List of Recorded Solar Eclipses of the Ancient World

Introduction to a proposed book about historical eclipses

ANCIENT ECLIPSES FROM 2353 BC:

The void between astronomy,

history and archaeology

 

by

 

Zoltan Andrew Simon, C.E.T.

 

First edition (preliminary)

UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT

 

 

 

 

 

Robinson Crusoe Enterprises

(The author’s edition)

 

Red Deer – Alberta – Canada

 

2013

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by Zoltan Andrew Simon and Zuanhao Zhong

 

All rights reserved

 

No material in this book may be copied, reproduced, or used in any way without the written permission of the author except short recensions.

 

 

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data [NOT YET PUBLISHED]

 

Simon, Zoltan Andrew, 1949-

 

                     Ancient eclipses from 2353 BC: The void between astronomy,

history and archaeology

 

Bibliography: p.

ISBN 0-9691494-??????

 

 

All orders received will be autographed by the author. This is book No. ..........  

 

 

Copies of this book are available for ............ (US or Canadian, or their equivalent) retail price, by surface mail, plus shipping costs. Please send your order and payment to Zoltan A. Simon, 72 Best Crescent, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada T4R 1H6. We are thankful to your communication, observations, corrections or suggestions that may be sent by mail or e-mail – particularly from publishers that are looking for important papers and manuscripts. (This is a limited edition; so far the problem of distribution in large has not been resolved.) Please contact us by e-mail at zasimon@hotmail.com or louise_hao@yahoo.com.cn with any question including copyright.

 

 

The front cover’s picture is a work of Alexander Donskoy (Greater Vancouver), one of the best artists of British Columbia. We are thankful to him for his kind permission to use the small reproduction of his beautiful painting. The reader may see or purchase his other works through the http://www.royalhermitage.com/Alexander.Donskoy web site.  

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

The present atlas concerns the foundations of chronology for the era B.C. although the second part continues down to 1733 AD. Its core is the author’s unpublished study for the chronology of the ancient Near East within its ancient context: Egypt, Western Asia, and the Aegean. Its main subject is the absolute chronology of the Near East, based on astronomy.

Particular emphasis is devoted to the problem of such exact chronology based on original records and traditions of the whole region. This way a preliminary absolute chronology was created for the ancient Near East, based on numerous recorded astronomical observations, mainly eclipses. It is complimentary to the High Chronology that was finalized in 1982 by a small group of scholars. At the same time, the instant work is the debut of Z.A. Simon’s “Modified High Chronology” that may be a recommended new term. Its general time frame is between 2353 and 323 BC (BCE) for the Near East. In addition, it seemed useful to incorporate a few important absolute dates for early Chinese and Mexican history and chronology through unique solar eclipse records.

 

Absolute or astronomical chronology is an interdisciplinary science, without paid professional authorities. Professors of chronology do not seem to exist in any country, and universities are devoid of faculties of chronology since more than a century ago. Therefore, because the field does not belong to anyone’s job description, the subject is open to amateur scholars as well, including my humble person. One of the few outstanding experts on ancient eclipses is Professor F. Richard Stephenson.

These circumstances are fortunate for the publication of the present book because there is an increasing number – now five to eight – of proposed chronologies. (So many competing systems create a total chaos for the readers.) Scholars in general do not dismiss any of those systems automatically with prejudice. Adding a new chronological system is hardly noticeable for the book publishing market and would not hurt anyone’s feelings. It would not mean that readers would stop buying the good old books on stock, containing a bit outdated chronologies.

 

This new system would not change the relative chronologies of the Near East that archaeologists have built laboriously through the centuries. Rather, it offers a somewhat revised and more reliable absolute chronology without any fault line. In other words, since the backbone of history is chronology, this modest paper intends to present a new and healthier backbone in the form of an astronomical absolute chronology.

 

Before the final editing of this paper there was a need to examine hundreds of eclipse records of the world, in order to establish an optimal and harmonious curve – apparently a parabola – for the clock time error or Delta-T. The suggested new values for the Delta-T have derived from the values given in the WinEclipse program created and copyrighted by Mr. Heinz Scsibrany.

 

 

 

The WinEclipse seems to use the calculated and recommended ∆-T values of Mr. Ed Jones. (Here we uniformly multiplied those by a factor of 0.98115 for the purpose of our text.)  We wish to express our thanks to them for the opportunity to utilize the software in this book for every eclipse map.

 

Our revised time frame has been based on the explosion of the island of Thera (Santorini) 330 years before the Fall of Troy. That cataclysmic event – causing a darkness of three days with heavy air (described by Josephus and the Old Testament) – apparently took place 26 years before Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s death.

This book suggests that most of the Egyptian Sed-festivals were connected with solar eclipses. Also, there are several stelae from the Near East depicting annular eclipses of the sun that went unnoticed so far. We introduced a new interpretation for the canon of Ptolemy and the eponym canon of the Assyrians. Some of the reigns may have been much longer originally, so only an abbreviated digest of them is available for our scholars. The uneventful years may have been deleted from the summarized lists. By the means of several eclipse records, one may argue that there was an Esarhaddon I ruling from 695 BC, and an Esarhaddon II from 681/0 BC. Thus, the key role of a single Assyrian eclipse record arbitrarily placed in 763 BC could be reviewed.

 

The author is a Canadian Hungarian (64). His original professions are geologist and land surveyor with diplomas. He has several published books but his only academic works are the “Origin and Remnants of the Dialects in England” (New York, 2003), and the “Absolute Dates for Ancient China by Astronomy” (Berlin, 2007). However, he rather considers himself a Mexicanist.

 

The present work intends to reach the largest national libraries of countries where a wide interest for archaeology exists. It is quite preliminary and unique in a sense. Also, the author can hardly see the ‘end of the tunnel’ right now. The first edition does not claim to be a finalized product. Rather, it is published as a security: should something happen to him, his work of three decades would not be lost for the educated readers. Gradual improvements and additions are on the way. A second, revised, edition would respond to the upcoming scholarly criticism – if any – and may allow a hardcover format. Also, each eclipse map in such second edition would probably contain the point of observation marked by a circle. That feature would facilitate the evaluation and calculation of the optimum locations for the zones of totality on the globe and the best values for the Delta-T. At this stage a good geographical, cartographical, or astronomical knowledge of each reader would be a definite advantage for a better understanding of the eclipse maps below.

 

This book may not exist without the helpful assistance of Profs. Peter Huber, Hermann Hunger, Aurél Ponori Thewrewk, and Sheridan Williams. Julian Reade (Keeper of the British Museum), Prof. Jerrold Cooper, Manfred Kudlek, Ed Jones and Léo Dubal provided useful information. Many thanks are due to them for their helpful suggestions and criticism during the past decade.

 

            Z. A. S.

About sixty eclipse maps below are illustrating this table of ignored solar eclipses related to ancient universal history. They are based on Heinz Scsibrany's "WinEclipse" software (2005) calculated by Zoltan Andrew Simon. This unique info in not yet available in any book of history or archaeology. In general, they have been ignored by mainstream scholars.
Fig. 1. Sargon of Agade saw the stars during an eclipse to the south of Simurrum: 14 June 2353 BC
Fig. 3. The eclipse of Hsi and Ho caused panic – as seen in the capital (Anyi): 22 October 2137 BC
Fig. 4. Eclipse near the horizon in King Shulgi’s 21st year in the city of Ur: 24 December 2132 BC
Fig. 7. A solar eclipse record in the MEC when Shamshi-Adad I was 1 year old: 12 March 1902 BC
Figure 8. Total eclipse to the S. of Memphis, Zero Year of Re-Horakhti, the Sun: 15 Sept. 1884 BC. At Memphis, the magnitude was less than 100% as shown here.
Figure 9. Abraham’s terrible vision with stars seen at Beth Shemesh or Hebron: 24 June 1833 BC
Figure 10. Concentric circles (annular eclipse) on a stele at Hazor, candidate A: 8 October 1764 BC
Fig. 11. The sun was dimmed in Anyi under Chieh (last Xia king) before a draught: 18 July 1751 BC
Figure 12. Eclipse of the Sed-festival in Year 15-16 of Queen Hatshepsut in Thebes: 9 July 1639 BC
Fig. 14. Karnak Sed-festival eclipse in Year 30 of Thutmose III (appointed in 1656): 29 May 1627 BC
Fig. 15. Sed-festival eclipse in Year 3 of Amenophis II at Amada, Lower Nubia: 14 January 1601 BC
Figure 16. The second Sed-festival eclipse of Amenophis II in Karnak, Egypt: 2 November 1598 BC
Fig. 18. A Sed-festival of Thutmose IV at his Karnak hall may refer to an eclipse: 24 Nov 1562 BC
Figure 21. The solar omen in the tenth regnal year of Mursili II at Hattusha: 30 March 1475 BC. (A very useful paper of Professor Peter J. Huber was published about this solar omen but his proposed date is different from ours.)
Figure 22. The sun stood still during the battles of Joshua near Gibeon (al-Jib): 6 January 1470 BC
Fig. 23. Eclipse depicted at Abydos in Pharaoh Seti I’s reign as the ‘Eye of Horus’: 25 Sept 1410 BC
Fig. 24. Eclipse of the Sed-festival celebrated in Year 30 of Pharaoh Ramesses II: 3 May 1375 BC
Figure 25. Eclipse of the Sed-festival celebrated in Year 43 of Ramesses II: 15 September 1363 BC
Figure 26. Eclipse of the Sed-festival held in Year 46 of Ramesses II in Memphis: 15 July 1360 BC
Fig. 27. Eclipse of the Sed-festival held in Year 54 of Ramesses II in Memphis: 15 August 1352 BC
Figure 28. Eclipse of the Sed-festival held in Year 57 of Ramesses II in Memphis: 13 June 1349 BC
Figure 29. Eclipse of the Sed-festival held in Year 60 of Ramesses II in Memphis: 2 April 1345 BC
Figure 30. A dark cloud over Egypt is mentioned in the fifth year of Merenptah: 13 March 1335 BC
Figure 31. The eclipse and Sed-festival of Seti II. Seth was a god of darkness: 17 October 1328 BC
Figure 32. The nuptial night of Hercules’ parents was extended at Thebes: 14 April 1281 BC. Hercules lived for 52 years, from 1280 to 1228 BC.
Fig. 33. A boundary stone of Melishipak may depict a solar eclipse in Babylon: 14 April 1281 BC
Figure 34. Queen Medea fled from Larissa-Nimrud shortly before this eclipse: 27 Sept 1261 BC
Fig. 35. Scared Argonauts wept during this eclipse just before reaching the Greek isle of Anafi or Anaphi: 27 Sept 1261 BC
Figure 36. An eclipse record from Xiaotun (Anyang, Period 4) on a cyclic day #45: 16 May 1254 BC
Fig. 38. A text in Anyang claims that three flames ate the sun on a day #53: 4 March 1250 BC. The report may have been sent there from Huai’an, 500 km to the SE of Anyang.
Fig. 39. A ‘Period 4’ oracle text in Anyang recorded a solar eclipse on a day #38: 11 Dec 1238 BC
Figure 40. An oracle text in Anyang recorded a solar eclipse on a cyclic day #2: 6 May 1226 BC
Fig. 41. The sun ‘turned back’ to see the cannibalistic dinner of Atreus in Mycenae: 6 Aug 1221 BC
Fig. 42. An oracle text in Anyang (Xiaotun) recorded a solar eclipse on a day #17: 21 Oct 1198 BC
Fig. 43. This eclipse began a ‘Renaissance Era’ of the sun in Year 19 of Ramses XI: 21 Jan 1192 BC
Fig. 44. The Tuatha Dé Danann’s druids made a great darkness before a battle where the Fir Bolgs were defeated: 18 July 1230 BC. A total eclipse of the Sun in Ireland.
Fig. 45. Homer placed this eclipse in Troy at the beginning of the war’s 10th year: 12 Jan 1183 BC
Fig. 46. The total eclipse of Homer upon Odysseus’ return in Ithaca (Polis Bay) at midday meal: 16 April 1178 BC
Fig. 47. An oracle text in Anyang (Xiaotun) recorded a solar eclipse on a day #49: 5 April 1177 BC
Fig. 48. An oracle text in Anyang (Xiaotun) recorded an eclipse on a day #10: 19 August 1176 BC
Figure 49. Total eclipse in Simbar-shipak’s 7th year in [Isin, 95 km from] Babylon: 18 May 1124 BC
Figure 50. Two suns were seen on a day in Anyang in Ti Hsin’s 48th regnal year: 21 Sept 1122 BC
Fig. 51. Apollo the sun killed Aristodemos upon entering the Peloponnese: 21 September 1103 BC, for his failure to consult the oracle of Delphi.
Fig. 53. A tablet of king Nabu-apla-iddina depicts an annular eclipse in Sippar: 4 November 947 BC (?)
Fig. 55. Perhaps this eclipse is shown on the Kurkh stela of Shalmaneser III: 15 November 910 BC
Some of the "eclipse art" - mainly from Mesopotamia - that so far have been overlooked by archaeologists and historians. (They seem to claim that these are simply decorative elements while one can clearly see that they are depicting real solar eclipses. (Compiled by Zoltan Andrew Simon in 2012.)
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