Deconstructing Rohl's Chronology

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Aug 10 05:43:30 EDT 2001

>I think you [Walter] have missed Rohl's point entirely.  You never addressed
>the basis of his redating, which is a group of anomalies in Egyptian
>chronology.  Virtually all dating done on ANE artifacts is based on
>Egyptian chronology.  If that's wrong, the whole system requires re-
>evaluation.  This is Rohl's whole point.  Specifically, he found errors
>in dating of the Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, and these errors
>threw off the entire dating sequence for Egypt, Palestine, the
>Levant and the Sinai, among other places.  I have no doubt that
>Rohl is aware of the survey you mentioned, but that survey's dating
>is based on the (according to Rohl) flawed chronology of Egypt and
>hence is not reliable.  You haven't "deconstructed" anything,
>because you haven't dealt with Rohl's primary thesis.

"Flawed" and "errors", Dave, have not been substantiated. Kitchen has written what
he thinks is a refutation of much if not all of Rohl's Egyptian data (see his
introduction to TIP, for example). When I advanced the evidence that Assyrian
chronology flatly showed him wrong, a group of Rohl supporters came out with
Assyrian chronologies that miraculously bent around the same time to have parallel
dynasties -- apparently living in the same city doing repairs of the same places --
ignoring very many sources, which is pretty absurd, but then when such absurdities
were shown when compared to Babylonian information, they proceeded to parallelize
Babylonian chronology, and then redate Hittite relations such that the Hittite kings
became dated in the eighth century and contemporary with the post-Hittite kingdoms
and so on.

The best Rohl can do with the certain synchronism between el-Amarna and
Ashur-uballit of Assyria is to propose that a certain Ashur-[..] (transliterated by
one scholar, Ungnad, as Ashur-ba[..]), an eponym under another Assyrian king, as
having really been the king mentioned at el-Amarna. This is impressive in its
avoidance of the inevitable synchronism between el-Amarna and LB Assyria.

Rohl bases his approach as an attack on an obselete construction of ancient
chronology, thinking that all chronologies are eventually based on the
Egyptian-biblical equation of Sheshonq I and Shishak. Although he doesn't admit it,
this is no longer the case.

The *absurdity* of Rohl's proposal is blatant when one looks at the rest of the
ancient world at the time. One should consider how such changes would effect the
context in which they belong. If anything is "flawed", it is Rohl's proposed
rehashing of Egyptian chronology.


(You've reminded me I have something I've got to send...)

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