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KRONOS Vol IV, No. 1
EASTERN ANATOLIA AND VELIKOVSKY'S CHRONOLOGICAL REVISIONS - II
A COMPARISON OF THE TWO CHRONOLOGIES
ROBERT H. HEWSEN
According to Velikovsky, the traditional synchronization of the chronologies of the Middle East is off by anywhere up to eight centuries depending upon the area and the era under consideration. By identifying the date of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt (traditionally the late eighteenth century B.C.) with the date of the Exodus, and demonstrating their coevality to the fifteenth century B.C., Velikovsky has brought the former event some three centuries closer to the present. In so doing, not only are some 500 years of later duplicate Egyptian history cast out, but the histories of all of the peoples which have been synchronized with that of Egypt must be brought down by an equal length of time.(1)
The purpose of this study is to apply Velikovsky's chronology to an area of the ancient world to which he has given only passing attention in his work, namely eastern Anatolia and Caucasia. If it can be shown that Velikovsky's scheme, applied to this area, can not only solve problems but also fit its history in with the revised chronology of neighboring regions, then yet another wing may be added to the edifice he has been constructing.
I. THE TRADITIONAL CHRONOLOGY(2)
In the mid-second millennium B.C., there appeared upon the Middle East scene two new cosmocracies, the so-called Neo-Hittite Empire in Anatolia and the Hurrian state of Mitanni (or Subartu) in northern Mesopotamia. Then, in the fourteenth century, Hittite records begin to mention a number of other political formations located upon the Armenian plateau between these new states. These smaller polities - Hayasa-Azzi, Ishuwa, Hubushkia, etc. - are represented as being vassals now of one, then of the other of their two great neighbors.
In c. 1300 B.C. Mitanni disappears, presumably crushed between the Hittites and the growing might of the Assyrians to the south. Assyrian records(3) now succeed those of the Hittites and in these we find reference not only to the smaller formations mentioned as existing earlier on the Armenian plateau but also to such newer peoples as the Daiaeni and Uruatri (later: Urartu).(4)
The region of the Armenian plateau inhabited by these people states is first referred to by the Assyrians as Na'iri and then as Urartu (i.e., in the broad sense of the term to denote the conquests of the earlier Uruatri/Urartu). Except for Urartu itself, the exact location of these political formations is still uncertain but from onomastic and topographical evidence, they betray a relation to the Hurrians. The Urartian language, for example, is not only non-IndoEuropean but is definitely related to Hurrian, while Hayasa-Azzi, besides its Hurrian affinities, shows a relationship to the protoHattians, the earliest component of the Hittite state.(5)
In the ninth century B.C., the various polities on the Armenian plateau were united by the Urartian state of Biainili which, in this way, came to form a powerful federation north of Assyria. Before this happened, however, the "Hittite Empire" is held to have been destroyed by the Phrygians and the Kashkaeans, or by the "Peoples of the Sea".
The Phrygians are believed to have invaded Anatolia from Europe in c. 1200 B.C., while the Kashkaeans, who manifest certain proto-Hattian affinities, lived in the mountains north of the Hittites near the Black Sea and had long been their adversaries. The Urartian formation it should be noted, however, shows many parallels with that of the Hittite Empire, which traditionally antedates its existence by three centuries.
The 500-year gap between the "Hittite Empire" and the coming of the Medes forms a "dark age" in Anatolia during which it is rather unclear exactly what was happening west of the Armenian plateau other than that this was the period of the Phrygian state about whose specific history not very much is known. Presumably, the place of the Hittites was taken by the Mushkians (tentatively identified as the pre-Indo-European population of Phrygia) in west central Anatolia, who then formed a powerful state in the eastern part of the old Hittite territory (Katpatuka, the later Cappadocia).(6)
By the eighth century B.C. both the Assyrians and the Hebrews were using the name Mushki (Assyrian: Mushki, Bib.: Mosoch) for the native population of central Anatolia. Parts of Cappadocia, between the Halys and the Taurus range south of it, were also occupied in this period by the Tabalians (Bib.: Thubal)(7) who first appear after the supposed fall of the Hittites as a vassal of Assyria. Pushed out of their lands, apparently by the Cimmerian invasion (c. 687 B.C.), the Mushkians and the Tabalians slowly migrated eastward toward the Black Sea coast where the Greeks were to know them as the Moskhoi and the Tibarenoi.(8) Eventually both of these people settled in what is now Georgia. In place of the state of Tabal there then arose in Cappadocia a new formation of presumably Phrygian origin called Til-garimmu in Assyrian (Bib.: Thogorma), and Tegarama by the "Hittites".
Late in the seventh century B.C., after two centuries of considerable glory and a long struggle with the Assyrians, Urartu became the prey of the Cimmerians and the Scythians who successively invaded the Armenian plateau, the former also destroying Phrygia. Assyria, itself, was crushed in 612 B.C. by a coalition of subject Babylonians and invading Medes.
Then, sometime between 612 and 585, Urartu crumbled and the proto-Armenians - whom Herodotus calls a Phrygian colony(9) - entered in upon its ruins, blended with the natives, and eventually formed the Armenian people. During the same period, the entire plateau passed under Median rule and Anatolia became divided between the Medes and the Lydians (585 B.C.) along the line of the River Halys (Kizil Irmak).
As for the merger of the proto-Armenians (Armens) with the native population of the Armenian plateau, we are assured that this occurred first in the western part of the plateau in the land of the Hayasa.(10) The earlier predominance of the in-coming proto-Armenians could have led foreigners to call this new amalgam Armenia, while a presumed resurgence of the native element would have led to the retention of the older name Hayasa (Armenian: Hayk) by the local combined population of the region.
North of the Hittites, and presumably participating in their destruction, lay the Kashkaeans.(11) North of the Armenian plateau, along the Black Sea Coast to the east of them, lay the state known to Greek mythology as the kingdom of Aea or Colchis. Its people were perhaps related to the Hayasa and their state appears to have had Minoan and possibly Egyptian affinities. In the seventh century B.C. the Kashkaeans, presumably after the fall of the Hittites, appear to have drifted westwardly to the northern rim of the Armenian plateau and there warred with the Urartians who knew them as Qulha. Then, overrunning the lowland plain of Aea, the Kashkaeans formed the new kingdom of Colchis, whose name the Greek mythographers seem to have anachronistically projected back upon the earlier state of Aea.(12)
Besides the Kashkaeans, three other proto-Caucasian peoples of this period entered into the formation of the later Georgian people:
The first of these were the Iberians who, after the death of Alexander the Great, founded a kingdom in central Caucasia in the plain of the River Kur (Cyrus) east of Colchis. They are usually held to have been the earlier Tabalians or Tibarenians under a variant form of the name.
The second are the Kart'vels, whose name betrays the K-R root so often found in Caucasia, and who were possibly related to the Tabalians. That they were a very important element in the formation of the Georgians is shown by the fact that the Georgians still call themselves Kart'veli, while Kart'li was the native name for the east Georgian kingdom of Iberia.(13)
Finally, we have the Suans who are regarded either as having been related to the Mushkians or as being the autochthonous inhabitants of western Caucasia. The fact that the Suans call themselves Mushwan or Mushwni in the singular, however, appears to support the former hypothesis.(14)
The above historical picture, built up by specialists in Caucasian history over the past century, draws heavily upon Assyrian and Hittite sources(15) as well as upon local Urartian inscriptions, (16) and rests to a considerable extent upon the generally accepted chronology of Hittite and Phrygian history, a chronology which we have indicated, however, to be open to serious question.
II. THE PROBLEMS
The history of the Anatolian and Armenian plateaux prior to the coming of the Medes is nowhere near so clear as one might think from the description given above. Between the scholarly articles dealing with these regions and the monographs synthesizing the material they contain, many a "perhaps" and "it would appear" seems to have been dropped.(17)
To begin with, we know very little of the Hittite lands beyond what has been excavated at Hattusas; the belief that they were destroyed by the Phrygians, for example, is based not on anything historical but merely on the fact that the Phrygians are presumed to have succeeded the Hittites in the lands of central Anatolia. At Gordium, moreover, excavations have revealed "Hittite" material on top of the Phrygian level of occupation which cannot be accounted for in the conventional chronology.(18)
Our information on the Hurrians is equally vague. Their location on the Armenian plateau is deduced solely from the fact that their language is known to be related to that of the Urartians who lived on the same plateau centuries later. Otherwise, the Hurrian presence is largely attested in lands further south - Syria, Mesopotamia, and Palestine. The relationship between the Hurrians and Mitanni, too, is not at all clear; the location of the Mitannians on the southern slopes of the Armenian plateau between the Tigris and Euphrates is based on nothing more than their relation to the Hurrians and ignores the evidence strongly suggesting a more easterly location for the former in northwestern Media, or even for placing it on the Armenian plateau itself. The first theory is supported by the fact that Ma(n)tiene was a province of Media in the Classical period and here was located Lake Ma(n)tiane (now Lake Urmia or Rizaiyeh). The second is supported by the fact that Naharin, the Egyptian synonym for Mitanni, strongly resembles Na'iri, the earliest Assyrian name for the Armenian plateau in the pre-Urartian period.
As for the Kashkaeans, we have no evidence for their role in the destruction of the Hittites beyond the fact that they were constantly at war with them; the identification of the Kashkaeans with the Colchians is based on the belief of certain linguists in the existence of a phonetic shift from sh to l, a shift by no means universally accepted. It is also worth noting that Assyrian annals of the eighth-seventh centuries B.C. contain numerous references to the Kashkaeans, e.g. Tiglath-Pileser III accepted tribute from King Dadilu of the Kashka among other kings of eastern Anatolia.(19) This is over 500 years after their supposed role in the destruction of the Hittites.
The Mushkians of central Anatolia also present problems. The Greeks never mention them for the period when they lived in this area but only know of them after the sixth century B.C. when they appear as the Moskhoi dwelling in the mountains near the southeast corner of the Black Sea by the southern frontier of Colchis.
At the same time, the Assyrian records know nothing of the Phrygians. Yet there seems to be no doubt that the Assyrian "Mita of Mushki" is identical with the Greek "Midas of Phrygia". Was Mushki, then, the name of the country of the Mushkians later inhabited by the Phrygians, whom the Assyrians called by the name of its earlier inhabitants; or are the two peoples one and the same?
With this much vagueness in our knowledge of the history of eastern Anatolia, we may feel less hesitant in attempting to apply the radical chronological reconstruction proposed by Immanuel Velikovsky. Would this revision cast a fresh light on some of the problems we have just outlined?
III. THE REVISED CHRONOLOGY
According to the chronology postulated by Velikovsky, the events concerning the "Hittites" and all of those peoples linked to them must be brought down some 600 to 700 years and this means that the history of Anatolia and Caucasia may be traced back no further than the first millennium B.C.(20) According to Velikovsky, the Hittite Empire is a "ghost empire" being simply a duplication of the New Babylonian Empire.(21) The creation of a ghost empire, Velikovsky feels, has been due to the work of archaeologists and historians misled by the traditional Egyptian chronology to which the finds at Hattusas were securely (but falsely) linked through the discovery there of diplomatic correspondence with Egypt.
In the same way, there were no Hurrians either, they being the Carians of later centuries needlessly duplicated to fit them into the Hittite-Egyptian chronological synchronization which placed the "Hittites" and the "Hurrians" several centuries earlier than the real peoples whose names they hide. The "Hurrian state of Mitanni" is thus yet another of these "ghost kingdoms" and, bringing it down several centuries, Velikovsky identifies the Mitannians with the Medes, (22)
The Chaldeans or Neo-Babylonians, in Velikovsky's view, were originally inhabitants of eastern Anatolia. There they formed a state between the Halys and Euphrates rivers with its capital at Hattusas (Bogazköy) and where, indeed, they are occasionally referred to by their Urartian contemporaries as Hatti.(23) Thus, the so-called "Hittite remnants" of Cilicia and northern Syria are the Hitto-Chaldeans themselves, refugees from foreign invaders who had driven them from central Anatolia. Their governor (?) in these regions was Nabopolassar, who was perhaps, Velikovsky feels, a grandson of King Esarhaddon of Assyria (680-669). This "governor" who later became King of Babylon (626-607), is to be identified, according to Velikovsky, with Mursilis II of Hittite records, the Belesys of the Greeks. Mursilis was succeeded by his son Nergilissar I (Hittite: Muwatalis or Nergil), he by his son Labash-Marduk (Hittite: Lamash), he by his uncle Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 605-562; Hittite: Hattusilis III), and the latter by his son Evil-Merodach (probably the Hittite Tudhaliyas IV). After the death of Evil Merodach, a struggle for power ensued; eventually his maternal uncle Nabonidus (556-539, possibly the Hittite Suppiluliumas III)* assumed the throne.(24) Under the latter, of course, Babylon was taken by the Persians and the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Empire brought to an end (539 B.C.).(25)
Accepting Velikovsky's chronology as a working hypothesis and applying it to the known history of early Anatolia and the Armenian plateau, we encounter some interesting possibilities which tend both to clarify and simplify the history of these regions.
The so-called "Hittite period" in Anatolia would thus embrace the time span from the ninth century B.C. until some time after the return of the Chaldeans to Babylon in c. 626 B.C. under Nabopolassar, who, as we have just seen, Velikovsky identifies with the "Hittite" sovereign Mursilis II. West of the Chaldean/Hittite state, in western Anatolia, lay the kingdom of the Phrygians who apparently arrived in Asia Minor around the time of the Trojan War since Velikovsky dates this war to the late ninth or early eighth century B.C. (c. 800 B.C.).**
The Phrygians undoubtedly arrived in Asia Minor sometime early in the first millennium and must have occupied the central "Hittite" lands only after the departure of Nabopolassar for Babylonia, for Phrygian remains go back to the late eighth century B.C. even at Hittite sites like Bogazköy and Alishar.(26)
The earliest mention of the Mushkians is found in the annals of the Assyrian Monarch Tiglath-Pileser I.(27) He is usually placed in the twelfth-eleventh century B.C. (c. 1115-1077) but, if he could be brought down to within the early first millennium, this would make the Mushkians contemporaneous with the Phrygians and there would be no further question as to the identity of the two peoples; the Mushkians could easily be identical with the Phrygians, the former being possibly the Semitic name for them. Their entrance into Asia Minor most probably took the form of the massive invasion repulsed in the east by Tiglath-Pileser I. (28)
Contemporaneous with the Phrygians, and preceding the formation of the Chaldean state centered at Hattusas, were the Tabalians. First mentioned by the Assyrians in the reign of Shalmaneser III (858-824), (29) they appear to have been located between the Halys and the Taurus Mountains in the region of modern Kayseri. Clearly, the Tabalians flourished in the early period of "Hittite" power in Asia Minor and in the century preceding it. This explains their use of the earliest form of "Hittite" writing (the so-called "Hittite hieroglyphics").(30) Instead of succeeding the "Hittites" in Anatolia the Tabalians would have preceded them and their "Hittite" affinities could represent proto-"Hittite" rather than post-"Hittite" manifestations.
North of the Chaldean state centered at Hattusas dwelled, as we have seen, the predatory Kashkaeans. Like the Tabalians, they, too, must be brought down to the period c. 800-600 and their spread into central Anatolia would have then followed the departure of the Chaldeans for Babylon (c. 626). Indeed, it is precisely in the time of Mursilis II (Nabopolassar, 626-607) that we hear of the appearance of the first king over this previously tribal people.(31) Considering the Phrygian occupation of the region of Hattusas, the Kashkaeans could not have remained long in central Anatolia. If they are, indeed, to be identified with the Colchians, then it is significant that the Colchians, under the name Qulha, first appear in Urartian records(32) on the northern rim of the Armenian plateau in the reign of the Urartian monarch Sarduri II (c. 753-735 B.C.), i.e. about a century before the time of Mursilis II according to the revised chronology.
The Indo-European Invasions
The traditional chronology recognizes two Indo-European invasions of Asia Minor occurring some six hundred years apart. The first represents the Phrygian migration into the peninsula from southeastern Europe (c. 1200 B.C.) and the other the invasion of the Cimmerians from across the Caucacus (c. 600 B.C.).
According to Velikovsky's chronological revision, not much more than one century would appear to separate these two incursions and this century would thus form the Phrygian period in central Anatolia.(33) Having crushed the Phrygians, the Cimmerians met their match in the rising west Anatolian state of Lydia, which defeated them and drove them back eastwards into Cappadocia. There, they formed a polity known to the bible as Gomer and to the later Armenians as Gamirk' (still the Armenian name for Cappadocia).
The Cimmerian invasion caused profound changes in the ethnopolitical picture of eastern Asia Minor and the remaining events concerning the movements of the Kashkaeans, Tabalians, and Mushkians into Caucasia should remain in their traditional order, as described above. As for the Phrygians, however, some of them survived the Cimmerian invasion and remained in their homeland into the classical period while others, dislodged by the same catastrophe, must have migrated eastwards as well. The later movements of the Mushkians, described above according to the traditional chronology, probably concern these eastern migrations.
There is extensive topographical evidence for the passage of the Mushkians through Armenia and if they were indeed Phrygians, as appears almost certain, then the statement of Herodotus (VII. 73) that the Armenians were of Phrygian origin might be explained by this migration.(34)
There are yet further possibilities for the clarification of ancient Anatolian history through the application of Velikovsky's chronological revisions. Enough has been said for the present, however, to demonstrate that these revisions, however tentative or problematical, are worthy of serious consideration by specialists in the field. Certainly a great deal of work remains to be done on the revised chronology and especially on its synchronization with what we know or believe we know about the history of Assyria and later Babylonia.
REFERENCES AND NOTES1. For an analysis of the problem involved with Egyptian chronology, cf. Immanuel Velikovsky, "Astronomy and Chronology, " in Peoples of the Sea (New York, 1977), pp. 205-244; also Lewis M. Greenberg "Astronomy and Chronology: an Assessment" (KRONOS II:4, p. 88) and Ronald D. Long, "A Re-examination of the Sothic Chronology of Egypt", (Ibid., pp. 89-101). For a concise explanation of the pillars supporting the conventional chronology cf. C. W. Ceram, The Secret of the Hittites (New York, 1956).
In preparing this article the author has had the good fortune to have had
the editorial and referential assistance of Professor Lewis M. Greenberg of the Moore
College of Art in Philadelphia as well as valuable suggestions by Mr. Peter J. James of
England, and to have Velikovsky's Ramses II and His Time (New York, 1978) as his
guide. Much of the support for Velikovsky's arguments comes from the fact that his
chronological revisions serve to close the otherwise inexplicable "dark ages" which
appear in the chronologies of Greece and other countries of the ancient world.
Caucasia, too, has its obscure period as well. In their excellent work, Peoples of the
Hills, Ancient Ararat and Caucasus (London, 1971), Burney and Lang state (p. 97)
that in the second millennium B.C. there is a general decline in settled life in the
highland zone (Armenia), and, again (p. 127) that there appears to be a lacuna in the
occupation of Van and its region (south central Armenia) during the second millennium
B.C. and that this "lasted ten centuries or less, possibly as little as six". The latter
statement brings this particular lacuna within the limits of the chronological
discrepancies in ancient history postulated by Velikovsky.