Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences

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The Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences, ISIS (1985–2005) was a British educational charity established in 1985 and founded by researchers formerly connected with the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) whose original purpose was to examine and debate the revisionist theories of Immanuel Velikovsky.

The principal aim of ISIS was to promote discussion on the history and chronology of the ancient world. The objective of the Institute was to bring together scholars from many different disciplines so that their collective knowledge could be brought to bear on the problems of chronology and history in the ancient world.

Thus ISIS attracted scholars working in ancient history, radiocarbon dating and other scientific dating methods, astronomical dating, Old Testament studies, Egyptology, Assyriology and many branches of archaeology. The Institute became international in scope with Research Associates from at least a dozen countries and included representatives and graduates from University College London, and universities in Swansea, Madrid, Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Melbourne, Egypt, France, Netherlands, Japan, Oxford, Durham, Nottingham, New Jersey, Michigan, Belgium.[citation needed]

The acronym ISIS, being the name of an Egyptian goddess, no doubt alluded to the key role played by Egyptology in establishing Ancient Near Eastern chronology, but presumably also harkened back to SIS, the Velikovskian Society, from which some members came.

History[edit]

Starting under the directorship of David Rohl, it aimed to sustain a high standard of scholarship while at the same time fostering "creative, courageous, international and interdisciplinary approaches" to research into the history of the Ancient Near East (ANE). However, the ISIS was not able to maintain its initial ambitious programme of research throughout its twenty-year existence. (See Chairman’s Report, JACF Volume 10.)

The publication of the "New Chronology" in 1995 (separately by David Rohl, A Test of Time, Century, Random House, London) caused something of a furore and the Institute underwent a further period of re-examination. Successful lectures and conferences continued however, as well as involvement in the pioneering work of the Eastern Desert Survey, led by Rohl.

The Institute was dissolved in October 2005.

Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum[edit]

The journal of the Institute was the Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum (JACF) produced in ten volumes from 1987 to 2006. Volume One set out an array of chronological problems surrounding the ‘dark age’ of the Bronze Age collapse. These papers eventually appeared in a book, Centuries of Darkness, (published independently by Jonathan Cape, London) which, drawing on a wide range of archaeological evidence, tentatively proposed a 250 year reduction in the dates of the New Kingdom of Egypt.

The JACF series extended to ten volumes over a period of twenty years. They record the history and activities of the Institute, as well as the development of the ‘New Chronology’ and chronological issues relating to the conventional chronology. These volumes are now available on-line and free of charge at the ISIS Archive website.

External links[edit]