David Rohl (1950- ) holds a degree in Ancient History and Egyptology from University College London. He is a former rock musician and is the author of three best-selling history books that controversially proposed a New Chronology for the ancient eastern Mediterranean and has presented television documentary programmes on the same subject, which have provoked severe criticism(a).
Drawing some inspiration from the work[1388/9] of Reginald A. Walker (1917-1989), Rohl has also argued for the Garden of Eden being situated in what is now north western Iran. Equally controversial is Rohl’s claim that the biblical Tower of Babel was sited at the Sumerian city of Eridu. This claim was explored in detail on Yesterday Channel’s, Secrets of the Bible series (S1 E8).
Unexpectedly, he has written an introduction to Andrew Collins’ bestseller, Gateway to Atlantis, in which he expresses his regret for the lack of firm archaeological evidence to support the existence of Atlantis, but is clearly sympathetic to the idea and is somewhat supportive of an Atlantic location. He repeated and expanded on his views at a subsequent lecture(b).
Rohl also proposed that the Shardana, one of the Sea Peoples, originally came from Sardis in Lydia and later established the Nuragic Culture on Sardinia [232.449]. Recently, Angelo Paratico propounded the same idea during a lecture in Hong Kong in 2004(d). Perhaps more pertinent is a Wikipedia entry which notes that “According to Timaeus, one of Plato’s dialogues, Sardinia and its people as well, the “Sardonioi” or “Sardianoi”, might have been named after “Sardò”, a legendary woman from Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in Anatolia.”(e)
Peter James is another high profile historian who has advocated a similar radical revision of the chronologies of the Mediterranean and Near East. In fact, James and Rohl had collaborated until they had divergent views regarding the identification of the biblical Shishak(c), Rohl favouring Ramesses II, while James opted for Ramesses III. James has also written a controversial work on Atlantis, placing it in ancient Lydia.