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Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop 1994-2004 Abstracts

Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1994:1  Click here for cost

Exploring the Saturn Myth: Evidence from Australian Aboriginal Story, Symbol and Art in Support of the Polar Cofiguration, by Allan Beggs 

For several years now I have been studying the theory of The Saturn Myth, written by North American researcher, David Talbott, and published as a series of essays in the journal AEON. The theory involves an ancient celestial phenomenon termed a ‘polar configuration’ and its impact on all of the major themes of world myth and symbol. In each of the essays the author challenges his readers to search out the themes and test the ability of his model to ‘predict’ certain (and very specific) mythological connections and/or associations. However, in five major essays on the key subject, world mythology, no mention has been made of Australian Aboriginal mythology. ………………Do the Aboriginal myths unfailingly portray the sky as it is now, and if not, do they record forms other than Talbott’s highly specific model? ………………….


Our Tilted Earth: A Geomorphic Analysis of Crustal Movement About the Poles, North America and Australasia, by Gordon P. Williams

When the subject of continental movement is introduced its association with science of geology is almost automatic. However, the science dealing with land movement is geomorphology. ………………… Against the opinion prevailing at the time, Heinrich Schliemann’s interpretation of Homer’s Iliad led to the discovery of Troy. A smilar approach led to the discovery of Knossos in Crete. Could the ancient records do the same for geomorphology? Fortunately, we are able to put that to the test by identifying a pattern (or assemblage) of land forms created by the action of forces released within the Earth and determine the direction and extent of movement. Where would we begin the search for evidence of continental movement? ………………..


The ‘Cosmic Winter’, Gildas … and St. Patrick, by Phillip Clapham

In C&C Review XVIII (1991), Dick Atkinson reviewed Clube and Napier’s The Cosmic Winter and turned a very sceptical eye on the contents. Subsequently, C. Leroy Ellenberger responded and came to Clube and Napier’s defence and the debate has rumbled on through C&C Review XIV and XV and C&C Workshop 1992:2 and 1993:1. Atkinson is particular scathing about Clube and Napier’s interpretation of The Ruin of Britain, written in the 6th century AD by a monk, Gildas – a polemic against 5 kings of Wales …………………….It was predictable, I suppose, that Clube and Napier would try to use the Tunguska explosion in their cosmic cycle of periodic meteoric material entering the atmosphere. However, they were then forced to scratch around for evidence of something similar earlier in the cycle. As a result of this, they made the claim that a similar Tunguska-like impact occurred in mid-5th century AD, ……………………… Clube and Napier might have some sort of case if they had produced some archaeological evidence. …………….


Pyramid Builders and Hyksos, by Michael G. Reade

Revised chronologies for Egyptian history appear almost all still to be based on the assumption that the traditional sub-division into consecutive Old, Middle and New Kingdom eras is sound. Even Dr. Velikovsky’s original revision relies on this hypothesis (e.g. his placement of the Exodus between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom). One exception appears to be Emmet J. Sweeney’s recent paper ‘The Pyramid Age’ [1], though papers by Professor Heinsohn and Jesse E. Lasken are also relevant. Were the dating of the pyramids of Gizeh (the pyramids of Cheops, Chepren and Mycerinus) to be materially re-assessed from its present 2686-2181 BC level [2], the traditional sequence of the kingdoms would almost certainly have to be abandoned, or at least be very substantially amended. I happen to agree with Sweeney’s general proposition, but his paper devotes such disproportionate space to controversial items that nobody seems likely to place much faith in it. ………..he introduced his chapter on the Dodecarchy with the words: ‘After the great natural disaster in the time of Sneferu, Egyptian society disintegrated ….’. But where is there any previous reference to a disaster – natural or otherwise – in the time of Sneferu? ………………………………………………..


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1994:2 Click here for cost 

[A ‘Forum’ section in this issue deals with what are seen as major problems

in the New Chronology]

The Dust-up Over Ice Cores, by David A. Slade

Following my talk on Plinian Eruptions at the [SIS 1993] Cambridge Conference, it was agreed between myself and the Chairman David Salkeld (to whom I am indebted for additional data), that he would write concerning Basalt Extrusion Eruptions and I would address the problem of why some eruptions are recorded by their ejecta being found in ice-cores, while others are not. . …………


Ice Cores and Cosmically Induced Volcanic Eruptions, by David Salkeld

At the 2nd SIS Conference held at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge on 16th-18th July 1993, David Slade presented a paper on the nature of volcanic eruptions and the ways in which the ejecta (tephra) might be carried to polar regions by upper-atmosphere winds. In discussions after the conference with Mr. Slade, he agreed to continue with his researches into the meteorological processes whereby the volcanic ‘fallout’ might reach, or be prevented from reaching, the areas from which ice cores have been taken and I would contribute a note on the link between cosmic visitations and vocanic eruptions. ……………


Egyptian Language Anomalies, by Jesse E. Lasken

Introduction. Conventional and ‘New’ chronologists agree that thirty dynasties ruled Egypt for around 3,000 years. They divide Egypt’s history from ‘Dynasty 3’ (or sometimes ‘Dynasty 4’) until Roman rule into an Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period, Middle Kingdom, Second Intermediate Period, New Kingdom, Third Intermediate Period, Saite Dynasty, Persian Period, and Ptolemaic Period. The main difference in the ‘New’ chronology involves the substantial shortening of the Third Intermediate Period and the related movement of the ‘New Kingdom’ to about three centuries later than the conventional dating. However, the dynastic framework depends upon the dubious use of certain epitomes of Manetho. Whatever the justification for the tentative formulation of this chronological hypothesis around 1830 [BC] (dubious even then), it cannot withstand objective evaluation ………………………………………..


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1995:1 Click here for cost 

A New Theory of Celtic Festivals, by J. M. Williams

The four great festivals which divided the Celtic year – Samain (1st November), Imbolc (1st February), Beltane (1st May) and Lugnasad (1st August) raise questions about the ancient calendar which are not satisfactorily answered by the usual explanations………………… These festivals were not gentle rustic celebrations. Anne Ross writes:

‘Each part of the year was preceded by a great religious festival commemorating some cult legend. The festival was accompanied by feasting and merrymaking, by fairs and marketing, games and sport, and by religious observances and, in Gaul at least, the sacrifice of humans as well as beasts.’ [5] 

Significant ommissions from this calendar are any celebrations or even recognition of the winter and summer solstices, or the spring and autumn equinoxes …….. This is especially surprising where the pre-Celtic culture of indigenous Neolithic/Bronze Age people includes such solar monuments as, for example, Newgrange in Ireland – aligned to the winter solstice sunrise on the shortest day. Also, as Professor Rhys comments about the Irish Celts, ‘ … the longest day was, so far as I have been able to discover, of no special acount.’ [6] …………….


Jupiter in Collision: in search of Velikovsky’s comet, by Milton Zysman (Paper presented at Portland 1994 seminar)

‘Of all the mysterious phenomena which accompanied the Exodus, this mysterious pillar seems the first to demand explanation’ [1]

Velikovsky came to his catastrophe thesis through a search for reliable chronology for ancient Middle Eastern history. This search, born of the realisation that both Egyptians and Israelites alike went through a great physical upheaval, gave rise to the most influential work on catastrophism published this century. Hebrew traditions of the red and poisonous Nile, the impenetrable darknesss, the hot stones from heaven, the great winds and noise, the anomalous behaviour of insects and animals and the tidal effect at the Sea of Passage were collected and matched to the other worldwide traditions, convincing Velikovsky that the Exodus event was part of a global upheaval caused by the passage of the Earth through the tail of a giant protoplanet. ……….. It has been for some time this author’s opinion that this ‘mysterious pillar’ is not a comet’s tail but the Earth’s north and south magnetic poles illuminated by the joint action of electrical discharge and the mingling of earthly and cometary gases – i.e. a giant aurora. In this paper I shall argue that the early reports from the Jupiter/Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision can cast further light on the aurora thesis and bring us closer to understanding the full significance ……………. 


Comments on Greta Hort’s ‘The Plagues of Egypt’, by David Salkeld

Greta Hort put forward a theory to explain the plagues of Egypt mentioned in the Exodus [1]. She ascribes the plague of blood to exceptional rains causing a swollen Blue Nile to bring tropical ‘Roterde’ (red earth) from the Abyssinian highlands and flagellates Euglenia sanguinea and Haematococcus pluvialis from L. Tana, into the Lower Nile [2]. ……………….. The thesis is ingenious and deserves careful scrutiny by experts on Egyptian geography, climatic records, insects and bacteriology. However, from a lay standpoint, there are a few points that deserve clarification. ………………


The Patchwork Pentateuch, by Dick Atkinson

The C&CR Special Issue (Proceedings of the 1993 SIS Cambridge Conference) made fascinating reading. Three items all called to mind a common difficulty in reading the Bible. ……………………………….For the past few years I have made it my policy to ……. disentangle the intertwined souces in the Pentateuch. …… The early Pentateuch is agreed to be a complicated amalgamation, betraying on stylistic, theological and other grounds at least 5 separate writers. ……… It is certain … that many of the stories exist in duplicate in the Pentateuch ………………………. Wiseman had apparently argued that two flood stories were accounts by two different survivors – two of Noah’s sons – and that the multiple strands detected by analysis were illusory. Friedman, however, ……………………


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 1995:2 [see notes at end] Click here for cost Baal xxxxxx x x x22222

Baal-Manzer The Tyrian: A Reappriasal, by Brad Aaronson

In 1951, Fuad Safar published a new version of the annals of [the Assyrian king] Shalmaneser III which contained an important but puzzling Assyrian-Tyrian synchronism [1]. We know from other versions of Shalmaneser’s records that, in the campaign of his eighteenth year, he received tribute from ‘Yaua mar Humri’ (Jehu of Beth Omri) and the Tyrians [2]. In this version, a name is supplied for the king of Tyre. The passage in question reads: ‘I received the tribute of Baal-Manzer the Tyrian and Jehu of Beth Omri’ [3] The question is, who is this Baal-Manzer? …………………………………….


David, Solomon & Archaeology: Revised Chronologies Compared, by Jeremy Goldberg

The starting point for this article is Velikovsky’s roughly half-century old observation that the Exodus can very attractively be dated to just before the Hyksos invasion of Egypt (rise of Dynasty 15). As readers of [SIS publications] know very well, the main sticking point ever since has been chronology: ……………………… the extent of the required downdating has remained controversial. Among those studies which have attempted the most detailed reconstructions of an alternative Egyptian chronology, Velikovsky’s downdating of the chronologically crucial Egyptian New Kingdom (Dyn[s.] 18-20) by c. 500/650/800 years has been reduced – using the principal Dyn. 19 ruler, Ramesses II (accepted dates 1279-1213), as a benchmark – to c. 350 years by Rohl (e.g. JACF [Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum] 5 1991/92, pp. 31ff), c. 250 years by James and Morkot (CoD [Centuries of Darkness], p. 257f) and c. 200 years by this writer [1.] It may be significant that a c. 200 year downdating would reduce the usual mid-17th century start of the Hyksos period to I Kings 6:1’s mid-15th century date for the Exodus ………………….


The MacCecht and Cuchulainn, by Phillip Clapham

O’Rahilly [1], describes the Irish hero the MacCecht as a Sun god because he was huge in stature, a giant who caried large gold cup which O-Rahilly clearly saw as the cup of the Sun. The Sun was worshipped in pagan Europe and elsewhere, but it is not exactly clear why. It may have been in fear of the Sun failing to appear due to atmospheric obfuscation: diminished sunlight implies lower levels of warmth and low growth of crops. The MacCecht differed – he was feared for himself and his appearance. He wielded a spear that was black red with dripping blood and ………………………….. It did not occur to O’Rahilly that the MacCecht was not the sun, but another body traversing the sky, ……………..


Egyptian Chronology – The Multiple Name Factor, by Jesse E. Lasken

I believe that the Egyptian chronology requires radical revision and that scientific and objective evaluation of the evidence demands revised datings of much material now associated with the New Kingdom to the time of the Ptolemies. Some of this evidence has been discussed in …………………. Since the length of time now thought to be occupied by Dynasties 18-20′ of the New Kingdom is several centuries longer than the Ptolemaic period and since the number of persons claimed to have ruled Egypt during the New Kingdom is considerably higher than the number of Ptolemaic rulers, it logically follows, if my basic conclusions are correct, that something is amiss with the internal New Kingdom chronology or with our understanding of Ptolemaic history …………………


Bel and Dragons, by Phillip Clapham

Shortly after AD 800 a Welsh priest or monk, Nennius, compiled a collection of traditional material known as the Historia Brittonum. Some of the material was [considered to be legends] and is regarded as dubious by historians. However, unlike Geoffrey of Monmouth’s popular work, Historia Regnum Brittanniae, it does not appear to have been reworked by the author. Nennius simply assembled an odd assortment of stories, several of which concern Vortigern, who is believed to have been the last British king of what is now England, ruling in mid-5th century AD. ………….. Was Vortigern a real person? The name was first used by the English cleric, the Venerable Bede, …………………..


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP2003:1 Click here for cost  

The Celestial Tower, by Emmet J. Sweeney

In every corner of the globe, from Lapland to southern Africa and from Mexico to China, there is a tradition of how a deluge caused by erratic movements of the heavenly bodies brought to an end a paradisal age of innocence and how mankind ……… attempted to reopen communication with heaven by erecting a tower that reached to the sky. …………………………. Before looking at some possible explanations of this myth, …………….. If the tower was electrical and if it was also the original staff of Hermes, this would, perhaps, further explain the intertwined ‘battling’ serpents. …………………..


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP 2003:2 Click here for cost 

Ishtar, Isis, Baal and the Aten, by Michael G. Reade

It is fairly widely accepted that Ishtar, Isis, Baal and the Aten were all celestial bodies. Although Dr. Victor Clube has claimed they were originally idependent comets and it is considered by most that the Aten is an aspect of the Sun, I suggest that they were probably all the celestial body which we currently know as Venus.. The common identity of Baal and the Aten was discussed ……………………..


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP2003:3 Click here for cost 

Hatshepsut, The Queen of Sheba and Velikovsky, Part I, by Emmet J. Sweeney

This is the first of a two-part article responding to those writers who, over the years, have criticised Velikovsky’s identification of the Egyptian ruler Hatshepsut with the biblical Queen of Sheba. In 1999, David Lorton placed a paper (‘Hatshepsut, the Queen of Sheba and Velikovsky’) …….on the Internet where it has been read by many people. Another article, by John Bimson, was published in C&C Review vol. VIII, 1986, and was very influential with many people in the ‘Velikovskian’ movement. A response is necessary because the Lorton and Bimson articles contain half-truths and examples of circular reasoning that have misled many people into believing they have ‘debunked’ this particular part of Velikovsky’s theory and consequently there is no further need to respond to contrary evidence. ………… As Lorton’s is the most recent and widely-read paper, in part one I will deal primarily with the points raised by him. In the second part (for publication shortly) I shall concentrate on the evidence presented by Bimson. ………………………………….


Chronology & Catastrophism WORKSHOP2004:1 Click here for cost 

Hatshepsut, The Queen of Sheba and Velikovsky, Part II, a response to Bimson, by Emmet J. Sweeney

……The following is my promised response to the evidence presented by John Bimson in C&C Review vol. VIII, 1986. Animals and Africans on the Deir el-Bahri reliefs. The Deir el-Bahri reliefs show a number of African people along with animals of supposedly African origin, such as at least one rhinoceros and a giraffe. For Bimson and many of his readers this was decisive evidence in proving an African location for Punt: decisive enough to make them ignore or forget all the other evidence that clearly located Punt/the Divine Land in Palestine/Phoenicia. But if Punt was Phoenicia, why then such an African influence? Why the large amount of space devoted to seemingly African animals and people with clearly negroid features? This is a question that cannot be ignored. ……… First and foremost, whilst the negroes may indicate an African element, the animals very definitely do not belong to Africa …………………. as Bimson himself admits, giraffes were found on the borders of Syria and Arabia in classical times – a fact noted by Diodorus [2]. Furthermore, the Bible …… speaks of giraffes ……. in the region of Sinai and the Negev ………The rhinoceros however very definitely points to Asia. Once again, as with the giraffe ………………


 1. 1. 1. After issue 1995:2, Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop was replacedwith the SIS Internet Digest until C&C Workshop’s re-introduction in 2003.

2. There was no 2003:4.

3. 2004:1 is listed above, but issues 2004:2, 2004:3 and 2004:4 were each amalgamated with consecutive issues of Chronology & Catastrophism Review. Therefore, abstracts/extracts from these latter C&C Workshop issues will be found under Chronology & Catastrophism Review.

3. Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop appeared once again as a separate in 2005 (2 issues each year) and has continued to be published separately from C&C Review since then.

Baal-Manzer The Tyrian: A Reappriasal, by Brad Aaronson

 * There was no 2004:4

David, Solomon & Archaeology: Revised Chronologies Compared, by Jeremy Goldberg

The MacCecht and Cuchulainn, by Phillip Clapham

Egyptian Chronology – The Multiple Name Factor, by Jesse E. Lasken

Bel and Dragons, by Phillips Clapham 






David Solomon & Archaeology: Revised Chronologies Compared, by Jeremy Gldberg

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