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Open letter to science editors


KRONOS Vol IV, No. 3

Vox Populi


To the Editor of KRONOS:

Barry Fell's America B.C. was reviewed in KRONOS III:I (pp. 86-88), but the reviewer, Roger W. Wescott, failed to point out two pieces of epigraphic evidence in (unwitting) support of Velikovsky's revised chronology. The first is the Pontotoc stele (see p. 159), a bilingual Iberian Punic/Ogam Punic version of the "Hymn to the Aten", which Fell dates to ca. 800 B.C. on the basis of the script.* The other is the Davenport stele (see pp. 261-269), a trilingual Egyptian hieroglyphic/Iberian Punic/Libyan description of the Djed festival, of which Fell has this to say "The date is unlikely to be earlier than about 800 B.C., for we do not know of Iberian or Libyan inscriptions earlier than that date. The Egyptian text ... may merely be a local American copy of some original. That original could be as old as about 1400 B.C., to judge by the writing style."

Sean Mewhinney

Ottawa, Ontario

*Editor's Note: According to Fell, "Further study of this remarkable stele is still in progress. Although Akhnaton's hymn dates from the thirteenth [sic - actually fourteenth century by conventional reckoning] century B.C., this American version can scarcely be older than about 800 B.C." (p. 159). The revised chronology places Akhnaten ca. 840 B.C. As an aside, the reader is also asked to consider a part of the inscription found on the Pontotoc stele (Oklahoma) - "When Baal-Ra rises in the east ..." - in conjunction with the thesis put forth by this writer in the May, 1972 issue of the journal Pensée (see L.M. Greenberg, "Akhnaten, Aten, and Venus Reconsidered," pp. 41-42).


To the Editor of KRONOS:

In Professor Hewsen's erudite article on Eastern Anatolia (KRONOS IV:I), the last section (pp. 63-64) "The Indo-European Invasions" deals with the Phrygian incursion from Thrace and the Cimmerian incursion from Caucasia, the former of which is conventionally dated about 1200 B.C. and the later about 650 B.C. There is little doubt that both peoples were Indo-European, Phrygian having been linguistically related to Thracian and Old Macedonian, and Cimmerian having belonged to either the Thraco-Phrygian group or the Iranian group of languages.

Earlier in his article, Dr. Hewsen refers to the Mitanni, the Hittites (both with and without quotation marks), and the Lydians, implying but not stating that they were non-lndo-European peoples. This implication is unfortunate, because most scholars now regard all three peoples as Indo-European or, more precisely, as having been dominated by elites speaking Indo-European languages.(1)

The Mitanni, whose name may have been no more than an early variant of the word Mede, were almost certainly Indo-lranian. Within that group, their language was probably Iranian, related to that of the Scythians, the Persians, and the modern Kurds.

The Hittites and Lydians, however, spoke languages now called Anatolian. (As a linguistic term, Anatolian refers solely to the Indo-European languages peculiar to Asia Minor. It excludes not only non-lndo-European languages such as Hattic and Urartian but also Indo-European languages whose vernacular centers lay outside Asia Minor, such as Median, Greek, and the Thraco-Phrygian dialects. But there remain languages like Armenian, Lemnian, and Carian, whose Anatolian status is disputed.) Other Anatolian languages were Palaic and Luwian, whose late western derivative was Lycian.(2)

It is possible, of course, that Dr. Hewsen's reason for omitting Hittites and Lydians from his list of Indo-European invaders of Anatolia is that he has adopted the usage of the minority of comparative linguists who follow the late Edgar Sturtevant in restricting the term Indo-European to those Hittite-related languages which, prior to the Hittite settlement in Anatolia, had been spoken only to the north of the Black Sea. In Sturtevant's usage, Indo-lranian, Greek, Thraco-Phrygian, and Celtic were Indo-European, while Hittite, Palaic, Luwian, and Lydian were Anatolian. But, since he recognized the cognation of the Indo-European with the Anatolian languages, Sturtevant coined the compound "Indo-Hittite" to designate the combined linguistic group.(3) If this was Dr. Hewsen's intention, it is regrettable that he did not make it clear, since he leaves his readers with the false impression that cuneiform Hittite and alphabetic Lydian were linguistically non-lndo-European in the same sense in which Hurrian was.

Roger W. Wescott

Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics
Drew University


1. Holger Pedersen, Hittitisch und die Anderen Indo-Europäischen Sprachen, Copenhagen, 1938.

2. Philo Houwink ten Cate, "Anatolian Languages," The Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropedia Vol. 1, 1974.

3. Edgar H. Sturtevant, The Indo-Hittite Laryngeals, The Linguistic Society of America, Baltimore, Maryland, 1942.


To the Editor of KRONOS:

I would like to compliment Dwardu Cardona on his article "The Mystery of the Pleiades" in KRONOS Vol. 3, No. 4. I am particularly convinced by his arguments, following Dr. Velikovsky, as to the identifications of "Kesil" as Mars and "Khima" as Saturn in Job and Amos, rather than the identifications I suggested in "Planets in the Bible" in SIS Review 1:4. I am glad to have provided him with "a crucial clue" for his arguments, and wish him well in his further researches.

Martin Sieff

Associate Editor/SIS Review
Jerusalem, Israel


To the Editor of KRONOS:

In the March 1978 issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review (Vol. IV, No. 1), there is an article "Assessing Ebla" - by Paul C. Maloney, which the table of contents describes as "the first major critical assessment of the fabulous archive recently found in northern Syria".

To review: In 1964, excavation of Tell Mardikh was begun by a team of archaeologists from the University of Rome. In 1968, they uncovered a statue which to their satisfaction identified the site as that of Ebla. When Paolo Matthiae, leader of the expedition, reported this, he was disbelieved on the grounds that it was known from ancient sources that Ebla was located in a mountainous, wooded area and not in a plain near low treeless hills as Tell Mardikh is.(1)

There the matter rested in scholarly dispute until 1974 when the first 42 of nearly 17,000 clay tablets were uncovered. The inscriptions on the tablets left no room for doubt that the site was indeed Ebla, a powerful and even imperial city of the third millennium B.C.

There is, however, disagreement about the dating of the tablets: the archaeologist says 2400-2250 B.C., while the epigrapher says 2580-2450 B.C. quite a difference in range. The archaeologist bases his dates on stratigraphic data, while the epigrapher bases his on the style of the cuneiform writing as compared with other examples of known date.

What I found interesting here is the change - one might say reversal in the topography of Ebla, which was described in ancient (contemporary) references as "in the mountains"(2) and is today in a plain.

Of interest also is the fact that Ebla appears on the oldest known map of the world, which is dated ca. 2360-2180 B.C. and was found at Nuzi. In a description of the map, it is stated: "ancient Near Easterners were oriented toward the East." The map shows rivers and mountains where none are now.

The geologic change and the seeming inaccuracy of the map are not remarked in the article as of any particular interest. However, someone with a Velikovskian point of view might want to follow this trail. There seems to be Earth in Upheaval and revised chronology material here.

Benjamin C. Haines

Camden, N. J.


1. See C. Bermant and M. Weitzman, Elba: A Revelation in Archaeology (N. Y., 1979), p. 41; G. Pettinato, Missione Archaeologica Italiana in Siria 2.1 .1 and 2.2.1.

2. Ebla, Ibid., p. 43 (Reference of Gudea).

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