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers, who simply build up his chronological
                      >system ased on co-regencies?
                      >
                      Of, of course! His chronology is the basis of the current dating! His
                      co-rulerships remove about 47 years or so from the timeline from
                      Ahab to Jehoiachin, so I definitely follow Thiele. The two co-rulerships
                      he missed though don't happen until Ahab and Solomon so don't
                      adversely affect the timeline (i.e. the 5th of Rehoboam will end up at the
                      same year regardless of whether Solomon was ruling still or not.)

                      I will admit that my assessment is that the Biblical historians purposely
                      confuscated and interconnected their timeline, likely to discourage easy
                      revisionism. If it's too confusing, it's not a threat and if its too
                      interconnected
                      it's hard to revise.


                      >My old professor, Eduard Nielsen, always warned me against chronological
                      >speculation: It will drive you craze. I published a couple of articles
                      >about it to prove him wrong--well I am not sure that that I did so.
                      >
                      I'd love to read your articles if you still have them.

                      >So, now, please some substance for your assumptions. Chronicles will not
                      >do.
                      >
                      >Niels Peter Lemche
                      >
                      Well, what is obvious or proof to some is not that way to another, and its
                      common for two experts in a field to disagree. That's where "early" and
                      "late"
                      dating comes from. So some things are not necessarily "provable" and will
                      only suggest an OPTION. So in this case, that is all I would position to
                      substantiate here. 1) That Rehoboam was divinely appointed as king over
                      the two tribes during Solomon's reign. 2) That he may have begun actively
                      ruling as king/co-ruler immediately after this while Jeroboam was in Egypt.
                      3) Since Jeroboam did not take over the 10 tribes until after the death of
                      Solomon, the co-rulership during the reign of Solomon would have been over
                      all twelve tribes.

                      Another suggestion that Shishak's invasion was during the rule of Solomon
                      was
                      that the Bible states that Shishak attacked the fortified cities of JUDAH.

                      12:4 "And he [Shishak] got to capture the fortified cities that belonged to
                      Judah
                      and finally came as far as Jerusalem." Doesn't say anything about the
                      cities of Israel.

                      How many fortified cities of "Judah" were there? Well, there may have only
                      been
                      a few after the division of the monarchy, but ALL the cities in both Judah
                      and Israel
                      would have been considered belonging to Judah before the division. The
                      evidence
                      shows that most of the cities attacked by Shishak were in the north. We
                      know that
                      the princes of Israel were attacked because they are repenting with Rehoboam
                      after
                      the attack. If Shishak only attacked the cities of "Judah" after the
                      division, then why
                      were the Princes of Israel even involved? If this was before the division,
                      then Judah
                      was still over all the cities in the north.

                      So all the evidence plus the Biblical reference works out quite nicely with
                      the facts
                      when this happens before the division, before the death of Solomon, before
                      Jeroboam
                      returned from Egypt.

                      But now that we have REHOV dating, very specifically pointing to around
                      872-873BCE
                      we have that confirmation that the attack was still during the reign of
                      Solomon since
                      his rule specifically must be dated from 910-870BCE. So that's more
                      evidence that this
                      invasion was during the reign of Solomon.

                      When I coordinated the co-rulership references for the entire period as
                      Thiele did,
                      coordinating that with the dating of Kakar in the 6th of Shalmaneser III,
                      contrasted
                      with the dating of the Exodus 19 jubilees from the 1st of Cyrus, then I got
                      an overlap
                      of about 7 years for Solomon and Rehoboam. At that point I rechecked the
                      specific
                      references and context of the invasion and noted Rehoboam was still
                      conversing with
                      the princes of Israel, which I interpreted as confirming this occurred
                      during the time
                      when Rehoboam was still over all 12 tribes.

                      I came up with a 6-7 year co-rulership which 872BCE falls between. So it
                      looks like,
                      at this point, the Biblical writers were pretty accurate with what we have
                      available
                      as far as dating and details of Shishak's attack, as far as I can tell.

                      Larry Wilson

                      P.S. See my post on "Co-rulerships. HOW" for more information and
                      discussion.

                      _________________________________________________________________
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                    • Niels Peter Lemche
                      Well, my friend, you are walking around in some literal reading where few except the evangelicals will follow you. Have a look of the chronology of the early
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 17, 2006
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                        Well, my friend, you are walking around in some literal reading where
                        few except the evangelicals will follow you.

                        Have a look of the chronology of the early Judean kingdom (if there was
                        any):

                        David 40 years - good king
                        Saul 40 years - good king
                        Rehabeam 17 years + Abiyah 3 years = 20 years - bad kings
                        Asa 40 years - good king (41 in Kings, 40 in Chronicles -- definitely
                        some corruption took place here)
                        Josaphat 25 years + Joram 8 years + Ahaziah 1 year + Athaliah 6 years --
                        all bad kings (and a bad queen) = 40 years
                        Yoash 40 years - good king

                        It is totally artificial this system. The author of Samuel and Kings had
                        no idea about actual numbers; he had no idea about the historical part
                        of what he was writing. He used numbers for different purposes, like in
                        Judges, the list of the small Judges:

                        Tola 23 years
                        Jair 22 years
                        Ibsan 7 years
                        Elon 10 years
                        Abdon 8 years
                        All together 70 years
                        The calculation of the individual numbers had to make up the round or
                        pregnant number 70

                        And more
                        Othniel: Peace for Israel in 40 years
                        Ehud: Peace for Israel in 80 years
                        Barak: Peace for Israel in 40 years
                        Gideon: Peace for Israel in 40 years

                        Have an article about it, so far in Danish only. Will see if I get time
                        to translate it sometimes during the upcoming dark and gloomy
                        Scandinavian winter.

                        So, please enjoy playing your numbers. In biblical studies -- except
                        from the conservative part -- sorry to say, your endeavours will be
                        reckoned goose hunting.

                        Niels Peter Lemche

                        PS: Now it is time to see your credentials: Astrochronologist, what is
                        this strange creature? Never heard about it. Please show your cards, and
                        let some assyriologists join the discussion about their chronology. But,
                        dear Lars, be short.

                        PS II: you didn't answer my question! That you have your beloved
                        Chronicles say -- according to your interpretation only -- that Rehoboam
                        ruled together with Solomon, was it for 7 years, another round biblical
                        number -- while the same book two chapters earlier expressly says that
                        Solomon died, was buried and then succeeded by his son. I think your
                        interpretation of 2 Chron 12 is eisegesis, not exegesis.
                      • Robert M Whiting
                        On Wed, 16 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote: ... No, what you do is not science. Basing theories on false assumptions that have no basis in fact and that
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 18, 2006
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                          On Wed, 16 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:

                          <snip>

                          > 2) But perhaps more interesting from a scientific

                          No, what you do is not science. Basing theories on false assumptions that
                          have no basis in fact and that ignore evidence to the contrary is not
                          science.

                          > point of view is that astrochronologically speaking, since the entire
                          > Assyrian Period is based on a single solar eclipse event now dated to
                          > June 15, 763BCE, month three, is that this dating is incorrect from a
                          > strict astrohistorical point of view.

                          False Assumption # 1: The "entire Assyrian Period" is not based solely on
                          the eclipse of June 15, 763 BC. It is also based on the Ptolemaic Canon
                          which lists rulers of Babylonia from 747 BC until the conquest of
                          Alexander. Since the later Assyrian kings (Sargon, Sennacherib,
                          Esarhaddon) were also kings of Babylonia, they appear in the Ptolemaic
                          Canon and their own texts often give "double dates" (an Assyian-style
                          limmu date and a Babylonian-style regnal year date). Thus the "Assyrian
                          Period" is based on the eclipse of 763 BC from the eponym chronicle and
                          the fixing of the Assyrian kings of Babylonia by the Ptolemaic Canon.
                          These dates are tied together by a rock-solid sequence of eponym dates.
                          Further, the 763 BC eclipse and and the Ptolemaic Canon are completely
                          independent pieces of evidence. Assyrian chronology is made up of
                          interlocking pieces that have been put together over the better part of
                          the past century and a half. If you try to pull at a piece it doesn't
                          move because it is held in place by all the other pieces.

                          > That is, the Babylonians and Assyrians followed the "natural" lunisolar
                          > pattern, thus observing the natural first month of the year (first NEW
                          > MOON after the equinox).

                          False Assumption # 2: There is absolutely no evidence that the equinox
                          had any significance whatsoever for the beginning of the year in 8th
                          century Assyria. To quote Landsberger ("Jahreszeiten im
                          Sumerisch-Akkadischen," _Journal of Near Eastern Studies_ 8 [1949],
                          253-54): "Das Sonnenjahr mit seinen vier Fixpunkten hatte keine lebendige
                          Existenz. Aequinoktien und Solstizien werden zwar von spaeten Astronomen
                          in ihren Beobachtungstexten gebucht, haben aber kein Bedeutung im Bauren-
                          oder Festkalender, noch auch in der Mythologie."

                          Before mathematical astronomy reached a level where it was able to predict
                          month lengths and eclipses, the equinoxes and solstices had no effect on
                          the Mesopotamian calendar. The "Standard" Mesopotamian calendar was
                          luni-solar, consisting of 12 lunar months with an additional lunar month
                          intercalated as needed to keep the calendar year in line with the seasons.
                          The day began at sunset and the new month began with the first sighting of
                          the new crescent moon at sunset. The unit of intercalation was the
                          lunation. There is no evidence of days being intercalated in 8th century
                          Assyria.

                          When the equinox happened was of considerably less importance than when
                          the grain was ready for harvest in determining intercalation. As far as
                          the "Standard" Mesopotamian calendar and the rest of the culture was
                          concerned, the equinoxes were simply irrelevant.

                          Actually, it would be useful if the beginning of the year had some
                          connection with the equinox since that would make it quite easy to
                          determine which years should be intercalary years. However, if you check
                          out the known intercalary years from the Assyrian calendar, you will see
                          that they have no correlation with the equinox, giving rise to the
                          conclusion that the beginning of the year has nothing to do with the
                          equinox.

                          > In that case, since solar eclipses occur on the last day of the month,

                          False Assumption # 3: Solar eclipses occur at the new moon syzygy. The
                          new month begins with the first visibility of the crescent at sunset which
                          is a day or two later than the syzygy. Thus it is nigh impossible for the
                          new crescent to be visible in the evening on the day of a solar eclipse
                          (unless you have a really fast sun and a really slow moon).

                          > June 15th is misdated to month three, Simanu/Sivan, since it would
                          > naturally fall in month two.

                          False Assumption # 4: Based on False Assumption # 2.

                          > That is, the Julian spring equinox occurring around March 28 at that
                          > time, would date the earliest solar eclipse for the first month around
                          > April 28, the earliest second month solar eclipse to May 28, and the
                          > earliest third month eclipse to June 28.

                          False Assumption # 5: This is only true if the year begins exactly on the
                          equinox, an extremely unlikely event since the periodicity of the solar
                          year and the periodicity of a lunation are not related.

                          > Thus the first range for third month eclipses for "Simanu" would be
                          > between June 28 and July 28. June 15th falls during the second month
                          > range of May 28-June 28. But based upon other critical
                          > astrochronological evidence,

                          Such as?

                          > this limmu reference is more strongly confirmed for the next eclipse in
                          > a rare series of eclipses occurring in this region every 54 years and 1
                          > month later

                          False Assumption # 6: There is nothing rare about this. In fact, it is
                          extremely regular and forms the basis of being able to predict eclipses.
                          The basis of predicting eclipses is the saros period. This period is 18
                          years 10 (or 11) and 1/3 days, or 233 lunations, after which the centers
                          of the sun and moon will be back to almost exactly the same relative
                          position. After this another eclipse with almost the same geometical
                          parameters will occur. However, note that the period is not a full
                          number of days. The fact that the saros period contains 1/3 of a day
                          means that the next eclipse in the saros family will be 120 degrees
                          further to the west. But this fact also means that after 3 saros periods
                          the eclipse will be back in the same region again. Three saros periods
                          (54 years 31 days) is known as an exeligmos. Even though the longitude
                          will be nearly the same after an exeligmos, the latitude will have shifted
                          about 600 miles north or south of the previous eclipse in the saros
                          family.

                          Thus the following is true of the saros family to which the June 15, 763
                          BC eclipse belongs for an observer in Nineveh:

                          Saros JD Julian Date Greatest Eclipse %

                          44/30 1383635.06 9 MAR 925 BC 11 19.4W 27 43.2S 0.0
                          44/33 1403391.00 11 APR 871 BC 2 3.9W 4 37.4S 5.1
                          44/36 1423146.92 13 MAY 817 BC 24 44.2E 18 48.3N 49.6
                          44/39 1442902.84 15 JUN 763 BC 54 5.5E 38 52.4N 99.2
                          44/42 1462658.79 17 JUL 709 BC 86 21.8E 50 26.7N 40.9
                          44/45 1482414.77 19 AUG 655 BC 106 26.7E 50 14.5N 1.9

                          So yes, there were three consecutive (at 54 year intervals) eclipses that
                          would have been noticeable at Nineveh (or Assyria in general).

                          But there were also several other saros families that produced eclipses
                          visible in Assyria at 54 year intervals at roughly the same time:

                          36/58 1417596.02 2 MAR 832 BC 9 30.6W 11 3.2N 91.7
                          36/61 1437351.92 4 APR 778 BC 17 6.9E 34 34.5N 66.0
                          36/64 1457107.77 6 MAY 724 BC 55 40.6E 64 10.1N 55.4

                          57/20 1422290.78 8 JAN 819 BC 66 4.0E 53 2.8N 68.3
                          57/23 1442046.85 10 FEB 765 BC 31 37.1E 43 28.8N 84.8
                          57/26 1461802.87 14 MAR 711 BC 21 53.2E 39 9.5N 65.2

                          The following eclipses were also visible there in the same time frame
                          (limited to those with 50% visibility or greater):

                          Saros JD Julian Date Greatest Eclipse %
                          53/27 1426099.83 13 JUN 809 BC 49 58.0E 50 2.8N 72.9
                          55/26 1427488.75 2 APR 805 BC 35 27.4E 56 25.9N 78.9
                          53/28 1432685.12 24 JUN 791 BC 47 50.6W 46 30.5N 68.9
                          59/17 1450019.87 9 DEC 744 BC 48 54.5E 46 37.4N 73.8

                          So since there were two other series of three eclipses separated by 54
                          years visible in this region at more or less the same time, it's hard to
                          consider the phenomenon "rare". And since there are a lot of other
                          eclipes in the period keeping the signal to noise ratio down, it's hard
                          to make any kind of "astrochronological" case for one or the other being
                          the only eclipse recorded in the eponym chronicle. But if one is going to
                          pick a puny 40.9% eclipse over a blockbuster 99.2% (with 100% further
                          north in Assyria or at higher elevations), one should have some evidence
                          that isn't pure speculation for it.

                          > and thus June 17, 709BCE

                          You mean July 17, but that's all right. It's an easy enough mistake to
                          make.

                          > would be the corrected reference for the third-month eclipse mentioned
                          > in the eponym list.

                          False Assumption # 7: Based on False Assumption #4 based on False
                          Assumption # 2.

                          <snip>

                          > Larry Wilson
                          > Biblical and Extra-Biblical historical astrochronologist

                          Being an "astrochronologist" is not enough. You have to have some idea of
                          what is going on on the ground too.


                          Bob Whiting
                          whiting@...
                        • siaxares
                          ... Thanks Bob, so much for this info! I find this fascinating and I must step back a bit on my astronomy theories! I basically acquiesce ... Okay. Perhaps
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 18, 2006
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                            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Robert M Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > On Wed, 16 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:
                            >
                            > <snip>

                            Thanks Bob, so much for this info! I find this fascinating and I
                            must step back a bit on my astronomy theories! I basically acquiesce
                            to your specifics with the following brief notes:
                            >
                            > False Assumption # 1: The "entire Assyrian Period" is not based solely on
                            > the eclipse of June 15, 763 BC.
                            >
                            Okay. Perhaps better stated, since the Assyrian eponym is a
                            continuous annual record and only one eclipse is noted in this
                            record, the eponym is aligned to match that single eclipse event and
                            that alignment is to the eclipse dated June 15, 763BCE. Obviously,
                            lots of other "evidence" would correlate with the overall dating of
                            this period, but less specifically. The dating for Shishak is linked
                            to this eclipse because of an inconsistent Egyptian history for this
                            event. Since the invasion is specifically mentioned in year 5 of
                            Rehoboam and Ahab is mentioned in the 6th year of Shalmaneser III,
                            the chronology of a few kings (72 years) back to Shishak's invasion
                            is based specifically on that correlation. Shishak's invasion in
                            925BCE is linked to the battle of Karkar in 853BCE, in turn based
                            upon the 763BCE eponym eclipse.

                            The only other completely independent means of dating to a specific
                            year, that is, independent of historical reference would be
                            radiocarbon-14 dating. That's why the Rehov radiocarbon-14 dating is
                            so interesting since when level IV is associated with the destruction
                            level by Shishak, who mentions Rehov in his inscription, it dates
                            that event closer to 872BCE. If there were absolutely no Biblical or
                            historical refererences for Shishak to correlate, then archaeologists
                            could pretty much use the radiocarbon dating "point" as a closest
                            best reference to the time of this invasion. So it's interesting
                            that the radiocarbon dating seems to date the Shishak event a bit
                            closer to the Battle of Karkar than the current historical timeline.
                            But I'm sure the Assyriologists will work that out. Anyway, back to
                            more fascinating astronomy!

                            <snip re Ptolemy's Canon>

                            On page 375 of his The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy, Newton also
                            wrote: "It follows that Ptolemy's king list is useless in the study
                            of chronology, and that it must be ignored. What is worse, much
                            Babylonian chronology is based upon Ptolemy's king list. All relevant
                            chronology must now be reviewed and all dependence upon Ptolemy's
                            list must be removed."

                            In 1977, Robert R. Newton published his book The Crime of Claudius
                            Ptolemy in which he accused Ptolemy of being the "most successful
                            fraud in history".


                            It is also based on the Ptolemaic Canon...

                            Yes, thanks.

                            <snip>
                            >
                            > False Assumption # 2: There is absolutely no evidence that the equinox
                            > had any significance whatsoever for the beginning of the year in
                            > 8th century Assyria. To quote Landsberger ("Jahreszeiten im
                            > Sumerisch-Akkadischen,"..

                            Thanks for this reference! I stand corrected.

                            > There is no evidence of days being intercalated in 8th century
                            > Assyria.
                            >
                            Thanks! again for the ancient astronomy details. I didn't mean to
                            imply the days were intercalated, only that in relation to whenever
                            you begin the year, in relation to that month the equinox would fall
                            in either month 12 or 13 and so the solar system sort of intercalates
                            itself on its own. But I remain corrected on the specifics and
                            presumptions.

                            > Actually, it would be useful if the beginning of the year had some
                            > connection with the equinox since that would make it quite easy to
                            > determine which years should be intercalary years.

                            Yes, as I noted, there is sort of a "natural" self-intercalation the
                            solar system does on its own.


                            However, if you check
                            > out the known intercalary years from the Assyrian calendar, you will see
                            > that they have no correlation with the equinox, giving rise to the
                            > conclusion that the beginning of the year has nothing to do with the
                            > equinox.
                            >
                            Totally accepted and corrected. I'll just note for the record that
                            in the case of the 763BC dating, this would be an instance wherein
                            the Assyrians did begin the first month of the year before the
                            equinox.

                            > > In that case, since solar eclipses occur on the last day of the
                            month,
                            >
                            > False Assumption # 3: Solar eclipses occur at the new moon syzygy. The
                            > new month begins with the first visibility of the crescent at sunset which
                            > is a day or two later than the syzygy. Thus it is nigh impossible for the
                            > new crescent to be visible in the evening on the day of a solar eclipse
                            > (unless you have a really fast sun and a really slow moon).
                            >
                            Thanks again! I was generalizing. I stand again, corrected and thank
                            you for your specifics. I'll revise my reference to "solar eclipses
                            occur near the end of the month," to be more accurate rather than
                            the "last day." So thanks for that correction! :>

                            > False Assumption # 6: There is nothing rare about this. In fact, it is
                            > extremely regular and forms the basis of being able to predict eclipses.

                            This is fascinating! I didn't realize but suspected as much. This
                            makes a lot more sense, generally, in relation to the Thales eclipse
                            prediction based upon this very eclipse pattern! For some reason,
                            the experts in the field when discussing the Thales eclipse (i.e.
                            Otto Neugebauer, A. Pannekoek) seem not to have been aware of this!

                            Neugebauer wrote: "... there exists no cycle for solar eclipses
                            visible at a given place: all modern cycles concern the earth as a
                            whole. No Babylonian theory for predicting a solar eclipse existed at
                            600 BC, as one can see from the very unsatisfactory situation 400
                            years later, nor did the Babylonians ever develop any theory which
                            took the influence of geographical latitude into account."
                            (http://www.phoenicia.org/thales.html)

                            So thanks! You are confirming this is not actually the case once you
                            actually look at the actual eclipses!!

                            > Even though the longitude
                            > will be nearly the same after an exeligmos, the latitude will have shifted
                            > about 600 miles north or south of the previous eclipse in the saros
                            > family.
                            >
                            Thank you, again! This is absolutely wonderful news info, and what I
                            only had personally generally observed when comparing ancient
                            eclipses with my astronomy program. So there is a factor of
                            predictability there, precisely as you say. Thus the issue came up
                            in relation to the Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian astronomers
                            using this specific pattern to help Thales predict his eclipse! That
                            makes sense. Of course, you can check out the 585BCE eclipse to see
                            if the matching eclipse in the series occurred in the region of
                            observation. That is, it would make a difference if the previous
                            eclipse 54 years and 1 month earlier was 600 miles farther north when
                            the pattern was occurring from north to south, versus when the
                            pattern is reversed going from south to north, as can be seen from
                            the 54-year-1-month series the 763BCE eclipse is part of. It's my
                            theory that this is precisely how the Egyptians helped Thales predict
                            his eclipse by this very pattern. But that's another topic.

                            > Thus the following is true of the saros family to which the June 15, 763
                            > BC eclipse belongs for an observer in Nineveh:
                            >
                            > Saros JD Julian Date Greatest Eclipse
                            %
                            >
                            > 44/30 1383635.06 9 MAR 925 BC 11 19.4W 27 43.2S
                            0.0
                            > 44/33 1403391.00 11 APR 871 BC 2 3.9W 4 37.4S
                            5.1
                            > 44/36 1423146.92 13 MAY 817 BC 24 44.2E 18 48.3N 49.6
                            > 44/39 1442902.84 15 JUN 763 BC 54 5.5E 38 52.4N 99.2
                            > 44/42 1462658.79 17 JUL 709 BC 86 21.8E 50 26.7N 40.9
                            > 44/45 1482414.77 19 AUG 655 BC 106 26.7E 50 14.5N
                            1.9
                            >
                            > So yes, there were three consecutive (at 54 year intervals) eclipses that
                            > would have been noticeable at Nineveh (or Assyria in general).
                            >
                            Yes! I agree. 817, 763 and 709 BC. Each one consistently about 600
                            miles apart, going from south to north! So based upon your
                            information, in 817BCE they would have seen at 49.2% eclipse across
                            the bottom of the sun, correlating to a total eclipse track about 600
                            miles south of them. Then in 763BCE, they had a total eclipse occur
                            at 99.2%, where the eclipse crosses over the center of the sun. Then
                            in 709 BCE, the third eclipse in the series, 600 miles to the north a
                            40.9% eclipse occurred, basically a 40.9% eclipse across the top of
                            the sun correlating with the total eclipse track 600 miles above
                            them.

                            What I would wonder is, since at this time Babylon had not come into
                            such great prominence, whether or not this was the first perceived
                            pattern by the Assyrian astronomers that finally allowed them to
                            figure out where the next total eclipse would be in relation to the
                            one they had specifically experienced? That is, given say a few
                            astronomers at Nineveh who experienced the total eclipse in 763BCE,
                            knowing precisely the point of the eclipse track, whether this
                            enabled them to specifically predict the location and time of the
                            next eclipse precisely 600 miles to the north 54 years and 1 month
                            later and they took advantage of that based upon the total 763BCE
                            eclipse and announced this to the public. Maybe a lot of the
                            populace went north to experience this eclipse and it was such an
                            incredible opportunity and a great event for them, they decided to
                            memorialize it in their civic record?


                            > But there were also several other saros families that produced eclipses
                            > visible in Assyria at 54 year intervals at roughly the same time:
                            >
                            Thanks for this list. I'll check out the eclipse tracks in relation
                            to Nineveh. This seems to be, though, as you said, a rather common
                            observation at the time allowing for predictability. Interesting. I
                            wonder what made 763BCE so different compared to the other eclipses,
                            besides as you note, being total at Nineveh that they would include
                            it in their eponym list?

                            > to make any kind of "astrochronological" case for one or the other being
                            > the only eclipse recorded in the eponym chronicle. But if one is going to
                            > pick a puny 40.9% eclipse over a blockbuster 99.2% (with 100% further
                            > north in Assyria or at higher elevations), one should have some evidence
                            > that isn't pure speculation for it.
                            >
                            Absolutely. I agree. The total eclipse seems more intense. My
                            speculation was that if they were observing this predictable pattern
                            that the proximity of the total eclipse to Nineveh in 763BCE would
                            have put the astronomers in a position to be quite accurate and
                            specific in establishing the precise location of the following
                            eclipse. They would have known precisely where to go if they wanted
                            to experience the next eclipse based upon the 763BCE event. But
                            again, you're right, at this point, that is just speculation.

                            > <snip>
                            >
                            > > Larry Wilson
                            > > Biblical and Extra-Biblical historical astrochronologist
                            >
                            > Being an "astrochronologist" is not enough. You have to have some idea of
                            > what is going on on the ground too.
                            >
                            >
                            > Bob Whiting
                            > whiting@...
                            >
                            Thank you, again Bob, for this specific information! I think it's
                            important to refine and get things right and I appreciate the
                            refinements and corrections! This has been very informative. Again,
                            the Thales predicted eclipse issue comes up because he did a 7-year
                            astronomy apprenticeship in Egypt and seems to have gotten his
                            information from the Egyptians in order to predict his eclipse.
                            This eclipse pattern seems to have been common knowledge and fairly
                            predictable if passed onto Thales. The 585BCE eclipse, though was in
                            a series for this pattern that occurred farther north and over
                            Europe, so that eclipse would not have helped Thales in this case.
                            But Egypt is precisely about 600 miles south of Ionia (the eclipse
                            interval pattern) where Thales ran to warn about that eclipse. In
                            other words, for the Egyptians to be able to tell Thales about an
                            upcoming eclipse going through Ionia based upon this pattern, the
                            matching eclipse they would have known about would have occurred in
                            Egypt. Thales apparently became famous for predicting an eclipse in
                            that location, so...??

                            Again, thanks for the corrections. I certainly will back down from
                            my 709BCE astronomy predictable eclipse theory!

                            So for now, in quick summary. It appears the 763BCE eclipse is
                            absolutely a good eclipse for dating the eponym, astronomy wise, and
                            correctly or adequately dated to month three.

                            But that eclipse _is_ the basis for the Shishak dating to 925BCE,
                            correlated with Biblical chronology for this short period. The Rehov
                            radiocarbon-14 dating peaking out around 872BCE dates Shishak 19
                            years earlier than the Battle of Karkar in 853BCE. Using radiocarbon
                            dating, rather than eclipses to date Shishak's invasion in 872BCE, if
                            you introduced the 72-year interval, it would date the Battle of
                            Karkar around 799BCE. I suppose it's possible the radiocarbon-14
                            dating is not all that perfected yet though.

                            Thanks, again, for your info. No more Assyrian re-dating
                            speculations for me for a while! Your info was extremely helpful!

                            Larry Wilson
                          • David Hall
                            Thanks to L. Wilson thanks for the eclipse data. My source indicated Ptolemy used data about a partial (half) lunar eclipse during the reign of Merodach
                            Message 13 of 19 , Aug 18, 2006
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                              Thanks to L. Wilson thanks for the eclipse data.

                              My source indicated Ptolemy used data about a partial (half) lunar eclipse during the reign of Merodach Baladan, I have read some web sites about R. Newton's work and am not sure if he used the methodology of observing partial and total eclipses. Evetts, a 19th century British Museum Assyriologist, suggested in his text that the Merodach Baladan eclipse was a half lunar eclipse.

                              I found an interesting article suggesting that the Bible recorded a solar eclipse during the reign of Hezekiah and that this full solar eclipse was dated to 701, very close to modern chronology for the times of Hezekiah.

                              http://www.bibleandscience.com/bible/books/genesis/genesis1_sunshadow.htm

                              I am not astrochronologist and am sure the subject is much deeper than what I have time for.

                              David Q. Hall










                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Robert M Whiting
                              Sorry this reply has taken so long. I have not been well for the past week. ... Thank you. I am glad that it wasn t a waste of a day to put it all together.
                              Message 14 of 19 , Aug 26, 2006
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                                Sorry this reply has taken so long. I have not been well for the past
                                week.

                                On Fri, 18 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:

                                > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Robert M Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > On Wed, 16 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:
                                > >
                                > > <snip>
                                >
                                > Thanks Bob, so much for this info! I find this fascinating and I
                                > must step back a bit on my astronomy theories! I basically acquiesce
                                > to your specifics with the following brief notes:

                                Thank you. I am glad that it wasn't a waste of a day to put it all
                                together.

                                > > False Assumption # 1: The "entire Assyrian Period" is not based
                                > > solely on the eclipse of June 15, 763 BC.
                                > >
                                > Okay. Perhaps better stated, since the Assyrian eponym is a
                                > continuous annual record and only one eclipse is noted in this
                                > record, the eponym is aligned to match that single eclipse event and
                                > that alignment is to the eclipse dated June 15, 763BCE. Obviously,
                                > lots of other "evidence" would correlate with the overall dating of
                                > this period, but less specifically.

                                While it is true that the eclipse is the only astronomical event recorded
                                in the eponym chronicle (and don't confuse the eponym list with the eponym
                                chronicle -- they are two separate things), there are a significant number
                                of other astronomical observations contained in the later texts of the
                                Neo-Assyrian empire, including eclipses, transits, conjunctions, and
                                occultations. You should look at S. Parpola, _Letters from Assyrian
                                Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal._ Parts I-II (AOAT
                                5/1-2, 1970-1983) (especially the commentary in Part II). Although most
                                of the letters are not dated, the observations create a web of
                                circumstantial connections which can often be placed in order because of
                                their reference to other events in the letters. Also important is Hermann
                                Hunger, _Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings_ (SAA 8, Helsinki, 1992).
                                More of these latter texts are dated.

                                > The dating for Shishak is linked to this eclipse because of an
                                > inconsistent Egyptian history for this event. Since the invasion is
                                > specifically mentioned in year 5 of Rehoboam and Ahab is mentioned in
                                > the 6th year of Shalmaneser III, the chronology of a few kings (72
                                > years) back to Shishak's invasion is based specifically on that
                                > correlation. Shishak's invasion in 925BCE is linked to the battle of
                                > Karkar in 853BCE, in turn based upon the 763BCE eponym eclipse.
                                >
                                > The only other completely independent means of dating to a specific
                                > year, that is, independent of historical reference would be
                                > radiocarbon-14 dating.

                                The dendrochronologists would not like to hear you say that.

                                > That's why the Rehov radiocarbon-14 dating is so interesting since when
                                > level IV is associated with the destruction level by Shishak, who
                                > mentions Rehov in his inscription, it dates that event closer to 872BCE.
                                > If there were absolutely no Biblical or historical refererences for
                                > Shishak to correlate, then archaeologists could pretty much use the
                                > radiocarbon dating "point" as a closest best reference to the time of
                                > this invasion. So it's interesting that the radiocarbon dating seems to
                                > date the Shishak event a bit closer to the Battle of Karkar than the
                                > current historical timeline. But I'm sure the Assyriologists will work
                                > that out. Anyway, back to more fascinating astronomy!

                                But there are two destruction levels there, only one (if any) of which can
                                be associated with Shishak. It's not as if the destruction of Shishak has
                                to be associated with level IV. In any case, I am suspicious of reflex
                                correlations like this where there is an inscription that tells of
                                destruction and a destruction that automatically gets associated with it.
                                That's how the Ebla people got in trouble. Naram-Sin claims to have
                                destroyed Ebla; there is a destruction level at Ebla so it automatically
                                gets dated to Naram-Sin -- instant chronology.

                                > <snip re Ptolemy's Canon>
                                >
                                > On page 375 of his The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy, Newton also
                                > wrote: "It follows that Ptolemy's king list is useless in the study
                                > of chronology, and that it must be ignored. What is worse, much
                                > Babylonian chronology is based upon Ptolemy's king list. All relevant
                                > chronology must now be reviewed and all dependence upon Ptolemy's
                                > list must be removed."
                                >
                                > In 1977, Robert R. Newton published his book The Crime of Claudius
                                > Ptolemy in which he accused Ptolemy of being the "most successful
                                > fraud in history".

                                Yes, well, Newton also took a lot of flack for that from historians of
                                astronomy and I believe he backed off somewhat from that position before
                                his death. Further, it seems that he wasn't aware that Ptolemy's king
                                list wasn't really Ptolemy's king list but was an earlier compilation
                                generally available around Alexandria. It just gets called the Ptolemaic
                                Canon because it became part of his work. I doubt that anyone familiar
                                with the history of astronomy and with Babylonian chronology would support
                                Newton's original claim.

                                > It is also based on the Ptolemaic Canon...
                                >
                                > Yes, thanks.

                                You should perhaps read Leo Depuydt, "'More Valuable than all Gold':
                                Ptolemy's Royal Canon and Babylonian Chronology," Journal of Cuneiform
                                Studies 47 (1995), 97-117.

                                > <snip>

                                > Totally accepted and corrected. I'll just note for the record that
                                > in the case of the 763BC dating, this would be an instance wherein
                                > the Assyrians did begin the first month of the year before the
                                > equinox.

                                Yes, but only about 7 or 8 days. If you are interested there are new moon
                                syzygys for the entire period at
                                <http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/phase/phasecat.html>.

                                <snip>

                                > > False Assumption # 6: There is nothing rare about this. In fact, it
                                > > is extremely regular and forms the basis of being able to predict
                                > > eclipses.
                                >
                                > This is fascinating! I didn't realize but suspected as much.

                                This should be basic knowledge for anyone who calls himself an
                                "astrochronologist."

                                > This makes a lot more sense, generally, in relation to the Thales
                                > eclipse prediction based upon this very eclipse pattern! For some
                                > reason, the experts in the field when discussing the Thales eclipse
                                > (i.e. Otto Neugebauer, A. Pannekoek) seem not to have been aware of
                                > this!
                                >
                                > Neugebauer wrote: "... there exists no cycle for solar eclipses
                                > visible at a given place: all modern cycles concern the earth as a
                                > whole. No Babylonian theory for predicting a solar eclipse existed at
                                > 600 BC, as one can see from the very unsatisfactory situation 400
                                > years later, nor did the Babylonians ever develop any theory which
                                > took the influence of geographical latitude into account."
                                > (http://www.phoenicia.org/thales.html)
                                >
                                > So thanks! You are confirming this is not actually the case once you
                                > actually look at the actual eclipses!!

                                Actually it is the case. Neugebauer was quite correct. Just because you
                                don't understand what he said does not mean that he was wrong.

                                You are confusing one- or two-time repetition with a cycle (periodicity).
                                A cycle repeats over and over (and over). There is no periodicity for the
                                same eclipse being visible from the same spot on earth. All the
                                repetition within a saros family tells you is that it is quite likely that
                                three consecutive exeligmos periods will produce eclipses that will be
                                visible from the same spot. But it is not any three such periods, but a
                                specific set of them. Basically, if there is a major eclipse at a place
                                then there should be another visible at the same place in about 54 years.
                                But the second eclipse almost certainly won't be of the same magnitude.
                                Further, there is no guarantee that every saros family will produce three
                                consecutive major eclipses at 54 year intervals in any given place.
                                There is no cycle for a particular eclipse at a particular spot, only for
                                the earth as a whole. Each eclipse of a saros family will occur at a
                                different place. There are so many saros families in operation at any
                                given time that being able to isolate three consecutive members of the
                                same saros family at 54 year intervals when there are so many other
                                eclipses occurring within the same time period would be extremely
                                fortuitous.

                                To understand this, you need to know what a saros period is and what
                                constitutes a saros family. Eclipses occur when the sun, moon, and earth
                                are all in the same vertical plane and the moon is near one of its orbital
                                nodes (where the moon's orbit intersects the plane of the earth's path
                                around the sun). To be able to predict solar eclipses three things must
                                be known:

                                1) The period of time from one new or full moon to the next. This is
                                known as the "Synodic Month" and its average length is 29.53059
                                days.

                                2) The period of time it takes the Sun to travel from the lunar
                                node around the zodiac to the same node, called the "Draconic Year".
                                Because the Moon's Nodes move backwards 19-20 degrees a year, the
                                Draconic Year is shorter than the usual calendar year by several
                                weeks. Its average length is 346.62005 days.

                                3) The period of time from perigee to perigee in the Moon's orbit,
                                called the "Anomalistic Month". This period averages 27.55455 days.

                                It so happens that these cycles all repeat nearly exactly every 18+ years:

                                223 Synodic Months = 6585 days, 7 hours, 43+ minutes,
                                19 Draconic Years = 6585 days, 18 hours, 44+ minutes,
                                239 Anomalistic Months = 6585 days, 12 hours, 53+ minutes.

                                This gives a period of 6585.322 days or 18 years 10 (or 11) days 8 hours
                                as the saros cycle. If a solar eclipse occurs, one saros cycle later:

                                There will be another new moon occurring,
                                The Sun and Moon will be roughly the same distance along the
                                zodiac from the same Lunar Node again,
                                The Earth and Moon will be roughly the same distance apart as they
                                were at the eclipse one saros period earlier.

                                However, the eclipse will not happen in the same part of the zodiac as the
                                previous eclipse. It takes about 18.61 years for the lunar nodes to
                                retrograde through the zodiac and return to the same position. After one
                                saros period the nodes are about 11-12 degrees short of returning so in
                                effect the nodes move 11-12 degrees eastwards after a saros period and so
                                do the eclipse points.

                                Saros families are a result of the fact that the three cycles that make up
                                the saros period are not exactly equal. In order for an eclipse to occur,
                                the sun and the moon must be no more than 18 degrees from the lunar node.
                                If the three cycles repeated exactly, eclipses would repeat perfectly
                                every saros cycle. But because 223 lunations is about 11 hours shorter
                                than a draconic year, the sun will not yet have reached the same position
                                with respect to the node. It is still 11 hours away. This translates
                                roughly to half a degree of arc. This half degree drift eventually (after
                                about 12-14 centuries) causes the sun to move outside the 18 degree limit
                                for creating an eclipse and the saros family to come to an end.

                                A typical saros family is born when the conditions for an eclipse are met.
                                The first eclipses will be partial eclipses at one of the poles (which one
                                depends on which lunar node is involved). After each successive saros
                                period the lunar shadow will move closer to the equator until the umbra
                                hits the earth and then the eclipses will become total (or annular).
                                This will continue until the shadow finally misses the earth and the
                                family comes to an end at the opposite pole from which it began.
                                Typically a family has 70-80 consecutive eclipses, no two of which will
                                appear the same from any given place on earth. Since there are a number
                                of possible alignments that will result in solar eclipses, there are
                                normally about 40 saros families in operation at any one time.

                                > > Even though the longitude will be nearly the same after an exeligmos,
                                > > the latitude will have shifted about 600 miles north or south of the
                                > > previous eclipse in the saros family.
                                > >
                                > Thank you, again! This is absolutely wonderful news info, and what I
                                > only had personally generally observed when comparing ancient
                                > eclipses with my astronomy program.

                                If you are using a planetarium program to try to analyze eclipses, you
                                should probably get an eclipse mapper. There are a number of free
                                programs available. Both EmapWin and WinEclipse are useful. Try
                                <http://astrotips.com/Downloads-index-req-viewsdownload-sid-16.phtml> to
                                see what is available. But in any case, you really need to get your head
                                out of your astronomy program and look at what is going on on the ground
                                where most of your claims have little or no basis in reality.

                                > So there is a factor of predictability there, precisely as you say.
                                > Thus the issue came up in relation to the Babylonian, Assyrian and
                                > Egyptian astronomers using this specific pattern to help Thales predict
                                > his eclipse! That makes sense. Of course, you can check out the 585BCE
                                > eclipse to see if the matching eclipse in the series occurred in the
                                > region of observation. That is, it would make a difference if the
                                > previous eclipse 54 years and 1 month earlier was 600 miles farther
                                > north when the pattern was occurring from north to south, versus when
                                > the pattern is reversed going from south to north, as can be seen from
                                > the 54-year-1-month series the 763BCE eclipse is part of. It's my
                                > theory that this is precisely how the Egyptians helped Thales predict
                                > his eclipse by this very pattern. But that's another topic.

                                I don't want to get into the Thales eclipse because there are others much
                                better qualified to deal with the classical sources behind it. However,
                                it is worth noting that the saros family to which the "Thales" eclipse
                                belonged (585 BC) produced quite a number of eclipses that were visible at
                                Nineveh. In fact the "Thales" eclipse would have been visible at Nineveh
                                (except that Nineveh wasn't there any more) as a total eclipse at sunset.
                                A total eclipse at sunset, however, is much less impressive than one in
                                the middle of the day since it usually gets dark at sunset anyway. In any
                                case, the following members of this family were visible at Nineveh:

                                Saros JD Julian Date Greatest Eclipse %

                                57/15 1389363.93 15 NOV 910 BC 59 4.5E 69 51.2N 62.2
                                57/18 1409120.04 17 DEC 856 BC 16 49.3W 60 32.9N 15.9
                                57/20 1422290.78 8 JAN 819 BC 66 4.0E 53 2.8N 68.8
                                57/23 1442046.85 10 FEB 765 BC 31 37.1E 43 28.8N 84.8
                                57/26 1461802.87 14 MAR 711 BC 21 53.2E 39 9.5N 65.0
                                57/29 1481558.84 15 APR 657 BC 34 37.5E 39 19.3N 89.5
                                57/32 1501314.79 18 MAY 603 BC 62 45.0E 39 18.9N 64.6
                                57/33 1507900.10 28 MAY 585 BC 46 6.5W 38 9.9N 98.7 *
                                57/35 1521070.73 19 JUN 549 BC 94 59.0E 33 19.0N 12.6
                                57/36 1527656.04 30 JUN 531 BC 16 12.5W 29 38.9N 35.2

                                *"Thales" eclipse

                                Now this was a rare type of saros family. The eclipse track (path of
                                totality) started out as a fairly tight semicircle near the north polar
                                region and in subsequent eclipses the semicircle became larger and
                                flatter. The result was that although the beginning of the eclipse tracks
                                may have been separated by about 600 miles the point of maximum eclipse
                                did not move much at all for a long time. Thus it was at more or less the
                                same latitude (right around 40N) for four consecutive exeligmos periods
                                (23, 26, 29, 32), making all of these eclipses visible at Nineveh (and in
                                the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean in genera). Furthermore, note
                                that the "Thales" eclipse was not part of this sequence but was only one
                                saros period (18+ years) removed from the last of the exeligmos sequence.
                                It often happens that consecutive eclipses of a saros family are visible
                                at the same spot (the first occurring in the morning and the next occurring
                                in the evening) since although 8 hours equates to 120 degrees of arc, the
                                eclipse track is often longer than 120 degrees and the absolute distance
                                covered by 120 degrees of longitude gets shorter the farther north you go
                                (it varies as the cosine of the latitude).

                                So if Herodotos was correct and Thales did predict this eclipse, it is not
                                surprising that it was an eclipse from this particular saros family that
                                was predicted.

                                > > Thus the following is true of the saros family to which the June 15, 763
                                > > BC eclipse belongs for an observer in Nineveh:
                                > >
                                > > Saros JD Julian Date Greatest Eclipse %
                                > >
                                > > 44/30 1383635.06 9 MAR 925 BC 11 19.4W 27 43.2S 0.0
                                > > 44/33 1403391.00 11 APR 871 BC 2 3.9W 4 37.4S 5.1
                                > > 44/36 1423146.92 13 MAY 817 BC 24 44.2E 18 48.3N 49.6
                                > > 44/39 1442902.84 15 JUN 763 BC 54 5.5E 38 52.4N 99.2
                                > > 44/42 1462658.79 17 JUL 709 BC 86 21.8E 50 26.7N 40.9
                                > > 44/45 1482414.77 19 AUG 655 BC 106 26.7E 50 14.5N 1.9
                                > >
                                > > So yes, there were three consecutive (at 54 year intervals) eclipses that
                                > > would have been noticeable at Nineveh (or Assyria in general).
                                > >
                                > Yes! I agree. 817, 763 and 709 BC. Each one consistently about 600
                                > miles apart, going from south to north! So based upon your
                                > information, in 817BCE they would have seen at 49.2% eclipse across
                                > the bottom of the sun, correlating to a total eclipse track about 600
                                > miles south of them. Then in 763BCE, they had a total eclipse occur
                                > at 99.2%, where the eclipse crosses over the center of the sun. Then
                                > in 709 BCE, the third eclipse in the series, 600 miles to the north a
                                > 40.9% eclipse occurred, basically a 40.9% eclipse across the top of
                                > the sun correlating with the total eclipse track 600 miles above
                                > them.

                                A marvelous bit of over-simplification. Obviously the "they" who
                                observed the 817 BC eclipse were not the same "they" who observed the 709
                                BC eclipse, there being 108 years between the two events. Indeed, it is
                                unlikely that any of the "they" who observed any two of the events were
                                the same, 54 years being a very long career for someone who spends his
                                time staring at the sun looking for eclipses. Being able to connect these
                                events would require the keeping of meticulous records for a very long
                                time (as well as being able to differentiate them from the eclipses
                                generated by the numerous other saros families operating at the same
                                time). Unfortunately, we have no evidence of such records for this
                                period (doesn't mean they didn't exist, just that we have no record of
                                them).

                                > What I would wonder is, since at this time Babylon had not come into
                                > such great prominence,

                                Political prominence. Babylon(ia) always had prominence in astronomy and
                                mathematics. That's why the Assyrians adopted the Babylonian calendar
                                late in the second millennium.

                                > whether or not this was the first perceived pattern by the Assyrian
                                > astronomers that finally allowed them to figure out where the next total
                                > eclipse would be in relation to the one they had specifically
                                > experienced?

                                There is no evidence at all that eclipses could be predicted in 8th
                                century Assyria. If you read the correspondence of the court astronomers
                                in the 7th century, it is clear that they still couldn't predict eclipses.
                                They clearly felt that they should have been able to, but the results
                                indicate that they weren't. They were perhaps getting close, because they
                                clearly had some understanding of the nodes since when there was an
                                eclipse (solar or lunar) at one syzygy they knew to be vigilant for the
                                other kind of eclipse at the next syzygy.

                                > That is, given say a few astronomers at Nineveh who experienced the
                                > total eclipse in 763BCE, knowing precisely the point of the eclipse
                                > track, whether this enabled them to specifically predict the location
                                > and time of the next eclipse precisely 600 miles to the north 54 years
                                > and 1 month later and they took advantage of that based upon the total
                                > 763BCE eclipse and announced this to the public. Maybe a lot of the
                                > populace went north to experience this eclipse and it was such an
                                > incredible opportunity and a great event for them, they decided to
                                > memorialize it in their civic record?

                                Very entertaining, but it sounds more like a screenplay than anything
                                resembling serious scholarship (on due reflection, I think 'serious' can
                                be deleted).

                                First of all, do you have any idea where 600 miles north of Assyria is?
                                The path of totality for the 709 BC eclipse went through Kiev. In the 8th
                                century BC, 600 miles wasn't just a 10-hour drive or a 2-hour plane ride,
                                it was a bleeping long walk, especially when you had to go over the
                                Caucasus. Of course, I suppose they might have walked across the
                                Anatolian mountains (they're lower) to the Black Sea, taken the ferry
                                across to Odessa and then taken a cruise ship up the Dnieper. A lot less
                                walking. But if any significant part of "the populace" made this trip,
                                that would be the subject of an epic, not the eclipse. There is no record
                                of any Assyrian having reached the Black Sea in the 8th century, let alone
                                the latitude of Kiev.

                                Second, eclipses in 8th (and 7th) century Assyria were not scientific
                                curiosities for the entertainment of "the populace". They were ominous
                                events that usually portended disaster, particularly for the king. In
                                fact, after most solar eclipses it was necessary to enthrone a "substitute
                                king" and then bump him off to protect the real king. Eclipses were
                                something that "the populace" (and especially the short-list of substitute
                                kings) could do just as well without.

                                In short, you are trying to analyze 8th century BC Assyrians through your
                                own cultural concepts and not theirs. This is generally considered to be
                                a methodological flaw. Students of the ANE have a term for this
                                principle: Eigenbegrifflichkeit. This term derives from Benno
                                Landsberger's inaugural address at Leipzig in 1926; although it is
                                sometimes translated as "conceptual autonomy", the original
                                "Eigenbegrifflichkeit" is frequently used in English context. The
                                principle is that alien cultures have to be understood through their own
                                concepts, not anyone else's. In order to understand their concepts you
                                have to know how and what they thought. And you can only learn this from
                                reading their texts, not from looking at eclipse tracks on a map.

                                > > But there were also several other saros families that produced eclipses
                                > > visible in Assyria at 54 year intervals at roughly the same time:
                                > >
                                > Thanks for this list. I'll check out the eclipse tracks in relation
                                > to Nineveh. This seems to be, though, as you said, a rather common
                                > observation at the time allowing for predictability. Interesting. I
                                > wonder what made 763BCE so different compared to the other eclipses,
                                > besides as you note, being total at Nineveh that they would include
                                > it in their eponym list?

                                That is quite sufficient. A total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime
                                experience. It is truly awe-inspiring, even today when we know exactly
                                what is happening and don't interpret it as the gods trying to tell us
                                something.

                                > > to make any kind of "astrochronological" case for one or the other being
                                > > the only eclipse recorded in the eponym chronicle. But if one is going to
                                > > pick a puny 40.9% eclipse over a blockbuster 99.2% (with 100% further
                                > > north in Assyria or at higher elevations), one should have some evidence
                                > > that isn't pure speculation for it.
                                > >
                                > Absolutely. I agree. The total eclipse seems more intense. My
                                > speculation was that if they were observing this predictable pattern
                                > that the proximity of the total eclipse to Nineveh in 763BCE would
                                > have put the astronomers in a position to be quite accurate and
                                > specific in establishing the precise location of the following
                                > eclipse. They would have known precisely where to go if they wanted
                                > to experience the next eclipse based upon the 763BCE event. But
                                > again, you're right, at this point, that is just speculation.

                                Sure they would if they knew the earth was a sphere, understood spherical
                                trionometry, latitude, longitude, and had a good map of the world. It is
                                not just speculation, it is wild and extravagant speculation.

                                <snip>


                                Bob Whiting
                                whiting@...
                              • David Hall
                                RE: Sixares Assyrian eclipse date theory. Robert M Whiting wrote: ... David Hall replied: According to the Tel Rehov Expedition web
                                Message 15 of 19 , Aug 26, 2006
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  RE: Sixares Assyrian eclipse date theory.

                                  Robert M Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:

                                  On Fri, 18 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:

                                  >
                                  > The dating for Shishak is linked to this eclipse because of an
                                  > inconsistent Egyptian history for this event. Since the invasion is
                                  > specifically mentioned in year 5 of Rehoboam and Ahab is mentioned in
                                  > the 6th year of Shalmaneser III, the chronology of a few kings (72
                                  > years) back to Shishak's invasion is based specifically on that
                                  > correlation. Shishak's invasion in 925BCE is linked to the battle of
                                  > Karkar in 853BCE, in turn based upon the 763BCE eponym eclipse.
                                  >
                                  > The only other completely independent means of dating to a specific
                                  > year, that is, independent of historical reference would be
                                  > radiocarbon-14 dating.
                                  David Hall replied:
                                  According to the Tel Rehov Expedition web site:
                                  http://www.rehov.org/Rehov/Results.htm
                                  There were two destruction layers at Tel Rehov. Level V was associated with the destruction of Shishak, not Level IV as sixares had postulated.
                                  Level IV was associated with an Aramaen incursion.
                                  Sincerely:
                                  David Q. Hall
                                  dqhall@...
                                • Ever Wilson
                                  ... A point of subjective debate. Here is a quote of one archaeologist that does think Level IV is to be associated with Shishak: Radiocarbon dating quote:
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Aug 30, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    >From: David Hall <dqhall@...>
                                    >Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                    >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                    >Subject: Re: Assyrian Chronology (was [ANE-2] Re: THE BIBLE UNEARTHED)
                                    >Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:14:44 -0700 (PDT)
                                    >
                                    >RE: Sixares Assyrian eclipse date theory.
                                    >
                                    >Robert M Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >On Fri, 18 Aug 2006, siaxares wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > > The dating for Shishak is linked to this eclipse because of an
                                    > > inconsistent Egyptian history for this event. Since the invasion is
                                    > > specifically mentioned in year 5 of Rehoboam and Ahab is mentioned in
                                    > > the 6th year of Shalmaneser III, the chronology of a few kings (72
                                    > > years) back to Shishak's invasion is based specifically on that
                                    > > correlation. Shishak's invasion in 925BCE is linked to the battle of
                                    > > Karkar in 853BCE, in turn based upon the 763BCE eponym eclipse.
                                    > >
                                    > > The only other completely independent means of dating to a specific
                                    > > year, that is, independent of historical reference would be
                                    > > radiocarbon-14 dating.
                                    > David Hall replied:
                                    > According to the Tel Rehov Expedition web site:
                                    > http://www.rehov.org/Rehov/Results.htm
                                    > There were two destruction layers at Tel Rehov. Level V was associated
                                    >with the destruction of Shishak, not Level IV as sixares had postulated.
                                    > Level IV was associated with an Aramaen incursion.
                                    > Sincerely:
                                    > David Q. Hall
                                    >dqhall@...
                                    >
                                    >
                                    A point of subjective debate. Here is a quote of one archaeologist that
                                    does think Level IV
                                    is to be associated with Shishak:

                                    Radiocarbon dating quote: "Although radiocarbon dating of the Iron Age
                                    period can be treacherous, due to the wide margins of error involved,
                                    short-lived grains of wheat, barley, and other plants can often be dated
                                    with reasonable accuracy. At Tel Rehov there is a major destruction layer
                                    associated with hand-burnished pottery. Radiocarbon dating of charred grains
                                    from this layer, which Mazar believes corresponds to the Shoshenq invasion,
                                    gave dates ranging from about 916 to 832 B.C." (Volume 287, Number 5450
                                    Issue of 7 Jan 2000, pp. 31 - 32 �2000 by The American Association for the
                                    Advancement of Science)

                                    Now, we know one Rehov level got destroyed say, c. 872BCE per the highest
                                    match with
                                    the Groningian chart in question... shown here

                                    http://www.geocities.com/ed_maruyama/rehov872.html


                                    But just WHO destroyed this layer is totally dependent upon the historical
                                    presumptions. That
                                    is, if your timeline is dated so that 872BCE is well past Solomon then you
                                    must presume this is
                                    some vague invasion during the time of Ahab or later. What choice do you
                                    have?

                                    So again, if the timeline gets adjusted then the options of who destroyed
                                    this level change as
                                    well.

                                    Part of this argument is thus by deduction and is reflected by Finkelstein's
                                    statement in this
                                    regard regarding concluding this. In his Appendix D from "The Bible
                                    Unearthed" he goes through the issue: Pate 342-343

                                    "..This palatial acropolis [Jezreel] was destroyed a short while after it
                                    was built. This presumably happened either in the course of the revolt
                                    against the Omride dynasty led by the future Israelite king Jehu or as a
                                    result of the military campaign of Hazael, king of Damascus, in northern
                                    Israel. In either case, the date of abandonment of the Jezreel enclosure
                                    would be around the middle ofthe ninth century BCE. The surprise was that
                                    the pottery found in the Jezreel enclosure is identical to the pottery of
                                    the city of palaces at Megiddo. But the latter was supposed to have been
                                    destroyed by Pharaoh Shishak almost a century earlier! How can we bridge
                                    this gap? There are only two possibiities here: either we pull the building
                                    of Jezreel back to the time of Solomon, or we push the Megiddo palaces ahead
                                    to the time of the dynasty of Ahab. It goes without saying that in this
                                    case, there is only one solution, since there is no record of Solomonic
                                    occupation of Jezreel and since the Jezreel compound is similar in layout to
                                    the acropolis of Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, which was no
                                    bout built by the Omrides. The city of ashlar palaces at Megiddo was
                                    destroyed in the mid-ninth century, progably by Hazael, and not in 926 BCE
                                    by Shishak."

                                    This is a perfect example of a straw man's argument by an archaeologist who
                                    feels trapped by
                                    the timeline. That is, he thinks there are only "two possibilities" as far
                                    as dating to explain the destruction ofthe Jezreel palaces. But actually,
                                    there is a third choice. That is, simply move
                                    Solomon and Shishak down 54-60 years! If you change the timeline, then get
                                    to have your
                                    cake and eat it too! The reasonable evidence that Shishak destroyed the
                                    palacial level at
                                    Megiddo and Rehov (since Shishak mentions both cities) is only contradicted
                                    by the current
                                    popular timeline based upon a single eclipse event during the Assyrian
                                    Period which forces
                                    the dating of Karkar and Ahab c. 853BCE. If you move that eclipse down to
                                    the eclipse in
                                    709BCE, for instance, the "natural occurring third month eclipse" then all
                                    is resolved.

                                    So though the dating of level IV at Rehov is more or less stuck bys science
                                    to be dated
                                    c. 872BCE, who destroyed it is wholly dependent upon flexible "historical"
                                    sources including
                                    the Biblical timeline. The Biblical timeline, of course, is a complex issue
                                    with varying
                                    interpretations. But at least one of them as promoted by Martin Anstey in
                                    his well known
                                    18th century text "The Romance of Biblical Chronology" would down-date
                                    Solomon
                                    substantially.

                                    So the only thing that is true sure for now, is that Rehov got destroyed
                                    around 872BCE
                                    by somebody, right now either Shishak or maybe Hazael. But on that regard,
                                    we all know
                                    that the transition from the Ahab dynasty to Jehu didn't involve a battle
                                    but simply killing
                                    off the royal family. We also know Hazeal and Jehu worked together and
                                    Hazael even
                                    claims to have killed Ahab son himself. So why would they need to bother
                                    burning down
                                    the Jezreel palace? Why bother burning down Megiddo or Rehov? At this
                                    point, Jehu
                                    and Hazeal were on the same side.

                                    On the other hand, if you simply downdate Solomon and Shishak to c. 842BCE
                                    for Shishak's
                                    invasion, then the destruction of Rehov, Megiddo and Jezreel all fit
                                    together quite well.
                                    Remember, the palace at Jezreel was fairly new! Another argument that
                                    Solomon had
                                    just built it and it was destroyed shortly afterwards.

                                    Bottom line is, 925BCE is simply too archaeologically early for Shishak's
                                    destruction of
                                    Rehov clearly dating to c. 872BCE and the only choice archaeologists seem to
                                    have here,
                                    based upon the current timeline is sometime around the period of Ahab.
                                    There is no
                                    hard evidence that this destruction was by Hazeal. On the other hand, they
                                    did find a
                                    stele at Megiddo where Shishak claims to have destroyed this city!

                                    So who destroyed Rehov is basically up for grabs, but I can assure you, once
                                    evidence is
                                    in place that will effectively downdate Solomon/Shishak by 54 years, then
                                    the above
                                    becomes a non-issue, archaeologically speaking.

                                    Having noted that, please note that the entire timeline from Apophis down to
                                    Shishak
                                    will be archaeologically correct. That is, Manetho dates Joseph during the
                                    time of
                                    Apophis, which 215 years later would date the Exodus around the time of
                                    Amenhotep III,
                                    which per Kathleen Kenyon fits Jericho's destruction shortly afterward
                                    during 1350-1325BCE.
                                    That dating is completely in line with Shishak's invasion 480 years later!
                                    So moving Solomon
                                    and Shishak down to c. 872BCE will not disturb the archaeological or
                                    Biblical relative chronology
                                    for this periiod in the least, it will in fact, harmonize them.

                                    Larry Wilson

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                                  • Ever Wilson
                                    ... Please note the exact quote from the above Tel Rehov site regarding this: Radiocarbon dates indicate that Strata VI-V existed during the 10th century,
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Aug 30, 2006
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                                      >From: David Hall <dqhall@...>
                                      >Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                      >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                      >Subject: Re: Assyrian Chronology (was [ANE-2] Re: THE BIBLE UNEARTHED)
                                      >Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 20:14:44 -0700 (PDT)
                                      >
                                      > > The only other completely independent means of dating to a specific
                                      > > year, that is, independent of historical reference would be
                                      > > radiocarbon-14 dating.
                                      > David Hall replied:
                                      > According to the Tel Rehov Expedition web site:
                                      > http://www.rehov.org/Rehov/Results.htm
                                      > There were two destruction layers at Tel Rehov. Level V was associated
                                      >with the destruction of Shishak, not Level IV as sixares had postulated.
                                      > Level IV was associated with an Aramaen incursion.
                                      > Sincerely:
                                      > David Q. Hall
                                      >dqhall@...
                                      >
                                      Please note the exact quote from the above Tel Rehov site regarding this:

                                      "Radiocarbon dates indicate that Strata VI-V existed during the 10th
                                      century, Stratum V was destroyed during the second half of this century,
                                      while Stratum IV existed during the ninth century, and was destroyed no
                                      later than 830 BCE. It is tempting to relate the destruction of stratum V to
                                      the invasion of Shishak and that of stratum IV to the Aramean wars,
                                      following the end of the Omride Dynasty, though an earlier date to this
                                      destruction should not be ruled out. "

                                      So there is no true confirmation here as to how a mid-9th century
                                      destruction level IV was
                                      actually related to the Aramean wars. Again as noted, we know that Jehu
                                      simply killed off
                                      the royal family of Ahab, something also claimed by Hazael. Syria and
                                      Israel were friends during
                                      the last three years of Ahab's rule until the Ahab-Syrian conflict and then
                                      he got killed. Then
                                      Jehu took over.

                                      The Groningian Rehov grain sample, however, is dated most strongly c.
                                      875-870BCE! That is
                                      not 830BCE, but the second quarter of the 9th century. Karkar is now dated
                                      c. 853BCE!!
                                      The Aramaen Wars, if any, would not have occurred until at least 6-9 years
                                      after this when
                                      Ahab died, somewhere in the 840's BCE! Thus the best radiocarbon dating
                                      from Rehov
                                      destroys that city before the Aramean wars and before Karkar!

                                      The "range" applied to the radiocarbon dating is often noted as from
                                      916-832BCE as noted
                                      below. But the PEAK plus the centered average is c. 874-870BCE!

                                      Radiocarbon dating quote: "Although radiocarbon dating of the Iron Age
                                      period can be treacherous, due to the wide margins of error involved,
                                      short-lived grains of wheat, barley, and other plants can often be dated
                                      with reasonable accuracy. At Tel Rehov there is a major destruction layer
                                      associated with hand-burnished pottery. Radiocarbon dating of charred grains
                                      from this layer, which Mazar believes corresponds to the Shoshenq invasion,
                                      gave dates ranging from about 916 to 832 B.C." (Volume 287, Number 5450
                                      Issue of 7 Jan 2000, pp. 31 - 32 �2000 by The American Association for the
                                      Advancement of Science)

                                      So for the theory that Rehov was destroyed during the "Aramaen Wars"
                                      presumably the conflict
                                      with Ahab, then you have to ignore both the peak and the earlier ranges for
                                      the radiocarbon dating
                                      and use the latest range for Rehov. So it doesn't work.

                                      So as along as archaeologists and historians are playing with the evidence,
                                      why not consider moving the 763BCE eclipse to 709BCE? If you did, Shishak's
                                      invasion now dated to 925BCE falls specifically to 871BCE! That is
                                      precisely and pointedly where the highest level of peak results for Rehov is
                                      indicated by radiocarbon dating. In addition, if you destroy Rehov in
                                      872BCE at the end of Solomon's reign say ending by 870BCE, then Jericho's
                                      destruction would be dated 480 years earlier than this c. 1350 BCE.
                                      Kathleen Kenyon precisely dates Jericho's destruction around this time!

                                      As she notes in her classic book, "Digging Up Jericho" (page 262): "As
                                      concerns the date of the destruction of Jericho by the Israelites, all that
                                      can be said is that the latest Bronze Age occupation should, in my view, be
                                      dated to the third quarter of the fourteenth century B.C." That is
                                      1350-1325BCE!

                                      Meaning what? Meaning that per the Jericho dating, Shishak's invasion was
                                      already implied to occur c. 875-870BCE! Rehov simply confirms it.

                                      What's WRONG with this picture? Nothing! Nothing archaeologically, that
                                      is. The problem is the antiquated Assyrian timeline we get from the Greeks
                                      and Ptolemy, two very questionable sources at this point.

                                      Again, please note that Mazar is the primary excavator and reporter on Rehov
                                      and he himself, though allowing for a later destructive level potential
                                      historically, otherwise believies level IV was destroyed by Shishak. So I
                                      am not misquoting the archaeological reference on this point.

                                      Right now archaeologists are ignoring the pointed and central dating for
                                      destructive level IV c. 875-870BCE because that occurs too late for Shishak
                                      (now dated 925BCE) but also too early for the Aramaen Wars sometime after
                                      Karkar now dated to 853BCE.

                                      The archaeologists know something doesn't add up. Something is wrong, and
                                      they don't know what. Israel Finkelstein thinks the reasonable way out is
                                      to presume the Bible was re-written and the glory period of the Omrides was
                                      moved back to the time of Solomon. But that still doesn't fix who destroyed
                                      Rehov, Megiddo and Jezreel in 872BCE, just 19 years before the Battle of
                                      Karkar, long before the Aramaen-Israelite conflict, which didn't seem to
                                      involve burning down any buildings, just killing off the royal family.

                                      It's time to correct the timeline. Of note, the Bible's chronology has
                                      never supported Solomon's rule earlier than 910-870BCE.

                                      Larry Wilson

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                                    • David Hall
                                      To E. Wilson; RE: chronology of Aramaen invasions of Israel: You seem to assume the Aramaen invasion was linked to the Battle of Karkar. Having read
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Aug 31, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        To E. Wilson; RE: chronology of Aramaen invasions of Israel:

                                        You seem to assume the Aramaen invasion was linked to the Battle of Karkar.

                                        Having read Assyriologist George Smith's work there were records of an earlier event that I did not find in your thesis:

                                        Asa King of Judah sent tribute to Ben Hadad in order to get him to side against Baasha of Israel. Ben Hadad pillaged Israel. This was before the Battle of Karkar.

                                        There are yet problems with dates not aligning, yet I did not see a statement of the probability of error in a wood or seed sample from the ninth century BCE. I do not believe C14 is as accurate as more than a quarter century from the 8th century BCE. There was a boat found in a mud flat of Lake Tiberias near Kibbutz Ginnosar some years ago from the first century. The published date for the boat was c. 100 BCE - 100 CE. Pottery and other artifacts found in and near the boat were also used to date the boat. If they claim the C14 method is as accurate as to let us know the exact year the place was destroyed I would not yet believe them.

                                        David Q. Hall
                                        dqhall@...



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Ever Wilson
                                        Thanks David! Yes, I ve since read up on this and there are a few opportunistic conflicts for Aramean vs Israel, pertinently with Ahab and then vs Jehu.
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Aug 31, 2006
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Thanks David!

                                          Yes, I've since read up on this and there are a few opportunistic conflicts
                                          for Aramean vs Israel, pertinently with Ahab and then vs Jehu. But...
                                          still a bit fuzzy. Cities captured by Hazeal were reclaimed a generation
                                          later by Israel, so I'm not sure if sacking and burning of the cities was
                                          always a case. The events will have to be subjective to the final timeline
                                          I suppose.

                                          L. Wilson


                                          >From: David Hall <dqhall@...>
                                          >Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                          >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                          >Subject: Re: Assyrian Chronology (was [ANE-2] Re: THE BIBLE UNEARTHED)
                                          >Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 05:17:55 -0700 (PDT)
                                          >
                                          > To E. Wilson; RE: chronology of Aramaen invasions of Israel:
                                          >
                                          > You seem to assume the Aramaen invasion was linked to the Battle of
                                          >Karkar.
                                          >
                                          > Having read Assyriologist George Smith's work there were records of an
                                          >earlier event that I did not find in your thesis:
                                          >
                                          > Asa King of Judah sent tribute to Ben Hadad in order to get him to side
                                          >against Baasha of Israel. Ben Hadad pillaged Israel. This was before the
                                          >Battle of Karkar.
                                          >
                                          > There are yet problems with dates not aligning, yet I did not see a
                                          >statement of the probability of error in a wood or seed sample from the
                                          >ninth century BCE. I do not believe C14 is as accurate as more than a
                                          >quarter century from the 8th century BCE. There was a boat found in a mud
                                          >flat of Lake Tiberias near Kibbutz Ginnosar some years ago from the first
                                          >century. The published date for the boat was c. 100 BCE - 100 CE. Pottery
                                          >and other artifacts found in and near the boat were also used to date the
                                          >boat. If they claim the C14 method is as accurate as to let us know the
                                          >exact year the place was destroyed I would not yet believe them.
                                          >
                                          > David Q. Hall
                                          > dqhall@...
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >

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