Rohl (was: yrw$lym)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Mon Sep 27 15:22:09 EDT 1999

One thing for sure Peter, you're adamantly not going to read any mainline
Egyptological material, are you? You continue to sustain the Rohlian
conjecture on thin air and at the same time show no knowledge of what the
status quo is or why it is. It is normal to ask why should we bother about
materials outside the main currents and believe me Rohl is perceived as so
far out of the main currents that his work has been ignored by most people
in the field, with the exception of Kitchen who is against the stuff.

>>Once again you're demonstrating that you haven't read the book.
>First demonstrate that there is some reason to read it.
>PK: You don't have to read the book if you don't want to, but I would 
>have thought that the danger of being made to look ridiculous in this 
>forum would be enough reason to read the book before commenting on it 
>at such length.

You are putting forward (as it seemed Dave was) support for this
neo-ages-in-chaos position that requires throwing out almost every date in
all ANE fields before the Assyrian period. I have shown you some of the
modern indications that indicate relatively safe correspondences of dating
that tie Amenhotep III to the same period as Ashur-uballit, Akhnaten to
Burnaburiash, Ramses II with Shalmaneser I, Shattuara II of Khanigalbat and
Hattusilis III of Hatti, all based principally on Assyrian data and
compared with other cultures. This is the status quo which you seem
oblivious of. I have little interest in Rohl or his book, but I'm horrified
that anyone could take it seriously and know so little about Egyptology.
This I "would have thought" left one open to "the danger of being made to
look ridiculous in this forum".

Think about it. You want to pit some popular work aimed specifically at
selling to a religious readership, ie in no sense facing a critical peer
analysis, that shows no interest in the physical culture of the nations
whose centuries are to be cancelled.

>>Your comments make it clear that you're operating from secondary 
>The majority of my comments are based on Egyptian sources. When you date 
>Ramses II three hundred years later, what happens to all those internal 
>Egyptian events on record from the time of Ramses II down to Osorkon II? 
>PK: For an answer, see Rohl's book.

Why don't you read Grimal or Redford or Kitchen (on 3rd Int. Period) or any
of the scholars in the field and tell me why you prefer Rohl to them. You
are simply doing the same lazy trick of Dave. I can't defend myself, but
you have to read the book anyway. Golly, Peter, I ask for some evidence for
a misrepresentation of the 3rd Intermediate in reflection of the evidence
that exists for it in the status quo and you can't do it. I don't care who
proposes it. I care that the only people who are reading it are those
people who don't want the status quo material for non-scholarly reasons. Do
a search of internet and you'll see what I mean.

>Why did I bother to give that information in the previous post, Dave? You 
>remember, regarding the Hittites, the Kassites, the Philistines and the 
>Assyrians. The Hittite destruction is relatable to Greece, as are the 
>Philistines. The Kassites are relatable to a period prior to the rise of 
>the Assyrians for whom we have a long chronological order of kings prior to 
>Shalmaneser III. Osorkon II is relatable to Shalmaneser. No circle, Dave. 
>That's just your wannabe analysis, following Rohl.
>PK: For a discussion of this difficulty, see Rohl's book.

There are too few pages in Rohl's book to justify a serious analysis of the

>Let's use the Assyrian period as a peg to hang things on. We know for 
>example that Qarqar was in 853 BCE. How many generations of Assyrian kings 
>were there before Shamaneser III came to the throne? The first 
>Neo-Assyrians were co-eval with the last Kassites, so how many after 
>Burnaburiash II? Give'em at least twenty years a pop and how long have you 
>got? That's approximately when Burnaburiash corresponded with Akhnaten.
>PK: For an answer, see Rohl's book.

How about attempting to answer something instead of passing the buck?

>It is unthinkable to deal with the problem Rohl creates in a vacuum. We 
>must look at the full range of implications. His conjecture if it had any 
>substance would mean a total restructuring of history, economy, archaeology 
>and sociology of the entire ANE.
>>I repeat: go read the
>>book and can the uninformed name-calling.
>I repeat, go read some history. And don't just give apology for the 
>unsubstantiated Rohl conjecturing. I would like to see some reasoned 
>argument by a person championing a position,
>PK: That's just what Rohl's book is

You are not convincing in any sense.

> instead of the old "go read the book" fudge.
>PK: so what's so wrong with reading it?

Would you read the Jesus in India books? You would like something a  bit
more tangible than someone saying what it's about. You would normally want
some reasoned argumentation. Have you read the marvelous work by Robert
Eisenman that shows that James the brother of Jesus was the Teacher of
Righteousness? If it's true, you can through out all the scholarship on the
DSS and much of the NT. So many people waxed lyrical about this revolution
in RS, using the exact same logic as you and Dave have been pushing: the
result is an expensive doorstop. Please supply some for the
neo-ages-in-chaos that considers the evidence supplied in status quo works
for the current dating. (Otherwise I must put you in the category of all
those deluded people who wannabelieve in something more than the necessity
of good scholarship.)

One has criteria for what one reads. I want to know the logic and the
sources before wasting any money. As this one is so far out on a limb with
little prospect of being able to get it back on the ground, I had hoped for
something concrete from one of its sustainers but neither of you were

However, I am concerned about what seems to be the frivolity with which one
enters into accepting fringe theories. I spent some years trying to get
something tangible to support the Essene hypothesis before abandoning the
idea completely as baseless. I had to know the range of arguments put
forward by the status quo in the field.

>Why did you ignore four out of five examples I gave? Nice hardcore 
>archaeological evidence for the Sea Peoples' wake of destruction from the 
>Aegean down to Egypt datable to the twelfth century. That is science, but 
>you ignore it.
>PK: Maybe Dave did for brevity, but Rohl doesn't. Read his book!

Why exactly should I read it, if you can't even do a reasoned apology for
it? Every book I get, I have to buy. There are no libraries that would
carry this sort of stuff here.

>>It's obvious you have your
>>mind made up and won't let it be clouded by something as 
>>revolutionary as an honest reading of the book.
>I'm not railing, though it might salve your sensibilities that I were. The 
>boring "go read the book" approach I've had to suffer for so many years 
>when people want to push their hobby-horses.
>Stop shooting from the hip and think: if Osorkon II, the great grandson of 
>Sheshonq I, sent troops to fight against Shalmaneser III at Qarqar in 853 
>BCE, that would place his great grandfather about 80 years before that. 
>Qarqar does not depend on Egypt for its dating.
>PK: I don't think Rohl answers this one, but how secure is your "if"?

It's on record.

>Think about what it takes for pottery sequences, such as those established 
>for the Aegean and Mesopotamia, to be out by hundreds of years. Where did 
>all the extra pottery come from at the late end? If you want to redate 
>Ramses III away from the twelfth century you also have to redate the 
>Philistine arrival to the new time and with it all the pottery that shows 
>their presence in Palestine, and that entails all the Aegean pottery to 
>which it is related.
>PK: Rohl doesn't deal with this one, except that he obviously doesn't 
>identify the Philistines with the Sea People.

How many didn't Rohl deal with? Naturally, it wouldn't be conducive to his
conjecture when the Sea Peoples left archaeological remains that are quite
datable all around the eastern Mediterranean (hell, let's blow Greek
archaeology while we're at it).

>Do the late bronze destruction levels of Palestinian cities such as Jericho 
>now thought to be from the time when the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt 
>get redated or do we start looking for some other cause in some other time 
>period? What about the Thutmosid destruction of Megiddo? Redated or a new 
>culprit sought?
>PK: But for this one, read the book!

Questions are difficult for you to answer.

>According to accounts from Ramses II Egypt attempted for half a century to 
>regain control of northern Syrian in his struggles with Hatti, yet if we 
>redate these struggles three centuries later, this is right when the 
>Aramaean states of Syria were building there power bases, in what was 
>thought to have been a power vacuum at the demise of Hatti and the eclipse 
>of Egypt.
>PK: For an answer, see Rohl's book. Anyway, whae better place to build 
>a power base than in a power vacuum?

OK, let's admit that you show no knowledge of Egyptian, Syrian, Hittite,
Babylonian or Assyrian history outside Rohl's potted version.

>Think about all the phantom kinglists that we have around the ANE that must 
>be collapsed by three hundred years. This means for all those countries 
>from Mesopotamia to Egypt. The Egyptian records are quite valuable because, 
>due to the relative tranquility in Egypt thanks to its isolation, quite a 
>lot of information has come down to us, including good indications as to 
>the lengths of the reigns of many kings, royal jubilees, events from 
>specific years. You can add them up yourself and count backwards. As I said 
>in the previous post, mindboggling.
>PK: For an answer, see Rohl's book.

(Telling someone to see a book often means that one is unable to give an
argument themselves. I have done the footwork, ie done some research, to
give some indications of what bases there are for the accepted chronology.
I would expect you to repay the courtesy, if you have something to say.)

We are talking about all over the ANE. I append a table of contents. Where
does he deal with anything of the profundity necessary to take on the
earth-shattering claims he is trying to purvey in this book of seemingly
astounding revelations? Where are the peer group publications? There is a
right way to put forward scientific theories. Rohl, it seems, has followed
Omar Khayyam's advice: take the cash.



Table of Contents 

 1.The Search for Apis 
 2.The Secret of the Pharaohs 
 3.The Royal Tombs of San 
 4.For God and Country 
 5.The Four Great Pillars 
 6.Towards a New Chronology 
 7.The Historical Shishak 
 8.The Age of Solomon 
 9.The Lion Man 
10.The Beloved 
11.Navigating by the Stars 
12.Moses and Khenephres 
14.And the Walls Came Tumblin' Down 
15.Joseph the Vizier Appendix A: Dating Shoshenk I 
   Appendix B: TIP Genealogies (continued) 
   Appendix C: Radiocarbon Dating 
   Appendix D: Sothic Dating 
   Appendix E: Assyrian Chronology 
   Abbreviations & Sources for Illustrations 
   Notes and References 

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list