SIS REVIEW VOL. VI (2 issues,). ARTICLE ABSTRACTS/EXTRACTS

SIS REVIEW Vol. VI:1-3 - Proceedings of the Glasgow                Click here for cost    
Conference: 'Ages in Chaos? - How valid are Velikovsky's views on
ancient history?' (with papers on the astronomy) held at Jordanhill College, University of Glasgow, 7th-9th April 1978

Some Additional Evidence from the Period from the Exodus to the End of the Eighteenth Dynasty, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky [shortly before the conference Velikovsky was taken ill and could not attend to read his paper. It was read on his behalf]

Since the publication of Ages in Chaos: From the Exodus to King Akhnaton over twenty-five years have elapsed. Did the elapsed time supply additional proofs or disclose any weakness in the scheme?  ............. many new proofs have presented themselves to verify the reconstruction; and more than one of them was clearly anticipated in Ages in Chaos and also indicated in advance. I shall survey here some of the evidence that has been adduced and in so doing I shall follow approximately the order of chapters in Ages in Chaos, Volume I. .................
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The Nature of the Historical Record, by Geoffrey J. Gammon
 
The field of study with which we are chiefly concerned at this conference is the history and archaeology of the Near-East and eastern Mediterranean in the second and first millennia BC. In this talk I shall try to make a general survey of the material available to the archaeologist and historian in their efforts to construct a coherent framework for the archaeological period known as the Middle and Late Bronze, and Iron Ages. First, not only are the written resources available to them much fewer; there is also a qualitative difference in the tasks facing the ancient and modern historian. The latter may have gaps in his sources, because some have been lost, witheld or suppressed.  .............
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Can There be a Revised Chronology Without a Revised Stratigraphy?, by Dr. John J. Bimson
 
In an article which appeared in Pensée in 1973, W. H. Stiebing claimed that: 'Velikovsky's revised synchronisms for ancient history cannot be reconciled with the stratigraphical evidence of archaeology' [1]. One of Stiebing's objections to Velikovsky's chronology relies on the supposed association of Hyksos objects with pottery of the Middle Bronze II period in Palestine. I have shown elsewhere that this association does not bear close scrutiny [2]. But Steibing also raised another and more serious problem for the Revised Chronology, and it is with this that the present paper is chiefly concerned. ..............
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Some Detailed Evidence from Egypt Against Velikovsky's Revised Chronology, by Michael Jones
 
It is a truth very widely recognised in archaeology that the most useful sources of information are often those whose appearance is the most unprepossesing. In Egypt the standing remains have been subjected to exhaustive but selective scrutiny with the result that in the early days of Egyptology a picture of life in ancient Egypt emerged which was not far removed from some of the extravagant reconstructions provided by Hollywood. Needless to say such a view is inaccurate. .......... In examining Dr. Velikovsky's suggestions concerning Egyptian chronology it is important to ..........  test his proposals in the light of all we know about the periods he discusses. .......
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The Astronomical Basis of Egyptian Chronology, by Professor Archie E. Roy  
 
I have been asked to speak on the astronomical chronology, the basis for the Egyptian chronology as it is revealed by astronomical records in Egyptology. ...................................There are several concepts that some people find elementary and others seem to find rather difficult. One of these is what is meant by a heliacal rising. We find in the literature that such-and-such an object, for example the star Sothis, 'rose heliacally, and so what I want to do first of all is to get fixed in our minds what is meant by the heliacal rising of an object. We can then go on to consider the distinction between the two calendars that are of value in a discussion of the Great Year. .....................
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Radiocarbon Dating and Egyptian Chronology, by Dr. Euan MacKie
 
............... as a practising archaeologist I have to use radiocarbon dates in this remote northern region [Glasgow] far from the centres of early civilisation in the Mediterranean and the Near East, and therefore, like everyone who works up here, beyond the range of direct links with Egypt and Greece, I have to be familiar with C14, its limitations and its benefits [1].  It occurred to me some time ago - and, of course, to others as well, including Dr Velikovsky himself - that it was really going to be the C14 evidence which would provide the crucial test for his Revised Chronology ................. in the last five or six years quite a number [of carbon dates] have been brought together - particularly for the XIXth, XXth and XXIst Dynasties, but also for later times as well - with the specific aim not of testing Velikovsky's chronology but of finding out more about the difficulties which seem to attend the tree-ring chronology based on the Bristlecone Pine and its connections with radiocarbon dating. I'll speak a bit more about that later on; ...................................................................
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The Stability of the Solar System: An Historical Perspective, by Professor Archie A. Roy 
 
................. Celestial mechanics is based for the most part on an explanation of the movements of planets, satellites, artificial satellites and interplanetary spacecraft as being governed almost entirely by Newton's Law of Gravitation and his three Laws of Motion.  These four laws - and the Differential and Integral Calculus which he also created - are one of the cornerstones of our modern civilisation.  It has been said that Western civilisation is largely based on three books: the Bible, Karl Marx's Das Kapital and Isaac Newton's Principia. Newton carried out his work in the second half of the 17th century and the early part of the 18th century.  .........  Kepler ........ Tycho Brahe ...... Copernicus ....... Galileo ....... Laplace ......  Legrange ...... Poisson .......Adams and Leverrier ........ Einstein ......Newcomb ......... Henri Poincaré ...........
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The Celestial Dynamics of Worlds in Collision, by Dr. Robert W. Bass [As they relate directly to this paper, abstracts from two papers in Pensée IVR (1974) by Dr. Bass are also printed in this issue. The papers are: ' "Proofs" of the Stability of the Solar System' and 'Can Worlds Collide?'. It is supposed by many that current astronomical knowledge has shown that Velikovsky's solar system events cannot have occurred. By examination of the arguments Dr. Bass shows that this is not so.] 
 
 
I was recently invited by Dr. Elizabeth Chesley-Baity, author of a well-known synthesising summary of archaeoastronomy [1], to give a lecture on the stability of the solar system at a conference in Austria, [a] year and a half from now; and in her letter of invitation she asked me whether I could give the talk without repeating myself (that is, without quoting my previous papers on the subject). Fortunately, Dr. MacKie did not impose that stipulation upon me, so I think I will take about one-third of my time to summarise what I have already said in Pensée and Kronos [2] for the benefit of those of you who may not have read those papers, and then I shall try to say something beyond what I have published. ............. I believe that there is some possibility that most, if not all, of the Velikovskian scenario could be consistent with Newton's Law of Motion. However, there are some aspects ............. that I believe are not even tenable under these conditions and we would have to add still further departures from Newtonian mechanics, which I will come to. Now, many of Velikovsky's followers have realised this and Velikovsky himself and others have hypothesised electrostatic forces ...........  
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  Velikovsky's 'The Tomb of Ahiram' - a Summary by Geoffrey Gammon
 
Dr Velikovsky's paper closing the conference was taken from a chapter of his book, Ramses II and His Time, then unpublished. As this book is now available, only a summary is presented here; the interested reader is referred to the sections 'The Tomb of Ahiram' and 'The Inscriptions of Ahiram and the Origins of the Alphabet' in Chapter III. 
 
While excavating Byblos in 1922, Pierre Montet discovered nine royal tombs, one of which belonged to King Ahiram. Inscriptions in Hebrew (Phoenician) letters, one on the wall of the tomb, the other on the lid of the sarcophagus, ............. The inscription on the coffin stated that it had been made by Ithobaal, son of Ahiram, king of Gwal (Byblos), 'for his father as his abode in eternity'. In the chamber were fragments of alabaster vases bearing the cartouche of Ramesses II, Mycenaean ceramic and ivory objects, and also Cypriot pottery similar in style to 7th century ware. In dating the tomb, Montet assumed that all the objects found there, including the Cypriot vases, belonged to the 13th century, when Ramesses II is generally believed to have reigned.  ................... Over the past 50 years, a heated and, as yet, unresolved argument has been carried on between archaeologists and epigraphers about the correct dating of Ahiram's tomb.  The latter discerned a close resemblance between the characters in Ithobaal's inscription and those inscribed on the statues of Shoshenq I and Osorkon (I), who were both pharaohs of the Libyan Dynasty, by the Phoenician kings Abibaal and Elibaal. These [latter statue] inscriptions were considered on epigraphic grounds to be transitional between the Mesha stele letters of about -850 and the inscription from Hezekiah's water conduit at Shiloah (Siloam) dated to about -700, ..............
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SIS REVIEW Vol. VI:4                                                                    Click here for cost
 
Velikovsky and the Apparatus of Scholarship, by Robert H. Hewsen
 
Supporters of Velikovsky should be aware of allowing interest in his theories to become a cult. Velikovsky's brilliant insights into ancient history and cosmology would be best served by a rigorous and critical examination rather than any attempt to defend his work wholesale against critics.
 
I shall address myself first of all to what I feel are the general reasons for the continued rejection of Immanuel Velikovsky's ideas by the mainstream of science and the academic community; secondly to what I feel is the need for objectivity as a means of overcoming this rejection; and thirdly I should like to point out the responsibility of all of us as supporters of Velikovsky to create the kind of objective atmosphere which I feel should be the hallmark of the Velikovskian movement. ........ Unfortunately, however, Dr Velikovsky and too many of his supporters frequently have a very subjective interpretation of objectivity. ..........................
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Skara Brae: A Time Capsule of Catastrophism?, by Brian Moore and Peter James
 
The curious Neolithic site of Skara Brae in Orkney shows great promise as a 'type site' of catastrophism for prehistoric Europe. While there are no written records, the evidence supports a model for Skara Brae's destruction weaving together earthquake, violent climatic conditions, drastic cultural change and fear of extraterrestrial catastrophe around the end of the 3rd millennium BC.
 
In the first of M. Mandelkehr's articles on 'An Integrated Model for an Earthwide Event at 2300 BC', published in SISR V:3, he states that 'although there is extensive evidence of widespread cultural disruptions' there are no 'reports of site destruction around 2300 BC in Europe' (p. 84).  In fact, this statement is incorrect; there is at least one prehistoric European site which shows evidence of destruction at this time, matching catastrophes throughout the Near East at the end of the Early Bronze Age, and adds further support to Mandelkehr's thesis. The evidence also reinforces another aspect of Mandelkehr's thesis, i.e. the proposed link between the archaeological destructions and an astronomical disturbance. Orkney 'Mainland' [1] is exceptionally rich in prehistoric remains, including the prodigious passage-grave of Maes Howe and one of the largest stone circles in Britain, the Ring of Brodgar; but possibly the most interesting site on the island is the cluster of drystone walled Neolithic dwellings known as Skara Brae, ....................
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