A note about the images: I didn't bother keeping addreses or details about any of them.
I did make sure they were all from the appropriate era when dates were given, and
that they were Mycenaean or Minoan.
Ok this page is about the three "Grave Circle A" stele that Jacobovici claims are "like 3 frames in a film" showing Pharoah chasing Moses, Moses turning to point his staff back at Pharoah, and the water crashing down on Pharoah and upending him and his chariot and horses. Jacobovici says these 3 stele have water designs carved on them above and below each scene, to represent the walls of water as they were separated, and as they crashed back down.
First I will post pictures of the stele he used, with a little commentary. Below the stele pics I list the questions that came to mind after seeing his presentation, and hearing the claims he made.
After those questions are a bunch of pics from the web that answer those questions, and following that is my conclusion concerning his claim for these three stele.
The first stela.
Is the guy on the right running, or just standing there?
Is that swirly stuff at the bottom water, or dust from the chariots & horses?
Or do the artists of that time just really dig swirly designs?
The second stela, with a detail shot as well.
The dude on the right is pretty damaged, so we can't really say he is turning to stretch his staff out in an aggressive move toward the chariot, unless we really *want* to say that. But without that preconception, there are other more plausible explanations, which is that we have a chariot hunt or race, since those were 2 common scenes depicted in art of this era. Isn't that more reasonable?
More cool swirly designs, too.
The third stela, but it looks VERY different from the one in the TV show after Jacobovici gets done animating it. He actually *changes* the artwork on the stela to make it fit his idea! He takes the images of horses from the *other* stela and uses them in place of the lions on *this* stela. The figure on the right is now facing back toward the left, but now he has a sword in his hand, *not* a staff, which Jacobovici said was very important in the other stela, since this character is supposedly Moses!
But the center doesn't have a chariot upended, and two horses getting knocked over. It has lions. (The sections farther below will show lions in other art of the same time so you can compare, since these are cut off.) Lions' tails and horses' tails are very different in all the art of this time. Horse tails never curve upward and over the back of the horse, that I can find. Lions always do. The shape of lions' bodies is also distincive.
Jacobovici also conveniently fills in the cut-out portion with his own fanciful idea of what should be there to prove his point. But he never tells you that. He shows the original stone for a few seconds, then quickly uses computer generated animations and then a computer reconstructed final version of this stone, and hopes you won't notice that he just manufactured 90% of his "evidence" based on this stone.
We also see an extra set of legs between the lions. Other artwork of the time (below, scroll down) shows lions being used in hunts. These extra legs fit with that idea as the legs of the prey.
These things are all VERY obvious, and very obviously do NOT fit his claims. How did he get away with it? He keeps the original stela onscreen for a few seconds, then after that he just uses his computer graphic reconstruction, which he has reconstructed to be DIFFERENT from the real thing so that it fits his claim!
So, my questions after hearing the narration (and BEFORE finding these images on the web) were
The practice of marking burials with what are in effect decorated tombstones is peculiar to Mycenae and, with the exception of a single 12th century B.C. example, restricted to the Shaft Grave era. Chariot scenes (whether these are to be interpreted as illustrations of warfare, of hunting, or of races at funeral games) are quite common on these Shaft Grave steles, but most of the decoration is abstract (spirals, wavy lines, etc.).
A pot where the swirls are in an aquatic context:
Some jugs, cups, vases and bowls:
From a college website about decorative motifs:
Some architectural uses around a throne, on a roof, and in a bath. (The one with the dolphins is actually on a different plaster layer than the dolphins. The dolphins are actually bordered by the circular flowers):
A couple big amphora with the design. The first one is less similar to the design we've seen so far, it has less spiraling. The second one is like that in the top row, but the bottom row (behind the rope) is the same.
Sarcophagus decorations, including detail of an altar in the second and third pics. (Note the horns on the altar in the second detail pic):
Jewelry - two pics of earrings, and an armband:
Ok, now those lions I promised. You can see that the third stela, back up at the top of the page, has two lions, both facing inward. Here's an exercise: try to find a Mycenaean or Minoan depiction of a horse that has a narrow tail curled upward and forward over the horse's back. Also try to find a Mycenaean or Minoan lion that DOESN'T have a tail like that. Also note at the bottom of the cut-out portion there are two extra animal feet. In the third pic below, they are using a lion to hunt a stag. The third stela above might be a similar hunting scene and those extra legs are the stag's:
So, the answers to my questions are:
I think this guy is trying to con me.
Onward to PAGE TWO where we look at that gold artifact that he claims is an in-line view of the Ark of the Covenant, the ramp to the Altar, and the Altar.