Sweeney, Emmet John
Emmet John Sweeney is a Scottish historian, who graduated from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He has followed the lead of Immanuel Velikovsky and produced several books arguing for a radical revision of the generally accepted chronologies of the early civilisations of the Eastern Mediterranean.
He controversially claims that “all the civilisations on both sides of the Atlantic arose more or less simultaneously, sometime between 1100 and 1200 BC” [700.202].
In Empire Of Thebes, Or, Ages In Chaos Revisited  Sweeney returns to the work of Velikovsky and “seeks to complete the work which he commenced, identifying the problems Velikovsky could not solve, and bringing forward a great body of evidence not even mentioned by Velikovsky which supports his identification of Hatshepsut with the Queen of Sheba. Velikovsky was rejected by the academic establishment because of a number of contradictions in the chronology he outlined. Sweeney shows that despite some gaps and incompletions, his (Velikovsky’s) books were brilliant works of scholarship with much to recommend them. For decades now various scholars have attempted to solve the enigma. Yet the answer was stunningly simple and in front of us all the time. Empire of Thebes provides the solution and finally allows the possibility of a complete and satisfactory reconstruction of ancient history. This work calls for a much more radical shortening of ancient chronology and asserts that Velikovsky ran into a dead end because he placed too much reliance on the Bible as a chronological measuring rod.”
>Velikovsky’s (and Sweeney’s) identification of the Queen of Sheba with Hatshepsut was recently endorsed in a paper by Ken Griffith and Darrell K. White (f).<
He further claims that the Egyptian pyramids were constructed around 800 BC(d) and that Atlantis was destroyed around the same period! This date is significant as it coincides with an event that led to devastation in Southern Germany and the Alps involving huge inundations and tilting of lake shorelines which could only be brought about by a very powerful seismic upheaval(b).
“His claim that the Great Pyramid was constructed around 850 BC, rather than 2550 BC, is viewed as unfounded sensationalism. Sweeney’s claims that the pyramid-builders would have needed steel tools to cut granite, basalt and diorite, is said to have been disproved by the researches of Denys A. Stocks, who shows (Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology, 2003) that granite, for example, can be worked by pounding it with a harder stone, such as basalt. Sweeney however has pointed out that while large granite surfaces can be ground down in this way, Pyramid Age sculptors must have been in possession of steel tools, since the carving of basalt and diorite portrait statues, which display details of eyes, nose, ears, etc, can only have been executed using very sharp and fine cutting-tools.”(e)
He has also tackled the Arthurian legend, regarding which he considers Stonehenge to have been Arthur’s ‘round table’. The blurb for his 2001 book Arthur and Stonehenge goes further stating that “As for Arthur himself, he was the primitive bear-god “Artos”, the Celtic version of Hercules. Originally portrayed with a bearskin over his head and shoulders and carrying a great oaken club, he became the prototype of the Greek Hercules when Hellenic traders, braving the wild waters of the Atlantic in search of tin, heard his story from the Britons.”
Sweeney has now ventured beyond his comfort zone and devoted his talents to the Atlantis question. He argues for the existence of a large island in the Atlantic, whose remnants today are the Azores. He sees this island as a stepping-stone to the Americas, which is necessary to explain the evidence of transatlantic contacts in the very distant past. He also takes the opportunity to highlight weaknesses in radiocarbon dating (p218).
The Washington Times, which is owned by the ‘Moonies’, gave his book a favourable review(a)! The reviewer, Martin Sieff, a native of Belfast and Velikovskian catastrophist, is accused by Jason Colavito of using his critique to promote Sweeney more as a catastrophist rather than as an atlantologist and does so without revealing Sieff’s catastrophist background.
A more critical review of Sweeney’s work can also be found elsewhere on the Internet(c).
(b) H. Gams and R. Nordhagen, Mitteil. der Geograph. Ges. in Munchen, XVI, H. 2 (1923), pp. 13-348. R. Sernander, ‘Klimaverschlechterung, Postglaciale’ in Reallexikon der Vorgeschichte, VII (1926); O. Paret, Das Neue Bild der Vorgeschuchte (1948), p.44.