As stated earlier, in this 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 conclude this two-part study. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.
CONTENTS: The Truth about Archaeological Dating: 2
Events after the Flood: Keying the beginning of Egypt to events after the Flood
Hiding Radiocarbon Dates: Carbon-14 dates, although known to be inaccurate, were still too close to Bible dates to be publicly released
Eclipse Dating: Using undatable lunar eclipses to buttress the false Egyptian calendar
The Sothic Cycle: The so-called "sothic cycle" is the third basis for the false "Egyptian calendar"
No Egyptian Calendar: There is no clear-cut evidence that ancient Egypt had a calendar!
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.
Keying the beginning of Egypt to events after the Flood.
Let us now briefly overview events after the Flood which led to the founding of Egypt:
Descent to Mesopotamia. The Ark carrying the eight people landed "in the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 6-9). This would be in the region now known as eastern Turkey. Descending to the lower and warmer plains of Mesopotamia, they settled. The earliest records of human activity (farming, animal husbandry, mining, metalworking, cities, and written records) are to be found there. (See The Effects of the Flood for much, much more information on events and evidence from just after the Flood.)
Anthropologists are astounded that, suddenly and dramatically, a fully human, highly intelligent race lived there. The Flood had washed away all evidence of any humans living anywhere in the world before that time (that is, if discrepancies in radiocarbon dates are corrected; more on that later).—p. 19.
The tower and the scattering. At some time after settling in Mesopotamia, the Tower of Babel was built (Genesis 11) as a single governmental center, from which the entire planet could be ruled. The world was saved from such a threat by its destruction. Immediately, a worldwide scattering followed. That dispersion may be referred to in the "division" mentioned in Genesis 11:8-9. If so, this would date that event about a century after the Flood.
How many people were involved in this scattering to other lands? Courville suggested there could have been two million inhabitants within two centuries.—p. 19.
Migration to Egypt. It is likely that the migration into Egypt, India, and China began as soon as the construction of the tower was broken off.
Students of ancient Egypt are astounded that, suddenly, a full-blown civilization sprang up there—with next to no human activity beforehand.—pp. 19-20.
Tropical Near East. As the Flood ended, there was so much volcanic activity that dust in the air brought worldwide lowering of temperatures. This is why those leaving the Ark went southward. While northern lands were threatened by or covered with glacial ice, in the Near East an ideal climate existed: warm, sunny, abundant rain, excellent vegetative growth. (For more on this, see Effects of the Flood.)—p. 20.
Carbon-14 dates, although known to be inaccurate, were still too close to Bible dates to be publicly released.
In the late 1940s, *Willard Libby developed his radiocarbon (carbon-14) dating method. It could be applied to any organic material, and an approximate age could be derived.
However, because of atmospheric conditions immediately following the Flood, carbon-14 dating, when applied to samples which died closer to the deluge, tends to give inaccurate, lengthened-out date readings which extend too far into the past.
But dates from about 600 B.C., on down to A.D. 200, are more accurate. Dates from A.D. 200, onward to our own time, are even more accurate.
Another problem has been a massive cover-up which has occurred in relation to carbon-14 dating. Those C-14 test results which do not agree with modernist theories are not disclosed.—pp. 20-21.
Velikovsky's correspondence. Upon learning of Libby's new radiocarbon dating method, Velikovsky began writing letters, urging that various items be analyzed. He knew this would confirm his dating analysis. Unfortunately, he disclosed his findings that ancient dates agreed with Biblical events. Because of this, the results of the tests were not given to him.
Over a period of time, evidence of a major cover-up came to light.—pp. 21-23.
Using undatable lunar eclipses to buttress the false Egyptian calendar.
The proud boast is regularly made that Egyptian chronology is based on "astronomical dating." But this is not true.
Egyptian dating is based on a theory, not on astronomy. It is neither an extension of astronomical dating, nor based on it.
There are astronomically fixed Near Eastern dates, but they are not Egyptian dates. Two separate Babylonian cuneiform tablets have been found, each one filled with an entire year of data on the sun, planets, and eclipses. These dates fix two years: part of 568 / 567 B.C. and part of 523 / 522 B.C. Those are our oldest astronomically fixed dates.
There was one other older Near Eastern eclipse, which has enough partial corroboratory data to fix it at one of two years. Noted by Assyrians, it applies either to 763 B.C. or 791 B.C. But we do not know which one.
In contrast, the Egyptian "eclipses" are far different. Because of a lack of corroborative data, each eclipse mentioned in the papyruses could apply to a number of different dates, spanning over a thousand years!
What the humanists did was to arbitrarily select the date they wanted to use, and then pronounced it "astronomical dating."
To add to the problem, partial eclipses were also called "eclipses" by the ancients. They did not know the difference between an umbra and a penumbra. For all these reasons, Egyptian dates are not astronomically dated.—pp. 23-24.
The so-called "sothic cycle" is the third basis for the false "Egyptian calendar."
Egyptian dating is keyed both to the king lists of Manetho and to the sothic cycle.
A theory about the king lists provides a span of reigns, but a theory about the sothic cycle provides the actual dating. Yet this sothic cycle theory is so vague, that it difficult to explain.
What is this "sothic cycle"?
It is thought by some that ancient Egyptians had some kind of yearly calendar. But exactly what it was, no one really knows. So much mystery surrounds the possibility of an Egyptian calendar that the experts call it a "vague calendar."
Not really knowing what that calendar might have been, a number of speculations have been worked out. It is thought that, perhaps (perhaps), the Egyptians had a calendar of 360 days, plus five days at the end of the year. Because the true year is actually 365.25 days in length, a 365-day calendar would wander backward and not return to its original position for 365 x 4, or 1,460 years.
This conjectured 1,460 years would be the "sothic cycle."
What we are dealing with here is important, for the modernist theory about this supposed cycle is the basis for all Near Eastern dating.
Now, if (if) such a calendar was actually used in Egypt, and if (if) it remained in use for a full cycle of nearly 1,500 years, it would be possible to date backward, from later known dates to earlier dates.
Sounds pretty iffy. But the situation gets worse:
1: It must be clear that such a calendar was ever used in Egypt. We do not know that.
2: We must have definite evidence that it was used throughout a 1,460-year cycle. We do not know that.
3: The beginning date of the 1,460-year cycle must be known with certainty. We do not know that.
4: We must know that the extra five days were always a part of their calendar. We do not know that.
5: Something we do know: There was at least one other type of calendar in use in Egypt during part of that time! We know it was different, but we do not know much else. (It was a lunar, not a solar, calendar.) So every date on a monument would have to tell which calendar was meant. But that was not done.
6: The dates based on this theoretical sothic calendar should agree with one another. But that does not happen.
7: We do know that their year wandered through our 365.25-day year, but the speed of wandering is not known—and that is the crucial point.
If just one of the above seven points is in doubt, the entire calendar is rendered unfit to be cited as an accurate dating tool.—pp. 24-25.
The rising of sothis. Now we know what the supposed "cycle" is, but how did it get the name "sothis"?
It is keyed to the phrase, "rising of sothis," which is mentioned only once (only once) in Egyptian literature. Liberals take that one passage, and make a 1,460-year cycle out of it!
Here is the statement. It is part of a papyrus inscription found at Kahun, Egypt, and was written to a priest:
"You ought to know that the rising of sothis takes place on the 16th of the 8th month. Announce it to the priests of the town of Sekhem-Usertasen and of Anubis on the mountain and of Suchos . . And have this letter filed in the temple records."
Well, what does that mean to you? Not anything really.
What was "sothis"? No one knows. It could be the sun, moon, a planet, a star, a constellation, the Pleiades, etc. It could be the Nile or a local god.
What does the word "rising" mean? It could mean when a star, etc., comes up in the east or when it reaches a certain angle in the sky. It could mean the rise of the river or a procession in which a god was to be carried through town.
Liberals try to get a 1,460-year cycle out of that one passage, but there are problems:
1: They assume it is when the star, Sirius, arose. But that is a conjecture. No one knows what "sothis" was.
2: They assume the star could be seen each time it arose. But Sirius could not be seen arising at those times when the sun was in the sky. It would have to arise at least 36 minutes before the sun came up, in order to be seen.
3: Two researchers (Poole and MacNaughton) proved over a century ago that sothis could not be Sirius, because of when that star would arise at certain times.
4: There is no agreement on exactly when the 1,460-year cycle is supposed to have begun. Alternative theories are equally feasible. In the absence of certainty, the liberals just latched onto one set of dates (1320 B.C. to A.D. 141) as the cycle, and proclaim it as the standard for the setting of ancient dates.
5: A number of Egyptologists have rejected the theory entirely.
6: The ancients did not know the correct length of the solar year. It is actually 365.2422 days in length. A true solar year would change the calculation from 1,460 to 1,507 years. That is a difference of 47 years. There is an argument as to which time span is to be used for the complete cycle.
7: The theoretical sothic cycle does not agree with radiocarbon dating.—pp. 25-26.
There is no clear-cut evidence that ancient Egypt had a calendar!
Did the Egyptians have a calendar? Last but not least, Egyptologists for over a century have questioned whether the Egyptians ever had a calendar. In fact, over a century ago researchers nicknamed the Egyptian calendar the "annus vagus," which is Latin for the "vague calendar." It was obvious that the Egyptians had a calendar which no one in modern times can figure out.
Actually, many experts question whether the Egyptians ever had one! They ought to have left thousands of calendars, but they left none.
To the best of our knowledge, all they had was summer, or hot season; season of waters, or Nile flood time, and winter—and nothing else.
There was only one really important yearly event for the Egyptians, and that was the annual rising of the Nile. But that date would have provided them with a fairly accurate, self-correcting year. —And, if that were true, there would be no 1,460-year cycle!—pp. 26-27.
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