CHRONOLOGY & CATASTROPHISM WORKSHOP (6 ISSUES, 1991-1993) ARTICLE ABSTRACTS/EXTRACTS.

 
Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1991:1                                   Click here for cost 
(also contains a 'Forum' section on 'Problems' for Rohl's New Chronology)

An Answer to the Critics of Ramses II and His Time, by Emmet Sweeney

During and after the Glasgow Conference of 1977 an enormous body of evidence was presented against the latter part of Velikovsky's Egyptian chronology, as encapsulated in Ramses II and His Time and Peoples of the Sea. Three proofs in particular were held against Velikovsky's contention that the 19th Dynasty was separated from the 18th by a century and a half and that the early Ramessides should be placed in the 7th/6th centuries BC. .............................
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The Past Comes Down - A Proposal for a Drastically Shortened Chronology for Our Prehistory (Palaeo-, Neo-, and Megalithic) and early Advanced Civilisations, up to the Beginnings of Roman Hegemony, by Dr. Heribert Illig
 
In his book Die veraltete Vorzeit [1] the present author is advancing the central thesis that contemporary conventional chronology is assigning an exaggerated age to the cultures of prehistoric Europe (i.e. earlier than 500 BC). The magnification ratio of the dates ascribed to the prehistoric remains corresponds with the relative distance in time of the respective finds from the present. .............................
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Stories of Radioactivity and Mutations, by George R. Harvey 
 
Essential to the theory of an episodical, extra-terrestrially regulated clock [1] is the concept that each episode produced a phenomenon which caused DNA mutations. Velikovsky speculated that, perhaps, there were electrical discharges between Earth and a large, extra-terrestrial body which, in turn, could have induced radioactivity or allowed exposure to intense cosmic radiation and thus give rise to DNA mutations. .....................
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Site Stratification: is it a Sound Methodology?, by Jesse E. Lasken 
 
In a lengthy paper in Discussions in Egyptology, I challenged the conventional chronology of Ancient Egypt and the ancient world more generally [1]. Although my research was originally inspired by Velikovsky's work, I argued that ancient chronologies must be compressed in a manner more extreme than advocated by Velikovsky or by the proponents of the 'Glasgow Chronology' for whom this journal has provided a forum. While I pointed out that many  of the problems with non-Egyptian chronologies can be directly traced to cross-dating to improperly dated Egyptian artifacts, I also suggested that there are other fundamental methodological errors that have caused chronological distortions. ..................
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Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1991:2                        Click here for cost   
(with a 'Forum' section discussing 'New Chronology' issues from Workshop 1991:1) 
 
In Defence of the Gods, by Derek Shelley-Pearce
 
Hopefully, the remarkable insights of Julian Jaynes, as exressed in his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind [1], continue to command a greater degree of assent and excite a wider circle of readers as time goes on. For Jaynes, the human mind, or consciousness (as opposed to what he calls 'reactivity' which is a faculty shared by all sentient beings and tends to be confused with consciousness) is a construct which is dependent on language. Unlike the 'popular' view, which traditionally sees consciousness or the mind as evidence for some kind of enduring soul, the mind is a created, functional breakthrough as regards modes of existence which has blossomed out of the development of language with its propensity for the use of metaphor. However, Jaynes' research led him to believe that mankind did not develop the sort of mind or concsiousness that we have today immediately upon development of language  ......................... In 1983 a McMaster-Bauer Symposium [2] took place in which it was decided that the lecture should be given by Julian Jaynes. During the open discussion period the following question was asked from the 'floor': "How about the pyramids of Egypt? Surely the pharaohs who built them as their tombs were thinking ahead to their afterlife, and that would be consciousness." ....................................  
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Egyptian Monumental Evidence, by Tony Rees
 
... The true value of any model lies in its potential to absorb entire fields of interdisciplinary evidence, whether scientific, monumental or literary. To just the degree that a model fails to use or to explain all the available evidence, in its entirety, then to that same degree, is that model invalidated, no matter how logical the evidence, or how fluently presented .......?
 
The above extract concluded a talk I gave at the [SIS AGM at] Nottingham in November 1990, entitled - 'Jewish and Greek Traditions and the Value to Chronology'. The structuring of that talk was intended to bring to the attention of the audience a situation about which I am feeling rather uneasy. This situation concerns the neglect by a number of our Society's members to follow certain of the interdisciplinary principles inherent in the Constitution of ....[the] SIS...... The above extract encapsulates the specific neglect and the principles that are causing my unease. It is becoming apparent that a number of revisionists are involving themselves in chronological researches that require 'extreme'  reductions from the orthodox and conventional dating systems. Their researches and conclusions seem to neglect entire areas and specific disciplines that do not have an affinity to their work. The sort of 'extreme' research work to which I'm pointing is perhaps best typified by the hypotheses of such researchers as Heinsohn, Illig and Sweeney. The purpose of this paper is to remind those researchers ........................ Thus it is that this paper can be construed as a direct challenge to those involved in the 'extreme' type of chronological revisions, to explain why the undernoted evidence has not been included in their arguments - or else to demonstrate that each item of evidence is either false, or can be interpreted in a manner that will not deny their arguments. ........................
 
Editor's note: Tony informs us that this paper has already been circulated privately and that Emmet Sweeney has responded and a useful correspondence has ensued. ..............
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Briefing - Some References to the Use of Iron Before the Iron Age, by Bob Porter
 
...................[A list is first given of various references].  It is clear from these references that iron was used from the early third millennium or before. As both [Howard] Carter and [G.] Wainwright rightly point out, the number of finds is small for early periods and hence iron was presumably a rarity. However, there are several tantalising, brief reports by Gaston Maspero which suggest otherwise. ........................
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The Goddess of the Stones and the Charged Cosmic Body, by Eric Crew
 
Archaeological remains appear to relate to striking physical phenomena, giving rise to activities of ancient peoples based on supernatural beliefs. This article examines the merits of two very different hypotheses concerning ubiquitous rock-carvings; one based on meteorological processes and the other on an event in astronomy. Both may be applicable; time will tell.  .................................Computing Solar System orbits ............Electrical and magnetic forces .......Jets from Jupiter? .......... Observational evidence ............ Stone carvings and monuments .................................
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Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1992:1                                    Click here for cost   
(containing a 'Forum section on New Chronology issues)
 
Comets and the Bronze Age Collapse, by Bob Kobres
 
... and from heaven a great star shall fall on the dread ocean and burn up the deep sea, with Babylon itself and the land of Italy, by reason of which many of the Hebrews perished ....
Be afraid, ye Indians and high-hearted Ethiopians: for when the fiery wheel of the ecliptic(?)  ... and Capricorn ... and Taurus among the Twins encircles the mid-heaven, when the Virgin ascending and the Sun fastening the girdle round his forehead dominates the whole firmanent; there shall be a great conflagration from the sky, falling on the earth; [...]
 
Are these  lines from Book V of the Sibylline Oracles eschatological nonsense? Contemporary astronomical evidence suggests a historical basis for words describing cosmic calamity. British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier, in The Cosmic Winter (1990) and other recent works, .........................
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How Old is Greenland's Ice Cap?, by Alasdair Beal
 
According to a feature article in New Scientist (29th February 1992), deep boreholes now being drilled to a depth of 3,000 metres througfh the Greenland ice cap should yield samples of 'the oldest ice in the world', with an estimated age of 300,000 years. If this is true, it means that the ice cap survived all the climatic upheavals of the Ice-Age and before and also, if Velikovsky (Earth in Upheaval), Hapgood (The Path of the Pole) and Cook ([C&C] Review [Vol. XIII, p. 2], ... are to be believed, the associated major geographical changes. If the scientists are right, then those who believe that the Earth has suffered major upheavals in its recent history should pause to consider the significance of these new findings. ............................ As in many cases, care should be taken before accepting such stories at face value - how strong and unequivocal is the evidence and does any other evidence exist which might contradict it or cast some doubt on its validity? In this case, although the scientists have taken great care in their calculations there is certainly room for reasonable doubt and, as in similar areas (such as tree ring dating), an interdisciplinary approach is essential.  Firstly, the last ice age itself makes it difficult to believe that the Earth's poles have stayed put throughout its recent history - after all, wasn't the centre of the Wisconsin ice cap in Canada's Hudson Bay, outside the present Arctic Circle and wasn't Siberia's frozen tundra temperate and ice-free throughout the great Ice Age? ....................................
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The Thirteenth Theory of the Hyksos, by Gunnar Heinsohn
 
....................... Do not touch the Hyksos! This advice will be heard time and again by anyone trying to solve the ultimate riddle of the Ancient Near East. The graveyard of theories concerning the Hyksos has been expanding for nearly 2,300 years.  .......... identified as pre-Exodus Israelites .........marauding Arab Bedouins ....... 1st millennium Phoenicians ....... the invention of a narrator ....... Indo Aryans ........ Hittites ........15th century BC Amalekites ....... the United Kingdom of Israel from Saul to Solomon ........Old Babylonian Amorites ....... Hurrites ....... Mycenaeans ....... and Syro-Canaanites ........  Only the 12th theory, which equates the Hyksos with Palestinian princes or Syro-Canaanites in general, can still muster a considerable number of supporters. Syro-Palestine's Middle Bronze Age IIB-C shows a strong archaeological similarity with Hyksos sites in Egypt, e.g. Tell [ed] Daba. However, Mesopotamia proves to be another serious contender in this field. ...........  the author felt encouraged to approach the problem afresh because the classical tools of scholarship have never rigorously been used in the search for an Asian realm of the Hyksos. Neither comparative stratigraphy and archaeology (architecture, pottery, small finds etc) nor palaeography and the evaluation of original historiographical source material has been applied to check the possible Asian alter egos of the Hyksos. ...............................
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The Stratigraphy of Israel, by Bob Porter [text of talk given by Bob at an SIS  Nottingham meeting in 1991 and adapted for publication].
 
..... One of the things I hope to do ... is to show that the biblical Judges period fits well with the archaeology of the Middle Bronze Age, thereby putting the Exodus back in Early Bronze, equivalent to Old Kingdom Egypt. I turned to archaeology because there did not seem to be enough historical evidence to supplement the historical record with myths and traditions and that is certainly a valid approach, but for myself I have turned primarily to archaeology, especially that of Israel, or Palesting as it was formerly called. Like Velikovsky, Rohl, James, Bimson and many others, I regard the Bible as a useful historical source.  .................. I favour putting the Exodus at the end of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Judges period in Middle Bronze Palestine and I take Ramesses II to be Shishak at the time of Solomon and Rehoboam. .........
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Menelaos in Egypt (Links Beetween Mycenaean Greece and Egypt), by Emmet J. Sweeney
 
According to Herodotus, the first Greeks to reach Egypt came in the time of Psammetichus. The 'Father of History' tells us how a band of bronze-clad Ionians and Carians arrived in the Delta, began plundering the countryside and were then recruited by Psammethichus as mercenaries [1]. These events are generally dated to the second quarter of the 7th century.  .................... In conformity with this dating, Greek pottery and artifacts of the early 7th century are discovered with great frequency in the Delta, especially at those sites specifically linked to the Greeks. However, in apparent contradiction of these facts, both archaeology and tradition record contact between Hellenes and Egyptians in an earlier epoch. ........................
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Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1992:2                        Click here for cost   
[also with 'Forum' section on New Chronology issues]
 
Geological Genesis, by Harold Tresman
 
Introduction -The article 'The Primordial Light' (SIS Review II:2) investigated the mythology surrounding the planet Saturn. It was proposed that such mythology indicates that Earth was once a satellite of what is now known as Saturn. A catastrophic disruption of this Saturnian system led to radical changes in the conditions on Earth. We intend to investigate whether our present knowledge can uphold our support for such a view of Earth History. ...................................
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Chronological Implications of a Proper Identification of the Labyrinth [Part I], by Jesse E. Lasken
 
This is the first part of a two-part paper dealing with the identification of the Egyptian Labyrinth and the chronological implications that follow from its proper identification. This part deals with the location of the Labyrinth. The second part, scheduled for the next issue of Workshop, will explore the chronological implications of my proposed identification. The arguments in Part I previously appeared in substantially the same form in the Newsletter of the American Research Center in Egypt [1]. However, some improvements have been made, particularly the addition of a brief reference to late papyrii that mention the Labyrinth.  ..............
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A Chronology for Mesopotama (contra Heinsohn), by A. H. Rees
 
Following in the footsteps of my 'Egyptian Monumental Evidence' [1], it was felt that it was time to remind interested parties about certain items of long-standing, authenticated, unambiguous and easily available evidence relating to Mesopotamia and neighbouring areas. This [is] evidence that would appear to strongly deny not only Gunnar Heinsohn's late placement of Hammurabi's Babylon[ian] Dynasty, and other related ones [2], but also the similar proposals of other researchers such as Sweeney ... Lasken ... Sieff ...  etc....................
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Shamash and Sin, by Dwardu Cardona
 
The origin of the 'Star and Crescent', as reported in the Monitor section of C&C Workshop 1992:1, p. 34, caught my attention, not least because my name popped up in the short discussion. Whoever is responsible for the item is correct in maintaining that 'the symbol was used by  wide variety of people way before the foundation of Islam' and is usually 'interpreted as representing Ishtar and Sin', who are normally identified as 'Venus and the Moon'.  In parenthesis it is then added that:  
 
Dwardu Cardona has pointed out that a common entry in Babylonian astrological reports was 'when Shamash stands in the halo of Sin' but for Cardona, Shamash is Saturn.
 
................................, it is not [just] 'for Cardona' that 'Shamash is Saturn'. Shamash is, or was, Saturn for the Assyro-Babylonians themselves who reported it, more than once, in the very astrological texts mentioned above in no uncertain terms. ................................. Granted, it is also stated that Shamash was the Sun, but there is no doubt that Shamash was, first and foremost, Saturn. This can be ascertained because, when the Sun was meant, the astrologers thought it necessary to insert a gloss in their texts to that effect. The gloss was made to read 'Samse u-mi', that is 'Shamash of the day' [2], to differentiate it from Shamash of the night (in other words Saturn). That the ancients looked upon Saturn as the 'sun of night' has long been documented ...........................
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Darkness Over Sinai: (Where was Moses when the light went out?), by David A. Slade
 
In Jewish tradition the Israelites did not see the face of the Sun during the wandering in the desert because of clouds. They were also unable to orientate themselves on their march. No cause is given for these overcast conditions. This forty year-long obscuration is considered by Velikovsky as being due to multiple proplonged volcanic eruptions and the gaseous tail of a great cinder-trailing comet [1]. The degree of 'darkness' is not known, but it is common knowledge that cloud cover during normal storm conditions makes observations of the Sun, Moon and stars impossible. As all record of the passage of time has to be based on observations of these bodies, the question arises as to just how this was done in darkness. How did the Israelites know they were forty years in the desert? How did Moses know he was a year older? How long were these 'years'? ......................Our Society was formed with the intention of trying to resolve such conundrums. ...........................
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Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1993:1                       Click here for cost   
[Harold Tresman's 'Geological Genesis' reappears in this issue because of a computer mix-up in C&C Workshop
1992:2 - leading to it being published without references and the second part of it only in preliminary form. Please note that the 'Introduction', as given under C&C Workshop 1992:2, above, is correct except for the inclusion, in the second version, of 'Review' [article] and a mistake - 'SISR VII:2', which should read 'SISR II:2'] 
 
Chronological Implications of a Proper Identification of the Labyrinth: Part II, by Jesse E. Lasken 
 
In Part I (C&C Workshop 1992:2), I equated the Step Pyramid complex with the Egyptian Labyrinth described by Herodotus. This equation was argued independently of chronological considerations, but it has important chronological implications. ...........................................
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Geological Genesis, by Harold Tresman 
Editor's note: this is a corrected and revised version of the article published in Workshop 1992:2, with proper references [and additions]. 
 
Foreword - This article was first drafted in 1978, shortly after the publication of 'The Primordial Light (SIS Review [II:2], 1977). It is not surprising that now, as then, supportive or complimentary 'scientific' evidence is, to say the least, sparse. Accordingly, a lateral approach to circumstantial evidence has been the main tool in assembling the data for these proposals. There have been many oblique references from the scientific world that all is not well with the conventional approach, invariably combined with those observations that unsettled them. Some of these we have used. Other catastrophist researchers have made important connections in their publications (indeed, SIS itself is the most valuable source) and where appropriate we have adopted their ideas...........................
 
[At the conclusion of the above section, the 'Introduction' follows - see C&C Workshop 1992:2 ]
reword.  This article was firsForeword.  This article was first drafted in 1978, shortly after the publication of 'The Primordial Light' (SIS Review Fore Foreword. This artiocle was first drfted in 1978, shortly after the publication of 'The Primordial Light' (SIS Review Vol. 2 1977Fore_________________________________________________________________________________________

Compelling Insights: Concluded in Sorrow, by Dwardu Cardona

In this, my last reply to Derek Shelley-Pearce, I shall try to clarify a few points which both he and I raised., despite the fact that, sadly, he is no longer able to reply [Derek had died subsequent to the initial debates]. ................................................ he was 'surprised' at my 'unqualified assertion' that the theories of Velikovsky, Jaynes, Heinsohn, Cardona and Zysman contradict each other. He could not, especially, see 'how the work of Jaynes necessarily contradicts any of the others!' ................... It would, of course, require a lengthy article to show how the theories of the above-mentioned proponents do contradict each other but, at the risk of oversimplifying the entire issues, let me point out the following:

1. Heinsohn, like Velikovsky before him, believes that planetary catastrophism continued into the historic period, ....... 2. Despite the above, Heinsohn and Cardona both believe that the ancient deities were personifications of the planets, as did Velkovsky before them. Zysman, meanwhile, differs by ...................... 3. To Jaynes, however, the ancient deities were nothing more than the inner voices ...........................
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Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1993:2                                   Click here for cost
[the issue also contains a 'Forum' section discussing the New Chronology and the Amarna Period]
 eeeew 
The Great 250,000 Year Ice Core, by Alasdair N. Beal
 
Some fairly impressive claims are being made for the latest ice-core from the Greenland Icecore Project (GRIP) - e.g. 'It is the most detailed climate record of the past 250,000 ever obtained' [1]. If the claimed findings are correct, they have serious implications for studies of the Earth's history - for both catastrophists and conventional scientists alike - and comparing them with the ancient maps which apparently show an ice-free Greenland poses some interesting conundrums. (See 'How Old is Greenland's Ice Cap?', C&C Workshop, 1992:1, pp. 10-11.) The GRIP core was drilled at the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet, .......................
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Did the Achaemenids Ape the Assyrians?, by Gunnar Heinshon
 
Around -440, Herodotus reported that mankind's first world power, the Achaemenid Empire stretching from Egypt to India (-550 to -330), had its very centre in Assyria: .........................  Herodotus also reported that prior to the Persians, the Medes were the first Indo-Europeans who controlled Assyria: ............................ Mainstream Assyriology .... boasts the claim that - after 150 years of digging up Assyria - not a single brick or potsherd belonging to the Assyrians of the Medish period (-630 to -550) was ever found.  The author claims the identity of Mittanni Assyria with Medish Assyria and of post-Mitanni Assyria with Persian period Assyria...............................
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Assyrian and Babylonian Chronology, by A. Chavasse
 
In 1867 [1] George Smith identified an event of the 10th year of [the Assyrian king] Ashur-dan III as an eclipse retro-calculated to have taken place on the 15th June 763 BC.This has become the basis for the chronology of Eduard Meyer (1887-1904), the model which mostly prevails today. However, Velikovsky pointed [out] at various times that retro-calculation of dates before about 700 BC or somewhat later do not coincide with observations made by ancient astronomers ..........................  Moreover, why should the ancient Assyrians give such importance to a partial eclipse taking place early in the morning when they did not record in their Limmu List any full eclipse that took place in the middle part of the day?  ............. I believe this was no ordinary eclipse of the Sun by the Moon, but was an eclipse of the Sun by an astronomical body then called Nergal .........................................
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