claimed the 19th and 26th Dynasties were the same and belong to the 7th
and 6th centuries. To support his claim he compared the campaigns of
Ramses II from Egyptian texts and Necho II from the Greek and Hebrew
texts and demonstrated that they both fought in the same places, in the
same order, the same time apart with the same result [Velikovsky, 1978,
p. 59]. Furthermore, Petrie found a temple of Rameses II at Tahpanhes, a
26th Dynasty site. Psammetichus (663 - 610 GAD) of the 26th Dynasty had
granted Tahpanhes to his Greek and Carian mercenaries. It existed during
the 26th Dynasty until the time of Amasis (569 -525). He found no
artifacts of dynasties 20 to 25 (12th-7th century).
Excavators at Lachish found a temple with 19th Dynasty artifacts also contained Iron Age Israelite material. The stratum of the time Nebuchadnezzar, circa 590, contained the scarabs of Ramses II circa 1290. Coincidentally, the city of Lachish suffered similar major conflagrations during both Ramses' IIÊand Nebuchadnezzar's II reign [Velikovsky, 1978, p. 44 - 49].
At Byblos, the tomb of Ahiram presented yet a third problem. The king was buried in a coffin made by his son. His son's inscription was in Phoenician script of the 8th or 7th century as was the imported Cypriot pottery but the broken Egyptian vases and the coffin in the tomb were from the time of Ramses II [Velikovsky, 1978].
These odd 600-year connections originated in Anatolia. In the 19th century, archaeologists found Hittite sculpture in Boghazkoi. Art historian, Puchstein, concluded that the art of Boghazkoi in the time of the Hittite empire was influenced by Late Assyrian conceptions, which had not penetrated Cappadocia until the 7th century [Puchstein, 1890. p. 13]. Then, in the archives of Hattusilas III, a Hittite copy of a treaty with Rameses II was found in 1906. The date of imperial Boghazkoi was raised by 600 years to match the historical synchronism. A 600-year gap was left, however, between the 13th century Hittite empire and the Neo-Babylonian/Persian period. Despite this and the artistic evidence, Egyptian chronology was not doubted.
This situation paralleled the one Petrie had created by discovering Mycenaean pottery in Egypt. Petrie's finds had placed the Mycenaean period in the 18th Dynasty, dated from the 16th to 14th centuries, 500 years earlier than the Greek archaeologists allowed. James documented unacceptably large gaps in the Mediterranean, Syrian, Palestinian, and Anatolian strata of 250 - 500 years. He concluded they were caused by poor Egyptian chronology. What would be the result if James's method were applied to the problems of the 19th Dynasty? If the 600-year gap at Boghazkoi is prevalent at other 19th Dynasty sites then it is Egyptian chronology that is flawed.
Seti I and Ramses II both mentioned the capture of Qatna in their wars against the Hittites. After they withdrew from Syria about 1200, the site lay vacant for over half a millennium until it experienced a brief revival in the first half of the sixth century, " [Pfeiffer, 1966. p. 469]. Ugarit was a port city on the Syrian coast opposite Cyprus and was under the rule of Egypt in the Middle Kingdom as well as the New Kingdom. Curtis states its post-19th Dynasty obscurity in these words, "Although the history of Ugarit really comes to an end in the twelfth century." In the seventh and sixth centuries the highest point in the Tell was inhabited, as is shown by the remains of buildings and a small cemetery of sarcophagi made of large stone slabs, which contain iron spears, bronze brooches and alabaster flasks [Curtis, 1985, p. 48]. There were no significant artifacts in between.
Byblos was Egypt,s primary client state in Asia. Montet, in 1921, discovered the tomb of King Ahiram (see above). Afterward, Dunand found many steles that commemorated Ramses's II victories in Syria. His assistant, Jedijian, would write this observation, "The results of excavations at Byblos have shown a curious fact which has been a source of discussion among scholars. In the excavated area at Byblos there is a complete absence of stratified levels of the Iron Age, that is the period of 1200-600 BC [Jedijian, 1986, p. 57]." During this period, Byblos was supposedly a thriving commercial centre.
Alalakh fell into the hands of the Hittites during the reign of Suppiluliumas 1380 - 1340 (GAD). During the twelfth century the Hittite Empire fell. Smith in describing the art at Alalakh from the twelfth century said, "Still more interesting are the sculptures belonging to the palace of this period. The lions belong to the earliest stage of the type that lasted in Syria for six centuries and closely resemble those, which guard the tomb of Ahiram of Byblos [Smith, S. 1946. p. 46]. Is the six centuries of unchanging sculpture an anomaly of Alalakh or is the date of Ramses II 600 years in error?
In Anatolia lies Gordion, the ancient capital of Phrygia, home of the legendary of Midas. The earliest Phrygian deposits can be dated by imported Greek pottery to the late 9th and early 8th century. Gordion was invaded and sacked by the Cimmerians during the 7th century and was conquered by Cyrus the Persian in the 6th century. Excavation under an American team headed by Young found a stratum above the Phrygian level and below the Persian. Such a stratum could only be dated between 680 and 550. The ceramic sherds at this level were from the final stage of the Hittite empire- the time of Hattusilas III. Thus, were it not for the synchronism to Ramses II of the 13th century, the final stage of the Hittite empire would be dated to the 7th century.
Having looked generally at the Ramesside levels in Asia and found evidence from stratigraphy that Ramses II was a 7th century pharaoh, we need to examine a specific case in more detail. At Beth Shan more Egyptian material was found than any other Israelite location [Mazar, 1990, p. 282]. Its location at the junction of the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan River made it a strategic military post. In the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties the Egyptians kept garrisons of troops and mercenaries there. Rowe, the excavator of Beth Shan, designated the upper Strata IX to V to the 18th, 19th and the early 20th Dynasty. Levels IX, VIII, and VII are ascribed to the 18th Dynasty. Levels VI and V are ascribed to the 19th and early 20th Dynasties. The succeeding Stratum IV was ascribed to the period of the Late 20th Dynasty, Judges and Philistines, Israelite kings, Assyrians, Psammetichus and the Scythians as well as the Neo-Babylonians and the early years of the Persians. Whereas 5 strata are assigned to just over 300 years, the one and only Israelite stratum was assigned over 700 years. Furthermore, the thickness of Stratum IV is eight times thinner than the combined Strata V and VI, circa 150 years. This is unacceptable.
Indeed, Mazar reports that Level VII belongs to the 19th Dynasty and Level VI to the 20th Dynasty. In the conventional view this leaves three levels VI to IV for the Israelite levels. Though he cites Rowe as a reference, he gives no explanation of the discrepancy. Although it is suggested that the Philistines followed the 20th Dynasty, Rowe reports no Philistine pottery at this level.
Associated with the Seti/Ramses II levels were anthropoid clay coffins that Rowe identified these as belonging to their Aegean and Anatolian (Sherdenen) mercenaries that were a "major part of the garrison left at Beth-Shan [Rowe, 1930, p. 26]." The anthropoid coffins are also found in Egypt in sites associated with the both the 19th and 26th Dynasties.
Psammetichus of the 26th Dynasty also invaded Palestine with Aegean and Anatolian mercenaries in the 7th century [Herodotus, The Histories (Trans. Aubrey de Selincourt) Penguin Books, Harmondsworth. p. 191]. Psammetichus encountered Scythian invaders at Beth Shan and offered Beth Shean to them to settle. They remained there throughout the Persian and Hellenistic eras. The city became known as Scythopolis. Despite this there is no sign of any inscriptions, monuments or artifacts of Psammeticus or Necho II. Furthermore, no artifacts identified as Assyrian or Neo-Babylonian is reported either. Only a statue of Ramses III is found in Level V. If Seti I and Ramses II (1300 - 1200 BC) directly overlie the Scythians in Level IV during the Neo-Babylonian and Persian times (600 - 300 BC), there remains a 600-year gap, just like the Syrian sites.
In Anatolia and Syria, deposits dated or synchronized to the 19th Dynasty coexist with and/or are superimposed by deposits of the 7th and 6th century. Furthermore, evidence of the invasions of Psammetichus and Necho II are missing from all these sites. At Beth Shean excavations have also clearly revealed another 600-year gap, even though there is a great deal of identifiable Egyptian material. It is hopeless to carry on special pleading any longer to avoid the obvious. There is no 600-year gap. The 19th Dynasty existed in the 7th not the 13th century. The 19th and 26th Dynasties are the same as Velikovsky has claimed [Velikovsky, 1978].
Other papers by by Alan Montgomery:
A CHRONOLOGICAL MODEL FOR THE BIBLE: Part 1. THE EXODUS, JOSHUA AND JUDGES TOWARDS A BIBLICALLY INERRANT CHRONOLOGY
Curtis, A. 1985. Cities of the biblical world: Ugarit. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. p. 48
Herodotus. The Histories (Trans. Aubrey de Selincourt). Penguin Books. Harmondsworth. p. 191
Jedijian, N. 1986. Byblos through the ages. Beirut. Dar el-Machreq. P.57
Mazar, A. 1990. Archeology of the land of the Bible: 10,000 - 586 BC. Doubleday, New York.
Puchstein, O. 1890. Pseudohethitsche Kunst, Berlin. p. 13
Pfeiffer, C. 1966. The biblical world: A dictionary of biblical archaeology. Baker Books. Grand Rapids. p. 469
Rowe, A. 1930. Topography and Historyy of Beth-Shean. University Press. Philadelphia. p. 26
Smith, S. 1946. Alalakh and chronology. Luzac and Company. London. p. 46
Velikovsky, I. 1978. Ramses and his times. Doubleday. Garden City, N.Y.
April 21, 2001. Updated March 11, 2008, March 21, 2009.
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