Colin J Humphreys and W Graeme Waddington report on the oldest recorded solar eclipse, a biblical reference which may be used to date precisely the reign of Ramesses the Great. A puzzling event in The Bible that mentions both the Moon and the Sun can be interpreted as describing a solar eclipse. We have dated it to 30 October BC, making it possibly the oldest datable solar eclipse recorded. This enables us to refine the dates of certain Egyptian pharaohs, including Ramesses the Great.
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Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on 30 October BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences for the chronology of the ancient world. Using a combination of the biblical text and an ancient Egyptian text, the researchers were then able to refine the dates of the Egyptian pharaohs, in particular the dates of the reign of Ramesses the Great.
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