Rohl (was: yrw$lym)

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Tue Sep 28 19:20:39 EDT 1999

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[3]: Rohl (was: yrw$lym)
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    27/09/1999 14:22

One thing for sure Peter, you're adamantly not going to read any mainline 
Egyptological material, are you?...

PK: I am happy to read mainline Egyptological material. What do you 
recommend? Bear in mind that I also have to buy almost everything I read, 
and that (as I freely admit) this is not my main area of expertise but a 
side interest.

..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...

PK: I do have some knowledge of what the status quo is and why. Maybe not 
enough. I am open to learn more.

..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...

PK: No name calling please.

..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".

PK: Since you won't read Rohl's book, I can hardly expect you to know 
that he is far from oblivious to these data (though he admits that 
Assyria is outside his main area of expertise). In his Appendix E he 
makes the following correspondences:

Amenhotep III not to Ashur-uballit son of Eriba-Adad (1362-1327) but 
to another Ashur-uballit (son of Ashur-nadin-ahhe, according to the 
Amarna letter) who is Ashur[u]ba[lit] in the limmum for 1007 in the 
Eponym List.

Tudhaliyas IV not to Shalmaneser I (1272-1243) but to Shalmaneser III 
(858-828) (but no mention of Rameses II, whom Rohl dates slightly 
earlier, c.932-866), also not to Tukulti-Ninurta I (1242-1206) but to 
Tukulti-Ninurta II (890-884).

Hattusilis III not to Adad-nirari I (1304-1273) but to Adad-nirari II 

Akhenaten to Burnaburiash, Shattuara II to Hattusilis III are not 
dealt with.

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.

PK: I am not trying to pit Rohl's work against anything. I am merely 
asking that its arguments be given the consideration that they deserve 
rather than ridiculed without being read.

>>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...

PK: I have proposed to you a whole book full of evidence (plus lots of 
other articles referred to). And you refuse to read it! On the other 
hand I am quite happy to read the books you suggest, time and money 


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

PK: Rohl's book has 425 large pages, including a 6 page small print 
bibliography and 8 pages of small print notes and references. That's 
quite a lot of material to get started on. When you have digested 
that, come back for more.


Would you read the Jesus in India books?...

PK: Maybe not, but I would not dare to comment on them unless I had 
done so.


>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).

PK: Though Rohl doesn't deal with the questions in detail, I think he 
also wants to shift the Mycenean period in Greece rather later and cut 
down the length of the Dark Age linked with the Sea Peoples very 
considerably. Are these Sea Peoples archaeological remains datable 
absolutely, or only relative to one another? And can we be sure that 
the same style found in two very different places indicates close 
synchronism rather than migration?

>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.

PK: OK, I'll summarise Rohl's answer:

Destruction of MB Jericho was by Joshua c.1410
(cf. end of Hyksos rule in Avaris c.1183 - Rohl seems to make the 
Hyksos Canaanites driven out of Palestine by Joshua)
No walled city of Jericho during LB
LB IIA building at Jericho is from David's reign cf. 2 Samuel 10
LB IIB village built by Hiel of Bethel c.850 (1 Kings 16:34)

Rohl considers Megiddo data only from Late Bronze and Iron Age. 
Thutmose I-III would all be in 12th century, late Judges by Rohl's 
reckoning, and he would probably see no need to find a new culprit.


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

PK: I admit that my knowledge is far from complete, but it does come 
from other potted versions such as Bright's "History of Israel".

>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.)

PK: All I have to say is, give Rohl a fair hearing. This is his 
theory, not mine. He has done the footwork and gives well argued 
answers to many of your questions.

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?...

PK: I could give you page numbers if you like, but they're not much 
use if you don't have the book.

..Where are the peer group publications?...

PK: As I said, Rohl gives an extensive bibliography and refers to 
several other scholars who support parts of his theory e.g. John 
Bimson re Jericho.

Peter Kirk

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