Fomenko’s Critique of Dating by Aesthetic Comparison (H:FoS? Volume 1 Ch. 1.13-1.13.1)

This article examines the claims made by Fomenko in Chapter 1.13-1.13.1 of Volume 1 of History: Fiction or Science?. The run from page 59 to page 61.

Chapter 1 Section 13 is titled “THE FOUNDATIONS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL METHODS HAVE BEEN BASED ON THE SCALIGERIAN CHRONOLOGY FROM THE VERY BEGINNING”.

Chapter 1 Section 13.1 is titled “The ambiguity of archaeological datings and their dependence on the existing chronology”.

Claims: 30
Undetermined: 9
Supported: 19
Contradicted: 2

Multi-claims: 12, 13

Total Determined: 21/30 (70%)
Supported: 19/21 (90.47%)
Contradicted: 2/21 (9.52%)

As of right now, Fomenko’s grade on this part is 90.47% (19/21) which is an A-.

Fomenko’s overall grade is shown on the overview article: Examining Fomenko’s New Chronology.

Summary

This section is mainly a critique of the comparative dating method where the aesthetics of artefacts of unknown age are compared to artefacts of known age. Through this, a date is obtained for the artefacts of unknown age.

Fomenko points out the haphazard archaeological techniques that were developed early on but acknowledges that improvements have been made since the inception of the discipline of archaeology.

From what I’ve determined, mostly everything he says is supported.

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Fomenko’s Sources

Original Russian

[19] – Амальрик А.С., Монгайт А.Л. “Что такое археология”. – М., Просвещение, 1963.

[389] – Классовский В. “Систематическое описание Помпеи и открытых в ней древностей”. – СПб., 1848.

[390] – Клейн Л.С. “Археология спорит с физикой”. – Журнал “Природа”, 1966, No.2, с.51-62.

English Translation

[19] – Amalrik A.S., Mongayt A.L. “What is Archeology”. – M., Education, 1963.

[389] – Klassovskiy V. “Systematic description of Pompeii and antiquities discovered in it”. – SPb., 1848.
(Klassovskiy V.,“Sistematicheskoe opisanie Pompei I otkrytykh v nei drevnostei”, St. Petersburg,1848)

[390] – Klein L.S. “Archeology Argues with Physics”. – Journal “Nature”, 1966, No.2, p.51-62.

Notes

[19] – Алексей Сергеевич Амальрик / Alexey Sergeevich Amalrik (1906-1965)
& Александр Львович Монгайт / Alexander Lvovich Mongayt (1915-1974)

[389] – Владимир Игнатьевич Классовский / Vladimir Ignatievich Klassovsky (1815-1877)

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The Examination

13

Claim 1:

A paragraph presumably from Sovetskaya Rossiya, 28 Nov. 1984 opens this part of his book.

“The results of excavations concluded by the Swiss anthropologist Georg Glovacki in Italy proved sensational. The scientist discovered that there was no military action conducted in the area where the troops of Hannibal had allegedly defeated the Roman legions in the battle of Cannes. A study of the barrows showed that the remains belong to the victims of the XIII century plague epidemic, and not to Roman soldiers, as everyone was accustomed to thinking.”

Claim 1 is undetermined.

I have not been able to check this newspaper and I have not found information about this elsewhere.

13.1

Claim 2:

“The reader may inquire about the state of affairs concerning other methods of dating historical sources and artefacts used nowadays. Modern archaeologists speak of the “ignorant diggers” of the previous centuries in pained tones, since many artefacts have become defaced in the search for valuables.”

Claim 2 is undetermined.

Off the top of my head, I don’t know of any sources that support or deny this. A short search didn’t turn anything up either.

Claim 3:

“The archaeologist Count A. S. Ouvarov excavated 7729 mounds in the Vladimir-Suzdal area.”

Claim 3 is supported.[3], [4]

Count Aleksey Sergeyevich Uvarov (1825-1884) did excavate upwards towards 8000 mounds in that area.[3], [4]

The search term “Vladimir Mounds” turned up a bit on this.

Claim 4:

“A. S. Spitsyn has the following to say about it: “when the items [found in the excavations of 1851-1854 – A. F.] came to the disposal of the Rumyantsev museum, they were a chaotic pile of materials with no markings whatsoever, and no one could tell which mound this or the other object had belonged to. The grandoise excavations of 1851-1854… shall be mourned by the scientists for years to come” ([19], pages 12-13).”

Claim 4 is supported.

Potentially this will have a “contradicted” point if the source doesn’t check out. I haven’t been able to confirm proper citing yet. The information itself does seem to check out though.[3], [4]

Claim 5:

“Nowadays the excavation methods are a lot more advanced – however, applying them to “ancient” excavations is an impossibility since these have already been conducted by the “diggers” of the past ([389]).”

Claim 5 is contradicted.

There are plenty of unexcavated sites that modern methods can be applied to. To varying degrees (depending on the site), even sites that have been excavated can have newer methods applied to them.

Also important to note is that his citation for this claim is from 1848, which is far too old to be relevant for commenting on the methods that are around “nowadays”. Volume 1 of Fomenko’s History: Fiction or Science? was published in the early 2000’s, some 150 years after the 1848 cited. This is a huge amount of time that contains many scientific developments.

However, if his source does say this, then I’ll award a “supported point” for the proper citation.

Claim 6:

“The basics of archaeological dating methods are as follows: “the best way of deducing the age of a given European culture is finding out which Egyptian dynasty this European tribe traded with” [390], page 55).”

Claim 6 is supported.[5]

This is supported in the sense that the citation is correct. I would imagine there would be some debate amongst archaeologists as to what methods would be best for determining the age of a European culture. I don’t have any concrete examples of this yet so I haven’t marked this partially contradicted.

Claim 7:

“The findings of Mycenae-made Greek vessels in the Egyptian mounds of the 18th-19th dynasties allow the archaeologists to consider the dynasty and the culture as contemporaries.”

Claim 7 is supported.[5]

Claim 8:

“Similar vessels are found later on in Mycenae together with a particular kind of pin that is later also found in Germany near some urns. A similar urn is found near Fanger, together with a different kind of pin, which resembles the one found in Sweden, in the so-called Barrow of King Bjorn, which can thus be dated as a contemporary of the 18th-19th Egyptian dynasties ([390]).”

Claim 8 is supported.[5]

From what I can tell, this is basically just copy and pasted from Klein.[5] However, the online version I use is choppy and I’m not sure it ever mentions King Bjorn. It does look like the part that would mention him is cut out though.

Claim 9:

“However, it turns out that King Bjorn’s Barrow “could not have belonged to Bjorn, king of the Vikings [a well-known mediaeval chatacter – A. F.] since it predates his time by about two millennia” ([390], pages 55-56).”

Claim 9 is undetermined.

I did not see this in the cited article.

Claim 10:

“Firstly, one fails to understand what criteria of similarity have been used here.”

Claim 10 is undetermined.

I will mention that a failure to understand what criteria of similarity has been used doesn’t indicate that no criteria of similarity has been used.

Claim 11:

“Secondly, and a lot more importantly, all of these methods are heavily dependent on the a priori datings of the “ancient” Egyptian Pharaoh dynasties.”

Claim 11 is supported.

The methods use “known” dates determine unknown dates. In this case, Egyptian dates are used to establish European ones.

Claim 12:

“This method, which is also known as “the dominoes method,” and all similar ones are based on pure unadulterated subjectivism, and, principally, on Scaligerian chronology.”

Claim 12 is supported and undetermined.

The support is given to the term “dominoes method”, which (from what I can tell) isn’t a popular term, but it is used in Klein’s article, presumably where Fomenko heard about it.[5]

The undetermined part is for the claim about subjectivity. Is this method purely subjective? Can noting similarities between objects not be objective? I’m leaning towards marking this contradicted but want to explore this more first.

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Claim 13:

“Newly-found artefacts such as vessels are compared to similar findings dated in accordance with the consensual chronology.”

Claim 13 is supported and contradicted.

Newly-found artefacts are sometimes dated this way. Other times they are dated using other (independent dating) methods. So partly correct, partly incorrect.

Claim 14:

“The alteration of the chronological scale automatically alters the chronology of the new archaeological findings. An erroneous chronology completely invalidates all such methods.”

Claim 14 is supported.

Changing the chronological scale will impact these types of methods.

Claim 15:

“It is little wonder that the archaeologists investing their trust in such methods are constantly confronted with bizarre facts. It appears that “in certain remote parts of Europe one encounters the coexistence of things whose prototypes in the East are separated from each other by centuries” [390], pages 55-56).”

Claim 15 is supported.[5]

Claim 16:

“Furthermore, L. S. Klein ([390]) firmly denies all connexions between King Bjorn’s Barrow and the mediaeval Bjorn, king of the Vikings.”

Claim 16 is undetermined.

Claim 17:

“This method tells us only that Bjorn’s Barrow is contemporary to the 18th-19th Egyptian dynasties; it tells us nothing about the possible datings of these actual reigns, which may well be mediaeval, along with Bjorn the Viking.”

Claim 17 is undetermined.

Claim 18:

“The first schemes of Egyptian chronology were based on the work of Manethon… who had compiled the list of the Pharaohs [allegedly in the III century BC – A.F.] and grouped them into 30 dynasties, having added up all the years of reigns [and assuming that their reigns have all been consecutive – A.F.].

Claim 18 is supported.[5]

There appears to be a missing quotation mark to end the quote above.

Claim 19:

“The figures he got proved formidable.”

Claim 19 is supported.

Manetho is still the greatest source used for establishing the Egyptian dynasties.

Claim 20:

“Flinders Petrie, L. Borhardt, and other Egyptologists had estimated the duration of the history of Ancient Egypt to equal 5-6 thousand years.”

Claim 20 is supported.[5]

Claim 21:

“This is how the “long” chronology of Egypt was born, the one that had been prevalent for a long time.”

Claim 21 is supported.[5]

Claim 22:

“E. Meyer and his followers had developed the so-called “short” chronology as an alternative.”

Claim 22 is supported.[5]

The wording is kind of weird. From what I can tell, they didn’t develop it as an alternative, they developed it because they thought it was good and it just happened to be shorter.

Claim 23:

“The problem is that the Pharaohs, and their entire dynasties, often reigned simultaneously (as co-rulers) in different parts of the country.”

Claim 23 is supported.[5]

Claim 24:

“Manethon was making the assumption that the state had been a monolithic one under a signle ruler, and so he had lined all of the Pharaohs into a sequence and thus considerably extended the entire history of the state” ([390], pages 54-55).”

Claim 24 is supported.[5]

Claim 25:

“We should add that the “short” chronology of Egypt is still way too long, and should really have been called “a slightly shorter chronology.””

Claim 26 is undetermined.

Claim 26:

“As we have already mentioned in reference to the data provided by the Egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch, the so-called “short” chronology is also based on ethereal foundations.”

Claim 27 is undetermined.

Claim 27:

“We learn that its creator, E. Meyer, “has based his deductions on the annual records and entries referring to memorable events made by the Pharaohs themselves. However… this chain of knowledge has reached us as separate links, with many gaps and distortions” ([390, pages 54-58).”

Claim 27 is supported.[5]

Claim 28:

“This is why attaching the archaeological material to the “Egyptian scale” does not solve the problem of absolute (or indeed even relative) dating.”

Claim 28 is supported.

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References:

[1] – Volume 1 HFoS

[2] – https://chronologia.org/lit_nx.html. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

[3] – https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Uvarov%2C+Aleksei. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

[4] – “The Rural Viking in Russia and Sweden. Conference 19-20 October 1996 in the manor of Karlslund, Orebro. Lectures. Edited by Piir Hansson”. http://gnezdovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/100_Ingmar-Jansson.pdf. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

[5] – Kleyn, L. S, Arkheologiya sporit s fizikoy – Spor o dostovernosti i tochnosti radiouglerodnoy khronologii [Archeology argues with physics – The controversy over the reliability and accuracy of radiocarbon chronology]: Priroda. no. 2. p.51-62, and no. 3. p.94-107, illus., 1966. https://textarchive.ru/c-2179111-pall.html. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

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