Greg Wade
Solar Eclipses visible in Ancient Egypt
Wed Mar 4, 2009 19:54
203.100.219.110 (XFF: 81.106.124.212)

Here we go again!

Guys, please stop bitch-slapping each other in public. We all know that assigning absolute dates is controversial, that's the point of this forum. Sherry Foust asked a valid question which you have ignored and gone off at a complete tangent into your own little spat.

Sherry, the paper you quote is not very 'tight', as far as a logical argument goes. Of course the Egyptians were accomplished observers of the stars, precession, and the skies in general. Perhaps superstitious peasants may have been spooked, but the priests who had the responsibility for following these things may well have even anticipated it. Eclipses are predictable events, after all. The quotations are a bit of a ragbag, and no one who applied any bit of rigour to the argument could make a pattern out of them. And the paper never addresses the issue of whether eclipses were sufficiently notable to warrant recording. And if they were, why would they pop up in these obtuse references? The worries about afterlife might concern an uneducated artisan, but probably not the priest class who controlled the knowledge of these things. And the eclipses should have been recorded officially and dispassionately at one of the cultic centres concerned with astronomical trackings - perhaps Memphis or Heliopolis.

Remember also that historians are also struggling to place the eruption of Thera within Egyptian timelines, and that must have been a rather more influential event. So the likelihood of eclipses being prominent in inscriptions is not huge.

Fundamentally this is an issue of whether auspicious dates or events were important enough to align political actions with. The principle of auspicious occasions is that they have to be generally accepted. Otherwise they have no meaning, no credence. So the subsidiary question to your original is - who would Hatshepsut be trying to impress? From whom did she hope to obtain greater credibility or authority for the move? Certainly not the peasant class - the proverbial "lapwings". Would any opposing power faction be impressed?

Intuition tells us that there were far more immediate and political factors at play here, together with strong personalities. From what we know now from the mummy identified as Hatshepsut, she was a woman whose lifestyle brought about secondary diabetes and obesity, hallmarks of someone who is to some degree selfish and accumulating. I know that is pure speculation, but it is clinical speculation based on patient-typing. Many things we know about her tell us that she was dominant and commanding. My personal reading is that she would not have needed an ephemeral event to achieve what she wanted, and probably did not have any point where she officially took over the reign. It would be far simpler and more effective for her to create a de facto situation.

Your double use of the word "eclipse" suggests that the issue for you is less one of atronomy and more one of mundane astrology. If it is not, please do not be offended. But I am wary of post-facto arguments in this respect.

Sincerely,

Greg Wade


  • Solar eclipses visible in ancient EgyptSherry Foust, Sat Feb 14 10:13
    Hello, I have a question that I hope someone in this forum can answer. When did Hatshepsut seize the throne from Pharaoh Thutmose III? I'm particularly interested in whether she used the solar... more
    • Solar Eclipses visible in Ancient Egypt — Greg Wade, Wed Mar 4 19:54
      • Re: Solar Eclipses visible in Ancient EgyptMonkton, Tue Mar 10 12:57
        Greg Wade: "Guys, please stop bitch-slapping each other in public. We all know that assigning absolute dates is controversial, that's the point of this forum. Sherry Foust asked a valid question... more
        • Bitch-slappingCullom, Wed Mar 11 20:17
          Hello Monkton, I did not invent a king Thuthor in the 19th dynasty. Manetho had a MAN with a Hellenized version of that name 60 years after Ramesses II and 26 years after Amenmesses. Before... more
    • Solar Eclipses Visible in Ancient EgyptCullom, Sun Feb 15 09:19
      Hello Sherry, The time of Hatshepsut's accession is open to debate. I have her claiming to be the king by 1113 B.C. This is a year when a solar eclipse may have been visible in Egypt, so there may... more
      • Hatshepsut' accession.A. Gordon, Fri Feb 27 09:46
        An accession date for Hatshepsut of about 1473 BCE would be far more accurate.
        • Hatshepsut's AccessionCullom, Fri Feb 27 18:45
          Hello A. Gordon, I prefer to rely on the information from ancient Egypt rather than the calculations of modern scholars. The genealogies of the TIP, the inscriptions of the 19th dynasty and Manetho... more
          • Re: Hatshepsut's AccessionMonkton, Sat Feb 28 02:32
            "I prefer to rely on the information from ancient Egypt rather than the calculations of modern scholars. The genealogies of the TIP, the inscriptions of the 19th dynasty and Manetho point to a much... more
            • Hatshepsut's AccessionCullom, Sat Feb 28 09:16
              Hello, While it is true that Hatshepsut is not mentioned by subsequent 'dynasties', the total structure of Egyptian evidence, incuding the lack of any evidence for the alleged years 10-20 of Ramesses ... more
              • Re: Hatshepsut's AccessionMonkton, Sat Feb 28 10:39
                "While it is true that Hatshepsut is not mentioned by subsequent 'dynasties', the total structure of Egyptian evidence, incuding the lack of any evidence for the alleged years 10-20 of Ramesses II,... more
                • Hatshepsut's AccessionCullom, Sat Feb 28 13:24
                  Hello, You are thinking backward here. If the TIP is shorter, by about 175 years, then it must have begun later, not 'when it began'. The TIP is securely connected to later periods, which are... more
                  • Re: Hatshepsut's AccessionMonkton, Sun Mar 1 01:28
                    "You are thinking backward here. If the TIP is shorter, by about 175 years, then it must have begun later, not 'when it began'. The TIP is securely connected to later periods, which are securely... more
                    • Hatshepsut's accessionCullom, Sun Mar 1 10:36
                      Hello again, I don't know where to begin with my response. I don't like evidence bashing. I prefer to read the inscriptions and evidence as it written. You say that Twosret and Siptah are mentioned... more
                • Re: Hatshepsut's AccessionMonkton, Sat Feb 28 10:51
                  The correct spelling is Uluburun and it was a scarab of Nefertiti that was found, not a ring. Tests on firewood from the wreck revealed a date circa 1300 BC.
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