Moses, Exodus, 10 Plagues of Egypt & Ipuwer Papyrus : A Question of Evidence : Errors in the Chronology of the Ancient Near East, Egypt & the Bible

People trained in the law have regrettably left the formulation of ancient history to disciplines not trained in evidence, and the current chaos in Biblical and ancient chronology is the pre-programmed result, giving us an erroneous history which has resulted in catastrophic consequences for current-day events in the Middle and Near East.

We have posted previously about this topic at some length elsewhere (also here, here, here and here), but in this posting we point to yet another item of evidence which needs to be brought to bear on this issue, the Ipuwer Papyrus:

The sole surviving manuscript dates to the later 13th century BCE (no earlier than the 19th dynasty in the New Kingdom). Egyptologist Dr Halpern believed that the papyrus was a copy of an earlier Middle kingdom copy. The dating of the original composition of the poem is disputed, but several scholars, have suggested a date between the late 12th dynasty and the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1850 BCE – 1600 BCE).[4] The theme of this work has previously been taken either as a lament inspired by the supposed chaos of the First Intermediate Period, or as historical fiction depicting the fall of the Old Kingdom several centuries earlier, or possibly a combination of these.

Ipuwer describes Egypt as afflicted by natural disasters and in a state of chaos, a topsy-turvy world where the poor have become rich, and the rich poor, and warfare, famine and death are everywhere. One symptom of this collapse of order is the lament that servants are leaving their servitude and acting rebelliously. Because of this, and such statements as “the River is blood”, some have interpreted the document as an Egyptian account of the Plagues of Egypt and the Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible, and it is often cited as proof for the Biblical account by various religious organisations[5][6].

The mass of Egyptologists and Biblical scholars virtually ignore this type of evidence, placing the Exodus and Moses in eras for which there is not one shred of archaeological evidence.

So-called “mainstream scholars” have been interpreting Pharaonic civilization for the last 200 years in what can often only be described as a comedy of errors.

For example, in the last 100 years, the age of the pyramids has been steadily lowered by these “scientists” by about 1000 years. At each stage, these “scientists” are sure that they are right, only to change their opinion down the road. Indeed, only recently have Egyptologists begun to accept that the pyramids were oriented to the stars, whereas for many years previous, they called anyone who made such a claim a pyramidiot. In fact, the true pyramidiots are likely to be found among the Egyptologists themselves.

Even then, as Egyptologists such as David Rohl have pointed out, the entire current chronology of Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East is built on sand, because it is quite clear that there are errors in the assignment of solar eclipses which serve as the cardinal dates for the chronology (see LawPundit). Rohl would move the chronology forward, whereas the Moses birth information from Artapanus which Rohl himself published suggests that Biblical chronology should be moved backward.

Under current chronological theory, for example, there is – for the time frame currently assigned to them – no archaeological evidence at all – none – to support the existence of Moses or the Kings David or Solomon of Israel. But there is such evidence about 400 years prior to the accepted date, and Rohl’s own evidence points to a birthdate for Moses around 1700 BC. See Ancient Egypt Weblog

I have officially challenged the official chronology of the Ancient Near East, and that challenge was posted by Joan Griffith to the then “authoritative” ANE (Ancient Near East) list, moderated at the University of Chicago, but there has been no answer to my challenge from those in academia who silently acquiesce to the currently erroneous Biblical and Egyptian chronology:

[ANE] Challenge
Joan Griffith despinn@hotmail.com
Tue, 08 Jul 2003 09:37:32 -0400

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Hi,

Andis Kaulins, who has a website and yahoogroup list called Lexiline, sent this out. I thought I would forward it to this list since he thinks he cannot be challenged. I certainly know too little to answer him appropriately. And just maybe he did not expect any authoritative answers… Please post your comments on the ANE list, and I will forward them to Andis at LexiLine@yahoogroups.com. (You have to be a member to post there.)

Andis Kaulins [wrote later]:

As you can see, there are no mainstream rebuttals forthcoming to my challenge to all of academia regarding the chronological errors made by Flinders Petrie, which is not surprising. There is no probative evidence out there to support the mainstream view.

Worse, world events day by day in the Middle East are guided by a completely false view of the history of this region. It is madness.

I repeat again. Men are sheep, especially in mainstream academia.

Andis

— In LexiLine@yahoogroups.com, “Andis Kaulins”
wrote:
212 LexiLine Newsletter 2003 Flinders Petrie and Chronology at

Tell El Hesy (Lachish) Copyright © 2001-2003 by Andis Kaulins

[This is a challenge to the mainstream archaeologists. I claim the chronology of the Middle East is flawed – and it is flawed due to errors made initially by Flinders Petrie. My reasons are given
below. Any mainstream archaeologist out there who thinks he can rebut my arguments is invited to submit a contra e-mail – BASED on evidence – not on opinion (WHO you or your cited sources are professionally interests me not a whit – it is the EVIDENCE that counts – ONLY the evidence).]
>

Tell El Hesy (Lachish)
by W.M. Flinders Petrie, reprinted 1989 by Histories & Mysteries of Man Ltd., London, England, 1989, ISBN 1 854 17 052 X, is the foundation for modern chronology of the fertile crescent. I have read the book in detail, confirming my initial suspicion that Petrie made capital chronological errors in his dating of Tell el Hasy and Lachish – errors which mainstream chronology has blindly followed ever since, leading to a completely erroneous history of the Middle East.

>

Since Petrie’s dating of Tell El Hesy is the foundation for modern chronology of the fertile crescent, it is all the more remarkable that the book is out of print and virtually unknown – even though its conclusions are uncritically accepted and used to date Biblical and Egyptian history in general. Most men are sheep.

>

The fact is that Petrie made critical – if consistent – dating errors, based on his preconceived notion of the chronological history represented at the archaeological sites examined by him.

>_________________________

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1. Tell el Hesy – 16 miles East of Gaza about a third of the distance from Gaza to Jerusalem – is an accumulated “residential” mound ca. 60 feet in heigth (from 278 feet above sea level to 340

feet above sea level).
>

The upper layer – at 340 feet – contained “regular black and red Greek pottery” which Petrie dated to ca. 450 BC. The bottom of the tell is at 278 feet.

>

There is a layer of a period of great destruction – a stratum of small stones “at the level of 286 to 291 feet” with a large layer of ash above that which Petrie calls “the great bed of ashes”.” Massive man-made walls of mud brick lie below the layer of small stones, pointing to a previous high culture.

>

Similar mounds in Egypt – as Petrie notes – rise 3 to 4 feet per century or 30 to 40 feet in a thousand years. At 3 feet per century, the earliest dwellings would be ca. 2000 years older than the Greek pottery at the top level and would date to 2450 BC. At 4 feet per century of accumulation, the earliest dwellings would be ca. 1500 years older than the Greek pottery and would date to ca. 1950 BC. Since none of these fit into the preconceived picture, Petrie sets the earliest dwellings at el Hesy at 1670 BC, based on a new proposed rate of accumulation of 5 feet per century, the faster rate allegedly because the “greater rainfall” in Syria would lead to “quicker” destruction of mud walls and thus to a greater rate of tell accumulation.

>

Petrie even goes so far as to call certain walls “the Amorite wall”, “Rehoboam’s wall”, “Manessah’s wall”, “the Wall of Ahaz”, etc., trying – in an “unscholarly” Schliemann-type manner – to fit his finds to the Biblical accounts.

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Indeed, there is no evidence for such quicker accumulation whatsoever!

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Rather, Petrie gently and almost imperceptibly “bends” the archaeological facts to fit his view of Biblical history.

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_________________________
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2. Petrie bases his chronology on what he calls “Phoenician pottery”. As Petrie writes (p. 40), “The excavations at Tell el Hesy proved to be an ideal place for determining the history of pottery in Palestine. And once settle the pottery of a country, and the key is in our hands for all future explorations.” Indeed, as if knowing his error, Petrie writes at page 45 “I have under rated rather than over rated the age of the Tell el Hesy levels”. How right he was !

>

Pottery called bilbils by the Syrians (thin black vases with long necks) were found at the level of 305-325 feet above sea level on the East side of Tell el Hesy and “black bowls” known to be contemporary to the bilbils were found at the level of 295 to 315 feet at the Southeast side. (Please Note: Assyrian bil-bil means plural bil, i.e. “bowls” and NOT bil-bil !)

>

Petrie then states that although this pottery is not dated in Phoenicia, he had seen similar examples in Egypt, the earliest of which were dated to the late 18th dynasty in Egypt (Petrie dated this to ca. 1400 BC on the basis of two similar things of Amenhotep III – whose reign is dated today to ca. 1350 BC).

>

To an impartial observer, the bilbils and black bowls would BOTH be seen to span 20 feet of accumulated time – 305-325 feet on the East and 295-315 feet on the Southeast, i.e. a corresponding 20 foot time span, with SLANTING topography probably accounting for the difference.

>

Petrie, however, inexplicably puts the the two figures together and expands the Phoenician period to 25 feet of accumulated history at Tell el Hesy, placing the early Phoenician period at the level of 295 feet and running it to 320 feet, although in fact BOTH measured sites at Tell el Hesy point to only a 20-foot accumulated Phoenician time-period. Obviously, Petrie used this calculational “trick” – perhaps subconsciously – to mesh his preconceived notions about Biblical chronology with the chronology of Egypt and fit the Phoenicians in.

>

Correctly however, to be consistent in using the measuring rod of the 60 foot heigth of the Tell, the Phoenician pottery period could only have spanned 20 feet or 1/3 of the height of the tell, from the level of 305 to 325 feet above sea level, so that 305 feet above sea level at Tell el Hesy marked the earliest Phoenician pottery and not 295 feet, a difference of ca. 300 critical years (3 feet per century) of chronology! This indeed is the approximate margin of error in Biblical chronology between the correct date for Moses and Exodus (1628 BC) and the date currently assigned to Moses and Exodus by mainstream chronology (ca. 1300 BC).

>

If level 305 and not 295 corresponded to Petrie’s ca. 1400 BC – then 35 feet of accumulation separated the earliest Phoenician pottery from the top of the Tell, and 35 feet of accumulation would have occurred in ca. 1000 years. This would be a rate of accumulation corresponding to the verified 3 to 4 feet per century evidenced on corresponding Tells in the Egyptian delta.

>

The accumulation of 5 feet per century for Tell el Hesy alleged by Petrie is thus clearly erroneous. As he himself suspected, he had in fact VASTLY under rated the age of the levels of Tell el Hesy, simply because he wanted to mesh a Biblical chronology which was far older than he imagined.

>

Therefore, NO scholar anywhere in the world today – in any field dealing with ancient history in the fertile crescent – can possibly accept Petrie’s chronology and those current mainstream chronologies built upon his conclusions. Such chronologies are nothing other than fictions and must be amended to correct for Petrie’s obvious error.

>_________________________

>

3. Santorin explodes 1628 BC

>

Once the dating of Tell el Hesy has been corrected, the layer of ash (5 feet!) and the layer of stones above the massive walls below take on a new significance since the levels of ash and stones then apply to the period ca. 1628 BC.

>

As Petrie himself writes “These ashes were certainly spread by the wind”. “No deposit by hands could effect this, the stuff must have been wind-borned, and dropped by the breeze without interference.” (p. 16) Lacking any better theory, however, Petrie tries to account for them by the Bedawin (Bedouin) burning of plants for alkali and “the charcoal layers…the result of the sparks and dust of the burning, and the breaking up of the fires; while the white lime layers were the dust blown about after the lixiviation had washed away the alkali. The town must then have been deserted, or almost so, at the time when the alkali burners resorted here, and when their ashes blew about and settled undisturbed over a great part of the hill.”

>

What Petrie writes above is absolute nonsense of course, but Petrie had to explain the layers of ash somehow.

>

Of course, after the event causing these layers of volcanic ash, Tell el Hesy is deserted. Even more, as Petrie himself writes: “Now this we see just corresponds to the great break in the history of Palestine….”

>

This “break in the history of Palestine” of course did not happen because of plants being burned for alkali by nomads. This was the great period of conflagration due to the explosion of Santorin,

the volcanic ash, the earthquakes, fire from the heavens, apparently over several years. Petrie places the date for this layer of ash at ca. 1300 BC but of course he has a ca. 300-year error. The year is actually closer to 1628 BC.
>
_________________________
>

4. Interestingly, Petrie’s dating of the so-called “Amorite” comb- face pottery on page 40 of his book as being ca. 1600 BC to ca. 1000 BC meshes exactly with my dating of the Phoenician levels at Tell El- Hesy. Perhaps this was the influence of the Phoenicians on the Amorites. It is Petrie’s misdating of the Phoenicians – based on his attempt to mesh historical data of Egypt with the erroneous chronology of the Biblical Jews – which was his undoing. Indeed, it has remained a great chronological problem down to this day.

>

The Dating of Tell el Hesy is thus correctly:

>

A. Top of mound – 340 feet above sea level = ca. 500 BC (Greek pottery)(after several hundred years of dark ages – – Greek pottery had surfaced ca. 700 BC)

>

B. Last Phoenician (comb-face) pottery – 325 feet above sea level = ca. 1000 BC

This is the period of the invasion of the northern Sea Peoples who came to the rescue of the Hebrews, but were turned back by Ramses III = Biblical Shishak and the Assyrian Babylonians. This led to the end of the Pharaohs and was the period of the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews as well as the dark age in the fertile crescent – when building of temples etc. ceased and much was destroyed.
>

C. Earliest Phoenician (comb-face) pottery – 305 feet above sea level = ca. 1650 BC

This is the period of ca. 1628 BC, with earthquakes and the explosion of the volcano Santorin on Thera – which was the period of the Biblical Exodus, and also the period at which the Phoenicians become prominent, probably through migration to escape natural disasters. This is the period of the layer of stones and ashes at Tell El Hesy.
>

D. Earliest dwellings at Tell el Hesy – 280 feet above sea level = ca. 2500 BC

As Petrie notes, in the N.W. tower of Tell el Hesy, at level 295 feet above sea level (ca. 2000 BC by my corrected chronology of Petrie’s data), they found “a cylinder of coarse dull red haematite, now weighing 142.3 grains, probably 144 originally; this is the Egyptian kat weight. Several scraps of bronze were found, wire armlets, hair-pins, a knife, and a sheep bell; and some iron fragments, a knife, and arrow-heads.” This corresponds possibly to the building of a fort by the Egyptians here in the 24th year of reign under Amenemhet I ca. 2000 BC, who organized an expedition to Gaza – the northeastern border of united Egypt at that time – against the Asiatic desert dwellers. This corresponds to the position of Lachish.
>

Does that above date of 2500 BC seem unusual?

>_________________________

>

5. Who were the Phoenicians?

>

The mark of a great man of science is not that he always right, but rather that he recognizes the critical issues and adds new methods and insights to knowledge, even if they are not perfect. No one is right all the time.

>

My criticism of Petrie’s erroneous chronology by no means should take away from the greatness of his manifold achievements.


Also in his book on Tell el Hesy, Petrie shows the enormous breadth of his interests and, in his discussion of the styles of masonry in Palestine, points us toward a proper identification of the

mysterious Phoenicians. The Phoenicians are found referenced in Egyptian hieroglyphs of the Middle Kingdom under the term FENEKHW, which of course is an Indo-European term as in Latvian VEJNIEKI or VEJNIESHE “men of the wind”, (VEJNIESHI = PHOENICIANS) i.e. sailors.
>

The idea that the (Italian) sailing boat feluca derives from Arabic fulk “ship” is incorrect. It is the other way around, since the root is proto-Indo-European as in Latvian VEJ- “wind”. Latin retains this root in VELA “the sail” which is Latvian VELA “cloth, washing hung

up to dry – which resulted in the idea of a sail”. In the north of Europe these were probably the WENDs, people of the WIND. The terms BRIT- and PRUS- as in Britain and Prussia (Borussia) thus probably are related to the Latvian term BURAS “sails”, which explains another ancient term PRST for the “sea peoples” found in ancient sources.
>

The Phoenicians of course are not in any manner the Palestinians – as some claim, for these latter were not sailors but rather landlocked desert marauders, who are otherwise the Hyksos of

history, or the Midianites of the Bible.
>

Petrie recognizes in his book on Tell el Hesy that the style of stone dressing used by the Phoenicians was “flaking and pocking” – i.e. flaking by heavy blows and then bruising down the surface with a heavy pointed hammer – and that this style is found:

>

1) on the great monolith lying in the quarry in the Russian quarter of Jerusalem

2) in the galleries called Solomon’s Stables under the Haram

3) in the stone work of the temple at Hagir Kim in Malta

4) in the wrought stones at Stonehenge – Petrie writes “the best examples of it are on the flat tops of the uprights of the great trilithons.

And another curious formation occurs at Stonehenge as well as at Hagir Kim; the edge of an upright is somewhat raised, so as to form a sort of tray, and a corresponding cutting is made in the cap stone. This is of course in addition to the rough tenons at Stonehenge.” (p. 36)
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In other words, Petrie has observed the clear connection between the megalithic cultures of old – certainly one of the first men ever to do so.

>

The desert dwellers, i.e. Palestinians, had a different style of masonry, found only in a few places since they were nomads and not ordinarily settled peoples. This masonry style is identified by

Petrie, as “long-stroke picking” – done with an edge or point, with no breadth of cut – and is see on
>

1) the great blocks of the first building of the Beit el Khulil near Hebron

2) dressing of the wall at Tell Safi – which Petrie says is probably the old Philistine fortress of Gath,

and

3) on the sandstone masonry and steps of Lachish ca. 700 BC, i.e. after the Babylonian captivity and AFTER the days of the Phoenicians, who were the Sea Peoples who had lost their seat of power in the fertile crescent in the days of Ramses III, who was Shishak.

>

Interesting is that Petrie regards Jewish style to be a mixture which is neither pure Amorite [Arab] nor Phoenician, but which consists of a mixture of characters of both peoples.

>_________________________

>

6. Ashdod, Ashkelon = Kadesh [Thick layer of ash also found here]

>

My redating of Tell el Hesy makes it relatively simple to also correctly date ancient cities of the Near East in that same region and correct some major errors of mainstream historical scholarship.

Here are the basic corrections
a. Ashdod was an ancient city on the “curve of the Mediterranean Coast” at the Wadi Lakhish (similar to Indo-European e.g. Latvian LIKS, LICIS “gulf”) on a what was probably the northernmost border of Ancient Egypt on a line running toward Lachish (Tell el Hesy).

>

The levels of occupation at Ashdod show the same dating errors as Tell el Hesy and are off by about 300 to 350 years. (Ashdod is similar to Greek azotus and Latvian azotis meaning “bosom” [of the Mediterranean], i.e. “gulf”, curved part of the Mediterranean).

>

There is a very thick layer of ash at Ashdod at the level which corresponds to the thick layer of ash at Tell el Hesy. This layer of ash dates to ca. 1628 BC whereas mainstream scholars date that level of ash erroneously to 1300-1200 BC (without the benefit of Petrie’s imagined “alkali burners” theory). Hence, all other levels at Ashdod are correspondingly falsely dated.

>

It is only AFTER the volcanic eruption of Santorin that the Philistines occupy the city, including the neighboring Ashkelon.

>

Indeed, ALL the cities Jericho, Debit (Tell Bet-Mirsim), Lachisch, Bet-El, Gibeon and Hazor (Tell el Qedaz) were all destroyed by fire and ash at the same time – and – as David Rohl has noted for Hazor, this occurred at least a hundred years previous to any possible destruction by the Israelites – in fact 300 years previous.

>

b. Scholars in the 20th century have erred in locating Lachish at Tell ed-Duwer. Rather, Petrie already and correctly identified Tell el Hesy in the 18th century as Lachish, i.e. La-cHish (cHish = Hesy). Tell (k)ed-Duwer is in fact the Biblical site of Kadesh which scholars have unsuccessfully and falsely tried to find in a completely other region. KaDesh was later used as the “reference” city for the battle in the Bible, and the battle here was a battle for the northern border of Egypt. Indeed, there is strong evidence of ancient military battle here, e.g. ancient Assyrian ramps have been found at (k)ed Duwer, i.e. Kadesh.

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c. At the time of King Ramses II (who was King Solomon – the battle of Kadesh took place in the fifth year of his reign, 480 years after Exodus – which is 1147 BC), and the winning of this battle is found inscribed in the reliefs at Karnak, where the battle is said to have been won for Eskarun which is similar to Indo-European e.g. Latvian aizskarin “border, curtain”. Assyrian sources refer to Eskarun as Asqualuna and refer to it as a “region” with a definite BORDER, and we retain this term as the historical city name Ashkelon on this border.
[end of the Challenge]

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