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Setting the Time for Amenhotep III

February 4, 2018

As I have told you before in these Nuggets, it is fortuitous when we can tag a time frame in the Egyptian Calendar and match it accurately with events in the Gregorian Calendar or to other known time periods. When we can do that we have a firm foundation on which to set an accurate time period for Biblical events.  


This occurred with a remarkable find in El Amarna Letter 151 (EA 151) and a little tablet which archaeologists have named KTU-1.78.  It’s a tablet which bears the following inscription: The day of the new moon of Hiyaru was put to shame as the sun set with Rashap as her gate-keeper. There are details recorded on the reverse side of KTU-1.78 which indicate there was a solar eclipse just before sunset on the day of the new moon. It happened in the month of Hiyyaru (April May) in Ugarit. From EA 151 we gain the knowledge that Pharoah Akhenaten wrote to Abimilku, ruler of Tyre, following the death of Amenhotep III. Putting those two documents together gives a clue to the exact timing of Amenhotep III’s death. 


Through some brilliant work by Wayne Mitchell, an American New Chronology researcher, who used the university mainframe computers at Massachusetts IT to search back in time for the precise timing of the solar eclipse which could be seen in Ugarit at the time of the new moon. Mitchell was able to calculate that King Nikmaddu I and the priests of Ugarit watched the eclipse at 6.09pm on the 9th of May 1012 BC, just thirty minutes before the sun went down.  The God of the Universe has set His universe to work like clockwork. 


This was proof that the period of the El Amarna letters took place in the 11th century BC and not the 14th as was first supposed. David Rohl has now used this new date, which also dates the coronation of Akhenaten as being eleven years earlier in 1022. From that David Rohl has rewritten the Regnal dates for the succession of Pharoahs in the Egyptian Chronology of the Pharoahs. This means that the period of the Hyksos began in 1194 BC (not 1570 BC as set under the Orthodox Chronology). This results in an accurate timing to set the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period of the Pharoahs – David Rohl’s area of expertise. 


The Royal Canon of Turin is a badly damaged papyrus with a detailed list of the Pharoah’s from the earliest times down to the beginning of the New Kingdom.  This document, compiled in the 19th Dynasty from palace and temple records, is the most accurate and valuable king list available to Egyptologists. With this and other tablets and documents Rohl has been able to set accurate dates for the reigns of Egyptian Pharoahs from the 18th Dynasty onward. Thus accurately establishing the time frames for biblical data which intersect with Egyptian, Ugaritic and Hyksos rulers and their regnal years. Thus the end of the Hyksos rule at Avaris is determined as 1183 BC.


With this valuable tool, Rohl is able set an accurate time frame 

between the Egyptian Chronology and the Biblical Chronology. This tool is what is enabling Rohl to rethink the Biblical chronology and come up with an accurate measurement of the time periods in the Bible. This is the reason why many new discoveries are coming to light as the experts either look in the correct stratum of the archaeological record or re-evaluate the archaeological evidence from the past.



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