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Aspects of Ancient Near Eastern Chronology (c. 1600–700 BC)


There can be no more important topic in historical studies than chronology, for it is chronology which gives meaning to history by placing individuals, events and material remains within their true sequence. This work argues that the orthodox Ancient Near Eastern chronology is fundamentally wrong and that consequently the histories of the Great Kingdoms of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria and Hatti, along with other minor kingdoms such as Israel/Judah, must be radically rewritten.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-127-0
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Feb 19,2010
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 8.25 x 10.75
Page Count: 286
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-127-0
$85.00
$51.00

There can be no more important topic in historical studies than chronology, for it is chronology which gives meaning to history by placing individuals, events and material remains within their true sequence. If this sequence does not match historical actuality, then the historical narrative drawn from the available evidence may appear confused, incomplete or even contradictory.

The history of the Near East is bound together by an accurate and continuous absolute chronology that stretches back to the early first millennium BC. However, beyond that point in time one is forced to rely upon regional chronologies for the histories of the Great Kingdoms of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria and Hatti, amongst others. Scholars have pieced together these regional chronologies over the last one-two centuries using information from King-lists, royal annals and administrative documents, as well as scientific dating techniques including astronomy and radiocarbon dating. The end result of this major enterprise is, today, what can best be described as an extremely complex but little understood jigsaw puzzle composed of a multiplicity of loosely connected data.

This work investigates the chronology of the Near East during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods and concludes that the ‘conventional/orthodox’ chronology is fundamentally wrong. Indeed, it argues that Egyptian New Kingdom (Memphite) dates should be lowered by 200 years to match historical actuality. This chronological adjustment is achieved in two stages: first, the removal of 85 (parallel) years of Assyrian chronology from the 11th-10th century BC pre-Neo-Assyrian period; and second, the downward displacement of Late Bronze Age Egyptian dates relative to Assyrian chronology by a further 115 years.

Born in Ireland, Pierce Furlong completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, England. Possessed of itchy feet a goodly number of the following years were spent roaming the world; during which time many of the great archaeological sites in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia were visited. A passion for ancient history grew out of this experience, and this was given a more formal outlet when, having settled in Australia, he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne: being awarded a First Class Honors degree from the Department of Classics and Archaeology in 1996, and a PhD from the Department of History in 2007.

There can be no more important topic in historical studies than chronology, for it is chronology which gives meaning to history by placing individuals, events and material remains within their true sequence. If this sequence does not match historical actuality, then the historical narrative drawn from the available evidence may appear confused, incomplete or even contradictory.

The history of the Near East is bound together by an accurate and continuous absolute chronology that stretches back to the early first millennium BC. However, beyond that point in time one is forced to rely upon regional chronologies for the histories of the Great Kingdoms of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria and Hatti, amongst others. Scholars have pieced together these regional chronologies over the last one-two centuries using information from King-lists, royal annals and administrative documents, as well as scientific dating techniques including astronomy and radiocarbon dating. The end result of this major enterprise is, today, what can best be described as an extremely complex but little understood jigsaw puzzle composed of a multiplicity of loosely connected data.

This work investigates the chronology of the Near East during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods and concludes that the ‘conventional/orthodox’ chronology is fundamentally wrong. Indeed, it argues that Egyptian New Kingdom (Memphite) dates should be lowered by 200 years to match historical actuality. This chronological adjustment is achieved in two stages: first, the removal of 85 (parallel) years of Assyrian chronology from the 11th-10th century BC pre-Neo-Assyrian period; and second, the downward displacement of Late Bronze Age Egyptian dates relative to Assyrian chronology by a further 115 years.

Born in Ireland, Pierce Furlong completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, England. Possessed of itchy feet a goodly number of the following years were spent roaming the world; during which time many of the great archaeological sites in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia were visited. A passion for ancient history grew out of this experience, and this was given a more formal outlet when, having settled in Australia, he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne: being awarded a First Class Honors degree from the Department of Classics and Archaeology in 1996, and a PhD from the Department of History in 2007.

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Contributor Biography

Pierce Furlong

Born in Ireland, the author’s family later migrated to England where he completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at The University of East Anglia. Thereafter, a number of years were spent travelling the world; during that time many of the great archaeological sites in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia were visited. A long-held passion for ancient history was given a formal outlet when, having settled in Australia, he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne: being awarded a First Class Honours degree from the Department of Classics and Archaeology in 1996, and a PhD from the School of Historical Studies in 2007. He is currently an Honorary Fellow at The University of Melbourne.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • List of Illustrations (page 11)
  • List of Tables (page 13)
  • Preface (page 15)
  • Acknowledgments (page 17)
  • Abbreviations (page 19)
  • Introduction (page 21)
  • 1 Methodology (page 27)
  • Part 1: Mesopotamian Chronology (page 33)
    • 2 Assyrian Absolute Chronology (page 35)
      • Introduction (page 35)
      • 2.1 Shadow Kings of Assyria (page 36)
      • 2.2 Tuthmosis III, Ashur-Uballit I and El-Amarna Letter 15 Royal Gifts (page 40)
        • 2.2.1 International Politics (page 41)
      • 2.3 Hanigalbat and Assyria (page 44)
      • 2.4 The First Assyro-Hittite War of Tiglath-Pileser I (page 47)
        • 2.4.1 Documentary Evidence (page 47)
        • 2.4.2 Historical Interpretation (page 49)
        • 2.5 The Second Assyro-Hittite War of Tiglath-Pileser I (page 50)
          • 2.5.1 The Syrian Campaign (page 50)
          • 2.5.2 Political Aftermath (page 54)
        • 2.6 Ashur-Rabi II and the Aramean Invasion of Assyria (page 58)
        • 2.7 The Dynasty of Ashur-Rabi II and the Kingdom of Hana (page 61)
    • 3 Babylonian Relative Chronology (page 65)
      • 3.1 Synchronistic History or Chronicle P? (page 65)
      • 3.2 Kassite Anomalies (page 67)
        • 3.2.1 Anomaly 1 (page 68)
        • 3.2.2 Anomaly 2 (page 69)
        • 3.2.3 Anomaly 3 (page 70)
        • 3.2.4 Anomaly 4 (page 72)
        • 3.2.5 Anomaly 5 (page 75)
      • 3.3 KBo I 10 and the Founding of the Second Dynasty of Isin (page 76)
    • 4 Babylonian Absolute Chronology (page 81)
      • 4.1 Tukulti-Ninurta I and the Assyrian Interregnum in Babylonia (page 81)
      • 4.2 Anomalous Dating Formulae (page 85)
        • 4.2.1 Formula 1 (page 85)
        • 4.2.2 Formula 2 (page 86)
      • 4.3 Old Texts, New Interpretations (page 87)
        • 4.3.1 Test K.2660 (page 87)
        • 4.3.2 Akkadian Prophecy Text A (page 89)
        • 4.3.3 Babylonian Chronicle 25 (page 91)
        • 4.3.4 Summary (page 93)
      • 4.4 Usurper Kings and Babylonian History (page 94)
        • 4.4.1 Ta-na-ah-Samas (page 94)
        • 4.4.2 Kadashman-Turgu (page 97)
      • 4.5 Tukulti-Nintura (I) or Nintura-Tukulti-(Ashur)? (page 100)
    • 5 The Aramean Invasion of Babylonia and its Aftermath (page 101)
      • 5.1 Chronological Considerations (page 101)
        • 5.1.1 Phase I (page 104)
        • 5.1.2 Phase 2 (page 104)
        • 5.1.3 Phase 3 (page 104)
        • 5.1.4 Phase 4 (page 105)
      • 5.2 Geographical Considerations (page 105)
      • 5.3 Historical Considerations (page 109)
        • 5.3.1 Eriba-Adad II and Simbar-Shipak (page 109)
        • 5.3.2 Eulmash-shakin-shumi and Shamash-mudammiq (page 110)
    • 6 Completing the Chronological Circle (page 111)
      • 6.1 Agum-Kakrime and the Kassite Capture of Bablyon (page 111)
      • 6.2 AKL Fragment KAV 14 and the Missing Assyrian Monarchs (page 115)
      • 6.3 Saushtatar of Mitanni and the Kingdom of Arrapha (page 118)
      • Conclusion to Part 1 (page 122)
  • Part 2: Assyria, Mitanni/Hanigalbat and Hatti (page 125)
    • 7 Assyrian Revival: Adad-Nirari I and the Kingdom of Hanigalbat (page 127)
      • 7.1 Hanigalbat, Mitanni and Hurri Land: Three Kingdoms, One History (page 127)
      • 7.2 Uasashatta (page 132)
        • 7.2.1 Adad-nirari I and Uasashatta (page 132)
        • 7.2.2 KUB XXIII 102, KBo I 20 and CTH 41 (page 134)
        • 7.2.3 Summary (page 138)
      • 7.3 Historical Repercussions (page 139)
    • 8 Crisis in Hatti Land: Shalmaneser I and Tudhaliya II (page 143)
      • 8.1 Assyrian Victory and Hittite Collapse (page 143)
      • 8.2 Tushratta and Utkhi (page 145)
      • 8.3 Tudhaliya III ('The Younger') (page 148)
      • 8.4 Summary (page 149)
    • 9 Builder of Empire: Shuppilulima I and his Three Mitannian Wars (page 151)
      • 9.1 Hittite Expansion (page 151)
      • 9.2 Assyrian Response (page 154)
    • 10 Hittite Consolidation: Murshili II and Tukulti-Ninurta I (page 157)
      • Conclusion to Part 2 (page 159)
  • Part 3: The Egyptian Third Intermediate Period (page 161)
    • 11 Chronological Links (page 163)
      • Introduction (page 163)
      • 11.1 Synchronous Events (page 163)
        • 11.1.1 The Memphite Genealogy (page 163)
        • 11.1.2 Shoshenq I's Palestinian Campaign (page 166)
      • 11.2 The High Priests of Amun at Thebes (page 169)
      • 11.3 The Twenty-First Dynasty (page 171)
      • 11.4 The Twenty-Fifth (Kushite) Dynasty (page 176)
      • 11.5 Question of Identity (page 179)
        • 11.5.1 Osorkon III (page 180)
        • 11.5.2 Psusennes III (page 182)
        • 11.5.3 Iuput I and II (page 184)
        • 11.5.4 Shoshenq IV, VI, and Once Again IV? (page 184)
      • 11.6 The Epitome of Manetho (page 186)
    • 12 Genealogical Links (page 191)
      • 12.1 Egyptian Rulers from the 20th to 23rd Dynasties (page 191)
        • 12.1.1 Psusennes I (page 191)
        • 12.1.2 Shoshenq IIa (page 195)
        • 12.1.3 Amenemnisu and Maatkare B (page 198)
        • 12.1.4 Shoshenq A (page 199)
        • 12.1.5 21st Dynasty High Priest(s) of Amun (page 201)
      • 12.2 Noble Families From the Third Intermediate Period (page 202)
        • 12.2.1 Nesipakashuri ii (page 202)
        • 12.2.2 Nebneteru iii (page 203)
        • 12.2.3 Nesipakashuti ii (b) (page 205)
        • 12.2.4 Nespaneferhor i and Hor ii (page 206)
        • 12.2.5 High Priests of Ptah at Memphis (page 209)
        • Conclusion (page 212)
  • Part 4: Scientific Dating? (page 215)
    • 13 Scientific Dating Techniques (page 217)
      • Introduction (page 217)
      • 13.1 Dendochronology (page 217)
        • 13.1.1 Theoretical Principles (page 217)
        • 13.1.2 Methodological Difficulties (page 219)
      • 13.2 Radiocarbon Dating (page 222)
        • 13.2.1 Calibration Curves (page 222)
        • 13.2.2 Radiocarbon Offsets (page 223)
      • 13.3 Ice-Core Analysis (page 225)
    • 14 Science and History in the Debate over Chronology (page 227)
      • 14.1 Dating the LBA Volcanic Eruption of Thera (Santorini) (page 227)
      • 14.2 Tel Dor, Tel Rehov and the 'Low Chronology' Debate (page 232)
      • Conclusion (page 235)
      • Thesis Conclusion (page 237)
  • Figures and Tables (page 240)
  • Bibliography (page 259)
  • Index (page 281)
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