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Open letter to science editors
MYCENAE, TIRYNS, TROY, UGARIT, ALALAKH
Applying the Revised Chronology
Israel M. Isaacson (E.M.S.)
The author is engaged in East Mediterranean Studies, concentrating on the
ancient Near East and Aegean. He has performed research for
Velikovsky on topics suggested by the latter, including much
of the material found in the present article.
Although Immanuel Velikovsky considers Ages in Chaos, his historical
reconstruction, to be his opus magnum, for over 20 years ancient
historians and archaeologists have ignored this aspect of his work. It is
therefore gratifying to note that Prof. W. H. Stiebing, Jr. has broken the
Stiebing has obviously read Velikovsky's published writings on this topic,
and has considered not only what is written but its applicability and
ramifications. Unlike his colleagues, who may or may not have done even
that much, he has gone a step further. In the Fall, 1973 issue of this
journal he voiced "a criticism of the revised chronology"
(1). His studies
have led him to the conclusion that Velikovsky's reconstruction is "not in
harmony with the mass of archaeological evidence presently at our disposal"
While the research that I have done over the past five years has led me to
the opposite conclusion, I do not write this as an attack upon Stiebing or
his article, but in response to his request that "other specialists in
ancient history" "join the discussion and present their views on
Velikovsky's theories." Like Stiebing, I too will leave "the question of
whether or not astronomical catastrophes of the kind described by Velikovsky
are possible"(3) for others more competent in that area to answer. In any
case, the historical reconstruction is a matter totally independent of
theories of global upheavals.
This article will limit itself exclusively to archaeology, ancient
history, and art history, pointing out some of the difficulties which
exist for adherents to the accepted chronology, but which cease to be
problematical, and, in fact, make perfect sense, when the revised
chronology is applied. The subjects touched upon here are restricted to
ones Stiebing himself mentioned: the archaeology of Mycenae, Tiryns,
Troy, Ugarit and Alalakh (4). The nature of this reply and the amount
of material to be examined allow only a brief account on matters which I
hope to treat in greater depth at a later date. Here only an outline of
some of the problems will be given.
Before we embark on the present topic, it is only right to acknowledge
that Velikovsky has provided many of the answers to Stiebing's points in
the unpublished sequels to Ages in Chaos. Because the sequels
have not yet been released, valid questions, such as those posed by
Stiebing, do arise and deserve to be answered.
"THE MYCENAEAN AGE"
Stiebing informs us that "the palaces of Mycenae and Tiryns could not
have been constructed in the eighth century, and the end of the
Mycenaean Age ... cannot be associated with catastrophes of the
eighth-seventh centuries B.C." (5).
Let us first define our terms. Everyone accepts "the Mycenaean" or
"Late Helladic" or "Late Bronze" Age of Greece as the period of Greek
prehistory contemporary with the reigns of the 18th and 19th Dynasties
of Egypt; this alone is responsible for the absolute dates of ca.
1550-1100 B.C. for the "Mycenaean Age" (6).
If Velikovsky is correct in lowering the Egyptian dates by 500-700
years, the Mycenaean dates must follow suit. If Stiebing is
right, and the Mycenaean period is soundly established, it follows that
the Egyptian dates cannot be lowered. In my previous article in this
journal the Mycenaean-Egyptian dependency was explained, and examples of
600-year stratigraphical, archaeological, and radiocarbon problems were
mentioned for the Late Helladic site of Pylos (7). The same sort of
problem exists at nearly every Mycenaean site, but since Stiebing
confined his remarks to Mycenae and Tiryns, they alone will be dealt
Figure 1. GROUND PLAN OF MYCENAE. (From A.J.B. Wace, Mycenae, an
History and Guide. Reprinted by permission.
From literary accounts and archaeological findings, the ancient city of
Mycenae in the Peloponnese of Greece is commonly regarded as the
political and cultural center of Late Bronze Age Greece, and has thus
contributed its name to this period.
According to mythology, the city's founder was the legendary hero
Perseus. It was for a later king of Mycenae that Herakles performed his
12 labors. One of its last heroic kings was Agamemnon, commander of the
Greek expedition against Troy. Upon his return from that great
campaign, he was murdered in the palace by his queen, and was later
avenged by his children Orestes and Elektra.
First excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870's in one of the
earliest systematic campaigns at a Late Helladic (LH) center, Mycenae is
one of the most thoroughly excavated and studied places in Greece. For
almost a century now, German, Greek, and British prehistorians have
revealed a wealth of archaeological information as well as costly and
beautiful artifacts. Work still continues there on a yearly basis. If
the revised chronology is valid, we should expect that some
500—700-year problems have been unearthed at this site. What do we
Velikovsky and Greenberg have already treated the subject of the Lion
Gate of Mycenae (Fig. 1:A), and demonstrated how and why the stone
carving and the gateway it surmounts, now ascribed to ca. 1250 B.C.,
were originally dated half a millennium later, in the 8th century B.C.
(8). To the remarks already made in their articles, I would merely add
an observation by a highly respected contemporary archaeologist who does
accept a 13th-century attribution for the gate. "More than five hundred
years were to pass before Greek sculptors could [again] command an idiom
which would satisfy these aspirations in sculpture and architecture"
The Lion Gate was the main entranceway of Mycenae. Between the gate and
the building known as the Granary (Fig. 1:C), a test trench was dug.
Since this provides the best stratigraphical section of the site, and
"is the main basis for trying to date the fall of Mycenae"
findings are of particular interest to us. Thirteen strata were
differentiated. The bottom 10 belonged exclusively to the period when LH IIIB-C pottery was in vogue (set at 1300 or 1350-1100 B.C.), at most
200-250 years (11). On the average, then, each layer represents the
passing of at most about 20-25 years.
The 11th layer, in addition to "12th-century" LH IIIC pottery, contained
a significant number of fragments of Orientalizing ware (i.e., 7th-6th
centuries B.C.). This layer, which, by the accepted scheme, must
represent the passage of some 500-700 years, was only about 1/6 the
total thickness of the 10 beneath it, which represent only 200-250
years. It was, in fact, thinner than one of the earlier layers
representing 20-25 years.
It is very important to note that the 11th layer contained no pottery
dated to 1100-700 B.C. despite the location by the gate where some
evidence of passersby during those centuries would be expected. There
was not a sterile layer of wash between the 12th-century pottery and
that of the 7th century. There was not a 7th-century layer
distinguishable from the 12th-century layer, as if 500 years of debris
and/or wash had been removed before the 7th-century pottery was
deposited. One thin layer contained pottery of two styles customarily
separated by 500 years, yet there is absolutely no evidence to show that
500 years passed (12). In fact, if the Mycenaean pottery had not been
assigned early dates by Egyptian chronology, one might say that the LH
IIIC pottery (12th century by the Egyptian-based chronology) lasted
until the 7th-6th centuries B.C. (13)
Just inside the Lion Gate, Schliemann discovered a circle (Fig. 1:D)
containing the graves of royalty. In the 1950's a second circle of
royal graves was discovered and excavated. It is for the most part,
contemporaneous with the first, beginning a bit before it and
discontinued while the first was still in use. These two Grave Circles
have furnished some of the richest and most exciting finds to come from
Mycenae, or, in fact, from any prehistoric European site. Since the
graves are mainly contemporaneous with the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt,
they are put in the 17th-16th centuries B.C. (14).
Where did the idea of such grave circles originate? N. G. L. Hammond
contends that they came to Mycenae from Albania. Comparing the Grave
Circles at Mycenae to Albanian grave mounds, he sees "close analogies in
the details of the burial customs, the structure of the mortuary
chambers, and the contents of the graves" (15). Regarding the technique
of construction, "the similarities indeed are remarkably close"
The weapons from the Albanian graves display "astonishing similarities"
to those from the Mycenaean Grave Circles (17). After considering many
factors, Hammond said, "the answer can only be that the tumulus-burials
of Albania ... are the antecedents" of those at Mycenae (18).
There is a serious drawback, however. The excavators of the Albanian
graves at first claimed that typologically, these burials were no
earlier than the 11th century B.C. They have continued to assign them
500-600 years later than Hammond (19). More recently the 11th-century
date has gained the support of A. M. Snodgrass (20). Despite "close
analogies," "remarkably close," indeed "astonishing" similarities, how
can 11th century graves be the "antecedents" and models for graves 500
years older at Mycenae (21)?
Above many of the graves in the two Grave Circles of Mycenae stood stone
stelae, some plain, others decoratively carved. If, as is maintained,
they are of a 16th-century date, 500 years were to elapse before the
custom of placing tombstones over graves "returned" to Greece
More important than this 500-year lacuna is the subject matter on some
of the sculpted stelae. The scenes of hunting and battle depicted, as
well as the general carving technique, remind one very much of
Neo-Hittite relief sculptures supposedly six-seven centuries later in
date (23). The 9th-century Hittite relief of a stag hunt from Malatya
is strikingly close in iconography to the "16th-century" stele above one
of the graves at Mycenae (Fig. 2) (24).
The burials inside the two Grave Circles consisted of stone-lined
shafts. In addition to the bodies of the Mycenaean rulers, they
contained much wealth in the form of gold masks, inlaid daggers, gold
and silver cups and goblets, gold jewelry and foil, etc. Almost
immediately after the discovery of such objects from the first Grave
Circle, dating problems arose.
One of the graves produced a gold ring depicting warriors in a chariot
hunting a stag with peculiar antlers. The ring was compared to a
9th-century Hittite bas-relief depicting precisely the same subject
(25). One author judged the golden breastplates, diadems, sword
handles, sword belts, and patterned gold discs from the graves to be
products of the Geometric Age (26). When this observation was made, the
chronological sequence for Greece, which places the Geometric Age some
500 years after the Shaft Grave Period, had not yet been established.
The same author described animal depictions on the gold objects as
"identical" in style to 7th-6th-century examples (27). Other late
19th-century authors noted similarities between still more Shaft Grave
artifacts and those of the 7th-6th centuries B.C. (28)
One author was so struck by the resemblance of some of the artifacts
from the Grave Circle to "later" material, that he proclaimed that, "if
we are not to throw aside all that we have learnt of the development of
early Greek art" (29), at least some of the objects must be assigned to
"the ninth century or later" (30). He proposed, therefore, that graves
of the time of the early 18th Egyptian dynasty were opened after ca. 500
years, and, instead of their being looted or re-used, later material was
deposited. This theory is universally rejected (31). The graves and
their contents from the first Grave Circle only span about a century.
If it was the 16th century, however (32), their resemblance to later
graves and objects seems all the more remarkable, since hundreds of
years were to elapse before similar graves and objects "re-appeared."
It is true that the opinions about the grave contents listed above were
written 70 years and more ago by men who knew of no Dark Age following
the Mycenaean period, separating it by a "gap of emptiness"(33) from the
later objects which they considered to be similar or identical and
sometimes contemporaneous. Their observations are nevertheless still
valid today. What they had "learnt of the development of early Greek
art" (34) had to be unlearned and relearned. Do the Shaft Grave
artifacts still trouble modern scholars?
Recently an expert on Greek pins examined some specimens from one of
these graves. Two of them "look like forerunners of the sub-Mycenaean
pintype. This must be coincidence: they are separated by an interval of
400 years, and this cannot be bridged" (35).
Leaving behind the Grave Circle and the 500-year problems of its
northern "prototypes," its stelae, and contents, the first house we
reach (Fig. 1:F) within the fortification walls is that named for the
large, decorative mixing bowl found within it. Schliemann discovered
this bowl about 100 years ago, and, because of its friezes of armed men,
it has been dubbed "the Warrior Vase." This is probably the best-known
piece of Late Helladic pottery (Fig. 3).
For quite some time after its discovery, it was dated to the 7th century
B.C. Its peculiar bull's-head handles were regarded as being definitely
derived from those found on 8th-century vases (36). The friezes of
soldiers around the vase were unhesitatingly attributed to the
Proto-attic period (i.e., early 7th century B.C.) on the basis of style,
and were, in fact, even compared to the work of a known 7th-century
artist (37). Other technical and stylistic features were then
considered to indicate a date between 700-650 B.C. for the vase
That same vase is now firmly dated by the Egypto-Mycenaean scheme to ca.
1200 B.C. (39), leaving the problems of the peculiar handles and of the
figural style. In general there is quite a puzzle today regarding the
relationship of Mycenaean figural-style pottery and the return to this
style after several centuries, especially since there seems to have been
"the darkness of taboo on figured representation" for a few of those
intervening centuries (40).
Figure 2. HITTITE STAG HUNT CARVING (ABOVE), AND MYCENAEAN STELE WITH
SAME MOTIF. (Hittite carving from M Vieyra, Hittite Art, 2300-750 B.C.,
Alec Tiranti, London, 1955
Recently one scholar was quite impressed by the resemblance of figures
on 7th-century pottery to those on the Warrior Vase, which, he conceded,
must be "more than five hundred years older." He speaks of "an obvious
link" to connect the two sets of pottery (41).
If, however, 500 years really do separate the Warrior Vase from
7th-century ware, and nothing similar exists to fill the gap, there is,
as everyone admits, an "obvious" similarity, but there can be no "link,"
obvious or otherwise.
"One might almost say that the decorators of Protoattic pottery took up
the animal [and human] designs where their predecessors of late
Mycenaean times had left off. The similarity is very striking"
With 500 years separating the two periods it is "very striking" indeed
Another building within Mycenae's citadel walls has been recently
recognized as a Late Helladic shrine (Fig. 1:K) (44). A number of
curious and interesting cult objects have come to light. Among these
were quite a few idols, with their lower bodies "made on the wheel, like
pottery" (45) in a typical Mycenaean process
(46). They are assigned
dates from the 14th century till sometime just prior to ca. 1220 B.C.
(47). There is then apparently a break in the Peloponnese between 1200
and ca. 700 B.C. when "wheel made work in the old technique" suddenly
makes a "strange revival" (48). One of the "13th-century" idols within
the shrine had a "curious" trait (49). The lips were molded to form an
archaic smile (50), a feature typical of 7th-6th-century statues and
figurines. Between ca. 1200 and the 7th century B.C. no evidence for
this feature can be found.
From the shrine we will travel to the palace of Mycenae (Fig. 1: L). It
is indeed unfortunate that a tremendous amount of information is lost to
us due to severe erosion and the less sophisticated archaeological
techniques of the early excavators. Fragments of 7th-century stone
sculpture were found in the main court of the palace, and I, for one,
would like to know their stratigraphical relation to the 13th-century
palace. It is agreed that a 6th (perhaps 7th)-century temple stood
here, and again, I would like to know its exact location and how it
relates to the 13th-century finds. When we examine Tiryns' palace and
temple, my special concern for these matters will become obvious
Two final objects found within the citadel of Mycenae, but whose exact
location are unrecorded and thus unknown, will concern us. They are a
fragmentary figurine and a bronze tripod.
The figurine fragment (assumed to represent someone making bread), as
well as a similar example from the site of Tiryns, were considered to
belong to the 13th or 12th century, despite the fact that several
7th-6th-century examples of this type exist with none in between. When
a third figurine of unknown provenance but Late Helladic in style was
published, the three should have formed a tight little "Mycenaean" group
separate from the "later" group. Instead Carl Blegen, the publisher of
the third figurine, redated the other two to the 7th-6th centuries,
placing them half a millennium later than had been assumed, but
connecting them with the later examples. His example was definitely
Late Helladic III in style and thus could not be moved. It is now the
sole Mycenaean "antecedent" of the later group and is "separated from
them by a long interval" of 500-600 years during which similar figurines
do not exist (52).
A bronze tripod cauldron from the Mycenaean citadel, dated most probably
to the 13th or 12th century B.C., has a "particularly important" shape.
Its "close resemblance" to bronze tripods of ca. 750 B.C. is difficult
to explain (53). Noting this close resemblance in shape, some
archaeologists believed that there must have been a continuous
production of these metal tripods between the two ages (54). Rather
than vindicating this view, however, more recent excavations reveal that
between the Mycenaean Age and the late 8th century, continuous
manufacture of metal tripods of this, or, in fact, any shape did not
take place (55).
We have seen a number of chronological problems within the-
fortification walls of Mycenae. The problems outside the walls, but
still at the site of Mycenae, will concern us now.
We travel first to a series of three houses not very far west of the
fortifications (56). These were built and destroyed during the LH IIIB
period (i.e., the 13th century according to the accepted chronology)
Uncovered within the debris of these houses were a number of tablets
inscribed in Greek "by no, less than six hands" in the Late Helladic
syllabary known as Linear B. These, along with more examples from
Mycenae and other Late Helladic sites, convinced A. J. B. Wace, the
excavator, that, during the Late Bronze Age, literacy was fairly
widespread among the Greeks. "It is hard to believe that when the
Mycenaeans had reached so comparatively high a standard of literacy they
should have ceased entirely to read and write after the end of the
Bronze Age and before the adoption of the Phoenician alphabet"
"It is incredible that a people as intelligent as the Greeks should have
forgotten how to read and write once they had learned how to do so"
(59). As incredible as it was for this renowned archaeologist to
accept, "the iron fact remains that Greeks could not write between the
thirteenth century B.C. and the latter part of the eighth"
attempts to fill this gap have met with failure (61).
In addition to the Linear B inscriptions, two of these houses contained
ivory carvings, depicting, among other things, architectural columns,
some fluted as were those of the archaic and classical periods. Wace
thus spoke of the "long ancestry" of the fluted columns which first
appear in the 7th century B.C. and flourished in the classical period
(62). Not just the fluting was similar. So were the capitals.
These "13th-century" ivories "show capitals that vary from the simple
prototype of the Doric echinus to the elaborate and sophisticated form
of the sixth century Archaic capital from a Treasury at Delphi which
indeed is foreshadowed in the Mycenaean ivory models" (63). Since five
to seven centuries must separate the ivory models from the 7th-6th
century capitals and columns, and during those centuries there is no
evidence for monumental architecture or columns or capitals, this "long
ancestry" and foreshadowing of simple as well as "elaborate and
sophisticated" forms is quite incredible. This will become even more
Leaving behind this row of houses with the problems they present us on
literacy and architectural types, we shall look at another ivory carving
of a column, this one from a Late Bronze Age tomb at Mycenae. This
column was also fluted and "even has an almost perfect representation of
a Proto-Ionic capital carved in relief" (64). How is one to explain
this "almost perfect representation" of a capital which came into
existence not in the 13th or 12th century but in the early 6th
We next come to the so-called "Treasury of Atreus," a tremendous tomb
constructed of stone with a conical roof resembling a bee-hive. The
tomb is now assigned to the 14th or 13th century B.C. (66). In
antiquity this sepulcher had an elaborate facade consisting of engaged
half-columns surmounted by ornamental frieze work (Fig. 4) (67). The
frieze work will be discussed in conjunction with triglyphs and metopes
in the section on Tiryns. Here again we are concerned with the columns
and capitals, for the latter "closely resemble" Doric column capitals
from Italy of archaic date (i.e., 7th century B.C.) (68). In fact, "it
is difficult to doubt that there is a real connexion between these
columns and those of early Doric" architecture (69). What is this "real
connection"? A gap of centuries is placed between the carving of the
columns of the Atreus Treasury and the first Doric examples. It has
even been stated that ca. 700 B.C. "Doric architecture seems to have
arisen suddenly in Greece" (70), as if it were invented at that time
without roots in the by-gone Mycenaean Age.
Regarding the Doric column specifically, "it is incredible" that this
"new and exotic form should have spread so fast, with no essential
variation, through the whole of the western Greek world"
(71). Are we
to believe that a new invention, arising full-blown, spread that fast?
Is it any easier to believe that one day ca. 700 B.C. someone saw the
columns of the Treasury of Atreus (72), decided that that was the way
columns ought to look, and quickly convinced the rest of the western
Greek world to reproduce models which had been extinct for 500-600
In addition to column capitals similar to, yet centuries later than,
those of the tomb's facade, Italy and Sicily have produced a number of
their own "beehive" tombs. Since these are architecturally similar to
the Treasury of Atreus, they were initially judged to be of the same
antiquity as the Mycenaean tomb (73). Today, however, thanks to
Egyptian chronology, the Treasury of Atreus is assigned to the 14th or
13th century B.C., while the Sicilian and Italian tombs only go back to
the 8th-7th centuries B.C. at the earliest. This chronological gap of
500-700 years is quite embarrassing for a number of modem scholars who
view the latter tombs as derived and copied from the Mycenaean ones
By redating the Treasury of Atreus to the 9th or 8th century B.C., we
can better appreciate its distinct differences from canonical Doric
architecture of the 7th century; and, at the same time, its obvious
affinities to the Doric order and to the 8th-7th-century tombs to the
West cease to be perplexing.
Certain other Late Helladic tombs in the vicinity of Mycenae contained
objects which undeniably date to the 8th-7th centuries. These are now
interpreted as offerings of an otherwise unknown cult of the dead, which
arose suddenly in the 8th century. Adherents to the cult decided to
break into 13th-century tombs not to re-use or plunder them but to leave
artifacts (75). Since many tombs had collapsed in antiquity, that
explanation might work, were the custom not so widespread over Greece
(76). In some cases the archaeologists could not find obvious physical
signs that these "13th century" tombs had been re-opened prior to their
own excavations. Inside, however, objects were discovered which somehow
must have entered 500-600 years after the graves were sealed.
At Mycenae itself we will look at one case of this "cult." It is almost
a law in archaeology that, unless there is an obvious source of
contamination, the latest item in a sealed context provides the earliest
possible date for the deposition of all the objects. The Mycenaeans dug
out, used, and blocked up Chamber Tomb 527 at Mycenae in the LH III
period (i.e., the 14th-13th centuries B.C.). Among the shards blocking
up the tomb was one of Geometric date (i.e., 9th-8th century B.C.). No
explanation for its presence in a sealed deposit was given. Its
discovery was so disturbing that it was mentioned in the report as an
anomaly on three separate occasions (77). True, it is only one sherd,
but how did it get into a 500-year-older, closed context (78)?
The people of Mycenae dedicated a shrine to King Agamemnon, ruler of
Mycenae and supreme commander of the Greek forces at Troy. While the
Trojan War is now assigned to the 13th century B.C., the shrine only
goes back to ca. 700 B.C. Near Sparta a similar shrine to its king and
queen, Agamemnon's brother Menelaus and his wife, Helen, is of the same
date (79). Did the Greeks wait until the 500th anniversary of the
Trojan War to honor their leaders?
Why were 8th-7th-century objects placed in 13th-century tombs? Why were
13th-century rulers honored only ca. 700 B.C.? The explanation that it
was not until then that Homer composed his extremely popular epic works
about Trojan War heroes (80) overlooks the fact that most ancient
sources believed that Homer lived at, or very shortly after, the time of
Agamemnon, Menelaus, the Greek heroes, and the sack of Troy (81 ).
At Mycenae, both within and beyond the citadel was, we have seen a
number of chronological riddles involving archaeology, stratigraphy, and
art history. The city gate, the stratigraphical section near the gate,
the source of the Grave Circles, the tombstones above and the contents
within the royal Shaft Graves, the Warrior Vase in particular and Late
Helladic figural pottery in general, the idols, the figurines, the
tripod, the palace, the row of houses with their Linear B inscriptions
and the question of literacy, models of columns in ivory, actual columns
of a tomb facade, "bee-hive" tombs, old graves with new contents, and
the shrine of Agamemnon were briefly examined and 500-700-year mysteries
were repeatedly encountered. If, as seems to be the case, much good and
no real harm will come of reducing Mycenae's dates by 500-700 years, why
is this not done? The answer is quite simple.
Within the buildings and tombs of Mycenae, archaeologists have
discovered a number of 18th Dynasty Egyptian objects, among which are
some bearing the cartouches of Pharaohs Amenhotep II and Amenhotep III
and his wife, Queen Tiy (82). Some early scholars, convinced that the
"Mycenaean" Age belonged 500-700 years later than it is now placed,
tried to discredit these Egyptian imports as heirlooms (83). Surely the
Mycenaeans did not obtain so many 500 year-old relics to the exclusion
of items produced in their own time, however.
While stone scarabs might conceivably be kept as prized antiques, masses
of fragile pottery would not. The distinctive type of pottery found in
great abundance in "Late Helladic" Mycenae is also found throughout
Greece, the Aegean, and the Near East together with still more 18th and
19th Dynasty artifacts. Such pottery turns up even in Egypt itself in
well-dated 18th Dynasty contexts, and was discovered in some quantity in
Pharaoh Akhnaton's short-lived capital at Tell-el-Amarna.
In addition to this evidence of direct imports and exports, there are
quite a few cases of artistic borrowings (e.g., the inlaid daggers from
Grave Circle A at Mycenae imitate inlaid Egyptian weapons of the very
early 18th Dynasty).
Clearly, then, the Age of Mycenae is contemporaneous with the Egyptian
New Kingdom. Whatever absolute dates are assigned to the one must apply
to the other. Unless and until Egyptian chronology is shortened, which
is the goal of Velikovsky's revision, many 500-700 year problems will
Traveling only a short distance southeast of Mycenae we arrive at
another Late Helladic center, Tiryns.
Legend connected the Bronze Age hero Herakles with the site, while its
fortifications, constructed of tremendous stones, were attributed to the
mythical giants, the one-eyed Cyclopes. Tiryns, under the leadership of
Odysseus' friend Diomedes, sent a contingent of men and ships to help
regain Helen from the Trojans.
Excavation of the site began in 1884, when Schliemann, the first to
excavate at Mycenae, turned his attention to Tiryns. The German
Archaeological Institute in a number of prolonged campaigns has laid
bare much more of the site and continues the work even today. This is
the second Late Helladic site whose palace "could not have been
constructed in the eighth century," and the fire that gutted it "cannot
be associated with catastrophes of the eighth seventh centuries B.C.,"
according to Stiebing (84).
Before reaching Tiryns' palace, one must first pass through two
monumental gate structures (propylaea) (Fig. 5: 11 and 12), built in the
Late Helladic period. They, along with the entire (?) citadel, were
destroyed in a violent conflagration dated ca. 1200 B.C. For centuries
thereafter there is no evidence for monumental architecture in Greece,
and monumental propylaea were not to re-appear until the archaic
period. When propylaea do "return," however, at the Aphaia temple on
the island of Aegina and on the Athenian acropolis, they are said to
copy the plan of the Tiryns gates. Some scholars are quite struck by
the re-emergence of a model extinct for 700 years (85). How could the
later Greeks have discerned the plan of the Tiryns gates if they had
been buried beneath rubble for those 700 years, in fact, until
After passing through the second propylon at Tiryns, then crossing a
courtyard (Fig. 5: 13), one reaches the palace (Fig. 5: 14). "Along one
side of the porch of the large megaron [the throne room and perhaps cult
center of the palace] at Tiryns was found a curious series of seven
interlocking blocks of alabaster ... inlaid with blue glass paste"
forming "two elongated half-rosettes with inner patterns." The blocks'
"resemblance to Doric triglyphs and metopes is very striking" (86). The
bench formed by these blocks is "strikingly close to the triglyph and
metope pattern of the later Doric order of architecture" (87).
One source sees the Doric triglyph altars as "a direct descendant" of
this ritual stone bench at Tiryns (88), while another author has the
entire Doric order, including triglyph and metope friezes, "invented"
"in about the middle of the seventh century" B.C. (89).
If the Doric altars are "a direct descendant," "how is it that we have
no trace of the motif during the Dark Ages?" (90). Were such
bench-altars made continuously between 1200 and 600 but only in
perishable material, or did people return to Tiryns 500-600 years after
it was destroyed, see, use, and then decide to copy the stone bench of
the palace (91)?
If there is no direct descent, no copying of an extinct model, if the
idea was invented afresh in the 7th century, how does one explain the
"very striking" similarity of 7th-century altars to a 13th-century
bench? On the other hand, how does one explain a decorative device with
no functional nature or origin (92), which, after its re-invention,
"remained without variation for over four centuries" in altars and
temple architecture? This fact, "it is argued, points to at least as
long a period of development before its appearance in stone at the end
of the seventh century" (93). Yet it is precisely the period before its
appearance in stone, some 600 years, for which "there is at present no
evidence to show that the Doric frieze was derived from this ancient
scheme" as found at Tiryns (94).
"It is not impossible that the two forms have some real historical
connection" (95). While not impossible, if 600 years really separate
the two forms, it is highly improbable. If 600 years did not transpire,
as is the premise of the revised chronology, the similarity of the
friezes is only natural and ceases to be "very striking."
It has been claimed that the Tiryns bench served as the model for
triglyph altars. For the use of the triglyph and metope scheme on
temples, a number of Bronze Age buildings and depictions of buildings
with the triglyph and rosette frieze higher up are cited as Prototypes
(96). Among these structures is the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. The
position of the triglyph scheme above the columns (Fig. 4) is
particularly notable, as this arrangement of Doric-like frieze
surmounting Doric-like columns is set centuries before the Doric order
was "invented" in the 7th century. While this might remind one somewhat
of a Doric temple facade, the chronological gap is hard to explain.
We now come to a very thorny problem at Tiryns. The upper town was
gutted by a fire dated ca. 1200 B.C. Did the palace on the citadel
miraculously escape the conflagration?
Many archaeologists have noted and been struck by the fact that the
ground plan of a Mycenaean palace (especially the throne room or
"megaton") is essentially the same as that for 8th-century and later
temples. "How, for example, are we to explain the typical plan of the
classical temple-with the two columns of the porch in line with the end
walls and with the main shrine, or naos, and its central statue
base-except as a carryover of the plan of the Mycenaean megaron?"
This could be explained very easily if there was continuity between the
buildings of the 13th century and those of the 8th or 7th, but by the
accepted scheme there is none. Immediately after the expiration of the
Mycenaean period the "new" architecture displays an "essential
discontinuity with Mycenaean architecture" (98). The change was quite
abrupt (99). Now, rather than monumental, rectilinear structures, we
find oval-shaped huts and apsidal buildings (i.e., with one end
rounded). The latter shape, however, is not new. Just as the
8th-century temple seems to be a 500-year throwback to Mycenaean
palaces, the "post Mycenaean" apsidal house seems to be a 500-year
throwback to Middle Helladic buildings (100).
When the 8th-7th-century temples were built, the 13th-century palace
plans must have been long forgotten (101), unless some Mycenaean palace
managed to survive intact until that time, or unless a ruined palace was
cleared and its ground plan was then studied and copied. It is in the
context of these two possibilities that Tiryns' palace becomes so
important for those desiring to connect 13th-century palaces with
8th-7th-century temples (102).
The palace of Tiryns has special significance for the Homericists as
well. Now that Homer is assigned to the late 8th century while the
destruction of the Mycenaean palaces is put in the late 13th, could
Homer have been influenced by Bronze Age palaces when he describes them
in his Odyssey?
Since Homer is removed by 500 years from the palaces he described,
"Mycenaean monuments ... will thus play no role" in any attempt to study
the architecture that Homer actually knew (103). So says one
Other archaeologists and Homericists disagree. They believe that Homer
must have been familiar with at least one Mycenaean palace (104). "No
better succinct description could be given of the restored palace of
Tiryns" than is found in Homer's Odyssey. "Buildings combining
these characteristics [enumerated by Homer] are known in Greece at one
period and one only, that known as Late Helladic III, and that is the
period within which the action of the Odyssey is supposed to
fall. Such a degree of coincidence can hardly be fortuitous, and it is
now generally agreed that some connection, however enigmatic, exists
between the house of Odysseus and the Late Mycenaean palace."
"The extent to which the action of the Odyssey can be adapted to
the stage of Tiryns must not, however, blind us to the extreme
difficulty of accounting for the knowledge which the poet apparently
possessed of architecture of the LH III type" (105). "How was the
knowledge of the LH III type of palace preserved?" (106).
How can the palace at Tiryns help the Homeric archaeologists with their
"extreme difficulty" of accounting for 13th-century details known so
intimately by an 8th-century poet? How does it make the connection less
"enigmatic"? How can it help the student of Greek architecture with his
equally difficult problem of bridging the 500 years between Mycenaean
Age palaces and 8th-century temples?
On the acropolis of Tiryns a large deposit of 8th-5th-century pottery
and cult objects and 7th-century architectural fragments was unearthed
(107). It was thus reasonable to assume that an 8th-or 7th-century
temple existed on the citadel. A suitable spot, in fact the only
possible spot, was chosen.
Above the megaron of the Mycenaean palace lay the walls of a somewhat
smaller and less well-built structure, identified as the Greek temple.
Since the temple seemed to have been built almost immediately after the
palace perished in flames, and the builders were familiar with the
palatial ground plan, it was decided that the palace miraculously
escaped the conflagration of 1200 B.C., and continued to stand until ca.
750 B.C. when it perished to a second fire on the citadel. Above its
ruins the temple was then erected.
It was not only difficult for the excavators to imagine that the palace
stood nearly half a millennium without alteration, but astonishing
("erstaunlich") to think that the Mycenaean elements of the palace
(architectural, artistic, and stratigraphical) remained unchanged and
visible to people 500 years later. Nevertheless, they felt compelled to
accept this view, since the temple obviously followed immediately after
the fire that razed the palace (108).
If the palace of Tiryns stood 500 years longer than the other Bronze Age
palaces, if it survived the fire of 1200 B.C. on the citadel and
remained visible to 8th-century Greeks, then the architectural and
Homeric problems are solved. The 8th-century temple builders and Homer
were familiar with a 13th-century palace.
The conclusions of the excavators were challenged by Carl Blegen. He
agreed that immediately after the palace burned down, the smaller
structure was built by men intimately familiar with the palace when it
stood (109); but there was only one fire, ca. 1200, and it destroyed the
palace with the rest of the citadel. Thus, to him, the smaller megaron-structure represents the remains of a 12th-century building, not
a 7th century temple. In support of his contention' was the vast
quantity of Mycenaean pottery around the site. He too found it
difficult and astonishing to believe that the palace survived intact an
extra 500 years, so he rejected the notion. Others also reject it as
impossible, since the wooden beams within the walls would have rotted
away long before (110). While this interpretation explains away many
500-year difficulties, it leaves the problem of the 8th-7th-century
votive deposits and 7th-century architectural fragments. If this
building, which followed immediately after the fire that destroyed the
palace, belonged to the 12th century, where was the 7th-century temple?
If the palace did not stand an extra 500 years, how can it help with the
problem of the 8th-century temples copying Mycenaean palaces and with
A third solution is to have the palace destroyed in the great fire of
1200 B.C., have the site abandoned, then rediscovered and cleared in the
8th or 7th century. Those clearing the debris would see the ground plan
of the destroyed palace, thus pleasing the Homericists and architecture
students. A temple could then be erected on that spot after a lapse of
ca. 500 years. While this view eliminates many problems and explains
much of the evidence, it neglects one very important item. Both of the
other schools of thought regarded it as a fact that the smaller
structure was built immediately after the palace burned—500 years did
not elapse between the destruction of the palace and the construction of
But these are stratigraphical problems. Perhaps the architectural form
of the later structure will settle the dispute over its date-12th
century or 7th. Here again we find a difficulty. Its ground plan, a
rectangular building with a single row of interior columns, can be found
in a few structures of the 14th- 12th centuries or in a long list of
8th-6th-century buildings. No intermediate examples seem to exist to
connect these two groups (111). To which group should we assign it?
What should one do? For the sake of helping the Homericists and
students of architecture, does one presume that the palace stood intact
an extra 500 years? Does one date the later structure to the 12th
century, overlook the 8th-5th-century finds and see no temple here at
all, thus destroying the one hope of the Homericists and architectural
historians? As a compromise, does one have a 500-year later rebuilding
on an ancient site, partially pleasing, but partially displeasing both
groups? This question has plagued Aegean scholars for over 50 years,
has never been satisfactorily answered, and as long as 500 "ghost years"
exist, it will remain "problematical" (112) and defy explanation
Even the objects from the temple cult, while of certain date, are
"problematical." Among these were terra cotta figurines and grotesque
masks of the 7th century B.C. Like so many other 7th century votive
terra cottas, they were produced on the wheel "in the old technique" the
Mycenaeans had used 500 years earlier (114). Such votives "kept
reappearing spontaneously in widely separated parts of the country
without any direct continuity that can be traced among the votive
statuettes themselves. Something much more than an archaeological zeal
on the part of the faithful needs to be invoked to explain this!" If we
reject continuity, reject imitation of extinct models, and also reject
the hypothesis that the type was preserved for centuries only in
perishables now lost to us (115), what is left for us?
At Tiryns we have run into 500-700 year problems with triglyphs, with
propylaea, with Homer and 8th-century temple plans, with the
architecture and archaeology of the palace, and with the temple votives.
The fire that destroyed the acropolis of Tiryns is of approximately the
same date as the great fire that destroyed much of Mycenae, including
its palace. If we accept the hypothesis that Tiryns' palace was
destroyed then, not 500 years later (i.e., that the palaces of Mycenae
and Tiryns burned down at about the same time), what was that time? We
have seen arguments for making it the 8th or 7th century B.C. We have
also seen problems that crop up if we refuse to bring down the date that
far. In addition to the palaces from the two sites, we have seen a
number of other structures and artifacts. Are we satisfied that these
two sites, whose absolute dates for the "Late Bronze Age" depend solely
on Egyptian chronology, have no problems or only minor problems; that,
by their undisputed contemporaneity with the Egyptian 18th Dynasty, they
are so secure that they keep the Egyptian dates firmly anchored? If so,
if their end "cannot be associated with the catastrophes of the
eighth-seventh centuries B.C." (116), then let us flatly reject Velikovsky's reconstruction. If, however, the reader gained the
impression that major chronological problems plague both sites, problems
that cease to be problems under the revised chronology, let us travel
across the Aegean Sea, and, like the "13th-century" kings of Mycenae,
Pylos, and Tiryns, we will arrive at Troy.
The Trojan War was probably the single most significant event of the
Mycenaean Age. The tale, immortalized in Homer's epics, is familiar to
us moderns even millennia later. For the sake of the beautiful Helen,
and to avenge her husband's indignation at her kidnaping, the Late
Bronze Age Greeks mounted a massive campaign. Approximately 1200 troop
carrying vessels (117) were launched, and a war raged around the
besieged city of Troy for 10 years (Fig. 6), until the stratagem of the
wooden horse gave the Greeks access to the citadel. Once inside the
city, they utterly destroyed it, slaughtering many inhabitants and
enslaving all survivors who did not flee. This, at least, is the
mythical account. When was that war fought?
The canonical Greek calculation was 1193/2-1184/3 B.C. This number was
arrived at by the 3rd-century B.C. chronographer, Eratosthenes of
Alexandria, who apparently relied on the calculations of Ctesias and on
Manetho's Egyptian king-lists. Ctesias, a late 5th-century author, is
today viewed as "an amusing liar" (118) and "an ancient red herring"
(119). Manetho's lists are the basis for modern calculations for
Egyptian chronology. They are convincingly challenged by Velikovsky
The archaeologists also have a date for that war, ranging sometime
between ca. 1260 and 1200 B.C. (121). This date is assigned to a
conflagration layer (stratum VIIA) at the site of Hisarlik in
Northwestern Turkey, which, in the excavator's opinion, marks the Greek
destruction of Troy. The date depends on the time of the Mycenaean
pottery found in this layer. That in turn is based solely on Egyptian
chronology (122). Thus, if the Egyptian scheme is off, both the Greek
calculations and the archaeological date must be changed.
It is a simple task to show that the Greek calculations are of no worth
and that the Greeks themselves made the Trojan War contemporaneous with
many events that we now know to be of the 8th century B.C. Elsewhere I
will show this in some detail. Only the archaeological problems will
here concern us.
It is conceded that no artistic representations of any event connected
with the Trojan War appear before the 8th century B.C. (123). We have
already seen that cults to the Greek leaders of that war do not seem to
have sprung up until then. Homer is invoked to explain both these and
many other phenomena, but Homer was almost universally regarded by the
ancients as composing his epics very shortly after Troy's fall
Since Stiebing doubts that Velikovsky can bring down the date of the
Trojan War (125), we shall examine the archaeological findings from Hisarlik to see why they were assigned an early date, and whether the
stratigraphy and other archaeological considerations support a
13th-century date for the great war. The Homeric problem and mythical
matters relating to the war await discussion until another time.
Just as at Mycenae and Tiryns, the first large-scale excavation of the
site was undertaken by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870's-1890. His
collaborator, Wilhelm Dörpfeld, continued the work after Schliemann's
death in 1890. From 1932-1938, yearly excavation of the site was
undertaken by an expedition from the University of Cincinnati. Their
findings, published in final form in the 1950's, provide the principal
scientific data about the site.
Nine major habitation levels, ranging from the Early Bronze Age (stratum
I) to Roman times (stratum IX) were distinguished, of which only levels
VI-VIII will concern us.
As was pointed out in my earlier paper, the 8th-century Phrygians, who,
according to Homer, were allies of Troy during its siege, copied the
architectural style of the fortifications of Troy VI when they built
their great gate at Gordion. Since the end of Troy VI is put at ca.
1300 B.C., its walls must have been buried by 500 years of debris,
making them invisible in the 8th century. The excavator of Gordion,
faced with this 500-year problem and no intermediate examples, still saw
close similarities and was hard pressed to explain them (126). A house
of Troy VI, destroyed in the great earthquake that leveled the site,
assigned to ca. 1300 B.C., is of the same type as buildings beginning in
the 8th century B.C. after a supposed break of centuries during which no
similar houses are known (127). The end of the sixth layer of Troy is
dated by the presence of Mycenaean pottery, which, in turn, receives its
place in time from Egyptian chronology.
Between the 7th and 8th strata of Hisarlik, it is said that 400 years
transpired, during which the site was "a ghost-town in the gloom of the
Dark Ages of the ancient world...... There is nothing at Troy to fill
this huge lacuna. For 2000 years men had left traces of their living
there; some chapters in the story were brief and obscure, but there was
never yet a chapter left wholly blank. Now at last there is silence,
profound and prolonged for 400 years; we are asked, surely not in vain,
to believe that Troy lay 'virtually unoccupied' for this long period of
Why are we asked to believe this? The eighth settlement began ca. 700
B.C. The seventh, however, contained Mycenaean pottery, which, of
necessity, should be centuries earlier. At a tell such as
Hisarlik one would expect a layer of wash and/or humus to mark this
400-year abandonment (129). There is none. Recalling the legend of
Troy, we would hardly object to an abandonment after the Greek sack of
that city; it would be only natural, and is, in fact, attested in
ancient sources (130). But the settlement said to mark the Trojan War
is VIIa, and we are here dealing with the second sub-stratum above this,
Why should people who tenaciously remained on the site for 2000 years,
despite fires, earthquakes and all-out war, abandon the town now? Was
there another sack of the city, this time more devastating than the
earlier destruction by the Greeks, yet, unlike its predecessor, lost
forever to human memory (132)?
Let us examine this 400-year gap in some detail. Was the end of
settlement VIIb2 marked by a destruction layer so intense that
abandonment could be rationalized? Reading the official publication of
the most recent excavation, we find that it was not known what caused
the end of stratum VIIb2 (133).
If there is no sterile layer marking the desertion and no obvious cause
for such action, we are certainly justified in asking if the site really
was abandoned. If level VIII immediately overlay level VII, why could
it not have begun immediately after the end of VII? The answer is that
Troy VIII began in the early 7th century B.C. while Troy VI and VII
contained Mycenaean pottery. Between VII and VIII "some four centuries
must have elapsed" (emphasis added) (134).
If, by redating Egyptian chronology, we reduce the age of Mycenaean
pottery by centuries, could Troy VIII have followed immediately after
Troy VII without any gap?
Surprisingly, perhaps, for those accepting the old chronology, such a
revision fits the circumstances of the two layers. In 1893 Dörpfeld,
the great German excavator of Troy, more interested in stratigraphy and
architecture than in pottery, treated Troy VII and VIII as a single
unit, and, in some cases, could not differentiate between the two phases
(135). With the results of over 20 years of excavations before him and
an additional 8 years to reflect on matters, he still had Troy VIII
follow immediately after Troy VII, and, at times, noted the presence in
Troy VII of the 7th-century pottery characteristic of Troy VIII
Dörpfeld assigned the task of analyzing the pottery from all levels of
the site to Hubert Schmidt. Schmidt noted obvious Greek wares in level
VIII, marking a Greek colonization, while the material from layer VII
seemed to represent a different culture. He nevertheless placed VIII
immediately after VII. Noting Mycenaean imports in Troy VII, he still
put this layer at ca. 1000-700 B.C., rather than 500 years earlier
These were early excavators and could be forgiven for their opinions as
they did not know any better. Egyptian chronology had not yet
established firm absolute dates for Mycenaean pottery (138). What did
the modern excavators find?
After completing seven seasons of excavation at Troy, Carl Blegen, the
chief archaeologist of the Cincinnati expedition of the 1930's, saw no
break between layers VII and VIII (139). After several more years had
elapsed, allowing additional time to reflect on the dig, to study the
pottery more carefully, and especially after Mycenaean pottery dates
became more firmly entrenched (140), it was realized that a gap of
centuries should exist between the two layers. Nevertheless, even in
their official publication, the excavators were so impressed by certain
facts relating to the mound itself that they left open the possibility
that there was no gap (141). By the accepted chronology there had to be
a lacuna, as they acknowledged, but they hesitated on this point. Their
reasons are interesting.
The new excavations showed that the locally-made pottery of Troy VIII
was "obviously akin" to that of Troy VII (142). The local grey ware
pots of Troy VII (i.e., of the Mycenaean Age) were looked upon as the
"direct ancestors" of the local ware not only of Troy VIII but also of
7th-6th-century Northwestern Turkey and the off-shore island of Lesbos
as well (143). With a 400-year gap in the evidence, how can one connect
this widespread 7th-6th-century ware with that of the Mycenaean Age?
At the very time that there was supposed to be a 400-year abandonment of
Hisarlik, one house seemed to show continuity between the end of layer
VII and the time of VIII, as if no one had left and only a few years had
In several deposits of Troy VIII there were sherds from Troy VII
There was finally, however, a more serious problem. Although the
excavators were meticulous in their method of digging stratified layers
and labelling and recording all finds and their provenience (146), in
sub-strata of Troy VII that seemed to be undisturbed, sherds were found
of the imported Greek pottery of the early 7th century (147). "The only
explanation we can find is to suppose that, in spite of our efforts to
isolate and certify the deposits we examined, contamination had somehow
been effected and brought about the intrusion of the later wares into
strata of Troy VIIb" (148). The discovery of these 7th-century sherds
"in several areas in the strata of Troy VIIbl" stratified below layer
VIIb2, which is supposed to represent the 12th century, "presents a
perplexing and still unexplained problem" (149).
After all the digging by Schliemann, Dörpfeld, and Blegen at Hisarlik,
only one sherd has turned up which could conceivably fall within the
400-year gap postulated for the site. Stratigraphically, however, it
was not found where it should have been. A rim fragment from a "Proto
geometric" cup was found "with sherds of Phase VIIbl, but probably out
of context." The reason it was probably out of context is that it was
covered over by "two successive buildings of Phase VIIb2"
(150) which of
necessity belong to the 12th century B.C. The sherd beneath those
two buildings is seen as part of a body of material found from Palestine
to Macedonia (151) which, beginning perhaps ca. 900 B.C., was in vogue
until the 8th or 7th century B.C. (152). It is stratigraphically
impossible to have a 7th, 8th, or even 9th-century B.C. item below the
floor of a 12th-century B.C. building, unless contamination occurred.
"There was apparently no contamination from disturbance or later
intrusions," however (153).
In time these "perplexing and still unexplained" problems were brushed
aside, and reservations about a 400-year gap were abandoned, because, by
the accepted chronology, that gap had to exist. All the work of the
excavators, their failure to detect any physical sign of abandonment,
their belief that Troy VII ended immediately before Troy VIII began
(i.e., sometime around 700 B.C.), their detection of continuity of
culture, their discovery of a house that seemed to span the ghost years,
their finds of "12th-century" pottery just beneath or mixed in with
7th-century strata, their finds of 7th-century pottery in and sometimes
under "12th-century" layers which seemed undisturbed (a situation
quite similar to but more disturbing than what we saw for the stratified
section just inside Mycenae's Lion Gate), the opinions they held, the
problems that upset them all became secondary to making the evidence fit
the accepted chronology. Archaeological facts were forced to fit a
Then a new theory was needed. If there was indeed a 400-year gap,
something must have caused it. The cause for the end of layer VIIb2 was
unknown when no gap was seen (154), but when the gap became necessary,
it was decided that Troy VIIb2 must have perished by fire and sword more
terrible in their effect than the Trojan War which ended Troy VIIA
(155). Why else would people too stubborn to leave despite 2000 years
of great hardships abandon their site now?
Only revision of the Egypto-Mycenaean dates can explain the "still
unexplained" problems at Hisarlik. Only then do they cease to be
UGARIT AND ALALAKH
We now leave Asia Minor's northwest coast and travel to the area where
its south coast meets northern Syria. Here we find Ugarit and Alalakh,
two ancient city-states cited by Stiebing in his criticism of the
revised chronology (156).
In the published volume of Ages in Chaos, Velikovsky has
already made a strong case for challenging Ugarit's conventional dates
(157). He points out many 500-year problems in the literary texts
uncovered at the site, and shows the difficulty relating to vaulted
Cypriote tombs constructed in the style of those from Ugarit but set 500
years later. Stiebing seems to ignore this section of Ages in Chaos
when he informs us that "the destruction of Ugarit cannot be
associated with catastrophes of the eighth-seventh centuries B.C."
(158). For those who have not read or were not already convinced by the
material presented by Velikovsky for Ras Shamra-Ugarit, perhaps a couple
of additional problems will suffice.
Let us again look at the vaulted tombs of Cyprus. Velikovsky has
already mentioned some of these, especially the 7th century example from
Trachonas. The island of Cyprus has an "astonishing" number of these
tombs (159) which divide neatly into two series: those assigned to
1550-1200 B.C., and those beginning in 950 B.C. and continuing for some
time (160). The first group of vaulted tombs (at Enkomi) corresponds
closely in date and style to the Ugaritic tombs, and the type is thought
to have come from Syria to Cyprus (161). The second group of Cypriote
tombs corresponds to both the Ugaritic and earlier Cypriote examples,
but a 250-year gap separates the inception of the second group from the
end of the Bronze Age tombs. More important than the 250-year period
when no tombs were built in Syria or Cyprus to connect the later tombs
to the earlier ones, is the fact that the earliest tombs of each group
(i.e., those of 1550 and 950 B.C.), separated by 600 years, are most
The Cypriote vaulted tombs from 950-600 B.C. seem to undergo the same
development as the Enkomi and Ugaritic tombs with 600 years separating
the corresponding phases. It has been postulated that the later tombs
somehow copied the earlier Cypriote or Syrian ones, but the tombs
presumably copied must have been buried and invisible for some 600 years
Similar tombs are found in Jerusalem, Asia Minor, and Urartu of the
9th-7th centuries, and again it is thought that they originated in
9th-7th-century Syro-Phoenicia (164). But the only tombs of this type
in that region, notably the ones from Ugarit, are placed centuries
Leaving behind the regions bordering Syro-Phoenicia, we shall travel
briefly to an actual Punic colony. In the 9th or 8th century B.C.
(165), a group of Phoenicians sailed to North Africa and founded
Carthage. One of the oldest archaeological discoveries from the site is
a late 8th-century B.C. built tomb "closely related" to the Ugaritic
tombs in architectural plan (166). It is a "faithful miniature
rendering" of the Syrian tombs both in design and, apparently, in
arrangements for religious rites (167). It would hardly be surprising
for 8th-century Phoenician colonists to bring over a current tomb
type and burial customs from their motherland. The only similar tomb
type and burial customs that their motherland can produce, however, are
put 500 years earlier. By the accepted scheme, the colonists' ancestors
would have been very familiar with these matters, but by the 8th century
B.C., the Ugaritic tombs must have been buried over, invisible, and
How did these tombs of Ugarit serve as models for Cypriots, Israelites,
Urartians, Anatolian peoples, and Phoenician colonists, if
contemporaneity is denied, and they went out of use and were thus
forgotten 500-600 years earlier?
The final items we will examine from Ugarit are a gold bowl and a gold
plate, both beautifully decorated. Stratigraphically, they belong
shortly before the destruction of the city during the Amarna period, and
are thus assigned a date somewhere between 1450-1365 B.C., (169).
Stylistically, as well, they belong to the Mitannian-Amarna period and
show scenes reminiscent of late 18th Dynasty Egypt, notably the time of
King Tutankhamon (170). Both stratigraphically and stylistically, then,
a late 18th Dynasty date is necessitated. Since Velikovsky lowers that
date by over 500 years, how are the gold bowls affected?
These two pieces are called "remarkable antecedents of the use of the
frieze of animals on metal bowls" of Phoenician workmanship, firmly
dated to the 9th-7th centuries B.C. (171). What is more "remarkable"
than the Ugaritic examples' manufacture and burial over 500 years before
the "later" series began, is the subject matter of the two items.
Extraordinary conservatism was attributed to the Phoenicians, since the
later group faithfully reproduced similar scenes and arrangement of the
decoration (172), after a lapse of 500 years.
The chariot scene on the 14th-century gold plate is compared to similar
scenes of the 9th-century Neo-Hittites and of the Assyrian King
Assurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) (173). The elongated gallop of the
horse is seen to be quite similar to depictions on Assyrian reliefs, but
Assyrian influence "is chronologically impossible, all the Assyrian
monuments presently known where horses are depicted at gallop being
about half a millennium later than our plate" (174).
The gold bowl (Fig. 7) with its combination of Aegean, Egyptian,
Mesopotamian, and Levantine motifs is "an excellent example of
Phoenician syncretism, half a millennium before Phoenicians in the
proper sense are known"(175).
Surely, it was thought, these golden objects, remarkably foreshadowing
by 500 years similar metal bowls and similar scenes, "may be claimed as
ancestors of the series of 'Phoenician' bowls of the ninth-seventh
centuries B.C." (176). How can they be ancestors if they were buried
and unseen for 500 years before the later series began, and the art was
lost over those 500 years?
If metal bowls reproduced similar scenes in similar arrangements for
500 years, that would indeed be "extraordinary conservatism." That
9th-7th-century Phoenicians should imitate so closely 14th-century bowls
they never saw, after a 500-year gap, is merely "extraordinary."
When their date is reduced by half a millennium, these bowls fit
beautifully into the later series. If one keeps high dates for the
Mitannians and the 18th Egyptian Dynasty, then this is yet another
mystery to add to our list.
Traveling a bit farther inland and to the north, one reaches Tell
Atchana, the ancient Alalakh, another site employed by Stiebing in
challenging the revised chronology. The uppermost levels VI-I of the
site, the ones of most concern to us, depend solely on Egyptian
chronology, and the dates for imported Late Cypriote and Mycenaean
pottery, Hittite New Empire and Mitannian material (177). The four
latter sets of material owe their dates solely to Egyptian chronology,
and maintain them by floating on mysterious Dark Ages, which are
archaeologically empty, or, at best, very obscure. It is thus an easy
matter to find some 500-600-year puzzles of the type met over and over
again in this paper. For the sake of brevity we will treat here only
During part of the period of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty, Alalakh was
ruled by King Niqmepa. His royal palace is thus assigned to the
15th-14th centuries B.C. Only a short distance north of Alalakh lies
the site of Zinjirli with its 8th-century palace.
According to H. Frankfort there are no monuments, in fact, no works of
art to fill the gap between ca. 1200 and 850 B.C. in this part of the
ancient Levant. He was nevertheless struck by the resemblances of the
8th-century palace of Zinjirli to the 14th-century palace of Alalakh
(178). How was the tradition of monumental architecture kept alive for
600 years, if the Niqmepa palace was covered over and invisible by the
14th century, and if there is absolutely no continuity in this or any of
the other arts between the two periods (179)?
Many large fragments of sculpted stone lions were also unearthed at
Alalakh. These were found re-used in the last phase of the "temple"
(180), but presumably guarded the doors to this structure at an earlier
date. According to the excavator (181), these lions have great
"importance as monuments for the history of art. In the 'Syro-Hittite'
period gateway lions of this sort are so regular a convention as to be
almost the hall-mark of North Syrian art." Such lions are normally
assigned to the 9th-7th centuries B.C. (182), but because Egyptian
chronology provides the absolute dates for Alalakh, "now for the first
time we have a series of lion sculptures which cannot be later than the
fourteenth century B.C."
Should we view the Alalakh lions as "early forerunners of the whole
series of Syro-Hittite lions" (183)? Were they also the model for the
guardian lions of Assyrian palaces, "anticipating [both sets] by five
hundred years" (184)? Could they have provided the inspiration for the
If, by the 9th century B.C., the Alalakh lions were completely buried
over by debris and long forgotten (185), and no similar lions exist to
span the Dark Age in this region, "how can we explain why the system of
flanking gates with large, guardian figures and stone reliefs in the
ninth-century Assyrian palaces resembles so much that employed"
here at Alalakh and other contemporary centers some 400-500 years
earlier? Alalakh and Ugarit, rather than providing a firm base upon
which the traditional chronology can rest and from which the revised
scheme can be attacked, offer major problems of their own for the old
scheme but confirmations for the new.
In this paper the reader has traveled to five ancient cities to study
some of the buildings and artifacts that modern excavators have
unearthed. These five places were referred to as stumbling blocks for
the revised chronology. We were told that they could not come down by
centuries in time, thus the revised chronology, a nice enough theory,
was disproved by archaeological facts. What did we see?
At Mycenae, Tiryns, Troy, Ugarit, and Alalakh, we found numerous
500-700-year problems for the excavators and for those trying to trace
the development of artistic and architectural types. We have examined
palaces, temples, tombs, pots, pins, carved slabs, bowls, figurines,
etc. We have come across stratigraphical sections that do not conform
to the expected and accepted sequence of events. Everywhere we went we
found unanswered questions, perplexing problems, and always these
involved 500-700 years.
In this article only five places were visited, and these but briefly.
The number of 500-700-year problems studied by this writer is quite
large, and the more he reads, the greater the number swells. No ad
hoc theory has yet been advanced which adequately explains any
one of the cases, let alone all of them. Only a revision of ancient
history, a shortening of Egyptian chronology, works for all the cases
mentioned in this paper, and, in fact, for all others which this writer
If there were no problems, or only a couple of minor points not yet
fully understood, it would be simple, indeed necessary, to accept the
standard chronology. When, however, major "exceptions to the rule"
appear in great numbers, and these form a consistent pattern
becomes very difficult to brush them aside and have faith in "the
rule." One must make a choice. Should archaeological evidence be
forced to fit the Procrustean bed of historical theory, or should a new
scheme be put forth to explain all the facts?
A few problems from a handful of sites do not prove that the revision is
valid. Volumes could and need to be written to enumerate all the
problems faced by the old scheme, which act as confirmations for the
new. One article need not convince the skeptical reader that Velikovsky
is right, but anyone reading this might start wondering: Just how sound
is the accepted chronology?
To those friends, colleagues, mentors, relatives, and strangers who
helped to prepare, proofread, correct, and improve this article, I wish
to express my sincere thanks and appreciation.
(1) W. H. Stiebing, Jr., "A Criticism of the Revised
Chronology," Pensée (Fall, 1973): 1012. (Henceforth Stiebing).
The revised chronology is outlined in Velikovsky's "Theses for the
Reconstruction of Ancient History," Scripta Academica
Hierosolymitana (New York: 1945). The theses are expanded and
elaborated upon in the series Ages in Chaos, only the first
volume (Garden City, New York: 1952) of which has been published.
(2) Stiebing, p. 12.
(3) Ibid., p. 10.
(4) Two points raised by Stiebing, the impossibility
that Ipuwer and Hammurabi could be contemporaneous with Moses, and the
problems of Biblical archaeology, require answers too detailed to be
treated at this time. In the future, I hope to show why Hammurabi is
now dated to the 18th or 17th century B.C., and how that date can, and,
in fact, needs to be lowered significantly. I will also treat the
Middle Bronze Age fortress-cities of Palestine and attempt to show that
their destruction, misattributed to Pharaoh Ahmose or the Hyksos fleeing
from him, marks the entrance into Canaan of the Hebrews under Joshua.
Stiebing's remarks about Samaria, Mycenaean pottery, and Egyptian
scarabs in the Near East, etc., are best delayed at present, but will be
answered in an article on the pitfalls of Palestinian archaeology.
(5) Stiebing, p. 11.
(6) By the accepted chronology the Mycenaean Age is
contemporaneous with the 20th Dynasty as well. This is not adequately
demonstrated by subscribers to the old chronology and impossible
according to the revised scheme. By the revised scheme the Mycenaean
Age is also contemporaneous with the 22nd-25th Dynasties of Egypt which
intervene between the so-called 18th and 19th.
(7) I. Isaacson, "Carbon 14 Dates and Velikovsky's
Revision of Ancient History: Samples from Pylos and Gordion," Pensée
(Spring-Summer, 1973): 26-32.
(8) Pensée (Winter, 1973): 26-31.
(9) J. Boardman, Greek Art (New York: 1964), p.
(10) A. D. Lacy, Greek Pottery in the Bronze Age
(London: 1967), p. 221.
(11) There is no universal agreement upon the date of the
change from LH IIIA to B, from IIIB to C, and the end of IIIC. It has
been customary to assign IIIB and C to ca. 1300-1100 B.C. (A. Furumark,
The Chronology of Mycenaean Pottery [Stockholm: 1941], p.
115), but quite recently there has been support for the system first
proposed in 1957 by one of Mycenae's excavators (A. J. B. Wace, "The
Chronology of Late Helladic IIIB," Annual of the British School at
Athens [henceforth ABSA] 52 : 220-23) for extending the
initial date back to ca. 1350 B.C. (See V. Hankey, "The Aegean Deposit
at El Amarna" in Acts of the International Archaeological
Symposium, "The Mycenaeans in the Eastern Mediterranean"
[Nicosia: 1973], p. 132, and discussions, pp. 359-60.)
(12) See A. J. B. Wace, "The Lion Gate and Grave Circle Area,"ABSA 25 (1921-23): 34-36, and Fig. 4, p. 19. If people
continued to enter and leave Mycenae between the 12th century and the
7th, the pottery representing those 500 years would be expected in this
trench. If the site was abandoned for 400 years, wash, consisting of
ashes and dissolved mud brick from ruined structures on the citadel
would be expected, as the trench was dug in a perfect sedimentation
trap, an area enclosed by three walls with the fourth side open to the
steeply sloping ground of the citadel.
(13) One could conceivably propose that the 11th stratum
was deposited in the 7th century, and that it contained much pottery 500
years earlier in date, but that would merely move the problems down a
layer (i.e., 500 years' worth of pottery and/or wash should be present
between layers 10 and 11). The most telling argument against this,
however, is that Wace ("The Lion Gate," p. 34) claimed that the 11th
layer was "the last true Mycenaean stratum," (i.e., it followed
immediately after the 10th). In fact, this stratum contained an LH IIIC
burial within it. The IIIC style was rather short-lived. No one would
have it last from 1200-700 B.C. As we shall see below, many scholars
once dated LH IIIC pottery stylistically to the 7th century B.C., and
placed the Geometric pottery (now sandwiched between LH IIIC and the 7th
century) before LH IIIC, making it contemporary with earlier
Mycenaean wares. This stratigraphical section as well as others, tends
to support their conclusions based on stylistic criteria.
(14) G. E. Mylonas, Mycenae and the Mycenaean Age
(Princeton: 1966), p. 236, assigns them to ca. 1650-1 510 B.C.
(15) N. G. L. Hammond, A History of Macedonia I
(Oxford: 1972), p. 275.
(16) N. G. L. Hammond, "Tumulus-Burial in Albania, The
Grave Circles of Mycenae, and the Indo-Europeans," ABSA 62
(17) N. G. L. Hammond, Epirus (Oxford: 1967), p.
(18) N. G. L. Hammond, "Tumulus-Burial," ABSA
(1967): 91. See also his "The Dating of Some Burials in Tumuli in South
Albania," ABSA 66 (1971): 229-41, and "Grave Circles in Albania
and Macedonia" in Bronze Age Migrations in the Aegean, ed.
by R. Crossland and A. Birchall (London: 1973), pp. 189-95.
(19) For the opinion of F. Prendi and other excavators of
these tombs, see Hammond, "The Dating of Some Burials," ABSA
(1971): 231, 240-41, and his references to the Albanian publications.
(20) A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece
(Edinburgh: 1971), pp. 172-73, 257-61.
(21) In this brief account I cannot go into specific
details. Hammond's points about the assigning of pots and certain metal
objects, especially weapons, to the Middle/early Late Bronze Age are not
adequately answered by Prendi and Snodgrass. Of course, if the 18th
Dynasty were moved down by ca. 500 years, and along with it the Grave
Circles of Mycenae, there is no problem.
(22) See G. Karo, An Attic Cemetery (Philadelphia:
1943), pp. 10-11; K. Friis Johansen, The Attic Grave-Reliefs of the
Classical Period (Copenhagen: 1951), pp. 65-66; and D. C. Kurtz and
J. Boardman, Greek Burial Customs (London: 1971), p. 38.
G. Richter (The Archaic Gravestones of Attica [London: 1961], pp.
1-2) and M. Andronikos (Totenkult, Archaeologia Homerica IIIW
[Göttingen: 1968], pp. 116-18) do believe that there must be a
connection between the 16th-century stelae of Mycenae and the
10th-century examples from Greece. Richter cites Friis Johansen as the
source of her belief, when he, in fact, clearly states that there is no
connection, while the examples of continuity cited by Andronikos were,
for the most part, disposed of by Friis Johansen. Certain of
Andronikos' examples are not from the Greek mainland anyway.
(23) The Orientalist, Prof. A. H. Sayce, noted this
"phenomenon" over 90 years ago. See "The Inscriptions Found at
Hisarlik," an appendix to H. Schliemann's Ilios, the City and
Country of the Trojans (New York: 1881), p. 700. Note remarks by L.
M. Greenberg, "The Lion Gate at Mycenae," Pensée (Winter, 1973):
28. Compare the stele over the 5th Shaft Grave of Circle A (ABSA
25 [1921-23], pl. XIX) with M. Vieyra, Hittite Art 2300-750 B.C.
(London: 1955), pls. 48, 66, 67, 77.
(24) Vieyra, Hittite Art, pl. 66 and ABSA
25, pl. XIX. Sculptures of the early 9th-century Assyrian King
Assurnasirpal show some affinity to the Shaft Grave stelae but are of
much finer execution (see R. D. Barnett and M. Falkner, The
Sculptures of Assur-Nasir-Apli II [883-859 B.C.], etc.
[London: 19621, pi. XVI, and E. A. Wallis Budge, Assyrian Sculptures
in the British Museum: Reign of Ashur-Nasir-Pal, 885-860 B.C.
[London: 1914], pls. XII, XLII).
(25) "Notes on Art and Archaeology," The Academy
vol. 42, No. 1069 (29 October 1892), p. 393, remarks by Prof. Heuzy.
See C. Smith's cogent comments in "Egypt and Mycenaean Antiquities,"
The Classical Review 6 (1892): 463-64. This relief (apparently the
same as that referred to in note 24 above, i.e., Vieyra, Hittite
Art, pl. 66) does display a scene similar to the gold ring (H.
Schliemann, Mycenae [New York: 1878], p. 223, No. 334) but is
more analogous to the grave stele notes 23, 24 above) than the ring.
(26) See the book review of Schliemann's Mycenae in
the Quarterly Review No. 145 (Jan.-April, 1878): 78.
(27) Ibid., p. 80.
(28) See, for example, C. Schuchhardt, Schliemann's
Excavations, trans. by E. Sellers (New York: 1891), pp. 180, 318.
It is not the intention of Velikovsky or myself to assign these objects
or graves as late as the 7th-6th centuries. By the revised chronology
they belong in the 11th-10th. The vast gap, which exists between the
Shaft Graves and the 7th century according to standard reckoning, is
narrowed considerably by this revision, and the artistic lacuna between
the two periods is eliminated.
(29) H. R. Hall, The Oldest Civilization of
Greece (Philadelphia: 1901), p. 16.
(30) Ibid., p. 229. On p. 16 Hall wanted to assign
certain objects to the 8th-7th centuries.
(31) Hall himself later rejected the theory (Aegean
Archaeology [London: 1915], pp. 23-24). I hope to tell of his
rather dramatic turnabout at a later date. Accepting 9th-7th century
dates for items from Enkomi on Cyprus, and convinced of their
contemporaneity with some Shaft Grave artifacts, he sought to down-date
the latter by over 500 years, but, after being convinced that that was
impossible, he added over 500 years to the date of Enkomi material.
(32) Mylonas, Mycenae and the Mycenaean Age,
(33) R. Carpenter, Discontinuity in Greek
Civilization (Cambridge, England: 1966), p. 35.
(34) See note 29 above.
(35) P. Jacobsthal, Greek Pins (Oxford: 1956), p.
1, n. 1.
(36) F. Dümmler, "Bemerkungen zum ältesten Kunsthandwerk
auf griechischem Boden," Athenische Mittheilungen (henceforth
Ath. Mitt.) 13 (1888): 291, and E. Pottier, "Observations sur la
céramique mycénienne," Revue Archeologique 28 (1896):
20-21. A reply to Dümmler came from D. Mackenzie ("Cretan Palaces and
the Aegean Civilization III," ABSA 13 [1906-7]: 433), who
maintained that this vase provides evidence that such a handle "had a
much earlier history."
(37) E. Pottier, "Observations," pp. 19-23; H. B. Walters,
History of Ancient Pottery, vol. I (London: 1905), pp. 297-98.
(38) E. Pottier, "Observations." Not all of these
considerations are valid for dating purposes.
(39) S. Marinatos and M. Hirmer, Crete and
Mycenae (New York: 1960), pls. 232 and 233 and captions; A. D. Lacy,
Greek Pottery, p. 224.
(40) J. N. Coldstream, Greek Geometric Pottery
(London: 1968), p. 357.
(41) O. W. von Vacano, The Etruscans in the
Ancient World, trans. by S. Ogilvie (Bloomington: 1965), p. 81, and
see p. 88.
(42) O. Broneer, "A Mycenaean Fountain on the Athenian
Acropolis," Hesperia 8 (1939): 361. See also pp. 353-54 for
another bull's-head handle from the late Mycenaean period and the
statement that they were "more common in the Geometric period." The
stratification of the pottery from this well is a very important matter
as it fits the reconstructed history, not the conventional scheme.
Elsewhere I intend to treat it in some detail. Recently a fragment of
another "12th-century" "Warrior Krater" with a bull's-head handle has
been unearthed. (See M. R. Popham and L. H. Sackett, Excavations at
Lefkandi, Euboea 1964-66 [London: 1968], p. 20, figs. 38-39.)
(43) Life was so much simpler for the archaeologist and
art historian in the "good old days" before the end of Mycenaean
civilization was so firmly entrenched in the second millennium B.C.
Archaeologists had the 7th-century pottery follow immediately after the
Mycenaean without a 500-year gap, and saw the Geometric style, now
placed between the two, as a contemporary, not intervening, style (see
A. Furtwängler, "Die Bronzefunde aus Olympia und deren
Kunstgeschichtliche Bedeutung," Berlin Abhandlungen 4 [1879):
45-47 (reprinted in Kleine Schriften 1 : 373-75); F.
Dümmler, "Zu den Vasen aus Kameiros" Jahrbuch (of the German
Archaeological Institute) 6 (1891): 270-71; A. S. Murray, Excavations
in Cyprus (London: 1900), p. 23; and W. Dörpfeld, "Das Alter des
Heiligtums von Olympia," Ath. Mitt. 31 (1906): 205-18.
Dörpfeld, instead of bringing down the Mycenaean style, pushed back the
Geometric. This view was attacked by Furtwängler in a very caustic
manner in "Das Alter des Heraion und das Alter des Heiligtums von
Olympia" in 1906 (reprinted in Kleine Schriften, pp.
455-57), but was maintained by Dörpfeld as late as 1935 in Alt
Olympia I (Berlin: 1935), pp. 11-14). For modern comments on this
attempt to connect 7th and 12th-century pottery see P. Demargne, The
Birth of Greek Art, trans. by S. Gilbert and J. Emmons (New York:
1964), p. 271, and R. M. Cook, Greek Painted Pottery, 2nd edition
(London: 1972), p. 310. I hope to deal extensively with this matter at a
later date. For recent attempts to grapple with the problem see J. L.
Benson's Horse, Bird & Man (Amherst: 1970), and the review of
this book by K. De Vries in American Journal of Archaeology
(henceforth AJA) 76 (1972): 99-100.
(44) See Lord William Taylour, "Mycenae, 1968,"
Antiquity 43 (1969): 91-97, and "New Light on Mycenaean Religion,"
Antiquity 44 (1970): 270-80 for a highly readable account. The
results of some radiocarbon tests performed on material from this
building will be treated in the near future in an article in this
(45) Taylour, "Mycenae, 1968," p. 92.
(46) R. V. Nicholls, "Greek Votive Statuettes and
Religious Continuity, ca. 1200-700 B.C." in Auckland Classical Essays
Presented to E. M. Blaiklock, ed. by B. V. Harris (New
Zealand: 1970), p. 3.
(47) Taylour, "Mycenae, 1968," p. 92. In his article of
1970 he dates the fire that destroyed the building containing the idols
to ca. 1220 ("New Light on Mycenaean Religion," p. 276), so they should
predate 1220 B.C.
(48) Nicholls, "Greek Votive Statuettes," pp. 17-18. Even
the "intermediate" examples from elsewhere in Greece seem too few to
bridge the gap.
(49) Taylour, "Mycenae, 1968," pl. XIIId, and caption.
(50) Ibid., p. 92. Actually, a much better example of this
sort of thing is to be found on the youthful "horned god" from Enkomi on
Cyprus. Also found in a building said to have been destroyed ca. 1200
B.C., this bronze statuette betrays many features of archaic sculpture.
In fact, were it not found in a "Mycenaean" context, it would have been
attributed to the 6th-century Arcadian school of Greek sculpture. An
interesting article on this topic is K. Hadjioannou's "On the
Identification of the Horned God of Enkomi-Alasia" in Alasia I
(Paris: 1971), pp. 33-42.
(51) A. J. B. Wace (Mycenae: An Archaeological History
and Guide [Princeton: 1949], pp. 85-86) identifies the sculptural
fragments as part of an altar. He believed that the 7th or 6th-century
temple underlay the later Hellenistic one (Fig. 1, M), which he
considered to be located above a Mycenaean cult center. The altar would
thus rest south of the temple. G. Mylonas (Ancient Mycenae
[Princeton: 1957], pp. 63-64), however, shows that while we know the
location of the Hellenistic temple, the archaic temple's site is
unknown. He further states that the room beneath the later temple was
probably not a cult center, and would have been hard to find after
several hundred years, as it was a heap of rubble by that time. A more
likely spot for a 7th-century temple, as we will see at Tiryns, would be
above the megaton of the palace, probably utilizing the old walls. If
that were the case here, the altar would lie west of the temple.
(52) C. W. Blegen, "A Mycenaean Bread-maker," Annuario
(of the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens), New Series VIII-X
(1946-48), p. 16 and footnotes 1-4. For another example of exactly the
same thing cp. the two terra cotta heads from Amyclae (see R. A.
Higgins, Greek Terracottas [London: 1967],p.24, and references p.
(53) A. M. Snodgrass, Dark Age of Greece, pp.
(54) See for example E. H. Hall, Excavations in
Eastern Crete, Vrokastro (Philadelphia: 1914), pp. 132-3 5;
W. Lamb, Greek and Roman Bronzes (New York: 1929), p. 44;
S. Benton, "The Evolution of the Tripod-Lebes," ABSA 35 (1934-35):
(55) Snodgrass, Dark Age of Greece, pp. 281-85.
(56) These have been named, from North to South: the House
of Shields, the House of the Oil Merchant, and the House of Sphinxes.
(57) G. Mylonas, Mycenae and the Mycenaean Age, p.
(58) A. J. B. Wace, "Preliminary Report on the Excavations
[at Mycenae] of 1953," ABSA 49 (1954): 243. For our purposes it
is of special interest to note that, while we date the adoption of the
Phoenician alphabet to the 8th century or perhaps a bit earlier, the
Greeks themselves attributed its introduction to Cadmus, a pre-Trojan
War hero. J. D. Muhly's attempt ("Homer and the Phoenicians,"Berytus
19 : 38-41) to dissociate Cadmus' introduction of writing from a
pre-Trojan War date fails to take into account the belief of Herodotus
(Book V, 58-61) that certain early Greek inscriptions at Thebes, which
he was able to read and were thus no older than the 8th century B.C.,
belonged to the period of and just prior to the Trojan War. In the
present paper we will see some reasons to doubt an early date for that
war, and will also see the source of Herodotus' confusion and how it
adds to our own.
(59) A. J. B. Wace, "Foreword" to M. Ventris and J.
Chadwick's Documents in Mycenaean Greek (Cambridge, England:
1956), p. xxviii.
(60) G. F. Else, "Homer and the Homeric Problem,"
Lectures in Memory of Louise Taft Semple, ed. by D. Bradeen,
et at. (Princeton: 1967), p. 342. The lecture was delivered in 1965.
(61) Wace wanted the Greeks to write in the Linear B
script until the less cumbersome Phoenician alphabet was introduced (see
reference in notes 58-59 above). With a centuries-long gap, that is
clearly impossible. An attempt to plug the gap was made by proposing
that all writing in Linear B after ca. 1200 B.C. was done on perishable
materials. Other scholars have attempted to push back the introduction
of the Phoenician alphabet by centuries in order to fill the gap. (See
quite recently J. Naveh, "Some Semitic Epigraphical Considerations on
the Antiquity of the Greek Alphabet," AJA 77 [19731: 1-8). These
attempts rely on a very ancient date for certain Semitic inscriptions
which do resemble the early Greek forms. As Velikovsky will show, the
Semitic inscriptions derive their date from Egyptian chronology and need
to be made later. Those wishing to push back the earliest Greek
alphabet also must rely on the perishables theory to explain the lack of
evidence for a pre-8th-century date. The perishables theory, relied
upon by both the late Linear B and the early Phoenician proponents, is
convincingly disputed by L. H. Jeffery in The Local Scripts of
Archaic Greece (Oxford: 1961), p. 17. As long as the accepted
chronology holds sway, this embarrassing gap will exist. A downward
revision of Egypto-Mycenaean dates, of course, eliminates the gap,
vindicates Wace, solves the problem of Cadmus (note 58 above), and shows
why "early" Semitic inscriptions resemble so closely "much later" Greek
(62) A. J. B. Wace, "Preliminary Report,"p. 241.
(63) Lord William Taylour, The Mycenaeans(London:
1964), p. 91.
(64) W. B. Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece
(New York: 19 50), p. 59.
(65) Ibid., p. 62 for the date of the earliest known
Proto-Ionic capital. The ivory carving, found in a Mycenaean chamber
tomb in 1888, is depicted on plate 8,8 of the 1888 Ephemeris
Archaiologike. The tomb and the contents are described in columns
145-47 of the same journal in "Anaskaphai Taphön en Mukenais" by C.
Tsountas, the excavator.
(66) Cp. G. E. Mylonas, Mycenae: A Guide to Its
Ruins and Its Antiquities (Athens: 1972), p. 65 for a
mid-13th-century date; and H. Wace, E. W. French and C. K. Williams II,
Mycenae Guide, 6th ed. (Meriden, Connecticut: 1971), pp. 1, 7 for
a 14th-century date.
(67) The facade's decorative elements have been removed
from the tomb and are now on display. The exact arrangement of the
upper decoration is disputed.
(68) D. S. Robertson, Greek and Roman
Architecture, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: 1969), p. 64, n. 3. See also C.
Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations, pp. 144-45, and S. von
Cles-Reden, The Buried People, trans. from German by C. M.
Woodhouse (London: 1955), p. 35.
(69) Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture, p.
19. This belief has been long held by many people. See, for example,
C. Tsountas and J. I. Manatt, The Mycenaean Age (New York: 1897),
p. 232 and n. 3; C. Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations, pp.
144-45; R. Higgins, Minoan and Mycenaean Art (London: 1967), p.
(70) R. M. Cook, "The Archetypal Doric Temple," ABSA
65 (1970): 17.
(71) D. S. Robertson, Greek and Roman
Architecture, p. 64.
(72) Ibid., p. 36.
(73) Both G. Dennis (The Cities and Cemeteries of
Etruria [London: 1883], vol. 1, pp. 265, n. 2, 386 and n. 6; vol.
II, p. 154) and A. Mosso (The Dawn of Mediterranean Civilisation,
trans. by M. C. Harrison [New York: 1910], pp. 392-93) saw the
similarity of architectural type, and wanted to make the Italian tombs
contemporary with the Mycenaean examples, but were puzzled by the fact
that the contents of the Italian tombs were dated centuries later than
those of Greece.
(74) A. Neppi Modona, A Guide to Etruscan
Antiquities, trans. by C. D. Tassinari (Florence: 1954), p. 92; S.
von Cles-Reden, The Buried People, pp. 180-81; E.
Langlotz, Ancient Greek Sculpture of South Italy and Sicily,
trans. by A. Hicks (New York: 1965), p. 15; O. W. von Vacano, The
Etruscans, pp. 81-82, 88-89, 119; L. Bernabò Brea, Sicily Before
the Greeks, trans. by C. M. Preston and L. Guido, rev. ed (New York:
1966), p. 174; M. Guido, Sicily: An Archaeological Guide
(London: 1967), pp. 102-1 3, 129-130; A. Boëthius and J. B. WardPerkins,
Etruscan and Roman Architecture (Baltimore: 1970), p. 78.
(75) J. M. Cook, "The Cult of Agamemnon at Mycenae" in
Geras Antoniou Keramopoullou (Athens: 1953), pp. 114-15; A. M.
Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece, p. 194.
(76) A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece, pp.
(77) A. J. B. Wace, Chamber Tombs at Mycenae (Archaeologia,
vol. 82, London: 1932), pp. 95, 127, 131.
(78) I certainly would not advocate redating this tomb,
thus all similar Mycenaean chamber tombs, and thus Mycenaean
civilization as a whole on the basis of one sherd. If this were the
sole reason for such a revision, the case would be not only weak but
laughable. The fact is that this fits into a pattern not only for what
we have seen at Mycenae but for other tombs as well. As merely one
example I point to Tomb 6 at Asine. Here another chamber tomb which
"had remained untouched" from LH III times until modern excavation of
it, contained some Geometric sherds (9th or 8th century B.C.) "whose
presence in the fill was clearly only adventitious" (O. Frödin and A.
W. Persson, Asine: Results of the Swedish Excavations 1922-1930,
ed. by A. Westholm (Stockholm: 1938], p. 181 and n. 1). Examples of
whole pots in tombs 500 years too early or late will be treated
elsewhere. How pots or even tiny sherds entered 500-year-older, sealed
deposits is no problem if those intervening 500 years do not exist.
(79) A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece,
pp. 192, 397; and J. M. Cook, "The Cult of Agamemnon," pp. 112-18;
and "The Agamemnoneion," ABSA 48 (1953): 30-68, especially p. 33.
(80) See for example J. M. Cook's two articles cited in
note 79. R. M. Cook ("The Dorian Invasion," Proceedings of the
Cambridge Philological Society 188 (1962): 20 and n. 2)
disagrees with his brother on this point.
(81) A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece,
pp. 5-7 and G. Raddatz, "Homeros" in Pauly-Wissowa's
Real-Encyclopädie 16 (1913), 2206-13. In response to Snodgrass (p.
7), it is true that Thucydides (I. 3.3) says that Homer lived a long
time after the Trojan War, but time is relative. In the same book (I.
12.2) Thucydides says that the Greeks fighting at Troy did not return to
their homes for a long time. This second "long time" ranged from 10
years in Agamemnon's case to 20 years in the case of Odysseus. It is
not necessarily true that Thucydides put Homer much later than that
after Troy's fall.
Herodotus does seem to separate Homer from the Trojan War. He is using
two systems of reckoning, however. He calculated that Homer lived not
more than 400 years before his own day (i.e., not earlier than the 9th
century B.C.) (Book II. 53.2). He did not know when, or even if, the
Trojan War really took place (II. 118.2). He got his information,
including the date for the war, approximately 800 years before his time
(II. 145.4), from Egyptian priests. He is quite explicit in dividing
the two matters. Homer's date was his own calculation; Troy's fall was
dated by the Egyptians (II. 99.1 makes the separation quite clear. See
II. 113.1, 116.1, 118.2, 120.1, 145.3, 147.1, etc., where he specifies
that his information on Troy and its fall came straight from the
Egyptians). I need not remind the reader that Mycenaean chronology is
based on Egyptian, and that Velikovsky shows that the latter is hundreds
of years off. Even within Herodotus' account it is obvious that the
Egyptians are lying to him. For example, they told this gullible
passerby that the pyramids were constructed after the Trojan
War. That lie alone accounts for over 100 of those 800 years (II.
124-135). Likewise the Egyptians dated the Ethiopian dynasty ca. 450
years too early (II. 140.2), while the Libyan dynasties were not
mentioned at all. The whole account, then, is very suspect.
With the major exceptions of Herodotus and Thucydides, most ancient
sources explicitly made Homer a contemporary of, or slightly later than,
Troy's fall. We've already disposed of the objection that Herodotus and
Thucydides do not.
(82) A list of objects discovered by 1930 is to be found
in J. D. S. Pendlebury, Aegyptiaca (Cambridge: 1930), pp. 53-57.
Still more items have been unearthed since then (e.g., another scarab of
Queen Tiy from the Late Helladic shrine (Fig. 1,K)-see Taylour, .
"Mycenae, 1968," p. 92).
(83) See, for example, A. S. Murray, Excavations in
Cyprus (London: 1900), pp. 21, 23, 24; and D. G. Hogarth,
Excavations at Epliesus(London: 1908), p. 242.
(84) Stiebing, p. 11.
(85) H. Schliemann, Tiryns (New York: 1885), pp.
194, 197; Tsountas and Manatt, The Mycenaean Age, pp. 45, 322;
Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations, p. 105; W. A. McDonald,
Progress into the Past (New York: 1967), p. 45; Robertson, Greek
and Roman Architecture, p. 29; Dinsmoor, The Architecture
of Ancient Greece, p. 18; W. Voigtländer, Tyryns (Athens:
1972), p. 10. See E. R. Fiechter, "Die mit dem Tempel gleichzeitig oder
sphter entstandenen Bauten" in A. Furtwängler, et al., Aegina: Das
Heiligtum der Aphaia (Munich: 1906), pp. 67, 83 for the date
of the Aegina propylon, and p. 84 for its close similarity to those at
Tiryns; J. A. Bundgaard, Mnesicles (Copenhagen: 1957), p. 191, n.
39 for lack of propylaea between those of Tiryns and those of late
archaic date. Beneath the Mnesiclean Propylaea of Athens, traces of an
earlier Propylon have been found. This building is variously dated
between 520 and 480 B.C. (See J. S. Boersma, Athenian Building Policy
from 561/0 to 405/4 B.C. [Groningen: 1970], pp. 19, 21, 109 n.
(86) Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture, p.
(87) McDonald, Progress into the Past, p. 424.
(88) M. L. Bowen, "Some Observations on the Origin of triglyphs," ABSA 45 (1950): 124.
(89) R. M. Cook, "The Archetypal
Doric Temple," p. 17. See also p. 19 and Cook's earlier article, "A
Note on the Origin of the Triglyph," ABSA 56 (1951): 52.
(90) M. L. Bowen, "Origin of Triglyphs," p.124.
(91) Ibid., pp. 124-25.
(92) The Roman author Vitruvius (De Architectura,
Book IV. 2-3) postulated that the stone frieze represented original
wooden members. D. S. Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture,
p. 32, also believed in an early constructional origin. Both Bowen,
"Origin of' Triglyphs," pp. 113-14, and Cook, "Origin of Triglyphs," pp.
50-52, give good reasons for rejecting this notion.
(93) M. L. Bowen, "Origin of Triglyphs," p. 113.
(94) Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture, p.
(95) Ibid. If the bench was used until the 8th century,
both similarities to and differences with 7th-century friezes are easy
(96) Bowen, "Origin of Triglyphs," pp. 121-22.
(97) McDonald, Progress into the Past, pp. 423-24.
See also Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece, p.
21; Bowen, "Origin of Triglyphs," p. 123; Tsountas and Manatt, The
Mycenaean Age, p. 322; B. Schweitzer, Greek Geometric Art,
trans. by P. and C. Usborne (New York: 1971, published
posthumously), pp. 223-24.
(98) A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece,
p. 369. See also H. Drerup, Griechische Baukunst in
geometrischer Zeit (Archaeologia Homerica II, 0, Göttingen:
1969), p. 77.
(99) Drerup, Griechische Baukunst, p. 77.
(100) Ibid., p. 82; A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of
Greece, p. 369; Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece,
p. 58; D. M. Robinson, "Haus" in Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Encyclopddie,
Supplement 7 (1940), 235. (S. Sinos, however, in Die
vorklassischen Hausformen in der Agdis [Mainz: 1971], pp.
75-84, 87-90, 109-16, cites some examples of the co-existence of
rectilinear, apsidal, and oval structures in the Middle, Late Bronze,
and Dark Ages. He admits, p. 114, that there is no example of a megaron
between Mycenaean times and the later temples.) A few apsidat houses do
seem to have been built during the Late Helladic period but they were in
vogue only during the Middle Helladic and "post-Mycenaean" times, were
atypical in the Late Helladic period, and do not seem plentiful enough
to span the time to connect the two peak periods. The most-often-cited
example is that at Thermon where the date is in dispute. As is so often
the case, about 500 years are at stake. Elsewhere I will treat this
case, and intend to show that essential discontinuity, and an abrupt
change with a 500-year throwback is not only true of "post-Mycenaean"
architecture, but is also the case with the contemporary graves and the
(101) Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece, p.
58; G. Rodenwaldt, "Zur Entstehung der Monumentaten Architektur in
Griechenland," Ath. Mitt. 44 (1919): 179-180; G. Rodenwaldt,
"Mykenische Studien I," Jahrbuch (of the German Archaeological
Institute) 34 (1919):95 and n. 2.
(102) Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture, p. 36;
Schweitzer, Greek Geometric Art, p. 224; G. Rodenwaldt,
"Mykenische Studien I," p. 9 5, n. 2.
(103) H. Drerup, "Griechische Architektur zur Zeit Homers,"
Archdologischer Anzeiger (1964): 180: "Mykenische Denkmäler werden
also im Gegensatz zur Homerinterpretation keine Rolle spielen."
(104) H. L. Lorimer, Homer and the Monuments (London:
1950), pp. 407-10; see also Tsountas and Manatt, The Mycenaean Age,
pp. 62-66; See also T. B. L. Webster, From Mycenae to Homer
(New York: 1964), pp. 11 2-113.
(105) H. L. Lorimer, ibid., p. 407.
(106) Ibid., pp. 408-10.
(107) For a brief list of finds see G. Karo, Führer durch
Tiryns, 2nd ed. (Athens: 1934), pp. 47-49.
(108) A. Frickenhaus, "Die Hera von Tiryns," Tiryns I
(Athens: 1912), pp. 35f.
(109) C. Blegen, "The So-called Temple of Hera at Tiryns," an
appendix to Korakou (New York: 1921), p. 132.
(110) Ibid., 132-33; G. Mylonas, Mycenae and the
Mycenaean Age, p. 49.
(111) Bowen, "Origin of Triglyphs," pp. 122-23. He
incorrectly dates the Korakou example to Middle Helladic times
(see Blegen, Korakou, pp. 80-83, 133). The only other Bronze Age
examples he gives are a house from the VIth level at Troy, the
archaeology of which we will soon examine, and the structure at Tiryns.
(To this one should add an LH III example from Attica. See G. Mylonas,
Aghios Kosmas [Princeton: 1959], "House T," p. 55 and fig.
15.) Bowen rightly suspects the 9th-century date assigned to the Artemis
Orthia temple at Sparta (see Snodgrass, The Dark Age of
Greece, p. 277); more recently see H. Drerup, Griechische
Baukunst, p. 89.
(112) Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece, p. 398.
(113) Since Velikovsky has released his chapter on Tiryns
(Pensée [Winter, 1973-74] pp. 45-46), I have left out much detail in
order not to repeat his points. In addition to Velikovsky's article,
the reader is referred to H. Drerup, Griechische Baukunst, pp.
17-18, 89 for a succinct statement of the case and the opposing views.
Drerup himself pointedly abstained from giving his own opinion. His
bibliography is quite extensive, but by no means exhaustive.
A similar situation exists with two Mycenaean edifices on the island of
Delos. The excavator claims that both of these—one, a sanctuary—stood
until ca. 700 B.C., and that the sanctuary was then converted into a
Greek temple. Snodgrass (The Dark Age of Greece, pp. 395-96) and
others (ibid., p. 439, n. 36) reject this 400-year-long continuity.
(114) R. V. Nicholls, "Greek Votive Statuettes," p. 17.
(115) Ibid., p. 21. Nicholls seeks perishable (i.e., wooden)
models to fill the gap here, as did Bowen for similarities of Doric triglyphs to Mycenaean friezes, as did some for connecting Linear B and
the Phoenician alphabet. Likewise it had been proposed, and rightly
rejected, that the connection between Mycenaean palatial architecture
and 8th-century temples was to be found in monumental megaron-shaped
wooden temples (G. Rodenwaldt, "Zur Entstehung," p. 179 f.). Why the
Greeks should have used perishables exclusively during the Dark Age to
connect similar nonperishable items separated by 500 years, when we know
that they still fired clay, made metal objects, and used stone during
that period is not adequately explained. Since they continued to make
pottery on the wheel, they could quite easily fashion figurines in that
way, rather than carving them from wood. The lack of wheel-made terra
cotta votives to span those 500 years requires another explanation.
(116) Stiebing, p. 11.
(117) The number of ships is commonly (but incorrectly) said
to be 1,000. Thucydides(I.10.4) speaks of 1200, while the sum preserved
in the Iliad (II. 494-7 50) is 1186.
(118) J. Forsdyke, Greece Before Homer (London: 1956),
(119) A. R. Burn, Persia and the Greeks (London: 1962),
p. 11; see pp. 11-13.
(120) I. Velikovsky, "Astronomy and Chronology," Pensée
(Spring-Summer, 1973): 38-49. Other ancients also dated the war early.
We have already seen that the most ancient source, Herodotus, also got
his date from the Egyptians, who were obviously lying to him (see n. 81
above). Other estimates ranged from the 14th-12th centuries B.C. (see
Forsdyke, Greece Before Homer, p. 62 and G. Mylonas,
"Priam's Troy and the Date of its Fall," Hesperia 33 [1964): p.
353, n. 3). These dates are challenged as too early even by adherents
to the accepted chronology. I hope to treat this topic in detail at a
(121) C. W. Blegen, the latest excavator of the site, pushed
the date progressively back (see "New Evidence for Dating the
Settlements at Troy," ABSA 37 [1936-1937): 12 for 1200 B.C.;
Troy IV.1 [Princeton: 19581, p. 9 for pre-1230 B.C.; "Troy,"
Cambridge Ancient History [henceforth CAH], fascicle 1 , p. 14
for 1250 B.C.; Troy and the Trojans [London: 1964], p. 174 for
1260 B.C.). Other archaeologists lean more toward Blegen's original
assessment of ca. 1200 B.C. (see Blegen, CAH fascicle, p. 14, n.
1; C. Nylander, "The Fall of Troy," Antiquity 37 (1963): 7, 10,
11; G. Mylonas, "Priam's Troy," pp. 362-66). The problems are complex:
how much earlier than the destruction of Pylos the destruction of Troy
should be; whether certain potsherds from Troy VIIA are very late LH
IIIB or very early LH IIIC; the time of the transition from LH IIIB to
LH IIIC. These need not detain us here. For our purposes, the
archaeological date falls sometime within the 13th century B.C.
(122) Blegen, Troy and the Trojans (henceforth T &
T) pp. 159-61, 174.
(123) K. Friis Johansen (The Iliad in Early Greek
Art [Copenhagen: 1967], p. 36) sets the influence of the Iliad
on art at ca. 700. J. N. Coldstream (Greek Geometric Pottery
[London: 1968], p. 351) has one scene appear early in the 8th century,
but Johansen, pp. 23-25, does not think that the Iliad itself is
responsible for that scene. The subject, Siamese twins, need not be
connected with Nestor's account in Book XI of the Iliad, or even
be connected with Nestor. In any case, no example exists before the 8th
century. Of course, the lack of figural representation during the Dark
Age could account for this, and this is not prima facie evidence
that the war was fought this late.
(124) See note 81 above.
(125) Stiebing, p. 10.
(126) Isaacson, "Carbon 14 Dates." p. 28.see n. 33, p. 32 for
(127) See n. 111 above.
(128) D. Page, "The Historical Sack of Troy,"Antiquity 33 (1959):
(129) Since most of the material from Troy VIII was found on
the lower slopes of the mound, one would expect the erosion of the upper
mound to deposit a layer of the dissolved remains of the mud brick
houses, etc., from higher up the slope. Such a layer should be found
above the last deposits of Troy VII and below the first of Troy VIII.
For just such an instance from another mound and a good explanation of
the process see K. M. Kenyon, Digging up Jericho (London: 1957),
pp. 44-45, 171, 259-60, 261; and M. Wheeler, Walls of Jericho
(London: 19 58), pp. 43, 55, 124.
(130) Those authors (Lykurgus, In Leocrantem, 62; and
Strabo, XIII.I.41-42) make it quite clear that the abandonment lasted at
least till the Roman period. Strabo considered Hisarlik not to be the
Troy of Homer (XIII. 1. 25, 35, 37, 38). For these and other literary,
archaeological, stratigraphical, geographical, and topographical
reasons, this writer is unconvinced that Hisarlik is the site of the
Homeric Troy. He is further unconvinced that the burning of layer VIIa
was the work of the Greeks, or, in fact, of invaders. J. L. Caskey, a
participant in the Cincinnati expedition, who does believe that Hisarlik
is the site of Troy, states some of this writer's reservations very well
("Archaeology and the Trojan War," Journal of Hellenic Studies
84 : 9). Since it is generally accepted that the Trojan War
was fought at Hisarlik, its archaeology is important.
(131) There is, in fact, no sign of abandonment or marked
population loss or change after the conflagration of level VIIA. On the
contrary, the original inhabitants quickly rebuilt the town (Blegen,
T & T, pp. 165f.)
(132) Blegen (T & T, p. 172) suggests this, but see
(133) C. W. Blegen, et al., Troy IV.1 (Princeton: 1958), p.
(135) W. Dörpfeld, Troia 1893, Beticht fiber die im
Jahre 1893 in Troia veranstalten Ausgrabungen (Leipzig:
1894), p. 64.
(136) W. Dörpfeld, Troia und Ilion (Athens: 1902), pp.
(137) H. Schmidt, "Die Keramik der verschiedenen Schichten" in
Dörpfeld, Troia und Ilion, pp.296-98.
(138) Blegen, Troy IV.1 p. 4.
(139) Blegen, "New Evidence," p. 12. Although he set the
division at 900, rather than Dörpfeld's 700 B.C., he still had one layer
follow immediately after the other. The journal for 1936-1937 was not
released until 1940, two years after excavations at Troy had ceased.
From the article (p. 10) it is clear that Blegen wrote after the end of
his last season, and, whenever the article was submitted between 1938
and 1940, there is no evidence that he changed his mind before
publication of the volume (there is no postscript, or corrigendum
(140) A. Furumark's monumental work of dating Mycenaean
pottery by Egyptian associations came out shortly after the Troy
excavations had ended.
(141) Blegen, et al., Troy I.1 (Princeton: 1950), p.
23; Blegen, Troy IV.1, p. 250.
(142) Blegen, Troy IV.1, p. 251. Also see pp.
(143) W. Lamb, "Grey Wares from Lesbos," Journal of
Hellenic Studies 52 (1932): 1-2. See Blegen, Troy IV.1, p.
(144) Blegen, Troy IV.1, p. 250, 291-93.
(145) Ibid., pp. 253, 265.
(146) Blegen, Troy I.1, pp. 20-21.
(147) Blegen, Troy IV.1, pp. 158, 181.
(148) Ibid., p. 181.
(149) Ibid., p. 158. Blegen, as we saw in my previous article
(Pensée [Spring-Summer, 1973], p. 27) was faced with the same
problem of 7th-century sherds in bona fide Mycenaean strata at Pylos and
was again at pains to account for this state of affairs.
(150) Ibid., p. 233.
(151) Ibid. Blegen compares it to V. R. Desborough's
low-footed skyphoi with pendent semicircles. See Desborough (Protogeometric
Pottery [henceforth PGPI [Oxford: 19521, p. 192).
(152) For scholarly opinions on the Euboean and/or Cycladic
manufacture and the range of dates for this type of cup, see Desborough,
PGP, pp. 192-94; Desborough, "A Group of Vases from Amathus,"
Journal of Hellenic Studies 77 (1957): 218; Desborough, "The
Low-Footed Skyphoi with Pendent Semi-circles," Archäologischer
Anzeiger (1963), cols. 204-205; Desborough, The Greek Dark
Ages (London: 1972), pp. 186, 197 and see 199; O. T. P. K. Dickinson
in Popham and Sackett's Excavations at Lefkandi, etc., p. 28; J.
N. Coldstream, Greek Geometric Pottery, p. 330; A. M. Snodgrass,
The Dark Age of Greece, pp. 71, 98 n. 4, 335 and index p. 448; H.
W. Catling, "A Pendent Semicircle Skyphos from Cyprus and a Cypriote
Imitation," Reports of the Department of Antiquities of
Cyprus, 1973 (Nicosia: 1973): 184-85. Most exports of this ware to
the East Mediterranean (presumably including the example from Troy) are
thought to belong to the early 8th century (Desborough, PGP, pp.
192-94; Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece, p. 335) but possibly
continued into the 7th century (Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece,
p. 98 n. 4). To my knowledge, no one has treated the example from Troy
to determine its date within the 9th-7th-century range, but wherever it
falls, its find spot still poses a serious stratigraphical problem for
the standard chronology.
(153) Blegen, Troy IV.1, p. 231. If Troy VIIb2 really
ended ca. 1100 B.C., this sherd of the 9th, 8th, or 7th century ought to
lie above this layer. Instead, it was found stratified ca. 21/2 m.
below, and two buildings were constructed over the spot where the sherd
was found. Since no contamination was detected, these buildings
assigned to the 12th century B.C. should postdate this 9th, 8th, or
7th-century sherd, and the "12th-century" Mycenaean pottery they
contained ought to postdate the sherd as well. See Fig. 359 of Troy
(154) See notes 133, 139, 141 above.
(155) Blegen. CAH fascicle, p. 15; T & T, p.
(156) Stiebing, p. 11.
(157) I. Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos, pp.179-222.
(158) Stiebing, p. 11. Actually, Velikovsky only refers to
one of the destructions at Ugarit, that which fell during Akhnaton's
reign. He assigns this to the mid-9th century B.C. The final
destruction of the city occurred some time after that, in the 8th-7th,
or perhaps even early 6th century B.C.
(159) A. Westholm, "Built Tombs in Cyprus," Opuscula
Archaeologica II (1941): 30.
(160) Ibid., pp. 32-51.
(161) Ibid., p. 57.
(162) Ibid., pp. 52-53. See also A. Westholm, "Amathus," in
E. Gjerstad, et al., The Swedish Cyprus Expedition (henceforth
SCE) II (Stockholm: 1935), p. 140, and E. Sjöqvist, "Enkomi," SCE
I (Stockholm: 1934), pp. 570-73.
(163) E. Gjerstad, SCE IV.2 (Stockholm: 1948), p. 239;
V. Karageorghis, Excavations in the Necropolis of Salamis I
(Salamis, vol. 3) [Nicosia: 1967], p. 123.
(164) D. Ussishkin, "The Necropolis from the Time of the
Kingdom of Judah at Silwan, Jerusalem," The Biblical Archaeologist 33
(165) The foundation date was disputed in antiquity. Most
ancient estimates fell within the range of 846-751 B.C. Of particular
interest for our purposes is the fact that a number of ancient authors
stated that Carthage was founded before the Trojan War.
(166) G. C. and C. Picard, The Life and Death of
Carthage, trans. from the French by D. Collon (London: 1968), p. 47.
(167) Ibid., p. 52, and see C. Picard, "Installations Cultuelles Retrouvèes au Tophet de Salammbo," Rivista degii Studi
Orientali 42 (1967): 189-99.
(168) Picard, "Installations," sees close relations between
the Ras Shamra and Carthage tombs but recognizes the chronological
difficulty. His suggestion, pp. 197-98, that this tomb type came from
Cyprus does not help matters. The Carthaginian settlers were primarily
Syro-Phoenicians, not Cypriots. Besides, he seems not to realize that
the type did not survive in Cyprus from Bronze Age times (contra.
p. 197). Like the Carthaginian example, it "came back" after a
mysterious chronological gap. Even if we make the Carthage example
depend on Cyprus, not Syria, we are still left with the puzzle of how
and why the Cypriots copied, yet did not copy, the 600-year extinct
tombs of Ras Shamra or Enkomi.
(169) C. F. A. Schaeffer, Ugaritica II (Paris: 1949),
pp. 5, 47. See H. Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient
Orient (Baltimore: 1963), p. 150 for their assignment to the
Mitannian period, p. 140 for his dates for that period; D. E. Strong,
Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate (Glasgow: 1966), p. 53.
(170) Frankfort, Art and Architecture, p. 150.
(171) P. Dikaios, "Fifteen Iron Age Vases," Report of the
Department of Antiquities of Cypris, 1937-1939 (Nicosia:
(172) Schaeffer, Ugaritica II, p. 47.
(173) M. Vieyra, Hittite Art, pp. 45-46.
(174) Schaeffer, Ugaritica II, pp. 22-23: "Une
influence de ce cotè est chronologiquement impossible, tous les
monuments assyriens actuellement connus où figurent des chevaux au galop
étant-postérieurs de pros d'un demimillénaire & notre patère."
(175) Frankfort, Art and Architecture, p. 150.
(176) Strong, Gold and Silver Plate, p. 53.
(177) L. Woolley, Alalakh (Oxford: 1955), p.384-99.
(178) H. Frankfort, Art and Architecture. On p. 166 he
speaks of the Dark Age. He saw similarities between Alalakh and
Zincirli in constructional technique employed by the architect but
invisible to onlookers (p. 145), and in ground plan (p. 167). He was,
in fact, so struck by these similarities that he disbelieved a break in
architectural continuity during the Dark Age (p. 163). Yet he himself
has shown that, by the accepted scheme, the palace at Alalakh and other
contemporary buildings were all destroyed long before Zincirli's palace
was built, and he fails to cite any intermediary structures to fill the
gap between 1200 and 850 B.C. (pp. 163-66).
(179) W. F. Albright's attempt ("Northeast Mediterranean Dark
Ages and the Early Iron Age Art of Syria" in The Aegean and the Near
East, ed. S. Weinberg [Locust Valley, New York: 1956], pp.
144-65) to bridge the chronological gap fails. While many of his
remarks are quite cogent, he disregards much evidence for dating some
finds, and, as was his custom, chose dates to suit his own scheme.
(180) Frankfort (Art and Architecture, p. 162) believed
that the building called a temple by Woolley may have been a palace.
(181) L. Woolley, A Forgotten Kingdom (London: 1959),
(182) Woolley (ibid., p. 132) pushes the lions back to the
10th century, but Frankfort (Art and Architecture, p. 166) shows
that they only go back to the 9th century.
(183) Woolley, A Forgotten Kingdom, p. 133.
(184) Seton Lloyd, The Art of the Ancient Near East
(New York: 1961), p. 274. Lloyd is actually speaking of stone
sphinxes from the Hittite capital of Boghaz Köy foreshadowing Assyrian
bulls and lions, but the quotation fits the Alalakh lions as well.
(185) Woolley, A Forgotten Kingdom, p. 152.
(186) W. S. Smith, Interconnections in the Ancient
Near East (London: 1965), p. 109. Smith actually refers to Hittite
art, but the situation is the same for the Alalakh lions. See also
Lloyd, Art of the Ancient Near East, pp. 193-94, and Woolley,
A Forgotten Kingdom, p. 133. Smith, Lloyd, and Woolley all wanted
to connect the "early" lions with the "late" ones, but they could not
bridge the Dark Age pointed out by Frankfort (Art and
Architecture, pp. 164-66), which should separate the two groups. It
is true that the Alalakh lions are less sophisticated than other lions
from this region, but that need not be a sign of a very early date.
Frankfort (Art and Architecture, p. 254, n. 7) speaks of various
degrees of success, or lack of it, in local carvings of the 9th century,
citing the Alalakh sculptures as an earlier precedent.
(187) As merely one case of consistency, let us reconsider the
"12th-century" LH IIIC period. At Pylos (Isaacson, "Carbon 14 Dates") we
found 7th-century pottery mixed with the 12th. In this paper we have seen
that stylistically LH IIIC figural pottery most resembles 7th-century ware.
Stratigraphically 7th-century sherds were mixed with LH IIIC inside the Lion
Gate of Mycenae. At Troy two LH IIIC structures were built over a 9th or
8th-century sherd, while 7th-century pottery was found stratified directly
above, mixed with, and under LH IIIC. Many more cases exist (e.g.,
the perplexing mixture of LH IIIC with early 7th-century pottery in a
stratum of Scoglio del Tonno near Taranto in South Italy). Why don't
stylistic and stratigraphical considerations cause the redating of this
period? As was pointed out earlier (Isaacson, "Carbon 14 Dates," p. 27, and
notes 12, 13, and 20) this period is connected with Pharaoh Ramses II.
Utilizing other evidence, Velikovsky has redated this king from the 13th to
the late 7th century B.C.
PENSEE Journal IX