Monday, June 16, 2014

A New Translation of the Ahmose Tempest Stela as Describing the Santorini Explosion on Thera and the Resulting Need to Reconstruct Egyptian and Biblical Chronology

We are pleased to report that a "new translation" of the Ahmose Tempest Stela by Nadine Moeller and Robert Ritner -- in our opinion correctly -- resurrects the clear and logical connection between that Tempest Stela and the modernly studied mega-eruption of the volcano Santorini on Thera. See Robert K. Ritner and Nadine Moeller, The Ahmose 'Tempest Stela', Thera and Comparative Chronology, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 73, No. 1, April, 2014. 10.1086/675069. Full text at
[For background, see generally also]

Ritner writes in the introduction to that article:
"In 1994, the Aegeanist Karen Polinger Foster brought to my attention a presentation delivered by Ellen Davis five years previously. Within her lecture, Davis had introduced the evidence of a unique Egyptian stela into the complex discussions regarding the absolute date of the volcanic eruption at Thera (Santorini). Karen’s question to me was fairly simple: was there anything in the wording of the stela that could justify a link with the Thera event? After reviewing the Davis article and the edited text of the stela, I became convinced that the possibility existed, particularly since the text as translated intentionally suppressed its most striking phraseology.

Previously published for an Egyptological audience by Claude Vandersleyen, the fragmentary stela recounts the devastations and reconstructions resulting from an extraordinary cataclysm in early Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt. While storms can be noted in Egyptian literature, Ahmose’s Tempest Stela is without parallel in extending the destructive effects to the entirety of the country. The remarkable nature of the event, described in unprecedented detail, is stressed by the text itself, which attributes the disaster to divine displeasure (recto ll. 6–7), while yet declaring that it was greater than divine wrath and exceeded the gods’ plans (recto l. 10)."
Why has it taken so long for the academic community to recognize the obvious?!

Scholars in the historical disciplines "historically" have not had a good track record in interpreting ancient evidence, and one reason for this, as we have previously stated, is that they are not trained in their disciplines to analyze "Evidence", as is done in "Law" studies.

Many historical publications still have not learned that the opinions of professors, past or present, are NOT "evidence". They are merely that, OPINION.

Indeed, much historical research at the university level in these disciplines follows the German saying "Es kann nicht sein, was nicht sein darf", freely translated into English as "That can not be, which is not allowed [by our theories]". No professor wants to admit that the ancient world chronology he or she has been following all of his or her professional career is simply wrong.

As a result, the "historical professions" (Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Egyptology, Ancient Near East Studies, Historical Linguistics, Aegean Studies, etc.) have for years preferred to rely on the often deluded, self-fulfilling prophecies found in the publications of their own "authorities" (i.e. the authoritarian opinion leaders and journals in their respective fields) rather than taking the option of critically examining the developing facts at hand to determine what the current probative evidence actually tells them.

When push comes to shove, new facts have been twisted or ignored to fit the outdated theories of various erroneous schools of thought and their adherents -- and these are the dusty relics that still dominate historical research.

Mainstream chronology of ancient human history is thus bogged down in an erroneous quagmire of stubborn, outdated, academic wishful thinking which is simply not matched by the probative evidence of what the actual facts tell us.

Let us in this context take a look at a 1998 article Separate Lives: The Ahmose Tempest Stela and the Theran Eruption, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 57, No. 1, Jan., 1998  in which a connection between the Ahmose Tempest Stela and the eruption of Santorini on Thera, as previouly proposed by C. Vandersleyen, H. Goedicke, E. N. Davis, K. P. Foster and R. K. Ritner is alleged "not to be supported by the evidence".

And what is the "evidence" referred to? Written, incredibly, is the following:
"Rather, we believe the description is inconsistent with what is known about the earthquake and the following eruption at Thera, consistent with the nature of monsoon-generated Nile floods, and characteristic of a genre of texts describing the restoration of order by rulers." [emphasis added]
That all has very little probative value. "Belief" is a conviction drawn on the ABSENCE of proof and is not science. Facts demand no "belief". Facts are facts.

Quite the contrary, absolutely nothing in the known factual record about the explosion of Santorini substantially contradicts the Tempest Stela.

Furthermore, it is doubtful that any ruler would ever have put up such a stela for a Nile flood, which was a standard annual occurrence in Egypt in those days.

Lastly, as far as we can see, no probative "genre of text" can be produced that convincingly approaches similarity to the Tempest Stela.

We have for years argued that the Thera explosion is integrally tied to identifiable Biblical events, e.g. at the LexiLine Journal in
New Revised Chronology of the Ancient World based on New Carbon Evidence of the Date for Thera and Santorini Eruption - LexiLine Journal 411.

We have for years also published online a revised chronology of the Ancient World, based on this knowledge.

The ultimate chronological answer is fairly clear. Mainstream Biblical chronology must be moved substantially "backward" in time. The other "backward" question is how we get the "backward" people in science to progress "forward" into the 21st century. That is the tougher question.

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