Stratigraphy and a Revision

2 Aug 2010

Looking at the index to In the News it is noticable that chronological matters have been in short supply - and yet SIS has over the years published many articles on this subject. Too many according to some members. An Alan Montgomery post on the Eric Aitchison chronology email thread concerns stratigraphic problems that appear insurmountable from a conventional viewpoint. Archaeology that is dated reliably to the time of Ramses II, clearly precedes that of Ramses III, and that in turn clearly precedes strata associated with the Monarchy (of Israel and Judah). Revisions of history are very often Biblically orientated as the Bible is used as a dating yardstick - and even the conventional system is based on the Bible as one of the main crutches is the Shishak = Shoshenk identification (as well as several others). These were of course proposed back in the Victorian era but even in the first half of the 20th century the Bible played a key role in chronological matters so the fact that revisionists base some of their proposals on the same background is not peculiar in any kind of way. Montgomery says archaeologists have been feeding this line for some time (the succession from RII, RIII to Monarchy) and then mentions WH Steibing's challenge to Velikovsky in the pages of Pensee (1973). The full set of Pensee papers is on the 'Catastrophism CD' for those members who have this asset. Velikovsky's revision resolved the problem, he claims, but Steibing later wrote a book, Out of the Desert, Buffalo: 1976, in which he reiterated his arguments. Basically, Montgomery's argument revolves around the dating of Iron IIA in Palestine, as the pottery associated with that strata is sometimes found in association with Assyrian artifacts, therefore IIA must belong to the 'Divided' monarchy. This, in fact is what the short revision of Finkelstein acknowledges, and to a greater degree, the New Chronologies of Rohl and James. Montgomery, however is sticking to the Velikovsky model so IIA in his opinion dates even later, to the 8th and 7th centuries onwards. Hence, the Iron Age 1 period, usually defined as around 200 years, in the conventional scheme (as well as that of Finkelstein), included the United Monarchy phase - and the period of the Judges (which clearly is not long enough). In addition, as Velikovsky had dynasty 18 in the 9th century, we can suppose that Mongtgomery may be thinking of restricting Iron I to late 9th/ early 8th century, and he then has to explain how Horemhab and Ramses II are placed, per Velikovsky, in the 7th/ 6th centuries. That is too much to explain here but members of SIS can join in the email thread (but please note that the New Chronology is not an ongoing subject or any other revision than those of i) Eric Aitchison, ii) Barry Curnock, and iii) Alan Montgomery, which all strongly follow the dates in the  Ages in Chaos series). Alternatively, members are invited to send in details of material to post on In the News which generally require either an email link to an article or news report, or the name of a paper, journal, or book where the information can be sourced by members looking at In the News. What is required is references to interesting information that may impinge on chronology - including any revision that is out there. This is not intended to operate as a forum - such as the New Chronology Yahoo Group or the Thunderbolts online forum. It is essentially an online version of Monitor (see SIS journals to get a flavour of the format).