Ancient Chronology (m)
Ancient Chronology is a subject fraught with difficulties(a) as well as the focus of intense academic debate, particularly over the past half century.
Shortly after Archbishop Ussher (1581-1656) had calculated the date of creation to have been 4004 BC, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) became the first ‘modern’ revisionist of accepted ancient chronology. His work was heavily criticised and little serious advances were made until the development of Egyptology following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt at the end of the 18th century.
Difficulties with details of Egyptian dating slowly accumulated, particularly when endeavouring to align it with Greek, Minoan and other eastern chronologies. The scholarly debates became very public in the middle of the 20th century with the eventual publication of Ages in Chaos by Immanuel Velikovsky and the attempts made to suppress it altogether. The refining of Velikovsky’s theories followed, with important contributions by S. Talbott, Edward Schorr and John Bimson. The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS)(b) was founded in 1975 and produces regular publications. This was followed a few years later by important books by David Rohl and Peter James‘, Centuries of Darkness. James also wrote The Sunken Kingdom in which he places Atlantis in Turkey.
One of the most controversial aspects of Plato’s Atlantis story is the Egyptian priests’ claim that Atlantis was destroyed 9,000 years before Solon’s visit. They also claim that Athens, who fought the Atlanteans, was established one thousand years before the Egyptian state. Apart from anachronisms in Plato’s narrative the archaeological evidence completely contradicts the dates seemingly offered by the priests of Sais.*[It is interesting that most of the chronology revisionist debate centres on the second millennium BC which is arguably the most rational timeframe for the destruction of Atlantis based on the Bronze Age references in Timaeus and Critias, provided they are not just anachronistic embellishments.]*