Antiques Dealers Arrested and Accused of Faking History

Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan were indicted on Tuesday, September 23rd in Manhattan federal court for allegedly fabricating the histories of ownership for the antiquities they sold in New York auction houses between around 2015 to September 2020. Dere is additionally being charged with aggravated identity theft for using the identities of deceased collectors to falsely claiming they had owned the items in which Dere was selling. The Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit is handling the case.

Antiquities are ancient artifacts, basically anything that was produced in the ancient world. Their chain of ownership is known as provenance. Provenance is important because it allows an item’s history be known to collectors. If you fake provenance, it can cause a lot of issues for collectors and might just land you behind bars.

“The integrity of the legitimate market in antiquities rests on the accuracy of the provenance provided by antiquities dealers, which prevents the sale of stolen and looted antiquities that lack any legitimate provenance.  As alleged, Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan compromised that integrity, and defrauded buyers and brokers of the antiquities they sold, by fabricating the provenance of those antiquities, and concealing their true history.  Now, thanks to the FBI’s Art Crime Team, Dere and Khan are in custody and facing prosecution for their alleged crimes.”
– Audrey Strauss, Acting U.S. Attorney

Dere was arrested by federal law enforcement agents at his place of residence in New York, New York on Tuesday morning. He is the owner and operator of Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd., an antiquities gallery based in Manhatten. Khan, Dere’ business associate and partner in crime, was arrested at his home in New Jersey Tuesday morning too.

The charges and their corresponding maximum prison terms are:
Wire Fraud Conspiracy: 20 years
Wire Fraud: 20 years
Aggravated Identity Theft: 2 years

“Antiquities and art allow us to see a piece of history from a world that existed hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of years ago.  As alleged, the men who trafficked in fake documents and used dead people’s names to bolster their lies had no care for the precious items they sold and no regard for the people they defrauded.  We are asking anyone who may have dealt with Mr. Dere or Mr. Khan to contact us at  You may have been a victim of their alleged scheme.”
– William F. Sweeney Jr., FBI Assistant Director

The dealers have only been accused thus far. They are innocent until proven guilty. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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[1] – Accessed 23 Sept. 2020.

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Huge Find, 27 Ancient Coffins Discovered In Egypt

A huge amount of coffins were discovered earlier this month and the news was released over the weekend. Numbering 27 in total so far, these colorfully painted, sealed wooden coffins are well preserved and are believed to be around 2,500 years old. They were discovered inside of a well in Saqqara’s ancient necropolis, just south of Cairo, Egypt’s capital.

“Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried”
– Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Thirteen coffins were discovered earlier this month, but since then 14 more have been found. The archeologists working the site don’t know how many more to expect, and this could very well turn out to be the largest find in over a century. Saqqara is an Unesco World Heritage site, and was used as a burial ground for over 3,000 years. Archeologists are currently excavating the site to learn more about where these coffins originated. There were other colorful and well-crafted artifacts discovered alongside the coffins, but not much information about them has been given yet.

The ministry said they will be releasing “more secrets” in an upcoming press conference. I’m excited to hear what else they know about.

Here are some photos from the find:

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[1] – Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

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Ch. 1.2, Vol. 1, History: Fiction or Science?

This article contains my analysis of Fomenko’s History: Fiction or Science?, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Part 2. Chapter 1 is titled “The problems of historical chronology”, and part 2 is titled “Scaliger, Petavius, and other clerical chronologers”. This part is relatively short, only containing two paragraphs.

Not all of the sentences from the selected reading are listed as claims. Some were not relevant for this article, which attempts to establish a grade for the core claims of Fomenko’s narrative.

I established 39 claims, 2 of which (8 and 11) have been split into two claims, making 41 points total. One of those points depends on Fomenko’s New Chronology to be comprehensively assessed, and so only 40 points can possibly be determined for now. Out of the 40 points, I have determined 32 (80%) points to be supported or contradicted. Of the 32, 31 (96.88%) points are supported and 1 (3.12%) is contradicted.

Supported: 1-8.1, 9, 11.1-20, 22, 26, 27, 32-39 (31 total)
Contradicted: 21
Undetermined: 8.2, 10, 23-25, 28-31 (9 total)

Claim 8.2 is undetermined because I haven’t be able to review Fomenko’s source, if it exists at all (see commentary below).

Claim 10 is dependent on Fomenko’s New Chronology being valid, so this one cannot be determined as supported or contradicted until a comprehensive verdict on how valid Fomenko’s New Chronology is has been reached.

Claims 23-25 are questionable and I think may end up being contradicted. I’m leaning towards supported for Claims 28 and 30. I need more information for Claims 29 and 31.

As of right now, Fomenko’s grade on this part is a 96.88%, which is an A+ and a 4.0 GPA.[16]

Fomenko’s Narrative:

Claim 1: “The chronology of ancient and mediaeval history in its present form had been created and, for the most part, concluded in a series of fundamental works of the XVI-XVII century that begins with the writings of Iosephus Iustus Scaliger (1540-1609), called “the founder of modern chronology as a science” by the modern chronologist E. Bickerman ([72], page 82).”

Claim 2: “Scaliger’s principal works on chronology are as follows:
1) Scaliger I. Opus novum de emendatione temporum. Lutetiac. Paris, 1583 ([1387]).
2) Scaliger I. Thesaurum temporum. 1606 ([1387]).”

Claim 3: “For the most part, the body of Scaliger’s work was concluded by Dionysius Petavius (1583-1652). The best-known book of the latter is titled De doctrina temporum, Paris, 1627 ([1337]).”

Claim 4: “Gerhard Friedrich Müller (1705-1783) “revised” the Russian history and chronology in the XVIII century in accordance with Scaliger’s scheme.”

Claim 5: “Let us mention the works of the XVIII-XIX century, which contain a great array of factual chronological data, such as [1155], [1205], [1236] and [1275]. They are of great value to us since they provide a snapshot of the state of chronology during the epoch of a greater proximity to Scaliger and Petavius. This material is thus of a more primordial nature, not “painted over” by latter cosmetic layers. It must be noted that this series remains incomplete as well as several other similar chronological works. To quote the prominent contemporary chronologist E. Bickerman: “There has been no chronological research ever conducted that could be called exhaustive and conforming to modern standards” ([72], page 90, comment 1).”

Claim 6: “Hence it would be correct to call the modern consensual chronology of the Classical period and the Middle Ages the Scaliger-Petavius version. We shall simply refer to it as “Scaligerian Chronology”.”

Claim 7: “The groundlaying works of Scaliger and Petavius of the XVI-XVII century present the ancient chronology as a table of dates given without any reasons whatsoever.”

Claim 8: “It is declared to have been based on ecclesiastical tradition. This is hardly surprising, since “history has remained predominantly ecclesial for centuries, and for the most part, was written by the clergy” ([217], page 105).”

Claim 9: “Today it is believed that the foundations of chronology were laid by Eusebius Pamphilus and Saint
Hieronymus, allegedly in the IV century A.D.”

Claim 10: “It is worth noting that Eusebius of Caesarea is painted in typically mediaeval attire of the Renaissance epoch. Most probably because he had lived in that period of time and not any earlier.”

Claim 11: “Despite the fact that Scaligerian history ascribes Eusebius to the IV century a.d., during the years 260-340 ([936], vol. 1, page 519), it is interesting to note that his famous work titled The History of Time from the Genesis to the Nicaean Council, the so-called Chronicle, as well as the tractate by St. Hieronymus (Jerome) weren’t discovered until very late in the Middle Ages.”

Claim 12: “Apart from that, historians say that “the Greek original (of Eusebius – A. F.) is only available in fragmentary form nowadays, and is complemented by the ad libitum translation made by St. Hieronymus” ([267], page VIII, Introduction).”

Claim 13: “Mark the fact that Nicephorus Callistus attempted to write the new history of the first three centuries in the XIV century, or “revise” the History of Eusebius, but “he could not do more than repeat that which was written by Eusebius”, ([267], page XI).”

Claim 14: “However, since the work of Eusebius was only published in 1544 (see [267], page XIII),that is, much later than the writing of Nicephorus, one has reason to wonder: Could the “ancient” Eusebius have based his work on the mediaeval tractate by Nicephorus Callistus?”

Claim 15: “It is assumed that Scaligerian chronology was based on the interpretations of assorted numeric data collected from the Bible. Certain “basis dates” that were used as reference points originated as results of scholastic exercises with numbers.”

Claim 16: “For instance, according to the eminent chronologist J. Usher (Usserius), the world was created on Sunday, 23 October 4004 b.c., in the small hours of the morning ([76]). Mind-boggling precision.”

Claim 17: “One is to bear in mind that the “secular” chronology of the present days is largely based on the scholastic biblical chronology of the Middle Ages. E. Bickerman, a contemporary historian, is perfectly right to note that “the Christian historians have made secular chronography serve ecclesial history… The compilation made by Hieronymus is the foundation of the entire edifice of occidental chronological knowledge.” ([72], page 82).”

Claim 18: “Although “I. Scaliger, the founding father of modern chronology as a science, had attempted to reconstruct the entire tractate of Eusebius”, as E. Bickerman tells us, “the datings of Eusebius, that often got transcribed erroneously in manuscripts (! – A. F.), are hardly of any use to us nowadays” ([72], page 82).”

Claim 19: “Due to the controversy and the dubiety of all these mediaeval computations, the “Genesis dating”, for instance, varies greatly from document to document.”

Claim 20: “The “correct Genesis dating” issue was far from being scholastic, and had been given plenty of attention in the XVII-XVIII century for good reason. The matter here is that many ancient documents date
events in years passed “since Adam” or “since the Genesis”. This is why the existing millenarian discrepancies between the possible choices of this reference point substantially affect the datings of many ancient documents.”

Claim 21: “I. Scaliger together with D. Petavius were the first ones to have used the astronomical method for proving – but not examining critically, the late mediaeval version of the chronology of the preceding centuries.”

Claim 22: “Modern commentators consider Scaliger to have ipso facto transformed this chronology into a “scientific” one. This “scientific” veneer proved sufficient for the chronologists of the XVII-XVIII century to have invested unquestioning belief in the largely rigidified chronological date grid that they had inherited.”

Claim 23: “On having studied the text of the Bible, Archbishop Hieronymus had come to the conclusion that the world had been created 3,941 years prior to the beginning of modern chronology.”

Claim 24: “His colleague Theophilus, the Bishop of Antiochia, had extended this period to 5,515 years.”

Claim 25: “St. Augustine had added another thirty-six years…”

Claim 26: “Many eminent Western European chronologists of the XVI-XVII century have belonged to the clergy. I. Scaliger (1540-1609), for instance, was a theologian; Tischendorf (1815-1874), the founding father of paleography, was a Doctor of Divinity; Dionisius Petavius (1583-1652) – a Jesuit and an author of several theological writings ([82], page 320, comment 5).”

Claim 27: “Their absolute trust in the infallibility of what the ecclesial chronology told them, determined their entire Weltanschauung. Hence their attitude to the data offered by other disciplines was determined by whether or not it could serve the advocacy of this a priori assumption or the other, invariably based on the mediaeval ecclesial chronology that was later rechristened “scientific”.”

Claim 28: “The fact that the clerical chronologists of the Occidental church have deified the endeavours of their predecessors of the XV-XVI century, excluded the very possibility of criticizing the foundations of chronology in any way at all, even minutely.”

Claim 29: “I. Scaliger, for instance, could not even conceive of such heresy as running a check on the chronological materials of the holy fathers (Eusebius and others): “Scaliger calls this work by Eusebius (the Evangelical Preparation – A. F.), divine” ([267], page VIII, Introduction).”

Claim 30: “Trusting the authority of their predecessors unconditionally, the chronologists reacted at external criticisms very bitterly.”

Claim 31: “Few are aware that Scaliger and Petavius had brought chronology to “perfection” and “absolutely
precise datings” quoting the year, day, month, and sometimes even the time of day for all the principal events in history of humankind. For whatever reason, modern monographies and textbooks usually only quote the years of events according to Scaliger-Petavius, coyly omitting the month, day, and hour. It is
verily a step backwards that deprives the chronology calculated in the XVII-XVIII century of its former splendour and fundamentality.”

Claim 32: “By the XIX century, the accumulated volume of chronological material grew to the extent of inducing respect a priori by its sheer scale, so the chronologists of the XIX century saw their objective in making minor corrections and not much else.”

Claim 33: “The issue of veracity is hardly raised at all in the XX century, and the ancient chronology solidifies terminally in the very shape and form given to it by the writings of Eusebius, Hieronymus, Theophilus, Augustine, Hippolytus, St. Clement of Alexandria, Usher, Scaliger, and Petavius.”

Claim 34: “To someone in our day and age, the very thought that historians have followed an erroneous chronology for about three centuries seems preposterous since it contradicts the existing tradition.”

Claim 35: “However, as chronology developed, specialists encountered considerable difficulties in trying to correlate the varied chronological data offered by ancient sources with the consensual Scaliger’s version. It was discovered, for instance, that Hieronymus misdates his own time by a hundred years ([72], page 83).”

Claim 36: “The so-called “Sassanide tradition” separated Alexander the Great from the Sassanides by an interval of 226 years, which was extended to 557 by contemporary historians ([72], page 83). In this case, the gap exceeds 300 years.”

Claim 37: ““The Jews also allocate a mere 52 years for the Persian period of their history, despite the fact that Cyrus II is separated from Alexander the Great by 206 years (according to the Scaligerian chronology – A. F.)” ([72], page 83).”

Claim 38: “The basic Egyptian chronology has also reached us through the filter of Christian chronologists: “The list of kings compiled by Manethon only survived as quotations made by the Christian authors” ([72], page 77).”

Claim 39: “Some readers might be unaware that “The Oriental Church avoided using the birth of Christ as
a chronological point of reference since in Constantinople the debates about the date of his birth have continued well into the XIV century” ([72], page 69).”

Checking the Narrative:

Claim 1:

Claim 1 is supported.

Fomenko;s citation #72 is “Bikerman E. “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Moscow, Nauka, 1975. Translated from the English edition: Bickerman EJ “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Thames & Hudson, London, (1968), 1969″.

I don’t have access to that specific edition, but I was able to access a 1980 edition printed in English.[2]

The 16th and 17th century works that he mentions are those by Scaliger and Petavius, which are basically still the basis for chronology today, as A. Grafton notes.

“(Scaliger) performed bibliographical and philological miracles, and used their results to create a coherent, solid structure – basically the one that scholars still use.”
– Anthony Grafton[3, pp.77-78]

Claim 2:

Claim 2 is supported. Fomenko listed the correct works and the correct dates of printing.

Claim 3:

Claim 3 is supported. Scaliger’s work was basically enhanced and replaced by Petavius’. Fomenko also properly sites the title and publication date for Petavius’ work.

“And (Scaliger’s) version of it, though powerful and provocative, lasted no more than a generation, since his Jesuit rival, Denys Petau, replaced his work with a more user-friendly, less idiosyncratic synthesis.”
Anthony Grafton[3, p.81]

Claim 4:

Claim 4 is supported. Müller did write a history of Russia and he is still recognized for his contributions to history today.[4]

Claim 5:

Claim 5 is supported.

Fomenko cited these publications:

[1155] – “Ginzel FK “Handbuch der Mathematischen und Technischen Chronologie”. Bd. I-III. – Leipzig, 1906,1911,1914.”

[1205] – ” Ideler L. “Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie”. – Berlin, 1825-1826, Band 1-2.”

[1236] – “<< L`art de verifier les dates faites historiques >>. – Ed. par des Benedictines. 1 ed., Paris, 1750; 2 ed., Paris, 1770; 3 ed., Paris, 1783, 1784, 1787.”

[1275] – “Mommsen T. << Die Ro “mische Chronologie bis auf Caesar.” – Berlin, 1859, 2 Aufl.”

Claim 6:

Claim 6 is supported. I cite both of the quotes above from Grafton as evidence for this.

Claim 7:

Claim 7 is supported. I say this because Scaliger and Petavius’ reasoning was fundamentally a collection of appeals to tradition, which is a fallacy and hence is unlogical/unreasonable.

Claim 8:

Claim 8 is complex and really could be split into two parts. For this reason, without having to renumber all others, claim 8 will count for 2 points instead of one.

Claim 8.1 is supported. It’s well known that Scaliger and Petavius were religious and based their chronologies on the Bible and church tradition.

Claim 8.2 is undetermined.

Fomenko cited #[217] as “Gourevich A.Y. The Mediaeval Cultural Categories. Moscow, Kultura, 1972″.

The book exists, but Fomenko apparently got the publication date wrong.[5] Fomenko says 1972, but it doesn’t appear to have been printed until 1983. Also, when I searched for the key words on Google Books from Gurevich’s quote, it did not result in finding the quote. Because I cannot confirm if Fomenko quoted Gurevich and just got the publication date wrong, I have 8.2 labeled as undetermined. The information in Gurevich’s quote does sound correct, it’s just a matter of whether or not he really said it which will determine whether claim 8.2 is supported or contradicted.

Claim 9:

Claim 9 is supported.[3, p.83]

Claim 10:

Claim 10 is complex but I have it marked as undetermined because Eusebius was shown in Renaissance attire, but the probability of him being from that time is based on Fomenko’s New Chronology, which I am currently investigating to see how valid it is. Until a comprehensive report as to why FNC is valid or invalid appears, I will leave claim 10 as undetermined.

Claim 11:

Claim 11 also is complex and is now split into 2 points. 11.1 deals with the part about Eusebius’ work, and 11.2 deals with the part about Jerome’s work.

Claim 11.1 is supported. The earliest any of the surviving MSS date to is the 10th century, and they themselves appeared out of obscurity later than that. There are some Syriac MSS that date earlier but their provenance is even more obscure than the ones dated later.[14]

Claim 11.2 is supported for now. I have spent some time looking into Jerome’s MSS and their histories are incredibly obscure.[15] I’m willing to change my mind on this though if someone provides a valid explanation as to why Claim 11.2 is contradicted.

Claim 12:

Claim 12 is supported. I marked it supported because of the quotes from Schaff. I thought I saw a quote that contradicted claim12, but when I went to try and find it again, I was not able to.

Fomenko cited [267] as “Eusebius Pamphilus. Ecclesial History. St. Petersburg, 1848. English edition: Eusebius Pamphilus. History of the Church. London, 1890.”

I have not yet been able to locate either of these citations. Possibly the English edition is the one from 1890 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.? If so, potentially Fomenko’s quote is supported by these quotes from page 37:[8]

“The work of Africanus is no longer extant, and that of Eusebius was likewise lost for a great many centuries, being superseded by a revised Latin edition, issued by Jerome.”
– P. Schaff

“This, together with numerous Greek fragments preserved by various ancient writers, constituted our only source for a knowledge of the original work, until late in the last century an Armenian translation of the whole work was discovered and published in two volumes by J. B. Aucher: Venice, 1818.”
– Philip Schaff (1890)

Claim 13:

Claim 13 is supported. Nicephorus Callistus did make an edition of Eusebius in the 14th century, and it doesn’t sound like he added much to it beyond Eusebius’ own writings.[9] I haven’t been able to view Fomenko’s source, so I am skeptical as to how supported claim 13 really is. It does appear to check out from other sources though.

Claim 14:

Claim 14 is supported. It does appear that Fomenko is correct about the first printing in 1544.[8, p.60] The rest of the quote in claim 14 is just a question asked by Fomenko.

Claim 15:

Claim 15 is supported. Scaliger’s chronology was based upon the works of Mercator, Funck, Crusius, and Glareanus, all of which ran numerical exercises for their chronologies based on information from the Bible.

“Neither Bodin nor Mercator believed that chronology should rest on astronomical and historical evidence alone. For both men, the Bible, properly understood, provided almost all of the solid information about the first three millennia and more of human history.”
– Anthony Grafton[10, p.188]

Claim 16:

Claim 16 is supported. Ussher did calculate Sunday, 23 October, 4004 BC as when the world was created.[11, p.380]

Claim 17:

Claim 17 is supported. Fomenko quoted Bickerman. Here’s a quote from Bickerman that I found which is very similar to the one Fomenko provided:

“Using the work of their predecessors, the Christian chronographers put secular chronography into the service of sacred history. …Jerome’s compilation became the standard of chronological knowledge in the West.”[2, pp.87-88]

Claim 18:

Claim 18 is supported. Fomenko quoted Bickerman. Here’s a quote from Bickerman that I found which is very similar to the one Fomenko provided:

“The datings of Eusebius, often transmitted incorrectly in manuscripts, are of little use to us today, except in a few cases where no better information is available.”[2, p.88]

Claims 19 & 20:

Claims 19 & 20 are both supported and discussed by Patrides.[12]

Claim 21:

Claim 21 is contradicted. As mentioned earlier, Scaliger built upon the astronomical methods developed earlier in the 16th century. While Scaliger and Petavius aren’t in fact the first to go about doing this, it was a relatively new method which began seriously developing in the 16th century and received significant attention because of their works.

Claim 22:

Claim 22 is supported. I say this because Scaliger has been popularly viewed as the founder of scientific chronology and the overwhelming majority of chronologers did use Scaliger’s chronology as the basis for their own.

Claim 23:

Claim 23 is undetermined. I’m thinking it will be contradicted because the wording is bizarre. Possibly the wording is due to an issue with the translation from Russian to English.

Claim 24:

Claim 24 is undetermined. I’m thinking it will be contradicted because the wording is bizarre.

Claim 25:

Claim 25 is undetermined.

Claim 26:

Claim 26 is supported by Fomenko’s own examples and other 15th-16th c. examples such as Ussher, Mercator, and Crusius.

Claim 27:

Claim 27 is supported. Grafton’s commentary about how Scaliger wrestled with conflicting evidence is a good example of the opposite. While Scaliger was tempted to say the texts of Eusebius were forgeries, he did end up granting their validity. For the most part though, the Bible was not to be questioned, and that did play into how the majority of chronologers saw the world and wrote their chronologies.[3, pp.83-84]

“We have everywhere followed the authority of Holy Scripture, which the Lord has granted us as a sure and indubitable foundation.”
– M. Beroaldus[13, p.167]

Scaliger did believe the Bible to be the basis for chronology, but that it needed to be interpreted in light of pagan sources.[13, p.167-168]

Claim 28:

Claim 28 is undetermined. I’m leaning towards supported because typically the chronologers didn’t make any major criticisms to the overall structure, rather they bickered about minute details.

Claim 29:

Claim 29 is undetermined because I haven’t been able to review Fomenko’s source.

Claim 30:

Claim 30 is undetermined. I’m leaning towards supported because I think I have read about how criticisms were dealt with but I don’t have any reference. I don’t think Fomenko’s example was good because it was about Scaliger’s reaction to people criticizing his mathematical claim to be able to square the circle, not his chronology.

Claim 31:

Claim 31 is undetermined. While most people don’t know who Scaliger or Petavius are, much less what their work contains, I want some data (which I don’t currently have) to back my determination.

Claim 32:

Claim 32 is supported. For the most part, no radical changes were proposed to the general scheme of chronology.

Claim 33:

Claim 33 is supported. Even today in the 21st century, the question of veracity is nearly non-existent.

Claim 34:

Claim 34 is supported. I think the statement is mostly true, as not everyone is just “someone”. Although, it would be interesting to do one of those videos where you interview people on the street to ask people the question and see what they say. Maybe I will do that one day to get some really concrete data for Claim 34.

Claim 35:

Claim 35 is supported. Fomenko cited Bickerman again and here’s the quote that supports his citation:

“Errors were unavoidable. Jerome, a chronologist himself, writing after AD 374 congratulates a certain Paul on his hundredth birthday (Ep. Ad Paulum). Yet elsewhere (De viris ill. III, 53) he states that Paul knew personally Cyprian of Carthage who had died in AD 259.”[2, p.89]
– E. J. Bickerman (1980)

While it could be considered contradicted because Fomenko said 100 instead of 115, I’m granting support because it can round down to 100, and still goes to support the main point Fomenko is making that Jerome misdates his own time period.

Claims 36 & 37:

Claims 36 & 37 are both supported. Fomenko cited Bickerman and Bickerman’s quote that supports Fomenko is:

“This lack of certainty in the matter of chronology made it possible for the Sassanid traditions to reduce the period from Alexander to the Sassanids from 557 to 226 years. The Jews also allotted only 52 years to the Persian period of their history, though 206 years separate Cyrus from Alexander.”[2, p.89]
– E. J. Bickerman

Claim 38:

Claim 38 is supported.

“The aforementioned king-list of Manetho has been preserved only in Christian summaries.”[2, p.82]
– E. J. Bickerman

Claim 39:

Claim 39 is supported.

“The Eastern church avoided the use of the Christian era since the date of Christ’s birth was debated in Constantinople as late as the fourteenth century.”[2, p.74]
– E. J. Bickerman

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[1] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Bickerman, E. J. “Chronology of the ancient world” (1980). Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[3] – Grafton, Anthony. “Dating History: The Renaissance & the Reformation of Chronology.” Daedalus, vol. 132, no. 2, 2003, pp. 74–85. Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[4] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[5] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[6] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[7] – Maier, Paul L. “Eusebius–the church history : a new translation with commentary” (1999). Accessed 19 Sept. 2020.

[8] –,_Schaff._Philip,_3_Vol_01_Eusebius_Pamphilius,_EN.pdf. Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

[9] – Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

[10] – Grafton, Anthony. “Mercator Maps Time”, Chapter 9 in “Nature Engaged” (2012). Accessed 19 Sept. 2020.

[11] – Barr, James. “Pre-Scientific Chronology: The Bible and the Origin of the World.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 143, no. 3, 1999, pp. 379–387. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

[12] – Patrides, C. A. “Renaissance Estimates of the Year of Creation.” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 4, 1963, pp. 315–322. JSTOR, Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

[13] – Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

[14] – Accessed 21 Sept. 2020.

[15] – Accessed 21 Sept. 2020.

[16] – Accessed 21 Sept. 2020.

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Ancient God and Goddess Figurines Unearthed in Kültepe Dated 4,500 Years Old

The god and goddess figurines were unearthed at the Kültepe Kaniş/Karum Mound in the province of Kayseri, in Central Anatolia. The experts have dated them as being 4,300-4,500 years ago. This put their dates of creation around 2300-2500 BCE. The statuettes were discovered some undisclosed time earlier this year and will be temporarily displayed in the Kayseri Museum.

“We have found 15 more idols (statuettes) this year. Excavations continue in this area. The structure we have excavated is probably a very large and unique place in Anatolia, with formal and religious characteristics. The idols unearthed from here are artifacts showing the beliefs of Anatolian people as the beings they worshipped 4,500 years ago. Some of them were portrayed as sitting on the throne, and some are schematic. These are the artifacts that are not found anywhere but Kültepe. It is exciting that you find an artifact that a person worshipped 4,500 years ago with your hand.”
– Professor Fikri Kulakoğlu,
Head of the Kültepe excavation team from the Faculty of Languages and History and Geography at Ankara University

“Some of the statuettes found recently at the Kültepe archaeological site, Kayseri, central Turkey, Sept. 10, 2020. (DHA Photo)”

The mound has been excavated for the last 72 years and is important because it contains the alleged remains of the first Hittite city ever founded in Anatolia. These aren’t the first statuettes that these excavations have turned up. They found more in bulk during excavations in 2017.

While not much information has yet been released about these statues, I will be keeping my eye out for more info. I figure with time, and probably after the limited time exhibition, a more detailed analysis of the statuettes will be published. For now, only brief news of the discovery has been released.

The cover photo for this article was taken by AA and shows archeologists working on the site on September 14th, 2020.

This is one of many fascinating finds from this year. Just earlier this month, the largest mammoth graveyard ever yet discovered was unearthed in Mexico and a magnificent ancient royal estate was unearthed in Jerusalem. Towards the end of August, a Viking settlement was discovered in Istanbul and teens found rare 24 karat gold medieval coins. In June, news was released that a large ancient cemetery was discovered in China and an ancient map was found on a huge volcanic stone.

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[1] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

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Pipeline Plans Threaten 67 Pre-Columbian Archaeology Sites

The expansion plans for the Trans Mountain Pipeline include destroying 67 pre-Columbian Native American archaeological sites. The news release was announced today and featured a Kamloops archeologist speaking on the major losses involved in the pipeline expansion plan. Tyler Hooper, speaking on behalf of the province, stated that 17 of the sites will have excavations. Whether those 17 sites are included in or separate from 67 being threatened is unclear. The construction plans appear to have all green lights to proceed for now, which means we will soon be forever losing a part of extremely important history.

“That sends a message that indigenous history doesn’t matter very much to the Canadian story.”
– Joanne Hammond,
SFU Heritage Resource Management Instructor

Jeanette Jules, Councillor Tk’Emlups Te Secwepemc, claims that no sites on their land have been approved to be destroyed and that they’re still working to figure something out with TMX.

None of the sites have had any excavations carried out on them yet, which means that virtually no information is available right now as to what they contain. If the expansion continues, that information will be lost indefinitely. The pipeline runs across a plethora of indigenous territories, of all have people involved in their histories.

“As with all permit applications, the Province consults with First Nations in advance of a decision about whether or not to issue a permit.”
– Tyler Hooper,
Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development

The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion’s Chief Executive commented that about 15% of the pipeline is complete and the goal is to have 30% done by the end of 2020.

“Indigenous chiefs and elders lead a protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C., on March 10, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)”

“There’s very little coverage within Canadian media about the growing opposition to this pipeline … so it takes international coverage to draw attention to this issue, of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous opposition to the pipeline…”
– Susan Bibbings,
Kristian Lindhardt’s longtime friend

On August 23rd, Danish journalist Kristian Lindhardt attempting to create a documentary about this pipeline was denied entry into Canada despite having all of the proper qualifications for entry. He had a statement from his employer (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation), a statement from the Danish Union of Journalists attached to his press card, and a letter explaining the necessity of the trip from Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sundance Chief Rueben George. He also had a 2 week quarantine plan to comply with the Canadian Border Services Agency’s requirements for entry. He was questioned for a total of 6 hours between a Friday and a Saturday and eventually he was denied entry.

“”They were asking why I saw it as essential work, because they were saying media and foreign press aren’t essential work. If it was a health risk, or they really had this rule that media was non-essential, they could have denied me entrance within five or 10 minutes.”
– Kristian Lindhardt,
Danish Journalist

It is unfortunate that so much history will be lost. It’s also unfortunate that these situations don’t get more coverage and awareness. How much history gets destroyed each year by constructions like this? The amount of things we’ll never know about human history just keep growing.

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[1] – Accessed 15 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Accessed 15 Sept. 2020.

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Ch. 1.1, Vol. 1, History: Fiction or Science?

This article contains my analysis of Fomenko’s History: Fiction or Science?, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Part 1. Chapter 1 is titled “The problems of historical chronology”, and part 1 is titled “Roman chronology as the foundation of European chronology”. This part is relatively short, only containing two paragraphs.

Not all of the sentences from the selected reading are listed as claims. Some were not relevant for this article, which attempts to establish a grade for the core claims of Fomenko’s narrative.

I established 6 fundamental claims from the selected reading.
Supported: 6.
Contradicted: 0.

Final grade: 100%.

Fomenko’s Narrative:

Claim 1 – Chronology “allows for the determination of the time interval between the historical event and the current era”.

Claim 2 – “Nearly all the fundamental historical conclusions depend on the dating of the events
described in the source that is being studied.”

Claim 3 – “An altered or imprecise dating of an event defines its entire interpretation and evaluation”.

Claim 4 – “The current global chronology model has evolved owing to the labour of several generations of chronologists in the XVII-XIX century…”

Claim 5 – “…and has Julian calendar datings ascribed to all the major events of ancient history.”

Claim 6 – “The datings of events referred to in some freshly discovered document are predominantly based on the Roman chronology, since it is considered that “all the other ancient chronological datings can be linked to our calendar via direct or indirect synchronisms with the Roman dates” ([72], page 77).”

Checking the Narrative:

Claim 1:

Claim is supported. Chronology can be considered the study of time, and this does allow us to determine how much time has passed between an event and the present.

Claim 2:

Claim 2 is supported. When a source or evidence is discovered, it is dated to a specific period and then conclusions are formed around that dating.

Claim 3:

Claim 3 is supported. Changing the dates changes the perspective. If it turned out tomorrow that Jesus was really born 1820 years ago instead of 2020 years ago, a massive amount of historical writing would be affected.

Claim 4:

Claim 4 is supported. While this is the sketchiest claim out of the 6, I still consider it supported because the 17th-19th centuries really were the critical centuries in which our modern conception of chronology was developed. The Father of Modern Chronology, Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) published his Thesaurus temporum in 1606, James Ussher (1581-1656) published his Annals of the World in 1650. Dionysius Petavius (1583-1652) published his Opus de Doctrina Temporum in 1627 and his History of the World in 1659. Thomas Hearne (1678-1735) published his Ductor historicus in 1698. John D. Blair (d.1782) published The Chronology and History of the World in 1754. William Hales (1747-1831) published A new analysis of chronology in 1809. Henry Fynes Clinton (1781-1852) published his Fasti Hellenici from 1824-1851 and his Fasti Romani from 1845–1850.

To concisely sort the above information, the fundamental works for global chronology and history were published in 1606, 1627, 1650, 1659, 1698, 1754, 1809, 1824-1851, and 1845-1850.

The two most important works listed above are the one by Scaliger and the two by Petavius. These established the basis for later additions and corrections.

Claim 5:

Claim 5 is supported. Prior to the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, the Julian calendar was most popular. Due to this, when an advanced interest in human history began to develop in the 16th-17th centuries, all major events were assigned Julian dates. Click here to see the 29 Fundamental Points of Chronology (all of which are assigned Julian dates).

For perspective, the Gregorian calendar was introduced into Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and most of France in 1582. The United Kingdom and its colonies, as well as most of the United States and Canada, did not switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar until 1752. Furthermore, Russia didn’t make the switch until 1918, Greece until 1923, and Turkey until 1926/1927.

Claim 6:

Claim 6 is supported.

Fomenko cited page 77 of:
#[72], “Bikerman E. “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Moscow, Nauka, 1975. Translated from the English edition: Bickerman EJ “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Thames & Hudson, London, (1968), 1969″.

I don’t have access to that specific edition, but I was able to access an English 1980 edition.

Fomenko cited page 77 as saying, “all other chronological datings can be linked to our calendar via direct or indirect synchronisms with the Roman dates”. Fomenko’s claim that world history’s spinal column is based on Roman history is supported by Bickerman’s (expanded) passage:[2, p.82]

“All the other datings of ancient chronology are linked to our reckoning by direct or indirect synchronisms with Roman dates. For instance, the Egyptian chronology is based on the list of Pharaohs, made by Manetho under Ptolemy II. His list contains the reigns of Persian kings, beginning with Cambyses, who ruled in Egypt and who also appears in the Royal Canon. In this way a correspondence with Roman chronology is obtained.”
Bickerman (1980)

Bickerman went on comment about how ancient Indian and Greek history can be dated according to Roman history too. In the next paragraph, he said and provided examples for:

“Where the link to Roman chronology is broken, we grope vainly for certitude.”
Bickerman (1980)

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[1] – Accessed 14 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Accessed 14 Sept. 2020.

[3] – Accessed 15 Sept. 2020.

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The Beginning of the Olympiads

The beginning of the Olympiads is the second fundamental point of chronology listed by Petavius.[1]

“The Greek calendar has not received as much attention from students of Greek religion as it deserves.”
~ George Thomson (1943)[4]

Traditionally, the beginning of the Olympiads has been dated to 776 BC, when the Olympic games supposedly had their first celebration .[1], [2] The wikipedia page with the list of ancient Olympic victors[3] contains a list of sources for the information in the list. For simplicity, I concisely list them here:

776 BC

1 – Eusebius
2 – Pausanias

480 BC

3 – P.Oxy.222
4 – Thucydides
5 – P.Oxy.2381
6 – Arrian
7 – P.Oxy. 12

296 BC

8 – Phlegon of Tralles
9 – Phlegon, apud Photius, Bibliotheca 97
10 – Dexippos the Athenian, apud Panodoros
11 – Moses of Chorene’s History of Armenia (3.40)

369 AD

I split the sources up by years to help visualize what sources we’re dependent on for each period of time. However, after a name has been listed, that does not mean it’s limited to that period of time. For example, Eusebius is used as a source almost until 261 AD. The three time periods I made above are 776-480 BC (296 years), 480-290 BC (190 years), and 290 BC-369 AD (659 years).

The list of Olympic victors was originally compiled by Hippias of Elis (fl.390-370 BC). It was then continued by Julianus Africanus (d.240), who modified it to include names up to 217 AD. Finally, it was copied by Eusebius (265-339 AD).[2]

In the later 19th century and early 20th century, European historians and philologists seriously began debating the authenticity of the traditional dating.[2]

“The doubts concerning the correctness of this date have involved other doubts concerning the accuracy of the earlier portions of Eusebius’s register of Olympic victors, and concerning the use of the Olympic register as a basis of Greek chronology for a considerable period of time.”
~ H. C. Montgomery (1936)[2, p.169]

Montgomery singled out John Pentland Mahaffy (1839-1919) as the first person to critically address the issue of the Olympiadic dating. Mahaffy noted that Sir George Cox regarded 670 BC as being “the earliest historical date available”. Mahaffy himself believed the list became accurate after Olympiad 50, about 580 BC, some 200 years prior to Hippias. Georg Busalt (1850-1920), Alfred Körte (1866-1946), and Ulrich Kahrstedt also raised some issues with the authenticity. Hermann Diels (1848-1922), Weniger, Brinckmann, and Wilamowitz were confident in the authenticity of the 776 BC date.[2]

“…Körte believes that up to the end of the fifth century there was no connected victor list and no history of the Olympic games…”
~ H. C. Montgomery (1936)[2, p.171]

Pausanias reported that the games were held by Oxylus, King of Elis, but they were stopped until Iphitus, when the “Olympic truce” is revived by him and Lycurgus of Sparta, his contemporary. Ephorus was quoted by Strabo and also noted the Oxylus-Iphitus “double foundation of the games”. Phlegon and Eusebius both created a triple foundation of the games when they each inserted Cleosthenes, King of Pisa, into the mix.[2]

Phlegon contradicted himself in his writings when he placed Iphitus as living 27 or 28 Olympiads prior to 776, but then also claiming Iphitus “consulted the Delphic oracle” in Olympiad 6. This results in a gap of 34 Olympiads (136 years). Weniger noted that there is a possibility there was a second Iphitus and a second Lycurgus.[2]

Mahaffy noted that Pausanias reported Orsippus of Megara introduced the custom of running through the games naked, but that Thucydides, Herodotus, and Hellanicus reported it was some 300 years closer to their time that the naked running custom began. Thucydides relied on Dionysius of Halicarnassus for his conflicting date. Dionysius of Halicarnassus reported that Acanthus of Sparta set the custom, and so Thucydides reported that the custom began with the Spartans.[2, pp.169-170]

The traditional dates for the introduction of the four-horse chariot racing are 680 and 408 BC, but archaeological evidence dated prior to 700 BC, such as bronze dedicatory objects, might suggest otherwise. Where these bronze horse and chariot figurines could indicate chariot racing in the games, they could be completely unrelated, as those figurines were also found with warrior figurines, sheep, oxen, and weapons.[2, p.171]

“Such conflicts on the origin of customs, sayings, and things innumerable are no more rare in modern than ancient history.”
~ H. C. Montgomery (1936)[2, p.174]

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[1] – Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Montgomery, H. C. “The Controversy about the Origin of the Olympic Games Did They Originate in 776 B.C.?” The Classical Weekly, vol. 29, no. 22, 1936, pp. 169–174. JSTOR, Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

[3] – Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

[4] – Thomson, George. “The Greek Calendar.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 63, 1943, pp. 52–65. JSTOR, Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

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Massive Ancient Stone Pool Found in Rome

The special superintendency of Rome announced the discovery of a massive ancient stone pool. The oldest parts of the site have been dated to the 5th century BC, some 2400-2500 years ago. An in-depth study has yet to be conducted, but the excavation has already turned up inscriptions, metal objects, terracotta, and wood. Until further work has been done, the exact original purpose of the pool will remain a mystery.

“The excavation, in all its grandeur, reveals an important place which lasted for over eight centuries, as demonstrated by the quantity and above all the quality of rediscovered structures, such as the monumental basin from the fourth century BC, found in all its expanse.”
~ Barbara Rossi, superintendency archaeologist

The pool is 48 metres (157.5 feet) long and 12 metres (39.5 feet) wide. It was found at a 2-hectare (4.95-acre) “rescue and preventative excavation site” that began in June 2019. The dig was being done for real-estate developments located between Via Ostiense and Via di Malafede, in southwest Rome, an area believed to have been “inhabited since prehistoric times”. In the photos below, it looks like it’s located just off of a highway. I imagine a lot of people drive by it without even knowing it’s there. Maybe that will change with future updates and finds.

“An in-depth study of the large number of materials that this investigation has returned to us and continues to return to us … will reveal the secrets of this extraordinary corner of the greater Rome area.”
~ Barbara Rossi

What do you think the pool was originally for? Who built it? Let me know what you think.

Photos by Fabio Caricchia – Soprintendenza speciale di Roma Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio.”

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[1] – Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

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Ctruth Goals

I created the Ctruth website on January 2nd, 2019. The reason why I created Ctruth was to organize my study into chronology more effectively, and also to be able to share those studies with other people more effectively. The ultimate goal of Ctruth is to provide educational and entertaining content about history, and also to help develop historical studies in general. I believe that achieving each of the goals in this article is the best way to go about achieving Ctruth’s ultimate goal.

Potentially the name of Ctruth will change again in the future. I might end up leaving this to the popular vote from my following after I meet some of the basic goals.

Here’s the concise list of goals that is expanded upon in this article, listed with the goals I think will be easiest to achieve first, and the more difficult ones last.
Goal 1: Provide Services.
Goal 2: Afford Basic Monthly Expenses.
Goal 3: Afford Equipment Upgrades and Repairs.
Goal 4: Afford Hiring Extra Help.
Goal 5: Afford an Official Ctruth Office or Building.
Goal 6: Turn Ctruth into a thriving business.
Goal 7: Open a Library, Science Museum, and Garden.
Goal 8: Create a Ctruth Scholarship.
Goal 9: Sponsor Archaeological Excavations.


Goal 1: Provide services.

The only services offered right now are mainly education and entertainment services. I do want to provide more services too, such as consultation, creative, knowledge, and non-profit services. I provide this in the content that I produce on the Ctruth website, the Ctruth YouTube channel, and Ctruth social media accounts.

Ctruth focuses on chronology and historical understanding. The ultimate goal of the Ctruth content is to allow practically any person to gain a comprehensive understanding of what chronology is and how it effects each and every one of us. It’s also to provide a place where virtually any person can come to ask history related questions to find answers.

Goal 2: Afford Basic Monthly Expenses.

This goal will allow me to work on Ctruth full time without the need to work an unrelated job. In being able to spend more time focused on Ctruth, the amount of content will increase, as well as the quality of the content. Here are some ways you can help me achieve this goal:

Donate Directly

The quickest and easiest way is to donate directly through Paypal, Venmo, or Cashapp. This allows you to donate directly without any recurring charges.


Patreon is a platform that allows you to make monthly pledges to gain access to exclusive content from creators. When you become a Ctruth patron on Patreon, you get access to exclusive Ctruth activities, benefits, and content. Patreon is great because it helps me better understand how much I’ll be making from month to month.

I’ve made a list to help visualize some rough estimates as to how many people would need to become Ctruth patrons in order for me to be able to create Ctruth content full time. I can support myself easily on $2500, and so without taking tax into consideration, I’d need:
2500 people pledging $1 a month,
1250 people pledging $2 a month,
625 pledging $4 a month,
500 pledging $5 a month,
250 pledging $10 a month,
125 pledging $20 a month,
100 pledging $25 a month,
50 pledging $50 a month,
25 pledging $100 a month.

Patreon is my preferred method for people who want to help financially and also for people who want to get access to a community of others who are supporting Ctruth too. Patreon is a lot like other social media, where I can post videos, polls, texts, etc. and you all can comment on them and interact with me and each other.


Another, less consistent way to be able to do this full time is to get monetized on YouTube. To get monetized, the Ctruth YouTube channel needs 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 “public watch hours” within the past 12 months. As of right now, it has 296 subscribers and 503 public watch hours.

The way you can help with this is:
1 – subscribe to the Ctruth YouTube channel
2 – like the videos
3 – watch the videos from start to end without pausing them
4 – comment on the videos
5 – share the videos with others

I think number 3 is probably the most important of them all, even if you don’t sit there and watch the whole thing but just have it going in the background. It gives my video a greater chance to be featured in the suggested videos part of YouTube, and it also helps get the needed watch hours for monetization.

Ctruth Merchandise

Another way you can support Ctruth is by purchasing the Ctruth merch. I’m currently working on getting some merchandise set up through Teespring. If you know of any websites that offer merch of equal or greater quality than Teespring, let me know.

Goal 3: Afford Equipment and Repairs.

This goal will be achieved when I’m able to afford both my basic living expenses and also additional costs for Ctruth content creation. This is so I can afford things like computer repairs and upgrades, recording equipment, and content creation subscriptions. For example, the WordPress plan that I have right now costs around $100 a year. Another example is that the scholarly content resource Jstor offers monthly subscriptions for $20 and yearly subscriptions for $200. The more money that Ctruth makes, the more resources I’ll be able to afford to help create Ctruth content.

Goal 4: Afford Hiring Extra Help.

I want to be able to hire people who specialize in video editing or animation production for help with Ctruth content. Hiring someone like that would free up my time to be able to pursue the core purpose of Ctruth, which is collecting that raw historical data that needs refinement for consumption. While I have been improving my video editing skills, it is significantly time consuming.

I also want to be able to hire people who can help with legal advice, help with keeping the website up-to-date, and people who can help conduct research. This goal can be met at the same time as goal 3, upgrades and repairs are needed from time to time, and so will affording extra help. Eventually I want to be able to hire Ctruth employees to help with everything full time.

Goal 5: Afford an Official Ctruth Office or Building.

After the above goals are met, I want to be able to have an office or a building to go to where I can have a professional studio for recording. This will allow in better audio and visuals for the videos, and will give me a place to set up a proper recording studio.

In the case that Ctruth gets to the position to be able to hire employees, I’d want to have a building with offices for the employees, a meeting room, and a spot for a small library.

Goal 6: Turn Ctruth into a thriving business.

By thriving business, I mean a business that allows me to:
– provide knowledge, education, entertainment, creative, and non-profit services
– afford my basic monthly expenses (rent, food, etc.)
– afford Ctruth equipment upgrades and repairs
– hire additional help for content production, such as video editors or animators
– afford an official Ctruth office or building
– establish a research team for the development of historical studies

Goal 6 is basically meeting all the above goals and running a successful business that allows me to support my family and offer employment to others for them to be able to support their families.

Goal 7: Open a Library, Science Museum, and Garden.

Goal 7 involves buying a large plot of land and custom building a library, science museum, and garden upon it. The library will be a multimedia library specialized in historical information. The science museum will be specialized in spherical astronomy. The garden will be massive and is inspired by one that I’ve been visiting for years, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. It is beautiful, educational, and an incredibly relaxing way to spend an afternoon. I want the garden that I build to also be magnificent, but to focus more heavily on the history of the plants in it. I want there to eventually be a wing of Ctruth that focuses specifically on the history of plants, and for that wing to influence the way the garden is built and maintained.

I think having all three of these in the same location would be perfect because people would be able to visit all three in the same day if they wanted. The money generated by these would enable the Ctruth project to become even more extravagant, and also to be able to achieve Goal 8 to greater and greater degrees.

Goal 8: Create a Ctruth Scholarship.

I want to create a scholarship for people interested in pursuing a history related degrees.

Goal 9: Sponsor Archaeological Excavations.

Too many artifacts gets destroyed every year from urban development. I want to be able to fund excavations to be able to get as many excavated as possible. I would focus on sites under direct threat of destruction, because if they are going to be destroyed, we at least can try and salvage what we can before they are destroyed.

Closing Thoughts

I don’t know how long it will take to achieve these goals, or if I ever will achieve these goals, but I believe I can and so I’m going to do what I can to achieve them. I ask you to help support my endeavor by doing what you can to help achieve these goals. Thank you for reading this article.

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Guns, Germs, and Steel

Jared Diamond published his book Guns, Germs, and Steel in 1997. In the following year, 1998, it won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. It has sold over a million copies and has translations in over 24 languages. The National Geographic Society made a documentary on it and PBS broadcast it.[4] My attention was brought to Diamond’s work because it is the subject of focus for a history class I’m taking through the local community college. Although the work is historical in nature, and is being used in history classes, Diamond is not an historian, but an evolutionary biologist and physiologist.[3]

“History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”
~ Jared Diamond[4, p.158]

The question for discussion in class is, “What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel theory?”. In this article, I explore the answers to this question that others have given and then I provide my own response to the question.

“This book will not appeal to all readers, especially if they are put off by the materialist approach to history. Personally, I find such an approach quite illuminating, principally because it reveals in such detail exactly how the natural world (in this case, the biosphere) places limits on the range of choices we confront. This is not the same as saying that biology (or geography, or any other material factor) determines the course of human history; only that such factors preselect for us the alternatives from which we may choose.”
~ Robert P. Clark, George Mason University[1, p.205]

Nobles (1999)[2]

Nobles’ review is brief. He praises Diamond’s work for the size of its scope and breadth. No serious criticisms were made in his review. He does mention that “some historians might balk before accepting Diamond” on the ground that Diamond isn’t an history, but a professor of physiology.

McNeill (2001)[3]

McNeill opened with a summary, then briefly touched on the positives of Diamond’s theory, and then dug into where he sees the issues with Diamond’s theory. One major thing McNeill draws attention to near the beginning is the schism between the arts and sciences, and the attempts that are being made to bridge the gap between the two, such as methods of ecology, epidemiology, and paleontology.

“Historians are divided as to whether their craft ought to be classified as an art or a social science. Diamond thinks history can be a science in roughly the same way that evolutionary biology or astronomy are sciences.”
~ McNeill[3, p.166]

McNeill criticized Diamond for the idea that environmental factors were as influential in societal success as Diamond made them out to be. He does this by mentioning that some 80% of humans have been residents of Eurasia for the past 3,000 years, and that probably longer than that too. I personally don’t find this criticism very strong because Eurasia has the environmental factors to allow populations to reach that size and to sustain those populations.

McNeill then criticized Diamond’s take on geographical factors and political fragmentation. Where Diamond stated that Europe was more successful because of the fragmentation of societies due to geographical features like mountains and China was stunted due to less mountains and a stronger governmental center, McNeill does not believe this is “a sufficient explanation”. One point he brought up to support of the criticism is that since time immemorial, the “West African forest zone has been politically fragmented”. I think this is a poor example because the crux of Diamond’s theory is that African lands didn’t have the environmental factors to grow populations in the same way that Eurasian lands did. He brings up the political fragmentation of India as support too, which I believe is a better example, but both fall further south in latitude than where most Eurasian populations would have been located. However, his best support is near the end of this part, where he draws attention to the fragmentation of Europe in the 7th-9th centuries, and how that did not result in severe proliferation.

McNeill criticizes the “East-West axis paradigm” by noting that while it is somewhat applicable to plants, it need refinement for being applicable to animals. However, there are examples where, due to trade, the latitudinal paradigm is inapplicable.

“For these reasons I think Diamond has oversold geography as an explanation for history.”
~ McNeill[3, p.172]

Overall the criticisms from McNeill are that Diamond’s view is too simplistic, it’s limited in application, and the methods upon which it is based are occasionally dubious. Despite these criticisms, McNeill still admires Diamond’s work for its interdisciplinary scope and clarity.

York & Mancus (2007)[4]

The first strength they note is that Diamond’s theory is rooted in materialism, which is a common factor in the natural sciences. Diamond answers the question “Why was it that people from Eurasia expanded across the globe and conquered the Americas, Africa, and Australia, rather than the other way around?” by drawing attention to the fact that Eurasian populations had access to more plants and animals that could be domesticated than other populations in the world. This allowed an agricultural boom that gave them a leg up on everyone else.

“Germs, far more than guns or steel, best explain why many societies around the world succumbed to European invaders.”
~ York & Mancus [4, p.158]

The first weaknesses they focus on is that Diamond “neglects the role of contingency in human history”[4, p.159] and that Diamond overemphasizes environmental advantages. Another weakness is that Diamond neglects the diversity of societies and tends to view them as “holistic entities”. He also downplays the diversity that is present in different types of government and statehood, which further highlights his focus on environmental factors as opposed to sociological factors.

Sorensen (2020)[me]

“What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel theory?” This is the question I’m responding to.

I think there is a thin line between the advantages and disadvantages of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel theory. The theory is heavily based upon popularly accepted methods used in the natural sciences, which is somewhat of an advantage because it conforms to the models generally agreed upon by scientists. It’s also somewhat of a disadvantage because its fundamentally an historical theory, but the connection between the sciences and the arts is still the subject of intense debate and discussion, and so the applicability of Diamond’s heavily science backed theory to our understanding of the art of history will be determined on a case by case basis depending on each person’s beliefs about the interconnectedness of the sciences and arts.

Another note about Diamond’s theory is that it is simplistic, which can be an advantage due to the popularity of occam’s razor, where the simplest explanation out of two is more likely to be correct. This is an advantage because more people are likely to comprehend the arguments than if it was written in a way that only the few experts in a field would be able to glean any meaning from it. The simplicity is a disadvantage because the methods Diamond employed tend to fall short the farther you zoom in on geographic areas. Diamond mainly focuses on a “by continent” analysis over broad strokes of time. This tends to neglect regional diversity and in turn results in less-than exhaustive explanations.

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[1] – Clark, Robert P. Journal of World History, vol. 10, no. 1, 1999, pp. 203–205. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[2] – Nobles, Gregory H. Environmental History, vol. 4, no. 3, 1999, pp. 431–433. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[3] – McNeill, J.R. “The World According to Jared Diamond.” The History Teacher, vol. 34, no. 2, 2001, pp. 165–174. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[4] – Smith, Fred L. “JARED DIAMOND AND THE TERRIBLE TOO’S.” Energy & Environment, vol. 16, no. 3/4, 2005, pp. 423–439. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[5] – York, Richard, and Philip Mancus. “Diamond in the Rough: Reflections on ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel.’” Human Ecology Review, vol. 14, no. 2, 2007, pp. 157–162. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

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