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KRONOS Vol IX, No. 2

Scarabs And Chronology


Copyright 1984 by the Estate of Elisheva Velikovsky

To realize the state of affairs in Egyptian and Palestinian archaeology, the following observation of C. C. McCown, who dug in Tell en-Nasbeh,(1) is worth considering; it is also symptomatic of all other places in Egypt and Palestine, and sounds very familiar to a reader of archaeological reports:

"The scarabs and scaraboids [found in the place] are unanimously dated from the 18th Dynasty or later. Since, as all the ceramic evidence clearly indicates, Tell en-Nasbeh was not occupied until after the 19th Dynasty and since scarabs, especially those bearing the cartouche of Thutmose III, with his throne name, Men-kheper-re, were used and imitated for centuries after their original date, those which may have been made before 1200 have no chronological value whatever. The exact dating of such scarabs, which depends solely upon stylistic considerations, is a matter of uncertainty, upon which Egyptologists differ greatly.

"The only scarabs which affect chronology seriously are those which the Egyptologists consulted have agreed in dating to the 25th [Ethiopian] Dynasty (712-663 B.C.)."(2)

At Tell en-Nasbeh, various scarabs and the style of certain buildings speak for the fifteenth-thirteenth centuries, or the Eighteenth to Nineteenth Dynasties; but other evidence and the scarabs of the Ethiopian Dynasty speak for the end of the eighth and the beginning of the seventh centuries. An archaeological solution was achieved by disregarding half the evidence; in an historical construction in which only the Ethiopian period is properly anchored in time, it is inevitable, as in this instance, that the scarabs of all other periods would appear to be in conflict with the established timetable of Egyptian chronology and the sequence of dynastic succession.

In my own historical reconstruction, however, the Ethiopian Dynasty ruled between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties;(3) and therefore objects of closely following epochs found in the same place do not require the disqualification of half the evidence - the other scarabs and seal impressions found at Tell en-Nasbeh have an equally well-founded chronological value.


1. [Tell en-Nasbeh is identified as ancient Mizpah, a town which for a short time, under Gedaliah, was a capital of Judah (Jeremiah 41:1 ff). Beginning in 1926 it was excavated by W. F. Bade during five seasons, the last in 1935. The site is eight miles north of Jerusalem, near the boundary between Israel and Judah. - JNS]

2  C. C. McCown, et al, Tell en-Nasbeh, Vol. 1(1947), p. 148.

3. [I. Velikovsky, "From the End of the Eighteenth Dynasty to the Time Of Ramses II," KRONOS III:3 (Spring 1978), pp. 3ff.; I. Velikovsky, "Cultural Aspects of the Libyan and Ethiopian Dynasties," KRONOS V 3 (Spring 1980), pp. 1-10. - LMG]

4, [Also see I.Velikovsky, "Scarabs," Pensee IVR VI (Winter 1973-74), pp. 42-45; I. Velikovsky, Ramses II and His Time (N.Y., 1978). - LMG]

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