A. The Dating Issue
In my upcoming book, called Thera and the Exodus, which I have mentioned somewhere on this forum, I will argue that two eruptions of Thera had occurred roughly 200 years apart, based on the following information:
1. Dating of the eruption of Thera.
1.1 Radiocarbon dating of olive tree covered by pumice yields 1613 ±13 BCE
1.2 Archaeological and radiocarbon evidence suggests another eruption ca. 1450 BCE.
2. Two floods that were remembered by the Greeks and must most certainly have been caused by eruptions of Thera.
2.1 The floods were those of Ogygus and Deucalion, and they occurred between 190 and 250 years apart.
2.2 The flood of Ogygus is reported to have occurred during the reign of Ahmose (1550-1525 BCE).
2.3 Various sources link Moses and the Exodus to both of these floods.
3. Evidence from Egyptian records
3.1 The Tempest Stele of Ahmose mentions darkness on the western horizon (an ash cloud) and the land being under water (the result of a flood or tsunami).
3.2 The plagues of the Exodus, specifically the days of darkness, could only have been caused by a volcanic eruption.
For the radiocarbon dates to match Egyptian chronology, the reign of Ahmose must be moved back in time by about 80 years (assuming the eruption occurred say ca. 1533 BCE) to match 1613 BCE. Amenhotep’s reign then moves back in time to 1470-1430 BCE. The 1450 BCE archaeologically dated eruption then falls within his reign. The period between these eruptions is roughly 1613-1450 = 163 years, plus or minus a couple of decades. This more or less agrees with the period of 190 years between the floods of Ogygus and Deucalion.
Two ‘Exodus’ events occurred as a result of these eruptions. During the first a large portion of the Hyksos population escaped to Jerusalem. During the second, the Hyksos taken captive by Ahmose as well as later by Tuthmosis III finally left Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten. In oral tradition these two events were combined to become the single Exodus event as recorded in the Bible. Regarding the dating of the eruptions of Thera, it is clear that either radiocarbon dating or Egyptian chronology, or both, are in error by a couple of decades, resulting in a time discrepancy of between 60 and 100 years.
Some other issues about my theory:
B. The identity of Sesostris
Academics usually identify Sesostris with the phonetically similar Senwosret (Senesret) I. However, this identification is incorrect as Sesostris was the name given to the most famous of ancient Egyptian rulers, Tuthmosis III. Some scholars refer to him as the Napoleon of Egypt, who was known for his conquest of foreign lands. The name Sesostris means You-and-what’s-yours-the-third, from the Greek words sē (SG#4571, thee, thou, you), sōs (SG#4674, thine, yours) and trís (SG#5151, three times). The Tuthmosid family, beginning with Tuthmosis I, succeeded in subjecting all the nations surrounding them and were known for moving entire peoples, i.e. families with their possessions, to Egypt as a work force. In other words, he took “You and what’s yours” to Egypt, and Tuthmosis III was the third member of this family.
SG= Strong’s Greek Lexicon
Almost as famous was Amenhotep III, also known as Egypt’s Golden Pharaoh. It is easily understood that some legends about Amenhotep III may mistakenly have been associated with the legendary Sesostris. Both were the third member of a famous family, which would have made confusion of the names even more probable. One legend in particular is Herodotus’ account in which Sesostris left his brother in charge of Egypt while he was on a mission abroad. This legend matches Amenhotep III who retreated to Ethiopia during the Amarna period, leaving his brother-in-law Ay as the behind-the-scenes ruler of Egypt (Josephus recorded that Sesostris forbade him to wear the crown). The legend of Sesostris who was invited to a treacherous banquet also pertains to Amenhotep III and not Tuthmosis III.
C. Moses as Crown Prince Tuthmosis
Indisputable proof of the link between Moses and Crown Prince Tuthmosis is to be found in a record by Artapanus in his Praeparatio Evangelica,
“For this reason, Chenephres (the pharaoh of the Exodus) …having given the name Apis to a bull, commanded the troops to found a temple for him, and bade them bring and bury there the animals which had been consecrated by Moses, because he wished to bury the inventions of Moses in oblivion.”
The burial of the first Apis bull was performed at a cemetery in Saqqara during the reign of Amenhotep III39. Artapanus’ record therefore confirms that Moses, by whom the Apis bull was consecrated, was indeed Prince Tuthmosis, who as high priest of Ptah assisted his father during the burial ceremony.
D. Latest development regarding Thera and the Exodus
I have done a significant amount of research since beginning of 2008, when this website was launched, and some statements in the earlier sections may have to be corrected. Towards the end of 2010 I realised that I needed to write up my theory in the form of a book, and this took me just about a year to complete. I have now initiated the publication process and will let you know as soon as a date for its publication has been determined (still several months away).
Your comments will be most welcome.
Edited by Riaan, 16 April 2012 - 07:29 PM.