|Smallpox, Exodus, and Troy|
|by Tom Slattery|
Something Pretty Awful Happened
Then I came across a book on a variety of ancient mummies from all over the world. And in it was a photograph of the pharaoh Rameses V, who died, according to one of the two main Egyptian chronologies, in 1154 B.C., smack-dab in the middle of the catastrophic 12th century B.C. The photograph showed mummified blisters.
New ideas often seem easy and obvious after they are known. They come easily to our human minds, but they do not come all that easily. If they did, we might have had automobiles, parking lots, traffic signals, noxious exhaust fumes, road rage, traffic deaths, global warming, and other nice things maybe a million years ago.
My new idea of a smallpox pandemic wiping out the Old World civilization of the Bronze Age seemed convincing. But what might there be besides the mummified skin of Rameses V? Well, it turned out that there was very little else. I went back through things, and there was nothing in conventional history of archaeology to suggest a civilization-ending smallpox pandemic in the 12th century B.C.
But this search took me to biblical references. The religion-oriented stories in the Old Testament are not the best historical sources, but fragments of history have clearly been preserved in them. However, there's a problem of dating. History needs dates. When might the Exodus have taken place? When might the fall of Jericho have occurred?
This resource page is copyright © 2001-2002 Tom Slattery.
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