Animal Power- It’s Older than We Think

It’s Older than We Think

Series 2 Post 1

Animal Power

Used with the kind permission of Cambridge University Press and taken from their book Sumer and the Sumerians by Harriet Crawford pg. 45.

I’ve mentioned that I got caught in this debate, over the chronology of the Bible because as child.  I wanted to know who the Pharaoh was that freed Joseph, the son of Jacob.  Back then and before, one of the reasons for discounting an early date for either person was because Joseph got to use Pharaoh’s chariot.  That is fine reasoning for the great thinkers of biblical chronology dating to the 17th century, but not modern scholarship.  We know so much more than those once great thinkers, but we are not incorporating this knowledge into much of anything, let alone our understanding of Bible Chronology. This in part explains why so many still don’t understand the early use of animal power in the development of our early civilizations of the Middle East.

In the past years, excavations in Abydos royal burial grounds of the Pre-dynastic and 1st dynasty uncovered a grave of 10 royal donkeys (O’Connor, 2009: 166).  Knowing that one of these earliest Pharaohs buried donkeys should rewrite our modern

Public Domain picture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maler_der_Grabkammer_des_Panehsi_001.jpg

understanding of how transportation was arranged at such early dates.  This agrees with archaeological evidence that donkeys were domesticated in the 4th millennium and were being used, as pack animals not long afterwards (Rothman, 2001: 127).

What is the earliest documentation of working animals in the ancient world?  The top picture is one example from Mesopotamia.  In some elite tombs from the late Fifth and Sixth Dynasties, (2465—2150) we see cattle drawn ploughs (Wengrow, 2006:142). The early Eighteenth Dynasty saw cattle drafted and hauling stones from the quarry.

From Ancient Egypt by Oakes and Gahlin, page 51, published 2007. Used with deep gratitude and thanks

Cattle in Egypt were actually domesticated by the 5th millennium with false starts dating as early as the 9th millennium (Wengrow, 2006: 18, 46—48).  In the southern Levant cattle, domestication is clearly seen in the remains of the Ghassulian culture that disappears about 3300, with cattle ploughs in use by the EB II period ca. 2400 BCE (Mazar, 1992: 86—88, 118).

Horse domestication also dates back further than we are taught to believe.  Not to the usual 3,000BCE but by newer findings back to 4,800 at least for milk and meat purposes.  While metal bits, date horse riding to the Iron Age new studies found rawhide bits also deform horses teeth (Anthony, 2007: 193—224).  This means riding the noble horse possibly dates back before 4,000 in the areas rich in horse herds.  This does not include non-bit horse riding; that possibly occured in our long prehistory of domesticating big powerful and smaller animals.

Traditional chronology and its supporters do not include animal power in its calculations therefore eliminating the knowledge of animals in the use of Biblical stories.  According to archaeology, Abraham very possibly could have received his Pharaonic donkeys (Genesis 12:16) early as the 1st Dynasty if not earlier.  Balaam’s talking donkey (Numbers 22:28) in the same era, and definitely later.  As the picture below shows, Joseph could have been riding in a wheeled cart drawn as early as 2,700BCE, a sledge pulled by donkeys or cattle, or even in a litter bore around by donkeys.

From Princeton University Press, The Horse, the Wheel, and the Language, by David Anthony, page 404 published 2007. With deep gratitude and many thanks.

The power of animals was a great benefit to early human civilizations, and their use is greatly misunderstood in the history of our civilizations.

©Abram Back in Time 2000-2107.  All Rights Reserved.

Works cited

Anthony, David W.  The Horse the Wheel and Language; How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2007. 193—224 Print.

Mazar, Amihai.  Archaeology of the Land of the Bible; 10,000—586 B.C.E.  1st Pb ed. New York: Doubleday—Bantam, 1992.  86—88,118 Print.

O’Conner, David.  Abydos; Egypt’s First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris.  London: Thames, 2009.  Print.

Rothman, Mitchell S. ed.  Uruk Mesopotamia & Its Neighbors; Cross-Cultural Interactions in the Era of State Formation.  Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research P, 2001.  127 Print.  School of American research advanced seminar ser.

Wengrow, David.  The Archaeology of Early Egypt; Social Transformations in North-East Africa, 10,000 to 2650 BC.  Cambridge, Gt. Brit: 2006.  46—48, 142 Print.  Cambridge World Archaeology ser.

Hello? Again in history who is Shishak?

The Shaking Ground of Traditional Chronology

Series I Post 3

When, I heard that Dr. David M. Rohl had his New Chronology and named Ramesses II as the real Biblical Shishak. I panicked had he discovered my Bronze Age chronology and beat me to disclosing my identification of Shishak? No, he used another way, mainly translation of a nickname used by the ancient Egyptians (Rohl, 1995: 156—163). Nicknames in ancient Egypt wasn’t as uncommon as you might think (Tyldesley, 1995: 77). When I realized his method was very different. I relaxed and took heart. He had provided me another source identifying the same Pharaoh as Shishak.

I had used the plague in the Levant, Egypt, and Hittite dating to the 18th dynasty as one of my identifiers. Others included the similarities in the names of Jehoshaphat/Merenptah and Jehoram/Ramesses and the famine of Ahab (1Kings 18:2) era with that of the Hittite famine that Merenptah famously sent Egyptian grain to feed Hittite (Shaw: 2000: 303). This method of mine allowed only Ramesses II to be Shishak.

Traditional chronology bases its identification of Shoshenq I as Shishak on the work of Sir John Marsham, 1st Baronet 1602—1682, in ca. 1649 as Archbishop James Ussher was working on his own chronology of Biblical history. Later, Sir Isaac Newton credited John Marsham and his math in discovering who Shishak was. (Many internet sites wrongly reference Sir John Marshall as Newton’s source, but Sir John Marshall lived long after Sir Newton.) That is it, there is no archaeological evidence supporting the traditional chronology identification of Shoshenk I as Shishak.

Dr. K.A. Kitchen acknowledges that Ramesses II in his 7/8 year with his army in tow just passed Jerusalem by (Kitchen, 1985: 67—68). While, Dr. Myśliwiec writing of Shoshenq’s campaign and supposed sacking of Jerusalem as Shishak (Myśliwiec, 2000: 45). He wonders at the lack of supporting historical documentation in Shoshenq’s geographical listing of the names of towns. That he did conquer but not listing Jerusalem or any other central Judean hill city. No, kidding Dr. Karol Myśliwiec then explains, “The opinion is that the relief does not depict historical reality but rather is modeled after an original from the time of Tuthmosis III, Amenophis II, or one of the great Ramessides. Once again, propaganda prevailed over fact.”

So, hello?  Again who is the historical Shishak? Ramesses, the second by that name, the Great indeed.

Sources cited

Kitchen, Kenneth A. Pharaoh Triumphant the Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt. Warminster, Gt. Brit: Aris, 1985. 67—68 Print.

Myśliwiec, Karol. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt; First Millennium B.C.E. Trans. David Lorton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2000. 45 Print.

Rohl, David M.  Pharaohs and Kings; a Biblical Quest.  New York: Crown, 1995. 156—163   Print.  Originally published in Gt. Brit. as A Test of Time.

Shaw, Ian. ed. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, Gt. Brit: Oxford UP, 2000. 303 Print.

Tyldesley, Joyce. Daughters of Isis; Women of Ancient Egypt. London: Penguin, 1995. 77 Print.

©Abram Back in Time 2000-2107. All Rights Reserved.

The Assyrian King so respected King Omri of Israel, he did what?

The Shaking Ground of Traditional Chronology

Series I Post 2 

In the mid-1800 after the digs of Assyrian treasures began: the rush to translate them and fit them into Biblical history began.  The fact, that Shoshenq I as Shishak was codified in 1828 for these later transcribers it made certain any mention of Israel by Assyrians, had to be after Shoshenq’s I reign 943-922BCE.  In 1851Rev. Edward Hincks, a 2nd generation clergyman and early expert on the Assyrian language made the famous identification of King Jehu, the son of Omri on the Assyrian Black Obelisk (Chavalas, Younger Jr. 2002: 72, ff 15-16).

Now here is where real biblical record slicing, chopping, and dicing takes place.  The Jehu in the Bible is the son was Jehoshaphat, the son of Ninshi- 2nd Kings 9:2.  Not of King Omri, whose son was Ahab, in fact this Jehu caused the death of the sons of Ahab.  Didn’t the Assyrian king know whom he was actually depicting on his obelisk?  I believe he did, it was Hincks that didn’t know- a clergyman!  Since Hincks translation of Jehu son of Omri, others have noticed the difference between the biblical identification of Jehu and this Assyrian identification.

Has this resulted in a reconsideration of Hincks translation?  No, it hasn’t.  What has happened is modern scholarship asserts Hinck’s identification is correct.  The Black Obelisk is held to this very day as depicting Jehu, son of Omri.  One interesting explanation, of this impossible translation of Hinck’s is the Assyrian king so admired the foreign Israelite King Omri he changed the name of Israel to Omri-land (Stiebing, Jr. 2003: 249).  Most in scholarship today, simply ignore any objection.  For them Hinck’s translation is correct, the Bible or the Assyrians were wrong.

What isn’t considered by scholarship is that Jehu overthrew the actual royal house of Omri and instituted his own house, as the royal house of Israel.  Other registers of the Black Obelisk clearly shows the disgust and punishment of usurpers like Jehu, by the Assyrian king.  Nor is the history of Omri recorded in the Bible considered.  The royal house of Jeroboam died out resulting in the first of several civil wars for the kingship title of Israel.  General Omri ruled for 12 years, four of them during that civil war before becoming king.

One last problem exists and that is with the Black Obelisk itself.  It does not fit with the history of obelisks in the ancient world.  While much smaller than the more known obelisk’s of Egypt.  The era of obelisks dies out in the ancient world from the end of the 19th dynasty ca. 1292-1109BCE until Egypt’s 26th dynasty ca. 664-525BCE.  Sticking the Black Obelisk in the 9th century of Assyria, as is currently done makes the obelisk stick out in history like a sore thumb.  Since the only Assyrian Obelisks appear during Shalmaneser reign.

Based upon the dependence of Shoshenq I, origin of the identification of Jehu, the sore thumb that is the Black Obelisk, the total lack of respect to the Bible record, and the disrespect to the Assyrian King Shalmaneser, the third by that name.  I can’t accept Rev. Hinck’s translation.  Something is wrong with it.

Addendum I have since learned of another translation from a later dated Assyrian monument also using the term Omri-land.  It is not the same Assyrian wording but results in the same translation Omri-land.  The evolution of word construction and meaning moves slowly even today, yet in ancient Assyria with respect to Israel it moves quickly.  I dismissed it as simply more desire by Western scholars to force scripture with real history improving neither.

Works cited

Chavalas, Mark W., and K. Lawson Younger Jr. Ed.  Mesopotamia and the Bible; Comparative Explorations.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic—Baker, 2002.  72 ffs 15—16.  Print.

Stiebing, William H. Jr.  Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture.  N.p.: Longman, 2003.  249. Print.

© Abram Back in Time 2000-2107.  All Rights Reserved.

The Shaking Ground of Traditional Chronology

Series 1 Post 1

Where to start?

Ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty is the most logical place for me to begin.  It is where I started decades ago with a book on the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun.  According to traditional Iron Age biblical chronology, it is the 18th dynasty that holds the key to the biblical Exodus.  Despite the inability of archaeology to place Exodus to an exact time, or even a Pharaoh in the 18th dynasty, this tradition holds.  While the vast new knowledge of the entire 18th dynasty, shows it was the period of Egypt’s great empire building from a reunited local kingdom to an international power.  In the minds of traditional biblical chronologists, it is the time when the Exodus leaves a repenting Egypt caught in the woes of God’s judgment on it.

Dating of the 18th dynasty as the period of Exodus began with Flavius Josephus and early Christian Fathers (Adler, 1989: 15—73).  Later chronologists have accepted for the most part this dating until modern times.  After all the 17th century English scholars took the reign of Pharaoh Shoshenq I ca. 943 and added 480 years arriving in the 18 dynasty 1425 BCE.  To them, not knowing as much about the 18th dynasty as is known today.  It was simple take the time of Shoshenq I add that famous 1King 6:1 480 years and you have the date of the Exodus.

Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s death mask of solid gold with precious stone inserts 18th dynasty Ancient Egypt.

It is not possible to merge this ancient opinion with the new knowledge from the 20thcentury into a comprehensive flowing history.  One or the other is mistaken.  I chose as mistaken, the men from the past whose opinion is based upon informed knowledge, not scientific technique from the 20th century.If, Exodus is not to be found in the 18th dynasty as the physical, evidence indicates; where is it then, if based upon a real event?  Egypt’s ancient history is very long.  I faced one of my first decisions to go with archaeological history versus theological, doctrinal truths.  I would not be disappointed in choosing the history that archaeology brings forth.

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I remind the faithful.  Faith is to be in God alone, not the in the knowledge of faithful human beings.  Claiming faith provides acceptance of untruths over reality is simply wrong.

Work Cited

Adler, William.  Time Immemorial; Archaic History and Its Sources in Christian Chronology from Julius Africanus to George Syncellus.  Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1989.  15—73  Print.

© Abram Back in Time 2000-2107.  All Rights Reserved.

 

What is ABiT bi…

Aside

What is ABiT bible chronology?

It is Abram (Abraham) Back in Time © 2000-2008, a Bronze Age chronology based on the Bible and modern discoveries of archaeology holding true to orthodox Egyptian and Middle East chronology .  Traditional chronology attempts to fit history into an assumed Iron Age frame it has no problem cutting, slicing, or even dicing Bible verses to achieve its purpose.  Conversely, fitting the Bible into Bronze Age history works and when compiled together produces a coherent traceable biblical history without the fancy knives.  Since, it is based on scripture and archaeological-historical fact not modern scholarship academic opinions, theological or doctrinal truths.  ABiT delivers a chronology that is remarkable in its scope.