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The Comet of Justinian: Around the Same Time as the Devastating Outbreak of Plague in the 6th Century AD, a Comet Appeared / This Comet is Recorded to have Induced "a Remarkable Paleness of the Sun" for 3 Full Years / The Mosaics of Ravenna from this Time Period Appear to Record the Conditions which Contributed to Europe Losing 40% of its Population: Not Just Plague, but also Terrible Explosions, Earthquakes, a Dry Fog in the Air, and Fire and Stones Raining from the Sky

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Vol 1)
by Edward Gibbon

(The first volume of this classic was published in 1776. It is one of the most read historical works of modern times.)

"I shall conclude this chapter with the comets, the earthquakes, and the plague, which astonished or afflicted the age of Justinian.

Comets A.D. 531-539

I. In the fifth year of his reign, and in the month of September, a comet was seen during twenty days in the western quarter of the heavens, and which shot its rays into the north. Eight years afterwards, while the sun was in Capricorn, another comet appeared to follow in the Sagittary: the size was gradually increasing: the head was in the east, the tail in the west, and it remained visible about forty days. The nations, who gazed with astonishment, expected wars and calamities from their baleful influence; and these expectations were abundantly fulfilled. The astronomers dissembled their ignorance of the nature of these blazing stars, which they affected to represent as the floating meteors of the air; and few among them embraced the simple notion of Seneca and the Chaldeans, that they are only planets of a longer period, and more eccentric motion. Time and science have justified the conjectures and predictions of the Roman sage: the telescope has opened new worlds to the eyes of astronomers; and, in the narrow space of history and fable, one and the same comet is already found to have revisited the earth in seven equal revolutions of five hundred and seventy-five years. The first, which ascends beyond the christian era one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven years, is coeval with Ogyges the father of Grecian antiquity. And this appearance explains the tradition which Varro has preserved, that under his reign the planet Venus changed her colour, size, figure, and course: a prodigy without example either in past or succeeding ages. The second visit, in the year eleven hundred and ninety-three, is darkly implied in the fable of Electra the seventh of the Pleiads, who have been reduced to six since the time of the Trojan war. That nymph, the wife of Dardanus, was unable to support the ruin of her country: she abandoned the dances of her sister orbs, fled from the zodiac to the north pole, and obtained, from her dishevelled locks, the name of the comet. The third period expires in the year six hundred and eighteen, a date that exactly agrees with the tremendous comet of the Sibyl, and perhaps of Pliny, which arose in the west two generations before the reign of Cyrus. The fourth apparaition, forty-four years before the birth of Christ, is of all others the most splendid and important. After the death of Caesar, a long-haired star was conspicuous to Rome and to the nations, during the games which were exhibited by young Octavian, in honour of Venus and his uncle. The vulgar opinion, that it conveyed to heaven the divine soul of the dictator, was cherished and consecrated by the piety of a statesman: while his secret superstition referred the comet to the glory of his own times. The fifth visit has been already ascribed to the fifth year of Justinian, which coincides with the five hundred and thirty-first of the christian era. And it may deserve notice, that in this, as in the preceding instance, the comet was followed, though at a longer interval, by a remarkable paleness of the sun. The sixth return, in the year eleven hundred and six, is recorded by the chronicles of Europe and China; and in the first fervour of the crusades, the christians and the Mahometans might surmise, with equal reason, that it portended the destruction of the infidels. The seventh phenomenon, of one thousand six hundred and eighty, was presented to the eyes of an enlightened age. The philosophy of Bayle dispelled a prejudice which Milton's muse had so recently adorned, that the comet from its horrid air shakes pestilence and war. Its road in the heavens was observed with exquisite skill by Flamstead and Cassini; and the mathematical science of Bernoulli, Newton and Halley, investigated the laws of its revolution. At the eighth period, in the year two thousand two hundred and fifty-five, their calculations may perhaps be verified by the astronomers of some future capital in the Siberian or American wilderness.

The Ravenna Mosaics

Eclipses, Comets and Craters, Raining Fire, Justinian’s Plague, the Hagia Sophia and the Ravenna Mosaics. The Comet of 536

"As the Emperor Justinian was building the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (532-537), a series of spectacularly dramatic climate and celestial events occurred. These were not just ordinary pestilence and earthquakes, these were biblical in their enormity. In the midst of construction, in the year 536, the earth was rocked with terrible 'explosions and earthquakes.' Fire and stones 'rained' from heaven, and a dry fog, so dense and so thick that a 'weak sun' was visible for only 2 hours per day, hung in the air for more than three years. The air temperature dropped precipitously. Snow was reported in August. Eclipses occurred, which had been predicted. Famines and plague took the lives of 40% of Europe’s population. Scholars have been debating the source for the earthquakes and the thick dry fog. The mosaics of Ravenna tell us the truth: the earth had a very close encounter with a comet. And once we know how to read the marble decorations of the Hagia Sophia we will be astonished to learn that the eclipses which were predicted are pictured on the walls."

These detailed mosaics have been interpreted by Dr. Ruth Dwyer in a series of online videos. The second one of the series is the most important for our purposes here ...

The imagery of the mosaics are visual indications of the celestial catastrophe and subsequent plague that struck Constantinople and the east. Regardless of the recent debates over the reconstruction of this time period's chronology (like by Heinsohn), the fall of Rome plainly created a power vacuum during this era. In that vacuum, Christianity and Islam rose to power simultaneously. Clark Whelton remarks that, "both religions offer competing ritual formulae for pacifying the heavens and avoiding future celestial disasters."

A Firsthand Account

The letters of Cassiodorus
Translated by Thomas Hodgkin – 1886
Page 518

25. Senator, Praetorian Praefect, to his Deputy Ambrosius, an Illustris.

[This letter appears to have been written in the early autumn of 538, about a year after the three last letters, and also after Letters 27 and 28, which precede it in order of date, though they follow it in this collection. For an account of the terrible famine in Italy, the beginning of which is here described, see Procopius, De Bello Gotthico ii. 20.]

Famine in Italy

"Since the world is not governed by chance, but by a Divine Ruler who does not change His purposes at random, men are alarmed, and naturally alarmed, at the extraordinary signs in the heavens, and ask with anxious hearts what events these may portend.

The Sun, first of stars, seems to have lost his wonted light, and appears of a bluish colour.

We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigour of his heat wasted into feebleness, and the phenomena which accompany a transitory eclipse prolonged through a whole year.

The Moon too, even when her orb is full, is empty of her natural splendour.

Strange has been the course of the year thus far.

We have had a winter without storms, a spring without mildness, and a summer without heat.

Whence can we look for harvest, since the months which should have been maturing the corn have been chilled by Boreas?

How can the blade open if rain, the mother of all fertility, is denied to it?

These two influences, prolonged frost and unseasonable drought, must be adverse to all things that grow.

The seasons seem to be all jumbled up together, and the fruits, which were wont to be formed by gentle showers, cannot be looked for from the parched earth.

But as last year was one that boasted of an exceptionally abundant harvest, you are to collect all of its fruits that you can, and store them up for the coming months of scarcity, for which it is well able to provide.

And that you may not be too much distressed by the signs in the heavens of which I have spoken, return to the consideration of Nature, and apprehend the reason of that which makes the vulgar gape with wonder.

The middle air is thickened by the rigour of snow and rarefied by the beams of the Sun.

This is the great Inane, roaming between the heavens and the earth.

When it happens to be pure and lighted up by the rays of the sun it opens out its true aspect; but when alien elements are blended with it, it is stretched like a hide across the sky, and suffers neither the true colours of the heavenly bodies to appear nor their proper warmth to penetrate.

This often happens in cloudy weather for a time; it is only its extraordinary prolongation which has produced these disastrous effects, causing the reaper to fear a new frost in harvest, making the apples to harden when they should grow ripe, souring the old age of the grape-cluster.

All this, however, though it would be wrong to construe it as an omen of Divine wrath, cannot but have an injurious effect on the fruits of the earth.

Let it be your care to see that the scarcity of this one year does not bring ruin on us all.

Even thus was it ordained by the first occupant of our present dignity, that the preceding plenty should avail to mitigate the present penury."

Mainstream Suspicions

Why Halley's Comet May Be Linked to Famine 1,500 Years Ago
By Mike Wall, Senior Writer | December 18, 2013 07:53am ET

SAN FRANCISCO - The ancients had ample reason to view comets as harbingers of doom, it would appear.

A piece of the famous Halley's comet likely slammed into Earth in A.D. 536, blasting so much dust into the atmosphere that the planet cooled considerably, a new study suggests. This dramatic climate shift is linked to drought and famine around the world, which may have made humanity more susceptible to 'Justinian's plague' in A.D. 541-542 -- the first recorded emergence of the Black Death in Europe.

The new results come from an analysis of Greenland ice that was laid down between A.D. 533 and 540. The ice cores record large amounts of atmospheric dust during this seven-year period, not all of it originating on Earth.

'I have all this extraterrestrial stuff in my ice core,' study leader Dallas Abbott, of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told LiveScience here last week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Certain characteristics, such as high levels of tin, identify a comet as the origin of the alien dust, Abbott said. And the stuff was deposited during the Northern Hemisphere spring, suggesting that it came from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower -- material shed by Halley's comet that Earth plows through every April-May.

The Eta Aquarid dust may be responsible for a period of mild cooling in 533, Abbott said, but it alone cannot explain the global dimming event of 536-537, during which the planet may have cooled by as much as 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). For that, something more dramatic is required.

Ice core data record evidence of a volcanic eruption in 536, but it almost certainly wasn't big enough to change the climate so dramatically, Abbott said.

'There was, I think, a small volcanic effect,' she said. 'But I think the major thing is that something hit the ocean.'

She and her colleagues have found circumstantial evidence of such an impact. The Greenland ice cores contain fossils of tiny tropical marine organisms -- specifically, certain species of diatoms and silicoflagellates.

An extraterrestrial impact in the tropical ocean likely blasted these little low-latitude organisms all the way to chilly Greenland, researchers said. And Abbott believes the object responsible was once a piece of Halley's comet.

Halley zooms by Earth once every 76 years or so. It appeared in Earth's skies in A.D. 530 and was astonishingly bright at the time, Abbott said. (In fact, observations of Halley's comet go way back, with research suggesting the ancient Greeks saw the comet streaking across their skies in 466 B.C.)

'Of the two brightest apparitions of Comet Halley, one of them is in 530,' Abbott said. 'Comets are normally these dirty snowballs, but when they're breaking up or they're shedding lots of debris, then that outer layer of dark stuff goes away, and so the comet looks brighter.'

It's unclear where exactly the putative comet chunk hit Earth or how big it was, she added. However, a 2004 study estimated that a comet fragment just 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide could have caused the 536-537 cooling event if it exploded in the atmosphere and its constituent dust were spread evenly around the globe."

A Hypothesis on the Subsequent Rise of Islam and Christianity

Louis Hissink links the emergence of the world's religions to this same event ... (again, I'm intentionally leaving the debate over chronology out of this particular discussion, so that we may discuss these two issues separately) ...

"... If the Comet of Justinian catastrophe was global and resulted in the death and disruption of human civilisations, then the actions of the survivors would be quite specific and aimed at one goal -- survival ...

One of the core beliefs Mohammed had was that wealth should always be devoted to the common good and this, more or less, makes Islam another variant of socialism and wealth redistribution. But was Islam an ideological imposition on the nomadic Arabs by Mohammed or was it what they needed to do in order to survive the Justinian Catastrophe? The point is that Islam appeared out of the middle of the 1st millennium CE at about the same time as the appearance of the Comet of Justinian.

Imagine civilisations operating on the division of labour and elsewhere nomadic peoples more or less existing at the subsistence level. Add a climate catastrophe and the various metropolitan cities and towns would simply collapse, mainly from mass deaths and the collapse of trade and markets that such civilisations depend on when organised on the division of labour. Such a catastrophe would have less effect on nomadic peoples who would be more or less self-sufficient and would constitute the bulk of the survivors. This is not to say that nomadic peoples would be unaffected by a climate catastrophe, but that being self-sufficient would ensure that these peoples would have a better chance of surviving than town-based peoples utterly reliant on the daily exchange of goods and services that the division of labour needs; town folk simply are not self-sufficient as a result, and are the first to suffer from a natural catastrophe.

This leads to the hypothesis that the ascendancy of Islam during this period was the result of the nomadic Arabs, being more or less self-sufficient and thus the majority survivors of the Justinian Catastrophe, and because their trading systems would also have been destroyed, becoming reliant on the plundering of the surviving remnants of the Levant and Byzantine civilisations, even to the extent of taking over those ruined cities and towns, and then forcibly sharing their plunder with the rest of the survivors in their region as described, more or less, as the policies of Mohammed at the time.

It seems plausible to think Mohammed might have been the right man at the right time to organise the survival of his tribe by implementing the necessary, and compulsory, sharing of all the wealth among the survivors of the Roman and Arabic worlds in his region.

Communism or socialism is an appropriate economic system for a previously civilised people, mostly destroyed by a massive global catastrophe, to survive. Freedom becomes irrelevant when survival is paramount and all trading systems are destroyed. In this sense Islam is most certainly a socialist or communist system of social organisation, with Allah representing the cometary apparition in the heavens sent to punish humankind. It is of course to be expected that a traumatised illiterate and nomadic peoples would fabricate fantastical explanations to explain their immediate past, and subsequently codified in their oral and later, literary traditions. Consequently, once the cometary or heavenly apparition disappeared from the heavens, surviving peoples would then tend to memorialise it as an abstract idea or ‘authority’ that would return if the people started to sin again, the belief being that the just passed catastrophe caused by an heavenly apparition was to punish people in the first place. (That it was more likely an accident or unpredictable natural phenomenon would not have entered their analysis, especially in the case of illiterate nomads that most of the Arabs were probably at the time).

And having set up, by absolute necessity, a socialist or communist system in order to survive, the followers of Mohammed would then have, over time, become habituated with this state of affairs and established an institutionalised governing system that simply gelled into existence from habit and developed into the theocratic regimes that exist now.

But let us not forget the survivors of the recently destroyed Roman Civilisation, for they too would have slowly started rebuilding their world, but finding their ancient homes now invaded by the nomadic Arabs under the ideology/theology of Islam, apart from the invasion of other people elsewhere, would strive to regain their previous living spaces and cities, hence the Crusades and the continuing conflict between the Christian and Islamic worlds.

It thus seems plausible that the rump of the Roman and Byzantine worlds then adopted socialist or communist policies in order to survive, and instituted Christianity as an explanation for that change. Which version of Christianity is entirely another matter and definitely not gone into here. As the climate crisis dissipated and peoples returned to the humdrum of daily existence, the need for autocratic control in order to simply survive became unnecessary and people started to demand more freedoms."

Ruth Dwyer's video on the comet is a worthwhile watch ...

The Comet of 536 and the Ravenna Mosaics

There is some additional analysis and conjecture on the origin of the debris here:


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Vitrified Stonework: Ancient Stone Structures Across the World Exhibit in Places a Thin Glassy Melted Layer Recognizable by the Way it Reflects, Refracts and Diffracts Light / Attempts to Replicate the Effect by Burning Wood Next to the Rock have Failed / The Required Temperature Appears to be Around 1,100°C / Some Authors would have Us Believe that this is Man-Made and Evidence for an Ancient Technology / It's a Mistake to Consider these Observations in Isolation from Other Types of Evidence for a Global Catastrophe

See link below for many fascinating examples!

"Vitrified stones are simply stones that have been melted to a point where they form a glass or glaze. There is much debate in archaeological circles over the ancient examples under study for two reasons. Firstly, few cases are known to have been tested and even if they have, there are many questions over how they were made.

Glassy rocks form naturally under conditions of high temperature and pressures found in and around volcanoes. Glass or glazes are traditionally created using a furnace. Furnace or kiln examples are found on everyday objects such as glassware and ceramics. The ceramics glazes are created by pasting certain finely crushed stones, sometimes with tinctures, onto fired pots and plates. The whole is then fired to temperatures usually in excess of 1000 degrees centigrade.

The difficulty with many of the curious ancient vitrified examples is that they are found on objects so large that they cannot be placed in a furnace. The vitrification process itself is quite a mystery. A team of chemists on Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World subjected rock samples from 11 forts to rigorous chemical analysis. They concluded that the temperatures needed to produce the vitrification were up to 1,100°C. Simply burning the walls with wood interlaced with stone could not achieve such temperatures. Recent experiments along these lines have had virtually no success at all.

There are several confirmed cases of unusual vitrified remnants from across the globe. In Europe, there are several forts and buildings with vitrified ramparts. The crude stone enclosure walls seem to have been subjected to the action of heat. No mortar has been found in any of these structures. Despite this, the rocks seem to be fused together.

This fusion is uneven throughout the various forts and even in a single wall. Some stones are only partially melted and calcined. Whilst in others their adjoining edges are fused firmly together. In many instances, pieces of rock are enveloped in a glassy enamel-like coating, which binds them into a whole. At times, the entire length of the wall presents one solid mass of vitreous substance.

It is not clear why or how the walls were vitrified. Some have argued that it was done to strengthen the wall, but the heating weakens the structure. Battle damage, as some have proposed, is unlikely to be the cause. The walls would need carefully maintained fires to ensure vitrification.

There are about fifty examples that have been discovered in Scotland. It was thought that these forts were peculiar to Scotland. However, they are also found in County Londonderry and County Cavan, in Ireland. On mainland Europe, they have been identified in Upper Lusatia, Bohemia, Silesia, Saxony and Thuringia. A further example can be found in the Ucker Lake, in Brandenburg, where the walls are formed of burnt and smelted bricks. There are also displays in several places in France, such as Châteauvieux, Péran, La Courbe, Sainte Suzanne, Puy de Gaudy and Thauron.

There are some forts that have been placed on practically infusible rock. The quartz conglomerates of the Old Red Sandstone at Craig Phadraic and on the limestone of Dun Mac Uisneachain are good cases. Here pieces of fusible rocks were selected and carried to the top from a considerable distance. This demonstrates that the act of vitrification was deliberate."

Does it really?

"There are many more examples from Malta, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, South East Asia and others that are speculated to fall into the grouping. However, these have not all been subjected to scientific testing like the European cases. They simply appear to be glazed finishes on equally large objects or on walls that are impossible to fire conventionally. In many cases, it looks as if there has been the deliberate action of a great heat*

There has been much discussion about the Inca vestiges in the Peruvian Andes. It mostly revolves around whether the stones are vitrified or not. In these cases, vitrification appears to be present on different kind of stones, and seems to have been caused by deliberate action. This article will now concentrate on these Peruvian cases where there are indications of heat treatment.


The vitrified examples under study for this paper come from famous Peruvian sites, considered to belong to the Incas, in South America. To the author’s knowledge, there have been no scientific tests made on these stones. This has left the debate open to claims of unusual polishing techniques, natural degradation, lava flows and many other odd explanations. The analysis below eliminates some of these ideas.

The vitrified stones of Peru were first brought to popular attention by Erich von Daniken in the 1970s. He saw the vitrification at Sacsayhuaman and noted it in his book Chariots of the Gods. Peruvian Alfredo Gamarra had identified this vitrification earlier. The identification and cataloging of these intriguing stones has been carried on by Alfredo’s son Jesus Gamara, and Jan Peter de Jong.

In Sacsayhuaman, there are many indications of the use of heat. Strange marks on the stones ... can be found; shiny, completely smooth and with another color to the rest of the rock.

Vitrification appears on different kinds of stones and structures. It is found on the perfectly fitted walls with irregular blocks. It is also observed on walls made with regular oblong blocks. It has been spotted on mountainsides, caves and rocks in situ. The location arrangements vary as well. Some sites are surrounded or overbuilt by walls whilst others have single exposed isolated stones. There seems to have been some very adaptable ancient technology at work. A list of vestiges where stonework seems to have been treated with this technology include; Inside the city of Cusco: the walls of Koricancha and Loreto Street, Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Tetecaca, Templo de la Luna (or Amaru Machay), Zona X, Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Machu Picchu, Raqchi and in Bolivia in Tiahuanaco.

Archaeologists assume that the perfect fitting stones are the most developed style of the Incas. Regardless, there is no explanation of the shiny surfaces that can be observed. These often appear on the borders where the stones join perfectly. There has been nothing other than simple geological analysis of these stones to determine what the phenomenon is. No chemical analysis is known to have been executed. It is normally assumed that these parts were simply polished by the Incas.

During many visits to the vestiges mentioned, Jesus Gamarra and Jan Peter de Jong have examined these stones with highly reflective surfaces. They have captured many of them on video. Through personal observations and analysis of the video material, they have concluded that something other than polishing must have occurred.

The material convinces in several ways. Many cases display some or all of the following qualities mentioned below. The vitrified spots show discoloration and smoothness around the particular areas. They clearly look like the stone has been melted just in those spots.

A simple flashlight test was developed, which helps to identify the layers of glaze or glass. Filming was carried out at night with a flashlight beam passing through the glaze. This shows the reflection and diffraction of the light as it passes through the surface. Sacsayhuaman, Kenko and Loreto Street were all filmed at night using a flashlight or the nocturnal illumination to capture the effect.

Identifying Vitrified Stones.

The following traits help to identify vitrified stones:

- The melted effect is obvious
- Reflection is high
- The layer refracts, diffracts and diffuses light
- A separate vitrified layer is present on the surface
- Damaged layers show a 'film' on the stone
- The glazed layer is independent of rock type
- The surface is smooth to the touch even if the surface is irregular
- There is often associated heat discoloration surrounding the glaze

The diffraction effect can be seen in the video of 'the Inca Throne' at Sacsayhuaman. The rainbow effect is clearly captured by the camera. This is directly linked to the light passing through the glass layer and splitting into its constituent parts. After noticing this effect, it was also detected on videos of other vitrified stones. This can be viewed on this short video:, and on the DVD that will be available shortly.

The DVD 'The Cosmogony of the 3 Worlds' shows an overview of this phenomenon in the chapter on Vitrified Stones.

_This is available on youtube:"_



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Dark Earth: aka Black Earth / Across the World, and Especially at the Top of Former Roman Settlements, Archaeologists have Since the 80s Known of a Black-Colored Soil High in Organic Matter, Usually .6 - 2 Meters Deep / Its Dark Color Comes from Charcoal / It May also Contain Fragments of Pottery, Tile, Animal Bone and Other Artefacts / When it was Also Discovered in the Amazon, it was Noted that 'The Textbooks Say it Shouldn't be there' / Is it Not Possible that a Global Fire Carbonized the World's Biomass, and then Smashed it All to Bits in a Global Flood?






[5] Clark Whelton, personal correspondence


[8] - [10]

[11] See comments at

[12] - [14]



[17] (processed imagery)

Scientists seem to make a lot of assumptions about what it is they are seeing, in many cases looking through the popular science lenses of sustainable agriculture and climate change. They also openly discuss the enigmas created by these very assumptions ...

Amazon's mysterious black earth earth: Soil found along region riverbanks; Rich in nutrients, stores more carbon

Post date:
Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 8:48pm

Tom Miles

(Formerly published at: Amazon's mysterious black earth: Soil found along region riverbanks; Rich in nutrients, stores more carbon,, February 25, 2006)

"Above ground, rainforests like the Amazon basin flourish as biological hot spots with exuberant growth and a riot of plant and animal species.

But the red and yellow soils below are notoriously poor in nutrients and organic matter. Once the lush vegetation is cleared, the heavy rains and tropical sun quickly decompose even that small reservoir.

Except not in thousands of patches dotted along the Amazon River and its tributaries, where dark, friable soil extends metres deep, fertile in nutrients and organic material. In total, an area the size of France may be covered by this Indian black earth, called terra preta do Indio in Portuguese.

'The textbooks say it shouldn't be there. That's justification enough for me to explore why it is there,' says Johannes Lehmann, a Cornell University professor specializing in the chemistry and geology of soils.

Lehmann is one of a small band of researchers in the U.S., Europe and Brazil who are deciphering the mysteries of terra preta after the phenomenon was 'discovered' for the third time a decade ago. At a major scientific meeting here last week, they explained that the black earth of the Amazon is exciting for widely disparate scientific reasons:

1) Archaeology and anthropology. Terra preta typically is stuffed full of shards of sophisticated pottery discarded as much as 2,000 years ago by an advanced civilization whose existence wasn't even suspected.

2) Sustainable agriculture. Unlike the typical rainforest soils, the black earth can be worked for years, with minimal fertilization. Yet, it is essentially man-made, created by community activities that could be reproduced today by industrial means.

3) Climate change. The key step in producing terra preta traps large amounts of carbon in the soil, avoiding the release of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas from human activities. In addition, lab tests demonstrate that black earth also gives off less than regular soils of two other atmospheric bad actors: methane and nitrous oxide.

The crucial step is a method of weed control and land clearing called 'cool burning' or slash-and-char, to distinguish it from slash-and-burn, widely used in tropical regions and widely condemned.

In slash-and-burn, dry brush and grass are burned in open fires, spewing vast quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and leaving only small amounts of nutrients in the ash that's then dug into the ground.

By contrast, slash-and-char involves burning wet vegetation, so it smoulders underneath a layer of dirt and straw. Robbed of oxygen, the fire only partly burns any wood or stalks, leaving most as tiny chunks of charcoal. This bio-char is turned into the soil.

Only 7 per cent of the carbon content of vegetation gets transferred into the soil by the slash-and-burn approach, Lehmann told a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The slash-and-char method transfers almost half the carbon and most of the nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen.

Why people living on hills overlooking many rivers in Brazil two millennia ago devised this approach is still a subject of debate, as is how they added all the extra organic content and ensured the soil was teeming with beneficial bugs and other micro-organisms.

Because many patches are about half a hectare in size and loaded with pottery artifacts, University of São Paulo archaeologist Eduardo Neves favours the idea of very big communal backyard compost piles. Successive generations could have swept food refuse -- especially fish and animal bones -- from their dwellings and then added human and animal excrement.

'I don't think the people ever used this soil for agriculture. They may have grown some medicinal plants in a house garden,' Neves says.

But geographer William Woods, of the University of Kansas, disagrees.

In addition to smallish tracts of black earth tracts located right in settlements, Woods has also found a second kind of terra preta. These can cover hundreds of hectares and surround settlements, just where you'd expect to find fields for crops. This soil contains no artefacts, has a slightly lower nutrient level and isn't as dark in colour, more a blending of black-and-white.

'I'm calling it terra mulata, deliberately,' Woods says, using the Portuguese word for mulatto.

A modern technology called low-temperature pyrolysis can produce bio-char on an industrial scale. Using wood or agricultural wastes for fuel, pyrolysis would generate heat for electricity while also actually reducing net emissions of carbon dioxide since the organic matter would otherwise decompose.

'This might be the beginning of a bio-char revolution,' Lehmann says.

Yet, this particular revolution could have come much earlier. In 1903, a German geologist published an account of terra preta, noting that farming this dark earth would feed many people.

'Apparently no one read his book,' Woods says.

Even further back, Cornell professor Charles Hartt led an expedition of biologists to the Amazon River basin in 1874. He discovered supporters of the Confederate side in the U.S. Civil War who had selected the super-fertile terra preta locales for their sugar plantations. No one paid any attention to his account, either."

Scientists across the world are playing a dangerous game imposing their "happy thoughts" narratives upon the data, because one reasonable way to create "dark earth" would be to incinerate the Earth's biomass, and then smash it to bits with an enormous flood.

The Wikipedia entry for dark earth scandalously leads the audience to infer that humans intentionally created this soil:

"Dark earth in archaeology is an archaeological horizon, as much as 1 m (2 – 3 ft) thick, indicating settlement over long periods of time. The material is high in organic matter, including charcoal, which gives it its characteristic dark colour; it may also contain fragments of pottery, tile, animal bone and other artefacts. It is interpreted as soil enriched with the sooty remains of thatched roofs from houses without chimneys, with other waste materials. In some areas it appears to give the soil added fertility."

When the observations of the Amazon seem to mirror those of the Roman Empire, we'd be wise to ask critical questions.


A review of the excavation of the Coliseum in Rome should bolster the skepticism. A 17th century church, the Santa Maria Liberatrice, was constructed near the remains of the Coliseum. The modern streets which lead to this church were constructed on top of some 40 ft of dark earth that in turn rests on the pavement of the Forum. The Coliseum’s lower precincts were not excavated until 1935. The Roman remains which you are familiar with today were excavated from an astonishing 40 feet of dark earth. The three standing columns can be used to visualize the amount of earth which had to be removed.


A second interesting example from the Roman Empire is presented of an unexpected discovery of a Roman aqueduct buried beneath 7 meters of sand and gravel. The area is being mined for its coal.

Toppling of Rome’s Obelisks and Aqueducts - Ewald Ernst - August 2014

"Rome’s first aqueduct supplied a water-fountain sited at the city’s cattle market. By the third century AD, the city had eleven aqueducts, sustaining a population of over a million in a water-extravagant economy; most of the water supplied the city’s many public baths."

"None of these marvelous constructions -- erected and working for over half a millennium -- was still functioning in the 4th c. CE ...

It is believed that all these aqueducts were demolished by barbarians.

Yet, it is not understood what could have driven conquerors -- not only of Rome but of hundreds of other cities within the empire -- to cut themselves off from the supply of water, the most important ingredient for survival.

Moreover, after every former attack on Rome the aqueducts, if damaged at all, were immediately repaired.

Therefore, this wonderwork of civil engineering was kept intact over more than five centuries.

In reality, the destruction of the aqueducts happened swiftly, and with a power no humans had at their disposal.

This happened, in 234 CE, only eight years after the last system had been completed under Alexander Severus in 226 CE ...

At the same time, Rome’s population was reduced from nearly one million to no more than 50,000 ...

The cataclysm had struck with such force that more than half a millennium passed before Europeans could begin to slowly regain the technological competence of imperial Rome ...

Near Cologne (Rhineland), to give an example, in the lignite area of the Elsbachtal, the gigantig mechanical diggers used to clear away the debris covering the precious coal, a small Roman aqueduct, dated to 224 CE, was brought to light after 7 m of sand and gravel had been removed.

So far, one does not understand the geological mechanism that could have laid down such an immense volume of material strangling a once fertile Roman region.

At least, nobody dares to point to barbarians as the culprits.

The catastrophe that befell Rome soon after the completion of the Aqua Alexandriana in 226 CE, also devastated the Elsbachtal 1,100 km further north."

The following research comes from Malaga Bay at,%20THE%20CITY

Soil Report on Rangoon Street, City of London
R. I. Macphail – 1984
Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 4443

'Dark Earth'

"Structure: compacted medium sub-angular blocky with fine (120um) to large (1mm) microaggregates; crack structure:

Porosity (30%) common very coarse cracks; few compound packing voids and fine (15um), short (50-250um) channels intrapedally:

Mineral: Coarse/Fine 65/ 35: very dominant very fine (angular to sub-angular) medium and coarse (sub-rounded to sub-angular) sand size quartz: unsorted: few flints: very few opaques and sharp-edged nodules: glauconite, limestone fragments present: few artefacts; very few pottery, mortar and burned daub; 'brickearth', soil fragments, bone and shell present.

Fine: a) very dominant dark brown, black (PPL), greyish; includes ash, dark brown (RL):

Organic: Coarse: few charcoal: root fragments present.

Fine: a) common charcoal charred plant material; dominant amorphous organic matter, well preserved: amorphous 'organo-phosphate' present:

Groundmass: a) low birefringence, weak crystallitic: enaulic:

Pedofeatures: common extremely thin elongate excrements, coalescing to moderately thin: frequent moderately broad rugose:

Textural: fine (30um) dusty coatings present:

Crystalline: very few, calcitic coatings: vivianite present:

Amorphous: frequent impregnative ferro-manganiferous nodules: pale yellow-brown possible 'organo-phosphate' (includes vivianite crystals)"

"Vivianite (Fe2+Fe2+2(PO4)2·8H2O) is a hydrated iron phosphate mineral found in a number of geological environments ...

Vivianite crystals are often found inside fossil shells, such as those of bivalves and gastropods, or attached to fossil bone ...

Vivianite is a secondary mineral found in a number of geologic environments: The oxidation zone of metal ore deposits, in granite pegmatites containing phosphate minerals, in clays and glauconitic sediments, and in recent alluvial deposits replacing organic material such as peat, lignite, bog iron ores and forest soils (All).

Bones and teeth buried in peat bogs are sometimes replaced by vivianite."

"Glauconite, also known as ‘green sand’ is an iron potassium phyllosilicate (mica group) mineral of characteristic green color with very low weathering resistance and very friable ...

Normally, glauconite is considered a diagnostic mineral indicative of continental shelf marine depositional environments with slow rates of accumulation.

For instance, it appears in Jurassic/lower Cretaceous deposits of greensand, so-called after the coloration caused by glauconite.

It can also be found in sand or clay formations, or in impure limestones and in chalk."

(Note that it seems that changes have been made to this wiki since it was quoted by Malaga Bay ...)

"In archaeology the term black earth, in use since the 1980s, refers to a layer between 0.6 m to 2 m thick, covering archaeological sites ...

In England black earth covers Roman remains, especially in urban areas, including London

Excavations in Belgium, the Brussels-Capital Region, frequently uncover layers of black earth.

In Sweden, an area of 40 hectares of black earth was discovered in Uppåkra (southern Sweden, formerly Denmark), where human settlement and a city existed during the first millennium before the city was moved to Lund.

Seven hectares of black earth were uncovered in the Viking town of Björkö (now called Birka), in central Sweden, near Stockholm.

Black earth were also encountered in Köpingsvik, in the island of Öland off the coast of southern Sweden.

In France, it has been discovered in Bavay, Corseul, Noyon, Tours at multiple sites and in Paris at two sites, to name a few examples amongst many."

Early Development of Roman London west of the Walbrook
Dominic Perring & Steve Roskams with Patrick Allen
The Archaeology of Roman London – Volume 2 – CBA Research Report 70 – 1991

"Therefore the changed nature of the latest buildings, the different character of their decay and disuse, and the alterations to the road system can be put beside the dark earth itself to suggest that, in the 3rd century, all the sites discussed here underwent a similar radical transformation from their previous use, in a way already anticipated in the later 2nd century but which remains otherwise unexplained."

The ‘dark earth’ and late Roman London – Brian Yule
Antiquity – Volume 64 – Issue 244 – September 1990

The ‘dark earth’ and the deposits it overlies

"It is almost invariably the case that, where the strata survive, the latest Roman levels are sealed by deposits of dark-coloured loam, commonly called ‘dark earth’ (formerly ‘black earth’).

In the London area the ‘dark earth’ generally appears as a dark grey, rather silty loam with various inclusions, especially building material.

The deposit is usually without stratification and homogeneous in appearance. It can be 1m or more in thickness."


Post has attachment
The Debate Over Phantom Centuries Using Eclipse Data: A Number of Theorists have Attempted to Prove the Existence of Phantom Centuries in AD Chronology / One Approach to Settling these Claims has been to Point to the Accuracy of Eclipse Retro-Calculations / But, this Claimed Accuracy Seems to Depend on Which Eclipses are Analyzed and Who is Analyzing them


[1], for more from this author see


[3] The impressive image of the eclipse attributes to Colleen Pinski (Note that it's been processed)

The graphic presents one side of the debate. The following text will illuminate the other ...

by Ev Cochrane

"Astronomical Retrocalculations and Chronology

In the past several decades, various researchers have sought to 'correct' the conventional chronology of ancient and medieval history by deleting one or more centuries. A significant number of these researchers -- Rose, Heinsohn, Marx, Whelton, James, Rohl, and various others -- were influenced by the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky, who argued that some five centuries needed to be removed from Greek history, thereby eliminating the so-called Dark Ages. Velikovsky also envisioned shifting Ramses II and Hattusilis III forward in time by some seven centuries to the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 600 BCE). For those of us who are not trained historians or intimately familiar with the relevant historical data, it is difficult to know what to make of these seemingly erudite and occasionally arcane arguments. Is it really possible, as Marx and Fomenko would have us believe, that conventional chronology is off by more than a thousand years and that Alexander the Great died in 900 AD? Are we to believe, as Illig and Whelton would have us do, that Middle Age chronology is inflated by two or three centuries? Other revisions, such as that offered by Heinsohn and Illig, are even more radical, calling for a deletion of several millennia at various points since Neolithic times (these two researchers hold that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built some time after 500 BCE!).

A detailed analysis of the specific claims of Heinsohn, Illig, Fomenko and the rest is impossible here and, in any case, would require a legion of scholars trained in various specialized fields of study (archaeology, ancient art and literature, linguistics, radiocarbon dating, ancient architecture, etc). Instead we would propose to focus solely on the issue of whether conventional chronology contains a number of phantom centuries and is capable of being shortened to the extent favored by Heinsohn, Marx, Illig and others. In order to assess such claims, the science of astronomical retrocalculation proves to be an indispensable tool.

As it happens, there exist a wealth of astronomical observations from ancient and medieval times describing solar eclipses, Halley's comet, and planetary movements against the celestial backdrop. In principle, it should be possible to compare the dates and astronomical observations recorded in the extant historical records with retrocalculated celestial data. If a close match is found between the ancient observations and modern retrocalculations at various points throughout recorded history, it follows that there is no basis for the claim of phantom centuries since it is quite impossible that such a result could be achieved by accident or that the celestial order would somehow 'reset' itself in accordance with some preordained plan. Indeed, it is known that precise arrangements of the celestial bodies against the celestial backdrop will not repeat themselves during historical times due to precession of the equinoxes and rotation of the Earth's axis.

In what follows I offer a representative sample of ancient and medieval astronomical observations in order to provide an overview of the information to be found in such records, much of which is of vital importance for the proper understanding of ancient chronology. Our survey will necessarily be selective and cursory, since there are many thousands of such records available to the historian of astronomy. The records selected will then subjected to analysis by employing either the mathematical calculations of various authorities (Stephenson, Newton, Meeus, Mucke, etc.) or the handy astronomy software Skychart III, which allows for the precise retrocalculation of the sky at any given point in time and space.

In order to test the accuracy of our software, let's examine an observational report of the renowned astronomer Johannes Kepler from 1591:

'Michael Maestlin of Tubingen and I saw Jupiter totally eclipsed by Mars in the year 1591 on 9 January. The fiery red colour of Mars showed that Mars was inferior (i.e., nearer the Earth).'

Upon directing Skychart III to reconstruct the skies for January 9th, 1591 at Prague -- the site of Kepler's observations -- we find that Jupiter and Mars were indeed in conjunction, being so close together as to be virtually indistinguishable (less than 0.01 degrees separated the two planets). [See chart below for the results of the computer simulation] Systematic tests of various other observations of Kepler produced equally dramatic results. One can thus be absolutely certain that Kepler's observation of a conjunction of Jupiter and Mars accurately described the medieval skies and that the fundamental order of the solar system has not changed since 1591. It also follows from this test that conventional chronology from Kepler's time until the present is entirely secure in its general outline; e.g. entire years or centuries are not missing.

The all-important question here is the following: How far back into antiquity is it possible to document similar correspondences between astronomical observations and modern retrocalculations?

Having already discussed various planetary observations preserved in ancient Babylonian astronomical diaries, we will here consider ancient eclipse reports. Observational reports of solar eclipses provide a good deal of valuable information for reconstructing ancient chronology. How well, then, do the historical records pertaining to solar eclipses stand up in the light of modern calculations?

The definitive source in this field is the recently published book by F.R. Stephenson, Historical Eclipses and the Earth's Rotation (Cambridge, 1997). Of the numerous observations of solar and lunar eclipses preserved from the Middle Ages, Stephenson writes that: 'In most cases, the date is accurately reported and the precise place of observation is known.' (p. 376) Most important, however, is the fact that the majority of these reports agree with modern retrocalculations: 'Most recorded dates when converted to the Julian calendar (or the Gregorian calendar from AD 1582) are in exact accord with the tabular dates of eclipses which according to calculation were large in Europe.' (p. 379)

A few specific examples will illustrate the level of agreement. We have a number of detailed records of the eclipse of August 2nd, 1133 from different parts of Europe. The following report comes from a monastery in Germany:

'In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 1133 ... on the 4th day before the Nones of August (Aug 2), the 4th day of the week (Wednesday) when the day was declining towards the ninth hour, the Sun in a single moment became black as pitch, day was turned into night, very many stars were seen ...' (p. 392, quoting from Notae Halesbrunnenses)

A complimentary report comes from Austria:

'1133. That great eclipse of the Sun occurred on the 4th day before the Nones of August, the 27th day of the Moon, the 13th year of the Indiction. After midday, between the 7th and 8th hours, an eclipse of the Sun was seen in Leo ... Very many stars were seen near the Sun; the hearts of many were transfixed, despairing of the light. The Sun, as if it did not exist, was entirely concealed; for about half an hour it was like night. The face of the world was sad, terrible, black, wonderful ...' (p. 393)

Setting Skychart III to August 2, 1133 one obtains the following view of the skies (See chart below). As will be noted, the Sun is near Leo when eclipsed and both Venus and Mercury appear in the immediate proximity to the Sun, in close agreement with the report that during the eclipse various 'stars' were seen.

There are a number of eclipse reports tracing to the period of the Middle Ages (700 to 900) which Illig and his defenders claim never existed. One of the earliest detailed accounts of a total solar eclipse dates to 812 AD:

'In the year 1123 (Seleucid), on the 14th of Ayyar (=May) there was a total eclipse of the Sun from the ninth to the 11th hours. The darkness was as profound as night; the stars were seen and people lit torches. The Sun eventually reappeared over about an hour.' (p. 423, quoting the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian, Book XII, chapter 7)

An invaluable resource for studying solar eclipses is the monumental Canon of Solar Eclipses ­2003 to +2526 by Hermann Mucke and Jean Meeus (Vienna, 1983). This book lists the vital statistics for every single solar eclipse for the past four thousand years, while providing maps of the region of the Earth affected. Turning to the year 812 AD, we find that there was indeed a total eclipse of the Sun on May 14th affecting Syria, the presumed region of Michael's report. (p. 792).

During the Middle Ages, while much of Europe was shrouded in an intellectual Dark Age, the Arab world was experiencing something of a renaissance of astronomical knowledge otherwise lost since the days of Ptolemy. Although many of the Arab astronomical reports and chronicles remain generally unknown and hidden away in obscure texts, enough have been recovered to indicate the great skill of Arabic astronomers during this period. Indeed, Stephenson remarks that 'the eclipse observations made by medieval Arab astronomers are among the most accurate and reliable data from the whole of the pre-telescopic period.' (p. 456)

Consider the following report from 1061:

'(453 AH.) On Wednesday, when two nights remained to the completion of (the month of) Jumada al-Ula, two hours after daybreak, the Sun was eclipsed totally. There was darkness and the birds fell whilst flying.' (p. 439, quoting Ibn al-Jawzi)

Here Stephenson notes that the date provided by Ibn al-Jawzi 'is exactly correct.'

Further removed in time from the present is the following report of a solar eclipse from Theon (c. 370 AD), included in his commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest:

'The exact ecliptic conjunction which we have discussed, and which took place according to the Egyptian calendar in the 1112th year from the reign of Nabonassar, 2 5/6 equal or equinoctial hours after midday on the 24th of Thoth, and according to the Alexandrian calendar reckoned by simple civil days in the 1112th year of the same reign, 2 5/6 equal or equinoctial hours after midday on the 22nd of Payni ... And moreover we observed with the greatest certainty the time of the beginning of contact, reckoned by civil and apparent time, as 2 5/6 equinoctial hours after midday, and the time of the middle of the eclipse as 3 4/5 hours, and the time of complete restoration as 4 1/2 hours approximately after the said midday on the 22nd of Payni.' (Theon of Alexandria, 332, quoted in Stephenson, op. cit., p. 364)

The report of Theon, when converted to the Julian calendar, dates to June 16th, 364 AD. As Stephenson points out, this date agrees exactly with modern computations. (p. 364) Turning to the maps provided by Mucke and Meeus, we find that the area of Earth affected by this particular eclipse cuts across a narrow band of Africa, including Alexandria. (p. 762)

The most famous astronomer of all antiquity was Ptolemy. His Almagest, written around 150 AD, includes a handful of eclipse observations. Various writers, including Robert Newton, have suggested that Ptolemy doctored his data or reported as observations phenomena that were, in reality, calculations. How well, then, do the solar eclipses mentioned by Ptolemy in the Almagest measure up against modern retrocalculations? According to Stephenson, of the six observations included by Ptolemy, 'in every case, the reduced date is in exact accord with that of a tabular eclipse.' (p. 369).

As is well-known, Ptolemy used ancient Babylonian observations in formulating his astronomical theories. The earliest eclipse record cited by him dates to 721 BCE. Dozens of ancient Babylonian eclipse observations are still extant. Here, too, Stephenson found that the vast majority of dated astronomical reports agreed closely with modern retrocalculations. Consider, for example, the sole total eclipse recorded in Late Babylonian texts-that of April 15th, 136 BCE. The relevant portion of this text (BM 34034=LBAT 1285), as quoted by Stephenson, is as follows:

'SE 175, month XII2. The 29th, solar eclipse. When it began on the south-west side, in 18 deg daytime in the morning it became entirely total ... (It began) at 24 deg after sunrise.' (129)

A goal-year text from Babylon includes additional information of interest with regards to this particular eclipse:

'SE 175, [king] Arsaces, [month XII2]. The 29th, at 24 deg after sunrise, solar eclipse; when it began on the south and west side, [...] [Ven]us, Mercury and the Normal stars were visible; Jupiter and Mars, which were in their period of invisibility, were visible in its eclipse [...].' ('Stephenson, pp. 129-130)

Turning to the maps provided by Mucke and Meeus, we find that a total eclipse occurred on April 15th, 136 BCE (p. 728). The affected area included the greater part of Asia and portions of the Persian gulf. If we now turn to Skychart III and set the skies to April 15th, 136 BCE, it will be found that Jupiter and Mars were indeed very close to the Sun on this date, making their sudden appearance during the eclipse of the Sun a notable sight (See chart below for a map of the Babylonian skies). Venus and Mercury were also present, as reported by the Babylonian astronomer. This test-together with the calculations provided by Mucke and Meeus-constitutes a dramatic confirmation of the accuracy of the Babylonian observations.

Yet this record is hardly unique for its accuracy. With regards to the solar eclipse of 190 BC, Stephenson offered the following summary of Late Babylonian eclipse reports:

'When converted to the Julian calendar, the above date (BC 190 Mar 14) proves to be in exact accord with that of a tabular solar eclipse (e.g. as listed by von Oppolzer, 1887). Such accuracy is characteristic of all Late Babylonian observations of both solar and lunar eclipses for which a date is well preserved.' (F. R. Stephenson, Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation, 1997, p. 121)

Although Babylonian astronomical observations can be traced to roughly 700 BCE, reliable reports of solar eclipses are only preserved from the fourth century on (Stephenson, op. cit., p. 128). This gap in our knowledge can be filled, to some extent, by considering the astronomical observations from ancient China, where records of solar eclipses go nearly four centuries further back in time. Of the oldest Chinese chronicle still extant, Stephenson wrote as follows:

'The only state chronicle of ancient China which is still intact-possibly as a result of the 'Burning of the Books' at the command of Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang-ti in 213 BC-the Spring and Autumn Annals records as many as 36 eclipses of the Sun. This series of observations, which commences with the event of Feb 22 in 720 BC, is the earliest from any part of the world ... Nearly all dates, when so reduced, prove to be in exact accord with those of eclipses listed in modern tables. This is a remarkable result for such an ancient work and it gives strong support to the authenticity of the purely historical data recorded in the Classic.' (pp. 221-223).

A Chinese account from 709 BCE is the earliest report of a complete obscuration of the Sun in any civilization:

'Duke Huan, 3rd year, 7th month, day jen-ch'en [cyclical day number=29], the first day (of the month). The Sun was eclipsed and it was total.' (p. 226)

Of this particular report, Stephenson offered the following commentary: 'The recorded date, when reduced to the Julian calendar, agrees exactly with that of a computed solar eclipse.' (226)

According to the Canon of Mucke and Meeus, a total solar eclipse occurred on July 17th, 709 BC (p. 171). Turning to the maps provided by F.R. Stephenson and M.A. Houlden in their Atlas of Historical Eclipse Maps: East Asia 1500 BC-AD 1900 (Cambidge, 1986), we find that a total eclipse affected a portion of China on July 17, 709 BCE (p. 99).

With regards to the records dated after the Han period, Stephenson wrote as follows: 'It should be emphasised that throughout Chinese history from the Han onwards, recorded dates of solar eclipses, when converted to the Julian calendar, usually agree precisely with the calculated dates of these phenomena.' (p. 230)

Having traced solar eclipse observations back well over two thousand years, we have found a striking accord between the ancient observations and modern retrocalculations. It follows from this finding that the historical reconstructions offered by Heinsohn, Marx, Illig, Whelton and others -- in which several or more centuries are to be deleted during the past 2500 years -- are untenable."

The Rebuttal

There are two major ways to respond to such arguments:

(1) The first is to suggest that eclipses are simply selected such that they produce matches along the "standard" eclipse calibration curve.

See graphic for an example of such a calibration curve. At 1000 B.C., the divergence becomes 24,500 seconds (or 7 hours) -- which would seem to basically confirm that there can be no phantom centuries.

However, the argument would, in theory, propose that those eclipses which do not appear to match the established calibration curve would basically be tossed out as mistaken or fictitious. This is of course basically the same approach which we can see already at play with the creation of chronologies using radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology.

And, sure enough, if we look, we can find against-the-mainstream retro-calculations which purport to show a variety of oddball eclipse claims, like this inventory here (also shown in graphic) ...

"70 Eclipse Reports from Antiquity

reported year, conventional identification, alternative retrocalculation, deviation of dates

Remark: If there were no logical interrelation between the historical eclipses and the retocalculated ones, one should expect just a few matches and no cumulation for particular spans of deviation.

In fact, from the traditionally reported eclipses, 17 deviate by 300 and 2 by 299 years from retocalculation. 12 of these show the exactly identical deviation with 300 years minus 46 days (i.e. 109529 days = 15647 weeks = 3709 synodical months). Another 10 eclipses deviate by 354 years minus 13 days!"


Historical reports:

Demandt, Alexander: Verformungstendenzen in der Überlieferung antiker Sonnen- und Mondfinsternisse [Deformation-tendencies (!) within the tradition of antique solar and lunar eclipses], Mainz 1970, (Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur).

R. Gautschy, Eclipsecitations:

Ginzel, F. K.: Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie Bd II + III, 1914

Modern retrocalculation:

Espenak, Fred: Solar Eclipse Atlas:

(2) The second possibility -- which can be true independent of (1) -- is that document forgers might have simply adjusted these eclipse observations to match their revisions. The problem of document forgery has become a hot topic in recent years, and is apparently acknowledged even amongst mainstream chronologists. We'd be wise to not simply dismiss the idea as some conspiracy, as there are many various reasons why forgeries might have been useful in past eras -- while also devilishly difficult to expose in those former times (arguably making them highly effective).

The Implications for a Controversy-First Science Education

What I want to propose with this and other similar chronology controversies is that we should not overly concern ourselves with the truth of the matter. Our personal inclination is commonly a desire to immediately resolve the controversy, in service to our need to feel that we know. But, from the perspective of science educators, we should be wary of teaching conclusions over process. The truth will come on its own terms through a focus upon educational process.

What I am trying to get people to see is that we can create a new form of science education here. When we run into any controversy for which the answer boils down to rote computation, statistics or simulation, we should recognize that as an opportunity to teach the math from the context of the controversy.

This is maybe my most important invention: The creation of a new science curriculum which inverts the standard approach to controversies. The established curriculum has us think about controversies only after people have specialized -- by which time the students have already become immersed in the anti-patterns of scientific culture. We instruct them on the tools of science, but absent of the context which would motivate our interest and transfer to the student a "common sense" for scientific debate. We'd be wise to expect that many students will predictably grow bored of science without that larger context to motivate their interest. The controversy of science is an important part of what makes science interesting.

What I am suggesting is that there is a second way to teach science which we should explore: By mapping out all of the controversies of science, and then mapping each of those controversies to various lessons about science (as we do every day in the Controversies of Science collection), we can motivate students to want to learn science as a tool for reasoning through everyday problems. Some of those lessons will of course be methods in problem-solving.

In the case of Illig's Phantom Time Hypothesis, we have a fantastic example which could be taught as a lesson to 6th- or 7th-grade algebra class. There are numerous lessons which can be taught about statistics through the claims made about Halton Arp's work with quasars. The problem-solving lessons of this debate over eclipses would seem to offer us an excellent opportunity to teach trigonometry. We should identify these areas for further elaboration of the curriculum, and quickly move -- for the time being -- to the next controversy.

This is the epitome of the constructivist physics education approach. For various reasons, the universities have completely missed this methodology. We're inventing it here.


Post has attachment
The Many Assumptions of Radiocarbon Dating: Proponents of Radiocarbon Dating would have us Believe that when Used Properly, the Tool Generates Accurate Results / "Radiocarbon Dating has been Repeatedly Tested, Demonstrating its Accuracy ... Multiple Samples from a Single Object have been Dated Independently, Yielding Consistent Results" / These Arguments Seem to Completely Avoid the Issue of the Numerous Assumptions which Must be True for this Tool to be Accurate












[11] George F. Carter "Physical Geography," Geogr. Rev., Vol. 43, (1953), pp. 121-124. and R. B. Morrison, "The Pleistocene Boundary: An analysis of various criteria for determining it on a provincial basis and establishing it worldwide," Geol. Mijnb., Vol. 48, (1969), p. 351-371.





[16] The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes - Flood, Fire and Famine in the History of Civilization, by Richard & Allen West & Simon Warwick-Smith Firestone


[18], and the source for the table is, attributed to JC Gosse, FM Phillips, Quaternary Science Reviews 20 (2001)


[20] Tim Flannery, The Future Eaters, (New York, 1995), p. 151.


Let's look at an example of an argument made in defense of the accuracy of radiocarbon dating. This is a perfect example of the complete lack of rigor that has become commonplace on Internet sites dedicated to controversial science. This webpage is badly out of date, and at this point is misinforming people on the assumptions inherent to this tool ...

The TalkOrigins Archive
Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

"Claim CD011:

Carbon-14 dating gives unreliable results.


Lee, Robert E., 1981. Radiocarbon: Ages in error. Anthropological Journal of Canada 19(3): 9-29. Reprinted in Creation Research Society Quarterly 19(2): 117-127 (1982).


Any tool will give bad results when misused. Radiocarbon dating has some known limitations. Any measurement that exceeds these limitations will probably be invalid. In particular, radiocarbon dating works to find ages as old as 50,000 years but not much older. Using it to date older items will give bad results. Samples can be contaminated with younger or older carbon, again invalidating the results. Because of excess 12C released into the atmosphere from the Industrial Revolution and excess 14C produced by atmospheric nuclear testing during the 1950s, materials less than 150 years old cannot be dated with radiocarbon (Faure 1998, 294).

In their claims of errors, creationists do not consider misuse of the technique. It is not uncommon for them to misuse radiocarbon dating by attempting to date samples that are millions of years old (for example, Triassic 'wood') or that have been treated with organic substances. In such cases, the errors belong to the creationists, not the carbon-14 dating method.

Radiocarbon dating has been repeatedly tested, demonstrating its accuracy. It is calibrated by tree-ring data, which gives a nearly exact calendar for more than 11,000 years back. It has also been tested on items for which the age is known through historical records, such as parts of the Dead Sea scrolls and some wood from an Egyptian tomb (MNSU n.d.; Watson 2001). Multiple samples from a single object have been dated independently, yielding consistent results. Radiocarbon dating is also concordant with other dating techniques (e.g., Bard et al. 1990)."


Bard, Edouard, Bruno Hamelin, Richard G. Fairbanks and Alan Zindler, 1990. Calibration of the 14C timescale over the past 30,000 years using mass spectrometric U-Th ages from Barbados corals. Nature 345: 405-410.

Faure, Gunter, 1998. Principles and Applications of Geochemistry, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

MNSU, n.d. Radio-carbon dating.

Watson, Kathie, 2001. Radiometric time scale.

Further Reading:

Higham, Tom, 1999. Radiocarbon WEB-Info.

Thompson, Tim, 2003. A radiometric dating resource list.

It's remarkable that they've presented the response to the claim, but not the original claim itself. Let's take a look at a portion of that original claim ...

R. E. Lee, 1981, Radiocarbon: Ages in error, Anthropological Journal of Canada, 19 (3): 9-29, 1981. (Reprinted in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, 19 (2): 117-127; quotes are from pages 123 and 125).

"The early authorities began the charade by stressing that they were 'not aware of a single significant disagreement' on any sample that had been dated at different labs. Such enthusiasts continue to claim, incredible though it may seem, that 'no worse discrepancies are apparent.' Surely 15,000 years of difference on a single block of soil is indeed a gross discrepancy! And how could the excessive disagreement between the labs be called insignificant, when it has been the basis for the reappraisal of the standard error associated with each and every date in existence?

Why did geologists and archaeologists still spend their scarce money on costly radiocarbon determinations? They do so because occasional dates appear to be useful. While the method cannot be counted on to give good, unequivocal results, the numbers do impress people, and save them the trouble of thinking excessively. Expressed in what look like precise calendar years, figures seem somehow better both to layman and professional not versed in statistics than complex stratigraphic or cultural correlations, and are more easily retained in one's memory. 'Absolute' dates determined by a laboratory carry a lot of weight, and are extremely helpful in bolstering weak arguments ....

No matter how 'useful' it is, though, the radiocarbon method is still not capable of yielding accurate and reliable results. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates. 'This whole blessed thing is nothing but 13th-century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny paper you read ...'

In the light of what is known about the radiocarbon method and the way it is used, it is truly astonishing that many authors will cite agreeable determinations as 'proof' for their beliefs ...

Radiocarbon dating has somehow avoided collapse onto its own battered foundation, and now lurches onward with a feigned consistency. The implications of pervasive contamination and ancient variations in carbon-14 levels are steadfastly ignored by those who base their arguments upon the dates."

"The Pitfalls of Radiocarbon Dating

Offering in 1952 his new radiocarbon method for calculating the age of organic material (the time interval since the plant or the animal died), W. F. Libby clearly saw the limitations of the method and the conditions under which his theoretical figures would be valid:

A. Of the three reservoirs of radiocarbon on earth -- the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere, the richest is the last -- the oceans with the seas. The correctness of the method depends greatly on the condition that in the last 40 or 50 thousand years the quantity of water in the hydrosphere (and carbon diluted in it) has not substantially changed

B. The method depends also on the condition that during the same period of time the influx of cosmic rays or energy particles coming from the stars and the sun has not suffered substantial variations.

To check on the method before applying it on various historical and paleontological material, Libby chose material of Egyptian archaeology, under the assumption that no other historical material from over 2,000 years ago is so secure as to its absolute dating. When objects of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom of Egypt yielded carbon dates that appeared roughly comparable with the historical dates, Libby made his method known.

With initial large margin of error and anything that did not square with expectation, judged as contaminated, the method appeared to work and was hailed as completely reliable -- just as the atomic clock is reliable -- and this nobody doubted.

But as the method was refined, it started to show rather regular anomalies. First, it was noticed that, when radiocarbon dated, wood grown in the 20th century appears more ancient than wood grown in the 19th century. Suess explained the phenomenon by the fact that the increased industrial use of fossil carbon in coal and in oil changed the ratio between the dead carbon C12 and the C14 (radiocarbon) in the atmosphere and therefore also in the biosphere. In centuries to come a body of a man or animal who lived and died in the 20th century would appear paradoxically of greater age since death than the body of a man or animal of the 19th century, and if the process of industrial use of fossil, therefore dead, carbon continues to increase, as it is expected will be the case, the paradox will continue into the forthcoming centuries.

As years passed and more tests were made (soon by laboratories counted in scores), a rather consistent deviation between radiocarbon age and historical age started to receive the attention of researchers. The radiocarbon dates diverge from the historical dates by several hundred years (often 500 to 700), and, interestingly, in the Egyptian samples more so than in samples from most other ancient civilizations. This led Libby to write in 1963: 'The data [in the Table] are separated into two groups -- Egyptian and non-Egyptian. This separation was made because the whole Egyptian chronology is interlocking and subject to possible systematic errors ...' Also, 'Egyptian historical dates beyond 4000 years ago may be somewhat too old, perhaps 5 centuries too old at 5000 years ago ...' (Science, 140, 278).

The combined efforts of several researchers led them to believe that one of the conditions stipulated by Libby for a flawless functioning of his method was not historically sustained; it is claimed that the influx of cosmic rays varied with time ...

To determine the extent of correction necessary to render the radiocarbon method reliable, dendrochronologists devised a plan to control the radiocarbon dates by building a chronology of tree rings of the white bristlecone pine, the longest living tree. The method caught the fancy of the radiocarbon researchers. However, three or four rings formed in one year is not uncommon, especially if the tree grows on a slope, with the ground several times in a year turning wet and dry because of rapid outflow of water (Glueck et al., Botanical Review, 7, 649-713; and 21, 245-365). And certainly the building of tree 'ladders,' or carrying on the count from one tree to another may cause erroneous conclusions. One and the same year may be dry in South California and wet in the northern part of the state.

Now let us review in the light of research in cosmic catastrophism the correctives that, in our view, need to be introduced into the method ...

Bursts of cosmic rays and of electrical discharges on an interplanetary scale would make organic-life surviving the catastrophes much richer in radiocarbon and therefore, when carbon dated, that organic matter would appear much closer to our time than actually true. But if the invasion of the terrestrial atmosphere by 'dead' (non-radioactive) carbon from volcanic eruptions, from meteoric dust, from burning oil and coal and centuries-old forests, predominated the picture, then the changed balance of radioactive and of radio-inert carbon would make everything in the decades following the event appear much older. Thus, it is the competition of these factors that would decide the issue in each separate case."


Nine Key Assumptions of Radiocarbon Dating

Libby's Square-Centimeter Model

"Willard Libby believed he could model the entire world of Carbon 14 by using a grid system.

This grid system is based upon a cell size of one square centimetre.

In this grid system every cell is identical and every cell behaves in exactly the same way ...

Willard Libby chose to draw a veil over fossil fuels because introducing these carbon deposits would also introduce the associated carbon flows between his Radiocarbon Dating model and the real world.

In the real world there are numerous processes that deposit carbon and release carbon.

Regardless of their net effect, these processes are not evely distributed around the globe.

Therefore, Willard Libby's Radiocarbon Dating model is clearly invalid because every square centimetre of the Earth's surface does not encapsulate the same amount of carbon and these square centimetres do not all behave in exactly the same way."

Assumes a Constant Radioactive Decay Rate

It's to this day remarkably easy to find sweeping statements like this online ...

"The rate at which C14 decays is absolutely constant"

But, in recent times, we've come to understand that this is not exactly correct. Not only do we today understand that there exist a variety of small astronomical components to decay rate, but we also see a small correlation between decay rate and violent solar activity.

"Russian researchers S. E. Schnoll, et al, have been studying the effects of celestial cycles on the decay constant for over 30 years. They document changes in the decay constant and in chemical reaction rates that correlate with moonrise/moonset, eclipses, the sidereal and synodic day, the year, and the sunspot cycle.

Each of these cycles shows that the decay rate is connected to something. From an Electric Universe point of view, that something is probably electric currents in space. The synodic day variations (sunrise to sunrise) would correlate to the Sun's electric currents, while the sidereal day variations (from star-rise to star-rise, just under four minutes shorter than the synodic day) would correlate to something from beyond the solar system, such as the galactic electric currents."

These are clues which have the potential to point us towards a very important realization:

The point is that all matter is fundamentally connected. If quantum theory is telling us anything at all, it is telling us that there exist resonant effects in matter -- so that the atoms that are disturbed on the Sun leading up to the solar flare, that disturbance -- that change in the resonance of those atoms -- is available to radioactive atoms on Earth.

And when it comes to quantum resonant effects, it also suggests -- and this has been born out by some experiments which have been forgotten about -- and that is that low-frequency electromagnetic resonances would induce changes in radioactive decay. So, what we are looking at there is being able to influence the dance of the nucleus by sending in a signal which beats with that nucleus -- and in the process, can either increase the instability -- that is increase the radioactive decay rate -- or slow it down, depending on the interaction.

It is luring to say that since these effects are small, we can safely ignore them. But, there's a hidden assumption embedded into the approach ...

The big takeaway lesson here is that the adoption of this assumption is itself a form of circular reasoning which presupposes an uneventful history for the Earth and our solar system: The technique is only as valid as the assumption that the decay rate never seriously deviates from what we see today; to apply the technique is to adopt that conclusion (which of course should remain open, subject to observations) as a necessary condition.

Assumes a Constant Cosmic Ray Flux Over Time

Since Libby's process for the production of C14 depends upon cosmic rays, he must assume that cosmic rays are constant. Today we understand that this is certainly not true ...

"During the course of the 11-year sunspot cycle, the flux of neutron-generating particles near sea level varies by about 20% ... the variation is far from smooth"

"[A]stronomers tell geologists that the planets were formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Geologists tell astronomers that craters were formed primarily by impacts of comets, asteroids and meteors. Astronomers tell geologists that there is an invisible reservoir of objects that caused the impacts. Physicists tell geologists that the process of radioactive decay can be trusted as a reliable clock to date rocks. The geologists assure the particle physicists that nothing could have happened in the past to upset these radioactive clocks. Physicists tell astronomers that most of the stable elements which make up the planets and stars were formed primordially in a series of supernova events.

These are all simply stories. Countless facts don't fit the stories but they are not allowed to spoil the telling."

Popular Science, November 1979, from

"Was the rate of decay not constant, after all? No, realized the chronometrists. The problem was C-14 production. And the villain? The sun. It is not as stable and predictable as most solar scientists had believed. Every so often (the periodicity hasn't yet been precisely determined), the sun -- for reasons still poorly understood -- enters a time of quiet, a time of virtually no sunspots. And during these times, more cosmic rays are able to penetrate the atmosphere to significantly increase levels of C-14.

Such a period occurred, for example, from 1645 to 1715 -- about the time of Stradivarius. Trees growing during that period absorbed so much C-14 that, according to radiocarbon dating, violins made from the wood were fitted together only last week."

And in recent times, there has been an acknowledgement that the Earth is sometimes subjected to a strong bombardment of radiation ...

"Just over 1,200 years ago, the planet was hit by an extremely intense burst of high-energy radiation of unknown cause, scientists studying tree-ring data have found.

The radiation burst, which seems to have hit between AD 774 and AD 775, was detected by looking at the amounts of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in tree rings that formed during the AD 775 growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The increase in C14 levels is so clear that the scientists, led by Fusa Miyake, a cosmic-ray physicist from Nagoya University in Japan, conclude that the atmospheric level of C14 must have jumped by 1.2% over the course of no longer than a year, about 20 times more than the normal rate of variation. Their study is published online in Nature today."

Further, there remains some debate over the sources of cosmic rays ...

New studies suggest that the origin of the strongest cosmic rays is still mysterious.

"Cosmic rays are energetic ions from space that arrive in the Sun’s local neighborhood traveling at extremely high velocities. About 90% of all cosmic rays are single protons, or hydrogen nuclei, followed by 5% helium, with the remainder being all other elements in the periodic table ...

Recently, scientists working with the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole announced that 'cosmic ray hotspots' have been seen coming from specific locations in space. Since cosmic rays are 'only known' to be generated by supernovae or the mysterious Gamma Ray Bursters (GRB), the hotspots are creating confusion: no such sources exist close enough to create such high velocity ions. Cosmic rays are electrically charged, so magnetic fields beyond a certain distance ought to randomize the direction from which they arise and prevent such highly localized conditions ..."

(see source for further explanation)

Assumes Cosmic Rays Do Not Interact with Dead Creatures

"Ironically, by using the count of neutrons produced by cosmic rays at the Earth’s surface [Mount Evans] Libby implicitly acknowledged that his assertion that the 'continuous labelling' of the biosphere by Carbon 14 is 'terminated at death' is not the whole truth.

'The real beginning of the history of radiocarbon dating as such was in the realization that the cosmic-ray production of radiocarbon in the high atmosphere leads to a continuous labelling of the biosphere and living matter, which is terminated at death.'

This is because cosmic rays that reach the Earth’s surface collide with atoms [to produce neutrons which can produce Carbon 14] above and below ground level.

Therefore, when a collision occurs within a biosphere host any resulting neutrons may react with nitrogen to produce Carbon 14 regardless of whether the biosphere host is dead or alive ...

Furthermore, the more powerful cosmic rays act as bunker busters that can penetrate rock [and probably pyramids] before they produce neutrons which can trigger the formation of Carbon 14 below ground [or in a buried biosphere body]."

Assumes C14 Consistency Across Ecosystems, Organisms and Body Parts

George F. Carter "Physical Geography," Geogr. Rev., Vol. 43, (1953), pp. 121-124.

... and ...

R. B. Morrison, "The Pleistocene Boundary: An analysis of various criteria for determining it on a provincial basis and establishing it worldwide," Geol. Mijnb., Vol. 48, (1969), p. 351-371.

"Dr. George Carter has concluded that different plants in different regions absorb different amounts of carbon that can unbalance the relation of old and new carbon in them."

Assumes Latitudinal and Altitudinal C14 Consistency

"Clearly, each square centimetre of the Earth’s surface is not identical.

Clearly, there are variations in the distribution of clouds, precipitation, temperature, fresh water, sea water, ice, soils, rocks, carbon deposits and life forms.

The real world is not uniformly average.

Much of this natural variability is controlled by insolation which varies in intensity and duration by latitude."

(Insolation is the total amount of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area during a given time.)

"The Earth’s sea surface temperatures clearly illustrate this latitudinal dependency upon insolation.

These variations in sea surface temperatures directly influence the carbon levels in the oceans because 'more than twice as much CO2 can dissolve into cold polar waters than in the warm equatorial waters' so that, typically, 'tropical waters release CO2 to the atmosphere, whereas high-latitude oceans take up CO2 from the atmosphere'."

Libby sought to minimize this problem, in advance, by suggesting that ocean mixing would smooth out any potential differences ...

"we know that there is world-wide mixing which occurs"

Libby admits that the rate of this mixing is on the order of 750, minimum.

"[W]hat Libby fails to mention is that the plants and animals living within [and around] the oceans will only benefit from this mixing if they live for [somewhere between] 750 and 8,000 years."

Further ...

"The northern and southern hemispheres have atmospheric circulation systems that are sufficiently independent of each other that there is a noticeable time lag in mixing between the two."

Studies of the vertical profile for C14 across the Pacific, Southern and Indian Oceans -- not all that surprisingly -- show significant variation in the upper 1200 meters of the ocean.

There are of course similar differences by atmospheric altitude. Neither of these two observations should be at all surprising in light of the idea that C14 is created by cosmic rays.

Nevertheless, Libby sought to minimize all of these effects ...

"The plan was to measure living materials from various places on earth and to see whether they had the same radiocarbon content per gram of carbon ... They show no appreciable differences even though they come from places varying in latitude from near the South Pole to near the North Pole."

"The National Physical Laboratory is more forthcoming when it comes to the 'poorly known' Carbon 14 because they acknowledge there are latitudinal differences and quote a Carbon 14 production rate of 4 atoms per second per square centimetre at a latitude of 45° when solar activity is high ..."

"Nuclear interactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere generate about 6 x 10^4 neutrons s^- 1 per m^2 of the Earth at 45 deg latitude, of which 4 x 10^4 m^- 2s^- 1 are absorbed by nitrogen to generate C14 when solar activity is low: the long-term all-Earth average would be about 60% of this."

"The 'long-term all-Earth average' of 2.4 atoms of Carbon 14 per second per square centimetre provided by the National Physical Laboratory indicates that Willard Libby underestimated Carbon 14 production rates by about 16%."

Assumes that the Earth is a Closed Carbon System, i.e. No Catastrophes,+scientists+thought+the+radiocarbon+in+the+atmosphere+remained+constant,+but+to+their+surprise,+they+discovered+that+radiocarbon+levels+varied+considerably+over+thousands+of+years%22&source=bl&ots=KQd6VnWwjO&sig=VsWxG5Ka8YEKpF91FuPTzUod72I&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwio7KuexZLRAhVO3GMKHdEEDFIQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=%22At%20one%20time%2C%20scientists%20thought%20the%20radiocarbon%20in%20the%20atmosphere%20remained%20constant%2C%20but%20to%20their%20surprise%2C%20they%20discovered%20that%20radiocarbon%20levels%20varied%20considerably%20over%20thousands%20of%20years%22&f=false

The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes - Flood, Fire and Famine in the History of Civilization, by Richard & Allen West & Simon Warwick-Smith Firestone

"Although this technique is reliable in most cases, radiocarbon researchers have discovered a major flaw in the theory. At one time, scientists thought the radiocarbon in the atmosphere remained constant, but to their surprise, they discovered that radiocarbon levels varied considerably over thousands of years -- a fact that makes radiocarbon dating substantially less reliable for those times when atmospheric radiocarbon changed dramatically.

At its worst, the effect is so dramatic that scientists refer to it as a 'radiocarbon plateau,' or a reversal, meaning that the C14 dates are in reverse order, with younger dates seeming to predate older ones. During such a reversal, radiocarbon dates can be off by many thousands of years, as you can see from the graph of IntCal04 dates near 18,000 and near 13,000 years ago (fig 1.4), just the time when the Clovis people and the giant animals were disappearing. Bill suspected that this was no coincidence."

The fact that around half of all dates are thrown away challenges the claim above that the "technique is reliable in most cases". We truthfully have no surefire way to actually know it's reliability, because we do not know what the correct chronology is.

There appear to be a number of these apparent external disruptions to the atmosphere's C14 content. As previously mentioned, there was seemingly another "event" around 774 AD ...

"We find a rapid increase of about 12% in the C14 content from AD 774 to 775, which is about 20 times larger than the change attributed to ordinary solar modulation."

It's not clear how much we can trust such numbers, as it's a bit similar to saying that "we measured that the length of a meter has changed". There are some deep epistemology issues at play when your measuring stick is shown to not be entirely consistent over time.

To emphasize the confusion of dates created by catastrophe, the Firestone group noted the following ...

The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes - Flood, Fire and Famine in the History of Civilization, by Richard & Allen West & Simon Warwick-Smith Firestone


Exploring the radiocarbon issue further, Bill discovered that some Paleo-Indian radiocarbon dates were laughably wrong. For example, dates from the Paleo-Indian sites at Leavitt and Gainey, in Michigan, came from layers that scientists knew were 13,000 years old; and yet the radiocarbon date came back suggesting that, inexplicably, the long-vanished Ice Age Indians were still hunting extinct camels when the Egyptian pharaohs were building the Temple of Karnak 2,800 years ago.

Another 13,000-year-old site, at Thedford, Ontario, Canada, seemed to show that the long dead Indians miraculously came back to life and lived up until about the time of Jesus. In addition, the most astounding Clovis-era site of all was at Grant Lake in Nunavut Province in northern Canada, where the long gone Ice Age Paleo-Indians had apparently been hunting mammoths during the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in the U.S. Civil War!

Clearly, these dates and others are impossibly wrong, although many others are correct. This indicated to Bill one of two things: either something had dumped extra radiocarbon onto the planet at that time, selectively resetting the radiocarbon clocks in some areas and not others; or some terrestrial process had produced the erroneous radiocarbon dates."

"Catastrophic Dendrochronology assumes that any perturbation of the atmospheric 12C/14C balance [following a 'cosmic catastrophe'] will naturally dissipate within 40 or 50 years.

This assumption is based upon the observed decline in carbon-14 levels in the northern hemisphere during the second half of the 20th century."

Assumes One Dominant Process for C14 Production

"Adding an extra twist to the Radiocarbon Dating saga is the observation that Carbon 14 production is not limited to the (n-p) reaction that is triggered when a neutron collides with Nitrogen 14 ...

Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia prefers to draw a veil over the Oxygen 16 reactions because the natural abundance of Oxygen 16 is 99.76% and the lower atmosphere contains 20.946% Oxygen ...

Therefore, even the National Physical Laboratory value of 4 atoms of Carbon 14 per second per square centimetre at a latitude of 45 degrees is misleading because their carefully worded information fails to mention Oxygen 16 reactions."

Assumes No Contamination Per Chosen Sample

Of all of the various assumptions which must be true in order for a radiocarbon date to be valid, it is contamination which gets all of the blame. In light of everything that is known today about these assumptions, we should maybe ask why that is. Is it because casting blame there does not invite any skepticism of the technique itself?

The Extinction of the Mammoth, Charles Ginenthal, The Velikovskian: A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol III, No's 2 and 3 and J. Gordon Ogden, III, "Radiocarbon and Pollen Evidence for a Sudden Change in Climate in the Great Lakes Region approximately 10,000 years go," Quaternary Paleoecology, E. J. Cushing, H. E. Wright, Jr., eds. (New Haven, CT, 1967) p. 119.

"If ground water is saturated with old carbon, it can drastically change the age of the plant. And this has been known from almost the inception of the radiocarbon dating process in the 1950's. J. Gordon Ogden, III describes how radiocarbon in lakes from run-off and ground water becomes contaminated with old carbon.

'The dilution of atmospheric carbon 14 by waters rich in Paleozoic limestone constitutes a major problem in dating sedimentary sequences from lake basins ... Broecker and Walter (1959) have shown that dissolved carbonate minerals can result [add old carbon] in surface material with as little as 50% of modern carbon 14 activity. Living aguatic plants from Montezuma Well in Arizona show a carbon 14 activity corresponding to an average of 17,300 and 24,750 [years] respectively.'"

Tim Flannery, The Future Eaters, (New York, 1995), p. 151.

"Tim Flannery further points out with respect to ground water and radiocarbon dating, '... what is not often realized is that organic matter carried in ground water can contaminate samples guite easily. This kind of contamination is ... difficult to detect.'"

Scientific Dating Methods in Ruins, by Charles Ginenthal, originally from 26: Science News (August 7, 1993): 87.

"In essence, water in the ground will contaminate all organic materials and can significantly alter carbon-14 dates. Organic materials lying in ground where there is significant water, such as deltas, areas with moderate to heavy rainfall, and flooded regions such as river valleys or Arctic muck, will give significantly older dates."


Post has attachment
Heinson's Chronology: Gunnar Heinsohn is a German Professor who Claims that the Accepted Western Chronology of Human History has been Padded by a Full 700 Years / His Claims have Evoked a Passionate - Largely Internal - Debate Amongst Catastrophists / The Problem he Points to is that Not a Single Archaeological Site - of 2,500 Roman Digs - has Revealed Enough Strata for the Stretch of 1,000 Years / He Blames a Devastating Event Around 230 AD

(Many thanks to Clark Whelton for his assistance with assembling the contents of this article.)

Gunnar Heinsohn (November 2013), Creation of the First Millennium CE

"No one can play semantic games with archaeological strata. You cannot employ one and the same stratum two or three times to fill a time span you automatically take for granted even if you have never thought about its creation. Neither can you present three distinct strata as just one stratum. Thus, it is not easy to play stratigraphic games. What is possible, of course, is that simultaneous strata from two different sites can be used to represent two different time spans, even if the two sites are quite close to one another.


What happened to 1st millennium CE chronology? Why was it inflated with imaginary centuries? Was there a conspiracy at work? The author is aware of theories pointing in that direction. But instead he favours the idea that there was a profound sense of helplessness after the widespread devastation and death toll of the 230s, devastation that not only cost the lives of so many but also caused a loss of continuity in calendrical computation. For the survivors, it was time for a new start. There might have been a powerful charm in the idea of a 'year 1000 CE,' which was described in Scripture as a fateful date. Someone selected that year -- maybe Michael Psellos (1017-1078 -- a choice favoured by Jan Beaufort [University of Würzburg), or Frutolf von Michelsberg (+1103). Very soon after the decision to settle on a year called 1000 AD -- i.e. sometime in the beginning of the 2nd millennium CE -- the need arose to furnish the centuries of the 1st millennium with credible history, even though the true length of that millenium was unknown at the time. To accomplish such a difficult task -- in a world without the science of archaeology nobody could verify assumed centuries against proven stratigraphies -- chronologically parallel blocks of history in different geographical regions were put into a chronological sequence. This arduous work appears to have followed a simple principle. The more east and north the region of available historical narratives was located, the later it was dated, and -- an initially unintended, proto-racist, consequence -- the more backward it was thought to be.


Although such a technique can temporarily hide the contemporaneity of all the periods involved it cannot hide the striking similarity.


So far not a single site touched by the spade (out of roughly 2.500 Roman cities, and a multitude of that in villae rusticae) has revealed enough strata for the stretch of 1,000 years expected for the 1st millennium CE. Where building layers are found for 1-235, they are missing for 285-520. Where they are found for 6th/7th to the 10th century (Slavic North-East), they are missing -- roughly speaking -- from 1-700. Therefore, ad hoc theories had to be devised to explain away early south-western Roman items from the 2nd/3rd c. that were found in south-eastern 'late' antiquity strata assigned to the 5th/6th c. or even -- in more eastern Slavic territories -- to the 9th/10th century. Thus was born the now ubiquitous theory of heirlooms or private museums of supposed 1st millennium art collectors."

Toppling of Rome’s Obelisks and Aqueducts - Ewald Ernst - August 2014

"Rome’s first aqueduct supplied a water-fountain sited at the city’s cattle market. By the third century AD, the city had eleven aqueducts, sustaining a population of over a million in a water-extravagant economy; most of the water supplied the city’s many public baths."

"None of these marvelous constructions -- erected and working for over half a millennium -- was still functioning in the 4th c. CE ...

It is believed that all these aqueducts were demolished by barbarians.

Yet, it is not understood what could have driven conquerors -- not only of Rome but of hundreds of other cities within the empire -- to cut themselves off from the supply of water, the most important ingredient for survival.

Moreover, after every former attack on Rome the aqueducts, if damaged at all, were immediately repaired.

Therefore, this wonderwork of civil engineering was kept intact over more than five centuries.

In reality, the destruction of the aqueducts happened swiftly, and with a power no humans had at their disposal.

This happened, in 234 CE, only eight years after the last system had been completed under Alexander Severus in 226 CE ...

At the same time, Rome’s population was reduced from nearly one million to no more than 50,000 ...

The cataclysm had struck with such force that more than half a millennium passed before Europeans could begin to slowly regain the technological competence of imperial Rome ...

Near Cologne (Rhineland), to give an example, in the lignite area of the Elsbachtal, the gigantig mechanical diggers used to clear away the debris covering the precious coal, a small Roman aqueduct, dated to 224 CE, was brought to light after 7 m of sand and gravel had been removed.

So far, one does not understand the geological mechanism that could have laid down such an immense volume of material strangling a once fertile Roman region.

At least, nobody dares to point to barbarians as the culprits.

The catastrophe that befell Rome soon after the completion of the Aqua Alexandriana in 226 CE, also devastated the Elsbachtal 1,100 km further north."

Wikipedia informs us that "Gunnar Heinsohn is a German author, sociologist and economist and professor emeritus at the University of Bremen ... Heinsohn has published on a wide array of topics, starting from economics, demography and its relationship with security policy and genocide, and revisionist chronology theories in the tradition of Immanuel Velikovsky."

Even if the claims can at times seem somewhat academic, there is some value to briefly reviewing Heinsohn's thesis insofar as we can get a better feel for the nature of modern chronology controversy. There are some interesting observable patterns and challenges in this area.

Gunnar Heinsohn’s chronology research claims that Antiquity, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages happened in parallel, not in sequence. And he suggests that placing these contemporary periods into sequence added hundreds of imaginary years to AD chronology.

For example, if the histories of France, the UK and Germany between 1815 and 1914 were placed in sequence, instead of in parallel, imaginary centuries would be added to European history. In one of those centuries, France would be prominent while evidence for the UK and Germany would be sketchy and puzzling, etc. Each nation would begin this 99-year period at the end of one war, and end it at the beginning of another. There would appear to be six wars in all, while in fact there were only two.

According to mainstream history, the western Roman Empire of Antiquity suffered a devastating "crisis" around 235 AD. About 300 years later, the Late Antique Roman Empire was devastated by a catastrophe associated with "the comet of Justinian." About 400 years after that, as Heinsohn shows, many northern and eastern European regions -- stretching from Norway via the Baltic to the Black See -- reveal evidence of a vast catastrophe in the 930s AD (give or take a decade). Physical evidence shows the depopulations were as severe as in areas tied to the 3rd or the 6th century plagues and catastrophes. Yet, written sources pointing to the causes or consequences of the 10th century mass deaths appear to be missing entirely.

By placing three contemporary periods in sequence, three catastrophes appear in the history books, whereas only one such period actually happened.

In short, architecture dated to Late Antique Rome was in fact created during Antiquity. Material evidence for Charlemagne, which is dated by the mainstream to the 8th and 9th centuries AD, also belongs in Antiquity, in the late 2nd century AD. In Heinsohn’s revision, Charlemagne was a leader of Roman foederati, around the time of Marcus Aurelius. He was not a reviver of Roman culture centuries after the empire fell. He was a Roman ally.

For years there has been an ongoing and very bitter conflict between Heinsohn and his supporters, and another group of historical revisionists who we'll refer to here as Saturnists. Each side wants to revise the human history chronology, but in quite different ways.

The Saturnists are against reductions in chronology -- especially the radical cuts that Heinsohn makes. They need a longer history for their Saturnian scenario, and therefore support mainstream chronology. In a sense, they might be called "neo-uniformitarians," because they support catastrophism, but only in the distant past. When more recent time spans are called into question, they dig in their heels and use mainstream textbooks to attack Heinsohn and others.

If Heinsohn is right, we are living today in the year ca. 1316 AD. But if we leave the year 2016 AD where it is now and count backward, then Rome and its empire were struck down by a massive global catastrophe ca. 930 AD.

Velikovsky wanted to remove 600 years from ancient chronology. Heinsohn wants to bring down the origin of high civilization to below 1500 BCE, perhaps down to ca. 1200 BCE. This would bring western chronology into line with the rest of the world.

As he does in his work on AD chronology, Heinsohn concludes that there is simply too little physical evidence for a longer chronology, which was constructed by adding layers from one site to layers from another. In any single archaeological site in the Ancient Near East, there are only four settlement periods in the stratigraphic record, not eight or ten as the textbooks say should exist.

For years the Chinese have been working hard to find evidence of a longer history that would give China the same chronological age as western history. Gunnar has been trying to warn the Chinese that their shorter chronology is correct, and that it’s a mistake to imitate the false chronology of the west, which is inflated by dark ages.


In China, Ancient History Kindles Modern Doubts
NOV. 10, 2000

"Everyone here knows that Chinese civilization has 5,000 years of uninterrupted history, a truism proudly repeated by schoolchildren and President Jiang Zemin alike. But as serious scholars have long conceded, hard proof of the first 2,000 years is missing.

Today, scholars announced the results of an urgent government-sponsored research program that -- using 'the superiority of socialism to develop a multidisciplinary approach' -- has filled in key gaps in the ancient record of China's first kings and dynasties. The project, which mobilized more than 200 scholars for five years, has been hailed for shedding light on the murky origins of Chinese civilization. But it has also raised questions about the role of nationalism in scholarship.

Ample evidence does exist of early cultures in the Yellow River Valley, where legend holds that the Chinese language and imperial system took form under a mythical Yellow Emperor 5,000 years ago. But no firmly documented chronology of rulers, reigns and conquests -- of the sort that exists for ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia -- actually goes back beyond 841 B.C.

'This has been a major regret for Chinese history and world history,' said Li Xueqin, a prominent historian, today at a news conference to disclose the results of the project.

Mr. Li, the project's director, was certainly understating the despair that many scholars and officials have felt about the history problem. China is a country obsessed with its past, as a source of national worth and an explanation for every foible.

Mr. Li announced that the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project, named for the three early dynasties under study, 'has been able to solve a series of longstanding questions about early Chinese civilization.' He said the project had yielded the most reliable time line yet for these dynasties, the earliest of which is said to date back more than 4,000 years.

He also said scholars in disciplines including archaeology, astronomical history, early manuscripts and the parsing of inscriptions on bronze vessels and divination bones had made many new discoveries and synthesized the sketchy evidence. Project leaders hope their newly detailed dating of early emperors will soon enter the world's textbooks and museum exhibits.

Tonight the report was featured in television news and newspapers, which ran headlines like 'Chinese History Pushed Back 1,229 Years.'

But the project has been questioned by other scholars, here and abroad, who say its authors, driven by a political urge to document Chinese culture's primacy and uniqueness, have tried to leapfrog the slow, disorderly march of science. Project researchers resolutely deny anyone told them what to find, but critics say they have forced an illusion of consensus in some cases.

'There's a chauvinistic desire to push the historical record back into the third millennium B.C., putting China on a par with Egypt,' said Edward L. Shaughnessy, a historian at the University of Chicago. 'It's much more a political and a nationalistic urge than a scholarly one.'

Several Chinese historians and archaeologists have argued with the project leaders or refused to take part, said one scholar, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But today Mr. Li and others were adamant about the conclusions' having been drawn fairly and cautiously, through a form of 'academic democracy.'

The research enterprise was begun in 1995 by Song Jian, a senior official overseeing China's science policies.

'A history without chronology is no history at all,' Mr. Song wrote in a newspaper article this fall. 'It can only be called rumor or myth.'

Li Tieying, a member of the Communist Party Politburo as well as president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has said: 'The project is an important scientific study and also has major political and cultural significance. Explicating Chinese civilization will necessarily strengthen our national cohesiveness and raise our national self-confidence and pride.'

From the outset, the scholars acknowledged that they were unlikely to stretch history all the way back to the fabled Yellow Emperor. Instead they set out to enrich knowledge of three dynasties that they say reigned from about 2070 B.C., the beginning of the reputed Xia Dynasty, to 771 B.C., when the Zhou Dynasty fell. All are believed to have been agricultural societies with elaborate rituals of divination and sacrifice.

Evidence for the very existence of a Xia Dynasty remains slender. Though it is mentioned in history books centuries later, the name does not appear on archaeological finds from the period, or even in inscriptions from the centuries that followed its supposed demise. Some Western scholars feel it remains more legend than fact.

Still, the project takes as already proven the existence of the Xia as a precursor empire to the better-established Shang, pointing to a site uncovered at Erlitou, Henan Province, in 1959 as the probable capital.

Today the presumed palace walls at Erlitou lie under farmland. After the site was excavated and documented, it was covered for protection and local farmers moved in. A few hundred yards away, trained villagers dig in a related excavation, and a few yards beyond them, new buildings are being built.

The report today concludes that the Xia ruled from around 2070 B.C. to 1600 B.C., though it does not try to date the reign of each Xia ruler.

The scholars were able to muster new findings about the Shang Dynasty, which is believed to have reigned in the Yellow River area centered on present-day Henan and Shaanxi Provinces for the following 550 years, but fixed rulers' exact dates only for the later Shang era, after 1300 B.C.

Early in the 20th century, many scholars doubted traditional claims of a Shang Dynasty, too. But then discoveries of 'oracle bones' -- animal bones bearing inscriptions used to decipher the future -- proved its existence. There was also evidence that the Shang engaged in human sacrifice and may have held slaves.

By all accounts, the project has also helped clarify the formerly confused chronology of the early Zhou Dynasty, which produced beautiful bronzes seen in world museums.

But one of the most contentious and important questions involves the timing of the Zhou conquest of the Shang. The event's date is vital to chronology before and after, but scholars must sort out contradictory signs from early inscriptions, reports of Jupiter's position in the sky and accounts in ancient documents of disputed authenticity.

The project's decision to settle on 1046 B.C. as the probable date for the fall of the Shang -- the date became widely known when draft reports were circulated -- angered some scholars.

One historian, Jiang Xiaoyuan of Jiaotong University in Shanghai, complained in an interview that his published conclusions about the conquest year, developed under project auspices, had been set aside by project leaders to support the date they preferred. But Mr. Jiang also acknowledged that the project had brought fresh funding and modern equipment to starved disciplines and had 'vastly advanced the study of China's ancient history.'

David S. Nivison, emeritus professor of Chinese studies at Stanford University, said he was outraged by the selection of 1046, which he said contradicted research he had submitted to the project. His favored date is 1040, but whoever is right, he says, insisting on a single date now is intellectually dishonest.

'It's going to be a mess,' Mr. Nivison said, adding that international scholars were likely to tear the report 'to pieces.'

'These are going to be seen as the dates pronounced to be correct by the Chinese government,' Mr. Nivison said. 'For the government of China to be in this position may poison scholarship for generations.'

Mr. Li, the project director, replied today: 'Our findings are, I believe, the best that can be obtained at present. That doesn't mean there can't be further progress.'"

China's experiences with chronology are in a general sense representative of a larger global confusion and disagreement that suggests a multi-faceted problem.

For instance, the issue of whether or not the Xia Dynasty is real or mythical is in fact a common problem -- leaving no firm root to anchor a subsequent series of events in. The West is not immune to this problem. In making the case for David Talbott's own "Saturnian" reconstruction, he convincingly cites the widespread problem that all of the kings were seeking to cast themselves as an incarnation of a mythic prototype of warriors and warrior-kings.

Thus, we are confronted with a fundamentally confusing situation for historians seeking to establish deep human chronology: without a firm grasp of the subject of mythology, one expected pattern for these chronologies is that they will fail to properly discriminate between true historical and mythological figures.

In the light of that problem, how can a scientist with any confidence then apply some sort of statistical analysis to the data? The nature of the information appears to limit the set of tools we can apply -- suggesting the possibility that we may never have a confident answer to some of these questions.

Clark Whelton raises yet another issue to be aware of in this domain: The Saturnists, he argues, use mainstream scholarship to rebut ideas they disagree with, while simultaneously defending their own revised histories of the solar system and related topics against mainstream criticism. In other words, they think "mainstream history refutes your work, but not mine." Note, of course, that the mainstream is dismissive of both sides of the debate.

We have a bit of a dilemma with this chronology business.

"Wie lange waehrte das Erste Jahrtausend?"
("How Long Was the First Millennium?")
by Gunnar Heinsohn


The Discovery of Carolingian Living Quarters in Aachen and Europe

"From the 8th to 10th centuries CE, Aachen resembles a bombed-out wasteland, in the centre of which stand, in ghostly solitude, the remains of a Carolingian government district. Beyond these regnal buildings [Palatinate-Ensemble], Aachen has no archaeology at all for its Early Medieval period of the 700s-930s CE. Roads, residential areas, plazas, barracks, stables, workshops, monasteries, churches, aqueducts and thermal baths -- even latrines and sewers -- are missing.

Because of this missing archaeology, dissidents who support the ideas of Heribert Illig deny the existence of the Carolingians, along with the centuries of the Early Middle Ages in which they supposedly lived. Mainstream scholars reply, inter alia, by pointing to small finds, and to the Europe-wide excavation of Carolingian coins.

Grudgingly, however, the experts concede that Aachen does indeed lack an Early Medieval urban infrastructure. In turn, the Illig school does not put into question the existence of the Carolingian government buildings, but moves them up to the 12th century with Emperor Barbarossa, who supposedly did not only permit a Romanesque Four-Ship Church of St. Foillan for Aachen’s citizens but, at the same time, had the 16-sided Hexadecagon and the other Roman-style Palatinate buildings erected for himself right next to it.

Local experts balk at moving the Early Middle Ages forward into the Romanesque period of the High Middle Ages. They emphasize, time and again, the consistently antique appearance (1st-3rd c.) of not only the Palatine buildings, but also of their architectural sculpture, floor tiles, bronzes, and other decorations down to pigments and glass pastes. The 1st-3rd c. style of these materials, they insist, definitely rules out a High Medieval interpretation (12th c.).

Where the dissidents move the time of the Palatinate buildings from the 9th up to the 12th century, the experts do not move them down to the 2nd, the century in which they identify the ancient models from which, 700 years later, the Palatinate buildings were supposedly copied. With all due right, the experts keep them in the 9th century because this stratum is contingent with Aachen’s 10th/11th stratum of the High Middle Ages. Therefore, they insist, the 9th century constructions must be copies of Roman buildings of the 2nd century. The two opponents, thus, are a millennium apart for the same Roman-looking style of the Palatinate-Emsemble.

The possibility that they are looking at original buildings from the 2nd century that are merely dated some 700 years too early is strongly rejected by both parties. Building historian Volker Hoffmann, who also rules out a Romanesque 12th c. date for Charlemagne’s Palatinate, moves the hexadecagon from Early Medieval times down to Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.). But he stops short of Antiquity.

Although the dissidents and the experts are irreconcilable, they still share a lot of common ground. Their strongest similarity is that they agree there are no genuine Early Medieval urban structures beyond Aachen’s Palatinate-Ensemble. To the Illigists, this is proof that history books must be changed. To mainstream scholars, it is a puzzle that causes them embarrassment, even despair.

Another area where the opposing parties agree is in their deep conviction that the missing Early Medieval living quarters of Aachen as well as other European cities must never be sought in the 1st-3rd centuries, the era in which the city has rich layers with private and public buildings of Antiquity to which nobody lays claim. Such an idea sounds too implausible because chronologists have inserted about 700 years between the two eras. It was quite all right, the experts concede, that the Palatine structures of the 9th century were built in the style of the 2nd century, and all right that even the decorations and pigments for these buildings were inspired by 700-year-old architecture. However, they claimed, the building parts with a 1st-3rd c. appearance were actually spolia, ancient stonework re-used 700 years later. The discovery that the architectural sculpture by no means consists of spolia, but was newly manufactured in the 9th c., was countered with the theory of 'pseudo-spolia.' Pseudo-spolia have the antique imperial look, it is said, but are made new to avoid the shabbiness of resorting to second hand dealers in ancient stonework. Therefore, it is believed, construction specialists all over Europe had been trained to recreate 700-year-old techniques, forms and paint, right down to its chemical fingerprint. Yet, in the written sources there is no hint whatsoever of such unprecedented endeavours.

Mainstream scholars have another serious problem. The sources, that are silent on Charlemagne’s alleged revival of Roman culture, clearly state that he chose Aachen as his capital because of its hot springs, which were already famous in the time of Emperor Augustus (31 BCE to 14 CE). Here again mainstream must concede complete agreement with their nemesis, the Illig school. For both sides, there are no baths in Aachen built in the Early Middle Ages. A rich 2nd c. Roman bath ('Buechel-Therme'), however, was found in close walking distance to Charlemagne’s 9th century Palatinate. Mainstream does not turn that structure into a fake ancient bath built from pseudo-spolia. Illig is careful not to re-date it to the 12th c. though it looks no less Roman than the Palatinate buildings he has already moved to the High Middle Ages. Again, mainstreamers and dissidents agree: this 2nd c. Roman bath must never be considered as a candidate for the vividly described thermal pleasures of the early medieval rulers and their entourage.

And yet, over and over again, the archaeologists excavating Aachen see the possibility that 700-year-old roads, sewers, latrines or even residential buildings from the city’s 2nd century Roman period were still usable in the 9th century. For the Carolingian cities of Zurich (Switzerland) or Spoleto (Italy) -- and even for all of Bavaria -- it is claimed explicitly that from the 700s to the 930s people still lived in dwellings from the 1-230 period. Similar claims are made for Rome, Ephesos or Syracuse. Transposed into the 2nd millennium, one would have to imagine Europeans from 1700-1930 living in unaltered houses from 1000-1230. Back in the 1st millennium, such durability -- after the West Roman Empire had been felled in the 3rd c. with the East Roman following suit in the 6th c. -- would be no less than a miracle. On top of that, in the 230s a layer of dark mud covered the flattened Aachen of Roman provenance like a shroud. How, then, could the buildings of the 1-230s period still have been in perfect shape in the 700-930 period? That would be possible only if '1-230s' and '700-930s' are simply different chronological labels for the same archaeological 230-year period that immediately precedes the High Middle Ages starting after the Tenth Century Collapse of the 930s.

The author -- based on his finding that CE sites everywhere have, at best, enough vertical stratigraphic layers for only some 300 of the required 1000 years -- proposes, since autumn 2013, a synthesis, not only for Aachen but for the entire dispute over the Early Middle Ages. Against the inability of mainstream history to defend the very existence of the Early Middle Ages with substantial living quarters, streets, squares and water systems, and against the elimination of early medieval history by dissidents, the author takes the position that the Early Medieval buildings of Aachen’s Palatinate look ancient because they really belong to Antiquity, which, the author holds, should not be placed in the 1st to 3rd centuries but -- in accordance with the evidence of stratigraphy -- in the 8th to 10th centuries.

Therefore, Aachen’s 1st-3rd c. Roman quarters, in combination with the one Early Medieval block of the Palatinate-Ensemble (8th-10th c.), form the desperately searched-for early medieval city in all its complete splendour known from the sources. The geographical deviation of the buildings in the Palatinate-block along the course of Roman roads is due to the program of the Franks to establish a Christian seat of government within the city that they managed to take over during the 2nd century of Antiquity (stratigraphically equaling the 9th c. of the Early Middle Ages). Therefore, Roman buildings are (in the 2nd=9th c.) demolished and built over, in east west orientation, only in the one block chosen by the Franks to become their administrative centre laid out to please their Christian deity.

The buildings in this peculiar block are indeed younger than the urban structures in the Roman quarters around it. Due to their construction there are more layers in the Palatinate block than found in the rest of Roman Aachen. Still, these new structures, too, belong to Antiquity (1st-3rd c.), i.e. are Frankish-Roman. Yet, they represent its final 2nd/3rd c. stage which, at the same time, belongs to the final stage of the Early Middle Ages of the 9th/10th century. Thus, Aachen’s Christian regnal quarter of the 9th/10th c. (Palatinate-Ensemble) belongs to Antiquity’s 2nd/3rd c., as well as to Late Antiquity’s 5th/6th century, with all of them together stratigraphically belonging to the 9th/10th century.

In countless places, sites dated to the 3rd (or 6th) century transition directly into the High Middle Ages during the 10th century (ca. 930s). Volker Hoffmann’s movement of Aachen’s octagon dome into Late Antiquity is accurate to the extent that it unknowingly reveals that Antiquity and Late Antiquity are not only culturally indistinguishable but stratigraphically, i.e., chronologically parallel. In turn, mainstream history has every right to leave the Palatinate buildings in the 8th-10th c. Early Middle Ages because -- however unimaginable it may be to them -- Antiquity, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages are parallel in the time span of the latter. Stratigraphically, this parallel chronology of periods, set 700 years apart, has been seen by many an archaeologist, but it is not consciously perceived.

Since the 1940s, exceptional thinkers such as Richard Krautheimer (1897-1994) have tried to make sense of a 1st millennium with stalled evolution but a triple-Antiquity by defining the 4th century of Late Antiquity as a renaissance of Antiquity’s 1st century that undergoes an additional renaissance in Early Medieval 8th century. The indistinguishability of ground floors, building materials, color pigments and sophisticated glass pastes etc., thus, had been brought about by larger than life rulers who were determined to enforce these renaissances to bring back the Roman Empire’s superiority. They even managed to reinstall slave-markets -- seen as culprits of the Third Century Crisis as well as the 6th century demise of Late Antiquity -- for a third time. Yet, such mega-characters of the Early Middle Ages would have had to be unbelievably powerful in order to bring evolution to a standstill. Even lawmaking as well as major languages like Hebrew, Greek or Latin -- including poetry -- they supposedly could force into petrification. In the development of arms, too, they insisted on absolute stagnation. The spatha - designed in the last century BCE -- becomes the standard sword of Antiquity. It returns in Late Antiquity, and is in full swing again during the Early Middle Ages as the so-called Viking or Carolingian sword. Could those leaders really have convinced all humans from Scandinavia to Bulgaria -- the territories analyzed in this study -- to adopt lifestyles, languages, and architectural structures that were 700 years out of date, while, at the same time, hiding forever all traces of what must have been the largest secret operation of all time? And yet, mainstream scholars can only defend their view of 1st millennium history by assuming that such a gigantic conspiracy had been repeated first in Late Antiquity, and a second time in the Early Middle Ages. Since the High Middle Ages, however, they no longer see such godlike creatures at work, and, therefore, see no fourth coming of Antiquity. Only Illig’s dissidents opt for a fourth Roman Antiquity -- after Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the Early Middle Ages -- by moving Aachen’s Palatinate block with all its definitely Roman-looking splendour to the High Middle Ages of the 12th century.

Yet, whatever their preferred conspiracy theories, our combattants fail to place Antiquity right before the High Middle Ages (beginning in the 10th c.) where it stratigraphically belongs. That places Aachen’s huge Roman bath ('Büchel-Therme') in the Early Middle Ages, too. Therefore, the source references regarding the Franks’ choice of Aachen as their European capital because of its hot springs can now be defended against being discarded by the Illig school, or shamefully ignored by mainstream.

Before abandoning the sources as unreliable, thereby ending up in bed with the dissidents once again, the Aachen experts should look for the alleged non-discoverability of Early Medieval urban structures in the rich material evidence of the city’s Antiquity strata. If, in Aachen as well as Europe, only the layers of Antiquity ('1st to 3rd' centuries) can provide the long-desired urban evidence for the Early Middle Ages (8th to 10th centuries), then directly above Aachen’s early 3rd (equals early 10th) century Roman ruins are the massive, dark mud layers of the 930s (=230s), where primitive pit houses sunk into them form the depressive beginning of the High Middle Ages after the 930s.

Because of the parallel existence of Antiquity/Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages, Aachen’s excavators will soon realize that the Roman military camp -- discovered under Aachen’s Market Square on August 25, 2015 -- cannot be dated, as was hastily done, to Late Antiquity in order to eventually have buildings for Aachen’s 4th-6th centuries. This would require 1st-3rd c. strata beneath that small Roman castrum. Since former excavations have revealed only 1st-3rd c. small finds in its location, the author bets that buildings for these 300 years will not be found under the camp. Its site will provide no more building layers than the rest of 1st millennium Aachen, i.e. a maximum of 300 years. The following schematic overview of the 1st millennium (excluding 600-700) shows two options for its historical order with the left side representing the textbook view whereas the right side stands -- cum grano salis -- for the stratigraphic approach employed by the author:"

[See Graphic]

"Stratigraphic evidence for six of the most thoroughly discussed cities in this text -- Aachen, Kalisz, Rome, Athens, Byzantium, Jerusalem, and Samarra -- is hereby presented in schematic overviews to facilitate objections, and to underline the claim that each site experiences just one devastating destruction during the 1st millennium CE that, in each case, is the same that brings about, at the beginning of the 10th c. CE, the dramatic shift from the Early Middle Ages to the High Middle Ages."

[See Graphic]

"Of course, an analysis that claims to obsolesce nearly one thousand years of historiography - beginning with Michael Psellos (1018-1078) -- on the course of 1st millennium AD will face all possible means of refutation. Therefore, the central thesis of this study -- the contemporaneity of Antiquity (1st-3rd c. CE), Late Antiquity (4th-6th c. CE), and Early Middle Ages (8th-10th c. CE) during the time span of the latter -- is laid out in a way that makes it an easy target for falsification by experts and laymen alike. Of the roughly 20,000 sites of Roman culture (urban spaces and villae rusticae), as well as of the many thousand sites north of the Danube, east of the Rhine, and all over Scandinavia, this hypothesis does not need thousands or hundreds of examples to disprove it. A single site whose stratigraphy illustrates textbook history of the first millennium CE will lay this book’s hypothesis to rest. For such a site to do this demolition job, the following sequence of building strata is required:

Stratigraphy confirming textbook periodization of the 1st millennium CE that is required to falsify this study’s reconstruction of the same history.

(7) Destruction traces for the 10th CENTURY COLLAPSE.

(6) Building strata with distinct evolutionary architecture and art for the EARLY MIDDLE AGES, with the expected internal developments from the 8th to 10th c. CE.

(5) Architectural evolution for the INTERMEDIATE time span of the 7th c. CE.

(4) Destruction traces for the FALL OF LATE ANTIQUITY in the 6th c. CE.

(3) Building strata with distinct evolutionary architecture and art for LATE ANTIQUITY, with the expected internal developments from the 4th to 6th c. CE.

(2) Destruction traces for the CRISIS OF THE THIRD CENTURY between the 230s and 280s CE.

(1) Building strata of art and architecture for ANTIQUITY (1-230s CE), with the expected internal evolution from Emperor Augustus to Emperor Alexander Severus.

In actual fact, falsification will already be achieved by pointing to a single site that exhibits an evolution of super-imposed building strata for the three periods, with some 600 years between (1) and (3). A stratigraphy with the evolution of super-imposed buildingstrata for the four periods (3) to (7), running from the late 3rd to the early 10th c. CE, would do the same job."

There are places to go for more information on this debate. In particular, see Ev Cochrane's rebuttal to Heinson's chronology here:

There is some back-and-forth debate occasionally published here, viewable with a yearly subscription:

And there is the mentioned coverage at Q-Mag as well:


Post has attachment
Velikovsky's Chronology: Of his Many Claims, Velikovsky Famously Challenged the "Gold Standard" Egyptian Chronology / While his Claims on Venus and Electromagnetism are Perceived by Some as Groundbreaking, there are Reasons to be Cautious about his Proposed Revisions to Chronology / Historian Clark Whelton Provides a Deeply Personal Account of his Own Misgivings that Velikovsky's Chronology Seems Rooted in Fundamentalism / There Might Not be a Better Example of the Risk of Rejecting Everything a Man has Said / In Science, we Run into Trouble when we Stop Asking 'Why?'

Immanuel Velikovsky carefully researched volumes of original ancient texts, comparing the historical events and characters described by their authors. His realignment was the result of matching the features of story and plot among world texts.

Current historical timelines of the period BC depend on the accepted "gold standard" of Egyptian Pharaoh dynasties. Velikovsky challenged the accuracy of the timeline, which is quite arbitrarily constructed in many instances.

He used the Ipuwer papyrus to realign the catastrophic events in Biblical Exodus with reports in Egyptian history of similar chaos that in the standard version contains no reference to equivalent events of the period. Velikovsky researched Mayan, Hindu and Chinese history to draw similar cross-references.

He equated Bathsheba with Cleopatra, thus removing the mysterious identity of the former by losing the 400 year duplicated period. Likewise, he chops out the more recent Dark Ages as being filler to make up for the same invented period based on a misinterpretation of Egyptian records.

All that said, it's important to emphasize that what is being attempted here is a seriously complex endeavor. The construction of reliable chronologies is at the very edge of our capabilities, because as with dating, we lack any firm signpost to which the "true facts" are moored. At a certain point back, you've got the Bible, a scatter of other documents, and you've got archaeological artifacts not always firmly rooted in a particular time period. We should perhaps not expect to get this right on the first, or even second, try -- and we should seek to map out all of the competing chronologies.

Let's start with a sample of Velikovsky's writings on this subject ...

Immanuel Velikovsky on the Egyptian Chronology


"The sustained effort of radiocarbon researchers to find support in Egyptian chronology, and their reliance on that chronology, is fundamentally a mistake. As I tried to show in Ages in Chaos, the Egyptian chronology is basically wrong. I drew the attention of Libby to this fact in my letter of October 7, 1953, and I sent him a copy of Ages in Chaos; his answer was that he is not at all learned in ancient history; thus he continued to rely on what is unreliable. He cannot be blamed for it because in historical circles the conventional chronology is still the accepted dating in absolute and in comparative sense ...

Now if the historical basis of radiocarbon studies fails so completely, many conclusions drawn and much data left unpublished require reconsideration. From some correspondence that originated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I have concluded that when Libby first asked for specimens, he received not only those dating from the Old and Middle Kingdoms, but also from the New Kingdom -- but nothing ever was published of those early tries on New Kingdom specimens. A similar situation concerns more recently tested short-living organic material from the tomb of Tutankhamen.

After many efforts (from 1952 to 1963) to have the New Kingdom of Egypt tested in a systematic way I succeeded in having three little pieces of wood from the tomb of Tutankhamen handed over by the Laboratory Director of the Cairo Museum to Mrs. Ilse Fuhr of Munich, who was directed by me to send them to Dr. Elizabeth Ralph of the University of Pennsylvania Laboratory. Two of the pieces were from the comparatively short-lived thorn plant, Spina Christi, and one from the long-living Cedar of Lebanon. The three small pieces were processed together, since a test requires ca. 30 grams (I ounce) of material. The result was - 1120 ± 52 (or following Libby’s half life of C14, - 1030 ± 50). Now the accepted chronology has Tutankhamen dying in - 1350; my reconstruction has him entombed in ca. - 830. According to Dr. Iskander Hanna of the Cairo Museum, the wood was from 30 to 50 years dried before being used for funerary equipment. The Lebanon Cedar would not have been cut as sapling -- the tree reaches thousands of years of age. The sample could have been from inner rings of a trunk. Dr. E. Ralph confirmed to me on March 5, 1964, that tree rings, when carbon dated, show the date of their formation, not of the year the tree was felled. I wrote to her on March 2, 1964, suggesting that if short-living material (like seeds, papyrus, linen or cotton) should be subjected to tests from the tomb of Tutankhamen, most probably the result will show 'ca. -840.' [2]

In spring, 1971, or seven years later, the British Museum processed palm kernels and mat reed from the tomb of Tutankhamen. The result, according to Dr. Edwards, Curator of the Egyptian Department of the British Museum, was -899 and -846 respectively. [3] These results were never published.

These cases make me appeal that all tests, irrespective of how much the results disagree with the accepted chronological data, should be made public. I believe also that the curiosity of the British Museum Laboratory officials should have induced them to ask for additional material from the Tutankhamen tomb instead of discontinuing the quest on the assumption that tested material was contaminated. The tomb of Tutankhamen had not been opened since soon after the entombment. It is dry -- water did not percolate through its roof or walls ...

Now we see that not only were the warning signals that Libby offered with his method disregarded, but also an unearned reliance on the accepted version of ancient history has caused much stumbling in the dark, more and more tests of diminished value, and a maze of findings, with many undisclosed results of tests, wrong deductions and much exasperation that mark the first 20 years of application of Libby’s most imaginative method."


For those not well versed in the complexities of the Egyptian Chronology, it can be difficult to argue with -- or even understand -- everything that is in play here. Immanuel Velikovsky is asserting that a series of technical errors have been made here. We follow along with his claims, realizing that he has always had detractors.

But, along the way, we might miss something important: When we question the history of the planet Venus or the role of electromagnetism in the planetary sciences, we are asking questions which are fundamentally matters of physics. But, can we treat debates over chronology in precisely the same manner?

Egyptian Chronology is history. With the use of radiocarbon dating, it also becomes a matter of science. But, it's also culture and religion -- and we must never forget that Velikovsky, like all human beings, is a product of culture. We exist within culture, and we see the world through its lens. We cannot so simply extract ourselves from our own cultures -- just as we cannot, without assistance, look at our own retinas.

Clark's personal reactions -- noted some years ago in Canada -- to Velikovsky's chronological tinkerings reminds us of the true complexity we are dealing with when asking the big questions in science. We must question everything a man says, and always be on guard for motives that not even he may be savvy to. Nobody gets a free pass. We must critically analyze all of the reasons for our own beliefs. If we can get that process right, then we stand a chance of dealing with the remaining complexities.

Society for Historical Research

Velikovsky, Fundamentalism, and the Revised Chronology
by Clark Whelton

"In the summer of 1977 I spent a day at Immanuel Velikovsky's home in Princeton. We sat in the living room and talked about history. Peoples of the Sea had just appeared in print. Velikovsky was brimming with optimism. By following volume I of his 'Ages in Chaos' series with volume V, and leaving the middle three installments till last, he intended to establish and secure the perimeter of his revised chronology. There were both advantages and risks to this method. Jumping to the end of the series allowed Velikovsky to champion a radically lowered date (4th century BCE) for Ramses III without having to demonstrate a logical sequence of events beginning where volume I left off (the end of the 18th dynasty, ca. 840 BCE). The principal risk was that critics would be loath to accept such a startling displacement of Ramses III unless the necessary sequence was provided.

Also, it seemed to me that Velikovsky was risking the same kind of trouble that plagues the chronology of ancient Greece. The history of Greece is written in opposite directions. We follow the trail of evidence from classical times backward until it fades out in the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. At the same time we track the development of the Mycenaean period (conventionally anchored in the 2nd millennium BCE by archaeological ties to the 18th dynasty) forward until it fades out in 12th and 11th centuries BCE. Because these converging histories fail to converge, the resulting gap is called a 'dark age.' It occurred to me that Velikovsky, by sandwiching his revision between the unbending bookends of volumes I and V, might be inviting similar problems. As it turned out, a 'dark age' does exist in the center of the Ages in Chaos series. Volume III, The Assyrian Conquest, still hasn't seen the light of day.

In the summer of 1977, however, I shared Velikovsky's optimism. Nevertheless, I couldn't help wondering why, instead of jumping forward, he didn't simply continue down the trail that began so promisingly in volume I. Using Biblical chronology as a guide to the reconstruction of ancient history had apparently served him well. Hadn't the true identities of Shishak and the Queen of Sheba emerged from the mists of history? I'd come to accept Velikovsky's method completely, and believed what he said in Ages in Chaos. On page 99, after carefully showing that the histories of Israel and Egypt were out of sync by some 600 years, he wrote:

'Whose history is to be moved by these centuries? Is it possible to place (King) David in the sixteenth century before this era? No student of ancient history will see the slightest possibility of altering the history of the kings of Jerusalem by a single century, much less by six, without disrupting all established data and concepts. The Biblical annals record the succession of the kings of Judah and of Israel, king after king, and give the years of their reigns. If there are, here and there, some discrepancies or difficulties in the double account of the kings of Judah and Israel, they are of an entirely different dimension, and may amount at most to one or two decades, but not hundreds of years.'

In spite of this persuasive statement and the apparent success of volume I, it still wasn't clear why Velikovsky had jumped ahead 500 years in Peoples of the Sea. Had the Biblical guide gone astray? As we discussed this question, I mentioned something that had been said to me by an historian from New Jersey.

'You've got to be careful with Ages in Chaos,' he cautioned. 'It's obvious that Velikovsky is personally involved with the history of Israel. He's very much aware of the implications of his work for modern Israel. I think he has a special interest in having things come out a certain way.'

Velikovsky's eyes blazed with anger. 'In other words,' he snapped, 'this man is calling me a liar.' I tried to explain that I didn't think such an accusation was being made, but Velikovsky got up, walked across the room, and picked up a Bible. Barely in control of his emotions, he said: 'I will read you something.' He turned to Jeremiah 52, the story of Israel's rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar. As King Zedekiah tried to escape from besieged Jerusalem, he was captured near Jericho and taken before Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah. 'The leaders of Judah were killed on the spot,' Velikovsky said. 'But Zedekiah, the last Hebrew king to sit on the throne of David, was not so lucky. His sons were slaughtered in front of him, and then his eyes were put out. They took him alive to Babylon, so that for the rest of his days his last sight would be his children dying in agony.' Velikovsky's eyes filled with tears. Overcome by empathy, he had to leave the room. When he returned he pointed to the Bible and said, 'This is the history of my people. About the Scriptures I do not tell lies!'

Later we went to a diner on Route 1. While we ate lunch Velikovsky discussed the current political situation in Israel. A debate was raging over whether or not to return the Sinai to Egypt. I asked his opinion. 'They should return part, but not all,' he said.

'Why do you say that?'

'You have read Ages in Chaos. You know that the historical borders of the Israel of David and Solomon were the Euphrates in the north and El Arish in the south. We are in El Arish now. To give up historical borders would be a mistake.'

The words of the historian from New Jersey came back to me at that moment. Clearly, Velikovsky was personally involved in both the ancient and modern history of Israel. But if he had a hidden agenda I couldn't see it. His revised chronology was based on solid research and established principles of scholarship. His heavy reliance on Biblical history made sense because the Bible was just as he described it, a generation by generation account of ancient times, the only such text in existence. Abandoning the Bible as a guidepost would indeed 'disrupt all established data and concepts.' At the time it didn't occur to me that Velikovsky was methodically disrupting all established data and concepts in Egyptology, the keystone and fulcrum of ancient history. Under Velikovsky's revision, the Bible assumed this pivotal role.

Several weeks later I interviewed Cyrus Gordon, the great philologist and professor of Hebrew studies, in his office at New York University. I asked Dr. Gordon about Velikovsky's suggestion ( C., p. 69) that the unusual Hebrew phrase 'evil angels' (Psalms 78:49) should be translated 'king shepherds,' and used as evidence that the Biblical Amalekites were the Hyksos. Gordon called Velikovsky's idea 'a brilliant emendation,' but expressed strong doubts about the overall accuracy of his revised chronology. First, he questioned Velikovsky's identification of the 'Prst,' who fought against Ramses III, as the Persians. Gordon supported the accepted view that the 'Prst' were Philistines.

'The distinctive 'Prst' helmet is pictured on the Phaistos disk from Crete,' he said. The disk is conventionally dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. 'But there are larger issues. You have to understand that Velikovsky has a particular vision of the Hebrew role in history. Do you know where Velikovsky says the Amalekites-Hyksos came from?'

'From Arabia.'

'Yes. Barbarians from Arabia conquer and oppress Egypt, the center of ancient civilization. They rule Egypt with great cruelty until their capital city is conquered and sacked by ...?'

'By King Saul.'

'Yes. Under Velikovsky's revision, Israelites are not only exonerated of the charge that they themselves were the Hyksos, but Israel also throws out the Arab barbarians. Israel becomes the liberator of Egypt and the savior of civilization.' He paused. 'Do you see what I'm getting at?'

'Yes, I think so.' I did think so. I thought Gordon was saying exactly what he said. But the implications of his words had escaped me completely. It wasn't until February 1988, when I met Dr. Gordon at Roger Wescott's home and we talked about the points we'd discussed 11 years before, that I suddenly understood what he meant. Under Velikovsky's revision, ancient Israel -- like modern Israel -- battles against Arabs in defense of its borders and the values it upholds. The significance of the earlier struggle illuminates the present one.

This conversation with Cyrus Gordon came at a crucial moment in my ongoing effort to evaluate Velikovsky's revised chronology in light of later research. Although I'd come to have strong doubts about the Velikovsky's Peoples of the Sea and Ramses II and His Time, the intriguing identifications and parallels in Ages in Chaos had continued to hold my attention. But I also found myself convinced by the relentless logic of Gunnar Heinsohn's sweeping and radical reconstruction of Mesopotamian history.

Heinsohn points out that until 1868, five major empires were known to have preceded the Hellenistic Greeks: Chaldeans, Assyrians, Late Chaldeans, Medes, and Persians. Toward the end of the 19th century, excavators recognized that archaeological evidence from Mesopotamia was not sufficient to justify a history extending back to the third millennium BCE, when -- according to Biblical chronology -- high civilizations existed in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. Scholars realized that either Biblical dating had to be shortened by many centuries or additional evidence had to be found to support the Biblical time frame. According to Heinsohn, Biblical chronology eventually won the day because scholars interpreted the archaeological evidence in a way that made it conform with Bible stories, stories they presumed to be true. They did it by doubling the five known empires to 10: Early Sumerians, Old Akkadians, Neo-Sumerians, Old Babylonians, Kassites, Mitanni, Assyrians, Late Chaldeans, Medes, and Persians.

However, curious things occurred when this new chronology was applied to the physical evidence. Archaeological remains for such well-known people as the Chaldeans dwindled to virtually nothing, while the Early Sumerians -- 'unknown to even the most brilliant scholars of antiquity,' to quote Heinsohn -- were suddenly discovered to have built a flourishing empire. Similarly, physical evidence for the previously-unknown 2nd millennium BCE 'Mitanni' assumed a prominent place in the textbooks while the 1st millennium Medes -- who are mentioned repeatedly by other ancient nations and authors and who were co-conquerors of the Assyrian Empire -- became archaeological shadows. The newly-found 'Old Babylonians' of the 2nd millennium ascended to fame and glory while evidence for the mighty Persian Empire of the 1st millennium couldn't be found at all.

It seemed obvious to me that if Heinsohn was right Biblical history was in peril. For a while I was hopeful that both sides could be accommodated by a synthesis of the competing chronologies. But when Heinsohn withdrew his support for Velikovsky's 9th century placement of the Amarna period, and moved this key epoch of Egyptian history down to the end of the 7th century BCE, it was obvious that hope of a compromise was gone. There was no way to shift Saul, David, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba to the 7th century and keep the accepted chronology of the Bible intact. Either Heinsohn or Velikovsky was wrong.

On the emotional level, I supported Velikovsky. I found (and still find) his revised chronology to be both satisfying and reassuring. On the levels of scholarship and reason, however, Heinsohn carried the day, even though I found myself resenting his work. Nevertheless, I recognized that while he might well be wrong on specific points, his brilliant breakthrough in Mesopotamia had compelled a radical shortening of the histories of Egypt and Israel, whether I liked it or not. Synchronisms established by the Amarna letters convinced me that the end of the Late Bronze Age had to come down to the last years of the 7th century BCE. And yet I couldn't put my doubts aside, until testimony from another source finally tipped the balance in Heinsohn's favor.

Yehoshua Etzion is a violinist with the Jerusalem Symphony and an amateur historian with a solid understanding of archaeology. From what I know of his forthcoming book The Lost Bible, I can tell you that Etzion will be making a major contribution to our understanding of stratigraphy in the land of Israel. Of particular importance will be Etzion's revelations about the Iron Age, and where to look for Persian strata, which are missing not only in Mesopotamia but in major sites in Israel, as well. In early 1988, during an exchange of letters with Etzion, I asked him what he thought of Heinsohn's revised chronology. He expressed serious doubts about Heinsohn's revision as it applied to Israel. Etzion had found Biblical chronology to be a reasonably accurate guide for archaeological research. In one area, however, he showed support for Heinsohn's work. Based on evidence from Israeli stratigraphy, Etzion described Heinsohn's late placement of the Amarna period as 'very promising.'

'In fact,' he told me during a visit to New York, 'I might even place it later than Heinsohn.'

I asked how he could back Heinsohn in this important area and support Biblical chronology at the same time. 'My book is based on archaeology, not Bible studies,' he replied. 'You must always keep in mind that there is a great difference between archaeology and Bible studies. Also, when it comes to understanding the history of the Bible you must always beware of hidden fundamentalism.'

Hidden fundamentalism. It was a term that Etzion used several times in our correspondence and again during our meetings in New York. The words struck home. I'd been trying to get at the source of my lingering resentment toward Heinsohn's work, and gradually it became clear. I was angry with him because he was undermining Biblical history.

Now, I am not what is usually called a 'religious' person. I'm not an atheist, but I don't attend religious services except on special occasions, and only then to make someone else happy. I would resent it mightily if anyone called me a 'fundamentalist.' But the more I thought it, the more I had to admit that my interest in Velikovsky's revised chronology was tinged with a streak of 'hidden fundamentalism.' Velikovsky offered me a way to get my religion in secular doses without having to swallow it whole.

Velikovsky was keenly aware that his work is closely connected with religious sentiment. Opponents of Worlds in Collision accused Velikovsky of pandering to fundamentalist faith by attempting to prove that the miraculous events of the Scriptures had a basis in historical fact. Velikovsky was amused by accusations of fundamentalism because he'd been hailed by a society of British atheists for proving that the so-called miraculous events of the Scriptures were nothing more than natural disasters on a global scale.

I had long since come to the conclusion that Velikovsky was not a religious fundamentalist because he demonstrated a repeated willingness to question the literal truth of Bible stories. For example, on page 32 of Ages in Chaos Velikovsky casts doubt on the statements in Exodus that 'all of the firstborn and only the firstborn' were killed on the first night of the Exodus plagues 'because events can never attain that degree of coincidence. No credit should be given to such a record.' In Worlds in Collision Velikovsky also cautions his readers to seek the correct interpretation of Scriptural passages and not to take them literally.

So if my intense interest in the revised chronology can in fact be traced to feelings of hidden fundamentalism, it would appear that none of this has anything to with Velikovsky. But in fact I think it does. It wouldn't be fair to call Velikovsky a religious fundamentalist, or a theological fundamentalist. But I believe the evidence shows that Velikovsky is a chronological fundamentalist. He accepts the later chronology of Biblical history as literal truth. On page 76 of Ages in Chaos Velikovsky weighs the evidence for determining the length of the Hyksos period and concludes that Biblical chronology is correct. This is the pattern for his entire post-Exodus revision.

In retrospect, Velikovsky's chronological fundamentalism should not surprise anyone who rereads the paragraph from Ages in Chaos I quoted earlier.

'Whose history (Israel or Egypt) is to be moved by (six) centuries? ... No student of ancient history will see the slightest possibility of altering the history of the kings of Jerusalem by a single century, much less by six ...'

That last sentence is not a statement. It's an order. It's an order which many of Velikovsky's admirers still follow devotedly. But there's no real reason why they should. Who says that 'No student of ancient history will see the slightest possibility of altering the chronology of the kings of Jerusalem'? Many scholars have proposed such alterations. Books have been written on the subject. Archaeologists have long noted a distressing lack of evidence that confirms Biblical chronology. Proof that David and Solomon were real people is missing altogether.

Velikovsky should have begun by questioning Biblical chronology, by stating that Biblical dating may or may not be accurate, or may be partially accurate. Bible stories are not archaeology. They are stories, which may or may not contain elements of historical fact. Velikovsky should have constantly questioned the various dating schemes while applying his method of drawing literary parallels between the histories of Egypt and Israel.

But Velikovsky didn't take this cautious approach. He saw no reason to, because altering Biblical chronology by more than 'one or two decades' would 'disrupt all established data and concepts.' A man who made a career out of disrupting the established history of the ancient world should have been more careful. He should have realized that no one's history is immune to disruption. He should have let that realization permeate his work. Instead, he began with a vision of the truth and followed that vision down a road that took him astray. He never succeeded in piecing together the complex puzzle of ancient chronology. And yet his courage and leadership made possible the breakthroughs that came later.

Did Velikovsky have a hidden agenda? Was he deliberately manipulating the evidence as he shaped his revised chronology? I don't think so. I found Velikovsky to be open and honest. It's true he was passionately involved in the history of Israel, past and present. In my opinion, however, Velikovsky was motivated not by a desire to deceive, but to believe. If he had a hidden agenda, it was hidden from himself, as well.

The final irony is that Velikovsky, who so eloquently showed us how catastrophist fears became uniformitarian certainties in the age of Newton, was part of the Newtonian age himself. When the comforts of geocentric theology collapsed, Newton re-established the shaken tenets of religious faith on the terra firma of modern science. Velikovsky tried to shore up the shaken chronology of the Bible, a chronology that had been challenged by Egyptologists and by a lack of archaeological evidence. Like Newton, Velikovsky sought validation of the Bible through modern scholarship and secular proofs.

Today, in the light of Gunnar Heinsohn's discoveries, we are coming to see that the accepted chronologies of both Egypt and the Bible are wrong. As we gain a more accurate understanding of ancient chronology, religious and social customs derived from the Scriptures are being subjected to increasing pressure, just as they were in Newton's time when we gained a more accurate understanding of the solar system. I doubt that Biblical chronology can stand against the strength of Heinsohn's reconstruction. But whatever the fate of the Bible as a historical document, the central message of the Scriptures will endure. It will endure because the human predicament endures. We live on a dangerous planet. The Bible -- on its most basic level -- tells us that there is survival value in believing we're not powerless in the face of disaster.

In Worlds in Collision (p. 189), Velikovsky mentions the Snohomish tribe on Puget Sound. According to tribal legend, there was a time when the sky was so low people couldn't stand erect. They attempted to lift the oppressive clouds by shouting 'Yahu!' at the heavens. We can't be sure what kind of calamity the tribe had been struck by. It could have been anything from a foggy winter to a global upheaval. Whatever it was, we know the tribe survived because the legend survived. We may also speculate that if the disaster was severe enough, some tribes ceased to exist as social units.

Why do some groups survive a catastrophe while others perish? Luck plays a role, of course. There's nothing like being at the right place at the right time. But those who survive physically must also survive psychologically. Under conditions of chaos, hopelessness and despair are the greatest threats to psychological survival. The Snohomish tribe fought against despair by shouting at the sky. Other tribes and nations tried (and still try) their own kinds of communication with the heavens. Sometimes prayer or chanting was used, sometimes human sacrifice. Rules and rituals were established. The Bible is a complete source book on our efforts to control the sky by controlling ourselves.

In his Mesopotamian reconstruction, Heinsohn demonstrates that textbook chronology has been decisively influenced by Biblical dates for Abraham. In effect, therefore, a defense of the accepted chronology is a defense of the Bible in all its historical and psychological complexity. Those of us whose interest in ancient history was inspired by Velikovsky may not be aware of the extent to which a seemingly secular subject has been affected by hidden fundamentalism. Heinsohn has written that Velikovsky would have discovered the true chronology of the ancient world 'if only he had understood that the Greek 'dark age' did not last 500 years but 700 years, with the Thucydides-derived date of - 776 a mere desk fabrication. Then (Velikovsky) would have brought Akhnaton down to something like - 600. His direction was right ...'

Velikovsky's direction was right, but he was unable to continue in that direction for the required length of time because it would have forced him to abandon Biblical chronology. The Bible is the greatest catastrophist document of all time, a handbook for survival, an antidote to despair. That should be enough for anyone. It's a mistake to ask more of the Bible than the Bible can give.

Heinsohn, to a greater extent than his critics, has been able to free himself from preconceptions about the Bible and look at the archaeological evidence as it actually exists. Velikovsky never gained that perspective because he believed in advance that the Bible was right. And so -- on one level or another -- do most of Heinsohn's critics. Hidden fundamentalism is our greatest single obstacle to an accurate understanding of the ancient world."

Copyright 1988, 1990 Clark Whelton
Society for Historical Research [1]Hom [2]e



There is an attempt at a rebuttal here:


Post has attachment
The Tree Ring: There are Good Reasons to Believe that Tree Ring Data is Not Simply a Function of Temperature / There is a Surprisingly Strong Correlation between Annual Growth Anomaly and Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux / "Of all the Variables Investigated, it is by Far the One Most Correlated with the Annual Growth Anomaly" / Is that Why Dendrochronogists have Sometimes Reported Cyclic Phenomena in Long Time-Series of Tree Rings?

Originally: Loehle, C. 2007. A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-tree ring proxies. Energy and Environment, 18, 1049-1058.

"There are reasons to believe that tree ring data may not capture long-term climate changes (100+ years) because tree size, root/shoot ratio, genetic adaptation to climate, and forest density can all shift in response to prolonged climate changes, among other reasons.” Furthermore, Loehle notes "Most seriously, typical reconstructions assume that tree ring width responds linearly to temperature, but trees can respond in an inverse parabolic manner to temperature, with ring width rising with temperature to some optimal level, and then decreasing with further temperature increases." Other problems include tree responses to precipitation changes, variations in atmospheric pollution levels, diseases, pest outbreaks, and the obvious problem of enrichment that comes along with ever higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Trees are not simple thermometers!"

Looks like they might have overlooked another ...

Rapid report

A relationship between galactic cosmic radiation and tree rings

Sigrid Dengel, Dominik Aeby and John Grace
Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, School of GeoSciences, Crew Building, University of Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, UK


- Here, we investigated the interannual variation in the growth rings formed by Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) trees in northern Britain (55 deg N, 3 deg W) over the period 1961–2005 in an attempt to disentangle the influence of atmospheric variables acting at different times of year.

- Annual growth rings, measured along the north radius of freshly cut (frozen) tree discs and climatological data recorded at an adjacent site were used in the study. Correlations were based on Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients between the annual growth anomaly and these climatic and atmospheric factors.

- Rather weak correlations between these variables and growth were found. However, there was a consistent and statistically significant relationship between growth of the trees and the flux density of galactic cosmic radiation. Moreover, there was an underlying periodicity in growth, with four minima since 1961, resembling the period cycle of galactic cosmic radiation.


Galactic cosmic ray fluxes are known to be dependent on latitude (Svensmark & Friis-Christensen, 1997; Palle´ & Butler, 2000; Kirkby, 2007). Monthly corrected galactic cosmic ray flux data recorded at Kiel Neutron Monitor are held by the Christian-Albrechts-Universita¨t zu Kiel and provided by the National Geophysical Data Center, (Boulder, CO, USA; ( SOLAR/ftpcosmicrays.html). Information on the locality and time of volcanic eruptions, as well as on the volcanic explosivity index relevant for this study originate from the Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program (http://

Following the approach of Grace & Norton (1990) we tested the correlation between the annual growth anomaly and the climatological and atmospheric variables, month by month using the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients. Although the ring width is a time-averaged property, the rings do not form throughout the entire year, and are dependent on stored assimilates. Often the early dendrochronologists found a ‘lag effect’ whereby the cond- itions of the previous year influence the growth of the present year (Fritts, 1962; Creber, 1977). We therefore tested the effect of the variables month by month, for the present year and the previous year.


Most variables were only weakly correlated with the annual growth anomaly: total solar radiation was never statistically significantly correlated with the growth anomaly but diffuse radiation was significantly correlated in some months (Fig. 2). When considering the diffuse radiation received over the spring and summer months, we observed a statistically significant correlation: the amount of diffuse radiation received over the spring and summer (March– August) period was statistically positively correlated with the annual growth anomaly, with a correlation coefficient of +0.29 (P = 0.05; n = 45).

Temperature was negatively correlated with growth in the months of June and September, and precipitation was negatively correlated with growth in February and October. There were correlations between the annual growth anomaly and both the water vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and the calculated height of the most frequently occurring cloud base.

The galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux shows a well-known periodicity that is anticorrelated with the sunspot number, with four maxima in the period 1961–2005 (Fig. 3). Surprisingly, the tree ring data show a similar periodicity although it is possible to identify particular years where the relationship is broken by instances of extreme weather: for example 1995 was an especially warm and dry year in Scotland as in much of Europe, and under these conditions the tree rings were reduced in size. The probability of such a good relationship between the annual growth anomaly and galactic cosmic ray flux occurring by chance alone is 0.008 (n = 45, r = 0.39) (see the inset of Fig. 3). Of all the variables investigated, it is by far the one most correlated with the annual growth anomaly.

Diffuse radiation is associated with periods of high volcanism. When the fraction of the incoming solar radiation that is received as diffuse radiation is examined in relation to the occurrence of volcanoes with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 3 and higher which have erupted upwind (to the west of the UK) it appears that the fraction of diffuse radiation is often less in periods where there are few volcanoes (Fig. 4).


There were correlations between annual growth anomaly and both the water vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and the height of the most frequently occurring cloud base. The VPD has long been known to influence photosynthesis for the reason that the stomata close when the air is dry, especially in this species (Grace et al., 1975; Neilson & Jarvis, 1975). Cloudiness per se may be expected to reduce plant growth through a reduction in solar insolation, although Williams et al. (2008) have found that the effect of cloud cover on tree growth, and thus ring width, may vary depending on the type of cloud, the time of day, and the time of year.

We were surprised to see that the GCR flux (Kiel Neutron Monitor, 54 deg 34 arcminute N; 10 deg 12 arcminute E, 54 m a.s.l.) was statistically significantly correlated with the annual growth anomaly in all months, and the first presumption is that GCRs create aerosols and thus change the radiation field. However, processes other than GCR flux are involved in aerosol production and may also modify the radiation field, and thus mask any effect of galactic cosmic radiation.

First, volcanic eruptions affect the flux of diffuse radiation received at the Earth’s surface even when they are many thousands of miles away. While sulphur aerosols are capable of remaining in the atmosphere over 1–3 yr and ashes only a few months, aerosols resulting from GCRs have a much shorter lifespan. According to Yu & Turco (2000); Kristjansson et al. (2002) these aerosols have a lifespan of only a few days, so cloud formation and any consequent impact on photosynthesis should take place within this short time. Second, local aerosol production by coniferous forests has been observed (Kulmala et al., 2001, 2007), and may be expected to modify the diffuse radiation flux, possibly at a regional scale in highly forested areas.

It has been observed that GCR cycles are correlated with cloud cover (Svensmark & Friis-Christensen, 1997; Marsh & Svensmark, 2000; Palle´ & Butler, 2000). Moreover, a description of this process is presented by Yu & Turco (2000) and Harrison & Carslaw (2003). Substantial ionizing radiation is also produced from radioactive decay of elements below the surface of the soil (Kotaka & Krueger, 1978) and released to the atmosphere according to soil depth and moisture, but does not vary in cycles as we see in GCRs. The correlative studies linking GCRs to cloud formation have, however, been challenged (Kristjansson et al., 2002; Laut, 2003).


We cannot, however, rule out the possibility of a direct stimulatory effect of GCR on the growth of trees, as beneficial effects have sometimes been demonstrated in biological materials exposed to GCR in space (Hammond et al., 1996), despite the prevalence of chromosomal aberrations in such materials (Nevzgodina, 1999).

Dendrochronogists have sometimes reported cyclic phenomena in long time-series of tree-rings but they have rarely offered an explanation (Douglass, 1927; Siren & Hari, 1971; Briffa, 1994; Rigozo et al., 2007). For example, in a study of 305 tree-ring chronologies from North America, periods of 18.6 yr and 10.5 yr were found in 286 and 244 instances (Currie, 1991), respectively. These observations have been largely ignored, perhaps because no underlying mechanism could be found to explain the intriguing results.


We thank Dr Barry A. Gardiner and Dr Mike Perks from Forest Research, Northern Station (Roslin, Scotland, UK) for providing us with freshly cut tree discs used in the current study, for information on Forest of Ae and the initial help with the analysis of tree ring data with WINDENDRO. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) for the provision of meteorological data (UK MetOffice) for Eskdalemuir. Galactic cosmic ray flux data recorded at Kiel Neutron Monitor are held by the department of Extraterrestrial Physics, Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-Universita¨t zu Kiel and provided by the National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado (USA) ( ftpcosmicrays.html). Information on the locality and time of volcanic eruptions, as well as on the Volcanic Explosivity Index relevant for this study originate from the Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program (http://www. Prof. Alan Blyth kindly commented on the manuscript. SD was funded by the Torrance Bequest."


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Post has attachment
Cosmology in Crisis

Website no longer works, but original page can be viewed here ...

An Open Letter to the Scientific Community

(Published in New Scientist, May 22, 2004)

"The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed -- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.

But the big bang theory can't survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation.

Without some kind of dark matter, unlike any that we have observed on Earth despite 20 years of experiments, big-bang theory makes contradictory predictions for the density of matter in the universe. Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory's explanation of the origin of the light elements. And without dark energy, the theory predicts that the universe is only about 8 billion years old, which is billions of years younger than the age of many stars in our galaxy.

What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory's supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.

Yet the big bang is not the only framework available for understanding the history of the universe. Plasma cosmology and the steady-state model both hypothesize an evolving universe without beginning or end. These and other alternative approaches can also explain the basic phenomena of the cosmos, including the abundances of light elements, the generation of large-scale structure, the cosmic background radiation, and how the redshift of far-away galaxies increases with distance. They have even predicted new phenomena that were subsequently observed, something the big bang has failed to do.

Supporters of the big bang theory may retort that these theories do not explain every cosmological observation. But that is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences. Whereas Richard Feynman could say that 'science is the culture of doubt', in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.

Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed. This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry.

Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method -- the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.

Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang's validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe."


(Institutions for identification only)
Highlighted names are linked to related web pages

Halton Arp, Max-Planck-Institute Fur Astrophysik (Germany)
Andre Koch Torres Assis, State University of Campinas (Brazil)
Yuri Baryshev, Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)
Ari Brynjolfsson, Applied Radiation Industries (USA)
Hermann Bondi, Churchill College, University of Cambridge (UK)
Timothy Eastman, Plasmas International (USA)
Chuck Gallo, Superconix, Inc.(USA)
Thomas Gold, Cornell University (emeritus) (USA)
Amitabha Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India)
Walter J. Heikkila, University of Texas at Dallas (USA)
Michael Ibison, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin (USA)
Thomas Jarboe, University of Washington (USA)
Jerry W. Jensen, ATK Propulsion (USA)
Menas Kafatos, George Mason University (USA)
Eric J. Lerner, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (USA)
Paul Marmet, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (retired) (Canada)
Paola Marziani, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)
Gregory Meholic, The Aerospace Corporation (USA)
Jacques Moret-Bailly, Université Dijon (retired) (France)
Jayant Narlikar, IUCAA(emeritus) and College de France (India, France)
Marcos Cesar Danhoni Neves, State University of Maringá (Brazil)
Charles D. Orth, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA)
R. David Pace, Lyon College (USA)
Georges Paturel, Observatoire de Lyon (France)
Jean-Claude Pecker, College de France (France)
Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA)
Bill Peter, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies (USA)
David Roscoe, Sheffield University (UK)
Malabika Roy, George Mason University (USA)
Sisir Roy, George Mason University (USA)
Konrad Rudnicki, Jagiellonian University (Poland)
Domingos S.L. Soares, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)
John L. West, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (USA)
James F. Woodward, California State University, Fullerton (USA)
New signers of the Open letter since publication

Scientists and Engineers

Jorge Marao Universidade Estadual de Londrina Brazi
Martin John Baker, Loretto School Musselburgh, UK
Peter J Carroll, Psychonaut Institute, UK
Roger Y. Gouin, Ecole Superieure d'Electricite, France
John Murray, Sunyata Composite Ltd, UK
Jonathan Chambers, University of Sheffield, UK
Michel A. Duguay, Laval University, Canada
Qi Pan, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK
Fred Rost, University of NSW (Emeritus), Australia
Louis Hissink, Consulting Geologist, Australia
Hetu Sheth, Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
Lassi Hyvärinen, IBM(Ret), France
Max Whisson, University of Melbourne, Australia
R.S.Griffiths, CADAS, UK
Adolf Muenker, Brane Industries, USA
Emre Isik Akdeniz University Turkey
Felipe de Oliveira Alves, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud, Service d'Astrophysique, CEA, France
Kim George, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Tom Van Flandern, Meta Research, USA
Doneley Watson, IBM (ret.), USA
Fred Alan Wolf, Have Brains / Will Travel, USA
Robert Wood, IEEE, Canada
D. W. Harris, L-3 Communications, USA
Eugene Sittampalam, Engineering consultant, Sri Lanka
Joseph.B. Krieger, Brooklyn College, CUNY, USA
Pablo Vasquez, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
Peter F. Richiuso, NASA, KSC, USA
Roger A. Rydin, University of Virginia (Emeritus), USA
Stefan Rydstrom, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Sylvan J. Hotch, The MITRE Corporation (Retired), USA
Thomas R. Love, CSU Dominguez Hills, USA
Andrew Coles, Embedded Systems, USA
Eit Gaastra, infinite universe researcher, The Netherlands
Franco Selleri, Università di Bari, Dipartimento di Fisica, Italy
Gerald Pease, The Aerospace Corporation, USA
S.N. Arteha, Space Research Institute, Russia
Miroslaw Kozlowski, Warsaw University (emeritus), Poland
John Hartnett, School of Physics, University of Western Australia, Australia
Robert Zubrin, Pioneer Astronautics, USA
Tibor Gasparik, SUNY at Stony Brook, USA
Alexandre Losev, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Henry Hall, University of Manchester, UK
José da Silva, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Markus Rohner, Griesser AG, Switzerland
William C. Mitchell, Institute for Advanced Cosmological Studies, USA
Aurea Garcia-Rissmann, UFSC, Brazil
Cristian R. Ghezzi, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
Daniel Nicolato Epitácio Pereira, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gregory M. Salyards, US Naval Sea Systems Command (ret.), USA
Luiz Carlos Barbosa, Unicamp, Brazil
Luiz Carlos Jafelice, Federal University of the Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Michael Sosteric, Athabasca University, Canada
Steven Langley Guy, University of Elizabeth (Physics Department), Australia
Robert Fritzius, Shade Tree Physics, USA
Irineu Gomes Varella, Escola Municipal de Astrofísica, Brazil
Tom Walther, Southern Cross University Australia , Australia
Mauro Cosentino, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Moacir Lacerda, Univeersidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
Roberto Assumpcao, PUC Minas, Brazil
Roberto Lopes Parra, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Ronaldo Junio Camppos Batista, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Ermenegildo Caccese, University of Basilicata, Italy
Felipe Sofia Zanuzzo, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil
Edival de Morais, Sociedade Brasileira de Física, Brazil
Graham Coupe, KAZ Technology Services, Australia
Gordon Petrie, High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, USA,
Jose B. Almeida, University of Minho, Portugal,
Antonio Cleiton, Laboratório de Sistemas Complexos - UFPI, Brazil
Sergey Karpov, L.V.Kirensky Institute of Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Wagner Patrick Junqueira de Souza Coelho Nicácio, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Sokolov Vladimir, Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS, Russia
Edwin G. Schasteen, TAP-TEN Research Foundation International, USA
Gerry Zeitlin,, USA
Henry H. Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA
Yasha Fard,H.R. Cosmology Institute, Canada
Roberto Caimmi, Astronomy Department, Padua University, Italy
Tobias Keller, ETH (SFIT) Zurich, Earth Sciences, Switzerland,
Deborah Foch, Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, USA,
Henry Reynolds, UC Santa Cruz, USA,
Paramahamsa Tewari, Nuclear Power Corporation (ret.),India
Jouko Seppänen, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland,
Cristiane Ribeiro Bernardes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Eric Blievernicht. TRW, USA
Dr. Robert Bennett, Kolbe Center, USA,
Hilton Ratcliffe, Astronomical Society of South Africa, South Africa
Wieslaw Sztumski, Silesian University, Poland
Lars Wåhlin,Colutron Research Corporation,USA
Riccardo Scarpa, European Southern Observatory, Italy,
Olivier Marco, European Southern Observatory, France
Joseph Garcia, International Radiation Protection, Germany,
Arkadiusz Jadczyk, International Institute of Mathematical Physics, Lithuania
Jean de Pontcharra, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, France
Gerardus D. Bouw, Baldwin-Wallace College, USA
Josef Lutz, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany,
Harold E. Puthoff, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, USA.
Hermann Dürkop, Nabla Systemberatung, Germany,
Klaus Fischer, Universität Trier, Germany,
Werner Holzmüller, University Leipzig, Germany
Sol Aisenberg, International Technology Group, USA
Richard Gancarczyk, University of Nottingham, UK
Steve Humphry, Murdoch University, Australia
Alberto Bolognesi, Università di Perugia, Italy
Daniele Carosati, Armenzano Observatory, Italy
Brendan Dean, H.R. Cosmology Institute, Canada
W. Jim Jastrzebski, Warsaw University, Poland
Gero Rupprecht, European Southern Observatory, Germany
Rainer Herrmann TEWS-Elektronik Germany
Felix Pharand University of Montreal Canada
Jerry Bergman Northwest State University USA
Tibor Gasparik SUNY at Stony Brook USA
Rei Gunn University of Nantucket USA
Sinan Alis Eyuboglu Twin Observatories Turkey
Esat Rennan Pekünlü University of EGE Turkey
Anne M. Hofmeister Washington U. USA
Quentin Foreman IEEE New Zeala0
Marc Berndl University of Toronto Canada
Y. P. Varshni University of Ottawa Canada
Robert Martinek McMaster University Canada
Bob Criss Washington University USA
Sol Aisenberg, International Technology Group, USA
Paul LaViolette, The Starburst Foundation, U.S.A.
Seetesh Pandé, Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon France
Hartmut Traunmüller, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Nico F. Benschop, Amspade Research, Netherlands
Aaron Blake, USAF, USA
M. Ross Fergus, University of Memphis, USA
Sonu Bhaskar, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India
Frederico V. F., Lima Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Andrei Kirilyuk, Institute of Metal Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine
Christian Jooss, Institut fuer Materialphysik, University of Goettingen, Germany
Sonu Bhaskar, BCISR, India
Robert O. Myers, ROM Technologies, USA
Ana Cristina Oliveira, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
John Wey, Idaho National Laboratory, USA
Jorge Francisco Maldonado Serrano, UIS, Colombia
Pasquale Galianni, Dipartimento di Fisica Università di Lecce, Italy
Martín López-Corredoira, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain
Michael A. Ivanov, Belarus State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, Belarus
Xiao Jianhua , Shanghai Jiaotong University, China
Pierre J. Beaujon, Hoornbeeck College, The Netherlands
J.Georg von Brzeski Helios Labs. USA
vidyardhi nanduri , Cosmology Research center , India
Mike Rotch NBSA USA
Paul Noel, Independent_Researcher, USA
Swee Eng, AW Royal College of Pathologists, SINGAPORE
Ricardo Rodríguez , La Laguna University , Spain
Linda Camp Harvard University USA
James B. Schwartz , The Noah's Ark Research Foundation , Philippines
Marshall Douglas Smith , TeddySpeaks Foundation ,USA
Abbé Grumel , Association Copernic , France
Ives van Leth Waterboard Utrecht The Netherlands
Francis Michael C. Perez, Department of Transportation, USA
David C Ware, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Alek Atevik, Skopje Astronomy Society, Macedonia
Peter Rowlands, University of Liverpool, UK
Robert Day, Suntola Consulting, Ltd., USA
Luís Paulo Sousa Loureiro, Portugal
Maingot Fabrice, Université Louis Pasteur, France
Kris Krogh, University of California, USA
Pierre-Marie Robitaille, The Ohio State University, United States
Charles Creager Jr, Creation Research Society, United States
Stephan Gift, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
Joseph J. Smulsky, Institute of Earth's Cryosphere Siberian Branch Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Jorge Marao Universidade Estadual de Londrina Brazil
Jim O'Reilly Orion Consultants USA
Robert MacKay University of Warwick UK
Chris Vermeulen Astronomical Society of Southern Africa South Africa
Emilson Pereira Leite Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics Brazil
Allen W Green ATK Space Systems USA
Ron Balsys Central Queensland University Australia
Paul ten Boom University of New South Wales Australia
Mosheh Thezion The Empirical Church, USA
Markus, Karsten,, Wilhelm-Foerster-Observatory Berlin e.V
Don. C. Wilson,: Process Technology and Development, USA
Marek Gajewski, Raytheon Co.,USA
Tuncay DOGAN, University of EGE, Turkey
Andrew M Uhl, Pennsylvania State Univeristy, USA
Klaus Wieder, Independent_Researcher, Germany
John Caley, Omegafour Pty Ltd, Australia
Keith Scott-Mumby, Capital University for Integrative Medicine/California
Institute for Human Sciences, USA

Independent Researchers

Garth A Barber, independent researcher, UK
Alberto Bolognesi, Independent Researcher, Italy
DEAN L MAMAS, Independent Researcher, USA
David Blackford, Independent_Researcher, UK
Alan Rees, Independent Researcher, Sweden
Udayan Chakravarty, Independent Researcher, India
Georg Gane, Independent Researcher, Germany
Robin Whittle, Independent Researcher, Australi,
Joseph A. Rybczyk, Independent Researcher, USA
G.Srinivasan, Independent_Researcher, India,
Geoffrey E. Willcher independent researcher USA
Douglas S. Robbemond independent researcher the Netherlands
khosrow fariborzi independent researcher Iran
Etienne Bielen independent researcher Belgium
Steve Newman independent researcher USA
Ethan Skyler, Independent researcher, USA
Yvon Dufour, Independent Researcher, Canada
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Cristiano De Angelis, Independent Researcher, Italy
Roland Le Houillier, Independent Researcher, Canada
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Eugene Savov, Independent researcher, Bulgaria
Lars Woldseth, Independent researcher, Norway
Robert L. Brueck, Independent researcher, USA
Mark S Thornhill, Independent Researcher, United Kingdom
Nainan. K. Varghese, Independent Researcher, India,
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Charles Sven, Independent Researcher, USA
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Brian S. Clark independent researcher USA
Jim O'Reilly Orion Consultants USA
Geoffrey E. Willcher independent researcher USA
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khosrow fariborzi independent researcher Iran
Etienne Bielen independent researcher Belgium
Steve Newman independent researcher USA
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Bernhard Reddemann independent researcher Germany
Ives van Leth Waterboard Utrecht The Netherlands
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Dennis H Cowdrick Scientific Independent_Researcher: USA
Michail Telegin Independent_Researcher: Russia
Robert L Stafford, Independent_Researcher, USA
Martin Sach, Independent_Researcher, UK
Charles L. Sanders, Independent_Researcher, USA/South Korea
Alex Carlson, Independent_Researcher, United States
Lyndon Ashmore, Independent_Researcher, UK
Liedmann, Matthias, Unaffiliated_Scientific_Researcher, Germany
Ingvar Astrand, Independent_Researcher, Sweden
Olli Santavuori, Independent_Researcher, Finlande
Touho Ankka, Independent_Researcher, Finland
JR Croca, Independent_Researcher, Portugal
Sol Aisenberg, Independent_Researcher, USA
Mustafa Kemal OYMAN, Independent_Researcher, Turkey
Gerard ZONUS, Independent_Researcher, FRANCE
David W. Knight, Independent_Researcher, USA
Marcel Lutttgens, Independent_Researcher, France
Dr Stephen Birch, Independent_Researcher, United Kingdom
Abramyan G.L., Independent_Researcher, Russia
Martin Peprnik, Independent_Researcher, Slowakia
Van Den Hauwe, PhD, Independent_Researcher,: Belgium
Ingvar Astrand, Independent_Researcher, Sweden
Daniel Toohey, Independent_Researcher, Australia
Jed Shlackman, M.S. Ed. (LMHC, C.Ht.), Independent_Researcher, USA
Dr. John Michael Nahay, Independent_Researcher
Guido Grzinic, Independent_Researcher, Australia

Other Signers

Charles Weber,USA
David Gershon ,USA
Peter G Smith ,USA
Richard J. Lawrence ,USA
Naszvadi László, Hungary
Roger W. Browne, USA
Bart Clauwens, Netherlands
Noah Feiler-Poethke, USA
Jonathan Hardy, UK
John S. Kundrat, USA
Vincent Sauve, USA
Chris Somers, Australia
Jagroop Sahota, USA
Edgar Raab, Germany
Gordon Hogenson, USA
Burebista Dacia, Romania
Christel Hahn, Germany
Burebista Dacia, Romania
Christel Hahn, Germany
Robert Angstrom, USA
Norman Chadwick, USA
Harley Orr, USA
Clive Martin-Ross, UK
Alasdair Martin, UK
Marcus Ellspermann, Germany
Bruce Richardson, USA
John Dill, USA
Judith Woollard Australia
Michael Cyrek USA
Randall Meyers ITA
Craig Arend USA
Onur Cantimur Turkey
Roland Scheel France
Murat Isik Turkey
Markus Hellebrandt Germany
Mehmet Kara Turkey
Abhishek Dey Das India
D. N. Vazquez USA
Suzan R. Rodenburg USA
Shuming Zhang Chin
Codie Vickers USA
Richard Tobey USA
Elfriede Steiner-Grillmair, Canada
Gabriele Manzotti, Italy
Michael Wember, USA
Fuksz Levente, Romania
Seppo Tuominen, Finland
Marvin C. Katz, USA
Laura Fridley, USA
Michael Christian, U.S.A
Edgar S. Hill USA
Q. John T. Malone USA
Michael Bruttel Switzerland
Eric W. LaFlamme USA
Robert Diegis, Romania
William S. Jarnagin, USA
Kevin Glaser, USA
Robert Diegis, Romania
William S. Jarnagin, USA
Kevin Glaser, USA
JoAnn Arcuri USA
Attila Csanyi USA
Pratik Sinha India
Donald C. Bull New Zealand
Hans Walhout Netherlands
Robyn Stewart Australia
Tor Johannessen Norway
Rick Schmidt USA
Terence Watts UK
Jody Fulford USA
Gene Gordon USA
Monica Veloso Alves Brazil
Ferdi Prins South Africa
Adam Hansil USA
Herbert M Watson USA
John Patchett UK
Jurrie Noordijk, The Netherlands
P.S. Phillips, U.S.A
JoAnn Arcuri USA
Martin Gradwell , ns, United Kingdom
Sami Murtomäki, Ns, Finland
Anthony Abruzzo , United States
Tim Reed, ns, USA
Daniel Rijo , ns, USA
Ken Couesbouc , ns, France
David L. Harrison, United States
Kees de Boer
Tom HigginsUSA
David Calder Hardy, New Zealand
Jochen Moerman, Belgium
Berend de Boer, New Zealand
Edward E. Rom, USA
Jukka Kinnunen, Finland
Jerome M. Hall, USA
Maria Alvarez, Argentina
Paul Chabot, Canada
Julia, Russia
Amr Malik: Canada
Maureen Bevill, USA
Horst Barwinek, Austria
Lindsay Smith, Australia
Richard DeLano, USA.
Stefan Landherr, Australia
Peter Wilson, USA
Gregory Kiser, USA

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