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A Word About Chronology

In the Foreword of "Centuries of Darkness", Colin Renfrew of Cambridge University states that he is "more impressed by their destructive reasoning - that the existing chronologies are unreliable - than by their alternative proposals. This seems to be the main value of revisionist attempts to date. It has been adequately proven that the accepted chronology of the ancient world cannot be correct, however a suitable replacement has not been identified. Velikovsky came the closest. The placement made in "Ages in Chaos" of the Amarna Tablet correspondence in the time of Biblical Ahab and Jehoshaphat was correct, but the larger framework he proposed to support that conclusion was wrong. Apparently no one ever tried to find other ways in which the two periods could coincide.

James and Rohl have offered a less radical compression of the time scale, but this means that their chronologies are still not correct, but have only moved in the right direction. In the case of Rohl, he bases his chronology on two "essential synchronisms." (See "Abstract of David Rohl's 'New Chronology'" in the Reference Essays section of this site.) The first synchronism is the Year 8 campaign mural of Ramses II in which a city named Shalem was attacked. The second is a record of a solar eclipse. Rohl showed that an eclipse in the late 11th Century would fit the description, but he didn't bother to examine later eclipses. I have heard (don't know if it is true) that Rohl has now conceded that the Year 8 mural of Ramses does not unequivocably demonstrate that Ramses humbled Jerusalem as Shishak of the Bible. One of my biggest gripes about Rohl's chronology is that he removed hundreds of years from the Third Intermediate Period only to re-insert them during the Hyksos Period. This was necessary in order to preserve the misconception that the 4th Dynasty pharoahs built the Giza Pyramids rather than merely usurping and refurbishing them.

I am presenting a chronology in which Velikovsky's fundamental association is vindicated. However, the "top-down" approach I am taking does not rely on "essential synchronisms" but the alignment of hundreds of names, events and places starting with the earliest records and working forward through over a thousand years of time. It is made possible by the realization that the Bible is not the history of a royal family ruling over only the small region of Israel, but over the entire Near East.

-Charles

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