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Xanthus quenched by Hephaistos

29 March 2013

The backdrop of the Trojan War is fascinating as in the Iliad we are told the fleeing Trojans reached the head of the river Xanthus when the river god became angry. He had grown restless as a result of all the killing on the battlefield and raised himself high, a great flood of waters that sounds very much like an earthquake induced tsunami wave. See John Crowe's web site on his two books, The Troy Deception, the main thrust of which is that Bergama was Troy rather than Hisarlik, the consensus choice – at http://troy.kriskemist.com/supporting-paper/blow-for-troy/

Xanthus rose from his bed raging on high and seething with foam and blood and corpses … so we have a tsunami wave (induced by an earthquake?). Hera, in order to save Achilles, caused a fierce blast of wind (from the direction of the sea) which might imply wind driven by blast (as in a bolide exploding, drawing a parallel with the Russian meteor of Feb 15th), and then Hephaestus (the god of fire) made ready a wondrous blazing fire that burned the corpses, dried out the Plain of Troy and caused the river to recoil and become an empty threat (even perhaps to evaporate). Heat from the bolide explosion – perhaps. Intense heat was certainly part of the Russian meteor experience, and the Tunguska object, but Hephaistos was the god of fire. Did fire rain out of the sky – as well as heat?

Surprisingly, such a scenario actually fits into what is known of the end of LB situation – the period marking the close of dynasty 19 in Egypt and the beginning of dynasty 20. For example, a text of Merenptah refers to the Libyans that invaded the eastern delta, ' … Libya has become a desert, the Libyans came to Egypt to seek sustenance'. However, at the palace temple of Medinet Habu, excavated between 1927 and 1936 by the Oriental Institute of Chicago, there were around 10,000 square metres of inscriptions and reliefs, some of which are clearly visible and others that are damaged. They were translated by Breasted, Edgerton and Wilson in 12 volumes. One text stands out, Ramesses III is made to say, 'Libya became a desert, a terrible torch hurled flame from heaven to destroy their souls and lay waste their land … their bones burn (alt. cook) and roast within their bodies … ' (Breasted). The trajectory of the terrible torch, if coming from a north east direction, would have been over Anatolia and the Aegean.

A text of Seti II, between Merenptah and Ramesses III, reads, 'Sekhmet was a circling (rotating) star which spread out fire in flames, a fire flame in his storm (Breasted, volume 3, p117). An inscription from Ugarit (Ras Shamra, excavated by Claude Schaeffer) dated shortly before its destruction (by earthquake), 'the star Anat has fallen from heaven. He (it) slew the people of Syria and confused the two twilights and the seats of the constellations … '. Schaeffer was the first archaeologist/ historian to question the consensus on the Sea Peoples (a barbarian invasion) and since then a variety of authors have recognised them as largely a horde of refugees. The Medinet Habu reliefs clearly depict them arriving on the border of Egypt (in Syria) in ox carts, with their women, children and agricultural implements (Cambridge Ancient History is one reference).

Breasted's translation, widely quoted, is based on the supposition Ramesses III portrayed himself as the goddess Sekhmet, and when he says he burns up the enemy we are left wondering if this is typical pharaonic hyperbole (the pharaoh being the representative of the gods on Earth) or is actually describing what the goddess Sekhmet had done (driving forwards the sea peoples, a mixture of Anatolians and Aegeans as well as Libyans). One often quoted part of the inscription is that when confronted by the refugees in boats (at the mouth of the Nile)  he says, 'the flame is prepared before them …' where Ramesses III is clearly depicted as acting in the manner of Sekhmet, destroying and burning the boats of the refugees. He is both saying they were driven to Egypt by the flame of Sekhmet and that the victorious defence of Egyptian territory, by what was perceived as an unwanted invasion, was repelled by the pharaoh as emphatically as by the god Sekhmet.

The blazing flame of Hephaistos is remarkably similar to the circling fire of Sekhmet, and the flame prepared before the refugee horde. It is described as a 'terrible torch' (a meteor or comet) and generated so much heat that Hattusas was burnt so ferociously the excavators were forced to think in terms of total and complete destruction and abandonment. Huge fortified sites in Mycenaean Greece, such as Gla, were tossed aside as if they were play things (Cambridge Ancient History). Only a massive earthquake could have caused that to happen.

The big surprise is that Velikovsky missed this – was he blind. Perhaps he was blinded by his revision and the assertion the Peleset were Persians rather than Philistines. Yet he uses Medinet Habu and its huge reliefs in his book on the Sea Peoples – and fails to recognise them as refugees rather than a Persian army. Even if that is ignored, a case of hypothesis before reason, why did he ignore the obvious connection with catastrophism? He spent hours pouring over obscure religious texts such as the Avestas and the Eddas and yet he had, at Medinet Habu, a catastrophe that is portrayed in stone reliefs, word for word. No conjecture – factoid. The problem was, it spoilt his grand design.



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