In this two-part study you will learn that the changeover to an erroneous dating system of ancient events was based on an incorrect interpretation of Egyptian dating. This fallacious "Egyptian dating system" was keyed to Manetho's king lists, lunar eclipse dating, and the sothic cycle. Let us now read the facts in the case. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.
CONTENTS: The Truth about Archaeological Dating: 1
Introduction: The decades when the evolutionists gained final control of Western scientific research
Archaeology, Past and Present: Facts about archaeology which you will find of interest
Archaeological Problems: Archaeologists really need the oldest history book, in view of all the problems confronting them
The Walls of Jericho: The classic example of switching dates
Manetho's List: Manetho's jumbled list was made the first key to Egyptian dating
Velikovsky and Courville: Two researchers who uncovered the fraud
This material is excerpted from the book, THE TRUTH ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATING. An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the books this Encyclopedia is based on, only 164 statements are by creationists.
The information you will read here will be found in expanded form in our
book, The Truth about Biblical Archaeology. In addition, these facts
closely relate to two of our other books: The Age of the Earth and
Dating of Time in Evolution.
The last-named book deals with radiodating and radiocarbon dating, while the material before you focuses on archaeological dating.
The decades when the evolutionists gained final control of Western scientific research.
Following their media victory at the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," evolutionists worked intensively to broaden their base in a variety of fields. They set to work to more fully take over universities, as well as government funding agencies. A variety of other fields were also penetrated.
But they were not neglectful of archaeology. It was determined that they must control archaeological dating techniques.
Wanting to make it appear that the Bible must not be true, they said that events recorded in it had never really occurred—since they were quite consistently not confirmed by archaeological finds.
Another aspect of this plan was to devise additional ways to make it appear that men and civilizations have been on the earth for many thousands of years longer than they actually have. The solution was to invent a phony calendation system, to be used to date all Near Eastern archaeological strata levels. Pottery dating would also be keyed to this master calendar.
Facts about archaeology which you will find of interest.
Importance of Archaeology. Over the years, archaeology has provided us with a clearer understanding of ancient times.
These discoveries have included the finding of the Rosetta Stone, the ancient city of Troy, the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, the tomb of King Tutankhamen, the city of Ur, and the Dead Sea scrolls. These and many other important discoveries mark the progress of archaeological research.
However, in this major article we will learn that, beginning in the 1940s, a systematic effort has been made to reinterpret ancient dates in order to make it appear that the Bible is not true. Evidence which applies to one time period are said to belong to a different one.
A classic example of this is the walls of Jericho. They were discovered, and were found to have not only fallen outward, but also to have been burned. At that particular level, the materials within the city were not looted (taken), but burned. This resulted in a thick ash at that level. All this points to the incident recorded in Joshua 6.
However, fallacious dating methods have been applied, in an effort to make it appear that this level existed and was burned at a much earlier time period. More on this later.—pp. 13-14.
*Andrew White. In 1896, Andrew White began, in earnest, the task of linking archaeological findings to evolutionary theories. In that year, he published a book which theorized that archaeological discoveries disproved the Bible. He tried to show that several ancient events occured earlier than indicated in the Bible.—p. 14.
The earliest Egyptian date. Even before Andrew White's time, other men had suggested older dates for the earliest civilization known: Egypt. Yet, in spite of many efforts, the experts in that field (Egyptologists, they are called) have declared that the earliest Egyptian dates do not reach very far back.
The earliest dates would be the dates assigned to the reign of Menes, who was king at the beginning of the first Egyptian dynasty.
With the passing of years, experts have set lower and still lower dates for the beginning of Menes' reign. Champollian, one of the earliest scholars, set it at 5867 B.C. But more recent researchers place it as low as 2224 B.C.—p. 14.
Date of Creation and the Flood. At this point, it is needful that we should mention the date of Creation and the Flood.
The world and everything in it was made in six, literal, 24-hour days. Then God rested on the seventh day as an example for us to follow.
Later, the worldwide Flood occurred for a whole year.
Creation Week is variously estimated, by creationists, as occurring somewhere between 4000 and 8000 B.C.
As a result of the evidence presented throughout the entire series of books this web Encyclopedia is based on, the present writer places Creation Week at approximately 4000 B.C. This is almost exactly 4,000 years before the birth of Christ in 4 B.C.
The date of the Flood is variously set at 2300 to 4500 B.C.
As a result of having carefully studied the evidence in this entire series, the present writer places the date of the Flood at 2348 B.C.
Admittedly, both dates are very conservative, yet they are in harmony with Biblical records and non-Biblical evidence. The Bible is the most accurate ancient historical record known to mankind.
The year 2348 B.C. would be equivalent to 1656 A.M. (anno mundi), or about 1,656 years after Creation.
Within a century after the Flood ended, Egypt's first kingdom could have been established.
Thus we see that the lower dates for the beginning of Egypt agree with these estimations.—pp. 14-15.
In the hands of humanists. It is not widely known that modern archaeology is in the hands of secular humanists. They control the universities.
Partway through the 20th century, the entire system of archaeological dating in the Near East was switched to reliance on a few peculiar assumptions, which place all such dates too far into the past. Those dates are now keyed to a theoretical system of Egyptian dates which, for certain reasons, cannot be correct.—p. 15. More on this later in this article.
Archaeologists really need the oldest history book, in view of all the problems confronting them.
Archaeologists need the Bible. Archaeologists really need the oldest historical book in the world, and they should not try to ignore it as though it were a book of myths.—pp. 15-16.
Archaeological problems. In addition to not relying enough on the Bible to provide guidance in their digs, archaeologists have other problems on their hands also. So much so, that they need all the historical help they can get.
Consider these 12 facts:
1: Excavations are time-consuming. It takes years to properly excavate just one site, and there are hundreds of them. It is estimated that to properly excavate Hazor will require 800 years.
2: Only a very small section of a site can be excavated, and little of that is dug down to bedrock.
3: The findings are lopsided. The most important discoveries are never made, because the materials have burned or rotted away.
4: Even rare manuscript discoveries are often not openable or in unreadable languages.
5: In spite of more than a century of digging, we have uncovered only an extremely small portion of what needs to be excavated. Only about one percent of the sites have been even partially dug.
6: Sometimes archaeologists do not know where they are digging, and this adds to the misinterpretation.
7: Preconceived opinions keep the dig directors from accepting facts which confront them.
8: There is an immense problem in publication! Less than five percent of the excavated documents are published within five years. After a dig is completed, the archaeologists go back to their university duties, and begin planning the next year's dig.
9: The experts spend far too much time arguing with one another about what they have discovered.
10: Archaeologists generally accept the evolutionary concept of uniformitarianism. This is the assumption that all past time has been just like the present, and no catastrophes, such as the worldwide Flood, have occurred.
11: Pieces of pottery, which are found in the digs, are the basis for dating the strata. But the pottery styles are keyed to an erroneous Egyptian dating system. In addition, it is assumed that each pottery style goes out of fashion within just a few years, yet that may not be true.
12: It is the director of the dig, and those funding him, who decide what the conclusions will be.—pp. 15-16.
The classic example of switching dates.
The walls of Jericho. This is a classic example of how the humanists try to use archaeological excavations to destroy the validity of the Bible.
From 1930 to 1936, *John Garstang excavated Jericho and discovered that there had been several times when the city and its walls had been destroyed. But one level revealed that the walls had "fallen flat outward." Further checking revealed that this particular level had a layer of ash which was far too thick. The city had been burned, but the loot (the furnishings) had not been taken! After careful study, Garstang announced that this level, with its fallen walls and thick ash, had occurred approximately at the time when Joshua and his army invaded the land about 1400 B.C.
But, by the 1940s, the humanists were rapidly gaining control of archaeological departments in the universities. In the 1950s, *Kathleen Kenyon began her excavation at Jericho. Instead of carrying out a regular dig, she used a new method which is frequently followed today: She sliced through a small section—like cutting a pie—down to the bottom. Then, applying the speculative Egyptian dating system to it, she announced to the world that the dating of that special level did not agree with Bible chronology,—and the flattened wall and burned-over city could not have occurred during Joshua's time, but at an earlier time.
It is of interest that archaeologists everywhere lauded her conclusions as accurate; yet, to this day, the dating of another archaeological dig, the walls of Gezer, continue to be regarded with confusion and controversy. Among secular archaeologists, few agree on anything except when they can unite in casting disrepute on the Bible.—p. 16.
What is this special Egyptian dating system based on? The answer is Manetho's king lists, lunar eclipse dating, and the sothic cycle.
Manetho's jumbled list was made the first key to Egyptian dating.
At some time between 300 and 250 B.C. Manetho, an Egyptian priest, wrote a list of 31 Egyptian dynasties of kings. Greece ruled the world at the time, and Manetho wanted to prove that Egypt previously had been a great nation also. So he wrote these king lists.
But certain facts need to be kept in mind:
1: It is well-known among historians that ancient Egyptian writers frequently exaggerated, or lied outright, when it best served their purposes. They slanted information to magnify the greatness of their rulers and nation. Egyptian stone monuments, for example, gloated over victories and never mentioned defeats.
2: All we have from Manetho are these king lists. Fortunately, we have two copies of his lists. But having two copies only adds to the problem,—for the two lists do not agree with one another! The number of years assigned to each king, and time covered by each dynasty, is different in the two lists. —Yet ancient dating is keyed to Manetho's king lists!
3: The lists seem to deal with two simultaneously reigning sets of kings. (It is well-known that ancient Egypt was divided into "Upper Egypt" and "Lower Egypt.") If one set of rulers were reigning when the other was, this fact alone would divide in half the total length of years in which those early Egyptian kings reigned.
4: A number of scholars believe that Manetho fabricated names, events, numbers, and history, as did many ancient Egyptian pharoahs and historians, in order to glorify the nation and its rulers.
5: Manetho, living about 250 B.C., prepared king lists which are unlike anything written earlier. Many of those names we cannot compare with anything! There is no indication they have ever existed. All we have is Manetho's assurance that they were once alive.
6: How could Manetho prepare such lists, when, to the best of our knowledge, he had so little to base them on? In other words, how could he be assumed to know so much and be so accurate?
7: *James Breasted, a leading archaeologist in the 1920s, declared that Manetho's lists were ridiculous, did not agree with Egyptian history, and should be discarded.
With such a background, can Manetho be trusted to provide us with the basic keystone chronology that all modern archaeological excavation is based on? Clearly not.
Why then are Manetho's king lists treasured by humanists as the best of all ancient lists? Because those lists provide us with dates which are older than those of any other dating records anywhere in the world. Therefore the humanists treasure them.—p. 17.
Two researchers who uncovered the fraud.
Two men challenged the assumption that Manetho's king lists were consecutive and not overlapping.
Velikovsky's studies. Immanuel Velikovsky was a Russian who practiced psychoanalysis until the mid-1930s, at which time he devoted the rest of his life to unraveling ancient chronologies and time periods.
Turning to the oldest and largest ancient history book in the world, the Bible, he compared it with secular records of all kinds.
He found that, although the Bible recorded many contacts between Egypt and Israel, mid-20th century archaeologists said they could not correlate any of them with their findings. How could this be? Velikovsky wondered. He determined to find out.
He discovered that the problem centered on a gullible acceptance of Manetho's king lists, as a single, trustworthy time-span listing.
Eventually, Velikovsky wrote three major books: Ages in Chaos, 1952; Peoples of the Sea, 1977; and Ramses II and His Time, 1978, detailing his reasons.—pp. 17-18.
Courville's studies. In 1956, Donovan A. Courville, a biochemist at Loma Linda University, read Ages in Chaos, and began his own research in ancient history. Fifteen years of in-depth research followed.
In the main, Courville agreed with Velikovsky's conclusions regarding the Middle Kingdom. But Courville carried the dating back further than Velikovsky had—all the way to the first dynasty,—and came upon a variety of reasons why many of Manetho's dynasties occurred simultaneously with one another.
According to Courville's findings, the "Old Kingdom" occurred at the same time as the "Middle Kingdom" rather than preceding it by 400-500 years.
Courville's careful analysis reduced the length of Egypt's dynasties, and placed its first double-ruler dynasty at around 2150 B.C. This would be approximately 200-350 years after the Flood, according to whichever date one wished to set for that cataclysm. (From his studies, the present writer sets the date of the Flood at c. 2348 B.C.)
In 1971, Courville wrote his monumental book, The Exodus Problem and Its Ramifications, in 1971.—pp. 18-19.
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