Rohl: An Evaluation

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Thu Sep 30 12:40:42 EDT 1999

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Rohl: An Evaluation
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    29/09/1999 16:41

Dear Peter,

Thanks for your efforts here. You have made the situation clearer, though 
this clarity doesn't help the case for the paradigm proposed.

>1) He has found (or borrowed from others e.g. Bimson) a number of 
>plausible correspondences between people and events named in the 
>Hebrew Bible (from the time of Jacob to the middle of the Divided 
>Monarchy) and archaeological finds in Egypt and Palestine, which are 
>not generally accepted because the Bible apparently dates these 
>considerably later than the conventional chronologies for Egypt and 
>for Palestinian archaeology.

This is exactly what Velikovsky did!

PK: If you can't find any argument against a hypothesis, you just try 
to discredit it by name-calling. Possibly Velikovsky had a few good 
ideas among the others.

>On the other hand, Rohl has provided some clear evidence for the absolute 
>dating of his own scheme, independent of any Israelite chronology. The 
>most impressive is his evidence of a total solar eclipse at Ugarit in 
>1012 BCE, indirectly reported in an Amarna letter.

As long as you 1) trust his interpretation of the Amarna letter and 2) 
trust his recalculation of solar eclipses. This is more an amazing tales 
sort of fact (Ripley's Believe it or Not), and doesn't make the 
archaeological records disappear.

PK: Eclipse timings can now be calculated extremely accurately by 
computer. I admit I don't know quite how accurately. Do you know 
enough to cast reasonable doubt on the calculations of Wayne Mitchell 
using the programs of Professor Peter Huber of MIT?

>If Rohl's
>interpretation of this evidence is right, the Amarna period indeed 
>corresponds to that of David and Saul by the Thiele's chronology, but 
>Rohl's compressed Iron Age is required.

It is wrong according to his interpretation of equivalents between Assyrian 
and Egyptian reigns. His equivalents are shown to be falsified.

I can see nothing in the following table for Israel that can be considered 
a fixed datable event. This is all conjecture. All of it. Try and sell any 
one of these to an Egyptologist. Would you like a few email addresses?

PK: What do you mean by "fixed datable event"? The date of death of 
the man Rohl identifies as Joseph, and whose tomb has been found, is 
an event fixed and datable in principle. So is the departure of a 
large group of Semites from Israel, corresponding to a plague from 
which bodies have been found, and corresponding to the death of 
Pharaoh Dudimose. So is the MB IIB destruction of Jericho. Etc. etc. 
These correspondences may not all be provable because insufficient 
evidence has survived, but they are reasonable conjectures.

PK: As for the Assyrian correspondences, which are not relevant to 
b-hebrew, I do not have the background to discuss them. Can anyone 
else help with this?


Peter Kirk

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