Superpowers of the Ancient World (continued)

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I finished my first historical course “Superpowers of the Ancient World” about the political struggle between Egypt, Mitanni, and Hatti over the Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 BCE). A very comprehensive course of the lecturer of Liverpool University which included his mini-lectures, interviews with experts, scientific articles, and much more. The participants were supposed to leave comments, ask questions, and sometimes provided with the answers. We had to do an assignment evaluating Bob Brier’s theory about the murder of Tutankhamun. This is what I submitted:

“Bob Brier adheres to the theory of King Tutankhamun’s murder, linking the evidence to the broken bone at the head of the deceased monarch. His statement is based on the analysis of the 1968 x-ray of the pharaoh’s head. Though the writer refers to the reports of the poor condition of the mummy, he does not take into consideration other possibilities: the errors made during the embalming process conducted in haste and/ or the blunders committed by Howard Carter’s team which had to take off the gold mask from the king’s face. Nevertheless, the 2005 CT scan of the whole body revealed no skull fractures inflicted during King Tut’s lifetime. The thriller about the murder of the adolescent monarch bludgeoned during his sleep by a hired killer should, therefore, be classified as pure fiction.

At first glance, the letter sent by a widow queen to the king of Hatti looks suspicious. It is found only in a single source, King Suppiluliuma’s biography penned by his son King Mursili. The sender is referred merely as the pharaoh’s widow, but her ex-husband’s throne name gives a close match to Tutankhamon. The bereaved queen describes her desparate situation as King Tut left no heirs to the throne, and the widow loathes the idea of marrying someone who has no royal blood in his veins. As a daughter of King Akhenaten, she is the legimate successor but cannot rule alone. She offers not only the marriage deal but the kingship of Egypt. The king of the Hitties could not believe his eyes (or maybe ears). The proposal was too good to be true. The anxious king lingered hoping to buy time and check all the details. When he finally sent his son, it was too late: the Egyptian opposition staged a plot to destroy this marriage. The situation is psychologically understandable: the queen is desperate, the king of the Hitties is cautious especially after the relations between the empires deteriorated after the unsuccessful attempt of the Egyptians to assault Kadesh. The Egyptian copy of the letter was deliberately destroyed but as a result of this tragic “enterprese”, a full-scale conflict between the two superpowers broke out.

The treatment of the adviser Aye is biased by the writer’s murder theory. Aye, who succeeded King Tut on the throne, becomes the ringleader of the plot because he seems to covet the pharaoh’s power. However, Bob Brier does not consider the fact that in his old age Aye realized that he could not produce a heir and that the years of his reign would be obstructed by the opposition on behalf of his rival, general Horemheb. If the elderly politician set his eyes on seizing the throne, why didn’t he interfere to block the official correspondence between his fiance and the foreign ruler? Why didn’t he discuss his rights with the Hittite ambassador stopping preparations for the unusual royal marriage? It seems much more plausible that he gave his assent to the exchange of letters, probably introduced this idea. We can assume the rivalry between him and Horemheb. Only when the marriage proposal failed, he decided to pick up the abandoned reins of power.

I think that Bob Brier is trapped by a popular theory and does his best to prove it by all possible means. He ignores alternative explanations and makes no effort to confront his evidence with other facts not necessarily supporting his theory. These “stubborn” facts play a crucial role in the real story. The embalment process was delayed over mandatory seventy days after the death to give a chance for a weird royal marriage proposal. Aye rose to the throne only after the death of the Hittite prince who was murdered by a rival party. For more details of this story see T. Bryce. “Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East”, unit 11, An Extraordinary Request.”

Our host, Professor Glenn Godenho, launched a Facebook group and I will follow him and other participants there. I strongly recommend the futurelearn platform for individual studies. It gives you wide horizon and a good chance to check your ideas on the general public.

“Dawn and Sunset” press release

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Authorhouse has launched the press release of my maiden book “Dawn and Sunset” (the second edition). It was sent to over 30,000 journalists and bloggers. More info about my book, including an excerpt, author’s commentaries on each unit, and three reviews can be viewed at my site http://www.michaelbaizerman.com/category/media/

Press Release

Michael Baizerman searches for origins of oldest cities on earth

‘Dawn and Sunset’ traces earliest complex societies in Ancient Near East

BAT YAM, Israel – One of the most intriguing puzzles of ancient history is when and where the earliest cities on earth showed up. This question has inspired Michael Baizerman to search for the origin of the oldest cities on earth and thus prompted him to write “Dawn and Sunset.” (published by AuthorHouse UK)

 

This book traces the emergence of one of the earliest complex societies in the Ancient Near East. It follows the development of pristine city communities throughout the IV and the III millennia BCE. It describes their consolidation into early empires and their inevitable decline.

 

“It will appeal to history fans who will find new interpretations of facts and events,” says Baizerman. “It will appeal to history students as well who will be attracted by dramatic style and accurate descriptions”.

 

Written by a layman and addressed to general readers, “Dawn and Sunset” will show that mankind is connected to its roots from the sights and sounds of the Ancient Near East to the image of the rich culture that was one of the predecessors of man’s own civilization.

 

“Dawn and Sunset”

By Michael Baizerman

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 288 pages | ISBN 9781504936101

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 288 pages | ISBN 9781504936118

E-Book | 288 pages | ISBN 9781504936125

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

About the Author

 

Michael Baizerman was born and educated in Moscow, Russia. He moved to Israel 25 years ago and is currently working as a high school teacher of English. History has always been his hobby. He is an amateur historian who publishes articles on popular sites. He is married with a teen daughter.

“Dawn and Sunset” for universities

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Last week, I got a thank-you note from the fourth Israeli university, Ariel. They appreciate the donation of my book “Dawn and Sunset” for their library with a hope that it will enrich their students and lecturers. Similar letters have been received from Haifa, Beer Sheba, and Bar Ilan universities.

Sumerian Foreign Trade

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My article, Sumerian Foreign Trade, has deserved 2,500 hits at http://www.ibuzzle.com/articles/sumerian-foreign-trade.html

Readers probably don’t know that an improved version of this article has been uploaded at https://www.academia.edu/8496773/Foreign_trade

This is Unit 6 of my first book, Dawn and Sunset, an approach to the mystery of early Mesopotamian civilization. More info about the book is available at my site http://www.michaelbaizerman.com/

I have sent this book as a gift to all seven Israeli universities. Three of them, Ben Gurion, Haifa, and Bar Ilan Universities wrote thank-you-letters acknowledging that it has been included into their library funds.

Dawn and Sunset Website

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My publisher Authorhouse released a new website where I can communicate with my readers. It can be viewed at http://www.michaelbaizerman.com

The website tells about my history book, Dawn and Sunset, which describes the origin and development of the oldest cities in the Ancient Near East. I am supplying additional information about the book and share my plans for the future.

“Dawn and Sunset” (5)

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My publisher, Authorhouse, wants me to take an active part in spreading a word about my history book in Israel, where I live. I was hesitant because I feel that it is not my piece of cake. I don’t believe that I can convince many people to buy my book. However, I decided to try. This week I sent e-mails to all seven Israeli universities. I told them that my book can be helpful to their students and that they can invite me to a book signing ceremony. Meanwhile, following a call from my book consultant, I ordered a batch of books to be delivered to organizations who can be interested in my work. Wish me good luck!

Order “Dawn and Sunset”

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The full name of my history book is “Dawn and Sunset: A Tale of the Oldest Cities in the Near East”. It has just come out of print and is available in three versions: paperback, hardback, and E-book. My work describes the life and strife of one of the earliest complex societies on earth. The second version of the book contains many new ideas and considerations. It is intended for a general reader who loves to read how events and processes had actually taken place. It will also be useful for history students as a reference book on many aspects of Near Eastern studies.The book can be ordered at Authorhouse online bookstore at https://3c-lxa.mail.com/mail/client/dereferrer?redirectUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fbookstore.authorhouse.com%2FProducts%2FSKU-000923535%2FDawn-and-Sunset.aspx