558 West 111th Street
September 12, 1947
Professor Samuel A. B. Mercer
Dear Professor Mercer:
Please excuse my delayed answer. Your letter was returned to me from Parksville, N. Y., and then, before answering you, I tried to investigate the question.
As you know, Weber and Knudtzon disagreed where to place Assuruballit. Weber let him reign already in the days of Thutmose IV, but also of Seti, because Seti was the Egyptian king who waged war against Merosar son of Subbilulima, and Merosar simultaneously waged war against Assuruballit in Harran. Mattiuza was also a brother-in-law of Merosar (Mursilis). But nobody could reign from the time of Thutmose IV, through the reign of Amenhotep III, Ikhnaton, Smenkhare, Tuthenkhamen, Aye, Haremhab, Ramses I and Seti. Therefore, Knutzon sounds more acceptable with two kings by the name of Assuruballit, one grandson of the other; but the second is not found in the lists.
Also the idea of Schnabel and Weber that Assur-nadin-ahe, called Abu by Assur-uballit was nicht Vater sondern Vorfahre, is also a strained argument, because, according to the King-Lists, Assur-uballit was neither son, nor a grandson, nor a descendent of Assur-nadin-ahhe. Assur-nadin-ahhe II was a cousin of Eriba Adad I, and Assur-nadin-ahhe I had no offspring on the throne (JNES vol. II, the list of kings).
Thus, if there is no other synchronization of the 18th Dynasty in Egypt with the Assyrian kings, the case of Assuruballit, cannot be a coup de grace. It was also stressed by M. Muller and Breasted (Records) that Subbiluliuma of the el-Amarna letters could not have been the grandfather of Hattusilis, or father of Merosar, because of the same chronological difficulty: there must have been minimum 105 years from some point in the reign of Subbiluliuma to some point in the reign of his grandson, which is regarded as unusual.
As to the other point in our discussion, the question of the Greek marks on the tiles of Ramses III, it cannot be settled in the frame of the conversational chronology. Your example of the Canterbury Cathedral and Pitman characters, is very similar to the example I used in my manuscript; but because the letter were incised before the tiles were burnt in the kiln, they cannot be regarded as an accidental find not belonging to the tiles of Ramses III. The dating of Canterbury Cathedral is correct; therefore never Pitman signs will be found incised in the bricks (in the process of manufacturing among the bricks) of Cathedrals foundation.
I did not forget to quote Hamza, and I did it extensively in my manuscript; there I offered also a comparison of the signs he identified as Greek letters with their shape as figured in G. Möller, Hieratische Palaeography, esp. the letters MOC or T. There is not a bit of similarity. As I said Hamza, like Petrie before him, was misled by the fact that letters recognized as Greek on the tiles of Ramses III, in a more archaic form were found also on the tiles of Ramses II. In my reconstruction, this point is well understandable.
My Ramses III - Nectanebo identification is based on many points, and the tiles are only one of them. Compare, please, the description of Diodorus: they are identical even in smallest details.
I had a letter from Mr. Briggs, but as he forgot to write me his address, I answered to Newton Center, as I found on the post-stamp. Would you kindly let me know his address.
I repeat my sincere thanks, especially because you are engaged in preparation of a book for print, and, surely, are left without much free time. But I think that my reconstruction of history will prove to be of great import for the Oriental studies.
With cordial greetings,