Radiocarbon dating alternatives

14-Jun-2016 04:19 by 6 Comments

Radiocarbon dating alternatives

A late Egyptian text, which derives from the Ptolemaic period, affirms an Egyptian tradition of seven years of famine during the reign of Djoser [James B.Pritchard, The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures.

This is Djoser (sometimes written as ``Zoser''), who ruled with the aid of his well-known and historically revered vizier, Imhotep.

This seems to imply either that Imhotep is not Joseph or that the chronology of the Old Kingdom should be shortened by about 50 years to bring its beginning closer to 2900 B. An unequivocal identification of Joseph with a known Egyptian vizier would resolve this question and provide another synchronism between the chronologies of Egypt and the Bible, further reducing the uncertainty in the chronology of Egypt at this early time.

The devastating seven year famine which caused Jacob's entire family to relocate to Egypt (Genesis 41--47) finds ready support geophysically, archaeologically, and historically. Aardsma, A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel, 2nd ed.

(Loda IL: Aardsma Research and Publishing, 1993), 68--72; Gerald E.

Aardsma, ``Evidence for a Lost Millennium in Biblical Chronology,'' Radiocarbon 37.2 (1995): 267--273; Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992), 64.] An interesting possibility is that the building of the great pyramids was a consequence of the enormous wealth which accrued to the reigning Pharaoh and his heirs as a result of Joseph's administration of this famine (Genesis --26).

(Loda IL: Aardsma Research and Publishing, 1993), 80--82.] (I have received several interesting letters from subscribers regarding this possibility.

I hope to share some of their comments in the next issue.) Djoser ruled early in Dynasty 3, whereas Figure 1 shows the end of Dynasty 3 coincident with Joseph's rise to prominence in Egypt.However, all attempts to do so at the present time must be regarded as uncertain and speculative because of the limited secular data bearing on the problem.To illustrate the limitations of our knowledge of this early period consider a few of Grimal's observations: [Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992), pages 49, 63, 66, and 67] The end of the Third Dynasty was hardly any clearer than its beginning has been, and it has proved difficult to reconcile the documentary information provided by king-lists with the evidence supplied by archaeologists. I have previously suggested --- with suitable caveats --- the possibility that the vizier Imhotep may be the Egyptian equivalent of Joseph, and Djoser the pharaoh whom he served. Aardsma, A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel, 2nd ed.It does, however, supply Joseph's name and the Egyptian name which the pharaoh gave him -- Zaphenath-paneah.This Egyptian name has never been located in secular Egyptian sources, and my new biblical date for Joseph does not help in this regard.(Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1958), page 24].

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