[b-hebrew] Thera quote

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Aug 26 13:32:49 EDT 2004

I'd like to address this to the folks who see a connection between Exodus 
events and the Thera eruption.  The following quote appears in the current 
issue of BAR.  Ziony Zevit is reviewing a BBC production hosted by Jeremy 
Bowen, called Moses And The Exodus.  Here is what he says in response to the 
show's suggestion that Thera explains the Red Sea crossing, the plagues, the 
pillar of fire and cloud, etc.

The Thera hypothesis (a 16th-century B.C.E. event) renders irrelevant 
archaeological and topographical data from the Late Bronze Age (14th-early 
12th centuries B.C.E.) presented early in the show as demonstrating authentic 
background.  The Thera eruption is chronologically incompatible with the Late 
Bronze Age materials.  Moreover, it is highly unlikely that the Thera cloud 
ever reached Egypt--given the counter-clockwise direction of winds around the 
Mediterranean--and that anyone in Egypt would have been able to see the ash 
cloud hundreds of miles away no matter how high (the earth is round).

The show leaves the incorrect impression that the Thera hypothesis is new, 
when in fact it is not.  Few historians, if any, consider it viable nowadays.  
It remains the plaything of disasterist interpreters of history.
(BAR, Sept/Oct 2004, p. 61-62)

In light of recent discussion about this on the list, I'd be interested in how 
some of you folks respond to these comments.

Dave Washburn
"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk

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