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KRONOS Vol II, No. 1

Perplexities of Orthodoxy

The Face of a Camel?

Midway through the chapter "Jerusalem the Golden," in his book Great Cities of the Ancient World  (1972), L. Sprague de Camp indulged in some witticisms regarding Solomon and Sheba.

"It is also written that the queen of Sheba, in southern Arabia, came to visit Solomon to quiz him on his celebrated wisdom and to exchange gifts with him. The Bible does not name the lady [Cp. Ages in Chaos, p. 107 and n. 4 - "However the opinion is expressed in the Talmud that 'Sheba' in the name Queen of Sheba is not a geographical but a personal name."], nor say how old she was, nor claim that she was beautiful, nor state that she and Solomon had a love affair. All these romantic details were added by later fictioneers. For all that anybody knows, the queen may have had the face of a camel and the heart of a pawnbroker. The lavish gifts she exchanged with Solomon may have been a barter deal arrived at after a hard-nosed oriental haggle.

"For that matter, the whole story looks more than a little suspicious. Queens do not usually set out on 1,400-mile camel rides over scorching deserts merely to trade wares and witticisms with distant kings of whom they have heard. She might of course have sent a caravan, the tale of which grew in the telling. Since authentic Sheban history only begins about -800, a century and a half after the alleged visit to Solomon, there is no way to confirm or refute the tale" (p. 63, emphasis added).

[De Camp never realized that the Queen may not even have come from any land named Sheba (Saba) at all (which he automatically assumes to be Yemen). Thus, he is caught in the chronological dilemma of either having to accept this most famous Queen's visit some 150 years before the real history of her country began, or dismissing the tale of her visit as an exotic oriental fabrication.]

A recent book of multiple authorship, Solomon and Sheba (1974), indicates the same difficulty. "As yet no part of the Queen of Sheba's capital city Marib in eastern Yemen has been excavated in sufficient depth to reach levels dating from her time, the tenth century BC. Indeed, so far, in a very small area of only one town site in the entire south-western corner of Arabia have deposits from the period of the Queen of Sheba been uncovered .... While digging has been concentrated in the remains of periods somewhat later than the tenth century BC, we can extrapolate backwards to the time of the Queen of Sheba, and describe with some confidence [sic] the culture of her period. Her reign must have fallen during the formative period, or very near it, when the foundations of Sabaean culture were laid" (pp. 40-41, emphasis added).

[Note that the archaeologists are still resorting to a favorite device, particularly of the astronomers unwarranted retrocalculation, based upon presently observed phenomena, in order to draw conclusions about the past. This is especially disconcerting, since the scholarly world has evidently not yet learned its lesson from the effects of the "Sothic Period," itself a combinative product of modern scholastic invention and retroactive assumption.]

Aside from chronological discrepancies, there is also the not-so small problem of the "Queen of Sheba's" 1,400 mile caravan trek. In this matter, the words of de Camp are echoed by Gus van Beek, author of the above Sheban commentary and Curator of Near Eastern Archaeology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. "Located in the south-western comer of the Arabian peninsula, with boundaries roughly corresponding to those of modem Yemen, Saba (Sheba) was more than 1,400 miles as the crow flies south of Palestine. The terrain in between is a barren, almost water less desert, consisting of rugged mountains near the coast, and a broken, sand- or rock-covered tableland to the east of the mountains. This enormous region is extremely difficult to cross unless one is well provided with camels and experienced guides."

For possible resolution see:

Ages in Chaos, Chapter III.
KRONOS, I, 3, pp. 3-18.
KRONOS, I, 4, pp. 9-22.

L. M. Greenberg

600 Years before Homer?

The second, revised edition (Bantam: 1967) of C. W. Ceram's Gods, Graves, and Scholars contained the following observations: ". . . in 1953... a clay tablet dug up by Blegen in Pylos came into the hands of an Englishman, Michael Ventris. It showed a grouping of symbols such as [the philologist] Sittig had not yet seen, and which the brilliant Ventris, another outsider, could indisputably read as Greek. This invalidated part of Sittig's interpretations: only three of his thirty readings had been correct. And so, there began a new effort that will probably go on for a long time. While ancient philology is approaching the final solution of its problem, a far greater problem has come to confront us regarding the entire history of antiquity. Why should the language of the Greeks, a far from highly developed people at the time, be written in Cretan script on Crete, the center of an independent, highly advanced culture about 600 years before Homer? Did these two languages exist side by side? [Is it] possible that our entire chronology of early Greece is all wrong? Is Homer becoming problematic again" (pp. 80-8 1, emphasis added)?

For possible resolution see:

Ages in Chaos, pp. 180-182.
Pensee IX (Fall, 1974), pp. 5-20.
Pensee IV (Spring-Summer, 1973), pp. 26-32.
Pensee III (Winter, 1973), pp. 26-31.
KRONOS I, 4, pp. 3-7.

I. Wolfe

Another 600 Year-Old Heirloom?

This year, I worked on an excavation in Israel at Tell Dan (Tell Qadi - the hill of the judge), which is claimed to be the site of the ancient city of Dan. It was a wonderful experience and I had the pleasure of working with a great excavation staff headed by Dr. Biran. As a Velikovskian scholar, it was of great interest to me, therefore, to discover that last year they had found a cartouche of Ramses 11 in a Persian level.

I asked the staff how is this possible, and they answered that it was either a six-hundred year-old heirloom or antique, or it was an intrusion. Actually, a cartouche of Ramses II, found in a Persian stratigraphical level, would have to be more along the line of being a seven-hundred year-old heirloom or intrusion according to conventional chronology. However, the revised chronology would place Ramses 11 within sixty years of the Persian conquest, thereby removing the enormous chronological discrepancy. I wonder how much evidence has not been published with these same problems.

For possible resolution see:

Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History - Theses 206-245.
Ramses II and His Time (unpublished).
Pensee VI (Winter, 1973-74), pp. 42-45.
M. A. Luckerman

Creative Cosmology?

Several years ago I read The Structure of Science by a leading historian and philosopher of science, Ernest Nagel, in which he discusses this discipline from the mechanistic viewpoint . In his book he devotes one solitary paragraph to electric fields, in some 600 pages of heavy text, and finds that he is forced to philosophically and apologetically dismiss electric phenomena as not being consistent with reality according to the "present criterion" on which we base our beliefs. And this was published in 1961! (Cop. 1974, 1976)

"Resolved: Space Age discoveries since 1955." Pensee I, (May, 1972), pp. 11-14.

E B. Jueneman

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