Ancient history news

Mesha stele

At ... a new reading of the Moabite Stone by a team led by Finkelstein, Na-aman, and Romer, using high resolution photography (imaging) seems to read somewhat different to earlier attempts at translation. The problem is that the stone was broken up and the text is damaged. The previous transliteration of the text claimed it mentioned Beth Dwd (the House of David) but this is now under dispute. Mesha was a contemporary of Jehoram of Israel, against whom he claims to have rebelled.

Byzantine Setback

At ... ancient rubbish mounds reveal a 6th century AD episode of climate change affecting a Byzantine town site in what is now Israeli territory. The rubbish, or trash mounds, were found outside the settlement of Elusa and a little digging revealed they formed by discarded material from the town, in a way suggesting an organised form of collection and deposit. They also found that the town had fallen on hard times - but what caused it. They suggest it was due to the plunge in temperatures after AD536 (sometimes known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age).

Climate Change in History

Gary sent in the link ... how climate change caused the world's first empire to collapse - which is derived from the US magazine The Conversation - via the medium of ... the link to which was sent in by William. This is a typical hotchpotch by a journalist as the historical reality is a little more complicated. The journalist has managed to combine several hundred years of history into a single event.

Up in Galilee

Waves of migration from Anatolia and the Zagros Mountains (modern Turkey and Iran) entered the Levant during the early Chalcolithic period - as proved by skeleton DNA of burials in Upper Galilee. The Chalcolithic began between 6 and 7,000 years ago. The Chalcolithic marks a change in culture in the Levant (and in various other localities too). The press release is at


According to Ariel David (at Haaretz, July 23rd 2017) the Philistines of the Bible may not have an origin in the Agean - and may not be a sea people at all, but native to northern Syria - or somewhere close to that region. He quotes a professor from the Israel Museum in Jerusalm, one Shirley Ben Dor Evian, whose reasoning is quite interesting - but no doubt some historians can find some odd threads she has woven and tug at the ends of them in order to disentangle the web she has weaved.

United Monarchy

At ... new evidence pointing to the existence of the kingdom of David and Solomon has been uncovered - so it is said. It is published in the journal Radiocarbon so I suppose it is relying on C14 dating methodology. An archaeological site in the Shephalah region has unearthed a four room building on the summit of the tell which is said to have been destroyed in the 8th century - which they are attributing to the Assyrian invasions of the southern Levant.

Ptolemy III

Aty ... around 245BC Ptolemy III of Egypt had the Seleucid empire on the run but for some unknown reason decided to turn around and head back to Egypt. Actually, we do know why - civil unrest had broken out in the Nile Valley. What we do not know is why? One reason might be volcanoes, it is conjectured - leading to a significant drop in global temperatures. An article in Nature Communications (Oct 2017) links the eruptions to the end of Ptolemy's war - and with a series of violent uprisings that racked Egypt.


At ... (July 2017) as reported by Ariel David. It is claimed that recent research may indicate the enigmatic Philistines may have been a native Near Eastern population group rather than invading Aegean pirates (as mainstream would have us believe). As such, they can hardly be blamed for the LB destructions in the Levant, Anatolia, and the Aegean etc. The Philistines are traditionally bound up as one of the so called sea peoples.

Year 14 Tiglath Pileser

We don't usually have much to post on ancient history but Eric sent in an email to say the Velikovsky Discussion Group has posted a claim that Assyrian history, based around year 14 of Tiglath Pileser III, has been aligned with the discredited chronology of Floyd Nolan Jones and Ussher. Their system uses periods of inter regna with no known kings (blank years in other words) to reach their specific aim of compatability with Biblical chronology of the Monarchy.

Iron Throne

At ... is there an iron throne in the newly discovered chamber of Cheops pyramid? This refers to the discovery by Japanese researchers of a large void at least 30m in length within the pyramid. Speculation is mounting that an iron throne may exist in the newly discovered chamber - or roof space. A throne of Cheops mother, Hetepheres, has been found - made of cedar wood covered in sheets of gold and faience.