What is the true chronology of Ancient Egypt?

Mar 2018
889
UK
Archaeology is not an "exact science" but a scientific doctrine. In the beginning it was like early psychology: a typical "human science", now [after evolving, like psychology] it's a scientific doctrine.

The limit of these disciplines is obvious: they cannot be totally experimental.

1. Because of reality. You cannot recreate today the historical context of the battle at Alesia to make an experiment to find out if a theory is correct or not. Don't think to the group that reenact: they don't live like legionaries, they don't have their limited education, they don't reach the battle field marching for weeks, they don't eat what legionaries ate, present Gauls are not the warriors or Vergingetorix ... and so on.

2. Ethical reasons. You cannot make an experiment in psychology to find out how many persons would prefer the suicide to burn alive in a oven. [If you ignore ethic, it would be a mere scientific behavioral experiment!].

Anyway, becoming scientific doctrines they have adopted [in the possible measure] the scientific method. This has improved Economy, Psychology, Archaeology, History, Sociology ...

*********** Back to the topic ***********

May be we should enter details and try and check the datation of a Monarch of the early dynasties ...

I've never heard the word doctrine used in a philosophy of science context before, but I think I know what you mean. As for not being totally experimental, that's not really a problem, lots of sciences are like that. Evolutionary biology, or even Astronomy/Astrophysics are in that regard. But if you can't do rigorous controlled experiments, the least the scientific method demands is that you try and make the experiments you can perform as "blind" as possible. Asking someone what answer they expect beforehand flies in the face of that! Imagine the outrage if medical trials were done like that.

My father started a PhD in archaeology/palaeontology back in his youth, and has stories of people massaging or exaggerating finds to fit their personal theories. Not much seems to have changed in the last few decades.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've never heard the word doctrine used in a philosophy of science context before, but I think I know what you mean. As for not being totally experimental, that's not really a problem, lots of sciences are like that. Evolutionary biology, or even Astronomy/Astrophysics are in that regard. But if you can't do rigorous controlled experiments, the least the scientific method demands is that you try and make the experiments you can perform as "blind" as possible. Asking someone what answer they expect beforehand flies in the face of that! Imagine the outrage if medical trials were done like that.

My father started a PhD in archaeology/palaeontology back in his youth, and has stories of people massaging or exaggerating finds to fit their personal theories. Not much seems to have changed in the last few decades.
Oh well, there is who accuses even James Mellaart to have created some of the finds he sustained to have found ... [Famed Archaeologist 'Discovered' His Own Fakes at 9,000-Year-Old Settlement].
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,366
Coastal Florida
I'm aware of the work by Furlong related to late Bronze Age, did he did something similar also about the early Egyptian dynasties? Did he try and put Tudiya in correspondence with an Egyptian early Monarch?
No. And that's a major problem. Furlong is concerned only with the period corresponding to Egypt's New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period. He simply ignores everything else. Basically, he offers a radical chronological reorganization of the entire region. In the process, he rearranges kings like chess pieces so that they better fit the narrative he wishes to promote. There is no new evidence. He simply declares that practically every other anthropologist/archaeologist has been doing it wrong and offers up his own utopian vision which supposedly eliminates all problems and inconsistencies.

When it comes to scientific dating, what he says is quite interesting. He doesn't necessarily disbelieve the science, as even he says multiple times it's improbable that the science is wrong. Rather, it appears we're supposed to reject the science all together merely because it's "not impossible" that some sort of colossal mistake has been made. He doesn't provide an analysis of scientific methods in terms of strengths and weaknesses or whether its better suited for some archaeological applications as opposed to others. Instead, he recites a laundry list of difficulties which have arisen over several decades in the science, some of which predate his dissertation by 30 years or more. Even where issues had long been resolved scientifically, he seemed to take umbrage because it wasn't always perfect. To be quite frank, it seems rather prejudicial.

Although, this isn't the biggest issue I have with it. To me, the most glaring problem is that the apparent underlying purpose and need for this new chronology is to use it as a vehicle to prop up the Old Testament narrative from the bible (see the appendices). When the archaeology is done independently, it doesn't seem to fit very well. So, naturally, a consequence of this radical revision is that it lends greater weight to the biblical text. And not just to isolated events described in the bible, but to much of the OT narrative as a whole.

In the end, I don't see where this dissertation merits any more credibility than the work of Velikovsky, Rohl or Peter James. Like James, he might as well be telling us he's solved the mystery of Atlantis. The funniest thing is how these guys don't think anything should be moved at all until the 7th century BC. In 664, everything is fine. But in 665 BC, we suddenly need to find a way to subtract two or three hundred years for it to make sense to them.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,999
Australia
If you think James wants to revise the dates from 665 BC then you clearly haven't bothered to read the book.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
No. And that's a major problem. Furlong is concerned only with the period corresponding to Egypt's New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period. He simply ignores everything else. Basically, he offers a radical chronological reorganization of the entire region. In the process, he rearranges kings like chess pieces so that they better fit the narrative he wishes to promote. There is no new evidence. He simply declares that practically every other anthropologist/archaeologist has been doing it wrong and offers up his own utopian vision which supposedly eliminates all problems and inconsistencies.

When it comes to scientific dating, what he says is quite interesting. He doesn't necessarily disbelieve the science, as even he says multiple times that it's improbable that the science is wrong. Rather, it appears we're supposed to reject the science all together merely because it's "not impossible" that some sort of colossal mistake has been made. He doesn't provide an analysis of scientific methods in terms of strengths and weaknesses or whether its better suited for some archaeological applications as opposed to others. Instead, he recites a laundry list of difficulties which have arisen over several decades in the science, some of which predate his dissertation by 30 years or more. Even where issues had long been resolved scientifically, he seemed to take umbrage because it wasn't always perfect. To be quite frank, it seems rather prejudicial.

Although, this isn't the biggest issue I have with it. To me, the most glaring problem is that the apparent underlying purpose and need for this new chronology is to use it as a vehicle to prop up the Old Testament narrative from the bible (see the appendices). When the archaeology is done independently, it doesn't seem to fit very well. So, naturally, a consequence of this radical revision is that it lends greater weight to the biblical text. And not just to isolated events described in the bible, but to much of the OT narrative as a whole.

In the end, I don't see where this dissertation merits any more credibility than the work of Velikovsky, Rohl or Peter James. Like James, he might as well be telling us he's solved the mystery of Atlantis. The funniest thing is how these guys don't think anything should be moved at all until the 7th century BC. In 664, everything is fine. But in 665 BC, we suddenly need to find a way to subtract two or three hundred years for it to make sense to them.
In an other discussion [years ago] I underlined as well that Furlong [and Rohl] are not above suspicion regarding the possible usage of their theories to support "Biblical History". My opinion about this is really simple:

the Bible as we know is the final product of a long work in progress which took centuries and centuries and sure the large majority of the authors of the "books" in it weren't historians or persons writing chronicles. The Tanakh had written in Greek in Hellenic Egypt by a group of Jewish scholars. To be accurate the Jewish scholars from Jerusalem translated the Torah, the rest of the Tanakh had translated by an other group at Alexandria. This happenend in 3rd century BCE.

So, from a historical perspective the historical value of the Bible is really doubtful. And I don't consider it a historical text simply because its purpose was well different ...

Then, we've got clues which say that the Tradition and the Jewish identity predated the Greek version [the letters from Elephantine, the archive of the Jews at Babylon ...], but we cannot exclude that the historical content of the Bible is simply a sum of Jewish oral tradition and Greek - Egyptian interpolations. So that, since the "Biblical History" cannot be accurate, to develop a theory to adapt to it the "conventional" [as they say] history is simply absurd.

Obviously, if this is among the hidden purposes of Furlong et al.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
A part personal interests regarding the early dynasties, I tend to focus my attention on them in this context because I remember an article about a recent research run by scientists using C14 datation and archaeological evidences. They examined biological samples from tombs of the period to create a math model to refine the datation of the First Dynasty.

I've made a quick research on the net and I've found the reference to that research [2013].

Refining the dates of Ancient Egypt’s first dynasty : House of Wisdom
Researchers pinpoint when the First Dynasty of kings ruled Early Egypt
Radiocarbon dating on Museum human remains re-dates Egyptian history

And here you can read the report of the scientific work: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspa.2013.0395

They actually move something: in pre-dynastic age the period of Badarian culture should be changed a bit.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Going back to the New Kingdom for a while, there is the matter of when Amenhotep I reigned.

About the datation of his reign, Egyptologists can enjoy the aid of astronomers [anyway there is the Rohl's criticism to their source about this to consider, the Eber Papyrus, as we will see]. It's a rare case, but we've got the record of a Sothic day [III Shemu 9] and we know the places from where they could have observed the phenomenon.
So that they can indicate two periods for Year 9 of Amenhotep I: 1550-1537, if observed from Memphis; 1532-1515, if observed from Thebes [as Rita Gautschy reports in "A REASSESSMENT OF THE ABSOLUTE CHRONOLOGY OF THE EGYPTIAN NEW KINGDOM AND ITS 'BROTHERLY' COUNTRIES" Ägypten und Levante / Egypt and the Levant Vol. 24 (2014), pp. 141-158 A REASSESSMENT OF THE ABSOLUTE CHRONOLOGY OF THE EGYPTIAN NEW KINGDOM AND ITS 'BROTHERLY' COUNTRIES on JSTOR].
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The Eber Papyrus ...

Rohl is not alone criticizing the usage of the original datation of the text on the papyrus.

The papyrus is in hieratic and my eyes are not well trained with it as with hieroglyphics, anyway observing the transcriptions in hieroglyphics I can find around the reference to the day of the rising of Sirius looks clear. The problem, as for I have understood, is about the interpretation of the calendar [there is a kind of calendar on the papyrus, not only the starting date].

Here you can see the two lines and the rest of the calendar: Ancient Egyptian civil calendar