CHRONOLOGY & CATASTROPHISM REVIEW 2004 (3 issues). ARTICLE ABSTRACTS/EXTRACTS

Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2004:1                                           Click here for cost
(incorporating C&C Workshop 2004:2) 
 

Has Science Got it Wrong? Remarks on the Arctic Evidence of the Great Pleistocene Extinction, by Derek S. Allan

When asked what they understand by the term 'Ice Age' most people seemingly believe it to have been an era when continuous icesheets blanketed Arctic regions intercontinentally down to approximately latitude 30 degrees N in America and latitude 50 degrees N in Europe. The resultant bleak landscape is also often imagined (especially by artists) as having hosted isolated stands of coniferous trees and large quadrupal mammals like the yak, the Hairy Mammoth and the Woolly Rhinoceros hunted by fur-clad ancestral Man. The origins of such concepts lie principally in orthodoxy's placement of such an 'Ice Age' in the Pleistocene epoch, which modern opinion avers came to an end (with the 'Ice Age' itself) around 11,000 years ago [1] - a date when the present (Holocene) epoch dawned. The 'Ice Age' is also said to have lasted for a million years or more, during which the icesheets repeatedly advanced (as glacials) and retreated (as inter-glacials) varying distances in different regions from a polar centre. ................ But are these notions scientifically correct? .................. did they really last for a million or more years. ...................was there ever an 'Ice age' like that envisaged for over 150 years now by conventional geological opinion? .................. Of more than passing interest is the seldom expressed realisation that 'Ice Age' theory, howsoever based, actually embraces within itself overwhelming evidence diametrically opposed to standard interpretations of its substanve. Unbiased consideration of much of this data more than confirms this conclusion, as will now be demonstrated. ................  
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Neo-Assyrians and Achaemenids - A Test of Beards, by Trevor Palmer
 
According to orthodox historians, the first Assyrian civilisation of nothern Mesopotamia, known as 'Old Assyrian', came into existence around 1900 BC, with its capital at Assur .................................After the death of Shamsi Adad, the Old Assyrian civilisation declined and northern Mesopotamia eventually fell under the control of a people called the Mitanni ...............Then, around 1400 BC, the kings of Assur, particularly Assuruballit I (1365-1330), began to drive back the Mitanni and re-establish Assyrian dominance in the region .....................  However, according to the German social historian, Gunnar Heinsohn, it could not possibly be correct, because no Median or Achaemenid artefacts have been found at any of the major archaeological sites in Assyria. ............Heinsohn concluded that the Medes were the Mitanni, so the battles of Assuruballit II against the former were identical with those of Assuruballit I. .................In Britain, these ideas were developed by Emmet Sweeney. ............... wandering round the British Museum, taking photographs ....... something apparently trivial - differences in the beards on figures in Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid reliefs - started to raise doubts about the conclusions of Heinsohn and Sweeney ................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Response to Bimson, by Emmet Sweeney
 
At the 'Ages Still in Chaos?' Conference 2002, John Bimson took me to task over a couple of issues relating to the archaeologiy and stratigraphy of the Near East. These points were expanded upon [by John] in a footnote added to the transcript of the discussion which occurred at the end of my talk. The general impression conveyed by John was that I, ................was failing to take into account the archaeological and stratigraphical evidence. Yet that is the precise opposite of the truth. In fact, ...............I have attempted to show over the past fifteen years, it is conventional scholarship, ................which has consistently ignored the stratigraphy and archaeology. Even in my paper at the conference I tried once again to show that stratigraphy thoughout the Near East demanded a reduction ......... in ancient chronology.................... All of this evidence, along with ..........other material  presented .........over the past fifteen years, has been completely ignored by John. He has demanded answers from me, which I shall presently provide, but before doing so, let me put a few questions to him, which I hope he will have the courtesy to respond to ....................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Old Testament Tales (OTT) - Introduction, by David Salkeld
 
Professor Thomas Thompson, an American archaeologist and biblical scholar, wrote that the first ten books of the Old Testament are almost certainly works of fiction and lack any supporting archaeological or historical evidence .............................  The OTT series of articles [discusses] the OT stories of Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David, Solomon and Job, in the light of recent archaeological evidence (much of it reported in [C&C] Review and allied publications), but also in the light of common sense........... Stripped of the magical 'embroidery' attached by their authors or later redactors, the stories have a degree of mutual consistency which suggests to me a factual foundation ...............
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Old Testament Tales - Part I: 'Joseph', by David Salkeld
 
The last 14 chapters of Genesis tell the story of Joseph, tenth son of Jacob and the first by his favourite wife Rachel. He was spoiled by Jacob and given a coat of many colours, incurring the enmity of his older brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt.  ...................After his brothers came to buy corn, contact with his family was restored. Jacob moved with his household to Goshen in Egypt and later died there. .............Tell ed-Daba lies about 55 miles NE of Cairo ....... on the most easterly arm of the Nile delta.  ................. From 1984-87 Manfred Bietak led a dig there by the Austrian Institute for Egyptology [and] reported the excavation - at the main site A and site F to the west - in 1991 and lectured on them at the British Museum in 1992. In Against Apion Josephus quotes the Egyptian priest Manetho on the Hyksos invasion of Egypt ...................................     [Today] Tell ed-Daba is accepted as the site of their stronghold Avaris. ............. Below the Hyksos strata Bietak found remains of a settlement of 'Egyptianised Canaanites' .................  
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Confusion Breeds on Assumptions, by G. P. Williams
 
The author proposes that there were two distinct major catastrophes - the Deluge, which ended the Paradisical Age, and the Flood, which ended the Golden Age and ushered in the Modern Age. He uses geological and mythical evidence to show that the first catastrophe was due to the destruction of a world mountain and the second was due to an axial tilt.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Fire from Heaven, by Phillip Clapham
 
According to Philo [1] the world has been destroyed by fire as well as by water (a tradition also mentioned by Plato) [2]. Philo said that a stream of heaven-sent fire poured from above to create vast landscape wildfires (see also Velikovsky and his connection of this fire to petroleum from comet Venus) [3]. In the Bible Elijah claims to have summoned, or to have witnessed, fire from heaven, which consumed a captain and fifty of his soldiers [4]. Velikovsky claimed a 'blast from God' smote the camp of the vast army of the Assyrian king Sennacherib [5]. There are many references in myth that might be likened to fire from heaven, but what exactly was meant is difficult to judge. Could it be a description of meteorites, or meteors?  ..............................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2004:2                                              Click here for cost
(incorporating C&C Workshop 2004:3)  
 
Megalithic Circles and Star Charts, by Moe Mandelkehr
 
This paper discusses a couple of strange patterns associated with 2300 BC - the construction of huge megalithic monuments around the world and the creation of star charts in four cultural areas. The justification for the enormous efforts to build the monuments are not clearly understood and the star-charts appeared without significant evidence that the four cultures had any prior interest in astronomy.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Old Testament Tales, Part II - Moses and History 'A', by David Salkeld
 
'Old Testament Tales', Part I (OTT1) showed that Bietak's dig at Tell ed-Daba supports the Genesis story of Joseph, so its writer Moses must be a historical character too. But how much of Moses' autobiography in Exodus and Numbers is true? We deal first with matters supported by physical or literary evidence, or which were in the public domain and so probably founded on fact. Later on in the series we deal with matters which depend wholly upon the credibility of Moses himself. ...............
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Old Testament Tales, Part III - Moses and History 'B', by David Salkeld
 
The Antiquities of the Jews story [by Josephus] of Moses as an Egyptian military leader (OTT2) is supported by the Bible. ................. Moses, though an experienced military leader, was the second son of Amran, grandson of Jacob's third son Levi, so he had no family claim to leadership among the Israelite tribes. The Hebrew who asked: 'Who made thee a prince and judge over us?' was Moses himself: his answer was 'I did'. Why and how he did this is the subject of parts IV and V ..................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
  
* Horeb: The Mountain of God, by Emmet Sweeney
 
One of the perennial questions of biblical history is the location of the Mountain of God, on whose summit Moses is said to have received the Ten Comandments. The 'official' site is what is now called Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula. Yet there is much evidence, both from the scriptures themselves and from later Jewish tradition (as recorded, for example, in Josephus) which would suggest a location in north-western Arabia, ancient Midian. In fact, the Exodus account makes a location in Midian virtually inevitable, as Moses meets his father-in-law, Jethro (of Midian), before he ascends the holy mountain (Exodus 18). The controversy has recently been ignited anew by two American writers/adventurers, who managed to get into Saudi Arabia (where tourism as such is illegal) and investigate the Midian region. What they found there was a strong local tradition about Moses and Jethro and an insistence that the nearby Jebel al-lawz was Horeb, Moses' Mountain of God. ....................... The most successful investigation to date, the one that has ignited the debate, was by Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams, whose book, In Search of the Mountain of God, has caused something of a sensation. .... ................It is what they found at the summit that is the most interesting. The peak of the mountain was found to be blackened and scorched, as if by searing heat (this in fact is readily observable from the ground). Now this is most strange, since the mountain is not a volcano. .................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* How Good A Navigator was Columbus?, by Peter Fairlie-Clarke
 
In his book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, Charles Hapgood mentions that all surviving maps made in the 30 years after the discovery of the Americas  place the islands of Cuba and Haiti to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, although at the present day they are around 2 degrees south of the Tropic. He showed some of these maps in his book and suggested that the navigators of the time had made an error with their latitude readings. However, navigators of the late 15th century had no problems in establishing their latitude quite accurately. .....................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
* The Tang-I Var Inscription, by J. Eric Aitchison 
 
Villagers brought this inscription to the attention of the Archaeological Services of Iran in 1968. It takes its name from a local gorge, in which it stands some 20 metres above ground level. The inscription is of a large figure with several lines of cuneiform text [1] attributed to Sargon II king of Assyria, conventionally dated to 722-705. However, it mentions, as contemporary, 'Sapataku' (Shebiktu) the Ethiopian king of Egypt, conventionally dated to 702-690. ...............'How do we explain the reference to Shabataka (Shebiktu) in an inscription of Sargon II discovered at Tang-I Var and dated by Assyriologist, Grant Frame, to 706 B.C.?' ..................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Chronology & Catastrophism REVIEW 2004:3                                              Click here for cost
(incorporating C&C Workshop 2004:4)  
  
Lifting 'Bickerman's Veil', by Steve Mitchell
 
The second edition of E. J. Bickerman's Chronology of the Ancient World [1] was published in 1980. It is considered to be the standard work of reference on chronologies of the Greek and Roman civilisations, but there appear to be two major flaws in his argument, thereby creating a paradox. This paradox was first exposed by Dr. Heribert Illig [2] and its discovery now forms the crux of Illig's controversial 'phantom centuries' thesis. Illig argues that because of these fundamental mistakes Bickerman has unwittingly conspired, along with most other historians, to hide and confuse the true chronology of the ancient classical world, namely that around 300 years of false history has been 'inserted' somewhere in the period. Bickerman's muddled approach helps to perpetuate the hidden existence of these phantom centuries which Illig calls 'Bickerman's veil'. This article sets out to lift the 'veil' and explore the paradox hidden beneath it. It also attempts to answer the questions "Just how long a period does 'Bickerman's veil' cover?" and "Where does the period covered by the 'veil' lie?"...........................................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
In Search of Alter Egos, by Trevor Palmer
 
Recently I wrote an article (subsequently published in C&CR 2004:1) pointing out the difficulties of trying to reconcile inscriptional and stylistic evidence with the contention of Gunnar Heinsohn and Emmet Sweeney that the Mesopotamian and Achaemenid-Persian dynasties were duplicates of each other. Shortly after I sent off the manuscript to the SIS editorial team, an article by Sweeney appeared in C&CR 2002:2 maintaining that similarities in the histories of individual Neo-Assyrian and early Achaemenid rulers, and then of Neo-Babylonian and late Achaemenid ones, supported his view of history [1]. Sweeney's conviction and evident enthusiasm for his subject help to engage the reader and a number of intriguing arguments are presented in the article. The question is: are they convincing? ............................................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
  
* Old Testament Tales - Part IV, Moses as Magus 'A', by David Salkeld
 
OTT 2-3 shows that both archaeology and history back the stories of Israelite bondage in Egypt, the Exodus and the desert wanderings; and show that Moses, a young victorious prince, probably fled Egypt when Pharaoh and the priests saw him as a contender for the crown. .............. Moses' first problem was to be recognised by the Israelites as their leader. This he did by claiming - and later demonstrating - that he was the chosen servant of their God, who had promised the land of Canaan to their forefather Abraham. ............... All of this suggests that Yahweh was an invention of Moses himself .....................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* Old Testament Tales - Part V, Moses as Magus 'B', by David Salkeld
 
The Ark of the Covenant was kept hidden inside the Holy of Holies when the Israelites camped, but it was carried  before them when they marched, and only then would its visible effect - the Shekinah - have been publicly seen. ......................................... Moses claimed that God gave him detailed instructions for building the ark and would commune with Moses from between the two cherubim ...... ................................ Aaron died and Moses became the single focus of the Israelite's wrath.  ............................................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* The Israel Stele and Yanoam, by J. Eric Aitchison
 
The only area named in the 'Israel Stele' that is not easily identified is Yanoam. ................Geographic evidence which assists in identifying Yanoam with Dan is obtained from biblical sources. From the Bible we learn that the Danites left their original allotted territory; going north and capturing the city of Laish, which they renamed Dan [4]. This placed Dan as the most northerly of the Israelite tribes. .................. I present the following as additional support for the view that Yanoam is mentioned in the Bible and also hope to show that Dan (which had been Laish), is to be equated with Yanoam/Janoah. .................
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
* The After-Effects of Newton's Comet of AD 1680, by Laurence Dixon 
 
This article first considers the effect of the comet of [AD] 1680 on scientific development mainly through its influence on the life of Sir Isaac Newton and his contemporaries. It then looks at possible catastrophic impacts about that time and postulates that there is a family of comets that all become visible in November, pass close to Earth's orbit in December and pass close to the Sun in January, before disappearing in March. ......................................
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Note - The articles from these combined publications are from both the C&C REVIEW and C&C Workshop sections. The Workshop articles are denoted by an asterisk.