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November 6, 1963

Henry Fischer
Associate Curator in Charge
Department of Egyptian Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York

Dear Mr. Fischer:

As you may possibly know, the Radiocarbon Laboratory of the University of PA is about to start the Egyptological series tests. Its programme on tree-rings completed the next few weeks will be dedicated to testing relics from Egypt. You may also know that for many years I have tried to have certain tests performed in order to check on the accepted timetable and on my revision of it. Dr. Elizabeth Ralph graciously agreed to have a number of samples included in the series which should clarify the issue.

As I see it, the relics of the 18th and 19th dynasties will not disclose their absolute dates by Carbon-14 method, and this because of the effects of a disbalance in the C14-C12 ratio due to catastrophic events with subsequent invasion of fossil carbon from conflagrations into the atmosphere: yet for the purpose of checking on synchronisms, suitable specimens from these dynasties could be compared with Assyrian specimens five to six centuries more recent ace. to the established chronology; should the views expressed in Ages in Chaos vol. I have substance, organic relics from these two countries may divulge contemporaneity where no such synchronism is expected.

It is different with the specimens dating from the 20th Dynasty; I assume that absolute dating is possible by the means of carbon tests and I expect substantially more recent dates than the 12th century.

Three little pieces of wood from the tomb of Tutenkhamen will be tested by Dr. Ralph and should some specimens of the time of Shalmanessar III be included in the test there would be a way to check on the accepted dates.

Dr. Ralph agreed to make the tests without a fee since the need was felt in checking Egyptological chronology on the carbon method and vice versa.

I write to you in the hope that the Metropolitan Museum of Art will show interest in exploiting the offered facilities and that you would be willing to select some organic specimens, if the Museum possesses them, of the 20th Dynasty; a piece of mummy would be a very suitable object, though as Dr. Ralph told me, because of the limited quantity of ash resulting, a little more of a mummy would be necessary than of wood or linen. Linen of the 20th (or 21st) Dynasty would be also a good object because it is derived from a one-year harvest, whereas a tree may have been reused, or its provenience from inside of a trunk or from an outside part of it-or branches, may reflect on the results.

Should you be agreeable to have the Museum part with a few specimens, each of a well determined age as to the dynasties and rulers, please direct them to Dr. Ralph who starts the series test in a matter of a week or so-and please instruct me of your decision.

  Very sincerely,
  Immanuel Velikovsky

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