Friday, May 31, 2024

Levels of Stonehenge

Stonehenge and Göbekli Tepe? · Levels of Stonehenge

I once redated Stonehenge, from the known carbon dates with my then tables. I'm remaking it with newer ones. First the wikipedia article:

I'll attach extracts of the article to the dates, so we know what's what:

Before the monument (from 8000 BC)

Archaeologists have found four, or possibly five, large Mesolithic postholes (one may have been a natural tree throw), which date to around 8000 BC, beneath the nearby old tourist car-park in use until 2013. These held pine posts around two feet six inches (0.75 m) in diameter, which were erected and eventually rotted in situ. ...

Salisbury Plain was then still wooded, but, 4,000 years later, during the earlier Neolithic, people built a causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood's Ball, and long barrow tombs in the surrounding landscape. ...

In approximately 3500 BC, a Stonehenge Cursus was built 2,300 feet (700 m) north of the site as the first farmers began to clear the trees and develop the area. ...

Stonehenge 1 (c. 3100 BC)

The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford chalk, measuring about 360 feet (110 m) in diameter, with a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south. It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping spot. ...

Stonehenge 2 (c. 2900 BC)

The second phase of construction occurred approximately between 2900 and 2600 BC. The number of postholes dating to the early third millennium BC suggests that some form of timber structure was built within the enclosure during this period. ....
 Stonehenge 3 I (c. 2600 BC)

Archaeological excavation has indicated that around 2600 BC, the builders abandoned timber in favour of stone and dug two concentric arrays of holes (the Q and R Holes) in the centre of the site ...

Stonehenge 3 II (2600 BC to 2400 BC)

During the next major phase of activity, 30 enormous Oligocene–Miocene sarsen stones (shown grey on the plan) were brought to the site. They came from a quarry around 16 miles (26 km) north of Stonehenge, in West Woods, Wiltshire.[37] The stones were dressed and fashioned with mortise and tenon joints before 30 sarsens were erected as a 108-foot (33 m) diameter circle of standing stones, with a ring of 30 lintel stones resting on top. ...

Stonehenge 3 III (2400 BC to 2280 BC)

Later in the Bronze Age, although the exact details of activities during this period are still unclear, the bluestones appear to have been re-erected. They were placed within the outer sarsen circle and may have been trimmed in some way. Like the sarsens, a few have timber-working style cuts in them suggesting that, during this phase, they may have been linked with lintels and were part of a larger structure.

Stonehenge 3 IV (2280 BC to 1930 BC)

This phase saw further rearrangement of the bluestones. They were arranged in a circle between the two rings of sarsens and in an oval at the centre of the inner ring. ...

Stonehenge 3 V (1930 BC to 1600 BC)

Soon afterwards, the northeastern section of the Phase 3 IV bluestone circle was removed, creating a horseshoe-shaped setting (the Bluestone Horseshoe) which mirrored the shape of the central sarsen Trilithons. This phase is contemporary with the Seahenge site in Norfolk.

Now for the dates, when a simple equation is given without any explanation, it is because the carbon date is already calibrated to an exact Biblical (and real) date, either as per primary nodes or by my intercalations:

"8000 BC" = 2556 BC

"4000 BC" = 2029 BC

78.796 pmC
1970 + 2029 = 3999

"3500 BC" = 1935 BC

"3100 BC" = 1801 BC

"2900 BC" ~ 1740 BC

1740 BC
86.777125 pmC
1150 + 1740 = 2890 BC
 "2600 BC" = 1678 BC

"2400 BC" = 1655 BC

"2280 BC" = 1641 BC

1641 BC
92.561 pmC
640 + 1641 = 2281 BC

"1930 BC" = 1599 BC

1599 BC
96.1346 pmC
330 + 1599 = 1929 BC

"1600 BC" = 1487 BC

1487 BC
98.7395 pmC
110 + 1487 = 1597 BC

When extra explanations are given, I have been obliged to find a middle year and a middle value of the pmC between two of the items in my table. Not necessarily the unweighted medium value of the two. The already extant real dates with carbon dates are in this article, in French:

New blog on the kid : Mes plus récentes tables de carbone 14

Hans Georg Lundahl
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Festum beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Language Emergence — How Does it Work?

I do not mean how it worked at Babel. That was a miracle. The wedding at Cana is not a manual of how wine is commonly made, because Jesus was not making wine the common way, but the miraculous way. Same goes for the emergence of new languages at Babel. A linguist who is an atheist will argue that never happened, because that's not how new languages emerge. Precisely like a winegrower and winemaker who's an atheist could pretend Cana is a myth, invented by people who have no idea how wine is made. A kind of pious equivalent to the city bumpkin who thinks milk is pressed from some fruit like a juice ...

I also do not mean how it worked when the first man had the first language. That was an equally miraculous and equally quick speeding up of language acquisition.

I mean how it works when something like "French emerged after the Roman Empire split up" happens. Or Latin emerged in the Roman Kingdom or the Republic.

Basically every child alive is learning the language that his parents spoke. For basically every child, this is noticeably different, though intercomprehensible, with the language his dead grea-great-grandparents spoke, if grammophone or written records allow comparison. For basically every child, it would no longer be fully intercomprehensible with the spoken language 400 years earlier. It could still be intercomprehensible on a written level, like when older Swedish "thola" is "tåla" in modern Swedish, which has lost the thorn sound and changed the spelling accordingly in 1700. Probably at that distance, the rhythm and how words are ending and beginning would be the worst problem after a time machine journey. It would very clearly be NOT intercomprehensible 800 years back. Even written forms would be hard to pick out what was happening good deal of the time.

This is known as "language evolution" or "language change" or "language change" and no one disputes this process exists. Not anyone I know. Some people claim their own language (like Greek) is miraculously exempt from this, or that meticulous transmission of what one has learned will halt the process, so, for some reason Homer spoke sth like "mini aïdhe thya" and felt obliged to write this as "μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ" (the ee sound written as eta, iota, epsilon and iota, and if you count yod, even as epsilon in hiatus) so that it is a preposterous misunderstanding of Greek to suppose he pronounced it more like "menin aeide thea" — but even those guys will usually admit it happens in other languages.

This is part of the process of language emergence, but only part of it. If a specific population in either Tuscany or Hungaria had started out 2000 years ago or more, even 3000 years ago, speaking Etruscan, never writing it down, and had come today to speak something like Hungarian, also never writing it down, this language evolution would not have led to the emergence of a new language. It would be new to the time machine, but not to anyone involved, since no one would have had the older language to compare it to.

Never mind if Alinei was right that Etruscan was Old Hungarian, I happen to think he was.

When writing exists, this is different. One way of a language emerging is obviously it's being written down.

Two scenarios are possible, to begin with.

A) Writing in the language is fairly sporadic, works of canonic importance are mainly another language, so, the spelling keeps up with the changes in pronunciation, just as much as grammar and word choice of the writing are pretty faithfully rendered by the written texts. This was the case with lots of West European languages in the later centuries of the Middle Ages, the canonic language, so to speak was Latin. Meanwhile, German, French, joined a bit later by English, could change, at least as fast as chanceries found convenient. You might want to be able to read a legal text from 100 years ago, or you might want not to be able to do so ... in fact, the documents from 1300 are a bit different from those in 1200.
B) You write a language with a history. Classical and religious canonic works are written or translated to it. This means, correct usage might get widened, but not get forgotten just because speech changes. This was the case with Latin in 500 — 650 AD. "Gregory wrote in Late Latin, which frequently departed from classical usage in both syntax and spelling, although with relatively few changes in inflection." Frequent departures from Classical usage doesn't mean establishment of a definite new usage.

In the first case, you can say that a new language has emerged when the one able to read a recent text is not generally able to read an old one. In the second case, you can wonder whether a new language can be claimed to have emerged when the departures from older usage become so frequent that it's obvious the speakers are not quite speaking the old language any more.

Or you can say, the new language actually emerges when the newer speech gets a written usage of its own.

This may come after some quirks, either after a pause with little or no writing (like English and Romanian emerge after Anglo-Saxon and Latin had already been dead as written languages for some time, and both emerge after having a period been the lower class language looking up to a foreign one, French and Bulgarian). Or. Especially if we go to scenario B. By the very specific process I have called language divorce. How French, Spanish, Italian emerged from Latin, when an ambition arose to keep Latin much purer than of recent, at least in some contexts. After about 100 years or less, the educated speaker of the people's language is no longer identic to the speaker of Latin, and instead of tweaking Latin to the differences in popular oral usage, has a new grammar surrounding it. That's the period between Alcuin's arrival in Tours in 800 and the subsequent reboot of Latin into a foreign and fully Classical language, apparent by 813, and the song of Saint Eulalia, and it is also the period between the Council of Burgos (1080, I think) and the Cantar del Mio Cid.

There are linguists in Germany educated to deny this as a valid mode for language emergence. They are used to the model of Old High German, Middle High German, Late Middle High German, Early Modern German, fully Modern German, where scenario A is the norm. They are right that what I called the emergence of French didn't alter anyone's French speech directly. They admit that the fact was likely to have long term effects. I insist, both because of the long term effects, and because of the difference in reading experience, that such a process actually merits to be called the emergence of French. Also, the more gradual emergence you find in between Old High German and Early Modern German only exists because Latin was this period the more official language, leaving German writing something you were free to tinker with.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Ember Saturday of Pentecost

Sunday, May 19, 2024

If Joseph's Pharao was Amenhotep III, what would that do to carbon dates?

The Pharaohs of Genesis and Exodus
Joel W Seibright (Australian Catholic University Graduate Student, on Academia)

One of the theses is, Joseph's Pharao was Amenhotep III, Joseph is recorded as Ramose.

I have no carbon date directly linked to Amenhotep III, since I don't count this quote as very reliable:

The dates of Amenhotep III's accession and the end of his reign are estimated to be 1423–1386 calBC and 1385–1348 calBC

Absolute dating of lead carbonates in ancient cosmetics by radiocarbon
Lucile Beck et al. Communications Chemistry volume 1, Article number: 34 (2018)

Wait, the lead carbonate was synthetic? Fresh charcoal was used to give lead the carbonate carbon component? OK, that changes it.

Joseph, living in 1700 BC, when his pharao presumably died, is living under a pharao whose cerussite consumption points to a carbon date of 1385–1348 BC.

1348 - 1700 = -352, when young the cerussite dated 352 years into the future ... presumably, Joel W Seibright doesn't mean this, he has more probably radically shortened the Biblical chronology between Joseph and King David, but we'll proceed as if he had more respect for the text. This would mean a carbon 14 level of 104.35 pmC in 1700 BC.

Meanwhile, as Osgood pointed out, Asason-Tamar is En-Geddi:

The Times of Abraham
By Dr A.J.M. Osgood | This article is from
Journal of Creation 2(1):77–87, April 1986

Genesis 14 is a narrative which begins with a confederation of four Mesopotamian kings:-

  1. Amraphel, king of Shinar
  2. Arioch, king of Ellasar
  3. Chedorlaomer, king of Elam
  4. Tidal, king of Goiim (Genesis 14:1)

This would tend to put the Genesis 14 event into pre-cuneiform times, at least pre-cuneiform narratives.

As is often the case, the positive clue comes from the most insignificant portion of this passage. In Genesis 14:7 we are told that the kings of Mesapotamia attacked ‘the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon-tamar’. Now 2 Chronicles 20:2 tells us that Hazezon-tamar is En-gedi, the oasis mentioned in Scripture a number of times on the western shore of the Dead Sea. ... Happily for us. En-gedi has been excavated.5,6 The excavations found only three major periods of settlement at En-gedi:-.

  1. The Roman period - not relevant here
  2. During the Kingdom of Israel - not relevant here
  3. During the Chalcolithic of Palestine - the largest and most prolific settlement period.

And as I know from another source, En Gedi's calcholithic has a carbon date:

Wikipedia : Nahal Mishmar hoard

The Nahal Mishmar hoard is the hoard of archaeological artifacts found by a 1961 expedition led by Pessah Bar-Adon in a cave by Nahal Mishmar in the Judaean Desert near the Dead Sea, Israel. The collection wrapped in a straw mat found under debris in a natural crevice contained 442 objects: 429 of copper, six of hematite, one of stone, five of hippopotamus ivory, and one of elephant ivory. Carbon-14 dating of the mat suggests the date at least 3,500 BCE, i.e., it places the hoard into the Chalcolithic period. ... The objects of the hoard seem to be collected in a hurry.[1] There are several theories about the origin of the hoard. Archaeologist David Ussishkin has suggested the hoard may have been the cultic furniture of the abandoned Chalcolithic Temple of Ein Gedi about 7 miles (11 km) south from the site.[6][7] Yosef Garfinkel stated that no proof have been provided for the connection of the hoard with the temple and suggested that this was a burial of cult objects, to prevent their desecration, drawing a parallel with the find in the Nahal Hemar Cave[8] ...

I would say the hurry was from the evacuation of En Gedi. Even without this identification of the hoard ...

The Chalcolithic temple of Ein Gedi is a Ghassulian public building dating from about 3500 BCE. It lies on a scarp above the oasis of Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, within modern-day Israel. Archaeologist David Ussishkin has described the site as "a monumental edifice in terms of contemporary architecture".

So, Genesis 14 is tied to the carbon date 3500 BC.

3500 - 1935 = 1565 extra years, implying a carbon level of 82.753 pmC.

1935 - 1700 = 235 years. Decay = down to 97.197 % or original content. Normal replacement = 2.803 pmC.

Part of the carbon 14 that was remaining:
82.753 pmC * 97.197 / 100 = 80.433 pmC

Actual replacement:
104.35 pmC - 80.433 pmC = 23.917 pmC

Factor of carbon 14 production:
23.917 pmC / 2.803 pmC = 8.532 times as fast

I'll skip what that kind of rate would mean between Flood and Babel (10.1 times as fast overall, though part just 3.628 times as fast and other part 20.702 times as fast), since the much lower initial values makes for more doubling (the relation between dates and carbon 14 is not to linear or geometric amounts of it, but to logarithmic ones), but this would place Djoser and Senusret III in ...

235 : 5 = 47 years. 99.433 %, remainder after,
0.567 pmC normal replacement,
0.567 pmC * 8.532 = 4.838 pmC actual replacement

1935 BC
82.753 pmC, dated 3500 BC

82.753 * 99.433 / 100 = 82.284 pmC
82.284 + 4.838 = 87.122 pmC
(and so on between remaining rungs)

1888 BC
87.122 pmC, dated 3038 BC

1841 BC
91.466 pmC, dated 2581 BC

1794 BC
95.785 pmC, dated 2154 BC

1747 BC
100.08 pmC, dated 1737 BC

1700 BC
104.35 pmC, dated 1350 BC

(1888 + 1841) / 2 = 1865 BC
(87.122 + 91.466) / 2 = 89.294 pmC
940 + 1865 = 2805 BC

(1794 + 1747 + 1747 + 1747) / 4 = 1759 BC
(95.785 + 100.08 + 100.08 + 100.08) / 4 = 99.00625 pmC
1759 + 80 = 1839 BC

So, on this view, Djoser would be placed in 1865 BC and Senusret III in 1759 BC. 106 years apart. On my view it's 1700 respectively 1588, 112 years apart. Not too big a difference. Except, I'm rearranging only Old and Middle Kingdom reigns this radically, while Joel W Seibright would be placing Senusret III's coffin 59 years prior to Amenhotep III's (or his wife's) lead carbonate make up. I'm placing Amenhotep III and Akhenaten into the Judges period. The carbon date 1348 BC would be between 1319 and 1297 BC, placing up to 270 years (as opposed to 59) from the death of Senusret III to that of Amenhotep III.

But the undergraduate is no doubt not all that interested in Biblical chronology as fact, or he would not have dreamt of placing the Pharao of the Exodus that near the fall of Troy, which is close enough to Setnakhte. He might even consider all of Genesis as mythical.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Pentecost Day

Monday, May 6, 2024

Beowulf, le monstre mal compris Grendel

Les créationnistes ont raison dans l'idée que la base du poëme Beowulf est un personnage historique, et qu'il a eu des rencontre avec des monstres, pendant sa jeunesse, avant 516 (mort de son oncle Chlochilaïc), Grendel et sa mère, juste avant sa mort, bien après 516 (peut-être 536, s'il avait regné pendant 20 ans ?) avec un dragon.

Ils ont par contre assez souvent tort de prendre Grendel lui-même pour le dragon. Selon Trent Horn ça vient du livre After the Flood par Bill Cooper.

Ceux qui aimeraient nier que des dinosaures aient survécu après le Déluge, par contre, ont tort de prendre Beowulf comme un mythe./HGL