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Solomon and Shishak

3 July 2015
Ancient history

News of an important new book for chronologists. Solomon and Shishak – go to www.barpublishing.com/solomon-and-shishak.html. Unfortunately it will set you back £47 – as Bob Porter informed the members of the New Chronology Yahoo Group. As it is published by Archaeopress of Oxford this is understandable. Bob has a chapter on C14 and dendrochronology anomalies (similar, I expect, to what he has written in SIS journals). The big news is that there are a variety of authors, some who support the Shishak = Shoshenk synchronism – and others that do not. Some that place Solomon in Iron Age – and others that place him in Late Bronze (per Peter James version of the New Chronology).

In fact, most of the authors (known to SIS readers) are from Peter James circle of aquaintances and the book should be viewed as a follow up to Centuries of Darkness – see www.centuries.co.uk/news.html … a work still in progress. Chapter writers include Aidan Dodson, John Bimson, Peter James, Peter van der Veen, Robert Morkot, Nikos Kokkinos, which are the names most of us have head about. Other contributors are probably not familiar to SIS revisionists – such as Shirly Ben-Dor Evien, Ad Thuijs, Troy Sagrillo, Rupert Chapman, Wolfgang Zwiekel, Uwe Zerbot, Simone Robin, Dan'el Kahn and David Ellis. 

It is about time the issue of Shoshenk (and Solomon) was seriously addressed as historians tend to simply repeat the mainstream view, Shishak is identifiable with the Libyan pharaoh Shoshenk I (who is known to have campaigned in the southern Levant). Most of the old Biblical interconnections have been abandoned and secular archaeologists and historians are loathe to resurrect any connection with religion – apart from the Shishak = Shoshenk equation. This is one of those settled science beliefs that is never really contested. It is accepted as gospel – which should make us all have another look at the synchronism, if only on a 'what if' basis. In Centuries of Darkness Shoshenk I was relocated to late 9th/early 8th century but it is also feasible to think in terms of an early 9th century date. We should also bear in mind that Shoshenk I, like Adad Nirari II of Assyria, lived during a period of climatic optimum (no droughts or outbreaks of famine as occurred in the latter stages of dynasty 20). That is why he set out to re-establish Egyptian influence (and empire) in the Levant (and why the Assyrians set out to re-create the empire of Mitanni) – the conditions were amicable, there was no civil unrest, the harvests were good, and the king (pharaoh) was not threatened by natural disaster being interpreted as the displeasure of the gods. 

This book is the Proceedings of the 2011 BICANE that took place in Cambridge (presumably organised by Peter James and Peter van der Veen). This was actually the third BICANE Collequim, held at Sydney Sussex College. The Proceedings were edited by James and van der Veen, ISBN 978 1 4073 1389 4 and is not currently available via Amazon. BICANE stands for Bronze to Iron Age Chronology in the Ancient Near East. This is precisely the subject of discussion on the Eric Aitchison email thread – yet it has not been mentioned as yet (or I haven't noticed). The New Chronology of James et al and Rohl et al have not figured too greatly at SIS of late. SIS of course depends on contributers to send in articles and most of the New Chronology crew have moved on to pastures new. At one stage New Chronology dominated the pages of SIS journals, but that is now history.

At Peter James web site www.centuries.co.uk/news.html … we learn the main theme of the proceedings are the historicity of King Solomon and the identify of Shishak. The various articles are pro or contra to the orthodox version of events – and lots of space is given to both sides. C14 and dendrochronology are also discussed and the mainstream view of Solomon's kingdom – and his fabled wealth. James and van der Veen offer a new idea on the identity of Zerah the Ethiopian (which would interested most revisionists I would hazard a guess) as he invaded Judah in the time of Asa. There is also a discussion of Solomon from 'hellenistic' perspectives (the Greeks). Highly recommended reading fodder.


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