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This profile was last updated on 8/9/08  and contains information from public web pages.

Prof. Claude Schaeffer

Wrong Prof. Claude Schaeffer?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Eminent Excavator
    Ras Shamra-Ugarit
  • Archaeologist
    Ras Shamra-Ugarit
  • Professor
    College de France
  • Excavator
    College de France
  • Excavator
    Ugarit
  • French Excavator
    Ugarit
  • Excavator
    Enkomi
  • Oxford University Press Inc
14 Total References
Web References
Lehi in the Desert; The World of the Jaredites; There Were Jaredites - Our Own People
preview.farmsresearch.com, 9 Aug 2008 [cached]
The best over-all picture to date is that which is at present being presented by Claude Schaeffer, the eminent excavator of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, that ancient center at which all the cultural and ethnic lines of the ancient East came together. Schaeffer carefully compared and correlated the archaeological findings at all the main centers of ancient civilization, from Asia Minor to the heart of Asia (as far as available materials would allow), and came up with most significant and consistent pictures. Six times between 2400 and 1200 B.C., he discovers, all the principal centers of the ancient world were destroyed, and each time they all went up in flames and down in earthquake ruins together! Earthquake, famine, plague, and weather were to blame for this series of world-wide catastrophes, according to Schaeffer, who puts most of the blame on earthquakes. After each of these major world-collapses, we find a sharp diminution in population, while people everywhere revert to a nomadic way of life and great invading hordes of mixed racial and linguistic stocks sweep down from the more sorely afflicted areas to the more fortunate ones-the terror they bring with them being actually less than that which they are leaving behind. Of the first of these calamity-driven waves of humanity Schaeffer writes: 'Perhaps the vast movement of peoples which accompanied it was led by a warlike element which, thanks to the superiority of its arms and its physical vigor, was able in spite of numerical inferiority to extend its conquests over vast areas of Western Asia.' " 98
"In other words," said Blank, "Schaeffer, using purely nonliterary evidence, begins his history with a typical heroic migration, exactly as Kramer does using 'purely literary evidence' while deliberately avoiding the archaeological remains."
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Those setbacks, as Schaeffer is at great pains to point out, are the result of forces totally beyond human control. 'Compared with the scope of these general crises, . . .' he says, 'the exploits of the conqueror and the combinations of leaders of states appear quite unimportant. The philosophy of history where it concerns the Ancient East seems to us to have been singularly distorted by the too convenient adoption of dynastic patterns, however convenient they may be for chronological classification.' 99 In other words, it is not man who makes ancient history; yet even in strictly human affairs there now appear to be curious ups and downs, with regression quite as normal a part of the picture as progression. Take the case of iron, for instance. Here Schaeffer writes:
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98. Claude Schaeffer, Stratigraphie comparée et chronologie de l'asie occidentale (London: Oxford University Press, 1948), 537.
Of Repressed Racial Memories and of their Effect on Human Society
www.varchive.org, 4 May 2006 [cached]
In the field of archaeology I would Just mention that Professor Claude Schaeffer, the renowned archaeologist, excavator of Ras Shamra came to the very same conclusions as I, without knowing of my work.The description of the catastrophes, though not their cause, is given in his book Stratigraphie Comparée (Oxford University Press) printed in French; Schaeffer's conclusions correspond exactly also as to the number of catastrophes, their probable relative dates and the fact that the Middle Kingdom In Egypt, which is the Middle Bronze period of the Middle East, was terminated, together with the trade and civilisation of the entire area, in cataclysmic events,populations were decimated, in other places annihilated, the climate changed too.
iron age of mars
ironageofmars.metron-publications.com [cached]
Hess. Einstein, Schaeffer, Shapley, Kallen...and others of high professional stature.  He avoided, on the other hand, associations, whether in person, name or ideas, with well-known marginal scholars and scientists. He abhorred Hoerbigger, avoided Charles Hapgood, skirted Donnelly, snubbed Donald Patten, missed seemingly Melvin Cook, ignored Beaumont and Baker, and contemned Daniken. 
At the same time he fostered disciples who lacked significant distinctions, degrees or reknown, who could be useful and, if necessary, discarded. He sought to be defended and substantiated, not to be appraised judiciously. Though vastly egotistic, or perhaps because of it, he never hesitated to ask scholars and publicists for help. He was fiercely dedicated, charismatic, prompt to a rebuttal, and tireless.
He was an excellent lecturer - imposing of appearance, calm, firm, of sonorous voice, and hardly dependent on script or notes. (His lectures have been listed by his heirs on his web site.) He gave only two courses in his lifetime.
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A copy of the book went to Claude Schaeffer, who had already been alerted by Velikovsky to the controversy.
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Claude Schaeffer was Professor at the College de France, École des Hautes Études, at Paris. Schaeffer was fortified in his eminent post for having joined General Charles De Gaulle in England in World War II.
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Schaeffer had independently invented a neo- catastrophism for the Aegean and Near East, based upon concurrent Earthquakes. He indicated general quantavolutions at the end of the major periods of the Bronze Age, and finally of the transition between the Bronze and Iron Ages (his 12th, our 8th century). 
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Schaeffer found that ancient Ugarit was finally destroyed and then abandoned at the end of the Late Bronze Age (Ugarit III).( -1200 ~-800 BCE)
Immediately below late Ugarit II was another destruction level, late Ugarit II. Schaeffer established that it stemmed from an earthquake. (~- 850)
Below Late Ugarit I, Schaeffer discerned a hiatus or break in occupation, which he estimated to be of the order of 100 to 150 years. (His dating ~-1350 to -1200. )
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Moreover, at every site described by Schaeffer in his study, even where there is no evidence of physical destruction, there is a long hiatus or break in occupation of varying duration but estimated by him to have lasted 100 and 200 years. These events are associated with ethnic movements similar to those which marked the end of the Early Bronze Age. Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos; in Southern Mesopotamia the incursion of the Hittite King Mursilis I was followed by the fall of the First Dynasty of Babylon and the Kassite conquest; in Anatolia the Hittite Old Kingdom came to an end. Schaeffer points out that there is evidence for epidemics and famines as far afield as Palestine, Asia Minor and Cyprus.
It seems to us that the downfall of Akhnaton may have been caused by the failure attributed to his One God to forestall general natural disaster. For the next general upheaval noted by Schaeffer occurred during the Amarna period, during the reign of Akhnaton (Amenhotep IV).
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Schaeffer synchronised these events with the earthquake which destroyed Late Ugarit II.
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Schaeffer found no evidence for attributing these final destructions to natural causes and inclined to see in them the handiwork of the "Sea Peoples"  (We shall be reshaping the phenomenon of the so-called Peoples of the Sea in due course below.)
On page 561 of his book, Schaeffer writes of chronological complexities encountered in his comparative studies:
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In concluding his book, Schaeffer epitomized: "Our inquiry has demonstrated that these repeated crises which opened and closed the principal periods...were caused not by the action of man. Far from it - because, compared with the vastness of these all-embracing crises and their profound effects, the exploits of conquerors and all combinations of state politics would appear only very insignificant. The philosophy of the history of the antiquity of the East appears to us singularly deformed" namely, by describing the past of nations and civilizations as the history of dynasties, rather than as a history of great ages, and by ignoring the role that physical causes played in their sequence.
He admits Schaeffer to the exclusive club of one person - "the almost superhuman enterprise of unraveling the manifold ramifications of the recent tribulations of this planet was not committed all to one scholar. Still, he insists that while his accord with Schaeffer is nearly miraculous, it  does not extend to the calendar of absolute dates.
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All of these correlations of objects, style, rituals, writing, measures, apparel and jewel had to place Ugarit (Ras Shamra) in the eighth or ninth century, except that Ugarit was forcibly placed according to Egyptian and misconnected Mycenean chronography in the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries.  There was simply no way out of these contradictions for Schaeffer nor the whole archaeological profession.
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Schaeffer reads Velikovsky's Work       Not until 1956 did acknowledgment and praise of Schaeffer's grand work occur to Velikovsky, and this was by way of sending Schaeffer a copy of his work on catastrophes in the Earth Sciences, Earth in Upheaval.
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Schaeffer replied in a four-page densely written letter, expatiating its merits: "I finished reading your book with the greatest interest and much profit."  We have also located the presentation copy itself at the Cyprus-American Archaeological Research Institute where the Schaeffer library is held.  Soon thereafter, Schaeffer was given a copy of Worlds in Collision and read that thoroughly as well.   
Both books are extensively marked in Schaeffer's hand, nearly on every page. Most of these markings consists of single lines drawn along one margin of the page, as one would do in the process of reading. We decided to interpret these lines as representing a favorable attitude of Schaeffer towards the ideas contained in the passages so enhanced. We think that this decision is correct, as reactions of doubt, or opposition on the part of Schaeffer are clearly marked by other means. These vertical lines should by no means be taken to mean full intellectual support, but rather that the contents in question were deemed important enough to be stressed for remembering and further reflection and also, to be found easily upon perusing again the book. In most cases they are seen as interesting to Schaeffer in themselves (facts he may not have been of aware of before, or along the lines of which he may have previously reflected himself)  and visibly, as possibly providing support to Schaeffer's own theses and queries.
The reading of Worlds in Collision appears almost as a dialogue between Schaeffer and the author, as the marginalia are very numerous. Of 389 pages, there are 132 instances when a page bears signs of a "favorable" attitude of the reader towards the material (as defined above). In 11 cases, he enjoins himself to "look-up" certain elements, presumably for verification or for further research. In 15 instances, he expresses  doubt; in 10 instances, his attitude seems to be of opposition, but most of the time these are expressed as irritation towards exaggerations, flights of extra-scientific fancy, and the like. (I attach a copy - probably afterwards recopied - in his handwriting, of his letter that was written after his reading of the book.)
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Schaeffer's  reading of Oedipus and Akhnaton gives us only a few marginal notations, eleven favorable for looking up, 4 doubts and 2 in opposition.  Ages in Chaos, and Ramses II and His Times  do not give us any marginal notations. It is most likely that he had read other copies of them. The relationship of the two men met a crisis when Velikovsky sent Schaeffer his reconstruction, not of the period through El Amarna, but the Iron Age, when he swung Ramses III down to the Fourth Century from the Twelfth, an eight-hundred-year move that was too much for Schaeffer.
True to his own lines of research in Stratigraphie Comparée, Schaeffer consistently stresses mentions of "catastrophes of a global character in historical times" and anything mentioning earthquakes. He is sympathetic to any quote of Cuvier, whom he obviously regards highly. He also stresses anything mentioning shifts of global axis, realignment of the orientation of religious buildings, etc. Clearly, the idea of an exoterrestrial cause to said global catastrophes intrigues him and he at the very least leans towards its acceptance. Arguments in favor of such a thesis are almost all stressed. Also, Schaeffer (whose claim to fame rests in the discovery of the most ancient tablets in alphabetic writing) never misses marking mention of the loss of the literary record caused by upheavals and catastrophes.
The doubts expressed by Schaeffer are as consistent as his approval. He does not like any attempt at bringing Atlantis together with Crete. He doub
New Evidence for Ages in Chaos
www.varchive.org, 4 May 2006 [cached]
The task of collecting and interpreting the archaeological evidence of a great natural upheaval in the area of the Near East was diligently performed by Claude F. A. Schaeffer of the College de France, the excavator of Ras Shamra-Ugarit.During the years of World War II and the years following he labored on his Stratigraphie comparee et chronologie de l'Asie occidentale.Working independently of me he came to the conclusion that great catastrophes of continental dimensions closed several historical ages; the greatest of them took place at the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt and actually caused its downfall; the earth was covered with a thick layer of ash, violent earthquakes shook the entire ancient East, from Troy at the Dardanelles to the Caucasus, Persia, Egypt; civilizations of the Middle Bronze Age were suddenly terminated; traffic, commerce, and pursuit of the arts ceased; populations of all countries were decimated; the survivors became vagrants; plagues took their toll; the climate suddenly changed, too.Thus Schaeffer and I, following different approaches, on very different material, came to identical conlusions concerning the great catastrophes in the historical past, their role in the termination of historical ages; in the case of the catastrophe that terminated the Middle Kingdom (Middle Bronze II) our views coincide to the day.
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It is fair to point out that we are in agreement on the relative, not the absolute, chronology; yet Schaeffer concedes to me that some limited reduction of historical dates may be due,a view to which today more than one scholar tends.(1)
Examining the stratigraphical evidence, Schaeffer did not investigate literary sources that refer to the very same catastrophes; but a natural upheaval that took place in a historical period in a country of advanced culture could not but leave a memory in historical documents.Thus Schaeffer stopped short of drawing the proper conclusions for the synchronization of the histories of Egypt and Israel with all the ramifications and consequences for the history of the Near and Middle East.
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Walter B. Emery, digging at Buhen in the Sudan, announced that under a layer of ash, in a stratum dating from the Middle Kingdom, a skeleton of a horse was found, which fact disproves the old contention that the Hyksos were the first to introduce this animal into the Valley of the Nile.(5) The layer of ash is apparently the residue of the catastrophe that terminated the age of the Middle Kingdom (Middle Bronze II) in Egypt; such a layer, according to Schaeffer, is found regularly in all excavated places from Troy to the Caucasus, Persia, and Egypt.
iron age of mars
ironageofmars.metron-publications.com [cached]
Alongside and coming out of a French-Alsatian archaeological tradition, and at the same time as Velikovsky, whose background was Jewish-Russian-German-Israeli-American, was Claude Schaeffer, of Alsatian-French origin, Professor at the College de France.
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Though a psychoanalyst, a polymath in fact, Velikovsky, who was not academically entrenched, was more vulnerable to disbelief and  attack than Schaeffer.
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So, when Schaeffer reported in his large study, Stratigraphie Comparée, his findings of universal settlement destructions on several occasions of the Bronze Age, he was not condemned and maligned, but was damned with faint praise in France, and hardly read in England, if only because few Englishmen would bother to learn French and devote themselves to his thick volume about catastrophes. When a generation later a Festschrift was finally composed in his honor, another massive volume was published, containing several score articles; but not a single one defended his thesis as a whole and hardly a one paused to detail or praise it.
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Claude Schaeffer, famed excavator of Ugarit and practically the sole systematic and clear-sighted surveyor of Bronze Age reports in the archaeological profession, published his findings as early as 1948. Absolute and completely, they showed a set of disasters marking off the ages. In 1968, Prof. Schaeffer was impelled to point out to his still uncomprehending colleagues that the disasters were the same and to be found everywhere. The response was respectful indifference and a continuation of the same kind of individual excavation reporting that dares not conjecture beyond the description of the ruin and its contents. Yet, in 1948, he had been required, by the authoritatively accepted chronologists of Egypt, to mark a limit to the latest excavations of many sites of the Near East at about 1200, labeling them as destruction by "Peoples of the Sea."
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