November 25, 1945
Professor William Scott Ferguson
8 Scott Street
Dear Professor Ferguson:
It was by mistake that the Harvard University Press left your
letter to them on the front page of my Ms. (Ages in Chaos), where
I found it a few days ago when the Ms. came back from Cambridge, Mass. Should
I disregard this mistake, or should I act as a man of Athens who probably would
have seen an act of fate in such a mistake?
I, today an unknown scholar, challenge you, a great master, in
the spirit of an Athenian discussion, to show me one single instance which proves
the fault of my chronological scheme, but proves it by historical material and
not by the argument of so it is established.
To explain what I mean with my challenge, I give here four or
five problems which the established system is obliged to solve. If it will appear
difficult to encounter my work with similar problems, I shall still accept your
verdict about my work, if you would be willing to solve the following problems
in the frame of the existing chronological system. I shall be satisfied if you
will show the solution of the first problem alone. Upon asking, I shall be glad
to increase the number of such problems to over one hundred: here I chose a
few at randon, because of their bearing witness to the Greek past, the field
of your research.
Please interpret this challenge and its acceptance as a service
to science, where no personal motives are involved; interpret it in a way Socrates
would have chosen in a similar case.
- On the tiles of Ramses III are the letters incised during the process of
manufacturing; these are Greek characters of a classical form (fourth century.
Ramses III according to the conventional scheme reigned in the twelfth century.
T. H. Lewis, Tel-el-Yahoudeh, Transact. Soc. Bibl. Archaeol., 1881,
pp. 182, 189.
E. Brugsch, On et Onion, Receuil des travaux relatif à la philol.
et hist. Egypt. et Assyr. vol. viii, 1885, p. 5.
Ed. Naville, The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias, 1887, pp.
F.L.L. Griffith, The Antiquities of Tell-el-Yahudiyeh, p. 41.
Fl. Petrie, Eg. History (XX Dynasty).
(Acc. to my scheme Ramses III is identical with a pharaoh of the fourth century).
- In Gordion vases signed vases signed by Klitias and Ergotimos were found
in a layer contemporary with the Hittite Empire. In the entire Asia Minor
Phrygian remnants are consistently found in deeper strata than the HIttite
remnants of the Empire period. Also on Greek sculptures there are Hittite
hieroglyphs. Greek authors, Homer includdd, do not know aobut Hittites in
C. & L. Körte, Gordion, Berlin, 1904, p. 144, p. 218.
H. Frankfurter (see Bittel and Güterbock, Boghazkoy, Abh. d. Akad.
d. Wiss. Phil.-hist. Klasse 1935 (Berlin, 1936), pp. 46, 58, 84ff.
H. v. d. Osten & E. Schidt, The Alishar Huyuk, p. 22.
H. v. d. Osten, Discov. in Anatolia, Public Orient. Instit. of the
Un. of Chicago, 1933, pp. 9-10.
H. v. d. Osten, Four sculptures from Marash, Metrop. Mus. Studies, vol. 2,
1929-30, N.Y., 1930, pp. 115, 124, 127.
(Acc. to my scheme Hittites are the Chaldeans)
- Beth-Shan in Palestine (Scythopolis) was occupied in the seventh century
by Psammetich who had Greek (Ionian) and Carian soldiers in his army. The
stratification of Beth-Shan shows no Israelite period, neither any rests of
occupation by the Pharaoh Psammetich, the period of Seti and Ramses II being
followed by the Babylonian Empire; the Greek graves are ofund in the stratum
A. Rowe, The Topography and History of Beth Shan (Philad., 1930)
G. M. Fitzgerald, Beth Shan, The Pottery (Phil., 1930)
- In the undisturbed tomb of Ahiram in Byblos there were found Cypriote vases
of the seventh century and objects of Ramses II.
R. Dussaud, Les Inscription Pheniciennes du Tombeau dAhiram,
Syria 1924, p. 144
W. Spiegelberg, Zur Datierung der Ahiram-Inschrift von Byblos, Orientalist.
LIt. Zeitung 1926, no. 10
R. Dussaud, Archiv für Orientalforsch., vol. V, p. 237 (1929)
Ed. Meyer, Gesch. der Altertums, vol.2, part 2, p. 73 (1931)
Sidney Smith, Alalakh and Chronology, (London, 1940), p. 46.
A.H. Gardiner, Pal. Explor. Quarterly, 1939, p. 112.
R. Dussaud, Syria, 1930, p. 183.
- Objects of the seventh century and of the fourteenth century were regularly
found in Cypriote graves, and they cannot be severed form eath other.
A.S. Murray, Handbook of Greek Archaeol., 1892, p. 57.
A.S. Murray, Excav. at Enkomi, in Murray-Smith-Walter, Excav.
in Cyprus, London, 1900.
- How to explain that Greece lost the art of writing for seven centuries?
R. Carpenter, The Antiquity of the Greek Alphabet, Am. Journ.
of Archaeol., vol. 37 (1933).
B. Ullman, Amer. J. of Arch., v. 38 (1933).
(There was no dark age between the Mycenaean and Greek periods.
You will remember the long fight of the classic scholars against the contention
of the Egyptologists who demanded the severing of the Greek past from that
of the Mycenaean age by six or seven centuries).