Ages in Order:

A Velikovskian revision


Copyright June 11, 2019
Best Bard Press




There is nothing like a mystery to stimulate the imagination. One of the great mysteries that has emerged in the last century is why there seems to be so little archaeological evidence that aligns with the biblical narrative of the history of Israel before the time of Ahab. From Ahab onward there is plenty of archaeological evidence yet, the era of the King David and King Solomon, the Judges and the Exodus is characterized by paucity of evidence rather than abundance. Scholarship has gone from studying Moses' deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt with amazement to a despising contempt or indifference to the whole subject. Are the erudite and sophisticated Jews so ignorant of its own history? It seems doubtful to me and thus a mystery. What happened to the Exodus archaeology and the rest?

When I first read Velikovsky and his claims I admit that I saw two possibilities. He was either a genius or a charlatan. He claimed that the chronology of the Egyptian dynasties was 500 years too old. The idea that an Egyptian dynasty could be moved 500 years forward in time is either easily and soundly refuted or it may be the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century.

Intellectual inertia has buried many new ideas and prolonged their acceptance. The theory of continental drift, widely accepted today was widely scoffed at in the days when Alfred Wegener first proposed it. In 1957 the International Geophysical Year happened. All the data gathered that year was overwhelmingly in agreement with continental drift theory and scientists around the world reversed themselves.  This is the exception rather than the rule. Again, the solar system idea was rejected in ancient time in favour of the idea that all heavenly bodies circled the Earth. Even when it was proposed that the Earth spun on its axis, creating the illusion of sun, moon and stars circling the Earth, the astronomers did not conclude at first that the Earth circled the Sun. It took a century for scientists to catch up to Copernicus and then to Galileo. There actually remained a remnant that never converted. They just died off. This is the tragedy of intellectual inertia. It is the resistance to admitting one has always been wrong.

Many became interested in his research after 1952 and because they saw great explanatory value in his putting the 18th Dynasty next to the early Israelite Kingdoms. For example, Helladic pottery found in the 18th Dynasty sites had actually been first dated 500 years later than the Egyptian dates based on the relationship with the 7th century Greek Geometric pottery that had been influenced by it. Such a shift in ceramic dates actually invited a 500-year lowering of dates. Attempts to discredit Velikovsky ideas were arguments in a circle or just plain comical. The failure to provide clear evidential contradiction encouraged me to investigate further. It seemed more genius than foolishness.

The one serious problem Velikovsky created was where to stash the extra 500 years of Egyptian history. Ending the 18th Dynasty in the 10th or 9th century put it next to the start of the 22nd Dynasty. The 19th , 20th and 21st Dynasty had to go somewhere else but where? Removing these dynasties was to cause a falling out with many of his supporters.

In 1977 he published Peoples of the Sea and in 1978 Rameses II and His Times. Unfortunately, he attempted to combine the pharaohs of Thebes with the pharaohs of the Nile delta, making them alter egos to already existing pharaohs. The alter ego approach was not well-received. Many deserted the whole revision. Maybe, had he lived longer he might have been persuaded that these two sets of pharaohs were contemporary pharaohs ruling different parts of Egypt. This resolves most problems.

I assume in this book that the 19th and 20th Dynasties ruled in Thebes, which was a centre of native nationalist feeling. After the fall of the 18th Dynasty, the 22nd Dynasty of Libyans reigned. They were foreigners. Eventually, the Thebans rebelled against the delta foreigners and tried to restore the glory of the 18th Dynasty. This led to the 19th Dynasty, which Velikovsky placed in the 7th to 6th century, about 660 to 650 years later than orthodoxy. Again, this was an extraordinary fit as the Hittite Empire had at first been placed by early Hittite researchers in the time of the Assyrian Kings of the time of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, in the mid-7th century/ 6th century. There was already a Hittite archaeology and history ready to attach to Ramesses II and his dynasty.

Velikovsky placed the 20th Dynasty in the final years of the Late Period. His placement resolved many problems. Archaeologically, all evidence fit this assignment and Egyptologists had only the cartouches of the 20th Dynasty to validate their own 12th century date. Various revisionists, refused to accept the repositioning of the Egyptian dynasties. They must be kept in the "right order". They began to experiment with shorter revisions after Velikovsky died.  These all failed because the historical revision downward was too small for the stratigraphic gaps. They still had holes.  Furthermore, their constructions were too just so and their synchronisms were unsatisfactory.

Velikovsky was neither a genius nor a fool. He had a great idea but it did have flaws. He never did construct a stratigraphy for his revision. Without it the whole structure of his revision was brought into question. One aim of this book is to fix this flaw by the construct of a new stratigraphic model that demonstrates that in essence Velikovsky was almost right. Enjoy!


Part One


When Did the exodus occur?


Chapter 1


Ages in order -The Greek Dark Ages



In the 19th century an amateur archaeologist named Schliemann had mounted a daring excavation of a mound in Turkey called Hissarlik and claimed he had discovered ancient Troy. In Victorian Europe, his discoveries drew widespread public attention.  The tales of the heroic warriors such as Achilles of Trojan War fame and Mycenaean King, Agamemnon, from Homer's Iliad aroused great interest. Dating Mycenaean Greece, of course, was of great interest too. Schliemann's excavation brought to light the fact that the strata at various depths had discernibly different pottery shapes and decorations. A particularly interesting series of Mycenaean potteries emerged, which were labelled by archaeologists as Late Helladic. This was subdivided into Late Helladic I, II, and III. Greek history had no reliable dates earlier than the 7th century BC so dating the Late Helladic pottery had risks. However, Greek archaeologists noticed that the Late Geometric pottery of the 7th century had been influenced by the earlier Mycenaean pottery. They estimated their dates backwards from there and assigned the Late Helladic dates from the mid-11th to the 8th and perhaps 7th century. This was about to generate an important debate.

The Debate Begins

In 1890 a major discovery changed everything. Flinders Petrie, an English Egyptologist, discovered the same Helladic (Mycenaean) pottery at a place called el-Amarna in Egypt. In ancient times el-Amarna was called Akhetaton, the capital city of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton. He was the first pharaoh to worship only one god, Aten. Petrie's excavation revealed that the palace had imported Greek Mycenaean pottery [Petrie 1890]. This was an exciting development because, unlike Greece, Egypt had an absolute chronology that went back to 3000 BC. Petrie graciously applied these absolute Egyptian dates to Mycenaean pottery, replacing the estimated dates by the Greek archaeologists. This was seen by Egyptologists as great progress.

When the Greek archaeologists saw Petrie's dates they were appalled. He had dates pushed back the whole Mycenaean era 500 years to 1550-1200 BC. Their 9th century BC Late Helladic IIIA pottery had become 14th century BC. The Greek archaeologists were neither expecting nor wanted Petrie's dates. The Old Mycenaean Dates, estimated at 1050-700 BC, allowed for continuity and even overlap with the following 7th century Late Geometric pottery. Their dates explained the obvious influence of Mycenaean pottery on the Geometric pottery.  Either there was an extraordinary influence in pottery evolution from 500 years away or an equally extraordinary stretching of Egyptian chronology. This was no skillful surgical adjustment - more like a lobotomy.

Torr, a Greek classicist, pointed out that Petrie effectively created a huge 500-year archaeological gap, in which there was neither history nor inhabitants in the post-Mycenaean world! This gap became known as the "Greek Dark Age". Since that time, the archaeologists have been searching for peoples and potteries to fill this gap. Greek archaeologists tried in vain to rationally explain how 14th and 13th century Late Helladic III pottery had influenced 7th century Late Geometric pottery. They postulated that some designs had survived during the 500 years on short-lived material such as textiles that had left no trace [P. James, p. 74]. This argument explains the silence. However, it is also an argument that assumes the silence to be real.

Torr and Petrie exchanged 21 articles debating the truth of this new claim. Torr's arrogance and lack of tack was not well received. Torr eventually tried to correct the Egyptian chronology [Torr, 1896]. He reduced the reigns of pharaohs to the bare minimum allowed by the data and maximized all possible overlaps between the dynasties. However, Petrie had the pottery and he had the Egyptian dates. Torr's chronology failed to persuade any Egyptologist. It was highly contrived and, from the viewpoint of Egyptologists, entirely unnecessary. The Egyptologists never explained the 500-year gap with Greek ceramic chronology. It was not their problem.

Unfortunately, this affected not only the dates in Greek history but also the dates of every nation where the Greeks traded their pottery. Greek pottery was traded for example with Italy, Anatolia, Cypress, and Phoenicia, Philistia and even Israel. Both dating of the Egyptian artefacts and the Greek pottery found in local strata frequently conflicted with local chronology. This led to many conundrums, because of the dating distortions.  A polymath named Velikovsky would try to undo this distortion but we will discuss that in a later chapter.

The accumulation of archaeological problems must raise a serious question: was Torr right? What if Torr had been able to access modern data? If a less arrogant advocate were to present the case, would that have produced a different result?  Table 1 summarizes the Dark Age problem.

Table 1 - Effect of Petrie on Torr's Mycenaean Pottery Dates


Petrie's dates

Torr's dates

Late Helladic I and II

1550-1400 BC

11th and 10th century

Late Helladic IIIA

1400-1330 BC

early 9th

Late Helladic IIIB

1330-1200 BC

later 9th century

Late Helladic IIIC

1200-1000 BC

8th / 7th century

Dark Ages

1000-700 BC

No Dark Ages

Late Geometric

700-650 BC

700-650 BC


Mycenae was the leader of the Greek city-states in the time of the Trojan War. It was thus a key site to excavate and solve the mystery of the "Dark Ages". It is still the most thoroughly studied site in the world. This has resulted in a number of unsolved problems in the time of the Mycenaean empire. The first mystery was the gateways at Mycenae and Gordion. Figure 1 contains pictures of these two gateways. They each have two standing lions facing each other with a column in between. Ramsay, an archaeologist, naturally thought the Mycenaean gateway dated to the eighth century BC because the Mycenaean design of the gate was similar to that of eighth century Gordion. Petrie's Egyptian chronology had the effect of re-dating the gate of Mycenae to the 13th century, 500 years earlier. Ramsay could not accept this but his protests went unheard. Scholars like Boardman, who accepted a thirteenth-century attribution for the gate, nevertheless had to admit,

"more than five hundred years were to pass before Greek sculptors could [again] command an idiom which would satisfy these aspirations in sculpture and architecture." [Boardman]

This is the same problem as the Mycenaean pottery influencing Late Geometric pottery from 500 years away. Is this not a sign of a systematic problem?


Figure 1: Lions at Late Bronze Mycenae and Phrygian Gordion



Not far from the Lion Gate was the building known as the granary. Wace dug a test trench in 1920 between the Gate and the granary [Wace]. He differentiated thirteen layers. The bottom ten layers contained exclusively Late Helladic IIIB and IIIC pottery circa. 1250 - 1100 BC, or 150 years. The eleventh layer, in addition to 11th century Late Helladic IIIC pottery, also contained a significant number of fragments of Orientalizing Ware. This ware shows influence from the East and is dated by archaeologists to the seventh and sixth centuries BC. It is very important to note that the eleventh layer contained no pottery dated between 1100-700 BC. A gap of 400 years. How does one explain the 11th layer, which contained pottery of both the 11th century and the 7th century and nothing in between? 

The problem cannot be blamed on the thickness of the layer. It was, in fact, thinner than one of the earlier layers representing ca. 15-20 years. It cannot be explained by the abandonment of Mycenae between the 11th century and the 7th century because a layer lacking pottery would have built up during those years and would have been very apparent. There is no evidence that any person or any process had removed material or had disturbed the layering. One layer contained pottery of two styles customarily separated by hundreds of years, yet the trench layering showed no evidence that those centuries actually happened.

The mixing of Late Helladic IIIC and 7th century pottery at Mycenae are not isolated examples. Other archaeological sites include Tiryns, Athens, Kythera, Vrokstro in Crete and Emborio on the island of Chios [Rudolph; Broneer; Coldstream; Hall; Snodgrass]. The whole region of Greece is involved. Torr's dates would close the gaps if only Petrie's dates could be refuted.

Warrior Vases

One of the most interesting conundrums found at Mycenae is the case of the so-called warrior vases [Schorr]. Schliemann discovered a vase used in mixing wine called a krater. A picture of a series of soldiers encircled the vase. Its peculiar handles were shaped into a bull's head (see Figure 2). It was deemed a development from an earlier 8th century style of krater and assigned to the 7th century. The soldiers on the vase were equipped like soldiers on another vase which had been signed by Aristonothos, an artist of the 7th century. However, after Petrie's chronological adjustment became accepted, the Warrior vase was re-dated to 1200 BC as part of the Late Helladic IIIC pottery. This left the problem of explaining how little Greek warfare and military weapons had changed over 500 years.  It is not just the warriors but also their chariots that show no indication of technological development. Mycenaean era chariots showed on Mycenaean pottery are followed by a four-century long hiatus until they reappear in the Geometric Age almost exactly like their Mycenaean predecessors.


Figure 2 - Warrior Vases

Warrior Vase                                                                           Vase of Aristonothos

These vases also left another unexplained puzzle. The Greeks had used geometric designs alone on their pottery. In the 8th century they added the figures of human beings on their pottery. When the Warrior Vase was re-dated it meant that this development was repeated twice in the history of Greek pottery: first in the 13th to 12th century and then again in the 8th to 7th century. This development of two styles, in two different eras with similar changes, was indeed curious and has never been satisfactorily explained.

The Problem at Hissarlik

Schliemann's excavation left much to be desired. A modern excavation of Hissarlik was carried out by the University of Cincinnati under the direction of Blegen from 1932-1936 [Blegen, 1963] to remedy the situation. The publication of Blegen's report was delayed for a long time because he uncovered many chronological problems with the Mycenaean strata at Hissarlik. Beneath the 7th century Level VIII lay Level VIIb that contained Late Helladic IIIC pottery dated to 12th century. The gap was more than 400 years. Level VIIa contained the Mycenaean pottery labeled Late Helladic IIIB and Level VI contained a Mycenaean pottery labeled Late Helladic IIIA, the time of Akhenaten. According to Torr's dates, the whole system was 400-500 years too early. However, there is another element present. Potteries known as Grey Minyan Ware and Tan Ware were found, which began in Level VI. They continued into Levels VIIa, VIIb and VIII, right across the 400-year gap! [Blegen, 1963, p. 160].  Blegen wrote,

"In the seventh century B.C. the Trojan citadel, which had been virtually deserted for some four centuries, suddenly blossomed into life once more with occupants who were still able to make Grey Minyan pottery." [Blegen, 1963, p. 172]  

This too appears completely counterintuitive. Blegen even reported 7th century Geometric ware below deposits of Knobbed Ware, when it should be the reverse. [Blegen et al,1958, p.158.] Worse still the Late Geometric pottery of the 7th century is actually found in Level VII mixed in among the 11th century Late Helladic IIIC pottery.  He reported also that these Geometric sherds found in Level VII seem to be of exactly the same kind as the late Geometric pottery from the 7th century strata. [Blegen et al, 1958, p. 181].  

Problems continued with the excavation of House no. 814. House no. 814 was a Late Bronze Age building from Level VIIb dated to the 12th century. Under it, Blegen found pottery from the 8th century [Blegen et al, 1958, pp. 291-92]. How could a 12th century house have a pottery underneath it, which would not exist until 400 years later?

The Problems Spread

The impact of the Egyptian dating of Late Helladic pottery was not restricted to Greece because the Greeks traded their pottery all over the Mediterranean. Everywhere their pottery was found, the stratum containing it became identified with the Mycenaean era and was given Petrie's Egyptian dates. The dark ages were thus spread into many places in the Mediterranean. [James et al, p.16]. In Italy, the 8th century Villanovan Iron Age pottery succeeded the Mycenaean Late Apennine, which causes the intermediate pottery to be stretched out over 300 years. In Sicily, the Pantalican culture of the late 8th century succeeded the Thapsos, with its 13th century Mycenaean pottery. In Sardinia, Middle Nuragic, whose artefacts linked it to the 8th/7th Villanovan in Italy, followed the 13th century Late Bronze Archaic Nuragic. In Malta, Borg in-Nadr 3 culture that was linked to the 8th century Punic culture that followed the Late Bronze Borg in-Nadr 2 culture [P. James,  pp. 34-41]. In all these places, huge stratigraphic gaps appeared between the cultures that traded with Mycenaeans and those cultures touched by Greek colonists of the 8th/ 7th centuries. Not just the western Mediterranean region but also the Anatolian world was affected. Between Late Bronze and the Iron Age in Anatolia, there is a 400-year void. Akurgal, the leading Anatolian archaeologist, stated the problem thusly,

" is striking that not only no Phrygian (remains) but no cultural remains of any sort have been found which belong to the period 1200 - 800 BC [Akurgal, 1962, p. 124]."

Was Anatolia uninhabited for over 400 years? The problem is systematic not archaeological. In Table 2 is a list of locations and objects that indicate the Mycenaean-Iron Age gap. Below is a list of stratigraphic gaps taken from James' Centuries of Darkness.


Table 2:  Stratigraphic Gaps


Type of Evidence

Gap Years



Late Apennine pottery




LB/IA I Tombs



Aeolian Islands

LB/IA I Pottery








Soldiers' Armour












Linear B/Earliest Alphabet































*Page reference is to Centuries in Darkness [James et al., 1993]

One problem presented in Table 2 is that the chronological gaps are greater than those listed. For example, when the Carian tombs in Cyprus are compared with those at Ugarit, the earliest tombs at Ugarit are dated from 15th to 12th century yet they look the same as those in Cyprus dated 9th to 6th century - a 300-year gap. However, the earliest tombs at Ugarit 15th century correspond most closely to the earliest at Cyprus in the 9th century - a 600-year gap. This gap is chronological rather than stratigraphic.



Egyptologists were the first to construct their chronology and thus enjoyed the privilege of primacy. The Egyptian dynastic order was determined from a 3rd century BC priest named Manetho. His work is no longer extant and it is not clear what sources he used. Parts of Manetho are found in the works of three writers: Josephus, Africanus and Eusebius. However, they contradict each other in the details. Many names of the pharaohs from Manetho's lists have not yet been found on the royal monuments and many royal names on the monuments are not found on Manetho. According to Breasted, a father of Egyptology,

"Manetho is a late, careless and uncritical compilation which can be proved wrong from contemporary monuments in the vast majority of cases where such monuments have survived." [Breasted]

It would be unwise to trust such a source.

Blegen's results at Hissarlik show Levels VI, VII and VIII were continuously inhabited. Using Torr's ceramic dates would reduce the Mycenaean levels VI and VII by 400 years thus eliminating the gaps in the stratigraphy. A similar reduction in ceramic dates means the18th Dynasty belongs to 11th to the 9th century. In Israelite history this occurs in the reign of King Saul to the end of Israel's Omride dynasty and even later. Yet, we also know from the excavation of Samaria, the capital of Israel during the Omride dynasty, a vase of 22nd Dynasty Pharaoh Osorkon II was found in its early strata. If the 18th Dynasty ends in the 9th century and Osorkon II is a 9th century pharaoh, where do the 3 preceding dynasties, 19th, 20th and 21st Dynasties go? Such a revision makes a significant change to ancient history. Consider, for example, the story of the biblical Exodus, thought by modern biblical scholars to have occurred in the 19th Dynasty. This now becomes impossible. One cannot place the end of 18th Dynasty into the 9th century with King Jehu and then have Moses liberate the Israelites from the Egyptians during the 9th century during 22nd Dynasty.


Immanuel Velikovsky was the one investigator that actually attempted to revise history based on the historical correlations between Israel and Egypt apart from Egyptian orthodoxy. In 1952 he published Ages in Chaos in which he claimed the pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty matched the history of the Kings of Israel over the two-hundred-year period from the 11th century to the 9th century.

The method used by Velikovsky is interesting. He noticed for example that when Egypt was weak, almost paralyzed during the 21st Dynasty, it seemed, at the same point in time in Israelite history to be able to invade the Kingdom of Israel in the reign of Rehoboam. Therefore, there must be a mismatch between the Egyptian and Israelite histories.

Another example, an Egyptian pharaoh offered his daughter in marriage to King Solomon. To give the princess a dowry, the Egyptian pharaoh attacked and took possession of Gezer. According to orthodox chronology, the pharaoh of this time was Si-Amon. Si-Amon was both a High Priest and a Pharaoh in the 21st Dynasty. The 21st Dynasty was a time of weakness and division in Egypt. There are no records of any invasions of Canaan during it. When in the Bible, the Egyptians marched into Israel and defeated Solomon's son, Rehoboam, the Egyptologists recorded a weak, divided Egypt incapable of launching an attack outside of Egypt. Another example, there was considerable discord between the Israelite account in the Judges and the corresponding history of the Egyptian New Kingdom. The Egyptian military held sway in Canaan during the 15th to the 12th centuries while during the same years the Israelites conquered and dispossessed the Canaanites. How can this be? The Hebrew Scripture mentions only Moabites, Ammonites, Canaanites, Amalekites, Midianites and Philistines as Israel's enemies.  Egyptian presence is conspicuous lacking.

Velikovsky shifted the Egyptian dynasties to match the history of the Israelites. He shifted the 18th Dynasty opposite Kings Saul, David and Solomon up to the end of the Omride kings of Israel. He then created a narrative in which the Egyptian 19th Dynasty ruled parallel to the 26th Dynasty in the 7th / 6th century during the final years of the kingdom of Judah and the 20th/21st Dynasties ruled parallel to 28th -30th Dynasty in the 4th century BC at the time of the final years of Persian occupation. This left the 22nd to the 25th dynasties to rule between the 18th and 19th Dynasty. 

Velikovsky's re-matching the two histories results in a reduction in the chronology for Egypt of 500 years and hence for the corresponding ceramic dates. The new ceramic dates that fit Velikovsky's revision match precisely with those determined for Torr's Late Helladic pottery. Two independent methodologies have arrived at essentially the same result. The match cannot be coincidence. This book investigates of the consequences of this match.


Early in the excavation of ancient Greek sites Greek archaeologists noticed that Late Helladic pottery formed a sequence from Late Helladic I to Late Helladic IIIC that influenced 7th century Geometric pottery. The ceramic chronology that arose from this put Late Helladic IIIA pottery in the 9th century. Egyptologist Petrie, when he excavated Akhetaten, the capital of Egypt under Akhenaten, found Late Helladic IIIA pottery at the site. Akhenaten reigned in the middle of the 14th century according to Egyptian chronology. This resulted in Petrie redating Late Helladic IIIA pottery to the 14th century. Because Egyptology was more established and had a list of dynasties and pharaohs from Manetho, he prevailed over Torr's attempt to disprove this claim.

Torr reasonably objected that this claim would produce a 500-year gap in Greek archaeology. The archaeological record has greatly expanded since the 19th century and many sites have century large gaps that are explained by ad hoc just so stories that can no longer be believed. There must be some systematic error. If Torr is correct then Manetho is the systematic error and 500 years have been added to Egyptian chronology. Applying Torr's ceramic chronology restores the stratigraphic continuity and reconnects Late Helladic pottery to a time that it could influence Geometric pottery.

Velikovsky, independently came to the same conclusion as Torr but used historical methods. He placed the time of Akhenaten alongside the Omride dynasty in Samaria by comparing the content of the Amarna letters of Akhenaten to the time of the Omrides. At that time the kings of Damascus were a regional power who created havoc for nearby states. Hittites were a major power. The Amarna letters mentioned similar troubles. Also Samaria was filled with ivories which were similar in design to those of the time of Tutankhamun, the next to last pharaoh in the 18th dynasty. The investigation of this must go further to see if its ramifications produce further evidence, which must either confirm this match or determine that it is serendipitous.



References - Chapter 1

Akurgal, E., 1962. The Art of the Hittites, London, Thames and Hudson.

Blegen, C. 1958. Troy IV, Part 1.

Blegen, C. 1963. Troy and the Trojans, New York.

Boardman, J., 1964. Greek Art, New York, p. 22.

Breasted, 1906, A History of Egypt, p. 23

Broneer, O., 1939. A Mycenaean Fountain on the Athenian Acropolis, Hesperia, 8, pp. 402-403, pp. 427-428

Coldstream, J. N. 1976. Kythera, ed. Coldstream and G. Huxley, Park Ridge, N. J., pp. 305-306

Hall, E. H., 1914. Excavations in Eastern Crete, Vrokastro, Philadelphia, 1914, pp. 89-90, 108-109

James, P. et al., 1993. Centuries in Darkness, Rutgers University Press, Brunswick, NJ.

Petrie, W.M.F., 1890. The Egyptian Bases of Greek History,   11,  Journal of Hellenistic Studies, pp. 271-7

Rudolph, W., 1971. Tiryns 1968, Tiryns V , ed. U. Janzen, Maintz, p. 93

Schliemann, H. 1881. Ilios, The City and Country of the Trojans, London, Murray.

Schorr, E. (I. Isaacson) 1974. Applying the Revised Chronology, PensŽe, IVR IX [1974], pp. 5ff).  see

Snodgrass A.M., 1971. The Dark Age of Greece, Edinburgh, 1971, p. 90, pp. 281-283

Torr, C. 1896.  Memphis and Mycenae, Cambridge University Press.

Wace, A.J.B., 1921-3. The Lion Gate and Grave Circle Area, Annual of the British School at Athens 25, p. 18



Ages in order - The Exodus




There are two orthodox views of the Exodus and one revisionist. The conservative view links the biblical date of the Exodus, circa 1446 BC to the corresponding date in Egyptology which is in the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. It is faith in chronologies. The conservative believe that both the Egyptian and biblical dates are accurate. If this is true there will be a clear correspondence of the biblical history and early Late Bronze archaeology. If there is no correspondence then there must be an error in at least one chronology. The liberal view places the Exodus in the 19th Dynasty. The reason for this is to match with certain archaeological evidences, which the conservative view fails to accommodate. This requires, however, a major adjustment to biblical chronology, which is difficult to resolve. The third view is revisionist. Velikovsky claimed the Exodus is centuries earlier in the Egyptian chronology than the other two. In general, he accepts biblical chronology. We seek archaeology and a chronology that merges into a coherent narrative. Let us examine the three Exodus scenarios against the archaeological evidence to determine if any archaeological zone or Egyptian dynasty has a match.

When was the Exodus?

The conservatives believe the Exodus can be dated to the mid-15th century according to Thiele's biblical chronology [Thiele]. This says the Exodus occurred in the middle of the 18th Dynasty [Shea, 2002]. The liberal Christians like Kitchen, place the Exodus in in the 13th century in the 19th Dynasty. This is a slightly better archaeological fit. In Table 3, the three proposed versions of the Exodus are shown.

Table 3: Three Exodus Proposals in Egyptian History





Egyptian Period

Middle Kingdom

New Kingdom

New Kingdom

Egyptian Dynasty

Dynasties 12-13

Dynasty 18

Dynasty 19


Middle Bronze II

Late Bronze I

Late Bronze IIB

Date of the Exodus

1790 BC revised to1446            by Velikovsky

1446 BC

1250 BC


The Exodus Story in Archaeology

Can we identify the time of the Exodus by using the biblical texts to describe events that would leave archaeological evidence in the strata? The Exodus of the Israelites would have had a major impact on the economy of Egypt. According to the Bible, Israel and his family entered Egypt peacefully at the invitation of a benign Pharaoh who honoured the request of Joseph, his favoured Viceroy, to receive his family. Joseph had been responsible for saving Egypt from a disastrous famine that had lasted 7 years. His family was given land in Goshen in the district of the 'land of Raamses'. There they prospered and multiplied, growing into a multitude.

Sometime after Joseph's death a new Pharaoh persecuted them. He pressed them into slavery and forced them to build storehouses at Raamses and Pi-Thom. During this time God chose Moses to be taken into Pharaoh's house. Moses, later, at age 40, seeing a fellow Israelite mistreated, killed an Egyptian and fled into Midian on the backside of the desert. After 40 years, Moses returned to demand that Pharaoh let the Israelites go. Stubborn Pharaoh painfully resisted through 10 plagues that destroyed much of Egypt's crops and livestock. Finally, Pharaoh was persuaded by a plague that killed all and only Egypt's first-born offspring. The Egyptians begged the Israelites to go, even offering their precious stones and jewellery as an incentive. Over two million Israelite slaves left Egypt. These event alone would have crippled the economy.

The Egyptian nation mourned for their first born dead but Pharaoh had a change of heart. The slaves must return to serve him. He pursued them and trapped them between the mountains and the sea, the Israelites were despairing until God opened a path through the Red Sea and the Israelites walked over to the other side on dry ground. When Pharaoh and his army tried to follow, the water returned and drowned them [Ex 14:28].

There is some controversy concerning the drowning of the Pharaoh. Some say that only his army drowned. The text in Exodus may imply that Pharaoh was among those drown in the Red Sea but does not say so explicitly. However, Psalm 106:11 says, "The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived (NIV)" Psalm 135:9 says "He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants." Psalm 136:15 says, "...but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea." These passages make clear that Pharaoh personally was included in the disaster on the day of the Exodus.

The Israelites wandered through the desert following God's cloud by day and His pillar of fire by night. They had no contact with other peoples except for a battle with the Amalekites who were also passing through. They made no treaties; they bought no food or water from desert dwellers. There appears to be no nation that claimed the wilderness as their territory.

Their first scouting of the land produced reports of many fortified cities in Canaan, giants tending a land of milk and honey, just as God promised. Most of the scouts were fearful and rebelled against the command to attack the Canaanites. So, God let that generation wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

After 40 years, the Israelites began to enter the land. In the Negev, they encountered their first resistance and fought with the King of Arad at Hormah. Then they asked the kings of Edom and Moab permission to use the main road, the King's Highway, through Edom and Moab. These kings denied their request. At God's command, they circumvented Moab and travelled the back road to the east of Moab.

After passing by Moab, they fought and defeated the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og in the Transjordan. Joshua took command from Moses and led the Israelites against the walled Canaanite city of Jericho. Its walls fell and it was thoroughly destroyed and left abandoned. Joshua cursed Jericho that anyone rebuilding its walls and gates would suffer the loss of his eldest and youngest son.

Joshua divided the land between the Israelite tribes and started the process of pushing out the Canaanites. However, the Gibeonites approached Joshua and fooled him into thinking that they were foreigners. They tricked him into a treaty. Joshua attacked many towns and cities but, on account of the treaty he did not Gibeon. Then there arose a confederacy based in Hazor. Joshua mounted an attack on them, conquered them and hamstrung their horses. He burned Hazor to the ground. Some cities were put under Israelite control. Many cities resisted Israelite control. Of these only Jericho, Hazor and Ai alone were recorded as devastated by fire.

The Exodus Archaeology

How would archaeologists recognize the Exodus? What kinds of archaeological evidence might validate this story? What would be the political and economic background to the dynasty of Joseph and Moses? How would we know if the Israelites ever lived in Goshen?

The period of time from Joseph to the Exodus is frequently referred to as the Sojourn. At the beginning of the Sojourn Joseph had saved Egypt from famine. His forethought and planning had stored grain while it was cheap and sold it when it was expensive. He made the Pharaoh very rich and powerful. We are thus looking for a time when pharaohs were rich and the Israelites prospered and multiplied. Eventually, they must have occupied a considerable area. Thus, we are looking for rich pharaohs and a large group of Semitic people who lived at one time in Goshen in the eastern Nile delta and then left.

The loss of the Pharaoh and his army left Egypt vulnerable to unruly internal elements and external attack.  Might archaeology find some textual material referring to a period or foreign invasion and civil disturbance? Lastly, we need to find a dynasty with a missing pharaoh - one who lacked a mummy or a pyramid.

In the latter part of the sojourn the Israelites became slaves. This enriched the Egyptian economy further. In fact, when the Israelites left Egypt, they took with them much of the economic basis for the Egypt's wealth. Its prosperity would have come to a sudden halt. It would have descended into a sudden economic depression. It is doubtful that such a severe economic blow could be hidden from the archaeological or historical record. Archaeology should find a sudden decline in material wealth in Egypt.

In the Sinai the Israelites encountered only the transient Amalekites. There were no permanent inhabitants in the Sinai wilderness at the time of the Exodus. The Israelites dwelt in Kadesh Barnea for a time. During this time there is no mention of alliances or opposition - only an abortive attempt One difference between the Egyptians and the Semitic groups was their burial customs. Semitic groups typically buried their dead underneath their household floors. If a Semitic population hadText Box: Figure 2.1 Mud brick pyramid of SenwosretLEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01 lived in Goshen, archaeologists should be able to detect them by their burial customs. Similarly, if they suddenly left, archaeologists should be able to detect a change in burial customs.

at an invasion of Canaan. This suggests Kadesh Barnea had been deserted and that no king claimed it. In the era of the Exodus, the archaeologists should find the wilderness of Sinai, Zin and Paran lacked permanent settlements.

After 39 years, as Israel prepared for the invasion of Canaan the King of Arad attacked the Israelites at Hormah. The archaeologists should find that Arad and Hormah were occupied at the time of the Exodus. When Joshua attacked Canaan, it was a prosperous land of "milk and honey" with many walled cities. The archaeologists ought to find many walled cities in Canaan in the immediate Conquest period. These should be identifiable with biblical towns and cities.

The Israelite invasion significantly increased the population of Canaan at that time. The archaeologists ought to find evidence of an increase in the number and size of archaeological sites in Canaan during this same period.  They should also find that this period is one of widespread prosperity.

Joshua's first attack was Jericho. He besieged it 7 days. Its walls fell. He burned the city and forbid any booty and left it uninhabited. Joshua also burned Ai and Hazor. As Jericho and Hazor are well identified and excavated, the archaeologists should be able to identify these burn levels and its abandonment. Many cities may show signs of attack but Gibeon was allied with the Israelites and should not show signs of attack. The Israelites initiated a new cult site at Shiloh. The Scripture does not mention Shiloh prior to this time so it is likely it did not exist until the Conquest and certainly was not mentioned as the object of any Israelite attack. A summary of the archaeological requirements is listed in Figure 2.1.   A diligent search in the Middle Bronze will satisfy the requirements well.  A similar search for the evidences during the early or late Late Bronze will reveal that the evidences are decidedly lacking.

Early Exodus

What is the case for the Early Exodus in the Late Bronze to support the conservative view.  Conservatives put the Exodus in the Late Bronze I in the 18th Dynasty. This is done solely on the basis of chronology. If both the conventional Egyptian and biblical chronologies are correct, then the historical elements of the Exodus will be present and exhibit the required archaeological evidence in the Late Bronze I. The 18th Dynasty had a presence in Goshen at Tell el-Daba, but it was not a major presence. In fact, at one point there is a gap in the occupation at Tell el-Daba in the 18th Dynasty. During the 18th Dynasty little evidence of a concentration of Semitic people has been found. One pharaoh, Thutmose II, has no mummy. The conventional date of Thutmose II reign is close to 1490 BC almost 50 years too early for the conventional dates but can be accounted for within traditional variations such as Ussher. What is hard to accommodate is the lack of any economic or military collapse in his day. The wife of Thutmose II succeeded him to the throne followed by Thutmose III. Thutmose III invaded Canaan and captured many cities. In the following years he proceeded north into Phoenicia and Syria and even crossed the Euphrates. This was the biggest empire of the Late Bronze Age. There was neither military nor economic collapse in Egypt.



Table 4: Archaeological Requirements of the Exodus

Archaeology Required

Wealthy powerful Egypt.

Semitic occupation of Goshen.

A sudden decline in fortunes with the

Simultaneous disappearance of the Semites.

A Pharaoh without a mummy.

Non-occupied wilderness.

Arad and Hormah occupied.

A rich well-fortified Canaan.

A major immigration into Canaan.

Burned walled cities at Jericho and Hazor

Gibeon not attacked

Shiloh a new cultic site


A sober evaluation of the Early Exodus comes from the evangelical, Dyer. He admits different evidences reasoned in the best light forced him to concede that nothing in Late Bronze I archaeology compels an Early Exodus. Conservatives "do so primarily because of the biblical text." [Dyer, p. 243]. He asserts the events of the Exodus are true even though they have found no correlation in the real stratified remains. Other conservatives also agree this view [Shea]. 

During the Late Bronze I, the Sinai desert was wilderness, without any kingdoms. This is an archaeological requirement for the Exodus. There was no new immigration into Canaan in the Late Bronze I. Jericho was not occupied in Late Bronze I, except at the very end and was not burned then. Hazor was occupied but not burned. According to the conservatives there is Late Bronze I pottery that dates back to 1425 BC and thus complies with the Exodus requirement that Jericho be inhabited before 1405 BC. This is all moot because 1425/1400 BC is the beginning of the Late Bronze IIA occupation which lasted until 1275 BC at a time when Joshua's Jericho was supposedly unoccupied. In the Late Bronze I, Arad and Hormah, were not occupied.

Shiloh, the cult site of the Israelites during the Judges, was a new cult site in the Middle Bronze II. It was destroyed at the end of the Middle Bronze IIC before the conservative Exodus in Late Bronze I. Had the Canaanites built a sanctuary there the Israelites would have utterly destroyed it as commanded by Moses and certainly they would not have established a new cult site over top of a site involved in idolatry. An Early Exodus would require a new cult site at Shiloh but it was not even occupied in Late Bronze I. Also, in the Late Bronze I, Gibeon was not occupied.

Table 5 summarizes the case for the Late Bronze I with 3 hits and 8 misses among the Exodus requirements. This is a decidedly poor showing compared to the Middle Bronze II case. For this reason, most conventional archaeologists dismiss the Early Exodus model as inadequate.

The Late Exodus

It is now the time to examine the Late Exodus or liberal view of the biblical Exodus. In this view, the Exodus occurred in the Late Bronze II somewhere in the first half of the 13th century during the 19th Dynasty. The attraction of this model is, first, it is not the conservative model and second, it involves a dynasty that has a pharaoh who built a capital city named Pi-Ramesses at Tell el-Daba, the ancient Avaris. It is assumed that Jacob and his family received Goshen from Pharaoh in the land of Raamses and that the city of Pi-Ramesses was the same place as land of Raamses. Actually, the city of Pi-Ramesses need not be in the land of Raamesses nor in the time of the Exodus at all. Yet, on the assumption that the two are the same, the liberals date the Exodus to the 13th century BC. The area of Goshen was occupied during the 19th Dynasty by a powerful dynasty but there was no significant concentration of a Semitic people in the region at that time. Instead the many huge temples covering many acres was the central feature. There is sudden decline of fortune at the very end of the dynasty but not in the time of Ramesses II, the supposed pharaoh of the Exodus.

The successor of Ramesses II, the supposed pharaoh of the Exodus was Merenptah. He erected a stele in Year 5 of his reign that explicitly mentioned Israel.

"The princes are prostrate, saying 'Mercy!' Not one raises his head among the Nine Bows. Desolation is for Tehenu; Hatti is pacified; Plundered is Pi-Canaan (?) with every evil;

Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer; Yanoam is made as though it does not exist; Israel is laid waste, his seed is not; Hurru is become a widow for Egypt!
All lands together, they are pacified; everyone who was restless, has been bound."

This implies that Israel was already in Canaan by the time of Merenptah. The Exodus would then be at least 40 years earlier and therefore not in the reign of Merenptah. Ramesses II cannot be the Pharaoh of the Exodus either. If he were, he would have died at least 40 years earlier, which he did not. Moreover, it is problematic that we have his mummy. In that case Ramesses' father, Seti I, would have to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus in 1280 BC. But we know he did not drown in the Red Sea because we also have his mummy.  In fact, we have all 19th Dynasty mummies.

Weinstein sums up the situation,

"Semitic slaves existed in the 19th Dynasty but they were not concentrated in Goshen. Evidence, written or archaeological, of unexpected disaster or loss of slaves has not been found. ÉThe only question that really matters is whether any textual or archaeological materials indicate a major outflow of Asiatics from Egypt to Canaan in the 19th or even early 20th Dynasty. And so far the answer is no" [Weinstein 1997, p 93]. 

Bible-friendly academics, like Kitchen, are not prepared to write off the Exodus. It is a document vital to the history and cultural identity of Christians and Jews. Yet, when the Weinstein makes his statement it is not in criticism of the Bible but a mere statement of the state of affairs of the Egyptian evidence in the 19th Dynasty. Weinstein's claims that the Exodus never happened and Kitchen has no substantive evidence to the persuade him otherwise.

The Sinai was not occupied in the Late Bronze as required. The sites of Arad and Hormah were not occupied in the Late Bronze IIB.

The site of Jericho had no Late Bronze wall for the Israelites to fell nor any burn layer. Jericho was occupied before Late Bronze IIB and it was abandoned in the 13th about 1275 BC in conventional dating and not re-occupied until the 8th century. At the end of the Late Bronze Hazor was burned. Shiloh was not a cult centre during the Late Bronze II but it became an active cult centre in Iron Age I.

In the time of Seti I and Ramesses II no major disruption to the economy or the political power occurred as required. In fact, two stelae (stone monuments) have been excavated at Beth Shan that show that Seti I and Ramesses II marched through Canaan without resistance and kept it under Egyptian control during both their reigns. Neither the book of Joshua nor the book of Judges mentions this imperial Egyptian control.

This is problematic in this wise. According to Scripture, Joshua cursed the site of Jericho. If anyone were to re-build the wall and the gate, he would pay for it with the life of his eldest and youngest son. A man named Hiel in violation of Joshua's prophecy built the wall and constructed the gate of Jericho in the reign of Ahab and suffered the consequences in the early 9th century. The liberal view makes a poor match. The biblical text has no mention of two abandonments of Jericho - one before the Late Bronze and one after. Rather, there is only one gap and one re-build.

Table 5 summarizes the fit of the archaeological evidence for the Late Exodus. The Late Exodus in the 19th Dynasty has better correlations with archaeology than the Early Exodus.   However, it fails to meet key biblical requirements - a concentration of Semites in Goshen, a sudden decrease in Egyptian power and prosperity and a pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea. In either case the conservative 3 of 12 or the liberal case or 5 of 12 the archaeological fit is unimpressive.

Table 5 - Late Bronze Exodus


Late Exodus

Early Exodus

Wealthy powerful Egypt.



Semitic occupation of Goshen.



A sudden decline in fortunes



A Pharaoh without a mummy.


Thutmose II

Non-occupied wilderness.



Arad and Hormah occupied.



A well-fortified Canaan.



A major immigration into Canaan.



Burned cities at Jericho and Hazor



Gibeon not attacked



Shiloh a new cultic site




A serious problem for the liberal is the insufficient chronological room for the era of the Judges between the Exodus and the building of Solomon's Temple. According to Kitchen, the era of the judges is only 300 years. He divides the different judges into regions and assumes that the judges reign contemporaneously. For example, the 20 years of Jabin II followed by 40 years of peace under Debra are included in the 80 years of peace under Ehud. No Jew or early Christian father ever made such a claim. In his book Kitchen [Kitchen] points out, citing Rowley, that taken sequentially the sum of the years of the Judges and invaders combined are 554 + the unknown years of Joshua and the elders + the years of Samuel - the years of overlap with King Saul [Rowley]. In the early part of Christianity, the majority of chronologists calculated similar the sums. Even up until the 19th century most scholars were in agreement with Rowley's view.

One of the judges, Jephthah, responded to the Ammonite king that the Israelites had lived in the Transjordan region for 300 years [Judges 11:26]. Kitchen must discount such chronological statements. The statement in I King 6:1 that the time from the Exodus to the fourth year of Solomon was 480 years must also be discounted because Kitchen claims the conservative Christians have misinterpreted the text in a na•ve way. This is without support from any of the Jewish or early Christian church fathers. Nor did Paul support such a view.  In the book of Acts 13:20 he states that the judges ruled for 450 years from Joshua until the time of Samuel.

According to Kenyon there is an archaeological gap at end of the Middle Bronze II that lasted 150 years. According to the Bible the duration from Joshua to Ahab in the 9th century was between 500 to 625 years. Kenyon also places a second gap between 1275 and the 8th century. This difficulty is not resolved by liberal scholars. There is little credibility in either the conservative of liberal scenarios according to archaeological evidence.


A list of expected archaeological evidence produced by the historical Exodus events was compared with the attributes of both the conservative Exodus, Late Bronze I and the Late Bronze IIB. There is a poor match of requirements and attributes. This tells us that the Exodus did not happen in the Late Bronze I or Late Bronze II. This should not be surprising. In the previous chapter both Torr and Velikovsky claimed that the 18th Dynasty reigned from the 11th to the 9th century by two independent methodologies. It would be very strange if the time period from Saul to Jehu would produce the same archaeological profile as Moses. The liberal view in particular has many chronological problems which are addressed with imaginative overlapping of judgeships and are indicative or trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.





Dyer, C.H., 1983., The Date of the Exodus Re-examined, Bibliotheca Sacra, (July-September) p. 243].

Kitchen, K.A., 2003. On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids p. 257.

Rowley's, H.H. 1948. From Joseph to Joshua in The Schweich Papers, published in London: British Academy.

Shea, W.H., 2002. The Date of the Exodus, Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using the Biblical Text, D.M. Howard and M.A. Grisanti, Editors. Kregel, Grand Rapids, pp. 236-255

Thiele, E.R. 1965. The mysterious numbers of the Hebrew kings. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, MI.

Velikovsky, I., 1952. Ages in Chaos, Doubleday & Co. Garden City, N.Y.

Velikovsky, I., 1977. Peoples of the Sea, Doubleday &Co., Garden City, N.Y.

Velikovsky, I.,  1978. Ramses II and his Times,  Doubleday &Co, Garden City, N.Y.

Weinstein, J., 1997. Exodus and Archaeological Reality, Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, Ernest Frerichs and Leonard Lesko editors, Eisenbraun, Winona Lake IN






Ages in Order - The Middle Bronze Exodus



Revisionist Exodus

Petrie had found Late Helladic IIIA pottery at Akhetaten, the capital city of Akhenaten, which he dated to the 14th century. Torr, his contemporary, dated this pottery to the 9th century, 5 centuries later. Petrie's date for the Helladic pottery at Akhetaten was shortly after the Joshua's Conquest while Torr's ceramic dates were after King Jehoshaphat of Judah. This is a radical change in where to look for the Exodus archaeology. After crossing the Red Sea the Israelites went across the desert 40 years under Moses, 450 years under the Judges [Acts 13: 20] followed by Kings Saul, David and Solomon. The Exodus thus precedes Solomon's Temple by more than 550 years, which falls into the Middle Bronze era.

It was Velikovsky who first claimed the Exodus was in the Middle Bronze era. The Middle Bronze Age contained the Middle Kingdom dynasties, the 11th, 12th and 13th Dynasties. The 12th Dynasty had rich and powerful pharaohs. The 13th Dynasty had many weak and short-reigned pharaohs. It is unclear as to why this sudden decline took place. A king list called the Turin Canon gives the 8 pharaohs of the 12th Dynasty whose reigns averaged 27 years. It gives the 60 kings of the following 13th Dynasty, most with short reigns. Most of the reign lengths are missing but the average for the dozen that are known is about 6 years. Many pharaohs are known to have reigned months not years. This indicates great instability over a considerable period. The reason for the political instability is unknown according to Egyptologists. The Egyptian material culture seriously declined between the 12th and the 13th Dynasty. The sudden decline of the 12th Dynasty from power and wealth into the poverty and instability of the 13th Dynasty is one of the requirements of the Exodus archaeology.

Ipuwer Papyrus

The 10 plagues of Moses caused serious damage to Egypt. The Egyptians lost all their cattle, their crops, their jewellery, their slaves and their army. They also lost their capacity to fend off invaders. This would likely be recorded in Egyptian history in written form on some papyrus (a reed beaten into a sheet and used for writing). Velikovsky identifies a papyrus called The Admonitions of Ipuwer as describing the aftermath of the Exodus [Velikovsky, 1952] and the subsequent invasion of Egypt.  Ipuwer lamented the disastrous conditions that prevailed in his day [Wilson]. In Papyrus line 2:11 Ipuwer complains "The towns are destroyed" and Papyrus 3:13 "All is ruin." He complained of a lack of justice, social order and invasion: Papyrus 4:3 "Behold, the children of princes are dashed against the wall."  He complained of foreigners. Papyrus 3:1 "The nomes (provinces) are laid waste. A foreign tribe from abroad has invaded Egypt." Papyrus 8:14 "Behold, the chiefs of the land flee." Their crops were devastated, Papyrus 6:3 "Grain is perished on every side", Papyrus 6:1 "No Fruit or herbs are found". Cattle wander untended. The Nile had strangely turned to blood: Papyrus 2:10: "If one drinks it, one rejects it as human (blood) and thirsts for water." Even darkness is mentioned as a woe. Papyrus 9:11 "The land has no lightÉ".  Burials are commonplace Papyrus 2:13 "He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere." The similarities to the plagues of the Exodus are obvious. There is no doubt the Papyrus describe the chaotic conditions that followed the plagues of Moses. All this is repeated in detail in Psalm 105.

At the end of the 12th Dynasty there was a sudden disintegration of the state. The powerful pharaohs disappeared and were replaced by weak and short reigned pharaohs who left behind almost no monuments. Scholars have often noticed the similarities of this document to the Exodus story but have failed to connect the two because of the issue raised by chronology. The dating of this papyrus is controversial. Gardiner, followed by most Egyptologists, dated the events of Ipuwer to the First Intermediate Period before the Middle Kingdom. Other scholars such as Van Seters, and Velikovsky have argued for a Second Intermediate Period date, i.e. the 13th Dynasty/Hyksos era [Van Seters], [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 48-50]. Van Seters later changed his mind. Courville and Rohl supported Velikovsky's view [Courville 1971, Rohl, 1995].

Wilson has provided the best clue to its placement by noting that the language and orthography belong to the Middle Kingdom. [Wilson, p. 442]. This says that Moses was a Middle Kingdom person and not a Late Bronze person. The papyrus documents a sudden and disastrous decline of a rich powerful dynasty in Egypt, which meets the requirements of the archaeology of the Exodus.

Tell el-Daba

Before the Exodus the Israelites were building two store cities, Ramesses and Pi-Thom in the area of biblical Goshen. Archaeologists have identified Raamesses as in the district of Qantir (Goshen). Bietak's excavations at Tell el-Daba showed that in the Middle Bronze it had been the Hyksos capital, Avaris, and that it had been occupied both in the Hyksos and the 12th Dynasty. In the 12th Dynasty it had been a major administration centre.

There are two candidates Tell er-Retabeh and Tell Maskhuta, for the biblical Pi-Thom and Succoth. They also had Hyksos and Middle Kingdom strata (see Figure 3.1). Thus, Raamses and the two biblical cities of the Exodus are represented in the Middle Bronze II and this meets the requirement for the archaeology of Exodus. Excavations by Bietak in and around Tell el-Daba (Pi-Ramesses) revealed there were Semitic dwellings. Unlike Egyptians, these 12thDynasty Semites attached their graves to their homes in Semitic Levantine fashion. Pictures and sculptures show these Semites with peculiar mushroom style hairstyle [Bietak, p. 19]. These Semites were highly Egyptianized. At nearby Ezbet Rushdi the same Semites appear in the 12th Dynasty Level d/2. The Egyptianized Semites lived at Level H and perhaps G (12th Dynasty). These could be the Israelites. The 13th Dynasty began in Levels d/1 at Ezbet Rushdi and Level G3 at Tell el-Daba where there was a change in the Semite population began. Bietak wrote,

''  ... The sudden increase of Middle Bronze Age (ceramic) types from stratum G/4  to  stratum G/1-3  is  surely very significant, suggesting an influx of new elements from Levant into Egypt. [Bietak, M., 1996. p. 55].

These new elements buried their dead in dromos, tombs shaped like igloos with steps leading down into the entrance.  The new Semitic graves unlike previous tombs now abounded in weaponry. Pairs of donkeys were found buried at the entrances to their tombs. This kind of burial is paralleled only in southern Canaan, especially at Tell el-Ajjul [Bietak 1996, p. 25]. Tell el-Ajjul is usually identified with Sharuhen, which was the Hyksos centre of influence in Palestine during the Second Intermediate Period [Bietak, 1996. p 9-10].  Imported pottery suddenly increased from 20% to 40%, which could also indicate an new population from southern Canaan or a perhaps just a decrease in Egyptian pottery production. Also, the pottery that had been imported from northern Canaan and the Levant was replaced in Levels d/1 and G by Tell el-Yehudiyah ware [Bietak, 1996, p. 31]. This could also indicate a new people group. An Egyptianized Semitic race lived in the region of Goshen at the end of the 12th Dynasty. They were replaced just like the Israelites. Semitic occupation of Goshen and their disappearance is a requirement of the Exodus archaeology.

Middle Bronze II

What can the Middle Bronze II say to us about Sinai and Canaan? Apart from the itinerant Amalekites, the Israelites fought no one, avoided no one and made no peace treaty with anyone in their wanderings for 40 years in the wilderness. This tells us that the Sinai area was not under control by any organized state during the Middle Bronze II. It was unoccupied. This is another archaeological requirement for Exodus.

Then, at the end of 40 years, Israelites fought the King of Arad at Hormah and destroyed it. There are two sites in the Negev in the Middle Bronze II era, Tel Masos and Tel Malhata, that might be identified as Arad (Hormah).

Afterward the Israelites tried to make a treaty with the Edomites to use the King's Highway but they refused. The Israelites proceeded along the desert road to the east of Moab and arrived in the territory of King Og and King Sihon, whom Moses defeated.

During the Conquest, the Israelites fought against walled cities and occupied the land. Did Canaan experience a major Middle Bronze II immigration? Finkelstein says,

"The entire country flourished in Middle Bronze IIB. In contrast to earlier periods of prosperity, however, an unprecedented number of settlers inundated the central hill country as well. Hundreds of sites of every sizeÉwere founded throughout the region..." Again, he states, "The wave of settlement crested in the Middle Bronze IIB" [Finkelstein 1988, p. 339, 340].

The archaeology of Middle Bronze IIB attests the arrival of new settlers who constructed new towns to live in, as would be expected in the days of Joshua. Thereafter, neighbouring tribes invaded the Israelites from time to time for a season. Does the archaeology of the Middle Bronze II reflect constant tribal warfare?  According to Kenyon,

"During Middle Bronze IIB the towns in Palestine show great development and all the evidence of an eventful history. Each town excavated was rebuilt several times within the period and each suffered several destructions." [Kenyon 1960, p. 173].

Joshua defeated the Canaanites at Jericho causing it to be burned completely. Is there evidence of this in the Middle Bronze II? In Jericho's rubble, Level IV, charred wheat in jars was found in unusual quantities _ six bushels. In a long siege these supplies would have been eaten. In a short siege, the grain, normally, would be carried off as booty rather than burned in the conflagration. It is as if the grain were deliberately destroyed. This agrees with the Israelites' account of the destruction of Jericho in which all its goods were destroyed with the city itself.  After this destruction, Jericho was abandoned for centuries and mud runoff from the upper layers formed over the Middle Bronze IIB bricks and pottery further down the slope. This implies that Jericho was abandoned for a long time. This is another requirement for the Exodus archaeology.

After Joshua defeated Jabin, Canaanite King of Hazor, he burned Hazor and hamstrung its horses [Joshua 11:9-11]. Was Middle Bronze II Hazor burned at the same time as Middle Bronze II Jericho? Concerning Hazor, Kenyon states, "The remains of the final Middle Bronze Age buildings were covered with a thick layer of burning. A comparison of the pottery suggests that this was contemporary with the destruction of Middle Bronze Age Jericho." [Kenyon, 1973, p. 100].

This is another requirement for the archaeological Exodus.

Lastly, there is no sign of any Egyptian military power in Canaan during the late Middle Bronze II in agreement with the texts of the Judges. Another archaeological condition needed for the Exodus have been found. The cult site of Shiloh was founded at the time of the conquest. During its excavation, the site was discovered to have begun in the Middle Bronze II. This is as one would expect if the Israelites established Shiloh as a new centre for their worship and sacrifices to Yahweh. Finally, Gibeon was occupied during the Middle Bronze II and no evidence of destruction was found at that level.

The Pharaoh of the Exodus

Assuming that the Sojourn, from Joseph to Moses, occurred in the 12th Dynasty, was there a powerful Vizier in the 12th Dynasty who could have been Joseph? Courville claimed Vizier Mentuhotep under Senwosret I, the second pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty was Joseph. He was the most powerful Vizier of the 12th Dynasty [Courville 1971, p.142]. He had many impressive titles. They were: Vizier, Chief Judge, Overseer of the Double Granary, Chief Treasurer, Governor of the Royal Castle, Wearer of the Royal Seal, Chief of all the Works of the King, Hereditary Prince, Pilot of the People, Giver of Good -Sustaining Alive the People, Count, Sole Companion, Favourite of the King. Such titles were not awarded either before or after this time. Particularly the epithet, "Sustaining Alive the People", brings some deed of national salvation to mind.

If Joseph was the Vizier under Senwosret I (Also referred to as Sesostris I), then who was the pharaoh of the oppression and who was the pharaoh of the Exodus? Over 100 years after Senwosret I, Senwosret III began to reign. He centralized the government and put the Egyptian princes under tight control. He had a reputation as a cruel tyrant. This reputation makes him an ideal candidate for the pharaoh of oppression. [Courville, p.149]

All of the pyramids and tombs of the 12th Dynasty pharaohs are accounted for except Amenemhet IV, the second last pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty. Amenemhet IV's son did not succeed him to the throne but his sister, Sobekhotep I. It makes Amenemhet IV a logical candidate for the Pharaoh of the Exodus [Sparks]. An Egyptian pharaoh without a tomb or mummy is another archaeological evidence of the Exodus.

There is a singular advantage to Amenemhet IV as a candidate for the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The death of Amenemhet IV is exactly at the right date in relation to the 7 years of Joseph's famine. The Turin Canon, a list of pharaohs from Dynasties 1 to 18, gives the 12th Dynasty 213 years. Queen Sobekhotep I reigned the final 4 years, leaving 209 years. In the 2nd of the 7 years of famine Jacob entered Egypt [Gen 45:6]. This was 215 years before the Exodus or 6 years before the 12th Dynasty began. In other words, the last 6 years of the 11th Dynasty. The Turin Canon does not name the last pharaoh who ruled before the 12th Dynasty but states instead it states there were "7 empty years" [Grimal, p. 158]. These drought-ridden years were so bad that Egyptians refused to include his name in the king list (Mentuhotep IV). These 7 "empty" years may be the 7 years of famine of Joseph's dream. Jacob's entry into Egypt in the famine's 2nd year was 6 years before the beginning of the 12th Dynasty and 215 years before the death of Amenemhet IV, the pharaoh without a pyramid or mummy.

Josephus, the Jewish historian of the Roman era, adds one non-biblical detail. First, the Egyptians made the Israelites build pyramids of mud-brick [Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 2, IX:1]. In the New Kingdom, pharaohs built tombs not pyramids. In the Old Kingdom, royal pyramids were made of stone. Only in the Middle Kingdom, did the Egyptians use mud bricks in the pyramids. In Table 6, all the archaeological conditions required for the Exodus are summarized.


Table 6 - Archaeology of the Middle Bronze II Exodus         

Archaeology Required

Middle Bronze II Exodus - 12th Dynasty

Wealthy Powerful Egypt


Semitic occupation of Delta


A sudden decline in fortunes with the

disappearance of the Semites.


A Pharaoh without a mummy.

Amenemhet IV

Non-occupied wilderness.


Arad and Hormah occupied.


A well-fortified Canaan.


A major immigration into Canaan.


Burned walled cities at Jericho and Hazor


Gibeon not attacked


Shiloh a new cultic site



There is a strong fit to the requirements of the Middle Bronze Exodus. One can only wonder why this idea has not been proposed earlier. Actually, the reason is obvious; The Exodus was simply never within the acceptable range of the chronological dates. However, so many problems arise from modern archaeology that one has to at least suspect that the orthodoxy chronology is wrong. Yet there is simply no appetite to change the Egyptian Dynasties. To make Amenemhet IV the pharaoh of the Exodus, the orthodox dates must be adjusted almost 350 years. This is split between the Egyptian dates, almost 200 years and Israelite dates 150 years.

Jericho: One gap or Two?

Besides the obvious challenge of the absolute chronology as above there is the problem of the stratigraphy of Jericho. Kenyon placed two gaps in Jericho's stratigraphy. The early one came after the Middle Bronze II conflagration and lasted 150 years. The gap ended with the beginning of the Late Bronze IIA, which continued until part-way through Late Bronze IIB. Then there was a 500-year gap until the 8th century Iron Age. pottery [Kenyon, 1960]. Conventional views put the Exodus just before the 500-year gap.

According to Joshua 6:26 he cursed the city so that anyone who rebuilt the foundations of the city would lose his first-born son and whoever re-built the gates would suffer the loss of his youngest son. In I Kings 16:34 in the reign of Ahab, an Israelite named Hiel re-built the foundation and gates of Jericho and suffered the consequences.

According to Table 6 the Exodus occurred In Middle Bronze II. In Kenyon's view, the Middle Bronze II conflagration initially dated to 1570 by its pottery. Later this was adjusted to 1550 BC. According to the biblical text there ought to be a minimum gap of 550 years afterward when Jericho was deserted. To achieve this means that the Late Bronze IIA strata must be moved forward by a minimum 400 years. Late Bronze IIA contains Greek Late Helladic IIIA pottery, the same pottery that Torr contended was 9th century and the same as Petrie found in Akhenaten capital. Using Torr's dates, we shift the orthodox Late Bronze IIA dates from 1400-1275 to Torr's 900-775 BC. The gap after Joshua's Jericho now becomes 650 years as seen in Table 7.

This table is very important. The orthodox view shows discordance with the biblical text concerning Joshua's curse. By shifting to Torr's Greek dates, there is a sound concordance. This is strong evidence for Torr's position against Petrie.

To understand the importance of this finding we will review some of the excavations of Jericho. Just after the beginning of the 20th century Sellin worked on Jericho but little came of it. Later, Garstang excavated Jericho and reported that he had found Joshua's Jericho. Being a conservative Christian, he dated the burned Jericho walls to 1400 BC. This conclusion was not satisfying to many archaeologists. Kathleen Kenyon excavated Jericho again but much more thoroughly in the 1950s and discovered the burnt walls of Garstang actually belonged to the Early Bronze Age, 1000 years before Joshua's time. However, Kenyon discovered another toppled and burnt wall in the Middle Bronze II. This is Joshua's wall. No wall was found in the Late Bronze Age II.

The dates given by Kenyon appeared to contradict the biblical data and skepticism began to grow among archaeologists concerning the accuracy of the biblical text. This greatly disappointed religious conservatives. However, given Torr's dates the proper dates of the Jericho skepticism is unnecessary.

Table 7 - Re-Alignment of Jericho Stratigraphy According to Torr

Archaeological Age

Orthodox View

Torr View

Burn Level Middle Bronze II

1550 BC

1550 BC

Middle Bronze III/Late Bronze IA

150-year Gap

650-year gap

Late Bronze IIA -Late Bronze IIB

1400 BC-1275 BC

900-775 BC


500-year gap

No gap

Iron Age

8th century

8th century


However, the chronological problem remains. The biblical date for Joshua's Jericho is 1405 BC while Kenyon's date for the Middle Bronze II destruction is 1550 BC - a 145-years gap. Pharaoh Amenemes IV, who died about 1790 BC, leaves a 200-hundred-year gap to be accounted for.

According to Josephus [Josephus: Against Apion S.14 and S.26 p.611, p.617] Manetho said the Hyksos era was either 511 years or 518 years (average 515). This is about 300 years more than allotted by Egyptologists to the Second Intermediate Period. Thus, netting these 300 years against Torr's 500 years, results in a net reduction of 200 years, thus lowering of date of Amenemes IVs death 1790 to 1590 BC or our Exodus date. Again, the case for Torr continues to yield useful results. Torr's Late Helladic dates plus Manetho's 515 years for the Hyksos results in the same date for the Exodus as Kenyon's ceramic dates.

There are still 145 years still missing in the conventional biblical chronology. Two errors stick out in the conventional dates. According to several biblical texts Hezekiah was reigning in Jerusalem in his 6th year at the time of the fall of Samaria under King Hoshea in his 9th year dated by Thiele to 721 BC. Yet according to Thiele's arguments, King Hezekiah began to reign in 715 BC. This makes no sense at all.

The second error concerns King Amaziah, Uzziah's father. He was assassinated. After he died the people were asked who should reign in his place. The answer was Uzziah. Thiele has Uzziah as coregent for 25 years with his father. Such a co-regency obviates the need to choose a successor. By default, the co-regent succeeds the dead king. Again, this makes no sense at all. These two errors cause a 40-year mistake in chronology.

Fig 3.2 The Fall of Jericho

Ussher's chronology that many still remember from its attachment to the King James Version of the Bible, Ussher's date for Exodus is 1492 BC. This still leaves a 100-year difference with our Exodus date. In 1998 I presented a refereed paper on biblical chronology at The International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh [Montgomery]. I showed that the 480-year figure used by Ussher from I Kings 6:1 was not a chronological number. Paul states in Acts 13:20 that the judges from Joshua to Samuel were 450 years. Including Moses, it would be 490 years. This makes no sense unless there is a textual error or the 480 years is not what we understood it to be. It turns out not to be what we understood.

In my paper the duration from the Exodus to the 4th year of King Solomon was 569 years inclusive. This can be broken down into 480 years of judges plus 18 years of elders and 71 years of oppressors (not including the Philistines). The 480 years include only the reigns of the righteous judges and does not include the elders or oppressors. There appears to be a theological point in omitting these years in the I Kings 6:1 text. The years are omitted out of disdain for the evil rulers or non-rulers. This makes the actual chronological years 89 more than the 480 years used by Ussher. The final 11-year difference between my chronology and Ussher's comes from the divided kingdom era. It is complicated and 11 years is not material to the point being made here. The date of the Exodus in my paper is thus 1591 BC according to the biblical texts and it agrees with both Kenyon and the Manetho/ Torr dating above. Or, even better that Kenyon, Torr and Manetho agree to the chronology of the biblical text. Three different and independent chronological methods agree. This is an important point. I have put the entire paper in Appendix A for those interested in the details.

A fourth supportive chronology comes from Josephus. He lists many periods of time in his Antiquities of the Jews. Unfortunately, it takes a sleuth to put the many pieces together. Fortunately, Whiston's study of Josephus has done the heavy lifting. Whiston's re-construction is found in his Dissertation 5 [Josephus, p.682]. He calculated that Josephus' total for the Exodus to the Temple of Solomon as 612 years. However, Josephus made a common mistake. He included the 40 years of Eli the priest in the time line. These 40 years ended with the death of Samson and are not material to the chronology. This reduces the total to 572 years. The remaining three-year difference with my 569 years is the three years Josephus attributes to Shamgar.

Radiocarbon dating has also entered the debate over the date of the destruction of Jericho Level IV. Wood cited a late 15th century radiocarbon date as support for his Exodus date (sample designated BM-1790). The British Museum later revised this radiocarbon date to the mid-16th century [Weinstein 1997, p.101, n.28]. Newer results agree with this date also. Bruins and Vander Plicht published radiocarbon data on charred grain from Jericho IV [Bruins & Vander Plicht 1996, p. 213]. Charred grained at Jericho averaged 3311±13 BP uncalibrated and should fall into the interval 1600-1535 BC after calibration. The error bar covers the date of Joshua's Jericho.

Table 8 Exodus and Joshua Dates



Manetho/ Torr


















Jericho is not the only site where major stratigraphic discrepancies exist. The excavation of Shechem and the Temple of Baal Berith provides another problem. Shechem (Tel Balata) is a very old site going back to the time of Abraham and Jacob. Joshua made Shechem a "city of refuge" [Josh 20:7] and he assembled the people there and erected a stone monument of their covenant with the Lord [Josh 24: 25-26]. This monument has been found at Shechem in the Middle Bronze II strata.

During the era of the Judges the Shechemites rebelled against Abimelech the son of Gideon [Jud 9:22-25]. The subsequent counter-attack by Abimelech was successful and 1000 people were forced to take refuge in the stronghold of the Temple of Baal Berith. The temple was then set on fire and they died. Abimelech subsequently razed and salted the city so that it could not be reoccupied.  It would be 200 years before Jeroboam I [I Kings 12:25] would rebuild Shechem as his capital. All these should be apparent to excavators if they could have only been given the correct ceramic chronology.

Sellin, as the first excavator of Shechem, discovered in 1926 a large temple with 17-foot walls measuring 68 by 489 feet. It certainly fit the requirements. The Drew-McCormick group under Wright continued the excavation. He stated concerning the Middle Bronze IIC temple,

"The temple on the city's western sideÉmust certainly be identified with the house of Baal Berith." [Wright, 1961]. 

The temple found in the Middle Bronze II was just what the excavators were seeking. It was very large and capable of acting as a citadel. It was badly burned. In fact, it was a major conflagration. Toombs, a co-excavator of Wright, stated,

"The final destruction of Middle Bronze IIC Shechem displays a calculated ferocity and intent to cause complete destruction of the city. É Shechem lay in ruins for about a century until its rebuilding in Late Bronze IB" [Toombs, p. 1182].

The excavation of Shechem shows that it was a major fortified town throughout the Middle Bronze II. In Middle Bronze IIC there was a large temple-fortress, Temple 1, with walls 5.1 m thick. It came to an end during a complete conflagration. From then until the beginning of Late Bronze IB the site was abandoned. Then it was re-built in an organized and extensive way. This fits the required profile of Abimelech's Temple of Baal Berith at Shechem perfectly. The only problem was that Middle Bronze IIC was centuries too early. The temple ought to have been found in Iron I. The pottery of the Middle Bronze strata was dated to 1650-1600 BC and the destruction was dated to 1650 BC. Courville, a revisionist, identified this as the Temple of Baal Berith also [Courville, Vol II, p.172ff].

At that time, it became apparent to Wright and others that the Temple of Baal Berith had to be found higher in the strata in Iron I. The reason for this is that Abimelech in the conventional view was about 1200 BC in the period of Iron I. However, in Iron I, the desired evidence of the temple of Baal Berith was absent. It contained no destruction layers as required. The excavators had to create a scenario that was woefully inadequate to the biblical text.

Eventually, the evidence was challenged by Stager. He claimed that although the time of Baal Berith was in Iron I, the Middle Bronze temple of Baal Berith was the actual temple, which had survived into the Iron Age I [Stager 1990, p.26-69]. He then claimed that the subsequent buildings had been misinterpreted. The strength of his argument was that there is no other temple structure that can be credibly claimed to be the Temple of Baal Berith. However, stratigraphic factors caused archaeologists to doubt his interpretation.

The problem is one of chronology. Jericho was destroyed in that the Middle Bronze IIB dated to 1550 BC.  In the Middle Bronze IIC, 350 years later, is a Baal Berith type temple which was destroyed. This is Abimelech's temple. However, it was not in Iron I. According to Torr and his Late Helladic pottery dates, the Iron Age occurred began about the 8th century and the Late Bronze occurred in the 11th to 9th century. The Middle Bronze IIC thus, ended in the 11th century. The temple of Baal Berith at 1200 BC must then fall 125 years earlier than the beginning of the Late Bronze I.

Then, during the initial Late Bronze Age, called Late Bronze IA, Shechem was unoccupied and this was also confirmed by the excavators. It was rebuilt in Late Bronze IB about 200 years after Abimelech. This would be in the reign of Jeroboam I 986 BC (revisionist biblical chronology). At this point Israel had broken up into the northern and the southern kingdoms because Solomon's son Rehoboam refused to lower taxes. Jeroboam I led a rebellion and left Rehoboam only Judah and Benjamin. Toombs, one of the excavation leaders, stated regarding Late Bronze IB Shechem that it was,

"rebuilt by engineers who seemed to have done the entire rebuilding in a single well-planned operation" [Toombs, p.1182].

This fits the town planning of Jeroboam I's new capital. I Thus, Jeroboam I and his 10th century capital belongs archaeologically in the Late Bronze IB era. This is complete agreement with Velikovsky's historical synchronisms. Table 9 below summarizes these conclusions.


Table 9 Baal Berith - Shechem


Conv. Dates




Shechem Strata


Revised Dates

1650 BC

Middle Bronze IIC

Temple of Baal Berith

1200 BC

 1550 BC 

Late Bronze IA


1075-1000 BC

1450 BC

Late Bronze IB

New organized

construction of Shechem

986 BC



The attributes of Middle Bronze II were compared to the required evidences for the biblical Exodus. The match was very satisfactory. When the ceramic chronology of Torr is applied to Middle Bronze stratigraphy two things result. The stratigraphy of Jericho and Shechem reflect the historical biblical text of Joshua and Abimelech and second it agrees at the same time with Velikovsky's revision.  This result is not coincidental.

The conflict between Torr and Petrie over the date of Akhenaten's capital was a difference between Egyptian chronology and Greek ceramic chronology. Torr attempted to reconcile the dates by a myriad of convenient assumptions but keeping the same dynastic order. His reconciliation failed because there were just too many happy coincidences. Other revisionists like James and Rohl have also tried this approach with the same result. The problem is that the major dating movements required to solve the problem cannot be done if one assumes the dynasties are in the Manethoan order. Only the Velikovskian solution gives a large enough movement to resolve the archaeological conflicts at Jericho and Shechem and this demands a change to the Egyptian dynastic order.


Chapter 3 References


Bietak, M., 1996. Avaris: The Hyksos Capital, British Museum Press, London.


Bruins, H.J. & Vander Plicht, J., 1996. The Exodus Enigma, Nature Vol. 382, (July), p. 213.


Courville, D., 1971. The Exodus Problem and its Ramifications, Vol. 1 and II, Challenge Books, Loma Linda.


Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus: Complete works.  (Translated Whiston) 1960. Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.


Finkelstein, I., 1988. The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement, Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society

Grimal, N., 1992.  A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell, Oxford.


Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus: Complete works.  (Translated Whiston) 1960. Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.

Kenyon, K.M., 1960. Archaeology in the Holy Land, E. Binn, London, p. 198


Kenyon, K.M, 1973. Palestine in the Middle Bronze, CAH II.1 (3rd Edition), Cambridge Press, p.100.


Kitchen, K.A., 2003. On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids.


Rohl, D., 1995. Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest, Crown Publishers, N.Y.


Rowley, H. H., From Joseph to Joshua in The Schweich Papers, published in London: British Academy in 1948


Shea, W.H., 2002. The Date of the Exodus, Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using the Biblical Text, D.M. Howard and M.A. Grisanti, Editors Kregel,. Grand Rapids, pp. 236-255


Thiele, E.R. 1965. The mysterious numbers of the Hebrew kings. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, MI.


Toombs, Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 5, p.1182


Van Seters, J., 1966. The Hyksos, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.


Weinstein, J., 1997. Exodus and Archaeological Reality, Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, Ernest Frerichs and Leonard Lesko editors, Eisenbraun, Winona Lake IN.


Velikovsky, I., 1952. Ages in Chaos, Doubleday & Co. Garden City, N.Y.


Velikovsky, I., 1977. Peoples of the Sea, Doubleday &Co., Garden City, N.Y.


Velikovsky, I., 1978. Ramses II and his Times, Doubleday &Co, Garden City, N.Y.


Weinstein, J., 1997. Exodus and Archaeological Reality, Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence, Ernest Frerichs and Leonard Lesko editors, Eisenbraun, Winona Lake IN


Wilson, J. A., 1969. The Admonitions of Ipuwer, ANET (3rd Ed.)  Ed. J. Pritchard, Princeton University Press, N.J., p. 441.



Chapter 4



Ages in Order - The Queen of Sheba



Suppose we accept the proposal that the Sojourn and Exodus of the Israelites was in the 12th Dynasty of Egypt and that the Judges era followed during the Second Intermediate Period when the Hyksos ruled Egypt for over 500 years. This explains why Joshua and the Judges did not experience the imperial Egypt pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties. At the end of the Hyksos era, a new dynasty arose in Thebes in the south of Egypt and a pharaoh from the 17th Dynasty named Kamose tried to expel the Hyksos but failed. His son, the next pharaoh, Ahmose I, succeeded in driving out the Hyksos and founded the 18th Dynasty. A record of the Ahmose I campaign was discovered on the tomb walls of an officer, Ahmose, son of Ebana. He recorded that "One" had assisted in the attack [Breasted, sec 7-13]. Velikovsky claimed that the "One" was Saul [Velikovsky, p. 78] but this is unlikely. Most scholars see the "One" as Ahmose I himself.

The Israelites, too, had their war at the end of the Judges era. In the book of Samuel, the prophet commands King Saul to "go and smite the Amalekites and all they have from Havilah in Arabia to Shur, the desert just east of Egypt. [I Samuel 15:2-3]". King Saul proceeded to successfully attack the city of the Amalekites. Which city was the city of the Amalekites? The scholars were unsure. The city of the Amalekites is thought by some to be Sharuhen found at Tel el-Ajjul in southern Judah not far from Gaza. Sharuhen was also mentioned in the Egyptian texts. After Ahmose I had driven out the Hyksos from Egypt, his army proceeded to Sharuhen and besieged it either 3 or 6 years. The Bible does not mention Kamose or Ahmose I who founded the 18th Dynasty nor did these pharaohs mention the Israelites. There is no confirmation that King Saul actually entered Egypt to aid Ahmose I as Velikovsky claimed. Nevertheless, we shall see later that Saul and Ahmose I nevertheless were contemporaries.


Pharaohs Amenhotep I, Thutmose I and Thutmose II succeeded Ahmose I in Egypt and David and Solomon succeeded King Saul. King David extended his borders to Syria and Phoenicia and Solomon had peace for 40 years and built the temple for Yahweh, the largest and most magnificent temple known up until that time. The wife of Thutmose II, was Maatkare Hatshepsut. When he died, she became Pharaoh of Egypt. This was one of only 4 times that a woman became pharaoh in Egyptian history. We have now arrived at the point where Velikovsky's new historical synchronisms of Israel and Egypt become very interesting. Velikovsky proposed that this Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon.

She was overwhelmed with his wealth and wisdom

"When the Queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a great caravan - with camels carting spices, large quantities of gold and precious stones - she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that was on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her." [I Kings 10:1-4],

When the queen saw his palace, his officials and their rich clothes and their food and especially his temple, she was extremely impressed. The visit was a high-point in Solomon's reign. The scriptural comment is made as though it was a remarkable achievement to impress this monarch. Conventional scholarship has it that she was the Queen of Seba in Arabia. Considering Solomon's Temple, Palace and collective wealth it would hardly seem noteworthy that a queen from a small Arabian kingdom would be impressed by such a display of wealth. Who was this queen really? 

Josephus, a highly respected first-century Jewish historian, explained that the Queen of Sheba was the "Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia" [Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book VIII, 6: 5]. There are only four queens in Egyptian history and Hatshepsut is the only one that makes sense because she was a powerful and wealthy monarch herself. Nevertheless, because Manetho's chronology does not make this synchronism possible, most scholars are not willing to consider it. This is unfortunate. Although Hatshepsut is not alive with Solomon in the 10th century according to Manetho's chronology, she did live at that time according to Torr's Late Helladic chronology. Which chronology is right?

We do not have actual copies of Manetho's work but only excerpts from authors quoting Manetho. Worse still these copies are not in agreement with each other or the Egyptian monuments. This makes Manetho-based information third-hand and should be treated with caution. It is used only because there is nothing else. Josephus, on the other hand has provided sound history of his people and particularly through the period of the Greeks and Romans, where there is corroborating material. There is, fortunately, another source that identifies the Queen of Sheba as the Queen of Egypt. In Matthew, Jesus chastises the Pharisees by alluding to the Queen of Sheba who

"...will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the Earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom and one greater than Solomon is here Matt 12:42."

The title Jesus gave her was not the Queen of Sheba but rather "Queen of the South". The conventional view has the Queen of Sheba as the Queen of Seba in the south of Arabia. This is not so clear. Sheba is found thrice in Hebrew genealogies. Sheba is the son of Cush through Raamah [Gen10:7]. Sheba is a son of Shem through Joktan [Gen 10:28] and Sheba is a son of Abraham through Keturah [Gen 25:3].  The "relationship between Seba and the three Shebas mentioned in Genesis is by no means clear [Douglas, p. 1172]"

The term King of the South is used in the book of Daniel in a chapter written in Aramaic [Dan 11:5]. Daniel used the term "King of the North" in prophecy to refer to the Ptolemaic Pharaohs of Egypt.  As Jesus spoke publicly in the Aramaic he is applying "Queen of the South", pharaonic Egypt to the Queen of Sheba. This agrees with Josephus who stated in his Jewish history that the Queen of Sheba was the queen of Egypt and Ethiopia (i.e. Cush). Thus, Solomon's visitor, the Queen of Sheba or the Queen of the South was a queen of Egypt according to two independent sources. Josephus asserts further that the royal capital of Ethiopia (i.e. Cush) was called Sheba until Cambyses changed it to Meroe late in the 5th century [Josephus, Antiquities, Book II Ch. X sec. 2].

Now that the historical pieces are assembled, we can see that Hatshepsut was the Queen of Sheba the capital of "Ethiopia" and she visited King Solomon in all his splendor, became awed and returned to Egypt. Shortly thereafter she became "Queen of the South", Pharaoh of Egypt. Now, at the same time, the evidence of stratigraphy says that the "Greek Dark Age" shows there is a 500-year error in Egyptian chronology. This comes from Torr's Late Helladic ceramic dates developed through the connection of 7th century Greek Geometric pottery and the last stage of Greek Helladic pottery. The Greek Late Helladic III dates started in the mid-11th century and ended in late 8th century or even early 7th century. The Helladic pottery of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III time was dated to the late 11th to the mid-10th century and is classified as Late Bronze IB. The Egyptian date of the Late Bronze IB is the 15th century but Torr's but Torr's date is the 11th and 10th century. But, the late 11th century and early 10th century is the time of Solomon and Rehoboam according to biblical chronology. The conclusion must be that Solomon and Rehoboam lived during the Late Bronze IB. Thus, Torr's date for the Greek Helladic pottery agrees with Velikovsky's synchronisms between Hatshepsut and Solomon and Thutmose III and Rehoboam. This means that the orthodox Egyptian dates are misplaced by 475-525 years and places the 18th Dynasty where once and only once the reign of an Egyptian queen has been followed by an Egyptian invasion of Palestine. Thus, the two histories in Egypt and in Israel, run parallel to each other and the parallel is unique. At the same time the removal of the Greek Dark Ages arrives at the same conclusion. The agreement of Velikovsky's historical argument and Torr's ceramic argument cannot be coincidence.

Moreover, Velikovsky resolves a very difficult problem for biblical archaeology. In the orthodox view King Solomon is placed in Iron IIA. Conventionally, Iron IIA is dated to the 10th century. The archaeology of this era is quite impoverished. Scholars often compare this archaeological poverty to the claims of the scripture that King Solomon was richer than any other king in history. The inconsistency is understood to discredit Israelite history. However, we now understand that Solomon belonged to the Late Bronze IB and not Iron IIA. The assignment of King Solomon to Iron IIA was an error - the product of poor reasoning among biblical archaeologists. They compared the Iron IIA gates of three cities: Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer. Solomon re-built all three. Due to the Egyptian influence on Palestinian archaeology, the Iron IIA age was dated from the 10th to the 8th century, just the right place to look for Solomon's re-building program. Yadin wrote,

"Éthe gates planÉwere identical to those of the gate discovered earlier at Megiddo and ascribed by excavators to the city of Solomon." [Yadin, Y., 1972. "Hazor", London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson. p.193]

A similar discovery was made at Gezer. The finding of three similar constructions in Iron IIA excited biblical archaeologists like Yadin and Dever. They finally found "proof" of the existence of King Solomon to counter those sceptical of the biblical text. The similarity of these three gates was certainly grounds to date them to the same time frame.

However, in all their enthusiasm, they overlooked that they had not in fact made any connection at these three cities to the person of King Solomon. The lack of any kind of Solomonic opulence really put a dent in their claims. Velikovsky and Torr, by claiming that the 10th century was Late Bronze IB changed the perspective completely. The Late Bronze IB/ Late Bronze IIA era was easily the richest era not only in Israel but Egypt, Ugarit, Phoenicia and many other lands. The entire region was full of rich prosperous kingdoms, completely in line with the textual claims in the Bible. Later, archaeologists would notice that the Iron IIA gates were quite similar to those of Iron Age Assyria. Bimson points out that Iron IIA strata sometimes contains material from the Assyrian era. He writes,

"Palace 6000 of Str. Va - IVb at Megiddo, currently assumed to be Solomonic, closely resembles in plan a palace at Zinjirli dated firmly to the late 8th century, while the masonry of this stratum at Megiddo compares closely with that of 7th century Ramat Rahel. Casemate walls like those dated to the 10th century at Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer were in use in many periods, including the 7th century." [Bimson]

Velikovsky then decouples Solomon and Iron IIA so that the conflict with the poor Iron IIA finds and Solomon's wealth is resolved.

Punt Reliefs

Hatshepsut inscribed a voyage to a land called Punt on the walls of her mortuary temple. For Velikovsky the most convincing proof that Hatshepsut was the "Queen of Sheba" was the record of the voyage to Jerusalem by Queen Hatshepsut on her mortuary [Velikovsky, p. 108]. He examined these reliefs to that end. The inscriptions show ocean-going vessels being loaded with cargo with a giant-sized image of Hatshepsut standing over them. Pharaohs were pictured the same size as a god. The ships set sail into the sea "beginning the goodly way towards God's Land, journeying in peace to the land of Punt" [Breasted, Sec 253].


Hatshepsut's Temple at Deir el-Bahri

Figure 4: Hatshepsut's Mortuary Temple

Most often Punt is referred to as being east of Egypt, although there are exceptions. The ships landed. The Egyptians pitched tents and were met at the shore by a people whose features were Semitic. They were accompanied by others whose features were typical of Hamites and Africans.  The Egyptians provided food and drink, which appears to serve some religious purpose.  The Puntites asked if the Egyptians had come by sea or overland through the high pass. Another frame has a picture of the Egyptians carrying loads of myrrh and frankincense down from the terraces as well as trees to be taken back to Egypt to be replanted. They were loaded on the ship, which pictured a multitude of fish underneath it, which species are identifiable as belonging to Red Sea waters.

Punt is thus a place that can be reached by the Red sea or by land somewhere east of Egypt. Only one location meets the requirements and that is the Gulf of Aqaba. The head of the gulf is accessible by land by travelling through a high mountain pass just to the west of Eilat, a Red Sea port on the Gulf of Aqaba. In addition, the Egyptians are loading "green gold". According to Danelius, the gold symbol actually is a determinative word meaning precious metal or ore [Danelius, 1976]. The "green" precious ore is copper. Punt then is a source of copper. A major source of copper is known to exist near the Gulf of Aqaba, that is, the Arabah. There is an Egyptian temple of Hathor in the Arabah. Why is this significant? Hathor holds the title of "Lady of Punt", implying that Hathor was worshipped at Punt. Thus, it is likely that the Temple of Hathor is at Punt. In fact, there is a temple of Hathor at Timna.

Finally, the ships are then shown sailing into Thebes on the Nile to unload the cargo and to present it to Queen Hatshepsut, who in turn presents it to the god, Amon. There was nothing in any of Hatshepsut's bas-reliefs that indicated that the queen had actually landed at Punt or had travelled inland to Jerusalem [Bimson, 1978, pp. 14-15]. Velikovsky had anticipated this criticism and had pointed to a large part of the relief that was no longer legible. He suggested that it might have contained the image of Solomon. This is only a speculation. The reliefs do not appear to be the evidence Velikovsky sought to prove his case. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the identity is wrong because of the testimony of Josephus and Jesus. 

Another problem concerns Hatshepsut's title. When the Bible mentions the rulers of Egypt it is either as the king of Egypt or pharaoh. Therefore, if the Queen of Sheba were the Pharaoh why is she not given such a title? A chronological analysis will reveal the answer. Hatshepsut's son, Thutmose III invaded Kadesh (Israel) in the year after Hatshepsut's death. Velikovsky synchronized this attack with that of Pharaoh Shishak in the 5th year of King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon. Therefore, only in the first 17 of her 21 years was Hatshepsut reigning contemporaneously with King Solomon. Prior to her reign her husband Thutmose II reigned as Pharaoh 18 years from the 6th to the 23nd of Solomon [Grimal, p.392]. The completion of the construction of the Temple and Solomon's palace in Jerusalem was in the 20th year of his reign [II Chr 8:1, 9:1]. It would make sense that the visit of the Queen of Sheba would follow soon after. From the 20th to the 23rd year of Solomon, Thutmose II would still be on the throne as pharaoh and not Hatshepsut. Her accession to the throne was still to come.  A visit at this point in time from Hatshepsut would require Solomon's court to record her contemporaneous title, which was not pharaoh. It was the Queen of Sheba. Her title might refer to Sheba, the capital of Cush at that time. Josephus, on the other hand would have used the term Queen of Egypt, her highest title in her lifetime, a common practice of historians.


The table below shows the change in chronology proposed.

Table 10- Redating the 18th Dynasty per Torr and Velikovsky                                                

Egyptian Monarch

Egyptian Date

Archaeological Age

Date (Torr)

Israelite Monarch

Biblical Date




Late Bronze IB

Late11th Early 10th



Thutmose III


Late Bronze IB

Early 10th




Was Pharaoh Shoshenq I the King Shishak of the Bible?

After Solomon's death Rehoboam reigned an Jeroboam I returned from Egypt to lead a rebellion against him. This resulted in the division of Israel into two kingdoms, Israel led by Jeroboam I and Judah led by Rehoboam. Rehoboam, in anticipation of war with Egypt fortified the cities of Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam and others [2 Chr. 11:5]. He had had no real experience in warfare in the 40 years of peace under Solomon. When Pharaoh Shishak attacked Judah's inexperienced forces, Rehoboam did not put up much fight and quickly retreated. After a siege, he surrendered and paid as tribute the "treasure of the temple of the Lord" and the palace of Solomon. In return Shishak did not destroy the city. 

Conventional history claims that Shishak is the Libyan dynast Sheshonq I. They point to the similarity of the name. The 'n' in Sheshonq clearly differentiates the two names and creates a severe philological difficulty. To avoid the philological difficulty, it is pointed out that the name is sometimes spelled "Sheshoq" in Egyptian sources. The biblical texts use the Hebrew letters Sh-Sh-q, which means to plunder. Pharaoh Shishak was the plundering pharaoh who took the treasure of the temple of Jerusalem. Orthodoxy thinks that the name is Egyptian. This is just an assumption. More likely it is Hebrew because the biblical text was written in Hebrew.

The conventional chronology of the 22nd Dynasty is 100 years longer than Manetho's assignment of 120 years. It may mean that Manetho's numbers are misleading or it may mean that Egyptologists have padded the reigns. This is required because, otherwise Shishak of the Bible, would be a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty. No pharaoh of the stature of Shishak is available from the 21st Dynasty nor is there a royal female of the stature of Hatshepsut. For example, Osorkon I is given 35 or 36 years in the conventional view. This is based on the wrappings of a mummy which contains year 3 and year 33. This generates a view that there was a co-regency to which Osorkon I was tied. Recently, it has been determined that the bandages were two separate bandages not involving a co-regency and some scholars are now reducing his reign by 20 years.  Genealogical evidence does not generally fit the orthodox chronological scheme. This evidence leads Dodson to overlap Takelot II and Sheshonq III by 23 years [Dodson, p. 114]. Together such reductions place Sheshonq I about 900 BC, significantly out of place to synchronise Shoshenq 's 20th year invasion with Rehoboam's Shishaq. Lastly, the record of the campaign of the 20th year of Sheshonq I conflicts significantly with the biblical version of Shishak's invasion [Rohl, p. 120-28]. The orthodox claims are highly suspect and not a serious challenge to Velikovsky's identification.

Thutmose III

Velikovsky's claim that Hatshepsut is the Queen of Sheba goes hand-in-hand with the claim that Thutmose III, son of Hatshepsut, is the biblical Egyptian king called Shishak, who attacked Rehoboam in his 5th year. For the student of Biblical history, the chapter in Velikovsky's book dealing with Pharaoh Thutmose III of the 18th Dynasty is most interesting. This pharaoh embarked in his first independent regnal year on a military expedition against a king of the land of Kd-sw", the Holy land, who had risen against him. The campaign ended with the overwhelming victory of the Pharaoh who returned to Egypt laden with spoil from the conquered lands.

The story of this campaign was inscribed in hieroglyphics at the great Temple at Karnak (Upper Egypt), and illustrated with pictures showing not only the flora and fauna of the defeated country, but, in addition, about 200 different specimens of furniture, vessels, ornaments etc., in gold, silver, bronze and precious stones - each specimen representing many more items of the same kind [Velikovsky, plates VII and VIII]. The character of these objects leaves no doubt that they were of the finest workmanship. The workmanship and extremely rich temple and palace and were being presented to the Egyptian god Amon. 

Velikovsky compared the objects shown on the murals of Thutmose III with those made for and brought into Solomon's Temple.  Mural objects are identified by item type, number of items and metal type. Objects of silver and gold include altars, sacrificial tables, lavers and showbread. Piece by piece, they can be identified vessels of Solomon's Temple. There are basins made of gold recorded as 95 in number. It matches the gold basins in Solomon's temple mentioned in 2 Chronicles [2 Chronicles 9:15]. The Ark of the Covenant was created in the time of Moses and kept in the sacred sanctuary. It had rings through which poles could be placed to carry it from place to place. It eventually came to Jerusalem in King David's time. On the mural are ark-like chests with rings on the corners and poles to carry them. These are not Egyptian. The quality of the items was superior to that exhibited by Egypt before Thutmose III. Was Canaan artistically more advanced than Egypt or were these items created in the reign of King Solomon, supposedly the richest man of the ages?  

Burnt offerings were made on golden altars in Solomon's Temple [2 Chronicles 4:19]. In the second row of the bas-reliefs is an altar made of gold with a crown around the edge. It reads "one great altar". An altar of similar shape was made of brass for the temple. Such an altar occurs in the ninth row of the mural with the inscription, "one great altar of brass". Candlesticks for the tabernacle were made by Bezaleel in the time of Moses with three lamps left and right. Such a lamp was put into the temple [2 Chronicles 4:20]. Solomon's temple and palace contained all the things mentioned by Thutmose III in the right number and in the right precious metal. The wealth displayed by Thutmose III exceeded anything that any pharaoh had claimed before or after. 

One characteristic of Solomon's temple that separated it from all other contemporaneous temples is that none of the objects could be made into an idol. No images or representations of god or God were allowed in the temple of Yahweh. This clearly distinguished the Israelites from Egyptians, Canaanites and Phoenicians. The temple implements portrayed on the wall of Thutmose III contained no images of any god. Thus, Velikovsky claimed this was the spoil of the Solomon's Temple.

The chief criticism made of this evidence is the fact that many of the objects on the wall at Karnak contained objects of Egyptian style. Some of the objects pictured in the murals were unquestionably Egyptian in motif, such as furniture decorated with the royal uraeus and the lotus flower, the symbol of Upper Egypt. How does one explain such tremendous treasures of gold, silver, bronze and precious stones, which also contained Egyptian imagery scarcely surpassed in exquisiteness of design and execution in Egyptian history? One needs to remember that the Egyptians and King Solomon had been allies. Pharaoh attacked Gezer and gave it to Solomon as a dowry for his daughter. King Solomon married her and built a palace for her. Her palace would have contained many objects of Egyptian style and motifs and these may have been part of Thutmose III's plunder [I Kings 9:24; II Chron. 8:11].

In tombs of high officials, Rekhmire and Menkheperre-Seneb, in Thutmose IIIs administration, were pictures illustrating the furniture and vessels brought from afar to Egypt. These and additional pieces on Thutmose IIIs wall could have been made by Asiatic craftsmen from Egypt's defeated neighbours. The Egyptian objects within the group is not a problem. It might be that this expresses a superior Israelite craftmanship taken from the Temple of Solomon or perhaps it is just a coincidence that this sudden increase in artistic achievement occurred simultaneously with Thutmose IIIs campaign.

The Campaign Against the King of Kadesh

Thutmose III inscribed his campaigns on the walls of a temple at Karnak. The Asiatics had fallen into "disagreement", which might refer to the rebellion of King Jeroboam I, splitting Israel into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. This "disagreement" was likely engineered by Thutmose III himself according to Velikovsky. Thutmose III led his army into Canaan against "the wretched foe, the prince of Kadesh" [Breasted, Sec 420]. The enemy fled at the sight of his majesty, leaving so much spoil behind that Pharaoh's soldiers failed to capture the Prince of Kadesh who had fled into his citadel. However, Kadesh eventually surrendered, and paid Thutmose III tribute. The king of Kadesh was neither taken to Egypt nor killed nor even dethroned. The political actions of the Egyptian text agree with the actions of Shishak in the Bible.

There is, however, a definitely difficulty with the geography. According to textbooks, in the 15th century Thutmose III in his attack on Kadesh advanced his troops and chariots against Megiddo not Jerusalem. The word translated Megiddo by Gauthier was "Makta" and by Breasted "Makty" but 5 other spellings are used also [Gauthier]. The city name was translated early in the history of Egyptology as Megiddo by Champollion. Breasted agreed and assigned the task of exploring the topography and geography of Megiddo to a doctoral student named Harold Nelson who was expected to validate the accepted opinion of the day [Nelson]. He did not. The story of the investigation was documented by Eva Danelius in an excellent paper, which I have put in Appendix B for those of you who want more detail [Danelius]. What follows is largely due to her research.

According to the Annals, Thutmose III captured Gaza and moved northward 10-11 days to Megiddo. Already the story is suspicious. Other generals who took this route did not make such rapid progress. Progress is hindered because there was little in the way of water or feed for the horses that drew the heavy machines. The arrival of Thutmose III army near Megiddo in 10-11 days would be extremely improbable. Danelius suggested that they reached Yabne near to Joppa, just west of Jerusalem, only half the distance.

To the east of Joppa there were three roads to Jerusalem. Thutmose III proposed to the generals to take the Aruna road, which was the middle of 3 routes to "Makta" or Mkty or Maktesh. The generals were shocked and appalled. This route meant going along a narrow "difficult" road where the advancing column of the army would be required to move in single file - a move that would leave the whole army strung out over many miles and thus vulnerable to attack. Professional generals are not prone to object to "difficult" roads or assignments for fear of looking like a coward. Apparently, the Aruna road was more than a little dangerous. In fact, even in Roman times Jews were able to fight off a professional army trying to use the Beth Horon ascent.

Nelson in examining the route to Megiddo found it a flat plain that came to a narrow pass beyond Ar'Arah about 30 feet wide. This route had no dangerous terrain that would force an army into a single-file column. There were no dangerous valley walls or cliffs along the road to Megiddo. There was nothing "difficult" about the road to Megiddo. He found, moreover, no town that corresponded to Aruna, which gave the road its name.  Eventually, Nelson interviewed British officers who had participated in the Palestinian campaign in 1917/1918. The Allenby expedition had moved through the Megiddo valley in one night. This does not sound dangerous. Allenby's enemies the Turks had not set up defences at Megiddo, but rather, in the Beth Horon defile. They did this because the Megiddo road did not give the Turk adequate cover for their defensive positions. On the other hand, the Turkish defences in the Beth Horon defile were able to force Allenby to retreat. Nelson reversed himself. He refers to the outcome of these meetings in his dissertation:

" I would gladly have re-written the whole manuscript in the light of the recent campaign of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force under Lord Allenby in the same regionÉ"


The head of the American expedition to excavate Tell el-Mutesellim (Megiddo) was P. L. O. Guy. He and his wife finished the excavation in 1939. At that time, it was the most thoroughly excavated site in Israel. The Egyptian finds were minimal. Some scarabs and some ivories using Egyptian motifs. In the Late Bronze I strata a temple was found but it did not belong to the Egyptian tradition. By the time Guy died in 1952, absolutely nothing had been found which would throw any light on Thutmose's campaign.

Thutmose IIIs inscription described an enemy army that was scared of his awesome array of military power and that they retreated. The quickly ran to the wall of Mkty and were pulled up by the people inside the city. This is highly problematic. In particular, the wall that the wretched foe climbed over to escape the Egyptians has never been discovered at Megiddo. No Megiddo Late Bronze IB defensive wall has ever been found. This is a major difficulty. In fact, it is a showstopper. The defensive wall is a definite part of the description of the battle. Without such a defensive wall, which the fleeing foe climbed over, it cannot be claimed that Megiddo is the battle site. Moreover, Megiddo is too far, the road to Megiddo is across a wide and gently sloping plain. At no point is it necessary for the army to go single file. Furthermore, at no point is there a town named Aruna as in Thutmose IIIs text.

The name Megiddo itself proves a difficulty. It is contrary to the spelling of Megiddo among the conquered cities found on the victory wall of Sheshonq I. The spelling of Megiddo on Sheshonq's wall is M-K-D-U-I-A and a determinative indicating foreign land. It is not the same spelling as Thutmose's III M-K-T-Y. The name of Megiddo was found among the Amarna letters of Akhenaten and Amenhotep III, which were written in cuneiform. The name was spelled Mikida or Megiida but not Makta or Mkty. These problems are clear evidence that Megiddo is not the correct identification.

But where then is the location of the battle site? The generals conference held at Yehem must be revisited. If it is Jabne, as suggested by Danelius, there is a harbour, Jaffa, which could unload supplies from Egypt and which had plenty of water. The shortest physical route to attack the Prince of Kadesh, Jerusalem, would be to climb the Beth Horon defile. The same defile the Turks defended against the British General Allenby. Next consider the name of the road - Aruna. According to the Annals, the pharaoh put up his tent "at the city of Aruna", only three days after the war council. The Aruna reached by the Pharaoh on that day is easily identified with the help of the Septuagint, where the dangerous part of the Beth Horon defile is called Oronin. This defile empties out just north of Jerusalem.

When the vanguard of Pharaoh's army had successfully emerged from the dangerous defile, they filled the opening of the valley in front of them. Pharaoh waited the remainder of the day so that the rear guard could emerge also. This action perplexed scholars who tried to make sense of this action with respect to Megiddo. At Megiddo, an army passing through the Wadi Ara pass came into plain view of Megiddo and vice versa. The Egyptian army would have been completely vulnerable to immediate attack. But Pharaoh had ordered that the day be spent waiting for the rest of the army to catch up and preparing for the attack the next day. Why was the army so oblivious to their danger? Even more puzzling were the actions of Megiddo's defenders, who seemed totally oblivious to their opportunity. Why not attack before the Egyptians organize?

The situation is totally different once the scene is transferred to the eastern exit of the Beth Horon road, which fits the description in the text in every detail. The place where the Egyptians were gathering was the valley of Gibeon and the enemy did not see the Egyptian forces and vice-versa. The unobserved Egyptians were not vulnerable to be attacked and the defence was unable to see them to take advantage. The valley would have provided the army with room to camp and enough drinking water.

We still have not identified "Makta", "Mkty" or "Maktesh".   Where is this? In Bible days, the city of Jerusalem was bounded on three sides by deep valleys, on the east by the Kidron, on the south and west by the Hinnom. In addition, the city was cleft by a valley which ran north-south, starting somewhere near the present-day Damascus Gate and descending to the lowest point of the city at Ein Rogel where the Kidron and Hinnom valleys meet. This depression, known as the Tyropean Valley. At one time it was much deeper, estimated about 50 feet lower than the present street cutting through the ancient city. It was the market place of the Tyrians, which in First Temple days was called the Makhtesh, because of its depression. It was the wealthy merchant group, both Jewish and Phoenician, who were addressed by the prophet Zephaniah:

"And in that day, saith the Lord, hark, a cry from the fish gate and a wailing from the second quarter and a great crashing from the hills. Wail, ye inhabitants of Makhtesh, for all the merchant people are undone and all they that were laden with silver are cut off" (Zephaniah )

Thutmose III text referred to Jerusalem in two ways. The first was Kadesh: The Holy City. The other name was the merchant's name Maktesh. This is supported in another way. At times in ancient history, Jerusalem is spelled in the dual case - not singular and not three or more. This means that there were two of them. The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul grow together from two separate cities and are now referenced as though they were one city. The dual case is used in such cases.

This is reflected in the cities listed as paying tribute to the Pharaoh Thutmose III. Jerusalem was not at the top of the list. Kadesh, the town of the prince of Kadesh, was listed first because it was the most important. Its place at the top of the list was not puzzling. Then Maktesh was listed second. However, Megiddo was never regarded as the second city in Israel. The placement of Makta/ Mykty / Maktesh in second place of Thutmose III victory list is yet one more evidence that it was not Megiddo.


The Bible treats the Queen of Sheba as a very rich person who would be difficult to impress even by Solomon's wealth and wisdom. An Egyptian queen in a rich strong dynasty is a very suitable candidate and much more likely than some remote Arabian queen. Hatshepsut is the only Egyptian queen of consequence within chronological possibility who would fit the role of the Queen of Sheba. Two quality witnesses, Josephus and Jesus, verify Velikovsky's identification of the Queen of Sheba as an Egyptian monarch. Furthermore, the change of chronology is exactly required by Torr's Helladic ceramic chronology. This has the effect of closing the gap in the Greek Dark ages caused by Egyptian conventional chronology. The change also resolves the problem of the wealth of Solomon described in the Bible.

After the death of King Solomon, a Pharaoh Shishak invaded Judah and attacked Jerusalem. After the death of Hatshepsut, her son, Thutmose III, launched a full-scale expedition into Palestine. This is the invasion of Pharaoh Shishak against King Rehoboam. The walls at Karnak exhibiting the wealth of Thutmose III, dedicated to the honour of his god Amun shows some remarkable similarities to the treasures of Solomon. It also demonstrated a level of skill not exhibited by previous Egyptian art work.

The target of Thutmose III, Mkty, exhibits no correlation with the Israelite city of Megiddo. In fact, it cannot be because it has no Late Bronze wall. It is also not dangerous to advance on Megiddo nor is there any place where single file is necessary. The place Thutmose III attacked was Jerusalem. He routed Israelite forces and besieged Jerusalem until it surrendered and paid tribute. The combination of a woman Pharaoh followed by an Egyptian invasion occurred only once in the history of Egypt and Israel.


REFERENCES - Chapter 4

Bimson, J. 1986. Hatshepsut and the Queen of Sheba: A Critique of Velikovsky's Identification and an Alternative View, SIS Review 8 

Bimson, J. 1982. "Can There be a Revised Chronology Without a Revised Stratigraphy?", SIS Review Vol VI No 1-3 (1982)

Breasted, James H., 1906. Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. II, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill.

Danelius, E. 1975. The Identification of the Biblical Queen of Sheba with Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, (Part I and II) Kronos Vol. I, No. 3

Danelius, E. 1976. The Identification of the Biblical Queen of Sheba with Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, (Part III) Kronos Vol. 1, No. 4

Dodson, Aidan, Afterglow of Empire: Egypt from the Fall of the New Kingdom to the Saite Renaissance American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. p. 114

Douglas, J.D. 1962. The New Bible Dictionary, Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mi

Gardiner, A., 1960. Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford.

Gauthier, H, 1926. Dictionnaire des Noms GŽographiques contenus dans les Textes HiŽroglyphiques Le Caire , III, p. 20.

Grimal, N., 1992.  A History of Ancient Egypt,  Blackwell, Oxford.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book VIII, Chapter vi, Section 5, in Josephus: Complete works.  (Translated Whiston) 1960. Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book II Ch. X sec. 2 in Josephus: Complete works.  (Translated Whiston) 1960. Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.  

Harold H. Nelson: The Battle of Megiddo (The University of Chicago Library, Private edition 1913: A dissertation submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Oriental Languages and Literature, preface to the 1920 edition).

Rohl, D., 1995. Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest, Crown Publishers, N.Y.

Velikovsky, I., 1952. Ages in Chaos, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, N.Y.

Yadin, Y., 1972. "Hazor", London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson. p.193



Chapter 5



Ages in Order - Four Chronologies



Last chapter we examined the place of Solomon's Queen of Sheba in Egyptian history.  Besides Israelite chronology, we used Torr's Greek ceramic chronology and Egyptian chronology. The Israelite and Torr chronology were found to be compatible but the Egyptian chronology was not. Petrie and the Egyptologists had proposed that the ceramic chronology be raised 500 years so that Egyptian and ceramic dates were compatible. However, raising the dates of Late Helladic pottery by 500 years left a hole in Greek stratigraphy - there were no people, no temples and no pottery extant for those 500 years. This was problematic because Late Helladic pottery had an obvious influence on 7th century Greek Geometric pottery and the new Petrian dates did not accommodate this fact. The other problem was that Petrie's Egyptian dates were not compatible with Israelite chronology and until Velikovsky's book Ages in Chaos in 1952 had remained unchallenged. We have discussed already the effect of Velikovsky's placement of Solomon in the Late Bronze. It was the richest and most prosperous era in the ancient world. It would be the logical choice to find the richest king in the ancient world.

Still, the failure of archaeology to recognize the Velikovsky/ Torr system, shows a need to demonstrate it conclusively.  To do this requires a fourth chronological system, independent of the other three, which will confirm one or other narrative.

The Fourth Chronology: Assyrian Evidence

Another independent ancient chronological system is the Assyrian. The Assyrian chronology is built on a combination of several king lists and a limmu name list. In the Assyrian system each year of a king's reign is given a limmu or year-name rather than a year-number. The limmu or year-name is sometimes the name of the king or one of his governors or high-ranking officials. The number of limmu names collectively agrees with the sum of the reigns in the Assyrian king lists back to 911 BC. Before this time not all limmus are known but with moderate confidence one can build a chronology for most of the second millennium. Does the Assyrian chronology agree with the Egyptian or does it agree with Torr's Greek ceramic and Israelite chronologies?

In the 19th century Austen Layard excavated Nimrud, a city built by the 9th century Assyrian king Assurnasirpal II. He reported finding a large number of 18th Dynasty Egyptian artefacts and particularly scarabs of Amenhotep III, who wrote the early Amarna letters [Austen Layard, p.282]. This dates Amarna letters to the 9th century. Orthodoxy claims that the scarabs were 14th century heirlooms. If so, why are there no scarabs of the 18th Dynasty in Assyria before the 9th century? And why are there no scarabs from later Egyptian dynasties, such as the 19th and 20th Dynasty at Nimrud? The orthodox speculations are of little explanatory value but what else can they say against the obvious natural explanation.


The Assyrian King Shalmaneser III reigned in the 9th century. He collected ivories which were discovered in his fortress at Calah. These ivories are Egyptian in the style of the el-Amarna period. The orthodox explanation for these 500-year-old ivories in Shalmaneser's fortress is that the Assyrians had a propensity to collect ancient ivories and other relics from 500 years earlier. Calah is not the only city in which supposed 14th century ivories are described as 500-year old heirlooms. Samaria, built in the early 9th century (conventional dating) contained ivories [Velikovsky, 1952]. Some of these were styled similarly to those of the era of Tutankhamun, who reigned according to Petrie in the 14th century. The appeal to multiple coincidences of 9th century BC monarchs, who were using or collecting 500-year heirlooms is a just so explanation and of little explanatory value.

Thebes and Assyria

At Boeotian Thebes in Greece, a major discovery uncovered Mycenaean pottery, seals and palaces [Platon & Stassinopoulou-Touloupa]. Among the seals, the excavators discovered one of "Kidin-Marduk, son of Sha-ilima-damqa, the Great Official of Burnaburiash, the King of All". Burnaburiash was a Kassite name. The term 'King of All' was never used by Kassite Kings. It was an expression used exclusively in the ancient world by "Great" Babylonian and Assyrian Kings. The seal is thus not from the time of the 14th century Kassite kings.

The seal of Kidin Marduk, ambassador of King Burnaburiash, was found in a stratum whose Late Helladic III pottery belonged to the el-Amarna period. During the Amarna period a King Burnaburiash wrote to Akhenaten, who in return sent him many ivories. We know then that, in the 9th century according to Torr's ceramic dates, Egyptian style ivories were sent to Burnaburiash. The father of ambassador Kidin Marduk, Sha-ilima-damqa, was likely an important person in the generation previous. Indeed, his name is found in the limmu list as the name of year 880 in the reign of Assurnasirpal II. His son, Kidin-Marduk must be in the same generation as Assurnasirpal's II son, King Shalmaneser III. King of Karduniash was the title of the Babylonian ruler not an Assyrian ruler. However, Shalmaneser III 'helped' a Babylonian king fight off a potential coup and likely helped himself to the title of king, at least when he wrote to Pharaoh Akhenaten. This argument agrees with Velikovsky's identification of the Amarna Burnaburiash, King of Karduniash as the same person as the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III.

Archaeologists found lapis lazuli and agate cylinder seals in Thebes in the same Late Helladic strata. The seals were classified as Mycenaean, Kassite/Babylonian of the 14th century and older Babylonian. This follows orthodoxy in assigning Egyptian Amarna dating. However, one seal was classified as Syro-Hittite. The Syro-Hittite cities are to be found in the Syrian plain in the 10th-6th century during the Neo-Assyrian period. One would not expect a Syro-Hittite seal to be found in a 14th century stratum. However, it would not be unexpected in a stratum dated to the 9th century in the time of King Shalmaneser III. Likewise, the seals dated to the 14th century are contemporary with the el-Amarna letters must also re-dated to the 9th century by the Late Helladic III pottery. 

Political Background of the Amarna Letters

Orthodoxy claims the Amarna letters fit into the 14th century. At this time, according to religious conservatives, Joshua and the Judges were supposedly occupying Canaan. The politics of this time do not fit the content of the Amarna letters. Egypt is supposedly the dominant power during the Amarna period yet there was no mention of Egypt during the period of the Judges.  Liberals prefer the 13th century as the time of Joshua thus placing the Amarna letters prior to Joshua. As little is actually known in Canaan prior to Moses there is no contradiction. Yet, as we have discussed the religious liberal view has many unresolved chronological problems.

On the other hand, in 9th century Israel we find the correct political background to the el-Amarna letters. The middle power in the el-Amarna letters are the Arameans. In the time of King David, the Arameans tried to help David's enemies, but failed. In the time of Solomon, they went almost unnoticed. In the time of Asa, they were sought as allies. In the time of Ahab, they were attacking Samaria, but unsuccessfully. During Ben Hadad's attack Samaria, he suddenly left in fear that King Ahab had hired the kings of the Egyptians and the Hittites. These are not the tribal Hittites but an imperial power of the same rank as Egypt. Hazael followed Ben Hadad and did considerable damage to Israel. The high point of Aramean power was during the reign of Hazael in the reign Jehu and Jehoash.  Only in the 9th century does Damascus show successful exercise of power in the region.

The main enemy of the Egyptian according to the letters themselves were the Hittites. Egypt's vassals were alarmed at what was happening. They were watching the advance of the Hittites towards Nuhasse and Lebanon. In Amarna letter EA75, the king of Sumur relates the latest information to Amenhotep III:

"The King of Hatti has taken Mitta and Nahma, the lands of the great kings". Mitta and Nahma were Mitanni and Mesopotamia. Only one Hittite king is recorded as having attacked Babylon, that is Mursilis I.  In order to synchronize Mursilis I with the Amarna letters would require a 700-years advance of Hittite dates. This Hittite downdating was proposed Barry Curnock [Curnock]. About 150-200 years later, we arrive at Sargon II in Assyria and Arnuwandas I in Hatti.

The records of Hittite King Arnuwandas I, circa 715 BC and those of Sargon II show similar trouble with a Phrygian King named Midas, made famous in Greek legend. Arnuwandas I demanded that Mita (Midas) submit to Hittite rule. Mita pretended at first to submit to Arnuwandas I but soon afterward rebelled and refused to pay tribute. Arnuwandas issued an edict to condemn this rebellion. Midas then allied himself to the Kilamean King and married his daughter. Together they attacked territory, three cities to the east of Cilicia. There is no sign that the Hittite king ever got his way. Sargon II records similar difficulty with a Phrygian king named Mita (Midas). Sargon II had captured Cilicia and moved north and imposed his own Hittite prince at Hattusas. When Midas rebelled, he made an alliance with the King of Kilamuwa. Together they captured 3 cities in Sargon's territory. Sargon II came to retake these cities but was killed in the attack. The Hittite Mita and the Assyrian Mita were obviously the same king found in two different sets of inscriptions. Thus, Arnuwandas I and Sargon II are shown to be contemporaneous.

Soden, an Assyriologist, pointed out Amarna letters from northern Syria display "astonishing Assyrians" [Soden]. He expresses surprise because 14th century Assyria has no known influence in northern Syria at that time. Nor are these Assyrianisms restricted to Northern Syria. Moran notes the same thing about the Jerusalem letters [Moran]. If, however, the Amarna letters belonged to the 9th century, this anachronism disappears.

Tell Brak

Just a few kilometres to the west of Assyria is the Mitannian, Tell Brak. It is of interest because its excavator, Oates, found two Amarna letters from Mitannian kings, Artashumura and Tushratta [Oates, Oates, and McDonald]. These were duly dated to the 14th century. Does this date agree or disagree with Assyrian chronology?  If the Assyrian based dates agree with the Greek and Israelite dates then there are three chronological systems, which agree with each other and disagree with the Egyptian. Logically, the Egyptian chronology becomes the odd man out and must be adjusted to agree with the three other chronological systems. Artefacts were found from the same strata and dated by Egyptian or Assyrian chronology. The dates for these objects show inconsistencies.

The Levels 1 to 8 at Tell Brak covers the late 13th century (Level 1) to the 16th century (Level 8) in conventional terms. However, Oates, the excavator of Tell Brak, had difficulty making chronological sense of the data. For example, Level 8 represents the end of the Old Babylonian empire, circa 1530-1500 BC (Low Chronology). The problem is that the end of the Old Babylonian is regarded as early Late Bronze. However, artefacts from the Levant found in Levels 7,6 and 5 belong to the Middle Bronze II. Only when Level 4 is reached is there a mixture of Middle and Late Bronze artefacts. In Egyptian chronology the boundary of Middle and Late bronze is regarded as 1550 BC - approximately the same date as the end of Level 8. Something is quite wrong.

In Level I Oates found a vase of Late Helladic IIIB1 type. He duly dated it to the late 14th or early 13th century. Torr's date for this pottery was late 9th century. Level 1 also contained Middle Assyrian pottery. This Middle Assyrian pottery is subdivided in three date ranges - Middle Assyrian I, II and III. Middle Assyrian I started in the 13th century. Middle Assyrian III starts about the 11th century and is Iron Age.  According to Bob Porter the Middle Assyrian III continues into the 9th and possibly the 8th century BC [personal communication]. If Level I pottery is Middle Assyrian I then Petrie's dates are confirmed. If Level I pottery is Middle Assyrian III then Level 1 must be dated centuries later.

Oates, consulted Pfalzner, the leading authority in Middle Assyrian pottery. Pfalzner's analysis concluded that the pottery was Middle Assyrian III. This left Oates with a difficult problem. He cannot accept Pfalzner's opinion that Level 1 is Iron Age without downdating Level 2 to late in Late Bronze IIB. However, the Amarna letters in Level 2 had already been dated to the 14th century or Late Bronze IIA. Furthermore, the Late Helladic IIIB1 pottery in Level 1 is Late Bronze IIB showing no break in continuity. Something is very wrong.

Oates could not accept Pfalzner's opinion without upsetting the entire chronological paradigm. He resolved the problem eventually by analyzing the Middle Assyrian pottery himself and assigning it to Middle Assyrian I contrary to Pfalzner's conclusions. He then dated Level I to the 13th century and then Level 2 to the 14th century as required. This shows that chronological inconsistencies in archaeology are resolved by applying the required dates to override primary data. 

Tell Brak Level 2 Oates had further problems. He found many examples of Nuzi Ware pottery and ivories that were paralleled in Alalakh IV. He dated them to the 14th century in agreement with the Amarna letters. Unexpectedly he found bowls of a Neo-Assyrian geometric pattern, "Bowl 3", whose earliest known example is found in 9th century Assyria [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p. 29 and p. 236]. This bowl is dated by Assyrian chronology and is 500 years later than the Amarna letters. However, it is in agreement with Torr's Late Helladic III pottery chronology and Israelite chronology. Oates had to designate them as intrusions. However, if so, how does one explain that the same 500-year displacement occurs at Akhenaten's capital city, Akhetaten.

Tell Brak Level 4 was a thick stratum showing long and prosperous occupation. There were 5 building levels. Oates dated it to the early 15th century. This agrees to the ceramic dates of Late Bronze Nuzi Ware, paralleled to the 15th century Alalakh IV, using orthodox Egyptian dates. [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p. 72].  This is problematic because a Middle Bronze sheet metal disk also found in Level 4 has parallels in the Middle Bronze at Tell Mardikh dated to the 16th to 17th century [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p. 117, (See #67 on page 270 for drawing)].  Also Glazed vessels and small stone statuettes are paralleled at 16th century Late Bronze Alalakh V [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p.117, p.106]. Level 4 thus contained material from 17th to 15th century materials. Thus Level 4 begins in the Middle Bronze II and ends in the Late Bronze I.

This requires that earlier levels at Tell Brak be Middle Bronze. However, this is problematic. In Level 5 Oates found an ovoid shaped grooved travertine vase. It has parallels in the Middle Bronze II, 19/16th centuries BC. Oates, however, dated Level 5 to the Late Bronze I! If he had dated Level 5 to the 16th century he would have a conflict with Grey Ware he found in Level 5. The Grey Ware pottery had parallels at Nuzi Level II which dates to the "late fourteenth century". This is more than two centuries later than the Middle Bronze II travertine vase [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p. 66].

Also in Tell Brak Level 5, Red_edged bowls were found which are paralleled at nearby Tell al-Rimah. The stratum of the Red-edged bowls in Tell al-Rimah can be dated to the 14th century by an Assyrian limmu name [Oates, Oates and McDonald, p. 43].  Thus, they are Late Bronze II. However, Red-edged Bowls in the Levant are dated to the Middle Bronze IIC using conventional Egyptian dating in the early 16th century at the latest. To reconcile the Egyptian based Levantine dates to Assyrian based dates, Egyptian dates must be lowered by two centuries or more. The Assyrian and Egypt dates are again inconsistent.

Oates placed Level 6 in the 16th century. Glazed pottery was found in Level 6 with Middle Bronze parallels in Alalakh Level VI dated to the 17th /16th century BC. Level 7 is transitional and Level 8 represents the final stage of the Old Babylonian Empire ending in 1500 BC [Gasche et al]. Oates is forced again to use the less popular "Middle Chronology", 100 years earlier, to avoid conflict.



The Greek ceramic chronology and the Israelite chronology are incompatible with Petrie's dates by some 500 years. The evidence for Thebes Greece and Mitannian Tell Brak demonstrates a third chronology, the Assyrian is also incompatible. Furthermore, the 9th century geometric pottery found together with the el-Amarna letters agrees with Torr's dates.  Assyrian chronology is not just incongruent with Egyptian dates it is also in agreement with Israelite and Torr's dating. It is not just Egyptian dates that are problematic but Late Bronze level dates are inconsistent with Middle Bronze artefacts found in those levels.  To keep Egyptian dates aligned with the incongruent Assyrian pottery Oates had to override the opinion of a recognized expert in Middle Assyrian pottery. Three chronologies agree with each other against the Egyptian dates. There can be no dispute that Egyptian chronology is the odd man out. Furthermore, Velikovsky's method of historical synchronisms between Egypt and Israel are in agreement with the all three chronologies.

At four sites, five if we include Akhenaten's capital, there exists strata with artefacts dating to the 9th century using one or two of the three chronologies and to the 14th century date using Egyptian chronology. The inconsistencies in the conventional view must be defended by some unverifiable story that people at each site had a yearning for 500-year-old merchandise or some ceramic expert is incompetent.

Non-Velikovskian Revisions

Non-Velikovskian revisions have been proposed by James and Rohl. However, James puts the Amarna letters in the 12th century and Rohl puts the letters in the 11th century. These scenarios are both in serious contradiction to the evidence at Akhetaten, Thebes, Samaria, Nimrud and Tell Brak that the discrepancy is close to 500 years by three different independent standards.  independent chronologies; Torr's Late Helladic, Israelite and Assyrian. All pointed to the 9th century as the time of the Amarna letters and therefore the end of the 18th Dynasty.

Only the Velikovsky revision places the Amarna letters in the 9th century. This does not mean that his interpretation of them is correct. Basic chronology of the 18th Dynasty and biblical chronology places the Amarna letters later than King Ahab. In fact, Velikovsky must suppose that King Ahab survived the battle of Ramoth Gilead, which he did not. James' revision places the Amarna letters in the 12th century. Why then are there so many scarabs and ivories from the time of Amenhotep III, Akhenaten or Tutankhamun that fail to appear from the 12th century until the 9th century? Well, perhaps, these items were heirlooms from 250 years before or there was a revival of styles from 250 years ago or the King like to collect things from 250 years previous. These are the same unprovable secondary hypotheses produced to explain the orthodox gaps except the gap is smaller. Rohl's revision put the Amarna letters were 11th century, in the time of King David and Saul. The connections to people of that day are unconvincing but possible. The real problem is that it still leaves a gap of 150 years and the same old excuses must be evoked to explain the gaps.

More importantly is the original source of the gap, the Greek Dark Ages. The Greek Dark ages were created by the Egyptologists applying their chronology to Greek ceramics. This removed the Mycenaean Helladic pottery 500 years away from the Greek Geometric pottery. However, the two potteries are connected and only a reversal of Petrie's redating of the Greek pottery can return it to it s proper place, overlapping the Geometric pottery. Neither James nor Rohl have done this. They have reduced the gap but they have not closed it. In which case why bother at all?

Repairing a broken system requires that it be adjusted to a more accurate standard. Neither James nor Rohl have come to grips with this. There are only four ancient chronologies of merit. Three of these point to a 9th century date for the el-Amarna letters and one to a 14th century date. There is no 12th or 11th century option. Altering Egyptian dates for the Amarna letters to some century other than the 9th century still leaves Greek, Assyrian and Israelite dates unsynchronized with Egyptian chronology. Egyptian chronology does not need to be adjusted; it needs to be replaced.

One revisionist actually published a revisionist stratigraphy. It has many similar conclusions to the ones found here. Unfortunately, Bimson was talked out of them.

Excursion: Glyptic Art

Sometimes the initial cause for a theory can lock one into a bad conclusion prematurely. Thus, further adjustments are required later. On the other hand, a theory with sound evidence and logic can improve its credibility by solving problems it was never designed to solve. They arrive serendipitously - a happy coincidence so to speak. Two such situations fallout from the data of Tell Brak: Glyptic art, and Babylonian illiteracy.

Assyrian and Babylonian excavations have provided many examples of the art of seals used for emblems and official purposes. This is called glyptic art. Middle Assyrian glyptic art is spatially related, carved to the same scale, textured and linear [Venit]. Venit points to 15th century Mitannian glyptic art as an influence on later Middle Assyrian. There are two glyptic styles in ancient Bronze Age Mesopotamia. The earlier style portrayed naturalistic scenes, well-scaled to the subject matter and is called linear. This is the linear style Venit is referring to above. The second portrays ferocious and mythical beasts, where the size and location symbolize importance. This is referred to as vertical in style [Speiser]  

Conventionally, Mitannian King Shaushtater I was the 15th century founder of the dynasty. The style of the Mitannian glyptic at that time was not linear but rather it was vertical. His seal was found at Tell Brak Level II and Nuzi Level II. However, we have concluded that Nuzi II was not 15th century but 9th century. Now there is an anomaly. How can 9th century Mitannian vertical glyptic art influence the 15th century Middle Assyrian glyptic art that was linear?  It cannot. However, Neo-Babylonian glyptic, circa 1200-700 BC, was also vertical. It is very likely that the Mitannian glyptic is had been influenced by the Neo-Babylonian.

Porada thought that the "Neo-Assyrian" glyptic, 10th-7th century, was derived from the Mitanni glyptic of the time of Shaushtatar I,

"almost all the principal motives found in first millennium Assyrian glyptic are contained in the sealings of Nuzi [15th century Level II]ÉCylinders engraved with the same predominant use of the drill, the same composition (violent movement of leaping figures) and the same theme appear to have been produced in southern Mesopotamia until the 7th century B.C." [Porada]

The 'drilled' style mentioned above did not become the norm in Assyria until after 1000 B.C. The seal of Shaushtatar I, which had a major influence on Assyrian glyptic art, cannot be as early as the 15th century. It is also clear from Tell Brak evidence that the date of Nuzi Level II is too early. Correcting the "15th century" date for Shaushtater I seal in Nuzi II to 10th / 9th century, it now fits with Porada's observations. Thus, the influence of the vertical imperial Mitanni glyptic on the Neo-Assyrian motives and techniques follows naturally. 




At Boeotian Thebes the recovery of Middle Kassite seals and the plaque of Kidin-Marduk, extolling the majesty of Burnaburiash was expected. Burnaburiash and the Late Helladic III pottery were dated to the 14th century in orthodox chronology. Because the date is 14th century the Middle Kassite texts at Boeotian Thebes have the same epigraphy as el-Amarna texts. Gadd, referring to these 'Middle Kassite' texts, says,

"But the salutations which follow this (the introduction) show a characteristic increase of formality over those of the Hammurabi period (17th century). One official, writing to another, adds after his name 'your brother' and the phrase 'be it well with you', which is ubiquitous in the Amarna and Late Assyrian letters [Gadd, p.39]." (Italics added)

Late Assyrian refers to the time after 911 BC. Middle Kassite also has similar elements to the Late Assyrian letters. This is quite unexpected in the conventional view. Furthermore, these texts resemble Neo-Babylonian texts in the 8th and 7th century at Nippur, circa 755 - 612 BC. Cole states,

"The terminology used to denote alliances in the letters from Nippur is remarkably similar to the language employed the letters of the el Amarna age [Cole].

If the el-Amarna letters and Middle Kassite texts were really 14th century why would they have remarkable similarities to 8th and 7th century. We now understand the reason for this problem. Amarna texts are 9th century not 14th century and the mystery disappears.

In Peter James, Centuries of Darkness, he writes of the Mesopotamian riddle (see pages 227 to 233). The Old Babylonian Empire fell to the Kassites. They ruled Babylon for about 350 years until about 1150 BC and evolved their own version of Babylonian cuneiform. The archaeologists discerned two versions: one was similar to the Old Babylonian but a second version called Middle Kassite also materialized. Both these Kassite language forms were thought to have ended about the 12th century. Surprising to most Assyriologists there followed a 400-year period when no Babylonian literature existed at all. No documents with names of post-Kassite kings could be found. It is as if the Babylonians had forgotten how to read and write. This illiteracy abruptly ends with the rise of a Chaldean or Neo-Babylonian dynasty headed by Nabonassar in the mid-8th century. Historically, we know that the Neo-Babylonians was preceded by Chaldean, Aramaic and Elamite dynasties. However, for 400 years there were no written documents, political or business documents, found in Babylonia during these dynasties. This is unique in all ancient worlds. No civilization that is literate ever loses its language unless the civilization becomes extinct. No civilization has ever recovered from loss of a written language.

The solution is to move the Middle Kassite texts from the 14th century to the 9th century. This fills the void. The 400 years of illiteracy disappear. Furthermore, the true Kassite period that has two forms of Kassite texts, Middle and Old, now has only one. The Middle Kassite is removed from the 14th century leaving the Old Kassite to fill that time and is added to the Babylonian 9th century where there was a vacuum. This solves the mystery concerning the apparent Babylonian illiteracy. The solution is serendipitous. Torr and Velikovsky made not the slightest attempt to connect their revision to this problem. Yet the solution falls out of their premises with ease.  


References - Chapter 5


Cole, S., Nippur in Late Assyrian Times, 755-612 BC, State Archives of Assyria, Study IV, 1996, Helsinki, p. 27-8

Curnock, Barry, From Havilah to Shur, unpublished manuscript Draft 5.1.2a, p. 52

Gadd, J., Assyria and Babylonia 1370-1300 BC, Cambridge Ancient History.  II:2, 1975, Cambridge University, Cambridge.

Gasche, H., Armstrong, J.A., Cole, S.W. and Gurzadyan, V.G., Dating the fall of Babylon: A Reappraisal of Second-millennium Chronology, 1998, University of Ghent and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Layard, A., Discoveries in Nineveh and Babylon, (London) 1853, p. 282.

Moran, W.L., Unity and Diversity, Goedicke et al., Editors, 1975, p. 154.

Oates, D, Oates, J. and McDonald, Helen, Excavations at Tell Brak: Volume 1 The Mitanni and Old Babylonian periods, 1999, British School of Archaeology in Iraq,  

Porada, E., Seal Impressions of Nuzi, The Mitanni Legacy, AASOR 24, (1944-45) pp. 123-125.

Platon, N. & Stassinopoulou-Touloupa, E. Oriental Seals from the Palace of Cadmus: Unique Discoveries in Boeotian Thebes, Illustrated London News, (Nov 28, 1964). p.859-61

Soden, W. Sumer. Vol. 42, 1986. p. 106

Speiser, E.A., A Letter of Shaushtatar and the Date of the Kirkup Tablets, JAOS, 1949, 269 ff.

Venit, M.S., Toward a Definition of Middle Assyrian Style, Akkad, Vol. 50, 1986,1 ff.

Velikovsky, I., Ages in Chaos, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, N.Y. 1952.




Chapter 6




Ages in Order -Dynastic Order and the Numbers



In the previous chapter it was shown that three different chronologies placed the Amarna letters at the end of the 18th Dynasty in the 9th century while orthodox Egyptian chronology places them in the 14th century. This undermines completely the credibility of Egyptian chronology. It also demands that the entire Mediterranean system of pottery dates be re-dated. This applies, not only to the Greek Late Helladic pottery but also to all other potteries that are associated with Helladic pottery. The widespread distribution of Late Bronze Greek pottery means that this involves most Mediterranean and even European potteries, even as far north as Scandinavia. Important exceptions are the dates determined from Assyrian and Israelite evidence because their chronologies are independent.

The next challenge is to place the remaining Egyptian dynasties into the remaining years until and 332 BC when Alexander the Great liberated Egypt from the Persians. This is 500 to 575 years. This makes the 9th to the 4th centuries very crowded. Moving backward in time, there is history and archaeology for the Ethiopian 25th Dynasty from the 31st Dynasty covering 385 years. Assyrian inscriptions referred to their conflicts with Meluhha (Ethiopia) in the 8th century.  The Bible mentions an Ethiopian pharaoh named Taharqa in the late 8th century also.  The 8th century dates are confirmed by independent sources. Thus, the beginning of the 24th Dynasty to the 31st Dynasty lasted almost 400 years, with no room for movement of more than say 3 years. This leaves only 100 to 175 years for the remaining dynasties. Conventionally, the 19th to 23rd dynasties lasted 600 years. 

A compression and/or overlap of this magnitude is extremely difficult as James and Rohl have discovered. Each step in their revisions has involved has assumptions that are hard to prove and solutions that create more problems. In the late 8th and in the early 7th both the Ethiopians and Assyrians contended for control of Egypt. The Egyptian princes they mention were weak and disunited. Rohl proposes that during this time the latest 22nd and 23rd Dynasty pharaohs were still in power for 50 years. Why then did they not stop the Ethiopians and Assyrians from conquering their own kingdoms? James and Rohl propose the overlap of the 21st and 22nd Dynasty by 70 years. This also doubles the number of High Priests of Amun for those years and their average reign must be cut in half. This is highly unlikely. Also, the HPAs, half Egyptian and half Libyan, must be stretched interstitially across the same time line.  I cannot think of a single example where this has happened in the ancient world.

Velikovsky's Revision

Velikovsky's idea was to claim that there were dynasties with alter egos - that is, the same person had two different names in Egyptian history. He placed the 19th through 21st dynasties in the 7th to the 4th centuries. Thus the 22nd Dynasty followed the 18th Dynasty. During the Saite 26th Dynasty Velikovsky equated Ramesses I with Necho I, Seti I with Psammeticus and Necho II with Ramesses II and during the 30th Dynasty Nectanebo I was the alter ego of 20th Dynasty Ramesses III. These duplicate dynasties reduced the required years by 250 years. The 21st Dynasty was kept the same but ran a dynasty in Tanis is the delta. This eliminated total of 375 years.  The remaining years were due to shortening of other dynasties, primarily the 22nd Dynasty.

In ancient Egypt, the pharaoh had 5 different names. When a king conquered another kingdom, it was common for him to take a local name as king. Tiglath Pileser III conquered Babylon and named himself Pul. The idea of alter ego names is not entirely unfounded. Nevertheless, many archaeological details did match. The idea was rejected by many revisionists because details, like the reign length, did not match. Alter ego explanations were no longer rejected. Despite this Velikovsky's chronological placement was well-supported by archaeological evidence. Velikovsky was half-right. The dynasties remain in the same chronological time as Velikovsky claimed but now must be seen as parallel independent dynasties with no alter egos. The same 375 years are eliminated from Egyptian chronology.

This is not the 500 or so years required by the Greek Dark age problem. There must be more. The bulk of the additional years are to be found in the Libyan 22nd dynasty.  In the conventional view Pharaoh Shishak is identified as Libyan Pharaoh Sheshonq I. If Shishak's invasion took place in 926 BC, as supposed by conventional chronology, then Sheshonq I must begin his reign in 945 BC. This date requires some dubious arguments. For example, Osorkon I has been given 36 years but Manetho states only 15 years and the highest attested year in his reign is 12 years. Also, many officials in the reign of Osorkon II have grandsons and great grandsons in the reign of Osorkon III. This says that the gap between the two pharaohs was 40-50 years.  However, orthodoxy has a gap of 90 years, which requires that the beginning of the Shoshenq's reign begins at 885 BC at the earliest. This is a 9th century date, the same as the date of the Amarna letters at the end of the 18th Dynasty. See Appendix C for more details. Velikovsky's placement of the 22nd Dynasty after the 18th Dynasty at least appears reasonable. 


In orthodoxy, the next dynasty is the 19th Dynasty not the 22nd Dynasty. The next stratum after the Late Bronze IIA Amarna period is the Late Bronze IIB. It contains Late Helladic IIIB pottery. What does the evidence say? Does the Late Bronze IIB contain Ramesside finds or Libyan finds. The best association of the 19th Dynasty is found at Gurob.  Martha Bell, an Egyptologist states, "Gurob Tomb 605 starts out as possibly the best dated vase context for Late Helladic IIIB in Egypt [Bell, p.62]."

The vase is a common Mycenaean stirrup jar identified as type F182. The vase was found in a casket in the tomb. It was accompanied by a scarab finger-ring belonging to User Maat Re Setepenre. She identified this name as the prenomen of Ramesses II of the 19th Dynasty.  Also, an unguent box, head-rest, walking stick, pottery dish and two wooden ushabtis were found, which were recognized as early 19th Dynasty. This appears to be a straight forward archaeological association of 19th Dynasty Ramesside scarab finger-ring with Late Helladic IIIB ceramics. However, this is not the end of the story. Bell continued to write,

"Gurob Tomb 605, seemingly so secure, has areas of ambiguity upon careful examination." [Bell, p. 73]

What does 'areas of ambiguity' mean? She is pointing out that the casket found in Tomb 605 has a black background with yellow decoration. This developed in the mid-18th Dynasty and no examples of this coffin style are known in the 19th Dynasty [Bell, p. 65]. If no such coffins exist in the 19th Dynasty why would the coffins be ascribed to the early 19th Dynasty?

In addition to the yellow decorated black background coffin, there is the jewellery box in which the scarab finger-ring was found. It is difficult to date because all the known examples of this style of jewellery box come from the mid-18th Dynasty [Bell, p 70]. Again, if no such box can be ascribed to the 19th Dynasty, why is the coffin dated to the early 19th Dynasty? These questions are not answered. The objects cannot be 18th Dynasty because of the cartouche of User Maat Re Setepenre is not 18th Dynasty. Likewise, the coffin and the jewellery are not 19th Dynasty. The only conclusion to be logically drawn is that the tomb is neither. Thus, if the artefacts are neither 18th nor 19th Dynasty, what do we conclude? In the Velikovskian view the 22nd Dynasty follows the 18th Dynasty. The scarab finger-ring and the coffin did not belong to Ramesses II but to the Libyan pharaoh User Maat Re Setepenre Sheshonq III, 825-773 BC. It could also be Osorkon II or Pami, who also used this prenomen occasionally.

According to Torr the pottery Late Helladic IIIB1 is datable to the 9th century BC, which is the time of the 18th and 22nd Dynasty. The yellow painted black coffin and the jewellery box that are anomalous objects in the 19th Dynasty are not anomalous to the 9th century or early in the 22nd Dynasty. Egypt's best example of a connection of Late Helladic IIIB pottery to the 19th Dynasty fails. The Late Helladic IIIB pottery of Tomb 605 at Gurob is 9th century and this reverses the conventional order of the dynasties! The 22nd Dynasty is in part Late Bronze IIB and the 19th Dynasty must belong to the Iron Age.

Tel el-Farah(S)

The Libyan 22nd Dynasty lasted over a century and a half. It must have outlasted the Late Bronze IIB and entered the early Iron Age. Torr placed the Iron I Late Helladic IIIC in the 8th and early 7th century. Philistine pottery was contemporary with it in Iron I. It should be contemporary with the late Libyan period. According to conventional Egyptology Philistine pottery is dated to the 12th century during the 20th Dynasty. What does the evidence say? 

Tel el-Farah (S) is a site in southern Judah not far from Gaza. Petrie, when he excavated it, found many cemeteries with tombs containing Philistine pottery. Also, he found cemetery 900, which had many scarabs of the New Kingdom.  The problem was that cemetery 900 had no Philistine pottery but had 11 scarabs of Ramesses II (tombs 921,934, 935); 2 scarabs of Merenptah (tombs 980, 914); 4 scarabs of Ramesses III (tombs 934,984) and 2 scarabs of Ramesses IV (tombs 934, 960). There was also a possible scarab of Ramesses VIII in tomb 984.  Not one 900 cemetery tomb contained Philistine pottery [Petrie].  

On the other hand, individual tombs of cemetery 200 did have Philistine pottery but no Ramesside remains. It contained Libyan artefacts. For example, it contained an 8th century Cypriote oil flask, found in tomb 240. In tomb group 201, the work of the 22nd dynasty was seen in Hathor figures, the increase in the number of Cypriote oil flasks and the phrase "All good things" on the scarabs. Scarabs were also found from the time of Sheshonq III, 825-773 BC, as well an alabaster jar which dates between Osorkon II and 700 BC. In addition, a scarab of Men-ka-ra, a subject king of Shabaka, circa 715-707 BC was found [Petrie]. In Table 11 Libyan Dynasty and Ethiopian artefacts are listed. The 200 cemetery contains both late Libyan artefacts and Iron I Philistine pottery in agreement with Torr and Velikovsky.


Table 11- Artefacts from Tel el-Farah Tombs with Philistine Pottery




Cypriot Oil Flask

Tomb 240

8th century

Hathor figure, Scarab "All good things" Increase in Cypriot Oil Flasks

Tomb Group 201

8th century

Scarabs of time of Sheshonq III

Tomb Group 201

Circa 800 BC

Alabaster jar

Tomb Group 201

Circa 860-700

Scarab of Men-ka-ra

Tomb Group 201

715-707 BC

Beth Shean

We would increase our certainty if we investigated a site with multiple Egyptian dynasties, artefacts and multiple layers of Mycenaean pottery. From the evidence of Tomb 605 we would


Text Box: Figure 6.1: Stele of Seti I
Photo by University Museum University of Pennsylvania
expect to find material from the 22nd Dynasty in strata that separate the 18th and 19th Dynasty. Tel Beth Shean in northern Israel is such a site. It sits just east of the strategic Jezreel Valley and west of the Jordan Valley. More Egyptian material has been found at Tel Beth Shean than at any other Israelite site. This site is then ideal to inform our conclusion.  Alan Rowe excavated Tel Beth Shean for the University of Pennsylvania Museum [Rowe].  He found Late Helladic II pottery and 18th Dynasty finds at Level IX. He assigned to Level VIII to "pre-Amenhotep III" and Level VII to the time of Amenhotep III because of a plaque  that was found in a foundational deposit under the Temple in Level VII. He found two Egyptian style houses and a temple in Level VI. He found two stelae in Level V, one of Seti I (see Figure 1) and one of Ramesses II. They had been tipped off their pedestals in a display room. He assigned Level VI to the reign of Seti I, although no artefacts of Seti I had been found in it and Level V to the reign of Ramesses II.

Text Box: Figure 6.2 - Beth Shean Statue
 of Ramesses III 
Photo by Leon Mauldin

Description: beth-shean_dsc03564lmauldinAlso found in the northern Temple V, a cylinder seal of Ramesses II shooting an arrow at a target to which two Canaanite captives were bound, several statues, scarabs and scarab impressions of the Ramesside period. Furthermore, In Upper V a statue of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty was found (see figure 2). Level IV was assigned to the era of the United Monarchy, Divided Monarchy, the Neo-Babylonians and the     Persians. Levels III, II and I were Hellenist, Byzantine and Arab respectively. Problems were raised by other archaeologists almost immediately. Levels VI and V were both thick strata, yet represented only two reigns, Seti I and Ramesses II. Yet, each stratum was several times thicker than Level IV that supposedly represented over 700 years of Israelite, Babylonian and Persian history. Albright pointed out, assuming the conventional chronology, that the pottery in Levels VI and V was not the required by orthodoxy Late Bronze IIB pottery of the Ramesside period [Albright].  It was Iron Age IIA. Now we have User Maat Re Sheshonq III in the Late Bronze IIB at Gurob with Seti I and Ramesses II in Iron IIA at Tel Beth Shean. These dynasties appear in strata in reverse order to the conventional view?

It was not until 1966 that Frances James of Pennsylvania University tried to correct Rowe's report. Beth Shan's stratigraphy [F. James]. She dated Upper V to the 8th and 7th centuries as per conventional Iron IIB dates and Lower V from the 10th century to the end of the 9th century BC as per the Iron IIA conventional dates. These dates contained the conventional 22nd Dynasty but failed to produce any finds of that dynasty.

Rowe had applied Egyptian dates because of the stelae of Seti I and Ramesses but with incorrect ceramic dates. James now had the correct ceramic dates but the stelae of the Ramesside pharaohs were sitting in the incorrect Iron Age II strata [F. James and P. McGovern, p. 35]. The problem was now reversed. To solve this dilemma James had to suppose that originally the Ramesside artefacts had come from Level VII that contained Late Bronze IIB ceramics.

James had no reason to suppose that somebody had the Ramesside artefacts "thrown up" from Level VII to Lower V. She knew neither the time nor the reason nor the person responsible. Later, in similar fashion material of Ramesses III was "thrown up" from Level VI that contained Iron I ceramics to Upper V [F. James & McGovern, p. 35]. The wonderful benevolent work giving tribute to the glory of the Ramesside for the Iron Age residents of Beth Shean was never claimed. It is amazing that it happened even once but she actually proposed it happened twice. She had to claim this otherwise she would be challenged with responsibility of revising the entire conventional chronology. The unusual explanation is an ad hoc secondary assumption. It was the easier road to take.

The only Egyptian material in Level VII was found in Locus 1068. It had five pieces of faience with royal names of the 18th Dynasty and four Ramesside faience plaques that were read as Ramesses I and the fifth as Ba-en-ra, the prenomen of Merenptah the successor of Ramesses II. These were found "near or north of the steps" of the temple [James and McGovern, p.221, fig 165, 1-4,6]. Rowe interpreted these as evidence that Iron Age Temple VI was built by Ramesses I. 

James disagreed. She assumed the material was associated with Temple VII beneath. She assigned the "Ramesses" plaques to Ramesses II based on the pottery and claimed that he was the builder of Temple VII. Moreover, the interpretation of the name "Ramesses" was challenged by Porter [Porter]. His research found that Ramesses IV alone wrote his name in the observed style and Ramesses I and II did not. He credited Temple VI to Ramesses IV.  The problem with assigning the plaques to Level VII as per James is that the Late Bronze IIB pottery is too early for the 20th Dynasty and thus for Ramesses IV. Porter's scenario seems implausible.

Text Box: Figure 6.3 - Lintel of Ramesses User Khepesh 
Photo by

Description: TellBeitShean7sJames also mentioned an intrusive Greek coin from the Ptolemaic era in Locus 1068 and states that this probably came from the disturbed area at the eastern edge of the back wall [F. James and MrGovern, p. 7]. This leaves Locus 1068 with finds from the 18th, 19th, 20th and Ptolemaic dynasties. The presence of four Egyptian dynasties in a single locus powerfully suggests an intrusion. Additionally, 5th century Attic ceramic sherd in Level VII Locus 1384 also indicates an intrusion [James and McGovern, p. 59].  It is likely the plaques of Ramesses IV etcetera are intrusive also [James and McGovern, p. 224]. If the Level VII material is intrusive then no substantive material of the 19th Dynasty exists to support a Ramesside presence in the Late Helladic IIIB level.

In Situ or Not In Situ?

The question of in situ (artefacts lie in their original position) is fundamental to the interpretation of Tel Beth Shean. If the material in Level V is in situ then association of the 19th Dynasty with Late Bronze IIB is falsified and the association of the 19th Dynasty with Iron II will be validated.

Fitzgerald took over as director of the Beth Shean excavation in 1930. He excavated a house in Level V in area B-7 in Locus 1522-3 at the edge of the eastern edge of the tell. Under a Greek "Classical wall" he found two Classical marble column pieces about 4 feet in length and a stone fragment with a cartouche of Ramesses III. Shortly thereafter another column piece, split down the middle, was found under the foundations. Eventually, Fitzgerald found a piece under the floor of a nearby house showing Ramesses User Khepesh adoring Ramesses III (Figure 3). This puzzled Fitzgerald. The locus belonged in Level V but he saw Greek walls and columns together with a house likely built in Level III. Fitzgerald suggested that this might mean an intrusion or a later date and wrote:

"It is difficult to believe that this scrap of foundation wall can have been disturbed or laid in connection with the late wall (of which the foundations ran close to it). But otherwise it is difficult not to set the whole system of stone foundations much later than has hitherto been done [F. James, p.76]."

One can easily understand his predicament. Fitzgerald thought the 20th Dynasty piece was from the 12th century, maybe 800 years earlier than the Classical wall. Had Level III intruded into a 12th century Block B-7? Yet in the same stratum there were wide-mouthed ointment pots with heavy tilted horizontal loop handles, which had parallels in 6th-5th century Megiddo [F. James, p.76]. This did not make Fitzgerald's choices easier. It implied that the 20th Dynasty material was quite late. This aligns with Velikovsky. Fitzgerald would be too early to use his revision.  

This was also problematic for James, who fixed the conflict by separating the rooms and the Egyptian inscriptions:

"Many other (unnamed) things show that the inscriptions originated in Level VI and whether they were found in Level V or IV is of no consequence [F. James p.77]."

This is amazing. An excavator says that the positions of the finds do not matter! Even if they did belong to Level VI, how did they get to Level V or IV? Unlike the important statue of the mighty Ramesses III, these stone pieces are private devotional pieces of officials and unlikely to be "thrown up" to please some pharaoh. She makes a second amazing statement about the assignment of Block B-7 and says:

"In the end it seems best to make no attempt to assign Block B-7 to any one phase. It is an unimportant group of rooms and the date of its construction has no bearing on the date of the Egyptian fragments...[F. James, p. 77]."

James assigned the inscription back to 12th century to maintain conventional theory. This means the stratigraphic and archaeological data, the pottery and the artefacts, had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the dating of the Ramesside finds. James had merely repeated the flawed approach of Rowe, namely dating everything according to the Egyptian theory and overriding all conflicting evidence. Is this then empirical science? Using such a procedure, makes it impossible to find a sequence of strata contradicting the theoretical Egyptian order - a tautology

It is also import to note that the stelae are not the only artefacts in Level V. In the southern temple Rowe had found one dedicatory stele of (Amen-em)-apt, the overseer of the Two Lands [Rowe, pl 50,1] and one stele of Hesi-Nakht from the northern temple [Rowe pl.49, 1]. Another 19th Dynasty royal stele was found underneath the reservoir that intruded into the courtyard of the northern Temple V [Rowe, pl.50,2]. These royal and personal stelae indicate a rich Egyptian presence in Level V, long after the Egyptian imperial days were supposedly over. A cylinder seal of Ramesses II was found on the floor of northern Temple V in Locus 1021[Rowe, pl34, 4]. It is a serpentine cylinder seal with Ramesses II shooting an arrow toward Canaanite captives. Seals have official business uses and would lose importance after the death of the owner. Why would this seal have been moved from Level VII.

Foreign cylinder seals were found in Level VII but they were Mitannian in style not Egyptian. Even the lowly seal imprint can be found on pottery in Level V [Amihai Mazar and Nava Panitz-Cohen]. The suggestion that even small finds have been "thrown up" is extremely stressful to James hypothesis. The presence of these other artefacts is not explained even if the stelae themselves are not in situ. Finally, Mazar, another excavator of Beth Shean makes this observation on Level VII,

"The plans of dwellings in Level VII and Level VI are not particularly telling, since there are no parallels from New Kingdom Egypt (18th, 19, and 20th Dynasties) [Amihai Mazar and Nava Panitz-Cohen, p.25]."

This is puzzling if Beth Shean were a prominent Egyptian military garrison at the time of Level VII.

There are seven reasons to doubt the Egyptian stelae have been moved from Level VII and "thrown up" to Level V:

1.         The original excavators Rowe and Fitzgerald treated finds in Level V as in situ and never claimed otherwise. The negation of their judgement is never supported by evidence but rather by an unprovable secondary hypothesis with conventional views.

2.         Locus 1068 contains plaques of "Ramesses" and artefacts of many other dynasties including a Greek coin. An intrusion is indicated. Outside of Locus 1068, Level VII lacks significant evidence of the 19th Dynasty.

3.         The bases of the stelae are not inscribed with the name of Seti's and Ramesses' benefactor. Nobody claimed the glory of "throwing up" the stelae. This is unlikely.

4.         Other non-royal personal devotional stelae in Level V are extremely unlikely to be "thrown up".

5.         Even if the royal stelae were thrown up, this cannot be said of objects of no historical significance like the seal of Ramesses II.

6.         Conventionally, Level V belongs to the time of King Solomon. It is an awkward construction that claims monuments were thrown up to the glory of Egyptian pharaohs that would have offended the powerful King Solomon.

7.         The plan of dwellings in "New Kingdom" Levels VII and VI have no New Kingdom parallels.

It is concluded that the stelae of the 19th Dynasty are in situ in Lower Level V stratum and did not originate in Level VII. This puts 3 strata after the 18th Dynasty Level VIII at Beth Shean and before the 19th Dynasty in Lower V. At Gurob we associated a scarab finger ring of User Maat Re and Late Helladic IIIB pottery with Sheshonq III of the 22nd Dynasty. Level VII at Beth Shean has Late Helladic IIIB pottery and therefore is the early 22nd Dynasty. The 18th Dynasty Level VIII/IX and before 19th Dynasty Level Lower V.  

Furthermore, the Philistine pottery of Tell el-Farah(S) was found in cemeteries together with later artefacts of the 22nd Dynasty and Ethiopian eras. Logically, this would follow Level VII. i.e. Level VI. This agrees exactly with Velikovsky's claim that the gap between the 18th and 19th dynasties was the Third Intermediate Period pharaohs in the 9th and 8th century.The 19th Dynasty began with Seti I and Ramesses II in the 7th century. This is in exact agreement with Velikovsky's scenario.


The Ramesside stelae at Iron IIA Lower V at Beth Shean are in situ, not thrown up. The artefacts in the 200 cemetery at Tel el-Farah plainly attach Iron I Philistine pottery to the late Libyan and Ethiopian dynasties. The scarab ring of Usermaatre Setepenre found at Gurob with Late Bronze IIB pottery belongs to Sheshonq III. Together Gurob and Tel el-Farah(S) show the Libyan dynasties followed the Late Bronze IIA 18th Dynasty and came before the Iron IIA 19th Dynasty. This agrees with Velikovsky and contradicts the conventional view. Thus, Beth Shean Levels VII, Lower VI and Upper VI belong to the 22nd / 25th Dynasty and fall between the 18th Dynasty Level VIII and 19th Dynasties Level Lower V. Libyan Dynasty dates approximately 870-730 BC. If the Late Bronze IIA covers 70 years and Late Bronze IA/IB covers 135 years and then the date of the beginning of the 18th Dynasty is approximately 1075 BC. The date of the visit of Hatshepsut, the Queen of Sheba, is near 1005 BC.

Table 12- Revised Dates for Levels IV to IX at Tel Beth Shan.


Conventional Dates

and Dynasty




Egyptian Dynasties

Late Iron - Level IV

733-332 BC  26th to 31st

586-332 BC

20th/ Persian

Iron IIA Age - Levels Lower V

1000-733 BC 21st to 25th

690-586 BC

19thAssyrian/ Chaldean

Iron I- Level VI and Upper VI

1200-1000 BC 20th


800-690 BC


Late Bronze IIB - VII and VIII

1330-1200 BC  19th

875-800 BC

22ndEarly Libyan

Late Bronze IIA - Levels VIII and IXA

1400-1330 BC Late 18th

925-875 BC

Late 18th

Late Bronze I - Level IXB

1551-1400 BC Early 18th

1075-925 BC

Early 18th


Thus, the archaeological evidence supports Velikovsky's revision that the Third Intermediate Period intervenes between the 18th and 19th Dynasty. A redating of the re-sequenced dynasties appears in Table 12. This replaces the Manetho based chronology.


References -Chapter 6

Albright, W. 1936-7. 'The Excavation of Tell Beit Mursim : The Bronze Age", AASOR 17, p.77.

Bell, M., 1985. "Gurob tomb 605 and Mycenaean chronology", Melanges Gamal Eddin Mokhtar, Bulletin d'Egypte 107, I pp. 62-86

James, F.,1966. The Iron Age at Beth Shan: A Study of Levels VI-IV, University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia, 1966

James, F. & McGovern, P. 1993. Late Bronze Egyptian Garrison at Beth Shan: A Study of Levels VII and VIII, University of Pennsylvania Museum, Monograph 85, Philadelphia.

Mazar, Amihai and Panitz-Cohen, Nava (Ed), Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean 1989-1996, Vol. III, The Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem, 2009, p.668.

Petrie, W.H.F. , 1930. Beth-Pelet I & II,  pp. 12-15.

Porter, R., 1995. 'Dating the Beth Shean Temple Sequence', Journal of Ancient Chronology Forum, Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 52-69.

Rowe, A. 1930. Topography and History of Beth-Shan, University of Pennsylvania Museum Press, Philadelphia.










Velikovsky addressed the Hittite mystery in his third book, Ramses and His Times, on the correction of ancient history and chronology. The mystery emerged in a similar fashion to the mystery of the Late Helladic chronology. The Egyptologists had found Late Helladic III pottery at Akhetaten, the capital of Egypt during the years of Akhenaten's heretical reign. The Egyptologists were pleased to date this pottery to the 14th century as per Egyptian chronology for Akhenaten's reign. This had been an unwelcome gift because those who had uncovered Late Helladic pottery in Greece had dated it to the 9th century.


German archaeologists began to unravel the unknown empire of the Hittites in the early late 19th century.

Some monumental rock carvings were found near Hattusas in a place called Yazilikaya just a short distance away. The rock carvings showed martial processions, emperors and the most important gods of the Hittites. Although the art was uniquely Hittite it had styles, motifs and techniques used in more easterly regions. According to art historian, Puchstein, the rock carvings exhibited influence of Assyrian innovations. The most prominent motifs of Hittite art belong to the Assyrian seventh century, which were not present in the art of even the late eighth century BC. [Puchstein, 1890.] This meant that Yazilikaya and its rock carvings did not represent the Khetasar Hattusilis mentioned in the treaty between Ramesses II of the 13th century.

Excavators found a club and battle axe on the rock carvings of Hittite kings. These weapons first appeared on Assyrian reliefs in the reign of Ashurbanipal (668-632 BC). The architecture of the city of Hattusas was also similar to 7th century Assyrian architecture. The Hittite palace area resembled that of the Northwest Palace of Nineveh built in the early seventh century by Sennacherib, King of Assyria. [Barth, H. pp 128-157]. The Hittite annals found in the Hittite archives were influenced by Assyrian annals of the seventh century. They had many similar features in style and expression. Soon, Hittite tablets began to reveal a state of knowledge that rivalled Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian science, medicine, hymns, literature, mythology and prayers. showed similarities with their 7th neighbours. Hittite civil law showed many of the advances that had appeared in late Assyria. This produced some wonderment that an unknown civilization in all that concerns knowledge, law, literature, royal annals and traditions and culture had closely reproduced that of the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires of the seventh and sixth centuries.

The Germans soon discovered a text called "Deeds of Suppiluliumas". It had been written by Mursilis II, the son of Suppilulimas. It revealed a transgenerational struggle of the Hittites against Arzawa and Assuwa in the west and Assyria in the east and Egypt in the south. In his 7th year Mursilis II expected an Egyptian attack and asked his allies to report any movement of the Egyptians in Nuhasse just south of Hittite territory. He promised reinforcements if the Egyptians attacked. In his ninth year Mursilis II records that the Assyrians retook Carchemish, a Hittite stronghold east on the Euphrates River.

The first capture of Carchemish in Assyrian history was not recorded until Sargon II at the end of the eighth century.  The only alliance of Egypt and Assyria in history is recorded in 2 Kings 23:29; "While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco King of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria." The late 7th century Pharaoh Necho (609-595 BC) later fought with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Carchemish. Pharaoh's help did not prevent the fall of the last vestiges of Assyrian power. Names mentioned in Hittite annals of this time period also occurred at the rock figures of Yazilikaya and the cartouches of these kings were found to have the same style as those of Mursilis II and his successors. They all had to be the same age: 7th and 6th century.

The Treaty

In 1906 the German excavator Winkler discovered the largest of the archives of the Hittites. Thousands of Hittite clay tablets were uncovered. As the scholars deciphered these texts they came across the peace treaty between Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hattusilas III, the same treaty already found the Egyptologists earlier. This caused a crisis. Until this find, it was thought that the empire had existed in the 7th century/ 6th century. This was now contradicted by the treaty of Hattusilas III, son of Mursilis II, son of Suppilulimas I with Ramesses II, son of Seti I, son of Ramesses I, dated almost 700 years earlier.

Some Hittitologists wanted to keep the later dates but they soon succumbed to the view that the Hittite dates must be revised backwards almost 700 years. This created a huge chronological gap with no Hittite cities, no pottery and no writing were known on the Anatolian plateau - another dark age. The stratigraphic gap was systematic all over the Hittite territory. The eminent Turkish archaeologist said that there had been a dark age in central and southern Turkey between 1200 BC and 750 BC in central Asia minor. [Akurgal, E.1961. Die Kunst Anatolians, Berlin, p. 7] Taken at face value this means there were no identifiable inhabitants of the central plateau of Turkey in the Hittite heartland for over 400 years. Such a proposition is surely absurd on its face.

Unlike the Greek archaeologists, there was no champion like Torr to deny the wisdom of such a massive redating.  In the end the secure date of the treaty to the 21st year of Ramesses II in the 13th century was unavoidable. However, the results of our investigation of Tell Brak shows that the Greek 'Dark Age' is a myth - an illusion caused by incorrect Egyptian chronology. Consequently, we must suspect that this second dark age is also myth.

The solution that Velikovsky had proposed in his book was that Ramesses II ruled in the 7th / 6th century as the alter ego of Saite pharaoh, Necho II, of the 26th Dynasty. The placement of the Third Intermediate Period between the 18th and 19th Dynasties was confirmed by the evidence at Beth Shean presented earlier. The alter ego proposal has proved unsustainable. I accept this but we will not go into detail on this matter.

In the Neo-Velikovskian view the Saites and the Ramesides are two different dynasties, the Saite one ruling the western delta and the 19th Dynasty ruling in the eastern delta and the upper Nile including Thebes.  They ruled at the same time but in different locations in Egypt. The contemporaneity of these events can be shown at many sites where evidence of both dynasties. This will be explored later.

The Neo-Hittites

Even stranger the Hittite culture did not end at 1200 BC. To the east of Hattusas across the mountains lay such cities as Tegarama, Marash and Carchemish and such states as Samal and Commagene. The history of these states has been gleaned largely from the records of the Assyrians. They were not part of the Hittite empire but arose independently in the late 10th / early 9th century. They used the Hittite pictographic script and displayed Hittite style in their monumental art. These cities were firmly associated with increasing Assyrian influence as the Assyrians slowly attacked the kingdoms to their west.

The Neo-Hittite city-states did not arise until over 250 years after the fall of the Hittite Empire. How then was the Hittite tradition transmitted to the Neo-Hittite states after such a long lapse in the Empire? How is it that the imperial Hittites were so advanced that only in the 7th century was the rest of the Hittite world able to catch up to them?


The city of Gordion lies to the west of Hattusas. It had been built by the Phrygian king named Gordias, and his son Midas. The Phrygians were among the allies of Troy in the Trojan war and were well-known to the Greeks. The Greeks preserved a legend of the most famous Phrygian king, King Midas. The legend was that Midas acquired the magic touch so that everything he touched turned to gold. This talent backfired when he touched his daughter and turned her into gold much to his chagrin. The legend aside, the Assyrians also knew of King Midas. In the days of Sargon II, King Midas formed an alliance with the king of the Kulumeans and pushed east against the Assyrians. The Assyrians called him Mita, King of the Mushki.

At Gordion after World War II, the excavator, an American named Young, identified a stratum related to the time of King Midas in Level III. The east-Greek pottery and terracotta were familiar to Greek archaeologists, who dated the pottery to the 8th century. However, it was pointed out that the site also contained Hittite pictographic hieroglyphics in Level II. As the New Hittite Empire ended in the 13th century their hieroglyphics in Level II were problematic. The top stratum Level I was clearly identified as belonging to the time of the Persians. The Persians under Cyrus the Great had battled the famous King Croesus of Lydia in the 6th century.

Croesus had asked the soothsayers if he ought to attack the Persian king. The soothsayers replied that if he attacked the Persians he would destroy a great kingdom. He attacked only to lose and have his own kingdom destroyed. This was in 548 BC. The Level III stratum was identified as belonging to the Phrygians and dated to the eighth century. The Phrygian kingdom came to an end when it was attacked by the Cimmerians in 687 BC. This left the Level II stratum sandwiched neatly between these two very precise dates 687 and 548 BC.

The problematic Level II stratum contained a copious amount of Hittite pottery and tell-tale pictographic hieroglyphics. Young claimed that the clayey soil containing the imperial New Hittite seals and material came to Gordion from Hittite territory and had formed a four-meter layer over all of the Gordion. Who had done this? Young thought it was the Persians.  Young states,

"For the purposes of dating, the shards or layer of clay are of little use; they are almost entirely Hittite." "(The pottery was) a deposit already in the clay when it was brought in from elsewhere to be laid down over the surface of the Phrygian city mound. [Young, p. 12]

Young's explanation fails to address why the Persians would want to perform this task. In no other site did any conquering power perform such a feat. It would take an immense amount of manpower to transport such a layer over 100 miles. It had no apparent advantage. What earthly purpose could such a procedure accomplish?

Second, the original layer that belonged to the period 687 to 548 BC is missing. Where did it go? Even if the Persians wanted some stratum removed for construction, it would not be entirely missing. And where was the pottery and tools of the missing inhabitants? None were found. Even if the entire stratum was missing why cover the entire of Level II with a four-meter thick replacement layer? Neither the positioning nor size of the deposit makes any sense. Young, therefore concluded that the site had been abandoned during the pre-Persian era. This conclusion is also dubious. The placement of a layer over an abandoned city makes no better sense. Or, perhaps, the dilemma is the result of a poorly constructed chronological theory.

Gordion strata, read in the normal archaeological way, would tell us that the New Hittite Empire rose following the chaos created by the Cimmerians and the fall of King Midas and his Phrygian kingdom. At that time the Hittites expanded to the west, took over Gordion in order to keep Arzawa (Lydia) and Assuwa (Asia) in check. Then, a century later, the Hittites fell under the power of the Persians. That would again bring back the late seventh early sixth centuries as the time of the New Hittite Empire.

This must reflect back on the conclusions reached by the archaeological investigators of Boghazkoi, the site of the Hittite capital Hattusas. The Hittite capital was excavated by Bittel and Gueterbock in the 1930's. The top stratum, Level I, they found late Phrygian and post-Phrygian ceramics together with Greek language inscriptions, evidence of the 6th to 4th centuries. In the next stratum, Level II, they found much Hittite pottery and Hittite seals with pictographic hieroglyphics of the Hittite Empire, evidence of the thirteenth century, but there was also east Greek pottery found in the houses of Level II, which could not be dated earlier than the eighth/seventh century. The excavators concluded that the houses had been occupied in the 8th/ 7th century and that the occupants had kept the old 13th century pottery in their homes as well as seventh century pottery. The excavators were not clear why people would keep the 13th century Hittite heirlooms; or why they kept nothing that could be dated between the thirteenth and the seventh century?  [Bittel & Gueterbock]


The largest and strongest of the Neo-Hittite states was Carchemish. It is situated on the big bend in the Euphrates River. South of Carchemish the Euphrates flows southeast to the Persian Gulf. North of Carchemish the Euphrates bends back toward Mount Ararat.  Archaeologists anticipated that Carchemish would be continuously occupied.  They hoped it would connect the Neo-Hittite states to the Hittite Empire. They were disappointed.

Woolley excavated Carchemish. In the inner citadel he discovered a tomb containing artefacts reminiscent of the Hittite Empire. The tomb was a cremation burial and it yielded many small but significant objects, including 39 gold figurines. Woolley noted they looked like those at Yazilikaya. The images of the gods and nobility were almost identical in respect of both clothing and emblems. The chief god wore a long robe, carried a winged disk above its head, wore a conical headdress, open kilt and a caduceus-like staff. A female figure wore a pleated skirt reaching to her feet. The soldiers wore short kilts, pointed helmets and boots with curled up toes. The close relationship to the Yazilikaya rock reliefs of the New Hittite Empire was unmistakable.  This should have been a triumph for Woolley. It was not. The tomb that Woolley had opened was definitely a seventh century grave. How was Woolley to explain the obvious 13th century look-alikes as artefacts of the seventh century? Could some family have held onto these treasured heirlooms for 600 years and then for some unknown reason buried them with a single relative? Or could there have been a sudden revival of art from the Hittite Empire after 600 long years?

Woolley decided that the items had to be imitations of imperial Hittite art. Guterbock disagreed,

"Two possibilities offer themselves: either the figurines were made before 1200 and handed down as heirlooms until they were deposited in the tomb or they were made in the Late Hittite period but in a style that survived the empire. Sir Leonard (Woolley) seems inclined to favour the second. I would rather prefer the heirloom theory." But Gueterbock had absolutely no evidence connecting the royal family of the empire with that of seventh century Carchemish [Gueterbock, 1954].

Or, it could be that the separation of the Hittite Empire and the Neo-Hittites is a historical mistake based on an erroneous Egyptian chronology. The question arises. What distinguishes imperial Hittites from Neo-Hittites? Neo-Hittite cities have historical contacts with the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The Assyrian history recorded their attacks on the Neo-Hittite cities and the names of their kings. Archaeologists have found the names of these kings inscribed on monuments at Neo-Hittite sites. The connection is historically verified.

The cities of the Hittite Empire are not recorded, or at least it is not admitted. No mention of Hattusas was found among the Assyrian inscriptions and annals. It is not as though the Assyrians had not moved into Anatolia during the apex of their power. In the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III, several Hittite kings had paid tribute money to the Assyrians. Assyrian king Sargon II invaded the central plateau of Anatolia and even captured Tabal, a city of the Great King in central Anatolia. So why is there no record of the New Hittite Empire in the Assyrian records?

When Sargon II invaded Anatolia and set up Khulli as king over Tabal, he soon ran into Midas, the King of Phrygia, except the Assyrians called him Mita of Mushki. Assyrians had their own non-Greek non-European names for these kingdoms. Sargon II appointed a king of Tabal called Ambaridu and gave his daughter in marriage to him. Tribute was forthcoming from Mita but only temporarily. He allied himself with the king of Kulumea called Eshpai somewhere in Cilicia. The alliance was sealed by the marriage of Eshpai's daughter to Mita. King Mita then rebelled against the Assyrians and marched against three cities of Sargon II and captured them. Sargon II reacted with his own campaign against Mita and recaptured these cities.

There is a similar record in Hittite history of a king named Mita, who ruled Phrygia, known to the Assyrians as Mushki. His actions are described in the Edict of Arnuwandas I. He, at first, submitted to King Arnuwandas I but soon allied himself to Usapa, king of Kaliminiya, and married his daughter. He was accused of being disloyal and Aruwandas I ordered Mita arrested and brought before him along with his family and friends. Mita escaped and successfully attacked 3 cities to the east. Together these facts make a good case for a synchronism between the New Hittite Empire and the Assyrians in the late 8th century.

The problem with identifying the imperial Hittite cities in the Assyrian records is that the name of the Hittite kingdom was Tabal and not Hattusas. However, the name and actions of the Phrygian king and his relationship to the Kaliminiya (Kulumean) king Usapa (Eshpai) make it easy to connect. Thus, Arnuwandas I ruled in the last half of the 8th century, in the time of and likely vassal to Sargon II.

If Arnuwanda I is late 8th century then his grandson Great King Suppilulimas I would be middle 7th century, where Velikovsky claimed that he reigned, coeval with Pharaoh Taharqa. Mursilis II would reign in the 730s and 720s and Muwatalis would have reigned from the 720's almost to the end of the century.   This would put Ramesses II's reign starting somewhere in the final two decades of the 6th century. If so the end of the 19th dynasty may be in the 530's to the 520's. This is the time of the Persian invasion. The Persians reigned almost 125 years in Egypt and again in the 343-332 BC.

Are the Neo-Hittites and the New Hittite empire one and the same culture and time? Let us examine the site of Karatepe in Cilicia. Its art and architecture is classical Hittite of the imperial age. There is no Assyrian influence. This is likely because it is farther west than the Neo-Hittite cities. It would have been designated as belonging to the empire were it not for a bilingual stela. One language was Phoenician and the other was Hittite. The writer was Azitawatas, a Hittite prince. He was a descendent of Muksh, which when translated, was Mopsos, a figure associated with the Trojan War. His overlord was named Awarkus, known from the time of Tiglath Pileser III and Sargon II. The date can only be late 8th century. Here we have classical Hittite art and a Neo-Hittite stela.


Imperial Hittite sites in Anatolia lack occupation between 1200 and 750 BC according to convention. In a way that is reminiscent of the Greek Dark Age. The solution is also the same. Revise the Egyptian chronology downward so that it agrees with Greek and Assyrian chronologies. This requires that the treaty between Ramesses II and Hattusilas III be moved from the thirteenth to the seventh or sixth century.  The conventional Egyptian assigned dates must be ignored. This closes the Dark Ages of Anatolia and no stratigraphic conflicts arise.

The New Hittite Empire art, science and law reflect Assyrian influence of the 7th and 6th centuries. The war between the Hittites and the forces of Assyria and Egypt contained in the Hittite annals of Mursilis II reflects Assyrian and Egyptian power of the 7th century. In addition, the East Greek pottery and terracottas that occur in Gordion and Hattusas are dated to the New Kingdom Hittites material from the 8th to 6th century. Two independent chronologies argue for these dates against a single chronological system, namely the Egyptian. Israelite dates, while not directly involved, is at this point in history in complete agreement with the Assyrian. There can be no doubt as to which chronology must be discounted.

It is reminiscent of the stratigraphy of Tell Brak where Greek, Assyrian and Israelite chronologies indicated Tell Brak Level 2 dated to the 9th century while Egyptian chronology dated it to the late 14th century. The picture is similar except now Greek ceramics and Assyrian chronology place the Hittite Empire in the 7th and 6th centuries while the Egyptian chronology of Ramesses II places the Hittite Empire in the 13th century. The raising of Anatolian dates by 660 years or so using the dates of Ramesses II is totally incongruent with all other archaeological evidence and non-Egyptian chronologies.

Using results from Beth Shean are also adds to these results. Beth Shean Level VIII had 9th century Late Helladic III pottery of the Amarna period followed by Level VII and VI, 9th and 8th century Late Bronze IIB and Iron I pottery of the age of the Libyan/ Ethiopian dynasties (TIP). There followed an Iron II Lower Level V deposit in which Ramesside material was found. A 7th century date may be deduced from its post-TIP stratigraphic position as well as the ceramic connection with Judean pottery [Montgomery, 2014]. This puts Beth Shean Level V at a date that aligns in Anatolia with the 7th / 6th centuries where Hittitologists first suspected the Hittite Empire lay. Thus, there is no stratigraphic evidence of a conflict with Israelite or Assyrian stratigraphy. The moving of the Hittites to the thirteenth century is dictated solely by the Manetho chronology and it has been a disaster.

There is one more important conclusion to consider. The end of the 19th Dynasty must come about the last quarter of the sixth century. The conventional view has the Persian king, Cambyses II invading Egypt in 525 BC. The last queen of the 19th Dynasty was Twosre. In the time of the Pharaoh Twosre, the queen's authority, was in trouble. A Syrian, Chancellor Bey, has become what is referred to as a "kingmaker" 7. Clayton mentions the "king-maker" Bey in two sentences and immediately passes over him. Yet, Bey was pictured with the Queen Pharaoh as equal in size and therefore equal in importance. No other foreigner in Egyptian history was ever portrayed as equal in stature to a Pharaoh. Furthermore, Bey was granted the privilege of a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It was unprecedented for a foreigner to be buried in the Valley of the Kings.

Gardiner however pointed out that6

"After the chief workman had been killed by 'the enemy'Éit is clear that Thebes was going through very troubled times. There are references elsewhere to a 'war' that had occurred during these years, but it is obscure to what this word alludes, perhaps to no more than internal disturbances and discontent. [Sir Alan Gardiner, 1960. Egypt of the Pharaohs, University of Oxford Press, p.267]

Despite this Egyptologists fail to grasp that the above reference to a war must be related to the Syrian potentate Bey, who is now in charge of appointing monarchs in Egypt. The conclusion must be drawn that Egypt has been successfully invaded. Were the end of the 19th Dynasty placed in the 6th century the troubled time and war would easily connect with the Persian invasion. This leads to a conclusion that the 20th Dynasty cannot immediately follow the 19th.

The most important document of the 20th Dynasty also supports this view. The Harris Papyrus is a hieratic text dated top the end of the reign of Ramesses III. It contains a brief summary of the entire reign of king Ramesses III. Its historical section mentions that Setnakhte, Ramesses III's father and predecessor, who restored order and stability to Egypt after a time of internal civil conflict. He expelled Asiatic followers of Irsu. This Irsu was a Syrian and reigned in a period in which there was no Egyptian monarch. It states that the land of Egypt was overthrown from without and every man lost his rights. There was no national spokesman for many years in Egypt. It was full with empty years. These revelations were surprising to Egyptologists. They knew of no 12th century invasion of Egypt.


The first pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty was Setnakht.  Upon Setnakht's death, tomb workers in the Valley of the Kings began tunnelling into the rock cliff to prepare his tomb. They erupted into a corridor of the tomb of Amenmesse8 by accident. Amenmesse died 10 years before the end of the 19th Dynasty. If the 20th Dynasty immediately followed the 19th Dynasty then Amenmesse was buried within 12 years of Setnakht. The same Chief of Workmen was supposedly in charge. How could he and workers in the same generation fail to know where they had constructed Amenmesse's? This cannot be explained except that the tomb workers were of a later generation who never knew where the tomb had been located. This supports Velikovsky who claims the 20th Dynasty took place during the Persian era.

In the previous chapter we placed the 19th Dynasty in the Iron Age after the Third Intermediate Period in 7th century or later. The battle of Kadesh in year 5 of Ramesses II is described in the poem of Pentaur where he battled with the wretched foe, Great King of the Kheta, (i.e. the Hittites), Muwatalis II.  Seti I had also battled the Hittites perhaps Muwatalis' father, the Great King Mursilis II. In year 21, Ramesses II and Hattusilas III, the brother of Muwatalis, signed a peace treaty that gave advantages to the Hittite emperor. This treaty was dated to the 13th century on account of the dating of Ramesses II.


References - Chapter 7


Akurgal, E.1961. Die Kunst Anatolians, Berlin, p. 7


Barth, H. 1859. Versuch einer eingehenden Erklaerung der Felssculpturen von Boghazkoi in alten Kappadocien, Monatsberichte der Koeniglichen Preussischen Akadamie der Wissenschaft, Berlin, pp 128-157]


Bittel, K. & Gueterbock, H., 1936, Boghazkoi, Abhandlung der Preussichen Wissenschaft, Philosophien-historische Klasse 1935, Berlin.


Curtis, A. 1985. Cities of the biblical world: Ugarit. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. p. 48


Gueterbock, H., 1954. Carchemish, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, ff. 113


James, P. 1978. SIS Review Vol III: 2 (Autumn 1978), pp. 48-55


Jidejian, N.  Byblos through the Ages, p.57


Kitchen, K., 2003, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Grand Rapids, William Eerdmans Publishing, p.257

Montgomery, A. 2014.'Tel Beth Shean Stratigraphy: Does it Demonstrate Velikovsky's Theory?' Chronology and Catastrophism Review 2014, Society for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Petrie, W.W.F., Murray, A.S., Griffith,F.L. 1888. Tanis Pt II, Nebesheh and Tahpenes, London


Pfeiffer, C. 1966. The Biblical World: A Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology. Baker Books. Grand Rapids. p. 469


Puchstein, O. 1890. Pseudohethitische Kunst, Berlin.


Rowe, A. 1930. Topography and History of Beth-Shean. University Press. Philadelphia


Smith, S. 1946. Alalakh and chronology. Luzac and Company. London. p. 46


Velikovsky, I. 1978. Ramses II and His Times, New York, Doubleday.


Von der Osten, 1930-1. Discoveries in Anatolia, Oriental Institute, Chicago. Pp, 9-10


Woolley, Sir Leonard, 1952. Carchemish III, p187


Young, R.S., 1955. Gordion: Preliminary Report, 1955. American Journal of Archaeology, Vol 59, p.2







Ages in Order -A Gentlemanly Disagreement



Greek Tiles and Persian Rosettes

Once it is admitted that the 19th Dynasty should be placed in the 7th /6th century and ends with the invasion of the Persians, what happens to the 20th and the 21st Dynasty? Where do they fit into the revision? According to Velikovsky, the 20th and 21st Dynasties belong in the 4th century between the first and second Persian occupation.

Two Egyptologists, a Swiss named Naville and an Englishman, named Griffith started our quest to understand the position of the 20th Dynasty. They inadvertently stumbled upon the answer to our problem though they did not realize there was even a problem. They excavated a site called Tell el-Yahudiyeh or "The Mound of the Jews" at the apex of the Nile delta. There they found a palace of pharaoh Ramesses III, the most prominent pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty, who reigned 32 years.

Baked round ceramic tiles with rosette designs decorated its walls. On the back of these tiles was the name of Pharaoh Ramesses III written in hieroglyphics within a cartouche, the symbol of pharaonic office. This was no surprise. What did surprise them were the ceramic tiles with Greek letters written on the back. They were made on the disks before the tiles were glazed. The Greek letters appeared to be the initials of the designer. The Greek letters were of the classical style and did not exist before the 7th century. What were the excavators to make of the classical Greek letters on 12th century tiles of Ramesses III, long before the Greeks even had an alphabet? 

The tiles were submitted to Lewis, an expert in the Greek alphabet, who agreed that they were genuine Classical Greek letters [Lewis]. Other experts examined the letters and they too concluded that they belonged to the last centuries of the Egyptian dynastic period and possibly a little later in the Ptolemaic period [Brugsch, 1886]. Could the problem be solved by making the tiles part of a restoration of Ramesses' palace in later times. Naville, the expedition leader, wrote,

"It is unlikely that later kings, such as the Saites or the Ptolemies, would have taken the trouble to build for their predecessor, Ramesses IIIÉ[Naville, 1887, pp. 6-7]."

Perhaps the tiles were part of two different periods: one in Ramesses' time and one later. Griffith, Naville's partner, considered this and wrote,

"I do not see how the classes can be kept distinct as to date. The hieroglyphic and figure tiles relate to Ramesses III and the figure tiles bear Greek letters. [Griffith, 1887, p. 41]."

Naville also made another observation about the tiles. The floral rosette design reminded him of Persian art. The Persian Emperor Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 BC, after which Persian influence expanded. The juxtaposition of the Persian styled tiles and the palace of a 12th century pharaoh was also difficult to explain. Naville and Griffith were stumped.

A rosette design, totally analogous to those found on the tiles of Ramses III, appears as early as the ninth century B.C. in Persian art. By the time of the Achaemenid empire, the rosette motif was so prevalent on the walls of the Persian palace at Persepolis (6th-4th centuries B.C.) that instances numbered in the thousands [Ghirshman]. Yet, except for the decorated tiles of Ramses III, this distinctive motif is essentially non-existent in the repertoire of Egyptian art; and any additional appearance seems to be solely due to Persian influence (see below).

Some flower designs, sculptured on a column base found northwest of Shiraz, bring to mind not only the rosette and floriate motifs of Ramses III's palace, but the method of decorative employment as well [Ghirshman. p. 224 and p. 429]. The Persian example is dated from the fifth to the fourth centuries B.C. Furthermore, a rosette pattern, extremely similar to the ones that are shown on the Ramesside tiles, appears on the bottom of a bronze bowl found at Thebes. The art expert who examined the bowl believes that Persian influence is unquestionable.

"In the center of the rosette there is ... a point which would seem to be the mark of a lathe." This bowl, along with another, "establishes the use of Persian forms in Egyptian metalwork from perhaps the middle of Dynasty XXVII to Dynasty XXXI" (Persian age dynasties) [Cooney, pp. 41-42 and Plate XXIII]

Naville and Griffith also disagreed on the date of the nearby cemetery too. Its tombs were in the form of small mounds or tumuli built with bricks forming a vault. The vaults contained terra-cotta coffins with a hole at its head through which the body of the deceased was laid inside. After the insertion of the deceased's body through the hole, it was covered with a terra cotta lid with the facial features of the deceased imprinted on it. Naville noted that the style and execution of the coffins belonged to the Late Period (7th - 4th century). The bodies had not been mummified, again indicating a burial in the Late Period. The coffins had been painted in a coarse style and the hieroglyphics were faulty and typical of the Greek and Roman period (4th to 1st century BC) [Naville, p. 16]. Naville judged the cemetery belonged to the Greek or Roman period.

On the other hand, a few tombs contained infant burials, which had not been robbed and still contained artifacts important to the archaeologists. In one tomb they found two scarabs which bore the cartouches of Ramesses III. In another tomb, two scarabs set in gold and silver, which bore 20th Dynasty cartouches of Setnakht and Ramesses VI. Accordingly, Griffith dated them to the 12th century. He pointed also to false-necked amphorae (pottery) as further evidence of the correctness of his opinion. He stated,

"the most striking type amongst the pottery, 'false-necked amphorae' is found in the paintings of the tomb of Ramesses III, fixes the date [Griffith, 1887]."

It is obvious that if the tombs had cartouches of Ramesses III and Ramesses VI the cemetery was the same age as the 20th Dynasty. The false-necked amphorae found in the tombs appeared also in the paintings of the palace of Ramesses III. The false-necked amphorae also had to be of the same period. This is not independent dating. The origin of Late Period pottery, the lack of mummification and the Late Period writing on the pottery, i.e. the Hellenist and/or Roman data were independent data and disagreed with Griffith conclusion about the amphora. Naville on the other hand did not reconcile the dates of the 20th Dynasty scarabs to his other observations.

The debate between Naville, who concluded that the cemetery belonged to the Greek or Roman period, and Griffith, who concluded that the cemetery belonged to the 20th Dynasty and therefore the 12th century, was more like a gentlemanly disagreement than a real debate.  Naville, in a professional fashion, published both their opinions in the same report on the excavations at Tell el-Yahudiyeh.

One thing to point out though is that there were two options and only two. It would not be possible to place the cemetery in say the 8th century as that would conflict with both sets of evidence. Orthodox scholars all sided with Griffith, whose opinion was based on orthodox chronology, i.e. Manetho. They ignored Naville whose opinion was based on archaeological evidence.

The 12th century cartouches of the 20th Dynasty have never been reconciled with the Late Period hieroglyphic writing, the Greek-lettered tiles, Persian rosettes or the lack of mummification. The Velikovsky solution is to accept the archaeological data and place the 20th Dynasty in the 4th century. In no other revisionist view is this done or even possible.

This has been a recurring theme in the Velikovsky debate. Two different dates: one based on orthodox Egyptian chronology and one on archaeology. At Akhetaten during the 18th Dynasty the difference in dates was about 500 years. At Hattusas during the 19th Dynasty the difference in dates was about 660-700 years. And now At Tel el-Yahudiyeh during the 20th Dynasty the difference in dates is about 800 years.

Graffiti at Medinet Habu

More puzzling data came from a study of graffiti at Medinet Habu. A team of scholars headed by Dr. Peter Dorman of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute and Dr. Betsy Bryan of John Hopkins University headed a team exploring Thebes during the Ptolemaic period. Among the interesting finds had been graffiti on the walls and roof of the temple of Medinet Habu (Ramesses III temple). Besides the hieratic (cursive hieroglyphics) graffiti of the New Kingdom there is also Demotic script. This was easier for foreigners to read and write. From the Ethiopian period onwards, it had gradually replaced the Egyptian hieratic writing. Scholars Di Cerbo and Jasnow examined the Ptolemaic Demotic inscriptions and pictures found on the temple buildings at Thebes. They found graffiti for every pharaoh from the final pharaoh of the 30th Dynasty to the last Ptolemaic pharaoh, Cleopatra. They wrote8,

"Within the Great Temple (of Ramesses III) graffiti appear especially in the Treasury and the Slaughterhouse. The dated texts range from year 2 of (30th Dynasty) Nektanebo II (359 BC) through year 14 of Cleopatra and Caesarion (37 BC)." [Cerbo and Jasnow, 2006]

There are no dynasties represented by graffiti before the 30th Dynasty even though Demotic writing is recorded in Egypt in every previous dynasty and almost every reign in Egypt back to Piye, the Ethiopian Emperor in the late 8th century.

If any Demotic graffiti had been found prior to Nektnebo II on the Medinet Habu palace, it would have represented prima facie evidence that Velikovsky's revision was wrong about the dating of the reign of Ramesses III and could be contradictory to his whole revision. This graffiti seriously exposes Velikovsky claims to potential contradiction and passing such a risky test must be considered a major challenge to those who do not accept his revision.

Harris Papyrus

Ramesses' accomplishments are recorded in a long papyrus called the Harris Papyrus. It appears to have been written posthumously by his son and heir. It mentions a time prior to Ramesses III and his father Setnakht, when a foreigner from the north named Arsa or Arza had ruled the land and there had been no national spokesman (Pharaoh). This part of the papyrus caused the scholars pause. Who, in the 12th century of the 20th Dynasty, had the power to overwhelm the Egyptian empire? Until the Harris Papyrus had been read, the scholars had envisioned that the Egyptian imperial reign of Seti I and the 19th Dynasty over Canaan and much of Syria had continued uninterrupted into the reign of Ramesses III. This was obviously not so.

On the other hand, if the Persians ended the reign of the 19th Dynasty in the time of Bey then the Harris Papyrus belongs to the time of the Persians. Egypt paid a heavy tribute until the rebellion in 404 BC after the death of Darius II. Egyptian history is rather sketchy for the next 25 years. Four or five pharaohs of two dynasties left almost nothing behind to tell us of their reigns. Then the 30th dynasty arose, that of Nectanebo I, Teos and Nectanebo II, and managed to fend off the Persians for the next 40 more years.

Image result for Ramesses III PelesetThe history of this time period is told by Ramesses III, who portrayed his battles with the Greeks and Persians on the mural of his mortuary temple at Medinet Habu, opposite Thebes. The bas-reliefs of Ramesses III showed a conflict with an army whose military dress looked remarkably Persian. Of particular note is the headgear of the Persians, which has plume-like protrusions, which will be discussed later. At first, Ramesses III had some alliance with a nation called the "Perest" or the Persians as evidenced by Persian and Greek soldiers fighting alongside the native Egyptian soldiers against the Libyans to the west [Velikovsky, 1977, Plate No 4].

Fig 8.1 Philistine or Persian soldier showing helmet with plumes

Persia apparently organized an attack against the Libyans, hiring both Greeks and Egyptians as mercenaries. Orthodoxy has this word as "Pelesett" rather than "Peresett" as the Egyptian letter can be used to represent both 'r' and 'l'. They identify "Pelestt" as Philistines. There appears next in Ramesses' mural a battle scene in which the Egyptians and the Greeks are fighting against the Persians [Velikovsky, Plate No. 5], implying that Ramesses III had at first cooperated with Persians only to hire the Greeks to revolt against them. Then in the third battle scene it shows the Greeks and the Persians conducting a sea and land battle where many of the Greek warriors were using very long swords whereas they are pictured earlier as using light short swords [Plate no. 6]. 

If Velikovsky is right then the history in Diodorus should help to explain this complex set of alliances and switches. No mention is made by Diodorus of the campaign against the Libyans. He does say though that during the 4th century, the Athenians were acquainted with the Egyptians and hired themselves out to Nectanebo I and fought alongside the Egyptian forces under the command of Athenian General Chabrias against the Persians. This gave considerable advantage to the Egyptian side in experience and manpower in addition to the advantage of home territory.

According to Diodorus, the Persian Emperor Artaxerxes II had to send a delegation to the Athenians to communicate his great displeasure at such an alliance, after which the Athenians agreed to recall Chabrias and sent a new leader General Iphicrates to help the Persians in their fight against Egypt. He was joined by the Persian commander, Pharnabazus, whose troops included not only Persians but also conscripts of the local peoples of his satrapy. Among the Persian allies were Shardans or Lydians, whose capital was Sardis, Weshesh, or Assos, Shekelesh or Sagalossians and Tjeker or Teucrians. They are referred to collectively as "The People of the Sea". There are also other soldiers portrayed on the murals as opposing the Egyptians, who wear their own native uniforms, such as two- horned helmets and small round shields.

Ramesses' designation, "The Peoples of the Sea", also has a convincing connection to the Persian era. The Persian general Pharnabazus was the Satrap of a Persian province called "Tyaiy Drayahya", which translated means "Those of the Sea" [Velikovsky, 1977, p. 54]. People of the Sea, or Maritimers is a political designation not a vocational or ethnic one. Had the dynasty of Ramesses III originally been placed in its proper time frame, there would be no hesitation in identifying the historical battles in his murals with the Persian's battles with the pharaoh, whom the Greeks called Nectanebo I. However, Nectanebo I was not Ramesses III as Velikovsky thought. They are now regarded as separate pharaohs ruling in different areas of Egypt.

According to Diodorus, the Persian satrap, Pharnabazus first marshaled his forces and marched to the border of Egypt. The Egyptians, knowing there was only one land route for the Persians to take had heavily fortified Pelusium on the northeast tip of the Nile delta. The Persians, however, also had a major naval force under Pharnabazus and a Greek general Iphicrates and having failed to enter Egypt through the Pelusium branch of the Nile, they sailed west to the less guarded Mendesian mouth. The Persian forces assaulted and took the Egyptian fortress there. Then the Persian commander hesitated to wait for the rest of the Persian forces to arrive. This allowed the Egyptians to re-deploy their forces. They took the fortress the Persians had built and dislodged the invasion force back into the sea, taking many prisoners in the process. According to Ramesses III he had prepared the Egyptian defenses and totally overwhelmed the enemy invasion. This is likely an exaggeration. Yet, it is unlikely that either pharaoh could have defeated the Persians alone. This is the reason that the Egyptians initially had hired the Greeks. But, then the Greeks changed sides. 

The details of the Greek weaponry on the walls at Medinet Habu allow us to identify the episodes with Diodorus' history. At first the Greek soldiers on the murals had fought with light short swords under the Greek general, Chabrias. When he was recalled he set about reforming the military equipment and tactics of his troops. This included the lengthening of the swords to twice their length and using lighter shields. By the time Iphicrates had joined with the Persian forces, some of the Greek units had already changed over to the new equipment as shown on the Greek forces on Ramesses' murals. The images on these murals confirm the presence of both Persian and Athenian forces attacking Egypt in the 4th century not the 12th century BC.

Philistines or Persians

The primary disagreement between the conventional and Velikovskian views is the role of the Philistines. According to conventional thinking, the 20th Dynasty began shortly after 1200 BC. The Philistines are thought to have arrived in Canaan shortly thereafter and to have fought with Ramesses III. Yet, according to the Bible, the Philistines had occupied the land since the time of Abraham. To explain away the presence of biblical Philistines before the 12th century, orthodoxy claims that the writers of the Bible are using Philistines proleptically - that is, referring to earlier people by the name of its current residence. Genesis was written long before the 12th century and there is a continuation of Philistine presence throughout the Judges era. A sudden influx of Philistines, a sea people who attacked Egypt in the time of Samson but had lived there for almost a thousand years sounds suspicious. This does not worry Egyptologists as the foe of Ramesses was clearly written as "Peleset" or Philistine. However, the archaeology of Ramesses III is the Late Period, in which an 'et' was added at the end of a country for an unknown reason. This means the name of the nation mentioned was either P-L-S or P-R-S. There is no country in Egyptian P-L-S but P-R-S is Persia. Philistine is clearly not the translation.

The Egyptians throughout their dynastic records and inscriptions repeatedly referred to the indigenous people living in Canaan, including Philistia, as the "Retenu". Suddenly, in the 20th and 21st Dynasty, the Egyptians seem not to have forgotten the Retenu and used a separate term for those living in Philistia and only in these two dynasties are the "Peleset" mentioned as enemies. Then they are forgotten for the next 800 years until they are mentioned again in the 3rd century BC during the reign of the Ptolemies. Egyptologists have no explanation for the strange hiatus in the mention of the "Peleset" between the 12th and 3rd century. The translation of Perest as Persia has no such problem.

The case gets even worse. In the Ptolemaic era, the word "Pelesett" was found in a document called the Canopus Decree, written in Egyptian and Greek [Budge]. It translated the Egyptian word "Pelesett" into Greek as "barbaroi", which was the Greek expression for the Persians. In the Canopic Decree Keftui or Crete became Keftet and Retenu or Canaan became Retenuett. The word Peresett in the Canopus Decree then represents the country of Persia normally spelled P-r-s. The conclusion must be that the invasion of Egypt in the 20th Dynasty is a Persian invasion and the conventional view of the 20th Dynasty becomes untenable.

The relief below shows Ramesses II attacking Ashkelon, one of the principle cities of Philistia. Note the soldiers have no feathery plumes in their head piece. They appear like other 'Asiatics' do in other reliefs. Clearly, these are not the soldiers Ramesses III fought against. Thus, in the orthodox view, the Philistines must have arrived in Philistia after the 19th Dynasty and replaced earlier native people. This explains why the soldiers of Ashkelon have no feather-like helmets.


Fig 8.2 The relief of Ramesses II attacking Ashkelon and outline

Scholars have the arrival of Philistines in 1200 BC in the reign of Ramesses III and claim the original native peoples were subjugated. Thus, their name disappeared and the newly arrived people were called Philistines replaced them. But now we know that the 18th Dynasty did not end until the 9th century BC. During this dynasty no mention is made of the Philistines in Egyptian literature. Similarly, we now know the 19th Dynasty reigned in the 7th and 6th century and still no mention of the Philistines. The reason is obvious. The Pelesett are not Philistines.

Velikovsky's placement of the 20th and 21st Dynasties in the 4th century immediately deals with the problem. Peresett no longer refers to the indigenous Philistines. They are not "Pherestt" invaders but are "Peres" with the Late Period ending "t" or "tt" that is to say, Persians, who were the real invaders. 



The Philistine Coffins

The headgear of the Perest is unique in Egyptian inscriptions and is similar to the headgear of 6th/ 5th century Persian soldiers portrayed at Persepolis, the Persian capital. Nor are the helmets found only in Persia. In many cemeteries in Egypt, such as Tell Nebesheh, and in Palestine, such as Beth Shean, there are anthropoid "Philistine" coffins. Interestingly, the faces on some are very similar to the faces on the murals of Ramesses III. There are two types of anthropoid coffin. One type has the top of the coffin shaped to represent the head and the shoulders. The features of the face are natural and dignified. These naturalistic coffins show features that are Egyptian. The second type has no shoulders and the facial features are unnatural and represented by crude and simple eyes, ears and mouth, making a rather grotesque effect [Dothan, p 252 ff]. Some grotesque coffins show the same "feathers" as the "Pereset" on the murals of Ramesses III and, for this reason, are also referred to as Philistine tombs whereas they are really Persian tombs.

At Beth Shan, Tomb 66 and Tomb 90 contain several of the grotesque type coffins, which have headdresses or helmets with feather-like protrusions with designed bands underneath, which may indicate rank [Dothan, fig. 11:2, p. 275]. One style has a plain horizontal band between two rows of beads while another has 3 plain bands with 3 rows of beads [Dothan, fig 12:2 Pl 18] and another has a row of knobs between plain bands under a wavy line [Dothan, fig 11:3; Pl 21]. Yet another style has a single row of knobs beneath 2 plains horizontal beads [Dothan, fig 11:1]. The identical headgear bands of the "Pereset" appear on the murals of Ramesses III [Dothan, figures 11:4, 5, 6]. Of the headgear of the "Pereset", Dothan writes,

"The headgear provides decisive evidence that the bodies buried in the grotesque coffins at Beth Shan were "Sea Peoples", most likely Philistines [Dothan, p. 274]."



Figure 1:  Heads on "Philistine" coffin lids (1,2,3) and Corresponding Headdresses on "Perest" on Rameses III Murals (4,5,6)


Figure 2; Comparison of Persian helmets - Medinet Habu and Persepolis

In Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire, are many soldiers carved in relief on the buildings showing soldiers with the feather-like petal attached to the headgear as in the "Philistine" coffins. In figure 2, the Pelest is on the left and the Persian guard from Persepolis is on the right. They also have a similar extension for the protection of the neck. The same headgear is found on the mural of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu [Velikovsky, p. 32]. This confirms the identity of the enemy of Ramesses III on his murals as Persians and contradicting the claims of the orthodoxy.

At Gezer several Ramesside scarabs were found in the fourth Semitic level, dated 1000 to 330 BC. Philistine Grave No. 5 was situated in a "Persian assembly". It contained an anthropoid clay coffin of the kind found at Beth Shan and a scarab of Ramesses IV. The Gezer evidence is clear. A Persian Level tomb contains the scarab of a 20th Dynasty pharaoh and a "Philistine" coffin. This totally aligns with Velikovsky claim that the 20Th Dynasty occurred in the Persian era. Furthermore, no Philistine pottery was associated with them [Dothan, p. 52 n. 153].


An expedition to Saqqara led by Emery found a massive brick wall enclosure, 30x40 yards, within which were found offering stones, graffiti in black ink and Demotic script dating from the 3rd to 5th century BC, temple furniture, 300 bronze statuettes of fine quality and wooden statues all dated after 525 BC. Some of the papyri pieces were written in Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Persian era, Late Period Demotic and even Greek uncials of the Ptolemaic era. The temple was dated from the Saite to the Ptolemaic era. Emery found

"... a blue cobra with the cartouche of Ramesses X, a furniture fragment with the cartouche of Ramesses XI and a wooden door of a miniature shrine with a cartouche of Amasis II" [Bacon, 1971, p. 233].

A door of Ramesses II was also present. Emery claimed the Ramesses fragments are "temple heirlooms" from the 12th century. However, this creates a problem. Yet, there is nothing in archaeology of the site to say that the "heirlooms" were not contemporary with the temple. The reason is solely Egyptian chronology - Ramesses X and XI cannot be assigned to the Persian period. It should not totally surprise us that something from Ramesses II is present. Ramesses II died within 30 years of the invasion by Cambyses. This makes Ramesses II a contemporary of Amasis II.

One more evidence in this argument must be mentioned. At Beth Shan, mentioned in a previous chapter, there is the largest number of finds of ancient Egyptian artefacts in Palestine, especially, 19th Dynasty finds.  They occurred not in the Late Bronze IIB as would be expected according to orthodoxy but in Iron IIA. Orthodoxy supposed that they originated in Late Bronze IIB and were moved by someone at some time for some unknown reason. This is a very troubling assumption. It has no evidential basis. Rowe, the original excavator, reported finding these artefacts in situ. Archeology finds at Beth Shean place Ramesses II and Ramesses III in Iron II.

First Conclusion

In the conventional view the 20th Dynasty is dated to the 12th century. This claim is undermined by three observations. The presence of the Philistines in the time of Abraham; the failure of the Egyptians to mention Philistines in the centuries following the 21st Dynasty and the Ptolemies, who used Pel/rest to identify the Persians. There can be no recovery from these three observations. Perest were Persians. This is confirmed by coffins without mummified remains, the numerous comparisons of Persian motifs and Greek letters. Also, there are many comparisons in architecture with the Ptolemies. The assignment to the Persian time makes complete sense.

Already we have concluded that the dates of the Amarna letters must be lowered from the 14th century to the early 9th century where with Torr's Greek archaeologists placed the Greek Late Helladic IIIA pottery. The dates of the 19th Dynasty must be lowered from the 13th /12th century to the 7th /6th century in Iron II as per the evidence at Beth Shan and the stratigraphy of Anatolia. The 20th Dynasty must follow a 7th/ 6th 19th Dynasty. There is no immediate connection to the 19th Dynasty. Only the Egyptian 4th century rebellion against Persia can contain the 20th/ 21st Dynasty.

We can now piece the entire revision by archaeological periods Egyptian Dynasties and Revision Dynasties.

TABLE 13 -The Entire Revision

Archaeological Periods

Archa'l Subperiods

Egyptian Dynasty

Petrian Dates



Montgomery Dates

Middle Bronze











Late Bronze






















Iron Age





Iron I





Iron IIA





Iron IIB





Iron III



26th-30th/ 20th-21st





310-46 BC


310-46 BC


The 21st Dynasty

I hesitate to write a whole chapter on this dynasty. So, I decided to write a brief appendage to this chapter. The 21st Dynasty is connected to the 20th Dynasty. The two Dynasties are connected by Ramesses XI who had a High Priest of Amun named Herihor. Herihor and Nesbanebdad sent a prince named Wenamon to Phoenicia to get wood for the royal bark.  Also, the "suppression" of the High Priest Amenhotep is connected to Ramesses IX in a 21st Dynasty document. Thus, both Dynasties are connected in the Persian era. Manetho gives this Dynasty 130 years. This is likely 430 to 300 BC.

The history of the 21st Dynasty is still difficult to piece together due to lack of texts. Manetho's list starts the 21st Dynasty with Nesbanebdjed-meriamun or Smendes I. Then Amenemnisu ruled and he was followed by Psusennes I (Pasibkhanu-meryamun) who ruled for 46 years. Next was Amenomope, who reigned 9 years. According to Manetho the 5th pharaoh was Osorchor the Elder and was succeeded by a strangely named pharaoh Psinaches [Gardiner]. The last pharaoh of the dynasty was Si-Amun.

Suppose Manetho, a Greek speaking priest, has made the Egyptian k into a Greek chi. This could mean the Psinaches less the Greek es ending represents Psink. Now the Greeks have no "sh" and perhaps the Psi is an attempt at Shesh which turns the name into Sheshink easily recognizable now as Sheshonq, a Libyan name. Thus, Osorchor the Elder, a Libyan name, preceded Psinches (Sheshonq) who was also a Libyan.  Many books now omit Psinches among the pharaohs because they have found no trace of him. Yet, in the 21st Dynasty tomb of Psusennes I, we find in the vestibule the coffin of Heqakheperre Sheshonq. Heqkheperre was wearing a gold pectoral around his neck that had belonged to Sheshonq I the long dead pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty. But neither building nor offerings can be found of Heqakheperre in any the 22nd Dynasty area. This creates a huge problem for Egyptologists, namely without a connection between Heqakheperre and the 22nd Dynasty there is no connection to the two dynasties at all.

What inscriptions exist to describe this Sheshonq? Breasted [Section 740-3] translates an inscription of an Osorkon Meryamen with unknown prenomem) whose son was the King's Son and High Priest of Amun. He married Maatkare, the daughter of Psusennes. What if this Osorkon Meryamen is Osorchor the Elder. He is mysterious because he had no tomb, or so it is thought. Osorchor's son, King's Son, High Priest of Amon, is then Heqakheperrre Sheshonq, the Psinches of Manetho, the next in line to the throne. He was followed in Manetho by Si-Amun. No sign of Heqakheperre Sheshonq's (II) reign has ever been found within the 22nd Dynasty. Thus, there is no connection between the 21st Dynasty and the 22nd Dynasty. This leaves the orthodoxy with an enigma.

Si-Amun was a special king. In his day the mummies of many pharaohs were moved to safety to prevent tomb robbery. The mummies were wrapped by various priests, sometimes with the names and always with the date and the priest responsible. In a special cache the coffins were stacked in a tunnel and sealed, not to be opened until the 19th century.

This produced a mystery. In the tunnel was a mummy of a priest of the 22nd Dynasty. It was in a position that could not be moved without removing many coffins in front of it. How did a 21st Dynasty king store this 22nd Dynasty priest and why would it have been placed anywhere but in the final space available in the tunnel [Velikovsky, 1977]? Another mystery was a canopy of Pinedjem II discovered in the tunnel, which showed a design reminiscent of the Late or Ptolemaic Period. These problems were never truly resolved. However, for Velikovsky there is no problem as he had placed the closing of the cache in the Ptolemaic period.


The first major excavation of Tanis was done by Petrie. He described the site and its many artefacts that were reused again and again by subsequent pharaohs. Montet would later recognize that many items at Tanis had been dragged there from Pi-Ramesses and reused. It did make the excavating a challenging experience. Which blocks were native to the site and which had been transported? One thing that looked harmless was a wall build around the main temple. It was made from blocks fitted together to form a wall many feet thick. On each block was the name of Psusennes (Pasibkanu). The wall base was level with the base of the temple. It was obviously was built at about the same time.  

Petrie discovered,

"In the northeast corner there is a pavement under about 18 feet of earth, even below the level of the base of the (temple) wall, in which a block re-worked with part of the cartouches of Sheshonk I, or II, or III (was found). [Petrie, p. 21]"


The re-used piece had a cartouche of a Libyan "Sheshonq", which must precede the building of the pavement. Petrie thought this pavement was later than the 22nd Dynasty and suggested it might belong to Taharka of the Ethiopian 25th dynasty circa 700 BC [Petrie, 21]. This is a problem. The pavement was 18 feet beneath the surface and below the base of the wall surrounding the temple courtyard built by Psusennes I. From the stratigraphic considerations such a pavement must have been built before the building of Psusennes' wall and the Sheshonk cartouche was older than the pavement. Thus, the stratigraphic order is:  22nd to 25th to 21st Dynasties. 

Petrie imagined that the pavement had been built after the construction of the temple 18 feet below and that it had been filled in as time went by. Then houses and structures of the Ptolemaic period were then built at the same level of the base of the temple and wall. This story leaves much to be desired. First, if the wall stood for 100 years from 1050 to 945, why is there 22nd and 25th material lying 18 feet underneath the wall? This all seems rather contrived.

In 1939, Montet [Montet], in his eleventh year of excavations at Tanis, found the tomb of Osorkon II of the 22nd Dynasty and a fabulous quartzite sarcophagus for Osorkon's son, Takelot II. Nearby he also discovered two foundational deposits of an Osorkon at the point where the South Gate of the temple ought to have stood. This demonstrated that a southern pylon gateway of the Temple of Amun had existed at one time but had been destroyed. 

More revealing was the fact that the tomb of Psusennes had been built next to it. More rooms in the tomb were required and the expansion required that part of the tomb of Osorkon II had to be removed to allow the extra rooms in the tomb. This tells us that the 21st Dynasty tomb was built after the 22nd Dynasty tomb.










Figure 2 Tomb. of Psusennes I

Photo by Leon Mauldin     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This indicates a broad re-building activity over the entire site and not just the gateway pylon. Also nearby were the tombs of Sheshonk III and Osorkon II. These tombs like the Sheshonk III pylon also contained re-used blocks from the Ramesses II and Ramesses III.

Rohl made an investigation of this problem and demonstrated that the architects had no room to locate the tomb elsewhere and had to build a retaining wall on one side for stability. He agreed with Velikovsky that the Psusennes I tomb could not have preceded that of Osorkon II [Rohl]. There remains the question of just how long after Osorkon II did Psusennes reign?  On a bracelet from Psusennes funerary equipment Montet found an inscription: "The king, master of two lands...Psusennes, given life." The word "king", n-s-w, was formed by using the hieroglyph of a baboon holding an eye. This spelling was used in the Ptolemaic era8. Furthermore, the word "good" n-t-r was spelled with a hawk - also a feature of the Ptolemaic era. This suggested that the 21st Dynasty ruled in the final decades of the late Egyptian dynasties as Velikovsky claimed and did not overlap the 22nd Dynasty as Rohl and others proposed.




Ramesses IX and Ramesses XI are connected to the early kings of Tanis and High Priests of Amun. They precede Ramesses III. The temple of Psusennes I has been built after Pharaoh Taharqa, 18 feet above his pavement. The 21st Dynasty tomb of Psusennes I was built after the tomb of Osorkon II as he cut into its side. The Royal Cache that Si-Amon created was filled with mummies including one of the High Priest of Amun of the 22nd Dynasty. Lastly, the language of the tomb of Psusennes I included a Ptolemaic spelling of king. The order of the dynasties is clear.



References - Chapter 7

Bacon, E. 1971. Archaeology: Discoveries in the 1960's, Praeger Publishers, NY, p. 233

Bosticco, S.1958. Egypt, Encyclopaedia of World Art, Vol. IV, NY, p.613

Brugsch, E., 1886. On et Onion, Recueil de Travaux relatives a la philology at l'archeologie egyptiennes et assyriennes, Vol. VIII, p. 5

Breasted, W. J, 1932. Assyrian Relief Sculpture and the Influence of Egyptian Art, Studies Presented to F. Li. Griffith, (London, pp. 270-271

Cerbo, C and Jasnow, R. 2006. History of Work on Medinet Habu Graffiti, SAOC: Occasional Proceedings of the Theban Workshop, University of Chicago and Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago.]

Cooney, J.D., 1965 Persian Influence in Late Egyptian Art, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. IV, 1965, pp. 41-42 and Plate XXIII

Dothan, T. 1982. The Philistines and their Material Culture, pp. 51-54

Gardner, Alan. 1966. Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford University Press, p.447

Ghirshman, R. 1964.The Art of Ancient Iran, NewYork, pp. 160-165, 170-172, 174-175, 192-193

Greenberg, L., 1977, Peoples of the Sea': An Art Historical Perspective, SIS Review Vol II. No 1 (Autumn 1977)

Griffith, F.L., 1887. The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias, Egyptian Exploration Fund, p.41

Lewis, T.H., 1881. Tel-el-Yahoudeh, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Vol. VII, p.189

Montet, P. 1942. Psusennes, p. 55,56

Naville, E., 1887. The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias, Egyptian Exploration Fund.

Rohl, D. 1995. Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest, Crown Publishers, NY, pp. 91-107

W. M. Flinders Petrie, 1883-4, Tanis Vol I, 2nd Ed., London: Trubner & co.

Velikovsky, I. 1977. Peoples of the Sea, Doubleday, Garden City. NY.







Ages in Order: The Bible Under Revisionism


In the Beginning

As shown in previous chapters, there is a discrepancy of 500 years between the Egyptian dates and the Greek archaeological dates, the biblical dates and Assyrian dates. There is a second discrepancy of 660-700 years between the Egyptian and the Assyrian dates that the Hittitologists of the early excavations used. A third discrepancy between the Egyptian dates and archaeological dates of the 20th /21st Dynasty of 800 years.  When one uses the non-Egyptian dates, the historical picture that emerges is quite different than the orthodox picture. Among the chief beneficiaries of the new historical picture is religion and in particular the credibility of the Bible.

The first consequence that emerges is the ceramic picture. Removing 500 years from the conventional dates lowers the dates for Greek Late Helladic pottery so that they overlap the 8th/7th century Geometric pottery. This means the so-called "Greek Dark Ages" no longer exist. The Dark Age where Greece had no history, no architecture and no literature for 500 years disappears and is no longer a problem. The secondary ad hoc suppositions of mainstream investigators to explain the dark age enigmas are no longer necessary as there are no enigmas to explain. This is the main argument in support of revisionist dates. 

Our investigation shows a second consequence. The Greek Helladic pottery chronology when applied to various archaeological sites (el-Amarna, Thebes in Greece, Nimrod, Samaria and Tell Brak) in the time of the El-Amarna letters puts the letters and the end of the 18th Dynasty in the 9th century. It is not just the pottery that supports this but the politics of 9th century Israel also independently agrees with the politics of the Amarna letters. During the 9th century in Israel two major powers of the day were the Egyptians and the Hittites. The Egyptian allies were very nervous about the advance of the Hittites into Syria. There was also a significant minor power, the King of Aram, which was attacking regimes loyal to Egypt. The Aramaic kingdom of Ben Hadad I attacked Samaria during the reign of Jehoram but he retreated, fearing that the. Israelites had hired the Kings of Egypt and Hatti as allies [2 Kings 7:6]. This is the very same politics attending the Amarna letters.

Going back a century, our investigation also reveals synchronisms between the mid-18th Dynasty and the reign of King Solomon and his son, Rehoboam. The Queen of Sheba was the Chief Wife of Thutmose II in the reign of Solomon and she visited Israel to see the wonders of King Solomon about which she had heard. After her death her son became pharaoh and invaded Israel, otherwise known as King Shishak in the Bible. Thus, using the correct chronological dates, we can now identify these people and their historical events in the Late Bronze I. The time of Solomon is the late 11th and early 10th century, that is, the middle 18th Dynasty, or in archaeological terms Late Bronze IB. It was a very wealthy era in Egypt and in Israel. The placement of King Solomon as described in the Bible, into a very wealthy Late Bronze I environment is appropriate. It makes archaeological sense also that this wealthy era was experienced in other lands such as Egypt. The poverty of Iron II level, where orthodoxy places King Solomon, is entirely unsuited to the wealth described in the Bible. This removes a serious objection to the reality of King David and King Solomon raised by skeptical scholars.

The beginning of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Ahmose I ruled. He defeated the Hyksos who had been ruling Egypt for centuries. According to standard reign lengths he would have rule in the last third of King Saul's reign, starting about 1080 BC. According to Josephus the Hyksos had reigned either 511 or 518 years, putting their beginning at 1591 0r 1598 BC. This is the revisionist date for the Exodus.

In Acts 13:20 it states that the judges ruled from Joshua to Samuel for 450 years. Including Moses, it would be 490 years before King Saul, whose reign begins in this chronology at 1106 BC (1591-490 -see Appendix A). Then we can use 40 years for King David and so the start of his reign is 1066 BC, within 2 decades of the start of the 18th Dynasty. This result shows the Exodus 1591 BC was about the same date as the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt. The pharaoh of Egypt at the time was unable to resist this invasion. The reason pharaoh could not resist them was that his army lay dead under the waves of the Red Sea. The Hyksos pharaohs did not leave Egypt to attack its neighbours. Thus, when Israelites attacked and subdued the native tribes of Canaan, they did not find Egyptian forces.

The archaeological era before Ahmoses I is the Middle Bronze II. It is only in the Middle Bronze II that we find archaeological evidence of the Exodus and in particular the destruction of Jericho and the worship centre in Shiloh. Thus, using Late Helladic pottery dates leads us to date the Exodus where the archaeological evidence supports the biblical Exodus. From the end of the 18th Dynasty in Egypt and the Divided Kingdom in Israel is a series of historical, archaeological and political evidences that connect Israel and Egypt all the way back to the Exodus. This cannot be coincidence.


Velikovsky pointed out that Ugarit had Carian tombs. In a typical tomb well-arranged stone steps lead to a sepulchral chamber with arched ceiling. In Cyprus 90 miles away in Trachonas more Carian tombs had also been found. Gjerstad of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition noticed the similarities to the Ugarit Carian tombs. Schaeffer commented,

"Those (tombs) in Cyprus are considerably later and continue down to the 7th and 6th century according to the Swedish excavators (quoting Gjerstad). One might therefore consider these Cypriot tombs as later copies of the chamber tombs at Ras ShamraÉ. Some 500 years lie between the Trachonas tomb and those of Ras Shamra.[Schaeffer, 1939, p.29]."

This is the 500-year Greek Dark Ages again. It means the Ras Shamra tombs actually date from the 9th to 6th century.

Some Ugarit tablets written by King Nikmed were found. [Dhorme, 1931].  This caused controversy because Nikmed or perhaps Nikomedes was an Ionian name. The translators were required to answer how the 14th century king could have an Ionian name of the 9th century at the earliest. No answer was readily available. Then the name Jm'an appeared, which means Ionia, and then the name Didymeus, a city in Ionia, appeared and continued the mystery. The name of the god Apollon Didymeus, patron god of the city Didymeus appeared on yet another tablet. All these were unknown in the 13th and 14th century of the orthodox chronology. Nothing like this was known before the 8th century BC, 500-600 years later.

Ugarit tablets had a stroke between written words to facilitate reading. Ninety miles to the east Cypriots also had an alphabetic language where the words were separated by a similar stroke. The problem lay in the fact that the Cypriotes did not do this until 600 BC, many centuries after Ugarit had supposedly disappeared. The 700-year gap is of course not real. It is caused by the misdating of the19th Dynasty and, of course, the Hittite Empire in orthodoxy. The solution is to move the reign of Ramesses II almost 700 years forward, which coincidently removes the dark age gaps in Hittite Anatolia.


Ugarit excavators also discovered a major repository of Ugaritic texts. Its importance cannot be over emphasized. Ugarit was not just a major trading partner in the Mediterranean and connected to different regions but also an intellectual centre as well.  Libraries in Ugarit contained lexicons that greatly aided in the translation of languages of the ancient world. Documents in Sumerian and Akkadian were easily read. The third language was the one the people of Ugarit used themselves. The language was written in cuneiform with 36 signs. Therefore, the script was alphabetic. It soon became apparent that with the correct substitution of 36 Hebrew letters for the cuneiform signs that the third language was Hebrew.

This was very surprising because these texts were supposedly centuries earlier than any Israelite texts. It had to be deemed "early Canaanite" and not Hebrew leaving the impression that the Israelites adopted early Canaanite language and culture after the Conquest. Furthermore, the earliest Israelite text would not be written for another 500 years. If you think this is a strange conclusion you are not alone.

According to the Israelites the Canaanites were an immoral and wicked people. Scholars were expecting their religious and historical documents to show great vice and iniquity compared to Israelite religion. This simply was not so. In fact, the Ugaritic texts showed the opposite. They had literature of high moral tone just like the Israelites. Even the name of Jahu (Jahweh) was found among Ugarit's texts. This was strange because Yahweh was supposedly given to Moses as the name of Israel's God before the Exodus in the 13th century (sic), 200 years later than the Ugaritic texts. Had the Israelites stolen the name of their God from the Phoenicians? This, too, is a strange conclusion to give ancient 'Hebrew' texts.

Ugaritic mythological poems used imagery similar to that found the Old Testament and often employing the same wording. Leviathan is the "crooked serpent" (Isaiah 27:1). It has several heads (Psalms 74:14). There is an expression put into the mouth of El which sounds like a reference to the great feat of tearing asunder the sea of Jam Suph. The verb used in the Ugarit poem, to tear asunder is g-z-r, is the same verb used in Psalm 136:13. All this existed before Moses!

Given the orthodox dates scholars reached the conclusion that long before the Exodus and the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, the story was already known to the Canaanites [Dussand, p. 61]. Ugaritic poetry also had the same meter as Israelite poetry, its division into feet of three syllables and the parallelisms just as found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Even the rules of Ugaritic and Hebrew poetry and its vocabulary were the same [Jack]! The scholars of that day thought they knew the reason for this,

"The traditions, culture and religions of the Israelites are linked inextricably with the early Canaanites. The compilers of the Old Testament were fully aware of this; hence their obsession to break with such a past and to conceal their indebtedness to it [Schaeffer, 1939, p.59]."

Actually, it indicates nothing of the kind. We now understand the Exodus occurred in the Middle Bronze II in the 16th century BC and that the Late Bronze occurred from the 11th to the 9th century. In this scenario the name Yahweh came to Moses 500 years before the Ugaritic texts were created. The supposed 15th - 13th century Ugaritic texts are actually 11th -6th century in the time of David to Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Israel's culture and God were not stolen from Ugarit.

It is obvious that, like the 600-year-plus gap of the Ramesside/ Hittite problem, the Ugaritic dates must be advanced and then the anachronisms of Carian tombs, textual separators and Israelite copying of Ugaritic texts disappear. Velikovsky stated it thusly,

"Even in minute details the life in Ras Shamra of the fifteenth century and the life of Jerusalem some six to seven hundred years later were strikingly similar" [Velikovsky, p. 181]

Velikovsky also stated regarding the role of chronology in guiding the academics into confusion as follows,

"É(similar) style and meter, religious myths and cult, old customs, weights and measures, medical science, apparel and jewellery, emphasized and re-emphasized by modern scholars, would definitely point to the co-existence of Ugarit and Jerusalem of the ninth and eighth century were it not for one obstacle (chronology) [Velikovsky, p.182]."  

Occam's Razor says that the most likely hypothesis is the simplest. This would imply that Ugarit and Israel were contemporaneous. And if so, it provides a powerful argument for a multi-century chronological correction to Ugarit's dates? Ugarit dating would then agree with the 3 chronologies, Late Helladic, Assyrian and Israelite and add one additional city where the archaeology demands that the date of 18th Dynasty is 11th to 9th century.

Pious Fraud?

If the Egyptian chronology is not corrected what does scholarship say about the Scriptures? Redford, an Egyptologist, has critiqued the biblical Exodus thus,

"A detailed comparison of this version of the Hebrew takeover of Palestine with the extra-Biblical evidence totally discredits the former. Not only is there a complete absence, as we have seen, in the records of the Egyptian empire of any mention or allusion to such a whirlwind of annihilation, but also Egyptian control over Canaan and the very cities Joshua is supposed to have taken scarcely wavered during the entire period of the Late Bronze Age [Redford, p. 265]

It must be stressed here that Redford is not being overly critical or biased. Like other archaeologists, even biblical archaeologists, he fails to consider the Exodus in any period outside the Late Bronze. His entire critique is thus invalidated if the Middle Bronze is chosen for the time of the Exodus. He continued,

"Far more damaging É is the archaeological record. Sites such as Hormah, Arad, Jericho, Ai, and Jarmuth had indeed suffered violent destruction, but this had been during the Early Bronze Age or at the end of Middle Bronze and during the Late Bronze Age they had laid unoccupied (save for squatters); others such as Kadesh Barnea, Heshbon, and Gibeon were not to be settled until the Iron Age" [Redford, p. 265].

His characterization of Late Bronze Israelite sites is not unfair but removing the Exodus to the Middle Bronze makes all his criticisms moot.

Curiously enough, Redford's criticisms actually support Velikovsky. The Ramesses capital, Pi-Ramesses, is regarded by liberal scholars as connected to the biblical reference to the "land of Raameses". Redford [Redford, 1963]. Redford challenged the 13th century date for the writing of the Exodus account by pointing to the fact that the biblical cities, Raamses, Pi-Thom and Succoth occurred in Egyptian texts of the 7th and 6th centuries of the Late Period. Why do cities abandoned for over 600 years suddenly reappear in Egyptian texts of the Saite Period? Why are there two sets of mentions of Pi-Ramesses, one in the era of Ramesses II and another in the 7th to 5th centuries? Is this not the Dark Age of Anatolia all over again? Could it be that the 7th / 6th century Pi-Ramesses is the real Pi-Ramesses and could it be that the 13th century mentions of Pi-Ramesses are misdated because the 19th Dynasty is misdated? If the 19th Dynasty is dated to the time of the Hittite Empire of the 7th / 6th century then the two sets of mentions of Pi-Ramesses are joined into one, which removes the anomaly and the Dark Ages of Anatolia.

In fact, Pi-Ramesses is mentioned again in a temple under the reign of Nekhthorheb at Bubastis. According to Kitchen Pi-Ramesses was abandoned by 1130 BC in the 20th Dynasty and went uninhabited. Its gods were ignored until Pharaoh Nekhthorheb in the 4th century - an 800-year gap, just like the one demonstrated by Naville and Griffith on previous pages [Kitchen, 2003. p. 256]. Kitchen, a little too vehemently, discounts the worship of Amun-of-Pi-Ramesses (not mentioned in Egypt before the 19th Dynasty) in fourth century Tanis and Bubastis as 'religious archaeology' (an apparent revival of long-dead worship for no apparent reason) and thus he claimed was not relevant to the recording of Pi-Ramesses in the Pentateuch. But, Redford's dating of Pi-Ramesses inscriptions from 650 - 425 BC is remarkably close to Velikovsky's dating of the 19th and 20th Dynasty.

Another scholar, Noth, proposed the infiltration model [Noth]. They reasoned that since there was no change in the cultural artifacts in Israel between the Late Bronze and Iron Age, the Israelites came in gradually, adopting the Canaanite culture as their own. He assumes that the first appearance of the Israelites in the stratigraphy is at the Iron I level. According to Torr the Iron I pottery, Late Helladic IIIC, is 8th century. According to excavation at Tel el-Farah, cemetery 200 contained Iron I pottery and artifacts of the Libyan Dynasty. This is nowhere near the era of the Judges and many centuries after the Israelite settlement. This makes non-sense of his narrative. Mendenhall [Mendenhall] and Gottwald [Gottwald 1979] advocated the internal revolt model which says the Israelites were a submerged culture in Canaan, revolted against their rule, fled to the hills and later returned to conquer the lowlands. This theory fails to explain why the Israelites believe that they lived in Egypt for centuries.

The latest speculation of the no-Exodus answer was detailed by an archaeological named Finkelstein, author of a popular secular book called "The Bible Unearthed" [Finkelstein and Silberman]. His book was very popular and hailed in newspapers and magazines as proving that the Bible was untrue [Bethune; Lazare]. According to Finkelstein all the historical books of the Bible were written no earlier than the 7th century and its purpose was to set up an historical narrative so that Josiah king of Judah could effectively establish a claim on the now defunct northern kingdom of Samaria.

With respect to the book of Joshua he states,

"The book of Joshua is a classic literary expression of the yearnings and fantasies of a people at a certain time and place. The towering figure of Joshua is used to evoke a metaphorical portrait of Josiah, the would-be saviour of Israel" [Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, p. 95].

This means that, not only is the book of Joshua unhistorical but it is even a pious fraud created by priests to further the political ambitions of King Josiah of Judah.

Joshua and the Jebusite City

Finkelstein's claims are based primarily on archaeology and he does not appear to know much of the text of Joshua. Although acclaimed by many secularists there are many difficulties in establishing this view. Joshua allotted different territories to the tribes of Israel. Among the cities allocated to Benjamin was the 'Jebusite city' [Joshua 18:28]. To this statement a later editorial remark has been inserted that states this is 'Jerusalem'. This note has been added later because the name Jebusite was an anachronism to the later reader and its later identity needed to be clarified. The question is, why did a 7th century pious fraud invent the "Jebusite City", which had been taken by King David over 400 years before? No 7th century author would ever have to clarify that the invented name 'Jebusite city' was Jerusalem.

The book of Judges also states that the early Israelites did not take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and that the Jebusites remained there "to this day" [Judges 1:21]. Again a 7th century pious-fraud-priest would never have written this statement 400 years after David had captured and renamed it. The phrase "to this day" is internal evidence in Judges that the book was completed before King David reigned. King David first ruled in the 11th century, which according to Torr, was in the Late Bronze IA. Thus Joshua and Judges are books written before Late Bronze IA or in other words, in the Middle Bronze II.

Another consideration is the list of names of the places the Israelites traveled through expressed in Numbers 33.  Places names, such as Rithmah, Rimmon-Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah and Mount Sepher, do not appear in any other texts in the Bible. They certainly are unnamed in the 8th/7th century Israelite history or prophets. In the 7th century BC who would know the names of these obscure places? What advantage would a pious-fraud-priest have in naming places no longer extant in current or historical literature?


The best of Finkelstein's arguments centre on the Exodus cities of Egypt, namely Raamses, Pi-Thom and Succoth, identified by Kitchen as Pi-Ramesses, Tell er-Retabeh and Tell el-Maskhuta. At the last site, Holladay, the excavator of Tell el-Maskhuta, has identified only Middle Bronze strata followed by Iron Age II 7th century strata. This was determined from imported Phoenician pottery of the 7th century, in particular, the "torpedo" vases. Thus, Finkelstein claimed that during the Late Bronze there was no city there for the Israelites to record in the Pentateuch. Thus, the Israelites texts were written only after the reappearance of Tell el-Maskhuta in the 7th century BC.

This statement is not universally accepted. Kitchen points to historic finds that were made at Tell el-Maskhuta: namely, a rhetorical stele of Ramesses II, statues of Ramesses II and one of his sons [Kitchen 2003, p. 257]. This weakens Finkelstein case. However, there is no 13th century pottery in the strata, which weakens Kitchen's case.

How then do 13th century statues end up in a 7th century town? One could speculate that somebody moved them there. This is unnecessary. Or we could suggest that Ramesses II was a 7th/6th century pharaoh, reigning during the imperial age of the Hittites and placing a 7th century Egyptian garrison at Beth Shan in Iron IIA. The appearance of 7th century Phoenician pottery at Tell el-Maskhuta is exactly what Velikovsky would predict. There is no conflict of data according to Velikovsky. The conflict is based solely on a false Egyptian chronology. This makes Finkelstein's argument for a 7th century Pentateuch moot.


Bible Expertise

The Pentateuch's text displays knowledge of contemporary times that would not be available in the 7th century. It contains details about geography, occupations, customs and history contemporaneous to the events referred to. The language of the Pentateuch contains the highest percentage of loan words from Egyptian [Archer, p 111-118]: zeret,  a hand span; ephah and hin, measures of grain; gome, a papyrus; and shesh, fine linen are all words taken from the Egyptian. The Pentateuch also contains archaic spellings of words for 'she' and 'that', not used in the later biblical texts. This would suggest that the Pentateuch was written well before the texts of the later historical books.

The author of the Pentateuch shows familiarity with Egyptian life and customs [Archer, p 111-118]. Israelites carry Egyptian names like Phineas, Hophni, Pashhur and Merari. The author of the Pentateuch is familiar with the offices of Pharaoh's court and how Pharaoh exalts a person to high position including a chariot parade and the giving of the signet ring. The signet ring is distinctly Egyptian. It does not occur in other national courts.

The Exodus author is familiar with Egyptian flora and fauna. In particular, some animals that are designated unclean in Exodus and Leviticus, such as the ostrich, are native to Egypt or Sinai but not Canaan. The hide of the dugong, also not native to Canaan, was used in the building of the Tabernacle. Acacia wood not native to Canaan was used in the construction of the Ark of the Covenant. Would a 7th century Judean author who lived in the era of the first temple have invented the use of these materials in Israelite worship?

The Pentateuch's author understands Egyptian geography. He uses Egyptian place names and assumes his readers know them also. For example, in describing the verdant Jordan Valley he compares it to the "land of Egypt as you go towards Zoar," as though the reader knows Egypt better than the Jordan [Gen 13:10]. He describes Hebron (using the archaic name Kirjath Arba) as being founded "7 years before Zoan" [Num 13:22] as though his readers knew when Zoan was founded.

The Pentateuch also uses different terms for the Divinity than later Bible books. It used 'YHWH thy God', which the prophets used infrequently. On the other hand, the prophets frequently used 'YHWH Sebaot' or 'Yahweh of the hosts' or 'Lord of hosts'. This phrase is used 67 times in Isaiah and 83 times by Jeremiah. It also occurs in post-exilic prophetic books. However, the name does not occur in the Pentateuch. This is in agreement with the previous point that the Pentateuch was written well before the times of the prophets of Israel and Judah.

In the Pentateuch there is also no mention of music or temple singers installed by King David. Nor is there mention of the order of scribes (soperim) or the order of the temple servants (nethinim) that had existed centuries. Surely, a pious 7th century author would have mentioned these groups in the Pentateuch for how, without written history, would they have known to omit them. As previously, these facts support a Pentateuch that is a pre-monarchial composition.

A text invented by 7th century Judean nationalists as Finkelstein claims would portray Jerusalem in a prominent political and spiritual role in the Pentateuch. However, the Pentateuch fails to mention Jerusalem. The failure to do so is even more conclusive evidence concerning the date of the Pentateuch text. Even in Joshua and Judges the prominent political and spiritual roles are given to Gilgal, Shechem and Shiloh. However, they played an insignificant role in the post-Davidic kingdom. Their inclusion in the Pentateuch is understandable from the point of view of a pre-Davidic author but not from the view of a 7th century author.


In the beginning of this book it was questioned whether Egyptian chronology should have overruled the Greek archaeologists of the 19th century. Applying Torr's dates for Late Helladic pottery produces many solutions to many intractable problems. The intractable problems are dealt with in orthodoxy by supposing secondary hypotheses, which cannot be demonstrated but merely accepted or rejected. Torr works all the way back to the Exodus and agrees completely with Velikovsky's Israelite history. The two methodologies arriving at the same result cannot be coincidence.   

Conventional academics claim Israelite history are just traditions of other people or perhaps only a pious fraud.  The opportunity to indulge in these theories comes from unsatisfactory evidence for the Late Bronze Exodus theories. With the admission that the Exodus was a Middle Bronze II event all these theories are moot. The real danger in books like Finkelstein's is that it claims to be based on 'science'. However, behind the facts of science are assumptions that are open to question. When new assumptions are made the interpretation changes. The stubborn resistance to a new hypothesis is an old problem. Remember the geocentrists and Galileo.

Astronomers thought in the 2nd century AD that all the sun, moon, stars and planets circled the Earth. They crossed the sky in a smooth arc except for the planets, which moved across the sky, backtracked before moving ahead again. The astronomers assumed that the planets performed an inward circle called an epicycle to explain this motion. Other astronomers thought that everything circled the sun. Their ability to predict the positions of celestial objects, however, was poor. Not until the 16th century did Copernicus realize that the planets did not circle the sun in the same plane, the elliptic, but at an angle. That greatly improved the accuracy of the solar model.  Kepler identified that the orbit of Mars was not circular but elliptical. This gave its orbit eccentricity. The new assumptions in astronomy swung the opinion to heliocentrism and the old epicycles and geocentrism disappeared. A new paradigm was born.

Similarly, assuming a chronology that uses the agreement of Torr, Assyrian chronology and Israelite chronology changes the shape of the ancient world. The consequences of Torr / Velikovsky revision are all supportive of a return to a more historical view of the biblical narrative. The Exodus becomes a Middle Bronze event- no longer subject to misinformed theories like Finkelstein. The powerful and rich 18th Dynasty no longer occupies the same place as the Moses but the era of the United Kingdom. Pi-Ramesses is no longer an option for the land of Raamses and the Philistines did not arrive with Sea Peoples. Anomalies like dark ages, duplicate cultures and speculative theories of the formation of the biblical text all become obsolete, just like geocentrism. The evidence speaks for itself.

Bibliography - Chapter 9

Archer, Gleason. 1982. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Difficulties, Zondervan, Grand Rapids Michigan.

Bethune, B., 2002. Is the Good Book Bad History? Maclean's (Dec. 9, 2002). Vol 155, No. 49

Dhorme, E., 1931, "Premiere traduction des textes phenicien de Ras Shamra" Revue biblique XL

Dussand, R., 1937. Les Decouverts de Ras Shamra  (Ugarit) et l'Ancien Testament, Paris, p. 61

Gjerstad, E. ,1934-37. The Swedish Cyprus Expedition Vol I, Stockholm 1927-1931, p. 405

Finkelstein, I. and Silberman, N.A., 2001. The Bible Unearthed, The Free Press, New York, NY

Gottwald, N., 1979. The Tribes of Yahweh, Orbis, Maryknoll, N.Y.

Jack, J.W., 1935. The Ras Sharma Tablets (Ugarit) et l'Ancien Testament, Edinburgh.] p.7&10

Kitchen, K.A., 2003. On the Reliability of the Old Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids.

Lazare, D., 2002. False Testament: Archaeology Refutes the Bible's Claim to History, Harper's, Mar 2002, Vol 304, No. 1822

Mendenhall, G.E., 1973. The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine, Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 25, pp.66-87

Noth, M., 1960. The History of Israel, Adam and Charles Black, London

Redford, D.B., 1963. Exodus I:11, Vetus Testamentum XIII, pp. 408-418 Leiden

Redford, D.B., 1992. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times, Princeton U. Press, p. 265

Schaeffer, E. 1939. The cuneiform texts of Ras Shamra, London, p.29

Velikovsky, I., 1952. Ages in Chaos, Doubleday & Co. Garden City, N.Y.




Velikovsky's revision put the put biblical Exodus back in the Middle Kingdom in Egypt. This removed a very nasty thorn from the side of the Old Testament. The archaeology of the Middle East now aligned with the historical texts of that time. It is impossible to think of a greater contribution to archaeology and chronology in the 20th century.

The general response of the academic community was immediate, derisive and mean spirited. How could such an academic schooled in psychology dare to challenge specialists' knowledge accumulated by Europe's brightest minds over a century of investigation. The rage was in only one direction. A few people realized the need to encourage the investigation and keep a sober mind in this debate, however, the publisher, MacMillan was put under some pressure not to publish the book. Eventually, some scholars threated to boycott MacMillan's textbooks. MacMillan caved and sold the publishing rights of Velikovsky to Doubleday.

The motivation in such cases is quite plain. The Academy is all about influence and prestige. Velikovsky was a nobody with an obvious "Jewish" nationalist agenda. To be challenged on the basic assumptions of their theories was deeply offensive to any and all serious scholars. A series of conferences were held in which his work was attacked by all speakers and the elite called him out as a "catastrophist" or worst a "fundamentalist". Eventually, the Academy was forced to hold a conference in which Velikovsky was allowed to respond and defend his work.

It really does not matter whether his defence was a good one. No mind at this conference was the slightest bit open to even the suggestion that investigation was warranted. The deeply held beliefs of the Academy were being challenged. They rallied around their leadership and like true theologians issued statements condemning the new heresy with all the certainty of a Papal bull. All that was missing was a burning at the stake. As I wrote in the final paragraph, the evidence speaks for itself. Condemning heretical evidence is done only by the insecure.

Velikovsky gave many speaking tours to spread the "word" and due to all the bad publicity had aroused the public's curiosity. Soon scholars with more open minds began to assist him. Velikovsky lacked extensive training in many fields and the questions raised required a much deeper analysis than he gave initially.

It was not until 1977 and 1978 that Velikovsky published the second and third volumes of Ages in Chaos. This introduced a 7th century 19th Dynasty with alter egos pharaohsin the Saite Dynasty and a 4th century 20th Dynasty again with alter egos in the 30th. This was a great stumbling block. Some revisionists, rejecting alter egos, tried to solve the riddle of chronological revision while keeping the same dynastic order.  Nobody seems to have considered the idea that the simple dividing of Egypt into two pieces might serve as well. The delta was ruled from Sais and Memphis and the south was ruled by Thebes.

The chiefest of those who clung to Manethoan dynastic order were Peter James and David Rohl. James did much to add stratigraphy to the picture adding many regions to the problem and assessing many of the gaps. He failed to join his data to Velikovsky's scheme. He described Velikovsky as "a wayward polymath".  He was actually ashamed of Velikovsky who had contributed so much and who ought to be honoured. 

Rohl's book started the revision of the Exodus from the Middle Bronze II. With glossy pages and a superb collection of pictures, he re-chronologized the Egyptian dynasties, shortening and overlapping liberally. He gained some credibility because he was an Egyptologist. Eventually, a PBS special was aired that brought a great deal of prestige to Rohl within the revisionist community. However, orthodoxy had no use for any revision. The problems of dynastic order within Egyptology have gone unnoticed through acceptance of convenient assumptions. For Rohl's revised numbers it was just as it was for Torr a century earlier. They had no real motivation to be open to just so revisions. The result was that Rohl used up all the air in the room. There has been little appetite for further revisionism by those in the mainstream.

The key flaw in James and Rohl from the view of Velikovskians was the failure to solve the problem of the Greek Dark Ages, which requires a shortening of Egyptian chronology by about 500 years. Velikovsky had used the 500-year gaps to justify his historical revision. For example, the Amarna letters needed to be in the 9th century. As James and Rohl chronologies are 150 and 250 years short, they had to place the Amarna letters where the political background was a poor match.

James and Rohl attempted many arguments against Velikovsky. Generally, they relied heavily on orthodox interpretations of the evidence, which in turn assumed orthodox relationships and dates. The 19th Dynasty, for example, was frequently associated with Late Bronze IIB, contrary to Velikovskian view. This requires a begging of the question. My article on Beth Shean showed clearly that Ramesses II deposits were not found in Late Bronze IIB but in Iron II. Thus, revisionist critics  had to challenge the "in situ" status of the Ramesside finds. They claimed that the finds were all removed from Late Bronze II and deposited in Iron II by unknown persons for unknown reasons at an unknown time and thus the finds were claimed to be intrusive - just as orthodoxy had claimed.  However, if one consumes orthodoxy without any attempt at reasoned criticism then how can one call oneself a revisionist?

I have prepared this book with the intent of demonstrating that with modification Velikovsky is still supported with the best evidence. Archaeology and stratigraphy can be merged with the historical method of Velikovsky. This leads to a contradiction in Egyptian chronology, which cannot be repaired. In integrated scheme accounting for the evidence shows clearly that Late Helladic pottery chronology, Assyrian chronology and Israelite chronology agree one with the other and Egyptian chronology is the odd man out. It cannot be redeemed with minor corrections. Egyptian chronology must be recalibrated to the other chronologies. I hope this solution will stimulate the reconsideration of Velikovsky. Amendments must be made to correct for some of his poorer speculations but such is progress. If you cannot agree I hope you have enjoyed the book anyway.










Abstract for Paper presented to the International Conference on Creationism (Pittsburgh)          

A new chronology is proposed which dates the Exodus at 1591 BC.  This chronology fully utilizes the biblical text, including the prophecies of Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  The results are shown to be consistent with known sabbatic and jubilee years. The archaeological consequences of dating the fall of Jericho to the Middle Bronze (1551 BC) are examined and followed through to the Iron Age. The new interpretation of Palestinian archaeological evidence suggested by the new chronology resolves some longstanding historical problems.



Scriptures have been written with much more profound purposes than chronology. Yet nowhere is it written that the details of the text are less true than the main message.  "In the Bible,  even if we regard it simply as the annals of the Hebrew race, we have a remarkable exception to the practice of all other nations of antiquity, in respect of keeping their national records, an exception so remarkable that it would be difficult or impossible to account for it apart from the Divine inspiration."  Mauro [11, p2] is referring to the Bible's quality of maintaining an unbroken series of written records that allow dating of events from Creation to Cyrus the Great. The credibility of biblical chronology is such that, until the 19th century,  scholars determined the age of the world from biblical chronology.  The most famous of the biblical chronologists was Archbishop Ussher whose 17th century chronology placed Creation at 4004 BC.  This chronology is still used in the margin of the King James and other versions of the Bible.  Some have claimed that Ussher placed creation at 9:00 a.m. October 23.  Actually, it  was proposed by Dr. John Lightfoot, a contemporary of Ussher [7, p6].


Inerrancy and Chronological Criteria

Jesus said that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). He gave His personal assurance that the Scripture is holy - free from impurity or corruption.  First it must be acknowledged that inerrancy is a doctrine of the Scriptures themselves. It does not need validation from rationalism or archaeology. Second, biblical inerrancy rests not just on divine inspiration but also on the divine interpretation of the Holy Spirit.  An inerrant Bible interpreted by human wisdom is insufficient. It is the author's intent not only to use the evidence of the inerrant Bible but also to yield to the Holy Spirit's interpretation.  This desire has resulted in deriving the following criteria:


Biblical sources must be preferred to secular sources;

All biblical chronological numbers must be accounted for, including prophecies;

The chronological numbers in the Bible must be taken at face value;

Textual variations of chronological numbers are allowed but non-textual considerations that contradict the text are not allowed; and

When biblical data are not available, other sources such as Josephus and Ptolemy may be used.


Any chronology that follows the above principles may be defined as a biblically inerrant chronology (BIC).  BICs are not necessarily unique and the construction below is not uniquely a BIC.  Yet, it soon becomes apparent BIC rules restrict outcomes more than might be expected.


Extra-biblical sources and astronomical dates

The Bible identifies dates only in terms of the reigns of its kings.  Contemporaneous historical records are not sufficient of themselves to connect biblical events with our system of numbering years Anno Domini  (AD).  Chronologists must rely on later writers, particularly Ptolemy, an astronomer who lived in the 3rd century AD in Alexandria, Egypt. He gave us Ptolemy's Canon that lists the kings of Babylon back to Nabonassar in 747 BC and which is accepted as accurate to that date.  Josephus, a Jewish general and historian, was given access to the holy books of the temple in Jerusalem before Titus destroyed it in 70 AD. From these he composed the Antiquities of the Jews, a Hebrew history from Creation to his own day.


Generally speaking, most ancient astronomical data are unreliable for pinpointing absolute dates.  In particular, Newton reports that the eclipses mentioned in Ptolemy's Syntaxis (also called The Almagest) are fabricated and " are useless for chronology" [12, p375]. These eclipses happened on the dates Ptolemy stated but he has calculated them according to his theories and then transferred the dates to other calendars. Under such methods any chronology, even a wrong one, would be consistent with the eclipses. Newton does refer to two astronomical texts that are useful because they are contemporaneous observations.   The first is dated to the 7th year of a king.  Data for Venus and Mars and a conjunction of Mercury are sufficient to pinpoint the year to 523-22 BC, the 7th year of Cambyses by the conventional chronology.  This would place the 1st of Cyrus at 538 BC.  In addition there is a document VAT 4956 which is dated to the 37th of Nebuchadnezzar and contains even more detailed observations. The positions of all the planets over many months are reported with their dates of observation. Together they form "quite strong confirmation"  of the date 568 BC for the 37th of Nebuchadnezzar [12, p375].


Daniel's prophecy and the Persian Empire

The initial date for this paper is AD 27, the date of Jesus' first Passover. This occurred 46 years after the commencement of Herod's temple (John 2:20) in 20 BC. (Note that AD 27 less 46 years is the year  -19 which, because there is no year 0, is 20 BC.) The timing of Jesus' ministry and death was prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27. From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the appearing of the Messiah was to be 69 weeks of years, i.e. 7x69 = 483 years. In the middle of the 70th week He was to put an end to sacrifices. The traditional Christian interpretation of Daniel [14, pp383-389] places the beginning of the 70 weeks at Artaxerxes I decree given to Ezra in his 7th year (Ezra 7:11-28). This was 483 years before the first year of Jesus ministry, 26 AD or 458 BC.  This agrees with the date calculated from the kings and reigns of  Ptolemy's Canon for  the 7th year of Artaxerxes I .  Then, 464 BC is year 1 of Artaxerxes I.  Contemporaneous Persian business and official records confirm the accepted reign lengths of the preceding Persian kings back to Cyrus the Great yielding 538 BC for the 1st year of Cyrus.  This is the year of his great edict releasing the Jews from Chaldean captivity in Babylon. Ptolemy's Canon gives the same date for the 1st of Cyrus.


Jeremiah and the dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar

Jeremiah prophesied in the 4th year of Jehoiakim that Judah and the nations would serve the Chaldeans king Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years (Jer 25:1-11).  The 70 years started in the 4th year of Jehoiakim (the same year Nebuchadnezzar, in his 1st year, defeated Pharaoh Necho in the battle of Carchemish (Jer 46:2)) and ended in the 1st year of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1; II Chr 36:21-23).  The 70 years should start 608 BC or perhaps 607 BC inclusive reckoning.  The fall of Jerusalem, 18 years later, ought to be dated to 590 or possibly 589 BC. In the second year of Darius the Great, 520 BC, in a prophetic message to Zechariah (Zech 1:1-12),  the Angel of the Lord pleads for mercy for Jerusalem with which God  has been angry 70 years (no temple had operated for 70 years). This should place the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 590 BC or 589 BC in agreement with Jeremiah's prophecy. Again (Jer 27:7) he prophesied that Nebuchadnez_zar, his son and his son's son would rule in Babylon until God judged them.  According to Josephus [9, I.20], a priest named Berossus wrote a history of Babylon . He said the first Chaldean king, Nabopollasar, ruled 21 years. Then came his son Nebuchadnezzar, 43 years, and then his son Amel-Marduk 2 years. His brother-in-law, Neriglissar, overthrew him and reigned 4 years and was followed by his own son Labashi-Marduk 9 months. He was unfit to rule and was overthrown by a conspiracy who chose Nabonidus as their king. Nabonidus surrendered to Cyrus the Persian in his 17th year.  Accordingly, from the battle of Carchemish  (605 BC) to the fall of Babylon (539 BC) are 67 years, inclusive reckoning.  Jeremiah disagrees with Berossus (and Ptolemy) on the length of the Chaldean dynasty, the number of its kings and their familial relationships.


What do Christian scholars say about the dates of the 70 years of the Chaldean empire? Jamieson, Fausset & Brown give the following on Jeremiah 25:11: "The seventy years probably begin in the 4th of Jehoiakim..., they end with the first year of Cyrus (Persian), who, on taking Babylon, issued an edict for the restoration of the Jews." [8, p626]  This statement is faithful to the text but it fails to deal with the chronology. On Jeremiah 27:7, they say "Nebuchadnezzar had 4 successors...but Neriglissar and Labosoarchod were not in the direct male line; so the prophecy held good for the son and grandson and the intermediate two were omitted. [8, p. 629] " Is this not a tacit admission that accepted history and the prophecy are in conflict? Payne [14, p339] gives several options. He says of the 70 years of Jeremiah's prophecy: "The exile extended technically from the first deportation of Judah in 605 BC to one of the following dates: 539 BC, the Persian capture of Babylon; 538 BC, the decree of Cyrus authorizing the return (to Jerusalem); 537 BC, by the fall of which the first exiles had come to Palestine; or 536 BC when the temple's reconstruction was commenced."  Only the second option agrees to Ezra 1:1 that the 70 years ended with the decree of Cyrus. None of these options is 70 years long. Archer [3] uses accepted dates but does not mention Jeremiah's prophecy as a difficulty.


Berossus may have obtained his data from the memorial plate of the mother of Nabonidus.  She says she lived "From the time of Ashurbanipal, the king of Assyria, in whose rule I was born: 21 years under Ashurbanipal, 4 years under Ashur-etillu-ilani his son,  21 years under Nabopollasar, 43 years under Nebuchadnezzar, 2 years under Amel-Marduk, 4 years under Neriglissar, in total 95 years" (Underlined numbers had to be supplied by scholars because they were missing from the tablet.) During this time the god Sin was not worshipped in his temple, but now she gives thanks to Sin "from the time of Ashurbanipal to the 6th year of Nabonidus, the king of Babylon, the son of my womb, for 104 years happy".  [15, p311-12]. This suggests that in the accession year of Nabonidus she was 104 - 6 =  98 years old - not 95 years as the sum of regnal years above. There are 3 years missing.  Later, in 1956, a second copy of this memorial was found [15, pp 560-1 ]. This time all the numbers were present. Some missing numbers were corrected: Ashurbanipal to 22 and Ashur-etillu-ilani to 3 years.  However, the 6th of Nabonidus found in the original was now given as the 9th of Nabonidus. Had the 3 missing years been found? 


The first business documents in the accession year of Labashi-Marduk's reign are dated to Nisan, first month and the last are dated to Sivan, third month.  If Nabonidus assassinated Labashi-Marduk that same year,  then the first business documents in his reign should be dated in or after the third month. Yet, they are dated to the second month.  Thus, either Labashi-Marduk reigned one or more years before Nabonidus or that he did not precede Nabonidus at all. If the former is true then certainly the second copy of his mother's memorial plate cannot be true and the first copy must be amended to add a three-year reign for Labashi-Marduk. If the latter is true then all the known historical sources, including Berossus, have the kings in the wrong order.  A similar difficulty exists if Nebuchadnezzar followed Nabopollasar [13, p10-11].


Velikovsky [18, pp 103-113] analyzed the archaeological evidences of the Chaldean dynasty and found substantive evidences that Berossus' account was erroneous with respect to the order of the kings. For example, King Neriglissar stated he found the palace and the most important temple, Esagila, in a state of disrepair. This cannot follow the death of Nebuchadnezzar because he boosted of the extravagant care he took of all the Babylonian temples and his palace.  According to Velikovsky, the Chaldeans came from Hattusas in central Turkey (textbooks usually refer to this city as the capital of the Hittite empire). If this identification is true, then Chaldean King Mursilis II can be identified as the Babylonian King Nabopollasar. He had two sons; the older was Muwatallis (aka King Neriglissar) and the younger was Hattusilis III (aka Nebuchadnezzar). Neriglissar, according to Chaldean records, ruled after his father and was followed by his son, Labashi-Marduk.  Nebuchadnezzar, rather than Nabonidus, usurped the throne from him and either had him killed or drove him into exile. Nebuchadnezzar then attempted to justify his legitimacy by claiming that he was the first born and incorporated Neriglissar's years into his own so that he appeared to reign from his father's death. Velikovsky concludes that what Berossus reported is a forgery. I believe the true history is as follows: the battle of Carchemish took place in the year that Nabopollasar died, 608 BC. Neriglissar became king and reigned 4 years until his death in 605 BC.  Afterward Labashi-Marduk reigned a few months then was killed or driven away by Nebuchadnezzar who ruled 40 years, 604-565 BC.  He was followed by his son Amel-Marduk and his grandson Nabonidus. I differ with Velikovsky 's view that there were two Neriglissars.


We then have three perspectives in operation: the Jewish, Nebuchadnezzar's and the historical. Since Nebuchadnezzar in his 8th year captured Jehoiachin (II Kings 24:12) and died 36 years later in the 37th year of Jehoiachin's captivity he is counted as ruling 44 years from the Jewish viewpoint. From Nebuchadnezzar's view he had an accession year plus 43 regnal years. From the historical view 4 regnal years of Neriglissar were followed by 40 regnal years of Nebuchadnezzar.  The astronomers, in order to keep their calculations straight, used the last viewpoint so that Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year   was (605 - 37 =568) 568 BC as indicated in the section on astronomical dating.  Amel-Marduk who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:27) supposedly reigned 2 years.  In order for Nabonidus' mother to be 104 years in the 6th of Nabonidus Amel-Marduk must have ruled another 7 years. Amel-Marduk was followed by his son, Nabonidus who ruled 17 years. Belshazzar, the great grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was coregent with his father when Daniel interpreted the famous writing on the wall (Dan 5). This revised history agrees with Jeremiah's prophecy as to the number of kings, their familial relationships and their total reign.


The Divided Kingdom

From the 1st of Jehoiakim, (611 BIC) to the beginning of Hezekiah (728 BIC) is 187 years - a simple matter of adding the reigns of the Judean kings: Josiah 31 years, Amon 2 years, Manasseh 55 years and Hezekiah 29 years. In the 6th year of Hezekiah, 9th year of Hoshea, (723 BIC), Samaria fell to Assyrian King Shalmaneser V. Note that this is only 1 year different than the accepted date which supposes that Sargon II ruled 17 years.  Actually, events in his reign are sometimes dated ambiguously. A single event in separate sources often varies by 2 regnal years. Apparently, Sargon II attempted to steal the glory of the fall of Samaria from Shalmaneser V by adding the last two years of his reign to his own 15 years.  In conventional history Sargon II ruled from 721-705 BC but should only be credited with the years 719-705 BC. Shalmaneser V should be credited with an extra 2 years (total 7 years) 726-720 BC. In this chronology, Sargon II and Shalmaneser V are moved back 3 years to 722-708 and 729-723 BC respectively. Table 1 summarizes the results to this point


Thiele's interpretation of the late divided kingdom raises real difficulties during the reign of Hezekiah. In the record of King Sennacherib's 3rd campaign (conventionally dated to 701 BC, but dated to 715 BIC) he invaded Judah and Philistia. Having defeated the Egyptians and Philistines at Eltekeh, he captured the towns of Judah, deported 200,000 Jews and extracted tribute from Hezekiah. Then, Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem. On this the Assyrian records and the Bible agree. The Scriptures say that the fall of Samaria, here dated at 723 BC, was the 6th year of Hezekiah (II Kings 18:10). The invasion of Judah by Sennacherib, shortly thereafter,  was in the 14th year of Hezekiah (II Kings 18:13) - only 8 years apart. Thiele's chronology has the fall of Samaria in 722 BC, Hezekiah's accession year in 715 BC and his 14th year in 701 BC - 21 years apart. He insists that Hezekiah and Hosea had no contact at all. He says " is of paramount importance that synchronisms (II Kings 18:1, 8, 10) between him (Hezekiah) and Hosea be recognized as late and artificial."  [12, p174], i.e. they are false. Clearly, this interpretation fails as a BIC.


Other scholars attempt to resolve this by asserting that Hezekiah was coregent with Ahaz during the time of the siege of Samaria. This is negated by the text of II Kings 16:2 and 17:1 which tells us that Hosea began to reign in the 12th year of Ahaz's 16 year reign and reigned for 9 years. Archer=s solution [3] is to amend the 14th year of Hezekiah to the 24th. But the problem here is historical not textual.




Shalmaneser V	729	1 (7 year reign)
Hezekiah's 1st regnal year	728	5
Fall of Samaria	723	8
Sennacherib's invasion	715	5
Siege of Jerusalem	710	11
Manasseh, Amon, Josiah,  Jehoiakim	699	88
1st Jehoiakim	611	3
4th Jehoiakim, 1st Nebuchadnezzar
Battle of Carchemish	608	11
4th Zedekiah: Ezekiel's prophecy	597	7
11th Zedekiah: Jerusalem burned	590	25
Neb. dies; Jehoiachin released by A-M	565	27
1st Cyrus -end of exile	538	-



Anstey resolved this apparent contradiction by noting that Sennacherib's records refer to his third campaign not his third year.  He proposed  [2,  p213]  that Sennacherib did not give a regnal year because his campaign did not take place during his own reign but in  that of his father, Sargon II,  8 years after the fall of Samaria.  From the textual values of the synchronism in the Bible, Table 2A was constructed. The regnal dates of these are completed and summarized in Table 2.















II Kings





9th Hoshea



12th Ahaz




12th Ahaz



17th Pekah




17th Pekah



52nd Uzziah




52nd Uzziah



27th Jeroboam I




27th Jeroboam I



15th Amaziah




15th Amaziah



1st Amaziah




40th Joash



7th Jehu




7th Jehu
























Athaliah (queen)





















Jeroboam II



Uzziah (Azariah)










































Fall of Samaria



Fall of Samaria


year 9 of Hoshea

*There is a two year coregency between Ahaz and Hezekiah **Period with no or unknown ruler


The date 810 BC for the 1st of Uzziah was reached by both Ussher and Anstey (Ptolemaic dates). Amaziah's dates 851-823 BC inclusive leave an interregnum of 12 years. Anstey was of the opinion that this interregnum existed and that Uzziah was only 4 years old at his father's death. For 12 years, there was a regent ruling until Uzziah was 16. Ussher moved the synchronism 12 years so that no interregnum resulted. 


Assyriologists of the 19th century found ancient texts (eponym lists), which could be used to construct another independent chronology in the era of the divided kingdom. Inscriptions and annals also provided synchronisms between the reign of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III and the Israelite king Ahab as well as Shalmaneser V and Hosea. Unfortunately, the biblical and Assyrian chronologies disagreed by over 40 years. Anstey [2], on the basis of his own chronology, which was 7 years longer than Ussher's, insisted that 52 years were missing from the Assyrian records.  Yet the seeming completeness of the Assyrian records was hard to deny and scholars like Thiele [17] sought a major revision in the understanding of the data in the biblical texts. His chronology reduced Ussher's dates over 40 years, introducing a series of coregencies (where there is joint rule by 2 kings) without altering any data.  These two approaches Anstey (longer chronologies) and Thiele (shorter chronologies) have many minor variations but they are irreconcilable.


The Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser III (T-P), reigned for 18 years  (747 -730 BC) before Shalmaneser V.  T-P attacked and defeated both Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel and received tribute from Ahaz all of which agrees with the Bible (II Kings 15:29-31, II Kings 16:7,9).  But T-P also records receiving tribute from Menahem of Israel and Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah that according to this chronology happened at least 14 years after Menahem's death.  Furthermore, the Bible records Menahem as paying tribute to an Assyrian king named Pul (II Kings 15:19; I Chr 5:26). In the shorter chronologies Menahem and Pekah were ruling in different parts of Israel at the same time for 10 years and then Pekah and Pekahiah 2 years. Thus, Pekah ruled only 8 of his 20 years alone. The Bible texts (II Kings 15:17-16:1), if given their plainest meaning, show that Menahem ruled from the 39th to 49th of Uzziah and died. Pekahiah ruled 2 years, the 50th and 51st of Uzziah and died. Pekah ruled 20 years from the 52nd of Uzziah.  Jotham son of Uzziah reigned 16 years from the 2nd of Pekah and Ahaz, his son, began to reign  (accession year) in the 17th year of Pekah. Every year and every king from the 39th of Uzziah to the 16th of Jotham is accounted for.  By the first principle of a BIC the biblical record should be preferred over a chronological construction based on Assyrian records.  Instead of compacting the biblical chronology to fit all these events into the reign of T-P, a reevaluation of the Assyrian records should be made.


The annals of T-P are fragmentary with many campaigns undated [15, pp 282-84]. In particular, the campaign during which he collected tribute from Menahem and Uzziah are not dated but are found before the events of his 9th year.  Several possibilities exist. First, the scribes who constructed these annals may have confused the records of two different kings named Tiglath-Pileser. According to Brinkman [5, p 312] the Assyrian kinglist recorded T-P as the son of Ashur-Nirari V whereas T-P in one of his inscriptions records that he is the son of Adad-Nirari. Second, like Sargon II,  T-P  may have stolen credit from a previous Assyrian king named Pul. Third, like Sennacherib, he may have conducted the campaign in the reign of the previous king named Pul.  However, if these possibilities are given credence then there is a diminishing possibility of keeping the synchronisms between the earlier Assyrian and Israelite kings - unless the kinglists and/or Assyrian eponym records are admitted to be lacking.


Ashur-Dan's solar eclipse

There is a significant statement recorded in the 10th year of Ashur-Dan III who reigned supposedly 772-755 BC. In the text accompanying the eponym year named Pur-Sagale (the Assyrians named each year) is a statement that there was a solar eclipse in the month of Simanu (May/June). Astronomers have calculated that there was a solar eclipse on June 15, 763 BC that was visible in Assyria. This would seem to confirm the Assyrian eponym and kinglists. However, the details of time and place are missing. There is not enough information to be absolutely certain about this eclipse. Recall that 3 years have been added in the Chaldean period to this chronology so that the 10th of Ashur-Dan III is now 766 BIC. There was no solar eclipse visible from Assyria in May/June of that year. At least 25 additional years must be added between T-P and Ashur-Dan III to make his 10th year have a solar eclipse in the late spring of 791 BC.  Such a date would require a major adjustment to the accepted biblical chronology to maintain the accepted synchronisms between the earlier Israelite kings Ahab, Jehu and Jehoash and Assyrian kings Shalmaneser III and Adad-Nirari III. It is not hard to understand why historians and chronologists want to keep such a valuable independent astronomical confirmation of the conventional chronology. 


There were two regnal year systems in ancient times.  Mesopotamians counted years of rule that is regnal years, according to the accession year method, used the non-accession year method. It is assumed that the Egyptian method was used between the Israelite kings Jeroboam I and Jehu and between the Judean monarchs Jehoram and Athaliah. Otherwise, the accession year method is assumed.

Ezekiel's prophecy

Verification of the chronology of the divided kingdom exists in the book of Ezekiel. God instructs Ezekiel (Ezekiel 4:5) to lie on his side for 390 days, one day for each year of the sin of Israel, and 40 days for Judah.  Since the sins of Israel and Judah are reckoned separately, the reference must be to the era of the divided kingdom.  The sins and thus the divided kingdom must have begun at least 390 years before date of this prophecy or the 5th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin or the 4th year of Zedekiah (Ezekiel 1:1), 597 BIC. This makes the 1st year of Jeroboam, at the latest, 986 BC,  (inclusive reckoning) the same as tabulated in Table 3.  The following textual values in Table 3A of the synchronisms between the kings of Israel and Judah in the Bible show one method of calculating the end dates. These are summarized in Table 3. Of the shorter chronologies, none conform to the prophecy of Ezekiel.















I Kings





897 BC


12th Jehoram






18th Jehosephat


II Kings 3:1


908 BC


908 BC


18th Jehosephat






4th Ahab


I Kings 22:41


926 BC


926 BC


4th Ahab






38th Asa




929 BC


929 BC


38th Asa






20th Jeroboam I




967 BC


967 BC


20th Jeroboam I






1st Rehoboam




986 BC







































Jeroboam I










































Jehoram 1st time












Jehoram 2nd time












Jehosephat dies






Ahaziah (corex)






Ahaziah yr 1












Athaliah** yr 1











*Numbers in parentheses are the chronological years for the Egyptian method.




A summation of the reigns of the judges and enemy oppressions reveal  that there is a major discrepancy with I Kings 6:1 which states that the temple construction began in the 480th year since the Exodus. Mauro [11, p41] states that no other era produces "a greater lack of unanimity among chronologists of repute."  Many have searched in vain for a way to compress the years in Judges to fit the total.  Each is forced to amend some reigns.  The favourite is to amend the years of Ehud who is the only Israelite to have ruled 80 years.  Ussher changed this number to 20 years that does not qualify as a BIC.  Others have reduced it to 18 and even 8 years.  Another approach makes the oppression by the Ammonites and Philistines coincide.  This is insufficient by itself and other amendments are also necessary.  All amend at least one text to save amending the other.  No chronological compression of the period of the judges has ever been generally accepted.  Neither can Paul's statement be reconciled to the 480 years.  In Acts 13:20 he says that the Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness, conquered the seven tribes of Canaan and were ruled by judges for 450 years until Samuel.  If to these 450 years we add 40 for the wandering in the wilderness, about 22 years for Saul after Samuel's death, 40 years for David and 3 years for Solomon we arrive at a total of  555 years rather than 480.  To reconcile Paul to the text in I Kings it was proposed by some, including Anstey, that the 480 years were not chronological but it was the result of summing the years in which there was an Israelite judge. 

That is, the 480 years represent the number of judgeship years while years of foreign oppression or years without judges were omitted from the total. 


TABLE 4:  THE YEARS OF THE JUDGES -  1023 BC  to   1591 BC



































































































































Solomon's The Temple










*N.B. If the Exodus is counted as Year 1, then Solomon's Temple is Year 1+479 = 480


We know Moses spent forty years in the desert. From Joshua's conquest to the first oppression is stated as a generation, after which the Israelites did what was right in their own eyes and God delivered them into the hands of Cushan-rishthaim. No explicit years are given. Fortunately, Josephus records these numbers; Joshua ruled for 25 years after which there was an interregnum of 18 years. The Bible also lacks an explicit connection between Samson and Samuel. The most logical point to connect the two is the battle of Mizpeh where Samuel defeated and finally freed the Israelites from the forty-year oppression by the Philistines. This puts Samuel directly after Samson. Josephus also states there were 12 years until the crowning of Saul.  Anstey's total of 594 years for Judges is too high due to his inclusion of 40 years for Eli.   In Table 4, I propose 568 years (569 inclusively) from the Exodus until the construction of the temple.


Sabbatic and Jubilee Year in Hezekiah's Reign

Is there any confirmation of the date 1591 BC?  Every seventh year in the Jewish calendar was a year of Sabbath rest.  From the fall (month of Tishri) to the next fall no crops were planted.  The Jews were to live off the extra abundant harvest of the sixth year and that, which grew in the seventh year of its own accord.  The Jews were to cancel the debts of their fellow Jews from servitude (Deut 15:12). Schurer [16, pp39-46], a scholar of Jewish history, concludes that there are several known sabbatic years.  One sabbatic year is stated in I Maccabees as occurring in the year 150 of the Seleucid era.  He determined this to be 164/63 BC (Tishri to Tishri).  Josephus also mentions a sabbatic year when Jerusalem fell to Herod three years after his appointment by the Romans, dated to 40 BC [10, XIV.16.sec 2].  Shurer identifies 38/37 BC as a sabbatic year. While Jerusalem was under siege God promised Hezekiah a harvest so abundant that they need not sow or plant any crops for two years (Isa 37:30).  This was God's usual blessing for a sabbatic year followed by a year of jubilee (Lev 25:8-11).  To fit with the other known sabbatic years, this promise to Hezekiah must be dated to 710 BC, 19th year of Hezekiah, and the year of jubilee must be dated 709 BC. Thus, it was 5 years from Sennacherib's invasion in the 14th year of Hezekiah until the siege of Jerusalem. After 5 years of warfare one can understand his need for a sign from heaven. 


Since 1591 BC was the first year of a sabbatic cycle 1585 BC ought to be a 7th or sabbatic year.  This is in line with previous known dates of sabbatic years.  But also the Exodus was the first year in the jubilee cycle. The first year of Jubilee would be 1542 BC. It is 833 years before 709 BC, the next known year of jubilee. Since 833 is divisible by 49 it is also in line with the previous dates of jubilee years. Only by adding or subtracting multiples of 49 can this alignment be maintained.  Given that Solomon's temple is dated to 1023 and there are at least 480 but not more than 620 years to the Exodus only 1542, 1591 and 1640 BC are possible dates for the Exodus.



Archaeologists have divided ancient history into many eras. According to conventional ideas, the time from the patriarchs to the time of the captivity is covered by the eras Middle Bronze (MB) II, Late Bronze (LB), Iron Age (IA) I and Iron Age II.  Under the revised scheme the Exodus and the Israelites under Joshua invade Canaan in MB IIB. The United Kingdom occupies the Late Bronze and the Divided Kingdom the Iron Ages.


A specific problem area for biblical apologists is the archaeology of Jericho. The book of Joshua claims that the Israelites marched around the town for seven days, watched its walls fall, charged straight into the city and burned it without taking any spoils. After its conquest God cursed it so that nobody would rebuild its gates. It was not until King Ahab's day that Jericho's gates were rebuilt. Archaeologists have placed the fall of Jericho and the conquest at the end of the Late Bronze, circa 1300 BC. At this time there was no walled city at Jericho for Joshua to conquer and no devastating burning.  Furthermore, there is little sign any invasion in the land of Canaan.










Middle Bronze Age II

1900- 1550


Late Bronze Age



Iron Age I



Iron Age II




Although no walled city exists in the Late Bronze era, there is a walled city in the Middle Bronze II, labelled city IV, which meets uniquely the requirements for the biblical Jericho of Joshua's day. According to Wood [19] city IV was burned to the ground. Its upper walls were situated on top of the Early Bronze walls. These walls toppled outward (almost unique in archaeological sites) and the fallen bricks provided the attackers with a convenient ramp to enter the city. In the rubble of city IV, there were found pots and jars containing charred wheat. This is not unusual except for the quantity - six bushels.  Normally in a long siege this grain would have been used up or carried off as booty by the attackers. Afterwards, the city remained uninhabited until the beginning of the Iron Age era. The problem of identifying city IV with Joshua's time is chronology. Although Garstang initially dated city IV to 1400 BC subsequent work by Kenyon redated it to the Middle Bronze era or 1550 BC.  The traditional conservative dates around 1400 BC and the liberal dates around 1320 BC were judged incompatible. Wood [19] together with Bimson and Livingstone [4] have attempted to redate this city to 1400 BC from its pottery. From this chronology,  it would appear unnecessary. The city of Jericho fell in 1551 BC, the same date used by Kenyon. This implies that the conquest occurred in the Middle Bronze.


The idea that the Israelites inhabited Palestine in the Middle Bronze is not new. Velikovsky in 1952 suggested that the Amalekites who attacked Moses in the desert after the Exodus are the same as the Hyksos of Egyptian history who overpowered the Middle kingdom Egypt (dynasty XII).  These Hyksos kings ruled for centuries until overthrown by Ahmose I, the first ruler of dynasty XVIII. Archaeologically, the Hyksos and therefore Joshua, belong to the latter part of the Middle Bronze. Courville [6] re-examined reports for some archaeological sites in order to reposition the Exodus, and in particular Shechem. Shechem was burned by Gideon's son Abimelech.  The residents when overwhelmed took refuge in the temple of Baal Berith. The archaeologists excavating Shechem found a city, which had been a major fortification with tower and walls 17 feet thick.  It had been burned severely and contained a large temple, which had a stronghold within it, which had been burned also. It was initially identified with the Shechem of Abimelech. Later, however, it became apparent from the pottery that the temple and city belonged to the Middle Bronze IIC. This was much too early for the time of Abimelech according to standard chronology. A diligent search was made of the later strata for the Israelite temple. A lesser temple was found but it had not been burned. The city showed a steady decline through the Late Bronze and Iron Ages.  The temple of Baal Berith was not found. Like Jericho, the archaeological evidence fit well with biblical history but not the chronology.


The hypothesis that the conquest belongs in the Middle Bronze means the archaeological evidences of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages must be re-evaluated. If it can be shown that there is a reasonable interpretation for them then the hypothesis remains viable. James [7, pp 163-203] showed that there is a reasonable interpretation. Major characteristics of the Late Bronze era are increased population and wealth; the magnificent temples, the fine artwork and the literature rich with deep religious feeling. Since, in the conventional thinking, the Israelites had not yet conquered the land archaeologists attribute these artifacts to the Canaanites, in particular, the treasure of Thutmose III  (Late Bronze) that he put on display on a wall of Karnak. The rich Canaanite treasures far surpassed anything that the Israelites would ever make in later years yet there was not one work, basin or utensil dedicated to any of the Canaanite gods. Velikovsky considered these treasures to be stolen from the temple of Solomon. James notes the richness of the Late Bronze artifacts generally and ascribes them to the era of the United Kingdom.  He also points out that the study of the plans of Solomon's temple has regularly lead to a comparison with Late Bronze temples both within and without Palestine. If David and Solomon belong to the Late Bronze then these great works of architecture, art and literature are Israelite.


Following the end of the Late Bronze is the Iron Age I. Archaeological remains are sparse and poor showing little art or wealth. Conventionally, Solomon is identified with the Iron Age. Archaeologists identify the Iron Age gates at Hazor, Megiddo and Lachish with Solomon since he built fortifications in these areas.  However,  these type of gates also appeared in Ashdod of Philistia where Solomon is not known to have built.  Also, the description of the magnificence of Solomon's buildings in the Bible was not matched by the temple remains in the Iron Age. The poverty of Iron Age I  would fit well with the era of Jehu and his sons when they were under oppression from the Syrians. Iron Age II follows in which there is considerable improvement is material goods and military fortifications. After the death of the Syrian King Hazael, King Jeroboam II and King Uzziah led a revival of Israelite power. Uzziah rebuilt many of the old fortifications but not to the greatness of Solomon. He recaptured Edom, Philistia and other areas. The fortifications attributed to Solomon in Iron II are more appropriately attributed to Uzziah, particularly those at Ashdod. Thus, the placing of the conquest in the Middle Bronze era leads to reasonable explanations for the remains of the Late Bronze and Iron Ages and even resolves some long-standing difficulties.




Table 6 is a summary of important dates in the proposed chronology from the crucifixion to the Exodus. There is general acceptance of 538 BC as the 1st of Cyrus. Jeremiah's 70 years (52+7+11 Table 6) put the 4th of Jehoiakim at 608 BC. An 11 year reign for him puts the 4th of Zedekiah at 597 BC. Ezekiel's 390 years inclusive reckoning (11+115+263 in Table 6)  put the beginning of the divided kingdom at or near 986 BC. A 40 year reign for Solomon puts his 4th year and the building of the temple at or near 1023 BC. Adding 480 years of judges to 89 years of oppression (569 inclusively) puts the Exodus at or near 1591 BC.





















30 AD





Ezra's Decree

458 BC



Bible & Ptolemy's Canon

End of Exile

1st of Cyrus




Persian Records

Ptolemy's Canon

Fall of Jerusalem





Ezekiel's prophecy





Battle of Carchemish

4th of Jehoiakim





Fall of Samaria





Divided Kingdom














Bible& Josephus

*Generally Accepted Dates


The initial differences between this and the generally accepted chronology are small. Only 3 years difference at the time of Shalmaneser V, Hezekiah and Hoshea. This, however, is very important since it renders the astronomical confirmation of the standard chronology void. During the divided kingdom the difference increases by 53. This chronology uses a "longer" chronology because the shorter ones produced contradictions and failed to provide any reasonable explanation for the prophecy of Ezekiel. From the temple to the Exodus adds another 89 years. This resulted from realizing that no chronology requiring 480 years as in Ussher's could do so without altering some individual years of judges. Thus, another interpretation was needed. Although Anstey provided such an interpretation his construction was not in accord with the years provided by Josephus. Using Josephus resulted in a date for the Exodus of 1591 BC that aligned with previously known Sabbatic and Jubilee years.


This chronology has put great reliance not just on the historical data of the Bible but also the texts of the prophets. This is not standard procedure for scholars. The use of prophetic texts may not be generally acceptable yet they are just as inspired and "inerrant " as the rest of Bible.  The Jews would not have allowed the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel to be set aside as holy  if even one of their prophecies had failed.


Aardsma claimed [1, p1] that the "historicity of the Old Testament is currently facing a challenge of unprecedented severity".  He thinks that secular archaeologists may provide as serious an intellectual challenge to the faithful as Darwinism. Therefore, it is important to use the lessons we have learned from the challenge of Darwinism. The hidden strength of creationists lay in their humility to put their complete trust in God's Word, ahead of their own professional training, knowledge and understanding, and their courage to withstand the mocking and jeering of the press and peers. They have built their positions of faith and practice on the foundation of inerrancy. Biblical scholars would do well to follow them when the facing the new challenges to the historicity of the Old Testament.



The proposed date for the Exodus, 1591 BC, is based on BIC rules. It uses all the actual textual data and  its prophecies and also its sabbatical years and jubilees. With the inclusion of the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the construction, the Battle of Carchemish must be 608 or 607 BC and the beginning of the divided kingdom before 980 BC. This puts the construction of Solomon's temple prior to 1015 BC.  The Exodus must be at least 480 years (1495 BC) before that.  From the known years of jubilee the latest date for the Exodus is 1542 BC. This negates both the old conservative and old liberal dates for the Exodus as well as all the accompanying guesses as to its pharaoh and dynasty. The new BIC chronology calls for a major revision in the interpretation of biblical and Palestinian archaeology. The conquest of Canaan must precede the end of the Late Bronze Age and likely should be placed in the middle of the Middle Bronze II. The archaeology proposed by James and aided by Wood, Bimson and Livingstone would suit the requirements well. This places David and Solomon in the rich Late Bronze Age; Jehu and Joash in the impoverished Iron Age I where they suffered under the Syrians; and Uzziah and Jeroboam II at the beginning of the Iron Age II when Israelite power increased. Thus, BIC rules not only conform to the standards of inerrancy but also help resolve several difficulties in the reconciliation of biblical chronology and archaeology.



First, I would like to thank Ian Taylor, who patiently listened to the progress of my research.  I would like to express my appreciation to Judy Young in providing valuable knowledge of the historical evidences of Assyrian and Egyptian sources. Her knowledge was very impressive and the spirit of her criticism always fair.  I must thank Tom Goss for his contribution in managing the research to the point of fruition. Although the first steps in this study were initiated by curiosity and encouraged by several people it was the faithfulness of the Lord to answer many prayers that ultimately led to this final work.



[1] Aardsma, G., A new approach to the chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel, 1993, Institute for Creation Research, San Diego.


[2] Anstey, M., The romance of biblical chronology , 1913, Marshal Bros., London.


[3] Archer, G., The encyclopaedia of biblical difficulties , 1982, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.


[4] Bimson, J.J. and Livingstone, D.P. ,  Redating the Exodus , Biblical Archaeological Review, Sept/Oct 1987 pp. 40-53, p. 66


[5] Brinkman, J.A. Comments on the Nassouhi kinglist and the Assyrian  kinglist Tradition,  Orientalia,Vol 42, p306-19


[6]Courville, Donovan,  The Exodus and its problems, 1971, Challenge Books, Loma Linda


[7] James, Peter, Centuries of darkness, 1991, Rutgers U. P., New Brunswick, N.J.


[8] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.M.&Brown, D. , Commentary: practical and expository on the whole Bible, 1974(edition)


[9] Josephus, Against Apion, Josephus: Complete works,  (translated  Whiston),  1960, Kregel Pub.

Grand Rapids, MI.


[10] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews,  Josephus: Complete works, (translated Whiston),  1960, Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, MI.


[11] Mauro, Phillip,  The wonders of biblical chronology, 1987, Grace Abounding Ministries, Sterling, VA.


[12] Newton, R., 1977, The crime of Claudius Ptolemy,John Hopkins U.P. Baltimore.


[13] Parker, R.A. & W.H. Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology 626 BC - AD 75, 1956, Brown University Series; Brown University Press.


[14] Payne, J.B., Encyclopaedia of biblical prophecy,  1973, Harper&Row, New York.


[15] Pritchard, R., 1969, Ancient near eastern texts relating to the Old Testament, Princeton U.P. Princeton, N.J.


[16] Schurer, E., A History of the Jewish people in the time of Christ,  1924, Clark, Edinburgh.


[17] Thiele, E.R. , The mysterious numbers of the Hebrew kings, 1965, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.


[18] Velikovsky, I., Rameses II and his times,  1978, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, N.Y.


[19] Woods, B., Did the Israelites conquer Jericho?, Biblical Archaeological Review, Vol 16,  Mar/Apr 1990,  pp 44-57.




Did Thutmose III Despoil the Temple in Jerusalem?

A Critical Commentary to Chapter IV of "Ages in Chaos"


Dr Danelius (Dr Rerum Politicarum, University of TŸbingen) has lived in Israel for many years and attended courses on Egyptian and Semitic languages and on Biblical Hebrew at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Tel Aviv. She has published articles in numerous journals, including JEA, JNES, Beth Mikra and KRONOS.