Reliefs from Kapara's Palace at Tell Halaf

Reliefs from Kapara's Palace at Tell Halaf


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From Hittite Bit-Hilani’s to Ancient Greek Temple Pillars

It is thought that the word Bit-Hilani is derived from the Hittite word Hilambar, that is door. It is seen that it was used in everywhere with hot climate in the iron age. It can be thought of as a kind of sun protection system.

If we look at the Bit-Hilani plan: it has a building plan that consists by entering a horizontal-axis room through an entrance with a portico on the same axis. In Hilani buildings built as a temple, a room is added to these two rooms, which does not spoil the plan. This room is generally used as a warehouse.

Although the Bit-Hilani type, which is quite common in the Late Hittite settlements, is still a controversial issue in origin, the E structure, which is considered to be the pioneer of Hilani structures in Tilmen Höyük, written by Professor Refik Duru. Likewise, the E structure in Büyükkale, located in the Boğazköy Hattusa, has an entrance with a portico in front and a structure with a room divided into two at the back, with a lateral extension. The relationship of both Tilmen mound and Hattusa palace with the Hilanis is evident. But how did these structures turn into the Iron Age Hilanis?

Column bases in Zincirli (Sam’al)

It is obvious that such structures are popular in Hittite geography. It is also normal that porch entrances are needed in hot climates. In fact, it will not be surprising that these structures are of Anatolian origin.

Assyrian King II. Sargon mentions such a building in the Establishment text of Dur-Sharrukin.

“A portico, patterned after the Hittite palace, which in the language of Amurru they call a bit-hilani, I built in front of the palaces’ gates.”

Since the structure in the western corner of the palace terrace is not known exactly, it is possible that it is the structure described with these words. II. Sargon says that these structures are unique to the Hittites.

Dur-Şarrukin

It is a search for an origin that is not exaggerated that our naming it an Anatolian-origin construction technique within the scope of the plan and explanations. However, Bit-Hilani buildings have developed continuously and the columns at the entrance have begun to be decorated with sculptures. For these columns, cedar wooden pillars are used, the front facade is decorated with reliefs, protom-headed lions and sphinxes.

İf when it comes to Tell Halaf, the Hilani façade evolves from pretentious to impressive. Kapara Palace in Tall Halaf stands out with its early Hilani. It is the earliest example of monumental Hilanis.

Entrance to the Aleppo National Museum, the reconstruction of the entrance to the Kapara palace at Tell Halaf

There were god statues on the sacred animals carrying the roof at the Hilani entrance of the Kapara Palace.

-Mother Goddess on the lioness (right)

-Storm God Tesup on the bull (center)

-The son of God Teshup is depicted on the lion (left).

It is the earliest example of using human figures.

Human figures are the oldest example used. It is not surprising to see that a situation ascribed to Greek art has a predecessor as early as 10 century BC. It is not an unknown phenomenon that Europe reached the development of Anatolia and Mesopotamia much later.

Athens Erechtheion temple

The Erechtheion temple in Athens (421-406 BC) was built centuries after this palace, but it is worth comparing with its style similarity. It was a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena and the god Poseidon. The south columns formed by the Karyadit girls can be likened to hilani doorways. There is no doubt that the understanding of art here and the art understanding of those who made the Kapara Palace were at a level that could compete with each other. Although the materials used have changed, it is not difficult to see the same logic and understanding of art for these structures. It is not at all strange for the Ancient Greek artists to develop an architecture they have seen, from the idea that art is formed by a phenomenon of inspiration.

While Bit-Hilani is a structure open to development, can we associate the closed-to-development of the Ancient Greek Megoran structures with open to development face of the east? Who knows, maybe if we were the Teotihucan people who thought that the architectural structures were alive, we could have reached far more conclusions than this inference!


Texts

A great amount of written sources of very different origin offer us insights into the Iron Age settlement of Tell Halaf:

Assyrian Royal Inscriptions
Before the appearance of Tell Halaf in the chronicles of the Assyrian eponyms our scanty knowledge of its Iron Age chronology rests mainly on the datable mentions in the Assyrian royal inscriptions. For the year 894 B.C. they record the tribute of Abi-salamu and for the years 879 and 870 B.C. the tribute of one or two anonymous Aramaean rulers of Guzana and Sikani. They are termed as descendants of Bakhiani (mar bahiani), the historical or mythological founder of a dynasty.

Limestone Altar from Tell Halaf
In the written remains from Tell Halaf itself this dynasty appears in a short Old Aramaean inscription on a small limestone altar. The text immortalizes the Aramaean ruler Zdnt of the (house) Bakhiani (zdnt.b'l.zy. bhy[n]).

Kapara’s Inscriptions at Tell Halaf
However, there is absolutely no reference to Bakhiani in the cuneiform inscriptions of Kapara, who calls himself son of Hadianu and king of the otherwise unknown land of Palê. The short inscriptions («Palace of Kapara, son of Hadianu») on the orthostats of the Hilani are incised partly next to, partly over the older inscription «Temple of the weather-god» (Fig. 1). Therefore, it may not be ruled out that the orthostats had originally been placed in a temple of a weather-god. The somewhat longer inscriptions on statues and figures at door jambs commemorate the name of the ruler, that of his father and unspecified deeds: He, Kapara, king of Palê, had achieved what his father and grandfather had not. The inscription ends in a curse menacing whoever would erase Kapara’s name from the inscription (Fig. 2).
The question of the dating of the inscriptions is not yet solved: by orthography, morphology and shape of the signs the inscriptions may go back to the 9th century B.C. However, there are antiquarian arguments for giving the orthostats themselves an earlier date. As Kapara does not refer to a founder of a dynasty Bakhiani in his inscriptions, he might be dated before the first mention of a ruler from the house Bakhiani. In that case, the terminus ante quem would be the year 895 B.C. (see above). Or Kapara, king of Palê, was the usurper or conqueror who put an end to the Bakhiani dynasty. Then, the terminus ante quem non would be the year 870 B.C. (see above).

Votive Statue from Tell Fecheriye
Another ruler of Guzana is mentioned on the bilingual inscription in Aramaean and Assyrian on a votive statue from Tell Fecheriye, the Iron Age Sikani, not far from Tell Halaf. In the Aramaean part of the inscription, Adda-it'i, the donor, describes himself and his father Shamash-nuri as kings (mlk) in the Assyrian part, however, as governors (sakin mati) of Sikani, Guzana and Zarani. This ruler does not refer to a Bakhiani, founder of the dynasty, either, nor do we know the dates of his reign (Fig. 3). Nevertheless, a date after 870 B.C. and before 808 B.C., when an Assyrian campaign to Guzana is mentioned in the chronicle of the eponyms is not improbable. As a direct or indirect consequence of this campaign Guzana seems to have been definitely incorporated into the Neo-Assyrian empire as a province. The first unambiguous written evidence is the occurrence of the Assyrian governor of Guzana, Mannu-ki-mat-Assur, in the list of eponyms of 793 B.C.

Archive of Mannu-ki-mat-Assur from Tell Halaf
The so-called archive of Mannu-ki-mat-Assur tells us about the tasks of the administration of an Assyrian province in the early 8th century B.C. The texts were found south of the Assyrian governor’s palace on the citadel and date to, approximately, the first quarter of the 8th century B.C. They are records removed from the governor’s archive proper: letters from the administrative correspondence and, mostly, short lists and memoranda concerning accounting. The texts are concerned with the enlistment of soldiers, horses and equipment for the Assyrian army (Fig. 4), the dispatching of men for civilian services outside the province, the integration of the semi-nomadic population, the accommodation of messengers, the transfer of the tribute of vassal states to the capital of the Assyrian empire, the collecting of the data needed to calculate the tax load, as well as the judiciary and the execution of the state cult.
The numerous mentions of the Turtanu, a high Assyrian official (maybe comparable to an European field-marshal) reflect his outstanding position within the hierarchy of the early 8th century B.C. Perhaps we are dealing with the well-known Turtanu Shamshi-ilu, a kind of 8th century B.C. Richelieu.

Seated Statue of Kammaki from Tell Halaf
On the torso of a seated statue made of basalt, a three-line inscription has been preserved. It mentions a certain Kammaki, son of the scribe Ilu-le’i and states that a destruction of the statue by a later ruler is to be declared a sin. According to the form of the signs, the inscription seems to date back to the middle of the 8th century B.C. It is possible, that the sculpture was intended for worshipping the ancestors, just as the stone seated figures from the «Kultraum» and the grave-chapels.

Assyrian State Correspondence
Numerous mentions in the Assyrian state correspondence are evidence of Guzana’s status as a province down to the collapse of the Assyrian empire.


How many of the thousand-year-old pieces were bombed and then rebuilt

After the war, 35 reliefs were given to France, who donated the m to Aleppo, where the pieces enter ed the city’s National Museum. Von Oppenheim failed to sell his share of the artefacts to the Pergamon , the most visited museum in Germany, but as the heir to a banking fortune , he used his incredible wealth to open his own museum in Berlin, the Tell Halaf Museum , where he could display them . “In 1943, a British fire bomb hit the Tell Halaf Museum, destroying all of the objects inside , including 12 reliefs , except those made from basalt,” Tabet s ays. “The cold water thrown by firefighters shattered the objects into 27,000 pieces. ”

The excavated site at Tell Halaf. Courtesy Rayyane Tabet

Von Oppenheim packed the rubble into crates, hoping to restore it later , and asked the Pergamon to store the pieces temporarily. But he died a year later in Bavaria, and when Germany was divided at the end of the Second World War , a new border between East and West meant the burn t-out Tell Halaf Museum and the Pergamon were on opposite sides of Berlin.

“Nothing could be done until the reunification of Germany in 1991, when a loan agreement was made between Von Oppenheim’s family and the Pergamon, allowing conservators to restore the Neo-Hittite palace sitting in their storerooms,” Tabet says. “ They spent 15 years rebuilding 26,000 of the 27,000 pieces into about 30 sculptures, architectural details and 59 reliefs.”


Darkmatter Journal

The Exhibition “The Salvaged Gods from the Palace of Tell Halaf / The Tell Halaf Adventure” (01/28 – 08/14/2011)–An Audio Tour with Two Voices

Artefakte//anti-humboldt (text and images)

Voice 1: In the anteroom, an appetizer in front of the exhibition title, “A Zero Hour?”, a pedestal, expansive, like a stage, an artefact–rubble on a pallet. The pedestal was not leaf gilded, upon closer examination, was painted with a layer of colour reminiscent of leaf gold.

Voice 2: Already at the start of the exhibition, the section titles, “-1946”, “Rescue of the Gods” and “Max Freiherr von” (the archaeologist), visible in the suite of rooms made the impression of a way of the cross, we read its stations: “Max Oppenheim”–“Tell Halaf Museum”–“Destruction”–“Restoration”–“Palace of Kapara” …

Voice 2: “Desert”–“Cult Room”–“Graves and Vaults”–“Excavation”–“Fascination Orient”–“Syrian-German Cooperation”.

Voice 1: The restoration was a “rescue”. This “rescue” of the artefacts (called “gods”) coincided with the rescue of Oppenheim’s biography, it was redemption, “divine compensation” to the archaeologist who was once himself active in the rescue, “on site ahead of the stone thieves of the modern city”. “We (Oppenheim and colleagues) were not insentient to what it means to tear the remains of a great monument away from its mother soil and bring them to us, where we can never again offer them the light and the environment into which they were created and in which they once came to full effect. But we have wrested them from complete destruction”. [1]

Voice 2: Oppenheim was an “archaeologist and diplomat”, “friend of the Arabs”, “German Lawrence from Arabia”, “el barón”, a collector, preserver, curator, we learn… and further: during the course of the construction of the Baghdad Railway, Oppenheim in 1899 undertook a successful three-day trial excavation at the Tell Halaf in the source region of the Khabur River in Syria. Due to lacking excavation license, he closed the site of the find.

Voice 1: Excavating without a license?

Voice 2: A main excavation then took place from 1911-1913, and only after the third excavation in 1927 did Oppenheim conclude the search with a division of the finds with the French-Syrian mandatory administration and the production of forms of most of the pictorial works for subsequent casting. After Oppenheim could not reach an agreement with the Pergamon Museum regarding an expense allowance, he in 1930 installed his own private Tell Halaf museum in a machine factory in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

In November 1943 this museum was hit by an aerial bomb. All the limestone orthostats and plaster casts disintegrated in the flames, while the heated pictorial works made of basalt burst when they came in contact with the cold extinguishing water. Despite the difficult circumstances, the Pergamon Museum in August of 1944 had nine truckloads secured in its own pipe basement.

Voice 1: Nine months later?–?

Voice 2: “An excavation in the own building” is how the Pergamon Museum described it in the 1990s…

Voice 1: …there would be many others…

Voice 2: Restoration took place between 2001 and 2007, financed by the Sal. Oppenheim-Foundation of the bank Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. and the Alfred von Oppenheim Foundation.

Voice 1: The saviours of Oppenheim’s biography )

Voice 2: In the summer of 2005, the grandnephew Christopher von Oppenheim of the bank Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. installed a Musée Imaginaire for a few days in the restoration hall Friedrichshagen for a circle of clients who were invited to dinner there.

Voice 1: …and to whom do the figures now belong?

Voice 2: In the next three rooms we found a kind of imagined machine street: The first station, the replication of the Tell Halaf Museum in a former foundry of the Freund’sche Machine Factory with its oil-soaked wooden boardwalk…

Voice 1: …that’s why it burnt so well on November 23 rd , 1943…

Voice 2: …sure, an industrial zone, the most endangered location. Why hadn’t the artefacts been secured in the way that the Pergamon Museum had evacuated its stocks? It was the most secure for an artefact to be buried deep in sand, the most insecure place, however, turned out to be Berlin.

Voice 1: Second station: Violence of immersion, in the artefact, with the artefact, we suffered. In a druse, a crystalline wall structure, we died together with the stone.

Voice 2: At the time, the archaeologist showed irony: “The magnificent, in part gigantic stone sculptures of the Tell Halaf Museum only burst due to the fire and will be, God willing, reassembled again, just like I have reconstructed them again in Berlin, after they had been destroyed 3000 years ago (…) for the first time during the fire of the castle on Tell Halaf.” [2]

Voice 1: Third station: “300 wooden pallets” with “27,000 or 80 m³ basalt fragments”–this restoration street was extended to infinity through a mirroring effect, ending in a resurrected torso assembled out of splinters.

Voice 2: We heard of an “enormous restoration project” defying “two world wars” (Christopher Freiherr von Oppenheim), a restoration as a “human challenge”, a restoration as a “moral obligation”, then as a “triumph” (Nadja Cholidis, curator of the exhibition), as a “miracle” (Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz).

Voice 1: We got to know the restoration of the ruins as a rebirth that helped the phoenix out of the ashes. As permanent repetition–guilt/destruction and rebirth–this topos was to be firmly anchored in the Museum Island. As the Berliner piece of evidence of having coped with the war, enormous, human, moral obligation, triumph, the metaphor of which could be brought to the world as a cultural export article. (What also resonated under the surface was the rescue by a private investment against the endless moratorium, the stagnation of the Museum Island under the GDR.)

Voice 2: The climax: In the Palace of Kapara we encountered “the entire family”, partially damaged, partially repaired, partially unscathed bodies from the museum in Aleppo. One wall was painted golden like the pedestal and illuminated from below.

Voice 1: Why was a Byzantine golden ground here? Why was the “Palace” station situated after “Bombing and Restoration” and not at the beginning of the itinerary?

Voice 2: The artefacts: The relief panel of a lion in front of the entrance to the western palace, made of nine hundred fragments. We followed a competition between the percentages of two different materials in the objects, namely, the complements (by the restorers) in the plane surfaces against the incorporated original materials. Either the artefact remained in a ruined state or the complementation dominated, placing the original particles as inlays in the surface. Present-day restoration would restrain from complementing missing parts.

Voice 1: This form was new!

Voice 2: From a restorative perspective, they would not have been built up.

Voice 2: End: In a glass transverse edifice, which connects the northern and southern wings of the Pergamon Museum, the entrance facade of the western palace of Tell Halaf is to form the new access to the Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art: “By means of a special lighting concept, the original magnificence of the monumental statues and relief slabs is to be brought to bear – without concealing their scars and wounds.” “The visitor strides past the Kalabsha Gate, the entrance facade of Tell Halaf, the Procession Way of Babylon and the Ishtar Gate, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Pergamon Altar in sequence.” [3]

Translated from German by Karl Hoffmann

Notes

1. Alexander Conze, cited in Kunze, Kästner: Antikensammlung II, p. 30. [&uarr]

2. Quoted from Nicola Kuhn, “Museum für Vorderasiatische Kunst. Und der Greif hebt seine Schwingen”, Tagesspiegel, 01/26/2011. [&uarr]

3. Nicola Kuhn, “Museum für Vorderasiatische Kunst. Und der Greif hebt seine Schwingen”, Tagesspiegel, 01/26/2011. [&uarr]


What Remains – Ancient Artworks Travel, Inspire, and Survive

Lamassu in front of installation of exhibition 'Alien Property' by Rayyane Tabet, Metropolitan Museum, NY.

Mariam Hale - December 13, 2019

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias, 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)*

It is one of the clichés of history that an empire rises only to fall. All imperial powers, from the Romans to the Soviets, have met their limits, waned and failed. As in Shelley’s Ozymandias, their works of art and architecture remain to recall the lost greatness of past empires, a warning to future kings and conquerors of the ephemeral nature of all achievement – excepting only art.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the third of many successive empires to reign over an area now divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, from the 10 th to the 7 th century BCE. The heart of their territory was the region sometimes called the Fertile Crescent, watered by the Tigris and the Euphrates. Along these rivers arose the grand palace complexes from which the Assyrian emperors controlled their territory and directed further conquests.

Their last capital, Nineveh, was once the greatest city on earth. During the rule of Ashurbanipal (668-c. 626 BCE), one of the last kings of Assyria, great works of monumental architecture rose in stone in what is now northern Iraq. An inscription found at the site declared him ‘king of the world, king of Assyria’ a grandiose claim, but one validated by the magnificence of his capital.

Relief panel, Detail of attack on an enemy town, Assyrian, 730-727 BC, Kalhu (Nimrud), Central Palace, reign of Tiglath-pileser III, British Museum. The Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades, CA.

The wealth of Nineveh was founded upon its kings’ military might, their relentless expansion of their territories and their ruthless exploitation of the peoples they conquered. Ultimately these same factors, abetted by a decades-long drought across much of the once-fertile Assyrian heartland, led to the collapse of the empire. Only a few decades after the death of Ashurbanipal, Nineveh fell to the combined armies of Babylonians, Persians, Scythians, and others. These peoples had long paid tribute to their Assyrian conquerors in material goods, and human labor, before rising up to destroy those who once controlled them.

Today, relatively little remains of Nineveh, Nimrud, or the other great cities and palaces built by the Assyrians. The destruction wrought by the wars of two-thousand and more years ago was followed by a long period of literal obscurity, during which the ruins of cities and palaces lay buried in disregarded mounds. Excavations began in the nineteenth century, and study of the sites continued, with interruptions into the twenty-first century. The looting of the Baghdad Museum in the wake of US-led strikes on the city in 2003 led to the loss of major artifacts recovered from the Assyrian sites. This catastrophe was exacerbated by the 2014-2017 occupation of the region by ISIS, when, tragically, the ruins of Nineveh and Nimrud were deliberately destroyed by soldiers with hand tools and bulldozers. Today, all that survives of these sites as they once were, are photographs and drawings produced by archaeological teams, along with those sculptures, reliefs, and wall-decorations which were in foreign museums at the time of the sites’ capture.

Seated figure, Neo-Hittite, ca. 10th-9th C BCE, Tell Hallaf (ancient Guzana), Syria, Max Freiherr von Oppenheim Foundation, Cologne. Reconstructed statue shattered in Allied bombing of Tell Halaf Museum in Berlin in WWII. Metropolitan Museum, NY. CCP photo.

Some of the most striking remnants of the ancient Assyrian empire are currently on display in two notable exhibitions, at the Getty Villa and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Meanwhile an installation of the work of Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, inspired by and in memory of the lost archaeological remains at Nineveh, is on view at the Williams College Museum of Art.

All three exhibits are examples of museums’ capacity to not merely recount the history of artifacts, but to bring forth new stories about what these objects have meant to many nations, in a global context and over time. The reliefs in these exhibitions are the survivors of one imperial collapse, and their journeys through time and across the globe to their host galleries have been determined largely by the conflicts and collaborations between nations with their own aspirations to global power.

These exhibitions are also a display of a different kind of globalizing force the emergent trans-national community of art and history museums. The displays at the Getty Villa and the Metropolitan are made possible by loans between institutions thirteen of the Nineveh plaques on display at the Getty Villa belong to the British Museum, while the Pergamon Museum in Berlin has loaned a famous figure from another Assyrian site to the Met for the show. This open-handed sharing of artifacts introduces a new theme into the history of objects that have been bought, sold, seized, bombed, and lost, but only now have become part of global heritage, protected from harm and able to cross borders and bridge cultural divides. The stone reliefs and sculptures are part of the legacy of civilizations and culture that are under attack in modern times, giving Iraqi and Syrian people in diaspora access to their cultural heritage.

Photograph of the artist Rayyane Tabet’s great grandfather, Faik Borkhoche, holding a snake. photo Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

The Met’s exhibition puts a personal emphasis on the story of the lost and found artifacts on display, by framing them as part of the family history of contemporary artist Rayyane Tabet. His great-grandfather was a Lebanese secretary who worked on an Aramaean site called Tell Halaf in the 1920s and ‘30s. The Aramaean peoples lived at the Western extreme of the Assyrian territories. Their city-states once functioned as independent satellites of the Assyrians, until military campaigns in the 9 th or 8 th century annexed them to the empire proper.

Among many other extraordinary finds at Tell Halaf were over a hundred stone relief panels, much like those recovered from the remains of Nineveh, though predating them by several centuries. Their discovery, excavation, and exportation by a German baron-archaeologist are entwined with the politics of European activities in the Near East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and with Tabet’s own family history. Baron Max von Oppenheim made his first observations at the site of Tell Halaf 1899, when the area was still under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and von Oppenheim was meant to be surveying routes for a German-sponsored railroad route to Baghdad. The outbreak of the first World War interrupted the excavations for which he only obtained Ottoman permission in 1912 – when he returned, in 1927, the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, its territories divided between European colonizing countries. Tell Halaf was inside the region under French Mandate control. Tabet’s grandfather was not just a secretary to the Baron – he was also a counter-spy, appointed by the French government to observe his activities, and to ensure that he was not engaged in mapping the territory to facilitate a German takeover, under cover of his excavation work.

Stone reliefs, Tell Halaf. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. CCP photo.

Despite his French authorization, the largest share of the finds from the site went to Oppenheim’s own foundation in Berlin, Germany. German expansionism soon provoked the outbreak of World War II, in the course of which the building housing Tell Halaf’s artifacts was bombed, reducing the reliefs and statuary inside to rubble. The shattered pieces were carefully crated up and transported to another museum for safe-keeping until they could be reassembled, but the post-War division of Berlin marooned the boxes on the East side of the Berlin wall, while Oppenheim’s museum was left almost barren on the West side, unable to access its damaged collection pieces until 1990, when careful reconstruction of the objects began.

The Met’s exhibit tells the story of these objects, not just as antiquities, but as survivors many times over, testaments in stone to the resilience of art and of the preserving power of the value we place on our human cultural heritage. The reliefs found on the wall of Tell Halaf are now spread across five countries, with the majority in Berlin and Aleppo, in which latter city Oppenheim’s finds formed the core of the then-newly founded National Museum. We can only hope that those in Aleppo make it through the ongoing conflict in that nation intact.

The stone reliefs on display at the Getty Villa form part of a more traditional exhibition, one focused on educating visitors about the history of the reliefs and meaning of the images.

This exhibition, too, recalls the archaeological work that led to the artifacts’ discovery and preservation, albeit in less sensational terms than the “spy story” told by Tabet. The objects are accompanied by a series of drawings of the site during excavations at Nimrud and Nineveh by Sir Austen Henry Layard, who excavated several of the reliefs on display between 1845-1851. Layard’s own work was supported and permitted by another 19 th century imperial power: Great Britain. Fittingly, the reliefs illustrate many of the activities that contributed to the might of the Assyrian emperors: war, the receipt of tribute, and ceremonial lion hunts that glorified the king of Assyria as a mighty warrior.

The reliefs are now the property of the British Museum, one of the greatest of the world’s museums, a treasure house of antiquities open to tourists, art lovers, and scholars from across the globe. Although there are many ongoing controversies over objects in the British Museum’s collections, these works at least are lucky to have been preserved from the ravages of ISIS.

Plaque in Trafalgar Square for ‘the invisible enemy does not exist’, by artist Michael Rakowitz.

Contemporary artist Michael Rakowitz, meanwhile, is working to memorialize those objects that were lost during the US-led invasion from the Baghdad Museum, as well as those destroyed by ISIS at Nineveh and Nimrud. Since 2018, his life-size recreation of one of the massive Lamassu statues at Nineveh, a human-headed, winged bull, has stood on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. Unlike its ancient stone original, Rakowitz’s Lamassu is made from empty date-syrup cans, packaging which commemorates the once-thriving Iraqi date industry, which collapsed in the course of the Iraq War.

Trafalgar Square is one of the most heavily trafficked spaces in London, and, like the palaces of the Assyrians, is furnished with monumental sculpture celebrating the military might of the nation, once the heart of an empire. It is a wide plaza fronting the National Gallery with a statue-topped pillar at its center, topped by a statue of Lord Nelson, the naval hero who led the British fleet to victory over the forces of Emperor Napoleon at Trafalgar, though he died in the battle.

The Lamassu is just one object from a long-running project of Rakowitz’s, entitled The invisible enemy should not exist. His aim is to recreate, in packaging from Iraqi products, all of the seven thousand objects still missing from the Baghdad Museum collections the damage wrought by ISIS has inspired him to add Nineveh and Nimrud to his commemorative project.

Michael Rakowitz, the invisible enemy should not exist, Trafalgar Square, London, 2018, photo CPN.

An installation of his work is currently on view at the Williams College Museum of Art, in Williamstown, MA. They are set on surfaces erected to exactly mirror the configuration of the walls of Room Z of the Northwest Palace of Nimrud, as they stood before ISIS’s attack on the site. On these surfaces are relief panels, made, like the Lamassu, from the wrappers on Iraqi products, representing the stone carvings left at the site at the time of its destruction. The colorful packaging materials recall the original polychrome appearance of the reliefs the gaps on the walls between his sculptures evoke the blank spaces left at the original site by the removal of panels for exhibition abroad.

Curators at WCMA have deliberately placed Rakowitz’s installation in conversation with two Assyrian relief panels, gifted to the museum in the 1840s by the British excavator Layard himself, now among the dozens of objects around the world that are preserved in exile.

Relief from the Northwest Palace of King Ashurnasirpal II, acquired by Dwight W. Marsh, Williams College Class of 1842 from the excavator, Sir Austen Henry Layard. Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Williamstown, MA USA.

Layard’s gift to WCMA, via an alumnus of the college, can be seen as prefiguring, far in advance, the emergence of a globalizing – not imperial – power which now holds sway over these ancient reliefs. In this century, no rising empire but an expanding community of great museums has dedicated itself to the task of public education and the preservation of art and cultural history worldwide. Internationally touring exhibitions, or international loans, have enabled local museums to share the wonders of world art with their publics, to reconnect diaspora communities with their cultural inheritance, and to keep the artistic survivals of dead empires safe, admired, and understood, as they were in the days of their making.

The losses sustained at Baghdad, Nimrud, and Nineveh, and elsewhere in ISIS-invaded regions, can never be undone. However, widespread dismay at the destruction demonstrated our shared desire to protect the beautiful, awe-inspiring, and informative remnants of humanity’s ancient history, wherever they may be found. These three exhibitions demonstrate the resilience of art in the face of history, and our capacity to continuously re-evaluate past practices and form new understandings of cultural property and its place in the world.

We know this: the lives of empires are cyclical, but art keeps moving forward.

Assyria: Palace Art of Ancient Iraq, At the Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades, CA USA, October 2, 2019–September 5, 2022

Alien Property, Rayyane Tabet, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met 5th Avenue) New York, NY USA

The invisible enemy should not exist , room z Northwest Palace of Nimrud Michael Rakowitz, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA USA, September 27, 2019- April 19, 2020

The Young Memnon, The British Museum, London, UK, © The Trustees of the British Museum

* The poet was said to have been inspired by the news of the acquisition by the British Museum of a massive fragment of a stone statue of Rameses II. ‘The Younger Memnon’ is a monumental statue of Ramses II (one of a pair placed before the door of the Ramesseum).

(Many thanks to guest author Mariam Hale. Ed. note: I recently encountered two Iraqi-American teens and their father visiting the lamassu at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asked what they thought about having these massive sculptures, emblematic of Iraqi culture, in New York. Their response: “It’s great! Otherwise they would be destroyed.”)


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In ancient Egypt, the symbol is attested from the Old Kingdom (Sneferu, 26th century BC [ citation needed ] ), often flanked on either side with a uraeus.

In early Egyptian religion, the symbol Behdety represented Horus of Edfu, later identified with Ra-Harachte. It is sometimes depicted on the neck of Apis, the bull of Ptah. As time passed (according to interpretation) all of the subordinated gods of Egypt were considered to be aspects of the sun god, including Khepri.

The name Behdety means the inhabitant of Behdet. He was the sky god of the region called Behdet in the Nile basin. His name has been seen in history for a long time. [1]

His image was first found in the inscription on a comb's body, as a winged solar panel. The period of the comb is about 3000 BC. Such winged solar panels were later found in the funeral picture of Pharaoh Sahure of the fifth dynasty. Behdety is seen as the protector of Pharaoh. On both sides of his picture are seen the Uraeus, which a symbol for the cobra headed goddess Wadjet. [1]

He resisted the intense heat of Egyptian sun with his two wings. [1]

From roughly 2000 BC, the symbol also appears in the Levant and Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. It appears in reliefs with Assyrian rulers and in Hieroglyphic Anatolian as a symbol for royalty, transcribed into Latin as SOL SUUS (literally, "his own self, the Sun", i.e., "His Majesty").

From ca. the 8th century BC, the winged solar disk appears on Hebrew seals connected to the royal house of the Kingdom of Judah. Many of these are seals and jar handles from Hezekiah's reign, together with the inscription l'melekh ("belonging to the king"). [2] Typically, Hezekiah's royal seals feature two downward-pointing wings and six rays emanating from the central sun disk, and some are flanked on either side with the Egyptian ankh ("key of life") symbol. [2] Prior to this, there are examples from the seals of servants of king Ahaz and of king Uzziah. [3]

Compare also Malachi 4:2, referring to a winged "Sun of righteousness",

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. (KJV)

The symbol evolved into the Faravahar (the symbol of the divine power and royal glory in Persian culture [4] [ circular reference ] ) in Zoroastrian Persia.

The winged sun is conventionally depicted as the knob of the Staff of Hermes.

The symbol was used on the cover of Charles Taze Russell's textbook series Studies in the Scriptures beginning with the 1911 editions. Various groups such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Thelema, Theosophy and Unity Church have also used it. Variations of the symbol are used as a trademark logo on vehicles produced by the Chrysler Corporation, Mini, Bentley Motors, Lagonda (Aston Martin) and Harley Davidson.

Since WW2, military aircraft of the United States have carried the insignia of a circle with stripes extending from each side like wings. Whether this is coincidental or some symbolic resemblance was intended is unknown. A five-pointed star is inscribed within the circle.

The winged sun symbol is also cited by proponents of the pseudoscientific Nibiru cataclysm. [5]

A winged sun is used in the heraldry of the North America Trade Directory. [6]


New exhibition at Met shines light on ancient stone reliefs

Rayyane Tabet. Orthostat #170 (detail) from Orthostates, 2017&ndashongoing. Framed charcoal on paper rubbing. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Bequest of Henrie Jo Barth and Josephine Lois Berger-Nadler Endowment Fund, 2019

NEW YORK &ndash A new exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells the story of the ninth-century B.C.E. stone reliefs excavated in the early 20th century at Tell Halaf, Syria and their subsequent destruction, loss, or dispersal to museum collections around the world, including The Met. Rayyane Tabet / Alien Property, on view through January 18, 2021, examines the circuitous journey of The Met&rsquos four reliefs, which came to the Museum under the aegis of the World War II-era Alien Property Custodian Act. The exhibition also highlights the very personal connection of the reliefs to contemporary artist Rayyane Tabet (born 1983). The exhibition is made possible by the Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art.
&ldquoThe stories that Rayyane Tabet tells in this exhibition are rooted in both intensely personal experiences, and some of the most complex cultural heritage issues currently being grappled with in the world&mdashincluding the role of museums, both past and present,&rdquo said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. &ldquoThrough this collaboration with Tabet, we&rsquore able to consider the rich history of these compelling objects in light of the artist&rsquos perspective, and the multiple forces at play in the region throughout the 20th century and still today.&rdquo

&ldquoWe live in times of transition and uncertainty,&rdquo said Rayyane Tabet. &ldquoWorking on this show has solidified my belief that we have to confront our past head-on in order to ground ourselves firmly in the present, and through the process begin to imagine what might be possible.&rdquo

On view in the Museum&rsquos galleries for Ancient Near Eastern Art, Rayyane Tabet / Alien Property features approximately 20 works of art, including Tabet&rsquos charcoal rubbings of the ancient reliefs four of the ancient reliefs themselves that are part of The Met collection Tabet&rsquos 2017 work Genealogy the famed Neo-Hittite &ldquoVenus&rdquo unearthed at Tell Halaf and on loan from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and archival material drawn from both the artist&rsquos personal possessions and The Met&rsquos archives. Presented together, these works and related materials illuminate how cultural artifacts have helped expose audiences to the richness of the ancient world. They also show how cultural artifacts have been leveraged either to draw attention to the plight of people caught up in cycles of violence or to exclude them from broader political narratives. The exhibition ultimately asks viewers to consider these entangled, complex histories in relation to present-day conversations about the evolving role of encyclopedic museums.

Starting in 1911, German archaeologist Baron Max von Oppenheim oversaw excavations at Tell Halaf. Among the finds was a palace frieze composed of nearly 200 stone reliefs depicting a variety of mythological scenes. In the early 1930s, von Oppenheim brought eight of these reliefs to the United States. In 1943, American authorities confiscated them under the authority of the Alien Property Custodian, a wartime agency responsible for the seizure, administration, and sometimes sale of enemy property in the United States. Soon after their confiscation, The Met purchased them from the Office of the Alien Property Custodian. Four of the reliefs were subsequently put on display in the Museum galleries, where they have remained ever since.

In 2016, as part of his quixotic quest to re-unify the extant Tell Halaf frieze through his own artistic practice, Rayyane Tabet approached The Met with a request to produce charcoal rubbings of the Museum&rsquos reliefs. Tabet was inspired in part by his great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, who was hired by the French authorities under the French Mandate for Syria to be an administrator at the site of von Oppenheim&rsquos excavation, but in actuality was sent to spy on the German excavator. Through his intervention in the Museum&rsquos galleries of Ancient Near Eastern Art, Tabet seeks to explore the charged and entangled relationship between family stories, major political and social events, and the history of the encyclopedic museum.

Rayyane Tabet / Alien Property is organized by Kim Benzel, Curator in Charge, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, and Clare Davies, Assistant Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, both at The Met, in consultation with the artist.

This presentation is accompanied by a Met Bulletin, which is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader&rsquos Digest.

The exhibition is featured on the The Met website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #AlienProperty.


Reliefs from Kapara's Palace at Tell Halaf - History

ALAN MONTGOMERY
218 MCCURDY Dr.
KANATA, ON
CANADA K2L 2L6

The Revised Chronology (RC) in Part 1 placed the end of the 12th Dynasty at 1591, the Second Intermediate Period from 1591 to 1076 BC, the 18th Dynasty from 1086 to 868 BC and the 22nd Dynasty from 871 to 730 BC. Historical and archaeological evidence is shown to validate this construction. Stratigraphy in the Mediterranean, which shows major chronological gaps in the Late Bronze/ Iron Age boundary, demonstrates a need to advance the date of the Late Bronze by 400 to 500 years. At Tell Brak evidence for a major down dating of Amarna related strata places it in the Late Assyrian. Further evidence to support the 18th Dynasty RC come from the variety of connections of the Amarna letters to the Late Assyrian period. The misdating of Amarna related artefacts to the Middle Kassite era produces a double the Kassite artefacts and a void of Late Babylonian ones - the so-called Mesopotamian "dark age". This "dark age" disappears when the Amarna related material is properly dated.

KEYWORDS: Amarna, Chronology, Exodus, Late Assyrian, Late Bronze, Iron Age, Velikovsky

To take the Revised Chronology (RC) model (see Part 1) one step further, we need to understand how the archaeological and stratigraphic evidence fit the model. The Late Bronze Mycenaean pottery, found in strata in 18th Dynasty Egypt, is a major chronological marker for the entire Mediterranean region. What are the consequences of moving this pottery 400 years on the timeline in the new RC/BIC model? What happens to el-Amarna correspondents wrote the letters to the late 18th Dynasty pharaohs? What happens to the Late Bronze synchronisms with Mesopotamia? All dates are BC unless otherwise noted.

The Late Bronze Era and stratigraphy

Petrie discovered Mycenaean pottery in 18th and 19th Dynasty context. It was common before Petrie's discoveries to date the end of the Mycenaean period to 800 to allow continuity and even overlap with the Geometric period [James et al, p. 16]. Petrie developed a new scheme based on Egyptian chronology. Torr, a Greek archaeologist, strongly opposed it because the Late Bronze (LB) chronology had to be retarded 500 years, leaving an unwanted blank in Mediterranean strata and history. No people, buildings, texts, weapons or pottery filled this void [Torr, 1892]. James et al. gathered the archaeological evidence found since the great Petrie-Torr debate. Their analysis showed that in Spain, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Troy, Cyprus, and Palestine strata still have systematic voids at the Late Bronze/Iron Age I boundary. The LB gaps are shown in Table 1.

James concluded that these voids were caused by poor Egyptian chronology [James et al, p. 320]. He proposed to move the LB and the New Kingdom forward by 250 years. However, the voids are closer to 350 to 500 years in most places in agreement with the RC/BIC model. This restores a smooth cultural change in the stratigraphic record and refills the Late Bronze gaps first created by Petrie. Thus, a 400-year shift in the dating of stratigraphy demanded by the RC/BIC model not only fails to cause any major stratigraphic problems but even resolves problems of the current system.

The Amarna letters were an Egyptian diplomatic archive, found at el-Amarna near the Akhenaten's capital, Akhetaten. Amarna correspondents include the Hittites, the Mitanni and the Israelites. These lived during the time of the Mycenaean Greeks whose pottery (found at Aketaten), art, sculptures and writing is a major stratigraphic marker of the Late Bronze. In the RC model all these people and their art, ivory and architecture must have coexisted with the 10th/9th century Late Assyrians.

Between Late Bronze and Iron Age Hittites in Anatolia, there is a 400-year void. Akurgal, a leading Anatolian archaeologist, stated the problem thus ". it is striking that not only no Phrygian (remains) but no cultural remains of any sort have been found which belong to the period 1200 - 800 BC [Akurgal, 1962, p. 124]." Although, initially, archaeologists had dated the Hittites to 1100 - 800 [James, 1993, p. 137-38] clay tablets from Hattusas revealed the historical correspondence between the Hittite kings and 19th Dynasty Egyptian pharaohs. The dates were revised to 1600 -1200 [James, p. 115-19]. This created a problem. In Syria, similar hieroglyphics and art were discovered, the so-called Syro-Hittites. These had to be dated from the 11th to the 7th century due to their association with Late Assyrian deposits [James, p. 122]. Thus, there were two Hittite histories but one Hittite culture. In the RC model this duplication is resolved by moving the Imperial Hittites down into Akurgal's void. The Imperial Hittites of the Late Bronze era become coeval with the Syro-Hittites of the Late Assyrian era and this resolves the problem.

Table 1: CHRONOLOGICAL GAPS AT THE LATE BRONZE/IRON AGE I BOUNDARY

LOCATION TYPE OF EVIDENCE GAP IN YEARS PAGE*
Italy Late Apennine Ceramics 300 33
Sicily LB/IA I Tombs 550 36
Aeolian Islands LB/IA I Pottery 500 40
Malta Pottery 600 41
Sardinia Soldiers' Armour 400-500 47
Troy Pottery 250-400 62-63
GreekLevant Ivories 325 73
Greek Linear B/Earliest Alphabet 400 82
Greece/Cyprus Bronzes 400 80
Greek Pottery 400 94,95
Hittite Art 350 123
Anatolia Artifacts 400 138
Bogâzköy Ceramics 300 139
Palestine Pottery 400 160
Nubia Tombs 200 216

*Page reference is to Centuries in Darkness [James et al., 1992]

Archaeologists found a wall, called Herald's Wall, at the Late Assyrian level of Carchemish. Hogarth noted the strong similarity of the art of Herald's Wall to the Imperial Hittite art at Hattusas. Woolley even argued for Late Bronze dates for Herald's Wall claiming the iconography was derived from 15th and 14th century Mitanni [James, 1993, p. 126]. Here Mitanni influence is found in Late Assyrian context as required by the RC. Furthermore, according to RC, the Mitanni still existed in circa 850 RC. In an inscription of Shoshenq I, 851 RC, the god, Amon-Re, reminds Shoshenq of the Mitannian army that was given into his hand [Breasted, 1906, sec. 722.] The conventional view must claim a 450-year anachronism [Wilson, 1969b, p. 263]. Similarly, Phase 2 of the Kapara Palace at Tell Halaf was dated to 808 GAD. Phase 1, prior to the occupation of the Late Assyrians, was dated to 900 GAD. The sculptures in this phrase reflect Mitannian and Mycenaean art circa 1300 GAD [James, 1993, p.274-75].

Mycenaean ivories and ceramics are associated with the 18th Dynasty and the Amarna pharaohs. Yet, ivories found at Delos in a deposit with Geometric pottery circa 800, were judged on stylistic grounds to be Mycenaean. Kantor wrote, "When details of the animals on Delos and Mycenaeanizing Megiddo plaques are compared with those of north Syrian ivories and the Tell Halaf orthostats the patterning is seen to be well nigh identical despite the passage of three centuries without any known links [Kantor, 1956]." Mycenaean ivories (similar to Late Assyrian ivories) are found in a 10th and 9th century deposits.

During the excavation of Samaria, ivories were found inscribed in Hebrew at the level of Ahab's palace, 929 - 908 (BIC). Hebrew letters on these ivories match those on the stele of the Moabite king Mesha who rebelled after the death of king Ahab [Velikovsky, 1952, p327-332 Crowfoot and Crowfoot, p. 2]. Excavators noticed that these ivories showed strong Egyptian influence not of the 21st or 22nd Dynasty but the 18th Dynasty, particularly the time of Tutankhamun [Crowfoot p.67]. To explain the similarity in the ivories it was proposed that in Israel there was a revival of 500-year old Egyptian art forms [Loud, 1939, p. 9]. This explanation must be regarded as strange since the Egyptian dynasties of the 9th century show no such revival of art forms. Similar ivories were found in Megiddo in the context of a large number of Egyptian scarabs of 18th Dynasty pharaohs and were dated to the 15th and 14th centuries. Thus Amarna period ivories are found in the 10th century in Israel i.e. Late Assyrian. There is not only no conflict between Amarna art, ivory and sculpture and Late Assyrian deposits but their coexistence matches perfectly.

Amarna Writers Identities

Velikovsky identified the 5 most important kings who wrote Amarna letters: Abdi-Ashirta, king of Damascus as Ben Hadad II, Aziru assassin and successor of Abdi-Ashirta as Hazael, Abdi-Hiba (Ebed Tov) king of Jerusalem as Jehosephat, Rib-Addi king of Sumur as Ahab and King Mesha, the Habiru, as King Mesh of Moab. He also identified two captains of King Abdi-Hiba: Addadani, a son of Zuchru and Iahzibada as the captains of Jehosephat: Adnah, son of Zichri and Jehozabad [Velikovsky, 1952, ff. 240 II Chr 17:14-19]. There is no space to debate the merits of these identifications. I would only comment that Rib-Addi couldn't be Ahab for chronological reasons. He may be Jehoram, as Velikovsky himself admits [Velikovsky, 1952, p.256].

At Tell Brak, Oates, the excavator discovered six strata overlying the Old Babylonian 1600 GAD. Level VI and VII contained Mitannian ware and was dated to the 16th century. Level V and IV were dated to the early 15th. Level III and II were dated to the 14th because of the presence of cuneiform tablets of Artashumara and Tushratta who were authors of Amarna letters. Level I was dated to the 13th century [Oates, xxx]. This conforms to the generally accepted dates and gives the superficial appearance of agreeing with the evidence. A closer examination shows serious discrepancies.

In Level V there is Greyware paralleled at Nuzi Level II destruction [Oates, p. 66] which Stein proposed as "late fourteenth century" [Stein, xxx, 1989]. Red-edged bowls paralleled at nearby al-Rimah in 14th century [Oates, p. 73]. Finally there are some frit-headed nails [Oates p. 240] with parallel processes used on pendants in a Middle Assyrian (MA) grave in Assur circa 14th/13th century [Haller, 1954, p.144, Taf 34: a,f]. In Level II, there is a Neo-Assyrian geometric pattern Bowl 3, [p. 29, 236] whose earliest parallel is found in 9th century. According to these chronological markers, Level V ought to be 14th century, Level IV and III ought to be 13th to 11th and Level II ought to be 9th century. If, instead of the GAD, one uses Gasche's more recent Mesopotamian chronology, then Level VI must be late 15th century also and Level V, even more certainly, must be 14th century. But, it is extremely unreasonable to ascribe all Levels V to II to the 14th century. Something is seriously wrong.

Now all these chronological markers are according to Assyrian chronology. According to the RC model, the Egyptian dates require a 5-century down dating. There should be unavoidable clashes between the GAD Egyptian markers and the Assyrian ones (shown in round brackets). In Level VI (15th), a century past the end of the MB era, is glazed pottery parallel to Alalakh Level VI <17/16th>i.e. MB II. In Level V (14th) ovoid shaped grooved travertine vases <19/16th>are found, at least 2 centuries after the end of the MB II era,. Oates mentions that the frit-nail technique is also known from the MB in Levant [Oates, p. 117]. In Level IV (13/12th), there is a sheet metal disk, which has parallels in the MB II at Tell Mardikh <17/16th>[Oates, p. 118 (Reference given [Matthiae, 1981, p 220-21])]. Also there is a glazed vessel [Oates, p.117] and small stone statuettes [p. 106] parallel to Alalakh V <16/15th>century in fill under a Level IV house. In Level II (10/9th) there are ivory, parallel to Alalakh IV, and texts of Late Mitanni Kings Artashumara and Tushratta <14th>. At the bottom of Level Ib (9th) is a Mycenaean LHIIIA stirrup jar <14th>, 5 centuries earlier than its imputed Assyrian date. There is a clear pattern of chronological error from the Level VI down to Level I that can only be explained by a major shifting of the Egyptian chronology downward to the Assyrian dates.

The language of the letters found at Tell Brak is Middle Babylonian. If the Assyrian chronological markers are accepted then the Middle Babylonian Amarna letters must be 9th and display the characteristics of Late Assyrian epigraphy. Soden, an Assyriologist, admits that Amarna letters from northern Syria display "astonishing" Assyriansms. [Soden, W. 1986. Sumer. Vol. 42 p. 106]." Nor are these Assyrianisms restricted to Northern Syria. Moran notes the same thing about the Jerusalem letters [Moran, 1975]. Furthermore, some Kassite texts in Babylonia are assigned to the Amarna period because of their Middle Babylonian epigraphy. Gadd, referring to these tablets of the 'Middle Kassite' period, says, "But the salutations which follow this (the introduction) show a characteristic increase of formality over those of the Hammurabi period (17th century). One official, writing to another, adds after his name 'your brother' and the phrase 'be it well with you', which is ubiquitous in the " Amarna and Late Assyrian letters [Gadd, 1975, p.39]." (Italics added) These 'Middle Kassite' tablets have similar elements to the Late Assyrian letters because they, like the Amarna letters, belong to the 10th and 9th century. The Amarna letters themselves display style, idioms and Assyrianisms characteristic of the Late Assyrian period. Furthermore, these texts resemble Neo-Babylonian texts at Nippur, circa 755 - 612, Cole states "The terminology used to denote alliances in the letters from Nippur is remarkably similar to the language employed in the Aramaic texts . in the letters of the el Amarna age [Cole, p. 27-8.].

The removal of the written material and seals from Late Babylonia (11th to 8th centuries) to Middle Kassite Babylonia (15th to 12th) causes a major archaeological problem. It appears that the Late Babylonians had no written records. This problem is referred to as the 'dark age' of Babylonia. Brinkman writes, "Babylonian history of the first quarter of the first millennium maybe characterized as a period of obscurity or 'dark age'. Little source material has survived from these turbulent times [Brinkman, 1982, p.282-313 James, 1993, p.279]." Brinkman's figure of 60 texts from Babylonian 'dark age' is reduced to an abysmally small number when one considers that the Luristan bronzes, representing half the texts. These were apparently found not in Babylon but in the Zagros Mountains. Cuneiform texts from other periods of Babylonian history number in the thousands.

Is it possible that post-Kassite kings used Kassite names? At Dur Kurigalzu there was found a palace in Level I, which by tablets could be dated to late Kassite kings, Kudur Enlil and Marduk-apli-iddina. The construction used a new technique that used bricks vertically placed as well as horizontally. A nearby temple also used this new technique but the inscription claimed its founder was King Kurigalzu. But no Kassite King Kurigalzu reigned so late in the dynasty [Oates, J. 1979. Babylon. p.98]. At Nippur, a boundary stone of Nebuchadnezzar I, a post-Kassite king, was located beneath a 'Kassite' pavement [Armstrong]. The pavement can hardly be both post-Kassite and Kassite at the same time.

The difficulty in distinguishing Middle Kassite from Late Babylonian artefacts is not restricted to written records. The Luristan Bronzes demonstrate the point. James states, "Some of the bronzes, principally daggers, bear the names of Babylonian kings who are dated by conventional Mesopotamian chronology to between 1132 and 944 BC." However, because of the Kassite influence in the decorations, French chronologist Claude Schaeffer ascribed the bulk of the Luristan bronzes to 1500 -1200 BC [James, 1993, p.287]. Artefacts, historically dated to the period of the 'dark age' of Mesopotamia, are transferred to the Kassite period because their art corresponds to the art in strata dated by Middle Babylonian texts with Kassite royal names. Nor is Schaeffer's evaluation secure. The Late Assyrian influence on the art of these Bronzes has led others, like Ghirshman, to date these to the 8th century [James, p. 288]. The Luristan Bronzes are, like the Amarna letters, Late Assyrian.

The stratigraphy is also affected. The correlated material from Elam, Sumer and the Gulf has been likewise reassigned to the 14th century. Thus, the 'dark age' is spread there too. The problem is exemplified at Qal'at near Bahrain [James, p. 283]. There the Kassite stratum of the 12th century, Level IV, lie directly underneath the Neo-Babylonian of the 8th century, Level V. Either the people moved or the stratum has been misidentified. The latter appears to be true. The strata contains elements associated to the Kassite era by its dating to Amarna age artefacts.

Thus the kings of post-Kassite Babylonian dynasties imitated Kassite culture and adopted Kassite names. This is not uncommon in ancient history. The Libyans after they had conquered Egypt behaved just like Egyptian pharaohs. This has led to mistakenly dating the epigraphy, bronzes, art and cylinder seals to the Kassite era, leaving Babylonia with a "dark age". Once the artefacts similar to those of the Late Assyrian era are returned to 1st millennium Babylonian, the "dark" ages of Mesopotamia will disappear.

OBJECTIONS TO THE RC/BIC MODEL

Old El-Amarna Synchronisms with Mesopotamia

One objection to the proposed model is that Amarna period Burnaburiash, king of Karduniash and Assur-uballit, king of Assyria, are already identified as Burnaburiash II, a Kassite king, and Assur-uballit I, King of Assyrian, dates independently to the 14th century. Unfortunately, this synchronism is just coincidental and has hampered the uncovering of the true situation. The identification Of Burnaburiash as a Kassite has great difficulties. Amarna Burnaburiash, proclaimed himself to be a 'Great King', and claimed Assyrians were his subjects (Letter 9). Burnaburiash II, the Kassite king, never ruled over Assyria nor referred to himself as 'Great King'. The identification of Amarna Assur-uballit has equal difficulties. Assur-uballit's father (Amarna) was Assur-nadin-ahhe but no ancestor of King Assur-uballit I of Assyria was known by that name. Furthermore, Assuruballit's role as spoiler of Shuttarna II, the Mitanni King is doubtful. The Mitanni king forced his vassals to pay him tribute to give to an unnamed Assyrian king. . According to Roux "Without shooting an arrow, Assur-uballit I not only freed his country from the Mitanni domination but brought about the downfall of the kingdom to which his fathers had paid tribute" [Roux, G. p260]. History shows that Assur-uballit I was a vassal of the Hurrians who ruled Nuzi and Arraphka only a few miles from Ashur. His inscriptions never mentioned any tribute from Khanigalbat, nor did he use the title 'Great King' or 'King of the Universe' as his Amarna namesake did. Gadd has to admit that it is strange history to receive rewards for rebellion -"the wealth, the princes and even the territory of his former sovereign" - instead of punishment [Gadd, 1975, p. 27].

Who, then, is Burnaburiash? The Burnaburiash of the el-Amarna letters ruled Babylon sometime in 910-880 RC. When Babylonian king, Nabu-apla-iddina, died about 910 BIC, his son, Marduk-zakir-shumi, ascended the throne. His brother Marduk-Bel-usate rebelled against him and he was forced to call on Shalmaneser III to help him. Shalmaneser defeated Marduk-Bel-usate and then "joined Babylonia and Assyria together". Thus, Shalmaneser III was the king of Babylon during the Amarna era. This agrees with Velikovsky's identification [Velikovsky, 1952]. Many kings who conquered foreign lands took another name. It is possible that Shalmaneser took the name Burnaburiash as king of Babylon. Shalmaneser III also took the titles 'Great King', 'King of the Universe' [Oppenheim, 1969a, p.233]. Thus he meets the conditions necessary for the Amarna king, Burnaburiash.

A seal of Kidin-Marduk, son of Sa-ilima-damqa, 'the Great Official of Burnaburiash', the 'King of All', was found in Mycenaean strata at Thebes Greece [Bacon, 1971, p.87]. This stratum is Mycenaean. Its Burnaburiash belongs to the Amarna era and per RC must be Shalmaneser III. Archaeologists found lapis lazuli and agate cylinder seals in the same strata [Platon, N. 1964. p.859-61]. The seals were classified as Mycenaean, Kassite/Babylonian of the 14th century and older Babylonian. One was classified as Mitannian and another was Syro-Hittite. According to the RC model, the Mitannian, Syro-Hittite and Mycenaean era is the 10th and 9th century but the Kassite and older Babylonian seals are dated to the 14th and 15th century. But, Sa-ilima-damqa is a very rare name. It is found in Assyria during only one reign, that of Assurnasirpal. He is the eponym for year 880 GAD. His son Kidin-Marduk is the same generation as Shalmaneser III. Thus, the Kassite and older Babylonian seals are not a product of 14th century Babylon but the 9th century.

In Shalmaneser's 6th year, he faced a coalition of forces headed by a commander named Biridri. The coalition included Aduni and Matinu-Baal and the Prince of Asu [Oppenheim, 1969a]. Velikovsky identifies Biridia in the Amarna period as the Commandant of Meggido. He notes a King Aduni mentioned in Letter 75 a Mut-Baal sender of Letter 255 and in Letter 150, Abimilki, King of Tyre, mentions Uzu [Velikovsky, 1952, pp. 310-11]. Hittite King, Suppilulimas I wrote a congratulatory letter to Pharaoh Tutankhamun who could be Saplel, King of Hattina, mentioned in Shalmaneser's annals [Oppenheim, 1969b] These Syrian rulers appear both in the Amarna letters and the 9th century annals of Shalmaneser III. Lastly, in Letter 55 to Akhenaten, Abimilki, king of Tyre, refers to himself three times as the "servant of Shalmatiata". The fall of Tyre to Shalmaneser in year 18, 897 BIC, agrees with the date of the Letter 155 in the reign of Akhenaten is 898-882 RC.

Burnaburiash's Amarna (Letter 9) complained of Egypt's reception of the Assyrian king because he had asked Egypt to stop trade with him in a prior letter [Oppenheim, 1967, p. 116]. Burnaburiash's claim that Assyrians were his subjects and his objection to Egypt's recognition of the Assyrians are consistent only if Assyria was in revolt against him at that time. It was led initially by Assur-danin-apli, son of Shalmaneser. Shalmaneser was forced to seek refuge in Babylon. After his death, his son, Shamsi-Adad V, fought for several years to quell the rebellion. During that time, a non-canonical Assur-uballit could have claimed the throne of Assyria, as 'King of All'.

The most obvious objection to the proposed model is that the conventional order is supported by Manetho, several genealogies and several king lists. According to Hoffmeier, "a true king-list arranges names in proper historical order and provides the length of the reign. Following this definition, the only Egyptian source that meets these requirements is the Turin Canon." [Hoffmeier, 1997]. The Turin Canon contains the most exhaustive list of kings from the 1st Dynasty to the 18th Dynasty. It does not, however, cover the dynasties in dispute. The Abydos and Sakkara king lists end in the 19th Dynasty. Unlike the Turin Canon, the Abydos and Sakkara king lists are not complete lists. They omit the kings of the FIP, SIP, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay. The selective omission of kings and entire dynasties indicates that the authors wished to hide embarrassing kings and eras of foreign domination. It is then possible that the 19th Dynasty may have wanted to omit the Libyan Dynasty also for the same reason. The king lists are not helpful in verifying the Manetho's dynastic order.

Manetho is supported by the Berlin genealogy. The Berlin genealogy lists almost 50 High Priests of Ptah from the Middle Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period. Some panels show the reign of the pharaoh in which the priest was inaugurated. Unfortunately, this genealogy claims that every High Priest was a son of the previous High Priest. Since we know that the Libyan pharaohs gave the appointment of the High Priest of Ptah to a new family in the middle of their dynasty this cannot be true. Thus, the Berlin genealogy is not a true genealogy. It has some other purpose and this fact limits its credibility for chronology and dynastic order. In the RC model, it belongs to the Greek period. During the Greek period there was nationalistic contention for the honour of the most ancient civilization. This may have been one instance of a chauvinistic claim. Manetho may have used the Berlin genealogy to order his dynastic history so that they may not be independent sources. Manetho must stand or fall with the archaeological and historic evidences.

Horemhab is supposedly the link between the 18th and 19th Dynasties. Velikovsky places him at the end of the Ethiopian era in league with an Assyrian king who appears on his tomb in Memphis, complete with translator [Velikovsky, 1979]. He destroyed or reused much of the material from Akhenaten and Tutankhamun but this does not mean that he did so immediately after their reigns. His cartouche appears on the tomb of a Shoshenq, "Crowned Prince, Chief Priest of Memphis, Son of King Osorkon, Lord of the Two Lands (pharaoh)", which was excavated in Saqqara by Badawi [Badawi, 1956]. He identified this Osorkon as Osorkon II but his identification would appear to be mistaken. Osorkon's cartouche does not contain the phrase "si-Bast" that usually adjoins the cartouche of Osorkon II nor does it contain "si-Ese" that usually adjoins the cartouche of Osorkon III. The wealth of the tomb would suggest Osorkon IV. Horemhab's cartouche is carved on the architrave, written on his shoulder with no attempt to erase it. Also, a picture on an outside wall shows a king performing a ritual dance. A cartouche of Seti-Merenptah, also of the 19th Dynasty, is still recognizable on the water flask in his right hand. Badawi assumed that these blocks had been reused from the 19th Dynasty tombs nearby [Badawi, p.160] but the Libyans would hardly have used a block with the image of Horemhab as an architrave. Thus Shoshenq, son of the last 22nd Dynasty pharaoh survived into the post-Libyan period. Horemhab was likely the pharaoh at the time of his death. Thus the 19th Dynasty did not succeed the 18th but rather the 25th.

Nor is the 19th Dynasty connection to the 20th Dynasty secure. The last two pharaohs of the 19th Dynasty in the conventional view were Amenmesse and a woman, Twosre. Setnakht of the 20th Dynasty succeeded her. After Setnakht's death, tomb workers in the Valley of the Kings began tunnelling into the rock to prepare his tomb. Accidentally, they broke into the tomb of Amenmesse [Grimal, 1992, p. 271]. The tomb workers' failure to know the position of Amenmesse 's tomb suggests that Setnakht's tomb workers were of a later generation. The Harris Papyrus confirms this inference. It was written at the end of the reign of Ramses III, son of Setnakht. He alluded to a time when every man had lost his rights. He praised Setnakht for restoring Egypt from the rule of a Syrian named Arsa. The conventional view knows of no foreign rulers at this time.

Velikovsky demonstrated that both 21st and 20th dynasties belonged to the Persian era [Velikovsky, 1977]. To his evidence I add the following. In Saqqara, archaeologists stumbled onto galleries of the Saite/Persian era [Bacon, 1971, p. 233]. Papyri of 5th -3rd century were found, together with a blue glass bearded cobra with a cartouche of Ramses X and furniture with a cartouche of Ramses IX, both of the 20th Dynasty. Are these heirlooms of obscure 11th century pharaohs or contemporary with papyri of the Persian era? Petrie, dated so-called false amphora vases at Nebesheh, a Greek military outpost established after Psammeticus in the 7th century. Torr challenged that these vases could belong to both the 12th/11th century of Dynasties 20 and 21 and the 7th of Dynasty 26. He stated, "In the first place, he (Petrie) ignores the fact that false-necked vases are represented in the tomb of Ramessu III, and must therefore, have been in use within about two centuries of the date when this particular vase (with an inscription of King Pinudjem of 21st Dynasty) was buried." [Torr, 1892, p. 270].

The 21st Dynasty is supposedly linked to the 22nd by a marriage. A statuette was found upon which was inscribed by a High Priest of Amon named Shoshenq Meryamun [Breasted, 1906]. He claimed to be the son of King Meryamun Osorkon and Maatkare, the daughter of King Pasibkenno. Conventionally, these are identified as Osorkon I of the 22nd Dynasty and Psusennes II, the last pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty. However, the High Priest Shoshenq could be the son of King Osorkon "The Elder" and Maatkare, daughter of Psusennes I, both of the 21st Dynasty. Furthermore, this Shoshenq could be identified as Heqakhepere Shoshenq II, who is buried in the 21st Dynasty tomb of King Psusennes in Tanis. The statuette does not securely connect the 21st to the Libyan Dynasty. Thus the 20th Dynasty's connection to the 22nd Dynasty must also be spurious.

Carbon-14 test also place the 20th Dynasty in the Persian era. Nakht, was a 20th Dynasty weaver in the funeral chapel of king User-Khau-Re, whose prenomen was Setnakht. An autopsy of the mummy was done in 1977 at the Royal Ontario Museum [Millet et al,]. A piece of the mummy wrappings from Nakht was sent to Dalhousie University for carbon-14 testing. In 1980, it was reported that DAL-350 registered a carbon-14 date of 345 bc which, when adjusted by the above curve, yields 390 BC.

The most significant objection to the proposed model is the stratigraphic evidence of the 19th Dynasty. According to the conventional view the Amarna period is LBIIA. It was followed by the LBIIB. The tombs of the 19th Dynasty typically contain 13th century LBIIB pottery, contrary to the expectation of the RC/BIC model.

Velikovsky supported this position with stratigraphic evidence from three locations, Tahpanhes, Lachish and Byblos [Velikovsky, 1978]. Psammetichus (663 - 610 GAD) granted Tahpanhes to his Greek and Carian mercenaries to dwell in. It was inhabited until the time of Amasis (569 -525). Petrie found much material from the 26th Dynasty there but none from the 20th to 25th. He also found a temple of Ramses II. At Lachish excavators found a temple founded by Amenhotep III that continued in use until the 19th Dynasty. It contained Israelite pottery of the 7th century. The stratum of the time Nebuchadnezzar, circa 590, contained the scarabs of Ramses II of the 13th century. The coincidence that 13th century strata contained 7th century pottery and 7th century strata contained 13th century scarabs was never explained. The city suffered two major conflagrations one during Ramses's and another during Nebuchadnezzar's era. At Byblos, the king Ahiram was buried in a coffin made by his son. His son's inscription was in Phoenician 8th or 7th century script as was the imported Cypriote pottery but the broken Egyptian vases and the coffin in the tomb came from the time of Ramses II. The LBIIB pottery associated with Ramses II is always associated with 7th century pottery.

James in his analyses examined Mycenaean sites. They all had voids and debates associated with them. The application of James's method to 19th Dynasty Asian sites reveals consistent 600-year voids in the stratigraphic record. For example, Seti I and Ramses II both mentioned the capture of Qatna in their wars against the Hittites. Pfeiffer says that after they withdrew from Syria about "1200, the site lay vacant for over half a millennium until it experienced a brief revival in the first half of the sixth century, " [Pfeiffer, 1966. p. 469]. Ugarit was a port city on the Syrian coast opposite Cyprus and was under the rule of Egypt in the Middle Kingdom as well as the New Kingdom. Curtis states its post-19th Dynasty obscurity in these words, "Although the history of Ugarit really comes to an end in the twelfth century, In the seventh and sixth centuries the highest point in the Tell was inhabited, as is shown by the remains of buildings and a small cemetery of sarcophagi made of large stone slabs, which contain iron spears, bronze brooches and alabaster flasks [Curtis, 1985, p. 48]. There were no significant artefacts in between. Byblos was Egypt's primary client state in Asia. Besides tomb of King Ahiram (see above) Dunand found many steles that commemorated Ramses's II victories in Syria. His assistant, Jedijian, would write this observation, "The results of excavations at Byblos have shown a curious fact which has been a source of discussion among scholars. In the excavated area at Byblos there is a complete absence of stratified levels of the Iron Age, that is the period of 1200-600 BC." [Jedijian, 1986, p. 57]. During this period, Byblos was supposedly a thriving commercial centre. Ramses and Hattusilis III fought in the area of Alalakh. Smith in describing the art of that era at Alalakh noted, "The lions belong to the earliest stage of the type that lasted in Syria for six centuries and closely resemble those, which guard the tomb of Ahiram of Byblos [Smith, S. 1946. p. 46]. The sculpture of Alalakh exposes a 600-year anomaly. In each cases LBIIB pottery is followed by 7th or 6th century strata.

The conventional views of the Amarna identities are dubious and stem from historical coincidences of names 400 to 500 years earlier. The real identities of the Amarna correspondence are to be found in the 10th and 9th century rulers. Mitanni, Syrian, Hittite and Mycenaean art, ivory and sculpture from the Amarna period are found in the Late Assyrian, which the conventional chronology can only handle by creating stratigraphic gaps. The RC/BIC returns the Late Bronze /Mycenaean period to where the classical archaeologists first placed it - circa 1200 - 800. This fully restores continuity.

Furthermore, all lesser down dating schemes experience severe problems. James's identifies the Torr/Petrie debate as the root of the Late Bronze/Iron Age problems but he has not restored the smooth stratigraphic and cultural change in the archaeological record [James, 1991, xxi p. 16]. His Amarna period is moved only 250 years - 200 years short of the Late Assyrian kings who alone could have pressured the Mitanni from the East. He has no convincing correlations in the Amarna era. Lastly, he places the invasions of Seti I and Ramses II, who set up stelae and left a substantial garrison in Beth Shan, in the era of King David. Such an occupation is incongruous with the biblical record. Rohl's 350-year down dating do not resolve the problem. He equates Ramses II with Shishak. This moves Seti's invasion into the reign of Solomon. Neither do these schemes fit the gap at Jericho nor the requirements of the artefacts at Tell Brak. Lastly, they have no convincing identities for Burnaburiash nor Assur-uballit of the Amarna letters.

Table 2 summarizes the problems by region showing both the GAD and RC/BIC dates. A full vacuum 'dark age' has been created in the Mediterranean by consecutive strata dated by artefacts that by Egyptian chronology are 450 years apart. This creates a total lack of history or archaeological artefacts for those 450 years. These strata are consecutive in the RC/BIC. In Anatolia a repetition of the art and sculpture of the 'Hattusas' Hittites is seen in the works of the Syro-Hittites, 500 years later. In Palestine ivories and scarabs of the 18th Dynasty caused the experts to believe that the Israelites had become enamoured with 450-year-old relics. Strangely, this revival did not take place in Egypt. The RC/BIC model resolves these many chronological problems.

Table 2: PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE EGYPTIAN CHRONOLOGY

PROBLEM PROVINCE DATES DESCRIPTION EXAMPLE
Full Vacuum
'Dark age'
Mediterranean 1200/750 Greek Mycenaean ceramics of 1200 followed by Greek Iron Age ceramics of 750 Troy,
Mycena
Repetition Anatolia 1200/750 Imperial Hittite artefacts 14th - 13th century repeated in style, motifs in the 10th - 9th century of Syro-Hittite states Hattusas
Revival of heirlooms Palestine 1450/880 18th Dynasty material found in layers relating to Divided Kingdom. Samaria
Partial Vacuum
'Dark age'
Babylonia, Elam, Ur, Arabia 1400/850 Babylonian has history from Assyrian records but lacks any ceramics, art and tablets in situ. Tablets with Late Assyria style of address assigned to (Amarna) Late Bronze GAD Nippur

The 'dark age' of Mesopotamia can be resolved by understanding that the Late Bronze elements in Mesopotamia are first millennium. The Luristan Bronzes, Middle Kassite art, Kassite administrative tablets with forms of address similar to Late Assyrian period should be redated to the 10th to 8th century. The corresponding Kassite, Mitanni and Hittite cylinder seals and pottery must also be restored. Once restored, these will be sufficient to eliminate the 'dark age' of Mesopotamia. It is very important to understand that the argument used above is based solely on Mesopotamian artefacts, history and tablets and comparisons to their Late Assyrian counterparts. It is a line of reasoning independent of the any Egyptian evidence presented in support of Velikovsky's scheme and thus is an independent confirmation of it.

Albright, W.F. The Ostraca of Samaria , Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Revised), Ed., J. Pritchard,1969, Princeton University Press, N.J., p. 321

Armstrong, J.A., The Archaeology of Nippur from the Decline of the Kassite Kingdom , Ph.D. Thesis, 1989, University of Chicago.

Akurgal, E., The Art of the Hittites , 1962, London, Thames and Hudson.

Badawi, A., Das Grab des Kronenprinzen Scheschonk, Sohnes Osorkon II und Hohenpriester von Memphis, Annales du Service des Antiquités, Vol. 54, (1956), p. 159ff.

Bacon, E., Archaeology: Discoveries in the 1960's, 1971, Praeger Publishers, New York.

Breasted, J., Ancient Records of Egypt. 1906, Vol. IV, Russell & Russell, N.Y.

Brinkman, J.A., Babylonia 1000-748, Cambridge Ancient History III:1, 1982, Vol. III:1, pp. 282-313.

Cole, S., Nippur in Late Assyrian Times, 755-612 BC, State Archives of Assyria, Study IV, 1996, Helsinki, p. 27-8

Crowfoot, G. Crowfoot, J., Early Ivories of Samaria, 1938, Palestinian Exploration Fund. London. p. 2

Curtis, A., Cities of the Biblical World: Ugarit, 1985, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, p. 48.

Gadd, J., Assyria and Babylonia 1370-1300 BC, Cambridge Ancient History. II:2, 1975, Cambridge University, Cambridge.

Gasche, H., Armstrong, J.A., Cole, S.W. and Gurzadyan, V.G., Dating the fall of Babylon: A Reappraisal of Second-millennium Chronology, 1998, University of Ghent and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Grimal, N., A History of Ancient Egypt, 1992, Blackwell, Oxford, p. 271.

Hoffmeier, James K., King Lists , The Context of Scripture, W. Hallo and K. Younger,Jr. Editors, 1997, Leiden, N.Y., N.Y. , p. 68.

Herodotus. The Histories (Trans. Aubrey de Selincourt). Penguin Books. Harmondsworth.

James, P., et al., Centuries in Darkness , 1993, Rutgers University Press, Brunswick, N.J.

Jedijian, N., Byblos through the Ages, 1986, Beirut. Dar el-Machreq. p.57

Kantor, H., Syro-Palestinian Ivories. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 15 (1956), p 153-174.

Loud, G., The Megiddo Ivories , 1939, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p. 9.

Mazar, A., Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000 - 586 BC. , 1990, Doubleday. New York.

Mercer, S.A.B., The Tell El Amarna tablets, 1939, MacMillan, Toronto

Millet, N.B., et al, Autopsy of an Egyptian Mummy , Canadian Medical Association Journal, Vol. 117, (1977), No. 5, p. 461-476.

Montgomery, A., Towards a Biblically Inerrant Chronology , Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism, R. Walsh et al., Editors, 1998, Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA., p. 395-406.

Moran, W.L., Unity and Diversity, Goedicke et al., Editors, 1975, p. 154.

Oppenheim, L., Letters from Mesopotamia, 1967, University of Chicago Press. Ill. p. 116 .

Oppenheim, L., The Fight against the Aramean Coalition. ANET (Revised), 1969a, p. 233. Ed. J. Pritchard. Princeton University Press.

Oppenheim, L., Annalistic Report . ANET (Revised), 1969b, p. 277. Ed. J. Pritchard. Princeton University Press.

Pfeiffer, C., T he Biblical World: A Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, 1966, Baker Books. Grand Rapids. p. 469.

Platon, N. & Stassinopoulou-Touloupa, E., Oriental Seals from the Palace of Cadmus: Unique Discoveries in Boeotian Thebes, Illustrated London News, (1964).

Puchstein, O., Pseudohethitsche Kunst, 1890, Berlin, p. 13.

Reisner, G.A. Fisher, C.S. and Lyon, D.G., Harvard Excavations at Samaria 1908-1910, 1924, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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Rowe, A., Topography and history of Beth-Shan , 1930, University Press, Philadelphia, p. 26.

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