The Flood

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sun Oct 1 12:58:15 EDT 2000

Dear Rolf,

As Ian declined to respond to the part of your posting retained below, I
will take the chance to by referring you to the infamous David Rohl. I don't
seek to support him on Assyrian chronology as I am not competent to do so.
But in "A Test of Time", otherwise known as "Pharaohs and Kings", chapter
11, he does present an argument from purely astronomical data for an
absolute date of 1419 BC for year 1 of King Ammisaduga of Babylon, fourth in
line after Hammurabi. This is considerably later than the orthodox dating.
The argument is based on comparisons of mentions in documents of the 30th
day of a month with astronomical calculations of which months had 30 days.
Rohl takes his argument from his reference: W.A. Mitchell, "Ancient
Astronomical Observation and Near Eastern Chronology", Journal of the
Ancient Chronology Forum 3 (1990) pp.18-20. Don't expect me to defend the
method in detail, but it looks plausible. In his book "Legend", Rohl
connects some far more ancient (alleged) records of eclipses with
astronomical data, but the argument was not so strong. And Rohl does find
evidence of a catastrophic, though not worldwide, flood, but he dates it
earlier than 2400 BC.

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Rolf Furuli [mailto:furuli at]
Sent: 30 September 2000 22:14
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: The Flood


All those working with chronology know the difference between an absolute
and a relative chronology. The oldest astronomical diary listed in A.J.
Sachs, H. Hunger,1988, "Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from
Babyulonia", is one from year 16 of Samashsumukin. Thus an *absolute*
chronology cannot go back longer than the 7th century BCE. If you are aware
of older astronomical data that can be used for an absolute chronology, I
will like to know it.


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