Deconstructing Rohl

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Sun Aug 19 01:20:59 EDT 2001

Dear Dave,

We have in Canaan layers of pottery debris which are classified as Early
Bronze, Middle Bronze, Late Bronze and Iron Age. These debris lie one on top
of the other.

Rohl dates the Late Bronze Age LATER than mainstream scholars.  His "later
date" allows him to associate the Late Bronze Age debris with Saul, David,
and Solomon, that is the "United Kingdom" as well as the "Divided Kingdom."
With his "Later Dating" he asserts that the Iron Age debris is a witness to
a late phase of the Divided Kingdom, when Syria attacked and overwhelmed the
northern kingdom of Israel. Some of these people fled and settled in the
Hill Country about Jerusalem according to him.

I really don't care Dave, what dates he wants to assign to the debris, he
can call it 20th century A. D. it's no skin off my nose ! But what I do care
about is that the debris had better match the biblical scenarios about Saul,
David, and Solomon. If there is a match, then Rohl is correct and we need to
scrap the old chronology.

But, Dave, the debris doesn't match ! As I attempted to point out to you in
an earlier post. Michmash is identified with Mukmas, Geba is identified with
Jaba, Gibeon is identified with el-Jib, Ramah is identified with er-Ram,
Mizpeh where Saul was presented as Israel's new king, is identified with
en-Nasbeh. Dave, NONE of these places has Late Bronze Age debris, so how
could Rohl be right in asserting that Saul, David and Solomon are Late
Bronze Age Kings ??? On the other hand, Dave, *ALL* OF THESE PLACES POSSESS
IRON AGE DEBRIS, which SUPPORTS the biblical scenarios !!!

All the best,  Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2001 11:04 PM
Subject: Re: Deconstructing Rohl's Chronology

> > >I think you [Walter] have missed Rohl's point entirely.  You never
> > >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.
> That's why I said "according to Rohl."  And my point was and is
> still, that Walter hasn't accurately dealt with Rohl's thesis.  I'm not
> saying Rohl is right or wrong, I'm saying that if Walter wants to
> "deconstruct" it, he needs to deal with it accurately.  This is
> something his online paper has not done.  That is my point,
> nothing more and nothing less.
> Dave Washburn
> "You just keep thinking, Butch.  That's what you're good at."

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