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212 LexiLine Newsletter 2003 Flinders Petrie and Chronology

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  • Andis Kaulins
    212 LexiLine Newsletter 2003 Flinders Petrie and Chronology at Tell El Hesy (Lachish) Copyright © 2001-2003 by Andis Kaulins [This is a challenge to the
    Message 1 of 31 , Jun 27, 2003
      212 LexiLine Newsletter 2003 Flinders Petrie and Chronology at Tell
      El Hesy (Lachish)
      Copyright © 2001-2003 by Andis Kaulins

      [This is a challenge to the mainstream archaeologists. I claim the
      chronology of the Middle East is flawed - and it is flawed due to
      errors made initially by Flinders Petrie. My reasons are given
      below. Any mainstream archaeologist out there who thinks he can
      rebut my arguments is invited to submit a contra e-mail - BASED on
      evidence - not on opinion (WHO you or your cited sources are
      professionally interests me not a whit - it is the EVIDENCE that
      counts - ONLY the evidence).]

      Tell El Hesy (Lachish) by W.M. Flinders Petrie, reprinted 1989 by
      Histories & Mysteries of Man Ltd., London, England, 1989, ISBN 1 854
      17 052 X, is the foundation for modern chronology of the fertile
      crescent. I have read the book in detail, confirming my initial
      suspicion that Petrie made capital chronological errors in his
      dating of Tell el Hasy and Lachish - errors which mainstream
      chronology has blindly followed ever since, leading to a completely
      erroneous history of the Middle East.

      Since Petrie's dating of Tell El Hesy is the foundation for modern
      chronology of the fertile crescent, it is all the more remarkable
      that the book is out of print and virtually unknown - even though
      its conclusions are uncritically accepted and used to date Biblical
      and Egyptian history in general. Most men are sheep.

      The fact is that Petrie made critical - if consistent - dating
      errors, based on his preconceived notion of the chronological
      history represented at the archaeological sites examined by him.


      1. Tell el Hesy - 16 miles East of Gaza about a third of the
      distance from Gaza to Jerusalem - is an accumulated "residential"
      mound ca. 60 feet in heigth (from 278 feet above sea level to 340
      feet above sea level).

      The upper layer - at 340 feet - contained "regular black and red
      Greek pottery" which Petrie dated to ca. 450 BC. The bottom of the
      tell is at 278 feet.

      There is a layer of a period of great destruction - a stratum of
      small stones "at the level of 286 to 291 feet" with a large layer of
      ash above that which Petrie calls "the great bed of ashes"." Massive
      man-made walls of mud brick lie below the layer of small stones,
      pointing to a previous high culture.

      Similar mounds in Egypt - as Petrie notes - rise 3 to 4 feet per
      century or 30 to 40 feet in a thousand years. At 3 feet per century,
      the earliest dwellings would be ca. 2000 years older than the Greek
      pottery at the top level and would date to 2450 BC. At 4 feet per
      century of accumulation, the earliest dwellings would be ca. 1500
      years older than the Greek pottery and would date to ca. 1950 BC.
      Since none of these fit into the preconceived picture, Petrie sets
      the earliest dwellings at el Hesy at 1670 BC, based on a new
      proposed rate of accumulation of 5 feet per century, the faster rate
      allegedly because the "greater rainfall" in Syria would lead
      to "quicker" destruction of mud walls and thus to a greater rate of
      tell accumulation.

      Petrie even goes so far as to call certain walls "the Amorite
      wall", "Rehoboam's wall", "Manessah's wall", "the Wall of Ahaz",
      etc., trying - in an "unscholarly" Schliemann-type manner - to fit
      his finds to the Biblical accounts.

      Indeed, there is no evidence for such quicker accumulation

      Rather, Petrie gently and almost imperceptibly "bends" the
      archaeological facts to fit his view of Biblical history.


      2. Petrie bases his chronology on what he calls "Phoenician
      pottery". As Petrie writes (p. 40), "The excavations at Tell el Hesy
      proved to be an ideal place for determining the history of pottery
      in Palestine. And once settle the pottery of a country, and the key
      is in our hands for all future explorations." Indeed, as if knowing
      his error, Petrie writes at page 45 "I have under rated rather than
      over rated the age of the Tell el Hesy levels". How right he was !

      Pottery called bilbils by the Syrians (thin black vases with long
      necks) were found at the level of 305-325 feet above sea level on
      the East side of Tell el Hesy and "black bowls" known to be
      contemporary to the bilbils were found at the level of 295 to 315
      feet at the Southeast side. (Please Note: Assyrian
      bil-bil means plural bil, i.e. "bowls" and NOT bil-bil !)

      Petrie then states that although this pottery is not dated in
      Phoenicia, he had seen similar examples in Egypt, the earliest of
      which were dated to the late 18th dynasty in Egypt (Petrie dated
      this to ca. 1400 BC on the basis of two similar things of Amenhotep
      III - whose reign is dated today to ca. 1350 BC).

      To an impartial observer, the bilbils and black bowls would BOTH be
      seen to span 20 feet of accumulated time - 305-325 feet on the East
      and 295-315 feet on the Southeast, i.e. a corresponding 20 foot time
      span, with SLANTING topography probably accounting for the

      Petrie, however, inexplicably puts the the two figures together and
      expands the Phoenician period to 25 feet of accumulated history at
      Tell el Hesy, placing the early Phoenician period at the level of
      295 feet and running it to 320 feet, although in fact BOTH measured
      sites at Tell el Hesy point to only a 20-foot accumulated Phoenician
      time-period. Obviously, Petrie used this calculational "trick" -
      perhaps subconsciously - to mesh his preconceived notions about
      Biblical chronology with the chronology of Egypt and fit the
      Phoenicians in.

      Correctly however, to be consistent in using the measuring rod of
      the 60 foot heigth of the Tell, the Phoenician pottery period could
      only have spanned 20 feet or 1/3 of the height of the tell, from the
      level of 305 to 325 feet above sea level, so that 305 feet above sea
      level at Tell el Hesy marked the earliest Phoenician pottery and not
      295 feet, a difference of ca. 300 critical years (3 feet per
      century) of chronology! This indeed is the approximate margin of
      error in Biblical chronology between the correct date for Moses and
      Exodus (1628 BC) and the date currently assigned to Moses and Exodus
      by mainstream chronology (ca. 1300).

      If level 305 and not 295 corresponded to Petrie's ca. 1400 BC - then
      35 feet of accumulation separated the earliest Phoenician pottery
      from the top of the Tell, and 35 feet of accumulation would have
      occurred in ca. 1000 years. This would be a rate of accumulation
      corresponding to the verified 3 to 4 feet per century evidenced on
      corresponding Tells in the Egyptian delta.

      The accumulation of 5 feet per century for Tell el Hesy alleged by
      Petrie is thus clearly erroneous. As he himself suspected, he had in
      fact VASTLY under rated the age of the levels of Tell el Hesy,
      simply because he wanted to mesh a Biblical chronology which was far
      older than he imagined.

      Therefore, NO scholar anywhere in the world today - in any field
      dealing with ancient history in the fertile crescent - can possibly
      accept Petrie's chronology and those current mainstream chronologies
      built upon his conclusions. Such chronologies are nothing other than
      fictions and must be amended to correct for Petrie's obvious error.


      3. Santorin explodes 1628 BC

      Once the dating of Tell el Hesy has been corrected, the layer of ash
      (5 feet!) and the layer of stones above the massive walls below take
      on a new significance since the levels of ash and stones then apply
      to the period ca. 1628 BC.

      As Petrie himself writes "These ashes were certainly spread by the
      wind". "No deposit by hands could effect this, the stuff must have
      been wind-borned, and dropped by the breeze without interference."
      (p. 16)Lacking any better theory, however, Petrie tries to account
      for them by the Bedawin (Bedouin) burning of plants for alkali
      and "the charcoal layers...the result of the sparks and dust of the
      burning, and the breaking up of the fires; while the white lime
      layers were the dust blown about after the lixiviation had washed
      away the alkali. The town must then have been deserted, or almost
      so, at the time when the alkali burners resorted here, and when
      their ashes blew about and settled undisturbed over a great part of
      the hill."

      What Petrie writes above is absolute nonsense of course, but Petrie
      had to explain the layers of ash somehow.

      Of course, after the event causing these layers of volcanic ash,
      Tell el Hesy is deserted. Even more, as Petrie himself writes: "Now
      this we see just corresponds to the great break in the history of

      This "break in the history of Palestine" of course did not happen
      because of plants being burned for alkali by nomads. This was the
      great period of conflagration due to the explosion of Santorin, the
      volcanic ash, the earthquakes, fire from the heavens, apparently
      over several years. Petrie places the date for this layer of ash at
      ca. 1300 BC but of course he has a ca. 300-year error. The year is
      actually closer to 1628 BC.


      4. Interestingly, Petrie's dating of the so-called "Amorite" comb-
      face pottery on page 40 of his book as being ca. 1600 BC to ca. 1000
      BC meshes exactly with my dating of the Phoenician levels at Tell El-
      Hesy. Perhaps this was the influence of the Phoenicians on the
      Amorites. It is Petrie's misdating of the Phoenicians - based on his
      attempt to mesh historical data of Egypt with the erroneous
      chronology of the Biblical Jews - which was his undoing. Indeed, it
      has remained a great chronological problem down to this day.

      The Dating of Tell el Hesy is thus correctly:

      A. Top of mound - 340 feet above sea level = ca. 500 BC (Greek
      pottery)(after several hundred years of dark ages - - Greek pottery
      had surfaced ca. 700 BC)

      B. Last Phoenician (comb-face) pottery - 325 feet above sea level =
      ca. 1000 BC
      This is the period of the invasion of the northern Sea Peoples who
      came to the rescue of the Hebrews, but were turned back by Ramses
      III = Biblical Shishak and the Assyrian Babylonians. This led to the
      end of the Pharaohs and was the period of the Babylonian Captivity
      of the Jews as well as the dark age in the fertile crescent - when
      building of temples etc. ceased and much was destroyed.

      C. Earliest Phoenician (comb-face) pottery - 305 feet above sea
      level = ca. 1650 BC
      This is the period of ca. 1628 BC, with earthquakes and the
      explosion of the volcano Santorin on Thera - which was the period of
      the Biblical Exodus, and also the period at which the Phoenicians
      become prominent, probably through migration to escape natural
      disasters. This is the period of the layer of stones and ashes at
      Tell El Hesy.

      D. Earliest dwellings at Tell el Hesy - 280 feet above sea level =
      ca. 2500 BC
      As Petrie notes, in the N.W. tower of Tell el Hesy, at level 295
      feet above sea level (ca. 2000 BC by my corrected chronology of
      Petrie's data), they found "a cylinder of coarse dull red haematite,
      now weighing 142.3 grains, probably 144 originally; this is the
      Egyptian kat weight. Several scraps of bronze were found, wire
      armlets, hair-pins, a .knife, and a sheep bell; and some iron
      fragments, a knife, and arrow-heads." This corresponds possibly to
      the building of a fort by the Egyptians here in the 24th year of
      reign under Amenemhet I ca. 2000 BC, who organized an expedition to
      Gaza - the northeastern border of united Egypt at that time -
      against the Asiatic desert dwellers. This corresponds to the
      position of Lachish.

      Does that above date of 2500 BC seem unusual?


      5. Who were the Phoenicians?

      The mark of a great man of science is not that he always right, but
      rather that he recognizes the critical issues and adds new methods
      and insights to knowledge, even if they are not perfect. No one is
      right all the time.

      My criticism of Petrie's erroneous chronology by no means should
      take away from the greatness of his manifold achievements.

      Also in his book on Tell el Hesy, Petrie shows the enormous breadth
      of his interests and, in his discussion of the styles of masonry in
      Palestine, points us toward a proper identification of the
      mysterious Phoenicians

      The Phoenicians are found referenced in Egyptian hieroglyphs of the
      Middle Kingdom under the term FENEKHW, which of course is an Indo-
      European term as in Latvian VEJNIEKI or VEJNIESHE "men of the wind",
      (VEJNIESHI = PHOENICIANS) i.e. sailors.

      The idea that the (Italian) sailing boat feluca derives from Arabic
      fulk "ship" is incorrect. It is the other way around, since the root
      is proto-Indo-European as in Latvian VEJ- "wind". Latin retains this
      root in VELA "the sail" which is Latvian VELA "cloth, washing hung
      up to dry - which resulted in the idea of a sail". In the north of
      Europe these were probably the WENDs, people of the WIND. The terms
      BRIT- and PRUS- as in Britain and Prussia (Borussia) thus probably
      are related to the Latvian term BURAS "sails", which explains
      another ancient term PRST for the "sea peoples"
      found in ancient sources.

      The Phoenicians of course are not in any manner the Palestinians -
      as some claim, for these latter were not sailors but rather
      landlocked desert marauders, who are otherwise the Hyksos of
      history, or the Midianites of the Bible.

      Petrie recognizes in his book on Tell el Hesy that the style of
      stone dressing used by the Phoenicians was "flaking and pocking" -
      i.e. flaking by heavy blows and then bruising down the surface with
      a heavy pointed hammer - and that this style is found:

      1) on the great monolith lying in the quarry in the Russian quarter
      of Jerusalem
      2) in the galleries called Solomon's Stables under the Haram
      3) in the stone work of the temple at Hagir Kim in Malta
      4) in the wrought stones at Stonehenge - Petrie writes "the best
      examples of it are on the flat tops of the uprights of the great
      And another curious formation occurs at Stonehenge as well as at
      Hagir Kim; the edge of an upright is somewhat raised, so as to form
      a sort of tray, and a corresponding cutting is made in the cap
      stone. This is of course in addition to the rough tenons at
      Stonehenge." (p. 36)

      In other words, Petrie has observed the clear connection between the
      megalithic cultures of old - certainly one of the first men ever to
      do so.

      The desert dwellers, i.e. Palestinians, had a different style of
      masonry, found only in a few places since they were nomads and not
      ordinarily settled peoples. This masonry style is identified by
      Petrie, as "long-stroke picking" - done with an edge or point, with
      no breadth of cut - and is seen on

      1) the great blocks of the first building of the Beit el Khulil near
      2) dressing of the wall at Tell Safi - which Petrie says is probably
      the old Philistine fortress of Gath,
      3) on the sandstone masonry and steps of Lachish ca. 700 BC, i.e.
      after the Babylonian captivity and AFTER the days of the
      Phoenicians, who were the Sea Peoples who had lost their seat of
      power in the fertile crescent in the days of Ramses III, who was

      Interesting is that Petrie regards Jewish style to be a mixture
      which is neither pure Amorite [Arab] nor Phoenician, but which
      consists of a mixture of characters of both peoples.


      6. Ashdod, Ashkelon = Kadesh [Thick layer of ash also found here]

      My redating of Tell el Hesy makes it relatively simple to also
      correctly date ancient cities of the Near East in that same region
      and correct some major errors of mainstream historical scholarship.

      Here are the basic corrections
      a. Ashdod was an ancient city on the "curve of the Mediterranean
      Coast" at the Wadi Lakhish (similar to Indo-European e.g. Latvian
      LIKS, LICIS "gulf") on a what was probably the northernmost border
      of Ancient Egypt on a line running toward Lachish (Tell
      el Hesy).

      The levels of occupation at Ashdod show the same dating errors as
      Tell el Hesy and are off by about 300 to 350 years. (Ashdod is
      similar to Greek azotus and Latvian azotis meaning "bosom" [of the
      Mediterranean], i.e. "gulf", curved part of the Mediterranean).

      There is a very thick layer of ash at Ashdod at the level which
      corresponds to the thick layer of ash at Tell el Hesy. This layer of
      ash dates to ca. 1628 BC whereas mainstream scholars date that level
      of ash erroneously to 1300-1200 BC (without the benefit of Petrie's
      imagined "alkali burners" theory). Hence, all other levels at Ashdod
      are correspondingly falsely dated.

      It is only AFTER the volcanic eruption of Santorin that the
      Philistines occupy the city, including the neighboring Ashkelon.

      Indeed, ALL the cities Jericho, Debit (Tell Bet-Mirsim), Lachisch,
      Bet-El, Gibeon and Hazor (Tell el Qedaz) were all destroyed by fire
      and ash at the same time - and - as David Rohl has noted for Hazor,
      this occurred at least a hundred years previous to any possible
      destruction by the Israelites - in fact 300 years previous.

      b. Scholars in the 20th century have erred in locating Lachish at
      Tell ed-Duwer. Rather, Petrie already and correctly identified Tell
      el Hesy in the 18th century as Lachish, i.e. La-cHish (cHish =
      Hesy). Tell (k)ed-Duwer is in fact the Biblical site of Kadesh which
      scholars have unsuccessfully and falsely tried to find in a
      completely other region. KaDesh was later used as the "reference"
      city for the battle in the Bible, and the battle here was a battle
      for the northern border of Egypt. Indeed, there is strong evidence
      of ancient military battle here, e.g. ancient Assyrian ramps have
      been found at (k)ed Duwer, i.e. Kadesh.

      c. At the time of King Ramses II (who was King Solomon - the battle
      of Kadesh took place in the fifth year of his reign, 480 years after
      Exodus - which is 1147 BC), and the winning of this battle is found
      inscribed in the reliefs at Karnak, where the battle is said to have
      been won for Eskarun which is similar to Indo-European e.g. Latvian
      aizskarin "border, curtain". Assyrian sources refer to Eskarun as
      Asqualuna and refer to it as a "region" with a definite BORDER, and
      we retain this term as the historical city name Ashkelon on this

    • Michael Busch
      Andis Thank you for your well informed reply. I am expanding my understanding of how the Hebrew interacted with ancient Egypt and you have been a great help.
      Message 31 of 31 , Jul 10, 2003
        Thank you for your well informed reply.  I am expanding my understanding of how the Hebrew interacted with ancient Egypt and you have been a great help.
        In formulating my theories I have used Ochams Razor a lot.  Though your work is new to me, much of the little I have seen so far withstands the test of Ochams Razor.
        I agree with you that the academic community is incapable of many things.  
        Pont and Temple Grove complete with a 45 foot long stone snake was found by 20 years of research and by interpreting the Argonautica using Stoahist theory.  The ancient Greeks clearly state that Temple Grove is on Pont.  The ancient Egyptians state that the Steps of Myrrh are on Punt and the length of the snake Mahan in Punt is 30 cubits.  Not unlike the Rosetta stone, Temple Grove and the Steps of Myrrh being the same offer a vast new knowledge base.  Part of the larger water body that touched this temple (It is accepted in the normal academic community that by 1700 BC isostatic rebound closed the outlet called "Vase" at the foot of the temple.) was still called Puants and Puan on maps from between 1656 AD and 1751 AD.  A people on Punt - Pont - Puan - Puants were still called "Puant" people on a map from 1890.  (I have copies of these maps available in a local Library)  The God of copper for the Puant people in 1700 AD, and long before, has been securely recorded as "Mishepeshu:" I do not need to tell you who that refers to in ancient Egypt that brought back copper from Punt.  This is less than .05 % of the supporting evidences and solid proofs offered by Stoahist Theory.    
        The same way Copernicus and Galileo proved their theories to no avail in their life time the location of Punt has been more securely and more thoroughly proven.  References for all Stoahist material are available and to be found within the normally accepted academic community.
        Andis I feel for you and your words.  Unfortunately most scholars are excellent at learning and regurgitating information but after a certain young age they, in general become the sheep you refer to.  Should you choose to do a internet search under my name or Stoahist Theory and go to the maps of Punt, I will find out if you are also of them.  I hope not.  I have been here a hundred times and there is most likely no way that you can reject me and my work that I have not already experienced.  While we still talk and are in this short space share a commonality in our love for history and the obvious, may I wish you well in your future works.
        Michael Busch            
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