Theran Theories

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Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:03 am

Thera was an island volcano in the Mediterranean that blew up thousands of years ago. The eruption was many many times more powerful than Krakatoa, which caused plenty of havoc as you'll know. I personally think that it (the Theran Eruption) would have left a huge mark on humanity in Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa - must have. The question I have is: would it have been remembered and passed down through history via steles, statues or the voices of bards, and if so, does anyone have the temerity to find this "history"?

I think the Admonitions of Ipuwer, The Theogany of Hesiod, the Exodus story and the records of Ahmose ejecting the Hyksos people from Avaris, all offer a tantalizing hint of the times.

Theories anyone?
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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:09 am

Could I ask Odo, because I'm to lazy to go look it up, what time frame we are speaking of here? When did this explosion occur?

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:25 am

Big ongoing debate that. Without looking things up, c.1628, c.1500's, c.1400's, and both later and earlier dates, have been mooted. The debate is very open. I've deliberately left Dating out. I'm thinking more of looking at historical records, be it tomb, or stele, or statue; and secondary historians (including Bibles and Bards), either Ancient Historians (like Manetho, Josephus, Hesiod etc) and modern theorists (including archeologists, Egyptologists and alleged crackpots lke Velikowski and David Rohl et al).

The Consensus at this time says Ahmose was around 1550BC (I think), if that's a pointer. Mind, Rohl for example would prune three hundred years off that (I think). Sorry about my indefiniteness - theories abound about dating, can't remember them off hand. I'm probably taking the soft option by going for, dare I say, "comparative-chronology-putting-people-and-events-in-context" rather than trying to fix dates.

Er.. does that help?

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:38 am

I agree in broad terms with the theory the exodus and Moses were connected to what was going on in Egypt with the Hyksos at the time, but less convinced with the volcanic eruption causing the plagues of the Bible.

On a side issue to do with the Hyksos I ad a good look into them when I was interested in Masonry. I have no idea if you are one or not, nor care, but was wondering if you were aware of the figure of Hiram Abif? And his possible links to Seqenenre Tao II, 17th dynast. Somewhere about 1560bc.
in Masonry Hiram Abif was the master, and the keeper of a secret word known only at the top ranks of Masonry, in fact only him. Three assassins were hired to to get the word and kill him whilst he prayed in his courtyard at noon. They killed him but never got the word and so the secret was lost.
The mummy of Seqenenre Tao II is generally believed to show he died in battle, because of fatal wounds from blows to his head from more than oone assailant, and he is thought to have died fighting the Hyksos, although there is no solid proof of that.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:23 am

Have not heard this one, Mr Tyrant, but I do seem to remember the name "Hirom" (King of Tyre in the days of Solomon- Phoenician city) being mentioned as a possible figure in Masonry. For the record, no, I'm not a Mason - nor should it matter either pos or neg in this discussion, I agree. If a Mason knows something I don't, I'd like to know about it! Btw I've read lots of Wild Theories about ancient history and love them all - some may be only as Wild as saying the World is Flat, and lot of folk believed that once!

I'd like to know more about this Hirom Abif business.

As to Thera possibly causing lots of Exodus-like stuff, I think Krakatoa suggests wild things can happen meterologically and zoologically when volcanos go off big time, so an Exodus-like event could be triggered by a Theran-like erruption. I find it plausible anyhow even if definitely not proven. This is not to say that the story has "recalled" everything right. Stories have their own warp and weft, and often get better too, as time goes by - you know, history becomes legend and legend becomes myth, that kind of thing. As I said, it's hard not to imagine Thera being on everyone's lips for centuries, and some was consigned to papyrus and stone and clay tablet which survived. The Admonitions of Ipuwer and the Bible may preserve something of it. Why not?

(((Some say the Admonitions was Wisdom literature. Curious thought that. "Wisdom" based on what?)))

I am curious (re Exodus) that "Moses" was the leader of the Egyptian Slaves. At the time of Ahmose (1st King of Egyptian 18th Dynasty for those who might not know), his people were under the rule of the Hyksos Rulers. So, Ahmose freed his people, but not by fleeing Egypt but by evicting the Hyksos, a mass migration by all accounts.

Btw the "Ah" in Ahmose implies reference to the "moon" in ancient Egyptian religious terms, I believe, so I can imagine the Old Testament scroll writers dropping that aspect! Them borrowing Egyptian stories to build their own version I can well believe though. It does not need to be a cynical process. I imagine through oral histories people can take on other people's history in all innocence. Thoughts anyone?

NB: With old Seqenerre (or however you spell it), I think it highly plausible he fought and died against the Hyksos or their Egyptian supporters.

Stop. I must try to keep these posts short!
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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:52 pm

Right I will lay out where I stand on this Moses issue, for clarity. I agree that there is a highly likely connection between the Hyksos period of occupation of Egypt and the legends of Moses. Ahmose is a good, likely source for this.
The biblical birth story for Moses, which has Moses saved as a baby and put in a basket and set on the river only to be picked up by a member of the royal court merely serves to explain why the leader of the (much later) Israelite people was an Egyptian prince.
Secondly the motif of a child in a basket is a lot older than the Moses story, its remarkable similar to several old stories from the Mid-east from that period and earlier, in Egypt Horus's story being the obviously similar one. I tend to think of this not so much as a deliberate lie but as an oral story telling technique. Think of it this way- if you switch on the tv and there's a film on, but you missed the titles and don't know what its about, but there's a dark wood, a full moon, and a log cabin in the middle of nowhere and the music score is all tense string instruments- chances are you are watching a horror film. How do you know? The motifs are all horror story ones- by the same token a storyteller starting his tale with a baby in a basket being set on the water and then rescued is a motif- it tells the listener this is going to be a story about a man and the Gods. Its story shorthand.
So I think the birth story in the Bible can be safely put into this category.
Which leaves Moses as an Egyptian.
But was Moses the same time period as Ahmose? Well according to the Bible before Moses, Joseph and his family had been living in Egypt and Joseph was high up in the Royal Court, being the advisor to the Pharoah. But towards the end of Joseph's career, according to the Bible, there was a new Pharoah whom Joseph, 'did not know'. I would contest this is a reference to the coming of the Hyksos.

I am more reluctant to accept the natural disaster argument being the source of the miracles which the Bible says happened to free the people. For several reasons. Firstly they seem to be a bit to useful which always makes me suspicious and they only partially explain the description in the Bible. A huge vovlcanic eruption explains some of the plagues a lot better than is does others where you need to stretch a fair bit to make it fit. And secondly the nature of Gods in the old world. It was common and wide spread thinking that Gods lived in geographical regions. You either took a stone effigy with you in an ark for worship, or more commonly, you worshipped whoever the local God was while you were in their territory. Whilst the ancient peoples would not have understood a volcanic eruption in our terms I think they would have known it had happened over that way, rather than here, even if the effects reach here. So Moses claim that it was his God would not be probable in the ears of the people of the time, his God wasn't there, it was here. I don't think it would be a claim many would have believed. It goes against the perceived wisdom of the day.

I will post about Hiram Abif at a later time as this post is already longer than I attended it!!

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:34 pm

I accept that legend follows fact. What I mean by this is that real things happen and the story warps and wefts in the retelling. Yes, I do repeat myself but I think this an important aspect of what follows. If a volcano erupts , meterological and zoological "happenings" occur, some seemingly bizarre, as occurred after the Karakatoa Eruption. Now, not all of the Exodus plagues (etc) need to have occurred but for the story to include a few "imagined" things to be added by later story tellers for effect. But the original "happenings" could well be remembered reasonably accurately via pen and chisel and oral history. So, just maybe, at the time of Exodus, "happenings" happened because of a huge eruption, we just can't be sure what is true and what are tasty "addings."

At the time, the Hyksos and Theban Dynasties may have been in opposition to each other, so, in the case I cited, Ahmose kicked out Apophis (I think it was Apophis) and his people from Avaris (lower Egypt) at or around the same time of the eruption. Later the Israelite writers "remembered" events to suit themslves, as would have the Egyptians. Maybe the Israelites "forgot" they were part of the ruling Hyksos tribes and "remembered" they were Egyptian slaves. While the Egyptians saw themselves as slaves who finally, after long labour and war and negotiations, threw off the "Asiatic" yoke. Where Ahmose told the Hyksos to leave, the Hyksos turned it round to say that the Egyptians didn't want them to go - or at least the Israelite tribes of that confederation of tribes said this in their scared texts.

As to Moses being born like a God - well, later hero-makers would include that, I'm sure.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:22 pm

I am not convinced Moses wasn't from the Hyksos side rather than the Egyptian. If memory serves the divide was not as absolute as may at first appear. There were highly prized Hyksos bodyguards served in Egyptian courts, before things got nasty. Could it be Moses was originally one of these? A Hyksos in an Egyptian Court who came to prominence alongside Ahmose, and aided in the overthrow of the southern Hyksos rule, only for the subsequent treatment of those people to lead him to revolt and switch sides, back to his own people? Just a thought.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:23 pm

Moses may not have been Ahmoses, I just suggest the Israelite leader (if he actually existed as portrayed in the Bible) may have been a leader of one of the Hyksos tribes. Maybe Apophis (?) was also known as Moses, it was a common name, who knows? Anyhow, the Hyksos King could have both a Hyksos name and an Egyptian name, whether a direct translation or a different name altogether as known to his own people. Anyway, Moses might have been one of many tribal leaders under a Great Hyksos King (Pharoah), not a great King himself, and when the Hyksos were chased out of Egypt, his tribe might have broken away from the Hyksos confederacy. Moses's hand in things would have been built up by later story tellers, he may have not been such a big player at the time. The fact Israelite scribes record him with an Egyptian name is interesting. He may be thought of as an Egyptianised Hyksos, perhaps.

The fact that such a huge number of people were expelled from Egypt at the time of Ahmose is reminiscent of the Exodus migration. Usually, conquerors did not expel whole peoples. Kill or exile their leaders and chief families, yes, but not usually whole ethnic groups. Not according to ancient records anyway.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:46 pm

A few more thoughts on how history might be made, especially in ancient less-universally-literate times.

Example: how might we remember the times of important things. When I first met my future wife (Primmy?) it was 1982. I remember it being the year my AFL team lost a grand final. So if someone asked me when I met her, I might think, "Oh when was that? Oh yes, that was when Richmond got beat in the Grand Final."

Now, if in Ahmoses' reign there were negotiations and wars about getting the Hyksos out of Egypt, and in Ahmose's reign a great eruption a few hundred miles away that may have een seen as a pillar of fire at night a pillar of smoke during the day (and no one could be sure what it was, as Egyptians, whether Asiatics in the Delta or Indigenes around Thebes, because none of them had first hand experience of that kind of thing), and there were unexpected totally unseasonable rain storms in Upper Egypt (citing Ahmose's Tempest stele), and all sorts of weird meterological and zoological phenomena (citing the Admonitions of Ipuwer and the Exodus story) (list not exhaustive), then history could become mixed up a bit. Now, when it comes to scribes writing the story of Moses or Ahmoses (et al) then they might say: "Oh yes, that was back when..." Things could get awfully messed up "historically" in those circumstances (not forgetting "perspective", "propaganda", religious-ïmagination and pure speculation-theory being thrown into the mix). The basic factualness of events in those times might still pertain, though details and event-sequences could be quite awry (historically speaking).

Ten years from now, I might (in my senility) being saying, "Oh yes, that was 1982, the year I got married at the Grand Final..." Now, that would be partly factual.
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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Kafria on Mon May 09, 2011 10:56 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0113f70/Atlantis/ (iplayer for Atlantis program, there is also a related timewatch of the science behind the program!)

Reviving this thread in light of this Beeb program I watched last night, remembered the thread in terms of how history might have passed into legend, but didn't remember the specific event that started it!

This program is based on the idea that Thera was actually the inspiration for Platos story of Atlantis, it's one of those 'historically accurate' dramas as we obviously can't be expected to understand things if they just tell us about them!

In terms of history inspiring legend and passing into folk lore I think it makes the point really well. And while I accept that having one tale descended from an event doesn't preclude another tale I have to say that Thera as source for Atlantis makes more sense to me than Thera as source for exodus!

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Ally on Mon May 09, 2011 11:05 pm

I saw the Atlantis: Evidence program this afternoon after school, and it was very convincing that Platos took the inspiration from that island- the geographical similarities are there for all to see and that there was already a civilised civilisation living there which got destroyed by a horrific natural event- there are definitely parallels!
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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Kafria on Mon May 09, 2011 11:09 pm

I missed the evidence program, I'm going to catch up tonight, but it did seem to fit. I find it slightly that this is considered a new link though, it is clear that the knowlegde of the Theran eruption and Minoan culture have been around a long time, so why the link only now?

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Wed May 11, 2011 12:21 am

Sadly can't talk long but... huge huge (huge) event. Anyone within miles and miles killed. No close up eyewitness accounts. Disruption of communications over a vast area for anything up to two years (at a guess). The Hyksos/Egyptians would know their tale. The sources of Plato would know their tale (same source as Hesiod, who knows?) The end of the Minoan Era (possibly). Fact is, folk in different parts of the world would not know what the heck had caused their local disasters (the less affected may have just had different weather events than normal). The thing is, an event of such magnitude may have been the inspiration for all sorts of legends, and one folk might not know anyone else's story for years and years (nor be particularly interested in other people's stories). No one in ancient times made an investigation into the myths and lergends of other people trying to seek connections to Hesiod's violent skies, Cretes tsunamis (per show), Ahmoses destructive weather, the Exodus events (tied up with the Hyksos migration mixed in later, having been reasonably close to it in time), the Admonitions of Ipuwer, Plato's Atlantis (Thera is an almost certain candidate, in my opinion, has been for a long time). Kafria, I think it very feasible that Atlantis and Exodus (taking into account addings and conflations) were synonymous events. This eruption was huge....

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 14, 2011 1:04 pm

Got a question. About Akenaten- the Pharoah who established the Aten religion as the sole God- and it concerns beginnings.
Despite a good hunt around varies sites and books I have been unable to find anything like even speculation as to how Akenaten got everyone onboard for his idea.
It doesn't seem to have been in anyone's interest. The Priesthoods had obvious reason not to go along with it- all their gods were being either abandoned or sidelined. Egypt had accquired a powerful and influencual Empire by this time, requiring as these things do a large infrastructure and beurocracy to maintain, which was based in Thebes, and which under Akenaten's plan would be abandoned and a scaled down version rehoused in his new city dedicated to Aten. Although Akenaten did not abandon foreign policy as has been thought in the past, its clear he reduced the scale and relocated everyone.
If what happened following Akenaten's death- the abandonment of his new city and religion and a return to the old systems of doing things- is anyhting to go by there must have been oppostion to it at the time, as soon as they could the 'establishment' dumped it all- so why was Akenaten able to do to this in the first place?
And finally there was the problem of the Aten, a little regarded minor God beforehand- if even that, the Aten seems to have been as much a representation of a particular aspect of RA/Re as a deity in its own right.
One scholar commented a modern equivelent would be for the Pope to announce Jesus was no longer considered the Son of God and everyone was to start worhipping a minor Saint noone had ever heard of before-imagine what a fuss that would cause!

So how did Akenaten do it? How did he persuade everyone to go along with this? Its not like he was irreplacable- the Priesthoods could easily have replaced not just him, but his whole Royal Line with a new one if they really had too. A Pharoah is not an incarnation of God but more a living vessel in which the God resides- being Pharoah is what turns a man into a vessel for God- anyone can be made Pharoah though if choosen (by the Gods via the Priests of course). And a military coup led by the disgruntled upper classes and fuelled by the middle class scribes etc who had ran the infrastructures must have been possible as well. Akenaten was not all powerful- he could not just have got up one day and announced all the old religions were gone replaced by a new one and everyone was to start work on a new city, and everyone would just humbly agree and get on with it- it didnt work like that. Yet I can find nothing to explain how he got away with such sweeping changes, seemngly against the vested interests of almost every power group in his land. I am missing something- anyone got any answers?

ps the symbol of the Aten, as a solar disc whose rays each have a hand on the end, is very reminiscent of the symbology of the Celtic God Lugh. Coincidence or something more? I'm not sure as I have a pet theory regarding Enoch and a journey to the northern hemisphere he records (in admittedly obscure language) in the book of Enoch which I believe is a visit to the religous centres of northern Europe including Maes Howe- buts thats another story!

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Sun May 15, 2011 1:23 am

The Aten was one of Egypts long existing Gods already, that would be a start. I suspect Tiye's family were deeply into the idea and through her association with Amenophis III's family it became more to the fore. Tiye's parents Yuya and Thuya were a powerful family it seems and heavilly involved as priests. Different areas of Egypt worshipped their own Gods and with that came varying "views" of God, even if the same names were sometimes used. Amun for instance did not have to conform exactly to any one religious philosophy. With the Aten, I think it was as much the "geographical" move to Amarna (Akhetaten) and Akhenaten's apparent foppishness that upset things. The philosophy of the Aten was probably around and about for centuries and I think part of High Priest thinking anyhow. Like all things to do with Ancient Egypt, I of course, speculate to the nth degree. Hard facts for anything are hard to find.

Btw Thera occurred hundreds of years before. It does seem to me that there was quite a lot of cross-pollination between (what became) the Jewish religion and Egyptian religion. The early Bible stories (from Moses onward) I think are heavilly weighted by contact with Egyptian and belief and history. The Exodus and the storm on Ahmose's Stele (plus the slightly[?]later Migration of the Asiatic Hyksos king/shepherds) were pivotal events in the history of both countries, passed down through oral and some written records, and garbled by the vagaries of story telling transmission and by parochial bias and distortion.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 15, 2011 1:32 am

I see the whole thing, volcano, Moses, Hyksos, the Aten as all part of one big evolving theological whole. But the Aten bit is weird in a number of ways I think.



You said Odo, "The phiosophy of the Aten was probably around and about for centuries and I think part of High Priest thinking anyhow." And whilst yes the Aten was about all that time I don't think it was part of High Priest thinking in the sense of how Akenaten used as- as a monotheisit God. That does seem a big step, and every Priest you please with the move you annoy ten. Nor does it explain why the by now wealthy middle class would go along with it when profit and busness were better where they were.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Sun May 15, 2011 3:34 am

Monotheism is not really rare. What I mean is, most pantheons had "head" gods. Even the Jewish religion had a head god to begin with. It's just that later gods became God and the other gods became angels and devils and such-like. Montheism and pantheism are brothers (or sisters). Even today Judaism is not purely monotheistic. And of course Christianity is as pagan as it comes. I know, it's a question of emphasis. Akhenaten (Amenophis IV) pushed the "monotheism" harder than some others, but he still worshipped other gods by all accounts. I suspect Moses was not so pure either. He did not discount other gods as such, just consigned them to history as "devils".

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 15, 2011 11:42 am

Yes but the Egyptians already had a head God (three rolled into 1 by this point in fact Horus,RA, and Amun) and they had been established as top God for a very long time complete with ridiculous complex rituals and temples. But the Aten was all of them and none of them, yes the other Gods still hung about in the background but the officially sanctioned worship of them in Temples was stopped, from what was written in the city on stella about the Aten its clear it had also usurped the female Goddess too, the Aten is given female aspects, its gives birth to life, previously the job of the female deities. Just in the factions of Egypts powerful priesthood this must have caused an outrage at some level surely? The general populace had shrines to the Gods in their homes, the household gods, but Akenaten banned them as the Aten could not be captured in sculpture or art- so that means the common people went along with it too- even those who had been making a living, all the middleclass artisans that grown up over generations providing statues and the like for the home God market, and who Akenaten has just made redundant.
Akenaten also neglects the Empire Egypt hs been so carefully building and controlling- pleas for assistance go unamswered from outlying areas, yet at other times he is depicted and commorated for military victories. But there is no doubt overall his rule weakened Egypt as a military power and lost control of lands becasue of his obsessive Aten religion. Akenaten has been called everything from a visionary pacificst to a religous zealot, what he has never been called is a gradual reformer Odo.
And I think Odo you are playing down the aspect of change here. Making the worship of the Aten seem like part of some gradual emerging process when the thing so unique about Akenatens time is tha its something new, out of nowhere that doesn't last- to such an extend when his city was first discovered it was thought to have been inhabited by non-Egyptians so different was everything about it from architecture to artwork to worship. This was revolution not evolution. And revolution requires a spark, and with the Akenaten story there doesn't seem to be a spark- it just happens. And that can't be right.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by odo banks on Sun May 15, 2011 11:30 pm

I don't doubt a revolutionary quality to Akhenaten's "reforms" but I still think Atenism was something that built over time and saw it's most overt manifestation under Akhenaten. His father was big into the Aten and even as far back as Ahmose at the beginning of the XVIIIth Dynasty, his main warship was named after the Aten. The question I have is, how revolutionary. Not as much as it's made out to be. I cite the example of Jesus. The religion under his name when examined closely was a mere reshuffling and mixing of current beliefs, both Greek and Jewish for the most part (though this does not preclude the Greek and Jewish "beliefs" being themselves an amalgam of the beliefs of heaps of other countries carefully selected). Because Akhenaten built a new city does not mean his beliefs were all that new. His offence was against the established Priesthood, and even they appear to have gone along with the Pharoah's "modifications" until dynastic issues intervened. Ahkhenaten's biggest mistake was having too many daughters and not enough "healthy" and "strong" sons. This has always been a fact of dynastic life. If Akhenaten's son or brother (Tutenkhamen) had been like Thutmose III, then the Aten would have been properly established, but the other (local) gods would still have performed their role beneath him.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed May 25, 2011 12:19 pm

On the further matter of all things Theran and Aten related I have been reading a rather nice little theory as to what might have happened, which is good in all ways except one (or two), which is a pity as its kind of crucial to the rest, and thats the date for Thera. For the theory to be right the generally excepted time for it exploding-somewhere in the 1600bc's-would have to be out by roughly 300 years. But I give the outline of the theory below anyway as it still as some other interesting ideas;

BC

1890 A wall painting in the tomb of Khnumhotep shows 37 Semites with laden donkeys enterng Egypt.

1745 A text from the reign of Sobekhotep III contains a list of 79 household servants, 45 seem to be Hyksos (the name the Semites groups collectively became known as).

1745-1700: Hyksos continue to settle in Nile Delta.

1720: Northern Egypt falls to the Hyksos. Southern Egypt remains in the hands of the Thheban Egyptian princes. Hebrews (egypt. Apiru) first arrive in Egypt (Biblical time of Joseph. Apiru rise to become one of the dominant Hyksos groups. In particular they become prominent in the cult of Re, influencing it with their own beliefs and taking influences from it).

1570 Theban prince Amosis reconquers northern Egypt. Expulsion of the Hyksos.

1567 The god Re is assimilated with the god Amun.


1500 Hebrews enslaved in Egypt. Apiru mentioned in tomb of Tuthmosis III's hearld Antef, listing them as prisoners of war.

1475 A scene in the tomb of Puyemre at Thebes shows 4 men working a winepress, it is captioned 'straining out wine by the Apiru.'

1430 An inscribed stella at Memphis refers to 3,600 Apiru.

1389-1364 Reign of Amonhotep III. The apiru remain in captivity but the changes and ideas they added to the cult of Re continue to influence religous thinking. They develop their own distinct brand of monotheism with an invisible single God and become known for it. The Crown Prince Thutmose speaks out for the Apiru, he has become influenced by their beliefs and as 'Overseer of the Priests of Upper and Lower Egypt' he begins to influence Egypts religions, speaking out against Amun and in favour of Re as sole chief diety of the Gods.

1366: Eruption of Thera. The resluting ash cloud causes darkness, the death of livestock and plagues of insects acorss southern Egypt. (biblical plagues) The Apiru take the opportunity to escape, possibly led by the Crown Prince Thutmose (later Moses) who disappears from all official records at this time and for whom no tomb has yet been found. The northern half of Egypt is less badly effected by Thera than the south. The Egyptians see it as punishment from Re for combining him with Amun (the Amun cult being centered in the south where things were at their worst and the Re cult in the largely undamaged north) and insist Re has to be reinstated as the overall God of Gods. Amonhotep erects an unprecedented number of statues, all to Sekhmet (Daughter of Re the sun god, she was Goddess of disasters and had once tried to wipe mankind out, only being stopped by Re, her father) in an attempt to appease her and stop the disasters being caused by Thera's eruption. When this fails to work he steps aside and begins a co-regency with his son Amonhotep IV. Amonhotep turns to the Cult of Re for help. They, under the influence of the now absent Prince Thutmose, believe the god of the Apiru must be responsible. In which case the Apiru were right, there is only one invisible God.

1364 Reign of Amonhotep IV. He adopts an Egyptian version of the Apiru God, using Egyptian imagery to try to convey the ideas he adopts the Aten to represent the invisible, everywhere, single nature of the new God, previously the Aten was not even a God in its own right but rather an aspect of Re, the sun God. The name means more or less, 'sun-disc' but seems to have referred also to the invisible yet present light and warmth the sun gives out).

1359 Amonhotep IV changes his name to Akhenaten and founds a new city of Amarna.

1358 Akhenaten moves his court to Amarna.

1357 An Amarna letter, sent to Akhenaten by King Abimilki of Tyre talks of the kings horror on visiting Ugarit to find the population gone and half the city washed away into the sea.

1355 Akhenaten bans associating the Aten with Re. Fro now on the Aten will be the only God.

1349 Persecution of Amun cult in Thebes. The temple at Karnak is desecrated.

1348 Plague sweeps through Egypt and many of the surrounding lands. The Hittites and Caana are badly hit also, greatly weaking them. The Apiru, still in the Wilderness alone prosper and continue to increse in numbers. The people of Egypt begin to blame the new God for the plague.

1347 Death of Akhenaten. Smenkhare becomes Pharoah.

1347- Death of Smenkhare, Tutankhaten becomes Pharoah, real power lies with his Chief Minister, Ay.

1345- Amun and the old gods reinstated. Amarna abandoned. Tutankhaten changes his name to Tutankhamun.

1338 Death of Tutankhamun. Ay becomes pharoah.

1334 - Reign of Horemheb begins. He is a genral in the army. He immediatley begins Anti-Atenist reprisals. The entire record of the period is destroyed. Akenatens name and all his works are removed or destroyed. Names and faces are scratched out from inscriptions and displays. The names of Akenaten up to Tutankhamun are wiped from Egypts history and removed from the Kings list.

1307 Israelites (formely Apiru) enter Canaan.





edit add-

'The earliest non-Biblical account of the Exodus is by Hecataeus of Abdera (late 4th century BCE): the Egyptians blame a plague on foreigners and expel them from the country, whereupon Moses, their leader, takes them to Canaan, where he founds the city of Jerusalem.

Manetho describes the Hyksos, their lowly origins in Asia, their dominion over and expulsion from Egypt, and their subsequent foundation of the city of Jerusalem and its temple. Josephus identifies the Hyksos with the Jews.
In the second story Manetho tells how 80,000 lepers and other "impure people," led by a priest named Osarseph, join forces with the former Hyksos, now living in Jerusalem, to take over Egypt. They wreak havoc until eventually the pharaoh and his son chase them out to the borders of Syria, where Osarseph gives the lepers a law-code and changes his name to Moses.' - from wiki.

Seems clear from this that the idea the Israelites were once the Hyksos is not a new one. I find the repeated theme of plague interesting. Accoding to the above chronology there was a widespread outbreak of plague around 1348bc. In Egypt they blamed the new God and it was overthrown, presumably those who had been its greatest adherents, the Priests formely of Re would have beenpunished, and there is a good chance many of them would have been influenced by the Apiru or even that some Apiru might have remained. This second attack on them might have seen more fleeing to join there brethern out in the Wilderness- certainly the Egyptian records show Apiru slaves again at even later dates than this.
In the Bible when the golden calf incident happens and God punishes the transgressors one of the punishments is plague- could the late comers have brought the plague with them? Just a thought.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Orwell on Wed May 25, 2011 11:09 pm

Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews equates the Hyksos with the Israelites. You're right, it's not an old idea. But who came up with the theories you mentioned? Much of the history you recount is known stuff, but the Theran date is a new one to me.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 26, 2011 7:18 am

The author of the above chronology is Graham Philips. The Theran date is derived from radiocarbon dating on plant seeds (lathyrus) from the destroyed city of Akrotiri. Tests were conducted seperately at the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory of Copenhagen and the AMS facility at Oxford University. The results were published in 1990 by the London-based Thera Foundation in the journal Thera and the Aegean World: Volume III.
The Copenhagen team obtained three sets of results and Oxford seven;

Copenhagen

3310 +/- 65
3430 +/- 90
3340 +/- 55
Central date: 3360 years bfore testing -1370bc.

Oxford

3390 +/- 65
3245 +/- 60
3335 +/- 60
3460 +/- 80
3395 +/- 65
3340 +/- 65
3280 +/- 65
Central Date: 3349 years before testing-1359bc.

-From the appendix

I like the theory for a few reasons. One I like the notion the early Hebrews influenced Akenaten, not the other way round (and this seems more likely to me). It offers a plausable explanation for what hapened to the Crown Prince. And some of the surounding archeoligical evidence seems to fit rather well- the sudden, brief but intense worship of Sekhmet Goddess of Natural Disasters. And the letter from King Abimilki of Tyre speaking of a city washed into the sea and half the population gone implies a disaster of some sort. Its also odd that if Thera did not erupt at this time the Egyptian failt to mention it at any other time. Given its likely effect that seems strange. But as all records from the period of the Aten were delibrately erased there is here an explanation for the lack of Egyptian mentions of it- for the Egyptians the whole period was not only embarrising it was a complete disaster for which the gods punished them, their slaves rose up and escaped and their Crown prince buggered off to lead them. Its no wonder they didn't want it known about.

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Orwell on Thu May 26, 2011 9:05 am

I take it back, I do know the theory - just forgot it! For a second it crossed my mind that Graham Phillps might be where I'd heard something similar. But then I thought, no, maybe it's not what Petty's talking about. I have "Act of God" and "The Moses Legacy" on my bookshelf. Haven't read them for ages though, which explaims my uncertainty about the theory you gave! I thought the theory feasible at the time I read them but much too far fetched, from memory. Certainly forgot dates (if they are in either of those books). There are lots of theories, which make it all fun. Putting Thera around Akhenaten's time is kind of groovy. Why not put all the interesting things from history/legend in his time, Exodus and Atlantis, and including Akhenaten's own Brave New World, yep, cool. That would be groovy, yep. I must read those Phillips books again to see if they make more sense nowadays. I sometimes think I've probably got too many "speculative" books, but one day, Rohl, or James, or Phillips, or some other (supposedly) wild theorist will break the who thing open and give us one of those, "Well, yes, that did happen, and now we've got enough evidence collected to prove it" epiphanies! Here's hoping! Love the whole debate! Personally, still like Ahmoses' time as the time of Atlantis and the Exodus. It fits nicely somehow.


Last edited by Orwell on Thu May 26, 2011 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Theran Theories

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 26, 2011 9:14 am

Even when the overall theory of many these sort of books is wild they often raise valid points along the way. A classic one for me is Hancock, his methodoligy is awful, is reasoning skewered to support his own theories, the list goe son. But he does make intresting observations along the way- like the very flimsy evidence the use of the Pyramids as tombs is based on. Personally I see no evidence they were ever used as tombs, and given the similarity of a schemitc of the prymids inner passsages to depictions on actual tomb walls of the route the Pharoahs soul takes after death it seems clear to me these were ritual buildings associated with that journey. Without Hancock I might never have begun thinking along those lines at all, even though I regard him is a self serving crank.

Add- I should add that Act of God (where the chronology above comes from) is built on a false premise- that the mystery inhabitant of tomb 55 is Smenkhkare. Unfortuntely last year DNA tests showed it is Akenaten himself- oddly this doesn't ruin his overall premise but makes it more intriguing.

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