Ancient history news

Jesus and his wife

It didn't take long and now we have some backtracking - go to ... last week there was a post which included a piece on a papyrus fragment written in Coptic and containing a text which seemed to suggest Jesus had a wife - which stirred a few pots. Funny, most of those pots were secular - but there you are, a bit of sensationalism works wonders (even in those parts that are not tread with tender intent). This update claims it is not an authentic relic which contradicts the Harvard University people (and their press release).

Gunnar Heinsohn

The Gunnar Heinsohn latest extreme revision of history has been flourishing on an email thread set up by Clark Whelton. Its been on the go for a couple of months and Heinsohn and co are currently getting an ear bashing - by Dick Gagel. He is giving them back a taster of his own theories about the Netherlands and Germania in the Dark Ages. Gunnar Heinshohn's theory has also surfaced at ... and is presented as another example of mainstream bending the truth to fit the accepted version of events.

The Wasp Star

The 'wasp star' - does that not smack of something buzzing, or making a droning noise. In The Times of March 29th (page 82), Norman Hammond provides some information on The Codex Laud, named after an archbishop of Canterbury who donated it to the Bodleian Library in 1636, to the effect it is one of just a few surviving pre-Columbian manuscripts anywhere in the world. It is just 15cm square but unfolds to 4m (14 feet) in length. It is made from an animal skin, possibly that of a deer, covered in a thin film of lime wash.

David Rohl Chronology

At ... people at blogs such as this seem to have a need to inform Christians to be aware of various ideas the authors of them perceive as non-factual and not in sync with 'real' Biblical history (or their perceived version of it). The link cropped up on Eric Aitchison's 'email thread' on chronology - and not too much was made of it.

Venus Tablets of Ammisaduga

Email request via the contact address on the web page has come in concerning the Venus Tablets of Ammisaduga. Is there a reliable translation anywhere? Leroy kindly pointed to articles in Kronos that are available on the Catastrophism CD and made the point they are perhaps just a set of tables rather than something like a chronicle or annal. Daniel Gracely has asked if the link to Henry Zemel's web site is reliable - go to and if this doesn't work just ...

Amarna Chronology

The big news this week is that it has now been established there was a co-regency between Amenophis III and Akhenaten. This lasted around 10 years - see or go to The evidence comes from a tomb in Luxor, inscribed with cartouches of both pharaohs.

New Egyptian dynasty - yes or no?

At ... the lost pharaoh of dynasty 16 (update). It seems there was an independent dynasty at Abydos contemporary with the Hyksos, and the 17th dynasty, located in the south, at Thebes. Some 16 royal tombs of the Abydos dynasty have been found - adjacent to earlier MK tombs (dynasty 12 and 13). A cedar beam from the tomb of Sobekhotep O was reused in the new found tomb - so postdates early dynasty 13. However, controversy rules.

Sodom and Gomorrah chronology

In a talk at the 1991 SIS AGM meeting in London (at the Library Association) one of the speakers, Bernard Newgrosh, likened the Sodom and Gomorrah event to the Exodus event, and the destruction of Jericho. Although he visualised the Sodom event as earlier than Exodus he attributed it to a Venus cometary encounter (like Exodus in the Velikovsky hypothesis).

The 'raash' of Uzziah

In the very first SIS Workshop Martin Sieff had an article on the raash of Uzziah as it was described by Velikovsky in one of his books. In the King James translation of the Bible it is given as an 'earthquake' and this appears to be the general mainstream view of historians. Nothing of great moment. In Jeremiah 10:22 it is, instead, rendered as 'a great commotion out of the north' which appears to be something quite different to an earthquake. In Zechariah 14:5 it was remembered how people 'fled from before the raash in the days of Uzziah ...'.

Noah's Ark (Utnapishtim)

William Thompson has provided two links for this story from the British Museum - and ... which promotes a book by Irving Finkel, 'The Ark before Noah' Hodder and Stoughton:2014. Finkel is a curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum. He claims to have decoded, or translated, one of the tablets and came up with a new theory, the ark was round.