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The Bible Unearthed 
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Post The Bible Unearthed
The Bible Unearthed, by Israel Finkelstein, is a superb scholarly summary of current scientific knowledge about the actual production of the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible. Finkelstein shows that the far most likely scenario is that King Josiah, reigning in Judah in the Seventh Century BCE, arranged for books of the Bible to be collated ‘as though’ he had found them from ancient times.

Genesis and Exodus are full of anachronisms, places and people who existed in the seventh century but did not exist at the supposed time of the events in question, hundreds and thousands of years earlier. Finkelstein takes advantage of the massive archaeological study that has been conducted in Israel and nearby, to show that the idea of a mass Jewish Exodus from Egypt in about 1300 BC, as the Bible relates, is simply impossible. Archaeologists who themselves were Christian theologians thought that they could prove stories from the Bible by objective data. Indeed, many Biblical places were found by this method. However, the main narrative of the Torah emerged from this exhaustive process as revealed as a work of fiction, a national mythology rather like the work of Homer for Greece, or Virgil’s account of the origin of Rome in the Aeneid.

Camels are used extensively in Genesis, for example carrying Joseph to Egypt. But camels were not used as beasts of burden until about 1000 BC, and were not widely used until even later, making early dating for the Joseph story as it stands impossible. The Philistines came to Palestine after 1200 BC, so their mention in stories about Isaac, who supposedly lived about 2000 BC, are false. Many places that were significant in the 7th century did not exist hundreds of years before that, but still get cited in the Bible as locations of events. The Egyptians had a big row of forts that would have stopped any mass exodus. This is just the tip of the iceberg of how archeaology, through painstaking accurate work, shows up the Bible as a fraud.

All of this scepticism about the Old Testament is fairly widely known, but my interest is to apply it to the New Testament as well. Finkelstein observes that Josiah required a national narrative that could unite his people. It can well be argued that the same situation applied for the Jews after the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70AD. They required a narrative to combat Rome, and one that could be palmed off as true would be much more powerful than one that was openly fictional. It makes perfect sense that writers of the Gospels looked to the Jewish heritage of invention of historical facts for political advantage, and did exactly the same thing, inventing the whole story of Jesus Christ, pretending it was literal history, setting it sufficiently far back in the past that nobody would be able to refute it, and then aggressively attacking anyone who did dispute their fiction. The Bible is myth from start to finish.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Wrong again. It amazes me that Robert has time to summarize Finkelstein's book but not check the facts. I took the first point that really struck me, camels, and this is what I found.

Quote:
Albright has argued that the camel was not extensively domesticated until the Iron Age (about 1200). He holds that the patriarchal references are somewhat anachronistic and that the common nomad of that day depended on the ass (SAC, p. 164-65). He does, however, allow that "partial and sporadic domestication may go back several centuries earlier." J. P. Free gathered evidence of earlier use of domesticated camels, though his proof need not be pressed to say that ass nomadism was not the more common (J. P. Free, JNES 3: 187-93.) K. Kitchen since then has brought out additional evidence to demonstrate that the camel was domesticated already in the Early Bronze Age (see Andre Parrot, Syria 32: 323).
Bibliography: Free, Joseph P., "Abraham's Camels," JNES 3: 187-93. Isserlin, B. S., "On Some Possible Occurrences of the Camel in Palestine," PEQ:50-53. Lambert, W. G., "The Domesticated Camel in the Second Millennium: Evidence from Alalakh and Ugarit," BASOR 160: 42-43. THAT, I, pp. 426-28. J.P.L.

http://classic.net.bible.org/verse.php? ... 1&verse=17


Quote:
4. SOME HISTORICAL PROBLEMS
I. ALLEGED ANACHRONISMS
(a) Camels in the Patriarchal Age
It is often asserted that the mention of camels and of their use is an anachronism in Genesis.1

This charge is simply not true, as there is both philological and archaeological evidence for knowledge and use of this animal in the early second millennium BC and even earlier. While a possible reference to camels in a fodder-list from Alalakh (c. eighteenth century BC)2 has been disputed,3 the great Mesopotamian lexical lists that originated in the Old Babylonian period show a knowledge of the camel c. 2000/1700 BC, including its domestication.4 Furthermore, a Sumerian text from Nippur from the same early period gives clear evidence of domestication of the camel by then, by its allusions to camel’s milk.5 Camel bones were found in houseruins at Mari of the pre-Sargonic age (twenty-fifth to twenty-fourth centuries BC),6 and also in various Palestinian sites from [p.80] 2000 to 1200 BC.7 From Byblos comes an incomplete camel-figurine of the nineteenth/eighteenth centuries BC.8 This and a variety of other evidence cannot be lightly disregarded.9 For the early and middle second millennium BC, only limited use is presupposed by either the biblical or external evidence until the twelfth century BC.

Ancient Orient and Old Testament
Kenneth A. Kitchen
Lecturer, School of Archaeology
and Oriental Studies, University of Liverpool
To
V.B.G. & T.S.F.

pp. 79-80
K.A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1966. Hbk. pp.191.


Quote:
D.J. Wiseman, "Ration Lists from Alalakh VII," JCS 13 (1959) 29, where text 269:59 reads 1 SA.GAL ANSE.GAM.MAL, "one (measure of) fodder - camel." In a following article, "Remarks on the Ration Lists from Alalakh VII," A. Goetze remarks (p. 37), "This early occurrence of camels to be fed and, therefore, domesticated, is worthy of special note."

The New International Commentary on the Old Testament
1990 W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17 By Victor P. Hamilton, pg 384



Quote:
Abraham's camels
J. P. Free
JNES 3

What makes their claims even more disturbing is that several pieces of evidence do exist (and have existed for some time) that prove camels were domesticated during (and even before) the time of Abraham (roughly 2,000 B.C.). In an article that appeared in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies a half-century ago, professor Joseph Free listed several instances of Egyptian archaeological finds supporting the domestication of camels [NOTE: The dates given for the Egyptian dynasties are from Clayton, 2001, pp.14-68]. The earliest evidence comes from a pottery camel’s head and a terra cotta tablet with men riding on and leading camels. According to Free, these are both from predynastic Egypt (1944, pp. 189-190), which according to Clayton is roughly before 3150 B.C. Free also listed three clay camel heads and a limestone vessel in the form of camel lying down—all dated at the First Dynasty of Egypt (3050-2890 B.C.). He then mentioned several models of camels from the Fourth Dynasty (2613-2498 B.C.), and a petroglyph depicting a camel and a man dated at the Sixth Dynasty (2345-2184 B.C.). Such evidence has led one respected Egyptologist to conclude that “the extant evidence clearly indicates that the domestic camel was known [in Egypt—EL] by 3,000 B.C.”—long before Abraham’s time (Kitchen, 1980, 1:228).

Perhaps the most convincing find in support of the early domestication of camels in Egypt is a rope made of camel’s hair found in the Fayum (an oasis area southwest of modern-day Cairo). The two-strand twist of hair, measuring a little over three feet long, was found in the late 1920s, and was sent to the Natural History Museum where it was analyzed and compared to the hair of several different animals. After considerable testing, it was determined to be camel hair, dated (by analyzing the layer in which it was found) to the Third or Fourth Egyptian Dynasty (2686-2498 B.C.). In his article, Free also listed several other discoveries from around 2,000 B.C. and later, which showed camels as domestic animals (pp. 189-190). [Quote from Kitchen is from The Illustrated Bible Dictionary.]

http://bleon1.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/ ... iarchs-pt-


One wonders how Finkelstein got a PhD.


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
The Bible Unearthed has been immensely popular, and it is not surprising to see a fundamentalist backlash. Critiques of Finkelstein's claims generally ignore his specific evidence and start from the religious assumption that the Bible is accurate history. Both these strategems are entirely unscholarly, but are to be expected.

The overall story is about how to understand the production of the Bible in a realistic way. The psychology of King Josiah in the seventh century is the decisive factor. The Bible Unearthed tells of how the story of Joshua's genocidal conquest of Canaan is utterly ridiculous when compared to historical facts. But it does make sense when seen as a way to legitimize Josiah's own efforts to expand his kingdom, creating ancient precedents that provided him with a moral mandate, and helped to inspire his community.

The psychology of the mutation of oral tradition is one of the most interesting factors here. A local ruin or cave can become the subject of folk stories, and gradually these stories can be unified and embellished to fit a political agenda, as storytellers seek to impress with their tales, and hearers welcome stories that reinforce their own prejudices and interests. This is a very common occurrence, and fully explains many Bible stories.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Hair rope? Really? I'll take a look at those other things in more depth, hopefully they are more convincing, but a hair rope is about as much evidence of domestication of camels as a bear skin rug is evidence of domestication of bears.



Last edited by Vishnu on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Robert Tulip wrote:
The Bible Unearthed has been immensely popular, and it is not surprising to see a fundamentalist backlash. Critiques of Finkelstein's claims generally ignore his specific evidence and start from the religious assumption that the Bible is accurate history. Both these strategems are entirely unscholarly, but are to be expected.

The overall story is about how to understand the production of the Bible in a realistic way. The psychology of King Josiah in the seventh century is the decisive factor. The Bible Unearthed tells of how the story of Joshua's genocidal conquest of Canaan is utterly ridiculous when compared to historical facts. But it does make sense when seen as a way to legitimize Josiah's own efforts to expand his kingdom, creating ancient precedents that provided him with a moral mandate, and helped to inspire his community.

The psychology of the mutation of oral tradition is one of the most interesting factors here. A local ruin or cave can become the subject of folk stories, and gradually these stories can be unified and embellished to fit a political agenda, as storytellers seek to impress with their tales, and hearers welcome stories that reinforce their own prejudices and interests. This is a very common occurrence, and fully explains many Bible stories.



Wrong again. The material about camels was in the record before Finkelstein came along. He should have known about it and at least acknowledged it as is customary when presenting a theory which has contradictory information in the record. In this case, the question about domestication of camels has been around for a long time and is not something first claimed by Finkelstein.


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
I wonder if this is a significant nuance in Finkelstein's actual statement, but he does say that "camels were not domesticated as beasts of burden earlier than the late second millenium and were not widely used in that capacity in the ancient Near East until well after 1000 BCE."
Hence when stated that way, it doesn't sound so contradictory to some of the evidences I recall in a previous post. I mean he's specifically talking about their usage as pack animals, and not merely for milk, like goats or bovine, or for their hair, like sheep, but specifically their new found purpose as pack animals, since that's what Finkelstein emphasizes is their role here in the Joseph passage, is that they were being used in a trading caravan carrying merchandise popular in Arabia trade markets in the 8th & 7th century.

Had he simply stated domestication in general, then I would be more inclined to agree that the extant evidence posted earlier would refute him on that point. But since he stated domestication for a more specific purpose, I'll have to reconsider until I read more on this. I see it as like arguing when dogs started being domesticated in general, and when they started being bred specifically for sled pulling. You'd be dealing with two different time periods really.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Looks like I might be thinking in the right direction here. Just browsing around on google books revealed some claims that using camels specifically for burden came much later than the first domestication, mostly because a unique method for saddling had to be invented because of their humps.

A Brief History of Saudi Arabia By James Wynbrandt, Fawaz A. Gerges, p.17 -
"One of the major factors in the development of the overland trade was the domestication of the camel, which likely began in the third millenium B.C. Camels were hunted for food prior to domestication. Perhaps sometime between 1500 and 800 B.C., they were first used as pack animals after a method of saddling them was developed."

The British veterinary journal, Volume 140, p.618 - "It is likely that the camel was first used for meat and then later for milk. It was not until centuries later, perhaps millenia, that the possibilities of using the camel as a baggage animal were exploited, and that camels replaced the asses which were used until then."

A history of African societies to 1870 By Elizabeth Allo Isichei, p.199 - "Camels were domesticated in South Arabia, in the Hadhramaut - not as pack or riding animals, but for their milk, and as a form of accumulation. They were probably first used as pack animals in the incense trade, between south and north Arabia."



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Vishnu wrote:
Looks like I might be thinking in the right direction here. Just browsing around on google books revealed some claims that using camels specifically for burden came much later than the first domestication, mostly because a unique method for saddling had to be invented because of their humps.

A Brief History of Saudi Arabia By James Wynbrandt, Fawaz A. Gerges, p.17 -
"One of the major factors in the development of the overland trade was the domestication of the camel, which likely began in the third millenium B.C. Camels were hunted for food prior to domestication. Perhaps sometime between 1500 and 800 B.C., they were first used as pack animals after a method of saddling them was developed."


I missed any references in the material to backup the claims. As far as I can tell they are unsupported opinions and as such are not exactly useless but not much more than that.

vishnu wrote:
The British veterinary journal, Volume 140, p.618 - "It is likely that the camel was first used for meat and then later for milk. It was not until centuries later, perhaps millenia, that the possibilities of using the camel as a baggage animal were exploited, and that camels replaced the asses which were used until then."


I don't see any fix for the dates. All I see is a claim that there was a time lapse between domestication and use for transportation. The claim also does not make sense, hundreds of years or a thousand years to upgrade their ride?

vishnu wrote:
A history of African societies to 1870 By Elizabeth Allo Isichei, p.199 - "Camels were domesticated in South Arabia, in the Hadhramaut - not as pack or riding animals, but for their milk, and as a form of accumulation. They were probably first used as pack animals in the incense trade, between south and north Arabia."


Same comment as above. I have looked at a number of pictures of camels being ridden and used to carry things. The process does not seem challenging in either case. I find it hard to believe that camels would be around as domesticated animals without being used for transportation.


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
It would help if those who wished to comment on Finkelstein's book, especially making wide-ranging attacks, bothered to read it first. You might find that these questions are answered there quite well. Otherwise we run the risk of howlers like Stahrwe's ignorance of how many books there are in the Bible.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Robert Tulip wrote:
It would help if those who wished to comment on Finkelstein's book, especially making wide-ranging attacks, bothered to read it first. You might find that these questions are answered there quite well. Otherwise we run the risk of howlers like Stahrwe's ignorance of how many books there are in the Bible.


Robert,
Which Bible?

The Hebrew Bible has 24
The Protestant Bible 66/39 OT 27 NT
The Catholic Bible 73/46 OT 27 NT
The Eastern Orthodox 78/51 OT 27NT

Figure 1 on page 7 of Finkelstein's book was labeled 'Hebrew Bible' but it listed the protestant OT books in the order they appear in the Hebrew Bible. He should have had a footnote explaining that he was using the Protestant OT names but the Hebrew order.

Who's howling now?


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Attachment:
4stick_saddle6.jpg
4stick_saddle6.jpg [ 13.16 KiB | Viewed 7295 times ]

4-Stick Camel saddle

Quote:
Typically there are three thick pads placed over the camels back and then one or two pair of sticks are added crossing over the withers and bound in position with a rope passing under the chest and belly or tail.


http://camelphotos.com/camel_saddle_kenya.html

Attachment:
2stick_saddle7.jpg
2stick_saddle7.jpg [ 27.99 KiB | Viewed 7295 times ]

2-Stick Riding saddle

Quote:
By adding a pad to the top it becomes a simple riding saddle


same source as above.

Now me, and maybe it is just me, if I had a camel around the house, the first thing I would have done is figure a way to carry stuff on one, with the stuff including me. The above pictures are nothing fancy but they work and I doubt that it took hundreds of years or a thousand years to figure out.

Oh, and note, that given the simplicity of the arrangement it is unlikely one would have survived intact for examination 4000 years later.


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Quote:
The above pictures are nothing fancy but they work and I doubt that it took hundreds of years or a thousand years to figure out.


You doubt it took that long. Flawless argument! I'm sure if you'd lived back then, you'd be the person who invented the wheel also.



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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
The above pictures are nothing fancy but they work and I doubt that it took hundreds of years or a thousand years to figure out.


You doubt it took that long. Flawless argument! I'm sure if you'd lived back then, you'd be the person who invented the wheel also.


The wheel was a revolutionary (love it) innovation, and without having one already the concept had to be visualized. On the other hand, people had been contriving to put things and themselves on animals for transportation for a long time so the camel was just one more animal to develop a rig for.

It is amazing that every word in the Bible has to be examined critically. What is the point of questioning the idea of camels being referred to in Genesis? Perhaps the time could be better spent in developing correct list of Bible books then challenging animal references. For me the howling isn't in that, it is in giving so little credit to the ancients that one posits a thousand years to put two sticks together.

Sometimes the weatherman should just look outside to determine if it is raining.


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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Quote:
I missed any references in the material to backup the claims. As far as I can tell they are unsupported opinions and as such are not exactly useless but not much more than that.


We all missed any references in your above quotations regarding domestication to back up the idea that camels were used for burden at that same time. As far as anyone can tell, they are just your unsupported conjectures and nothing more than that.

Quote:
I don't see any fix for the dates.


You already saw a fix for the date ranges in the first citation. 3rd millenium for domestication, mid-2nd to early-1st millenium for burden.

Quote:
All I see is a claim that there was a time lapse between domestication and use for transportation.


And I have seen NO claim that their usage for burden began simultaneously with early domestication or their usage for milk, etc. And that is because the earliest evidence of burden usage does not date as early as the evidence for domestication for other purposes.

Quote:
The claim also does not make sense, hundreds of years or a thousand years to upgrade their ride?


No, it makes sense, because, as even you have demonstrated, establishing the earliest time for domestication of camels has not been so easy to pin down, and has already been shown to be earlier than once thought. If it should turn out that domestication began even EARLIER than we suspect now, then yes, that would further the gap even more. It seems you are assuming that using camels for burden is the whimsical uncertain date while the beginning of domestication is the date set in stone, yet it is more obvious and succinct that the date for the beginning of domestication is what is more uncertain and subject to change.

Quote:
Same comment as above. I have looked at a number of pictures of camels being ridden and used to carry things. The process does not seem challenging in either case. I find it hard to believe that camels would be around as domesticated animals without being used for transportation.


I have looked at a number of pictures of dogs pulling sleds for riding and to carry things. The process does not seem challenging in either case. Nevertheless, our earliest evidence of dogs being used for sled pulling post dates the earliest evidence for domestication by millenia. I have looked at a number of pictures of horses being ridden with a saddle. The process does not seem challenging. Nevertheless, our earliest evidence weighs more in favor that horses were used for driving chariots before they were used directly for riding. And our earliest evidence for horse saddles post dates the earliest evidence for riding, driving, or general domestication by centuries, with the earliest forms of saddles being dated to around the 9th or 10th century BCE.

Just because something might appear easy, doesn't alway mean it is obvious. Breeding and breaking camels specifically for burden may not have been a pressing issue when they already had asses to do that job.

Challenge does not always have to be the reason for what we might perceive as a "delay" in progress.


Quote:
Now me, and maybe it is just me,


Exactly. So far, it has been just YOU. You haven't cited anything to support the usage of camels for burden earlier than the mid 2nd millenium BC. Whereas I cited three sources that endorse the later date, well, actually four, since I also quoted Finkelstein earlier.

You harp on them for not going into more detail about it, dismissing it as unconvincing(and that's fine), while not providing anything convincing for your own argument, not even at the very least any statements from authority as I have. And so your special pleading is exposed.

Quote:
I doubt that it took hundreds of years or a thousand years to figure out.


And yet, as far as what any extant evidence can tell us, it did. The only thing telling us it didn't, is you. Personally, I'll wait until actual evidence comes forward.

I already touched on simple=/=obvious earlier. Same goes for here. Hell, the same applies even today. How long did we have squeezable ketchup bottles before someone finally came up with the idea to put the cap on the bottom? You say you doubt that it took hundreds or thousands of years for someone to think of using camels for burden after they already began domesticating them, and yet it took thousands of years for homo sapiens to even come up with domesticating camels after they had already been using them for meat, and after they had already been domesticating other animals as well. If you think that use for burden should have been so obvious and just popped right into their heads as soon as the idea for domesticating them did, that same line of thinking begs the question as to why harnessing camels for domestication in general wasn't obvious and just popped right to their heads as soon as they decided to start hunting camels for meat, or as soon as they started domesticating any animals for burden in general. You don't buy that there was gap between their domestication for milk and their domestication for burden, but do you buy that there was a gap between domestication of asses for burden and domestication of camels for burden? Or a gap between domestication of the first dairy animals for milk(such as sheep & goats) and the domestication of camels for their milk? Sure it seems so obvious to us and it's easy to be so judgmental when in retrospect, but fact remains, the evidence does not bear out the notion that once a good idea for one thing comes along, it will immediately extend to all things applicable for it.
You can pull up all the pictures of primitive camel saddles all you want, fact remains, if they were already using asses for the same task, it obviously still never entered anyone's mind to make a saddle for a camel until after a pressing need for it arose. Until then, if you were gonna make a saddle, you would just make one for an ass simply because that's what you were accustomed to.
Kind of reminds me of how I once saw an MMA video of Dan Inosanto(one of the last students of Bruce Lee), and he was talking about how when Western boxers were introduced to Muay Thai kick boxing, they noticed that, at that time, their indigenous kick boxing system had no upper cut punch, and the Westerners had to introduce the idea into their system. To them it seemed so obvious, but they realized that the Thai people never came up with the uppercut punch because they never had any need for it. To them, the knee to the chin fulfilled that exact same function, so it simply never entered their minds to develop a punch to do something a knee already did just fine.

Quote:
Oh, and note, that given the simplicity of the arrangement it is unlikely one would have survived intact for examination 4000 years later.


It's true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...
because it is not evidence for ANYTHING. It is no evidence at all, which is exactly where you are at on this particular point. You just admitted, no evidence for even such a primitive saddle dating back to the time of the earliest signs of domestication is extant, nor could be extant. A complete lack of evidence doesn't justify just asserting something out of thin air, especially when it is contrary to what the law of parsimony indicates by both the extant evidence and scholarly opinion.
You're just spouting out knee jerk reactions on this one. Instead, you should have been looking for some actual evidence or scholarly citations as you did with your initial post. That was good, that actually had me second guessing Finkelstein's book(that is, of course, until I actually went and read his statements for myself and noticed some possible nuances there). Stick with that approach and I forsee this thread being a lot more productive.



Last edited by Vishnu on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:08 pm
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Post Re: The Bible Unearthed
Vishnu wrote:
Quote:
I missed any references in the material to backup the claims. As far as I can tell they are unsupported opinions and as such are not exactly useless but not much more than that.


We all missed any references in your above quotations regarding domestication to back up the idea that camels were used for burden at that same time. As far as anyone can tell, they are just your unsupported conjectures and nothing more than that.


Probably because it wasn't my reference. Lack of attention to detail seems to be a persistent problem here. The reference was in Robert's initial post where he referred to camels being referred to in Genesis. Perhaps you should consider demoting yourself to a lesser god's userid.

Quote:
I don't see any fix for the dates.


Vishnu wrote:
You already saw a fix for the date ranges in the first citation. 3rd millenium for domestication, mid-2nd to early-1st millenium for burden.


Ah, but you are taking my quote out of context. It referred specifically to the post you made about the British Vetinary publication. In that citation, I saw nothing referencing dates. Attention to detail.

Quote:
All I see is a claim that there was a time lapse between domestication and use for transportation.


Vishnu wrote:
And I have seen NO claim that their usage for burden began simultaneously with early domestication or their usage for milk, etc. And that is because the earliest evidence of burden usage does not date as early as the evidence for domestication for other purposes.


If you bothered to read the Bible you would know that in Genesis a number of instances are recorded of people riding on camels and using them to carry things. That is the whole point of Robert's post and Finkelstein's question, to impeach the Bible by showing that it took a thousand years to figure out how to carry things on camels. Well, that is not true, and if archaeology cannot confirm that someone took two sticks and a bag of stuffing and made a seat to ride on camels, that demonstrates the flaws in archaeology. The Bible records people riding camels and using them to carry things so unless you or Robert or Finkelstein has a contemporary source saying that camels were not used for those purposes you lose.

Quote:
The claim also does not make sense, hundreds of years or a thousand years to upgrade their ride?


Vishnu wrote:
No, it makes sense, because, as even you have demonstrated, establishing the earliest time for domestication of camels has not been so easy to pin down, and has already been shown to be earlier than once thought. If it should turn out that domestication began even EARLIER than we suspect now, then yes, that would further the gap even more. It seems you are assuming that using camels for burden is the whimsical uncertain date while the beginning of domestication is the date set in stone, yet it is more obvious and succinct that the date for the beginning of domestication is what is more uncertain and subject to change.


I am assuming no such thing. I am Stating that the Bible records camels used as transportation, therefore, by the time the events recorded in the Bible took place camels had been domesticated, how much earlier it happened, I neither know or care.

Quote:
Same comment as above. I have looked at a number of pictures of camels being ridden and used to carry things. The process does not seem challenging in either case. I find it hard to believe that camels would be around as domesticated animals without being used for transportation.


Vishnu wrote:
I have looked at a number of pictures of dogs pulling sleds for riding and to carry things. The process does not seem challenging in either case. Nevertheless, our earliest evidence of dogs being used for sled pulling post dates the earliest evidence for domestication by millenia. I have looked at a number of pictures of horses being ridden with a saddle. The process does not seem challenging. Nevertheless, our earliest evidence weighs more in favor that horses were used for driving chariots before they were used directly for riding. And our earliest evidence for horse saddles post dates the earliest evidence for riding, driving, or general domestication by centuries, with the earliest forms of saddles being dated to around the 9th or 10th century BCE.


yes, but the Bible provides evidence that camels were used much earlier the Finkelstein claims. Tell me, based on the two stick camel saddle, what would an archaeologist find 4000 years after it was used? Your citation of dogs and horses is irrelevant.

Vishnu wrote:
Just because something might appear easy, doesn't alway mean it is obvious. Breeding and breaking camels specifically for burden may not have been a pressing issue when they already had asses to do that job.


Now you are the one who is speculating. Stick to the facts.

Quote:
Now me, and maybe it is just me,


Vishnu wrote:
Exactly. So far, it has been just YOU. You haven't cited anything to support the usage of camels for burden earlier than the mid 2nd millenium BC. Whereas I cited three sources that endorse the later date, well, actually four, since I also quoted Finkelstein earlier.


Once again, Genesis was brought up by others before I did. I have also provided reference to well known scholars who have disputed the dating proposed by Finkelstein.

Vishnu wrote:
You harp on them for not going into more detail about it, dismissing it as unconvincing(and that's fine), while not providing anything convincing for your own argument, not even at the very least any statements from authority as I have. And so your special pleading is exposed.


We have an historical account of camels being used for transportation. I have also provided experts opinions as to when camels were used.

Quote:
I doubt that it took hundreds of years or a thousand years to figure out.


Vishnu wrote:
And yet, as far as what any extant evidence can tell us, it did. The only thing telling us it didn't, is you. Personally, I'll wait until actual evidence comes forward.


I refer you again to Genesis.

Vishnu wrote:
I already touched on simple=/=obvious earlier. Same goes for here. Hell, the same applies even today. How long did we have squeezable ketchup bottles before someone finally came up with the idea to put the cap on the bottom? You say you doubt that it took hundreds or thousands of years for someone to think of using camels for burden after they already began domesticating them, and yet it took thousands of years for homo sapiens to even come up with domesticating camels after they had already been using them for meat, and after they had already been domesticating other animals as well. If you think that use for burden should have been so obvious and just popped right into their heads as soon as the idea for domesticating them did, that same line of thinking begs the question as to why harnessing camels for domestication in general wasn't obvious and just popped right to their heads as soon as they decided to start hunting camels for meat, or as soon as they started domesticating any animals for burden in general. You don't buy that there was gap between their domestication for milk and their domestication for burden, but do you buy that there was a gap between domestication of asses for burden and domestication of camels for burden? Or a gap between domestication of the first dairy animals for milk(such as sheep & goats) and the domestication of camels for their milk? Sure it seems so obvious to us and it's easy to be so judgmental when in retrospect, but fact remains, the evidence does not bear out the notion that once a good idea for one thing comes along, it will immediately extend to all things applicable for it.


This is just fluff. It is irrelevant and an attempt to distract.

Vishnu wrote:
You can pull up all the pictures of primitive camel saddles all you want, fact remains, if they were already using asses for the same task, it obviously still never entered anyone's mind to make a saddle for a camel until after a pressing need for it arose. Until then, if you were gonna make a saddle, you would just make one for an ass simply because that's what you were accustomed to.


The fact that asses were already being used is even more compelling a argument that camels were too. You are speculating again.

Vishnu wrote:
Kind of reminds me of how I once saw an MMA video of Dan Inosanto(one of the last students of Bruce Lee), and he was talking about how when Western boxers were introduced to Muay Thai kick boxing, they noticed that, at that time, their indigenous kick boxing system had no upper cut punch, and the Westerners had to introduce the idea into their system. To them it seemed so obvious, but they realized that the Thai people never came up with the uppercut punch because they never had any need for it. To them, the knee to the chin fulfilled that exact same function, so it simply never entered their minds to develop a punch to do something a knee already did just fine.


But if they had been giving upper cut punches to asses it would have been an easy concept to apply to camels as well.

Quote:
Oh, and note, that given the simplicity of the arrangement it is unlikely one would have survived intact for examination 4000 years later.


Vishnu wrote:
It's true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...
because it is not evidence for ANYTHING. It is no evidence at all, which is exactly where you are at on this particular point. You just admitted, no evidence for even such a primitive saddle dating back to the time of the earliest signs of domestication is extant, nor could be extant. A complete lack of evidence doesn't justify just asserting something out of thin air, especially when it is contrary to what the law of parsimony indicates by both the extant evidence and scholarly opinion.


Repetition, thy name is atheist. There is evidence. It is called Genesis. To hang your argument on some special saddle is silly. Maybe they had a saddle and all examples have been destroyed. Maybe the saddle was too expensive to make and was abandoned. Maybe the only saddles they ever used were the simple stick ones in which case even if one was found I'd have to listen to you and Robert and Israel bark that it is only a stick and not a saddle.

Vishnu wrote:
You're just spouting out knee jerk reactions on this one. Instead, you should have been looking for some actual evidence or scholarly citations as you did with your initial post. That was good, that actually had me second guessing Finkelstein's book(that is, of course, until I actually went and read his statements for myself and noticed some possible nuances there). Stick with that approach and I forsee this thread being a lot more productive.


Nuances are good. I like nuances. The legal profession has a different word for them. They are called 'weasel' words. Their purpose is to allow wiggle room. Good for Finkelstein bad for his readers.


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Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:52 pm
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