The bible tends to use a time period of "40" as a proverbial approximation. But for the sake of an opening discussion -- let's assume "40 years" is correct here.
2) This information demonstrates that Moses fled from Egypt near 1353 BC.
3) The bible also says that Aaron, the brother of Moses, remained in Egypt for the next 40 years -- before going to the land of Midian to bring Moses back to Egypt. Therefore Aaron remained in Egypt at-or-near 1353-1313 BC.
4) Here are the conventional dates for Akhenaten's reign in Egypt.
Several features from the biblical book Genesis have been confirmed in Egyptian records, somewhat before and after the reign of Akhenaten.
These features include: a) Esau's people; and b) the apiru/hapiru/Hebrews.
According to Egyptian records before Akhenaten -- the people associated with biblical Esau had been established in highlands (biblical Mt Seir, near Edom). Egypt called these people Shasu, named using an Egyptian root word that means to "go on foot".
But suddenly another biblical ethnic group becomes more important to Egypt than the Shasu.
During the reign of Akhenaten, a previously obscure ethic group suddenly becomes notorious and powerful, in the core biblical holyland. These people are the habiru/apiru/Hebrews. And we know substantial data about them from the Amarna letters, which are official communications to-and-from the royal court of Akhenaten. The apiru suddenly do things that are bad, from the viewpoint of Egyptian vassals in the holyland.
The literary origins of this "apiru" ethnic group in Mesopotamia are traced in the following research paper, during roughly 500 years before Akhenaten-- www.ericlevy.com/Revel/Cazelles%20H%20-%20The%20Hebrews.pdf This paper concludes that the "apiru" had a close association (but not an exact identity) with the Hurrians. Those ethnic Hurrians eventually become known to Egypt as the Mitanni empire.
The name "apiru" comes from a word root that meant "to provide for" in Akkadian language, which was the international diplomatic language of that era. Thus "apiru" people were auxilliary (or mercenary) soldier troops, who had been traditionally hired (or "provided for") by various rulers. The Mitanni empire had a small-but-strong military aristocracy ("maryuannu'), superimposed on a peasant society. The Mitanni empire, moreso than other empires, hired (or "provided for") an unusually large number of mercenary soldiers, to control the peasants of Mitanni's empire. The Mittani/Hurrian society had originally started in a geographical region named Aram-nahrain -- the highland between two great rivers (Tigris and Euphrates rivers).
When the Mitanni empire was crumbling -- and thus during the reign of Egypt's Akhenaten -- a substantial number of "apiru" mercenary troops were cast adrift. The supervising rulers of the weakening Mitanni empire were no longer able to pay the support costs of (i.e. "to provide for") ALL their previous mercenary apiru troops. At that particular time of crumbling Mitanni power, the greatest need for troops was along the Hittite border (on the northwest side of the Mitanni empire).
But mercenary troops along the southern side of Mitanni's empire were most vulnerable to loss of employment, when the Mitanni empire was crumbling. This southern region is where many "apiru" suddenly find themselves unemployed, and take matters into their own hands, by revolting against nearby political leaders.
Here only those El Amarna letters (EA) having bearing on the matter of Labayu will be listed. The exact order of letters is not entirely certain.
Letter reference From/ and a brief summary
EA244 Biridiya of Megiddo Biridiya complains that Labayu intends to capture Megiddo and is preventing his people from working in the fields, and that the future of the city is precarious because of sickness.
EA243 Biridiya of Megiddo Biridiya writes that the warring of the habiru is severe in the land.
EA253 Labayu Labayu protests that accusations against him are unfounded. He admits entering Gezer (evidently not in warlike fashion - perhaps to form a treaty?) but pleads that there is no guilt in this. He asserts that he is a servant of Pharaoh, just as his father and grandfather were.
EA254 Labayu Labayu repeats his statement that he has entered Gezer but not with deceptive intention. He hints that Milkilu of Gezer is planning some underhand action. He pleads that he did not know that his son had gone over to join the habiru.
EA252 Labayu Labayu admits that he has taken a city, but claims that the city was previously his and had been seized. Furthermore if he had not acted swiftly another city would have been lost (some translators read this as saying that two cities had been lost and retaken).
EA245 Biridiya of Megiddo Biridiya speaks of going into battle against Labayu with his asssociate Yashdata, but being frustrated when his horse was killed. The next part of the passage is translated in several different ways. Some translators render it that Labayu was killed, others that he was struck down or simply defeated and captured. The later parts suggest that Zurata of Accho took Labayu and claimed a ransom, but subsequently released him again.
EA365 Biridiya of Megiddo Biridiya complains that only he is showing loyalty to Pharaoh by cultivating in the region of Shunem and supplying forced labourers.
EA280 Shuwardata Shuwardata informs Pharaoh that Abdi-Heba has taken the city of Keilah by seeking to bribe them with silver and conquering them: however he has retaken it. Labayu has died and he accuses Abdi-Heba of being a second Labayu.
EA286 Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem Abdi-Heba protests that accusations of his disloyalty to Pharaoh are unfounded, that the Egyptian commissioner Yanhamu has taken away some Egyptian garrison troops, and that Pharaoh's territory is at grave risk because of the actions of habiru.
EA250 Balu-UR.SAG (of an unnamed city in the northern coastal plain) Balu-UR.SAG reports that the two sons of Labayu, together with Milkilu of Gezer, are inciting or possibly threatening him to join them in rebellion. They claim that the people of the land of Qena killed Labayu. In passing they also claim that Labayu had attacked and conquered Shunem and other towns in this area, and Gath-rimmon.
EA289 Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem Abdi-Heba again pleads his loyalty to Pharaoh and says that there is a coalition of enemies against him. He again requests military support and blames Milkilu of Gezer and the sons of Labayu for stirring up trouble and giving the land [around Gezer and Shechem] to the habiru.
EA255 Mutbaal of Pella Mutbaal, Labayu's son, acknowledges Pharaoh's order to protect a trade caravan on route to Hanigalbat, and says that in doing so he would be following the example of his father Labayu.
EA298 Yapahu of Gezer Yapahu (ruler of Gezer after the time of Milkilu - Balu-shipti also belongs to this era) writes that his younger brother has moved to Muhhazu (location unknown) and pledged allegiance to the leader of the habiru.
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2013 15:03:02 GMT -7 by atalante
At approximately the same time as the biblical Exodus, historical-Egypt created a royal Egyptian mining industry at Timna, on the western edge of the territory of the biblical Midianites. Egypt's mining presence at Timna left a "temple of Hathor at Timna". Egyptian control of the Timna "temple of Hathor" has been proven to continue from at least as early as the reign of Seti I (1294-1279 BC), until at least as late as Ramesses III (1186 BC - 1155 BC) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seti_I and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramesses_III. Some modern Egyptologists (e.g. Geraldine Pinch) indicate that Egyptian king Amenhotep III (who died ca. 1353 BC) left some preliminary artifacts at Timna.
This indicates that historical-Egypt had some interest in the biblical Midianites (and archaeological-Timna) at approximately the date when biblical-Aaron was sent to Midianite territory (ca 1315 BC), to bring biblical-Moses back to Egypt.
In the 14th century BCE, during the Egyptian-Midianite copper production at Timna, a very advanced smelting furnace, consisting of a bowl-shaped smelting hearth dug into the ground and lined with clay mortar, was in use. It was about 40 cm. in diameter and up to 50 cm. high. Some of the furnaces had a dome-shaped top. In front of the smelting hearth was a shallow pit, flanked by two large stones, which served as the slag tapping pit. A clay tube penetrated the furnace wall opposite the tapping hole and served as a tuyère through which air was blown by pot-bellows. For each furnace three bellows were needed and the smelting area was littered with hundreds of tuyère fragments.
The Hathor Temple
At the foot of the huge sandstone formation in the center of the Timna Valley known as "King Solomon's Pillars," a small Egyptian temple was excavated. Dedicated to Hathor, Egyptian goddess of mining, it was founded during the reign of Pharaoh Seti I (1318-1304 BCE) and served the members of the Egyptian mining expeditions and also their local co-workers. The sanctuary consisted of an open courtyard measuring 9 x 6 m., with a naos (cult chamber), where a niche had been cut into the rock, apparently to house a statue of Hathor. The temple was badly damaged by earthquake and rebuilt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II (1304-1237 BCE), with an enlarged courtyard (10 x 9 m.) and a new, solid white floor. The walls were made of local sandstone and granite but the facade was of white sandstone from the mining area. The temple, with its two square columns bearing Hathor heads, must have been an exciting sight in the light of the rising sun. In the temple courtyard there was a workshop for casting copper figurines as votive offerings. Among the finds in this temple were hieroglyphic inscriptions including cartouches (seals) of most of the pharaohs who reigned in the 14th-12th centuries BCE. There were also numerous other Egyptian-made votive offerings, including many copper objects, alabaster vessels, cat and leopard figurines of faience, seals, beads and scarabs as well as Hathor sculptures, figurines and plaques. Altogether several thousand artifacts were uncovered in the Egyptian temple.
With the decline of Egyptian control of the region in the middle of the 12th century BCE, the mines at Timna and the Hathor temple were abandoned. However, cultic activities in the temple were restored by the Midianites, who remained in Timna for a short period after the Egyptians left. They cleared most traces of the Egyptian cult and effaced the images of Hathor and the Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions on the stelae. Other changes were made: a row of mazeboth (stelae), was erected and a 'bench of offerings' was built on both sides of the entrance. Remains of woolen cloth found along the courtyard walls provide evidence that the Midianites turned the Egyptian temple into a tented desert shrine. Among the finds in this Midianite shrine was a large number of votive gifts brought especially from Midian, including beautifully decorated Midianite pottery and metal jewelry. Of particular significance is the find of a copper snake with gilded head. It is reminiscent of the copper serpent described in Numbers 21:6-9.
The evidence of a sophisticated Midianite culture, as found in Timna, is of extraordinary importance in the light of the Biblical narrative of the meeting of Moses and Jethro, high priest of Midian, and the latter's participation in the organization and cult of the Children of Israel in the desert. (Exodus 18)
The above posts have sketched out details of several biblical issues that are background material for explaining the biblical Exodus: the "apiru", pharaoh Akhenaten's encounter with the apiru, Esau's "shasu" people; and the copper mining industry at Midianite Timna.
This post will tie biblical Esau's people to "khar", another geographic/ethnic group that appears in Egyptian hieroglyphic records.
A geographic and ethnic region was named "khar" in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It corresponds to the "Horite" ethnic group in the bible.
According to the bible, the ethic group of Horites became greatly weakened when Chedorlaomer led an multi-national invasion into the Horite homeland, in the time of biblical Abraham.
Afterwards biblical Esau (a grandson of biblical Abraham the Hebrew) intermarried with the remnant Horites. Esau's descendents became plentiful enough, and politically powerful enough, to dominate the older Horite ethic group. (In Egyptian hieroglyphic records, the general region is called "khar", and the ethnic group is called "shasu".)
Denoted the inhabitants of Mt. Seir before its occupation by the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2:12). Seir is accordingly called Horite in Genesis 36:20,30, where a list of his descendants is given, who afterward mixed with the invading Edomites. Esau himself married the daughter of the Horite chieftain Anah (Genesis 36:25; see 36:2, where "Hivite" must be corrected into "Horite"). The "Horites" in their "Mt. Seir" were among the nations defeated by the army of Chedorlaomer in the age of Abraham (Genesis 14:6). The Hebrew Horite, however, is the Khar of the Egyptian inscriptions, a name given to the whole of Southern Palestine and Edom as well as to the adjacent sea. In accordance with this we find in the Old Testament also traces of the existence of the Horites in other parts of the country besides Mt. Seir. In Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:7, the Septuagint (Cod. A) more correctly reads "Horite" instead of "Hivite" for the inhabitants of Shechem and Gibeon, and Caleb is said to be "the son of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah" or Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 2:50; 4:4). Hor or Horite has sometimes been explained to mean "cave-dweller"; it more probably, however, denotes the "white" race. The Horites were Semites, and consequently are distinguished in Deuteronomy 2:12 from the tall race of Rephaim.
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2013 5:41:35 GMT -7 by atalante
The Egyptians knew small bits of information about a "land of Yahweh" ca 1400 BC. But Egyptian information about Yahweh was vague. For example, Egypt did not initially know that Yahweh was a deity. But Egypt did know, ca 1400 BC, that one group of people was "Shasu of the land of Yahweh".
I have indicated above that biblical Esau personifies the ethnic group that ancient Egyptian texts called Shasu. This linkage matches the biblical storyline of "down into Egypt, followed by Exodus".
Esau, the biblical twin-brother of Jacob/Israel, did not go down into Egypt with the Israelites. But biblical Esau's people had been involved with Yahweh, while the Israelites were living in Egypt.
The oldest historical mention of ancient Israel occurs in the Merneptah stele, an Egyptian monument dated to 1208 B.C. But mention of Israel's God, Yahweh, occurs even earlier in Egyptian inscriptions in conjunction with a group of people called the Shasu.
Among ancient Egyptian designations for types of foreign peoples in the New Kingdom Period (1550–1070 BC), the term Shasu occurs fairly frequently. It is generally accepted that the term Shasu means nomads or Bedouin people, referring primarily to the nomadic peoples of Syria-Palestine. There are two hieroglyphic references in New Kingdom Period texts to an area called “the land of the Shasu of Yahweh.” Except for the Old Testament, these are the oldest references found in any ancient texts to the God Yahweh.
THE TERM SHASU
The term Shasu is found in a variety of New Kingdom hieroglyphic texts including the military, administrative, and diplomatic documents of pharaohs Thutmosis III, Amenhotep II, Thutmosis IV, Amenhotep III, Akhenaton, Seti I, Ramses II, Merneptah, and Ramses III.
The vast majority of scholars who have written on the Shasu stress that they were a people who were not totally nomadic. There were specific geographic areas associated in Egyptian topographical texts with the Shasu, thus indicating that at least some Shasu lived a somewhat settled existence in defined areas. “Semi-nomadic” is probably a more accurate translation.
The term Shasu is almost exclusively used in New Kingdom texts for semi-nomadic peoples living in parts of Lebanon, Syria, Sinai, Canaan, and Transjordan, and for people groups clearly identified as Semitic herders. The Shasu were rarely if ever under the control of the Egyptian government and were almost always looked upon as enemies of the Egyptians. For example, at the famous Battle of Kadesh in ca. 1275 BC, there were Shasu soldiers who were allies of the Hittites against Ramses II.
It is very likely that the Egyptians of the New Kingdom Period classified all of the ancient Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, Amalekites, Midianites, Kenites, Hapiru, and Israelites as Shasu. There is even a reference dating to ca. 1250 BC in Papyrus Anastasi I to a group of giant Shasu living in Canaan who may be identified with the giants encountered by the Israelites at the time of the Exodus.
THE LAND OF THE SHASU OF YAHWEH
The New Kingdom inscriptions which refer to “the Land of the Shasu of Yahweh” are found in two topographical lists. The lists are found inscribed on the walls of temples, one at Soleb and the second at Amarah-West.
Soleb, a temple dedicated to the god Amon-Re, was built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III around 1400 BC. Today it is located in the nation of Sudan, on the left bank of the Nile about 135 miles south of Wadi-Halfa. Amarah-West, which is also located in Sudan, is a construction of Ramses II in the 13th century. The section of the Amarah-West topographical list which contains the reference to “the land of the Shasu of Yahweh,” is not original with Ramses II, and was almost certainly copied from the earlier list at Soleb.
Egyptologists in general do not question the appearance of the name Yahweh in these two ancient lists. For example, Donald Redford writes of the reference to Yahweh at Soleb:
For half a century it has been generally admitted that we have here the tetragrammaton, the name of the Israelite god "Yahweh;" and if this be the case, as it undoubtedly is, the passage constitutes the most precious indication of the whereabouts during the late 15th century BC of an enclave revering this god.*
Even though Egyptologists accept the appearance of the name Yahweh in these topographical lists at Soleb and Amarah-West, the implications of its appearance do not seem to have been fully appreciated by Old Testament scholars. Of course the question remains, who or what is being referred to by the word Yahweh? Is it a reference to the God of Israel? Or is it just a reference to a town or city like most of the other Shasu descriptions?
The answer to this is not known with absolute certainty, but even if Yahweh is a place in these hieroglyphic texts, it was clearly a place named after the god Yahweh of the Old Testament. Anything less seems too coincidental.
There is no topographical site in the entire region today that bears the name Yahweh or anything remotely similar. There is also no biblical reference or ancient historical source that mentions a topographical site named Yahweh.
EGYPTIAN SYNCRETISM AND THE GOD YAHWEH
The Egyptians were known to have worshipped foreign gods and goddesses. The West Semitic goddess Astarte, who probably evolved out of Semitic Ishtar and/or Sumerian Inanna, was a goddess of love and fertility. She does not appear in Egyptian texts until the reign of Amenhotep II in the 15th century BC, when she is mentioned in that king's famous sphinx stele. In the New Kingdom Period Astarte was made a consort of Set and a daughter of Re. In Egyptian art, Astarte is depicted standing on a horse, with a crown on her head, and holding various weapons. A temple to her was built at Tell el Daba, biblical Rameses, a city site associated both with the Israelites and the Hyksos.
Another West Semitic female warrior deity revered in Egypt was Anath, who appears as early as the late Middle Kingdom, perhaps as a part of the influx of Semites into Egypt that eventually produced the so-called Hyksos period. After a brief hiatus in Dynasty 18, Anath enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in Dynasty 19, being credited with military victories of Seti I and his son Ramses II. The center of her worship was the Delta. Because of the sexual nature of her worship, Anath was viewed as an associate of a number of sexually-oriented Egyptian deities: Min, Hathor, and Set. She was depicted either wearing a traditional Egyptian sheath dress or as wearing nothing at all. She also tended to be shown holding weapons, such as a spear or battle-axe.
Reshef, a Canaanite god of war and thunder, seems to have been introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos. As king of the netherworld, Reshef was thought to bring plague and war upon humanity. The Egyptians depicted him in a distinctly Syrian style, with kilt, beard, and horned helmet, but he could also be shown wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt and holding the Egyptian ankh and scepter, or sometimes holding Canaanite weapons. This, along with Reshef’s insertion as a member of a trinity of deities with the god Min and the goddess Qadesh, shows the marked degree of syncretistic integration of foreign deities into the Egyptian pantheon.
However Yahweh was for some reason treated very differently. Clearly the Egyptians knew about Yahweh as can be seen in the Soleb and Amarah-West topographical lists, but they did not worship him, and they apparently did not want to worship him.
Nor was Yahweh equated to or identified with any Egyptian deity. There were no temples to Yahweh built by the Egyptians, nor were there any artistic representations made of him, or in fact even any discussions of him in Egyptian texts. It appears that the ancient Egyptians placed Yahweh into a category all by himself. To say the least, this is very strange for the syncretistic Egyptians. A possible explanation is that Yahweh was seen by the Egyptians as an enemy God, of an enemy tribal group which was a part of the hated Shasu peoples who lived north of Egypt.
THE SHASU OF YAHWEH AND THE DATE OF THE EXODUS
There are two indisputable facts that Old Testament scholars must face when dealing with these hieroglyphic references to the Shasu of Yahweh. First, there is no doubt that the name of the Israelite God Yahweh appears in these hieroglyphic texts at Soleb and Amarah-West. And second, at Soleb the reference to Yahweh dates to 1400 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III....
In Exodus 5:2 Pharaoh answers the first request of Moses to allow the Israelites to go into the desert to worship Yahweh by saying: “Who is Yahweh that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know Yahweh, and besides I will not let the Israelites go.” Pharaoh appears here to be saying that he had never heard of the God Yahweh. This interpretation of Pharaoh’s statement is reinforced by Exodus 7:17 where God responds to Pharaoh: “Thus says Yahweh, ‘by this you will know that I am Yahweh, behold I will strike the water that is in the Nile with the staff that is in my hand, and it will become blood.’” (NASV)
In his third meeting with Moses and Aaron after the second plague, Pharaoh clearly recognized Yahweh as some sort of deity and asked Moses and Aaron to pray to Yahweh to remove the plague of frogs (see Exodus 8:8)....
It is clear that there once was a group of Shasu Bedouin/nomads living in Syria-Palestine who were associated with either a deity or a place named Yahweh. It is also clear that the name Yahweh was known to the Egyptians in the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
But it must be admitted at this point that we also know from the Old Testament that there were other worshippers of Yahweh in Canaan who did not go into Egypt and therefore did not leave Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
Last Edit: Jul 4, 2013 10:37:49 GMT -7 by atalante
The "land of Yaa/Yahweh" had been legendary to royal Egyptians in a vague way, long before the biblical Exodus. But royal Egyptians did not recognise that Yaa/Yahweh had been a deity.
At a date roughly six hundred years before the 1313 BCE Exodus, Egyptian literature described a legendary intoduction to the core biblical holyland. This legendary introduction to the "land of Yaa/Yahweh" came in an Egyptian literary composition named the "tale of Sinhue".
Supposedly Sinhue fled north immediately after he heard rumors about a conspiracy that killed his previous Egyptian king Amenemhet I, who ruled ca. 1991-1962 BCE. Before the death of his previous Egyptian king, Sinhue had been employed by the royal son, who became the new Egyptian king Sesostris I (who ruled ca. 1962-1917 BCE). Initially, Sinhue fled to the biblical holyland (which Egyptian hieroglyphics called Lower Retenu). Then Sinhue was called to an audience with the king of Upper Retenu. Sinhue told the northern king that Egypt's new ruler, Sesostris I, would be good to the northern king, if the northern king in turn would be loyal to Egypt.
Consequently the northern king put Sinhue in command of any specific southern land that Sinhue wanted, on the border of that northern king. Sinhue chose to rule over a "land of Yaa/Yahweh" (which presumably was near Lower Retenu, and thus on the border between Egypt and this northern king). Sinhue described the land of Yaa/Yahweh as a land of "milk and honey". Sinhue's description matches the biblical description of the Exodus promised-land, in the sense of being a land flowing with "milk and honey".
The "tale of Sinhue" was a literary legend (and not a historical document). But it sets the pattern for Egypt to rule the biblical holyland in a similar way, at later New Kingdom dates -- by favoring various local leaders who receive spendable revenues, and highly skilled military troops, and their leadership status, from the high ruler of Egypt.
He will conquer the southern lands, but he heeds not the northern lands. He was made to smite the Setiu, and to crush the Sandfarers. Send to him, let him know thy name. Utter no curse against His Majesty. He fails not to do good to the land that is loyal to him." Headlong is he when he falls upon the Easterners; his joy is to plunder the Ro-pedtiu: Eager at the sight of combat, Joyful when he works his bow.
Said he [The king of Upper Retenu] to me: "Of a truth Egypt is happy, since it knows that he prospers. But thou, behold, thou art here; thou shalt dwell with me, and I will entreat thee kindly."
And he placed me even before his children, and mated me with his eldest daughter. He caused me to choose for myself of his country, of the best that belonged to him on his border to another country.
It was a goodly land called Yaa [Yahweh]. Figs were in it and grapes, and its wine was more abundant than its water. Plentiful was its honey, many were its olives; all manner of fruits were upon its trees. Wheat was in it and spelt, and limitless cattle of all kinds. Great also was that which fell to my portion by reason of the love bestowed on me. He made me ruler of a tribe of the best of his country. Food was provided me for my daily fare, and wine for my daily portion, cooked meat and roast,fowl, over and above the animals of the desert; for men hunted and laid before me in addition to the quarry of my dogs. And there were made for me many dainties, and milk prepared in every way.
I spent many years, and my children grew up as mighty men, each one controlling his tribe. The messenger who fared north, or south to the [Egyptian royal] Residence, tarried with me, for I caused all men to tarry. I gave water to the thirsty, and set upon the road him who was strayed; I rescued him who was plundered.
This post will examine a date for the rebellion of Labayu, in the biblical holyland.
The above details have shown that Egypt's king Akhenaten (reigned ca. 1353-1336 BCE) faced an organized rebellion by "apiru/Hebrews" in the biblical holyland. The organized rebellion occurred when a man named Labayu organized some mercenary auxiliary troops, who had recently lost their financial support from the Mitanni empire.
Labayu and his sons seized control of both Jerusalem and Shechem, which later became the two capital cities of the "divided monarchy" of Israelites. Shechem became a capital for the 10 northern tribes; and Jerusalem became a capital for the 2 southern tribes.
All scholars consider the Labayu incidents are the earliest events in the Amarna letters believed to span about 30 years -- and his death is universally used as the chief chronological marker between Amenophis lll and Akhenaten (William Moran: The Amarna Letters)
Experts agree that Labayu was most likely Killed by Year 36 of Amenophis lll. It was the fall out from his death that precipitated the turmoil of the Habiru in the high country forcing the Egyptians to send garrisons to Jerusalem and elsewhere as protection.
Labayu was dead by the time of Abdi Heba's first letters according to ... E.F. Campbell. Mr Campbell logically points out Abdi Heba only refers to Labayu in the past tense, not as a contemporary.... endquote
Last Edit: Aug 10, 2013 8:49:53 GMT -7 by atalante
The "apiru" had suddenly gone "bad" at two important holyland cities, Shechem and Jerusalem -- and remained in this "bad" status throughout the reign of Egypt's king Akhenaten. This is a historical background, in preparation for the biblical Exodus.
When we read the biblical explanations about a group of Exodus people "going to the holyland, with a mission" (i.e. the biblical Exodus and conquest), the bible does not say that the Exodus mission was to be evil.
What readers are being told in the biblical book of Deuteronomy is that all the various "bad" elements were to be purged at Jerusalem and Shechem. But local people in the holyland who were willing to return to the lifestyle that previously existed, in times of the "god of the forefathers", were to be treated well.
Last Edit: Jul 8, 2013 12:59:12 GMT -7 by atalante
The original Egyptian hieroglyphic name (or title) for biblical Aaron was "wr-on", which signified "great one(magistrate) of On (Heliopolis)". On (Heliopolis) was the Egyptian city of the sun and light.
In Hebrew language, the name Aaron does not have a clear etymology, which indicates that the name Aaron was adopted into Hebrew. Strong's concordance of the bible points out that the Hebrew name Aaron is built around the Hebrew root word "ar", meaning "light".
The bible indicates that Moses fled from Egypt to Midian at-or-near 1353 BCE.
Pharaoh Akhenaten was having major trouble with apiru/Hebrews in the holyland, beginning at-or-near 1353 BCE, and continuing throughout his reign (according to the Amarna letters).
Biblical Aaron held a position or title of "Magistrate (Great one) of On (Heliopolis)", while Aaron was in Egypt.
Egyptian pharaoh Horemheb (who reigned ca 1319-1292 BC) removed and replaced the city Magistrate judges of Heliopolis, and created a new Great Court for all of Lower Egypt, with its headquarters at Heliopolis.
In other words, pharaoh Horemheb threw Aaron ("wr-on") out of his job at Heliopolis, at a date shortly after the beginning of Horemheb's reign (presumably ca 1319 BC).
Biblical Aaron then travelled to the land of Midian to bring his blood-brother Moses back to Egypt.
Biblical Aaron and Moses negotiated an Exodus, which traditional Judaism has dated at 1313 BCE, (since the 3rd century CE).
These date-numbers can be PERFECTLY correct, if somebody NEEDS EXACTLY "40 years" for the time period when Moses first remained in the land of Midian.
Or alternately, biblical Moses might have left Egypt later than 1353 BCE, and remained in Midian somewhat less than the biblical "round number of 40 years", until biblical Aaron left Egypt on a mission to bring Moses back to Egypt from the land of Midian. Akhenaten continued to have problems with the apiru of the holyland throughout most of Akhenaten's reign.
Similar uncertainties can be tolerated for the date when Aaron left Egypt, after Horemheb replaced the previous local magistrate judges at Heliopolis.
Therefore basically the same scenario can apply, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER BIBLICAL MOSES SPENT "EXACTLY" 40 YEARS, OR "ROUGHLY" 40 YEARS, IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN BEFORE BIBLICAL AARON LEFT EGYPT.
Last Edit: Jul 9, 2013 13:16:00 GMT -7 by atalante
The official Egyptian view of Egyptian history purged most details about this era.
For example, Seti I built an elaborate wall, carved with the names of all previous kings of Egypt. In this famous king's list, Seti I omitted the recent kings Akhenaten, Smenkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abydos_King_List
The time period that Seti I aimed to purge from Egyptian history corresponds to roughly 1353 - 1313 BCE -- and thus matches a corresponding biblical era when Aaron was Egypt, but biblical Moses was in Midian.
Manetho and Josephus provided some details about the period that Seti I blanked out in his famous kings list. These details had been preserved in Egyptian legends. Two such legends had existed, with some similarities, but also some differences -- one is about Osarseph, and the alternate legend discusses two other men in that era. A historical person named "commander Osiris-Seti" seems to underly the Osarseph legend.
This post will look into the Osarseph legend. ggreenberg.tripod.com/ancientne/osar.html (Note --Greenberg's article provides a good introduction to the Osarseph legend. However, I disagree with Greenberg's suggestion that Osarseph should be dated to the co-regency of Rameses I and Seti I. In some later posts, I will show that Osarseph appears in two Amarna letters; and thus Osarseph can be dated to the reign of Akhenaten and Smenkare, which would be about 30 years earlier than Greenberg suggests for the date of Osarseph.)
According to Manetho, Osaraseph was an army commander who embroiled Egypt in military complications. Mathetho says he initially acted as a priest at Heliopolis, but then led a rebellion against Akhenaten.
The Osarseph story begins when a counselor named Amenhotep Huy gave advice to king Akhenaten to start quarry operations in the desert, if Akhenaten wanted to be a god like the famous king Amenhotep III.
But ..."When the seer learned what Amenophis had done, he feared that the pharaoh’s actions would bring a violent retaliation from the gods and predicted that the polluted quarry-people would join with some [Amarna] allies, and they would take control of Egypt for 13 years." (reference: ggreenberg.tripod.com/ancientne/osar.html )
"After a long period of misery the [Amarna-quarry] slaves petitioned the king, asking permission to move to the abandoned city of Avaris, the former capital of the Hyksos kings. There they laid plans for a revolt and elected Osarseph, a Heliopolitan 'priest' [of the sun], to be their leader."
"His first orders were not to worship the Egyptians gods and to kill off the sacred animals held in reverence by the Egyptians. He then fortified the walls of Avaris and prepared for war against Amenophis."
"Osarseph ruled the [northern border] land for 13 years [i.e. during an early part of the reign of Akhenaten, roughly 13 years], instituting a reign of terror. He burned cities, mutilated sacred images, killed the sacred animals and had his followers eat the sacred beasts."
But then he formed an alliance with people around Avaris (the previous capital city of the Hyksos) and assembled 200,000 people who opposed Akhenaten.
A historical personage is known, who seems to be the basis that evolved into the Osarseph legend.
(Commander) Seti or Suti was an ancient Egyptian soldier during the late 18th dynasty (14th century BCE), the commander of the army, later mentioned as vizier on monuments of his son, Pharaoh Ramesses I.
Seti, the forefather of the 19th dynasty was from a military family in the Delta. According to one theory he is identical with a royal envoy mentioned in the Amarna letters as Shuta.
A fragment of a votive stela of his is now in the Oriental Institute in Chicago. This fragment is 115 cm wide and 65–70 cm high, its upper part depicts a sitting male and female figure, but only the feet remained intact. Its lower part shows three persons in clothing influenced by Amarna-style, flanked by Khaemwaset and Ramesses, who is named Ramose here. The stela's inscription is: “an offering to the ka of Osiris-Suti, Commander of the Troops of the Lord of the Two Lands”.
His brother Khaemwaset is probably identical with the Royal Fanbearer and Chief of the Bowmen of Kush Khaemwaset, who is mentioned on a statue dating to Tutankhamen's reign. Khaemwaset's wife Taemwadjsy was mistress of the Harem of Amun and is probably the same Taemwadjsy who was sister to Huy, Viceroy of Kush. So Seti was the member of a very prominent family, and after his son Paramessu (Ramesses I) was chosen by Pharaoh Horemheb as his successor, Seti's descendants went on to form one of the most powerful dynasties of Egypt. endquote
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2013 7:42:58 GMT -7 by atalante
The famous king Amenhotep III (father of Akhenaten) had installed a priesthood of Aten at Heliopolis, and also named his royal palace after Aten. But the father allowed Karnak's huge temple complex to be exclusively dedicated to the god Amun. www-scf.usc.edu/~cipolla/virtour4.htm
Manetho preserved a legend that Amenhotep Huy (a mayor of Memphis) acted as adviser and seer to Akhenaten at this early stage in the career of Akhenaten. His son Ipy became high steward under Akhenaten. Amenhotep Huy told Akhenaten to send people out into the desert to quarry stone, if Akhenaten wanted to be a god like the previous king Amenhotep III. (A letter from Amrnhotep huy to Akhenaten has been preserved.) euler.slu.edu/~bart/egyptianhtml/kings%20and%20Queens/Amenhotep-Huy.html
Limestone is the raw material from which talatat bricks were fabricated. And consequently Amenhotep IV needed to find a place where limestone had been deposited in horizontal beds that would be optimum for creating large quantities of talatat bricks.
The word talatat is a modern Arabic word meaning three, which modern excavating workmen used to describe the bricks of Akhenaten. Talalat bricks are roughly three hands wide.
Presumably the word talatat was not used in Manetho's era. However the legend of Osarseph was proposing that Amenhotep Huy introduced young Akhenaten to the concept of starting new quarries to create (talatat) limestone stone bricks for construction projects.
The quarries that Akhenaten originated for making talatat bricks are adjacent to the city which would later be named Akhetaten (modern Amarna).
The principal area of ancient quarrying at Amarna is on the desert plateau behind the North City. It is most easily reached via the wadi entrance that separates the North Tombs into two groups and then by following the floor of the side wadi (Wadi Zabeida) that runs north-westwards. At a distance of 2 km a headland juts out on the south side, and towards the top the rock has been extracted to leave two large adjacent caverns. When it was visited in 1892 by Flinders Petrie he found the name of Queen Tiy carved inside. The name was later cut out, but the quarry is still known as Queen Tiy’s. It is an example of a managed quarry from which many hundreds of blocks have been systematically removed. As a source of material of value it must have been counted amongst the assets of the estate of the king’s mother, Queen Tiy.
The entrance to Queen Tiy’s quarry
The interior of Queen Tiy’s quarry
The surface of the flattish desert above and beyond Queen Tiy’s quarry, as far as the rim of the cliff, contains innumerable surface quarries large and small. The smallest are places where just a few blocks have been extracted. Sometimes a few have been left behind, the work of separation and extraction unfinished. The limestone when first exposed is quite soft and easily cut, although its surface hardens when weathered. Many of the small quarries are consistent with a policy by the state of demanding blocks from people but leaving it to them to organize the work themselves. It could be that the building of the Amarna temples and palaces relied in part upon a supply of blocks raised as a city-wide tax or obligation to deliver a certain quota (although this has to remain a conjecture on current evidence).
Aerial photograph of small surface quarries on the desert above Queen Tiy’s quarry. The red arrows mark the positions of two sets of shallow quarries
The smallest quarry of all: a single block partially separated from the parent rock waits to be removed
A circular column base has been outlined but then abandoned
One way of splitting limestone blocks from a vertical quarry face was to drill a series of holes along the base line of the intended block
An extensive gallery quarry was developed along the very edge of the cliff overlooking the North City. From here blocks (and also column bases) were taken (by donkey?) along a narrow path above the precipice, eventually joining a steep descent to the desert floor below. Blocks from the quarries further behind were probably taken down the wadi system past Queen Tiy’s quarry.
View along the gallery quarry above the North City
A few small individual surface quarries of the Amarna Period occur elsewhere in the desert behind Amarna. Large managed quarries containing inscriptions of the period also exist to the north, in the cliffs behind Deir el-Bersha.
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2013 13:29:28 GMT -7 by atalante
After the talatat quarries had been established near Amarna, Akhenaten made a stunning observation at Amarna (Akhetaten) in the 5th year of his reign. Akhenaten observed the sunrise at Amarna, between two mountains on the eastern horizon. This was his sign to build a new capital city Amarna (Akhetaten) at its specific location. The Egyptian city name Akhetaten means "horizon of the Aten disc".
Akhenaten began his reign with 12 years of spectacular achievements. In his 12th year, Akhenaten held a "durbar" festival, and invited nobles from many foreign lands to visit Akhenaten's Egypt, to see what had been accomplished.
However the 13th year was a turning point in Akhenaten's reign. Plague arrived at Amarna in the 13th year. Several people in the royal court disappeared after the 13th year, presumably dead from plague.
Akhenaten himself seems gradually to have become incapacitated after his 13th year as king. His wife Nefertiti began signing documents with the epithet "effective for her husband". Akhenaten's second Great Wife, Kiya, disappeared and presumably died. Three daughters of Akhenaten died. Akhenaten's mother, Tiy, died.
At that time no clear king-successor was known for the land of Egypt. Akhenaten and Nefertiti originally had six daughters, but no sons.
To increase the chances of spawning a son in the royal family. Akhenaten "married" his oldest daughter Meritaten. And she, in turn, re-married to Smenkhare. Based on royal convention for Egypt, the first son to be born, to either Meritaten or Nefertiti, would become "crown prince" of Egypt. (And if Akhenaten died before a son was born, Smenkhare would become king of Egypt.)
In this chaotic atmosphere, both (wife) Nefertiti and (son-on-law) Smenkhare began using nearly identical names for signing things. (Modern writer James Allen, in 1988, conclusively demonstrated this twin-name phenomenon. The only difference between their 2 new names was a letter "t", indicating that Nefertiti was a female, whereas Smenkhare was a male. cassian.memphis.edu/history/murnane/allen.pdf )
Egypt's wealth was being derived (in the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom), using gold that could be acquired cheaply in Kush (i.e. Nubia) where gold was plentiful; and then traded at high prices, to the civilized industrialized societies north of Egypt, where gold was scarce.
But king Akhenaten made a poor choice in how to handle Kush, and Egypt's gold trade. This quickly impacted the Amarna era of Egypt in multiple major ways.
In addition to gold, Egypt was also recruiting "medjay" mercenary soldiers from the land of Kush.
The Egyptian kingdoms (Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms) built a series of impregnable forts in Kush and Nubia.
Local populations of Kush and Nubia had been largely disorganized militarily, during Egypt's Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. Therefore Egypt used its impregnable forts to portray Egypt as a superior, or godly race, to the primitive peoples of Kush -- and the disorganized local people of Nubia accepted this status, based on the forts constructed by Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom kings BEFORE AKHENATEN.
The disorganized local people of Kush had been eager to send their strongest, and best, physical specimens of humans into service within the Egyptian military machine. These were mercenary troops, called "medjay" troops. And Akhenaten had been loaning out "medjay" troops to city mayors in Palestine, as requested in the Amarna letters.
However for his 12th year "durbar" festival, Akhenaten made a tragic mistake about the perpetually inferior status of Kush, and mis-estimated that he could continue to acquire infinite quantities of "medjay" troops in Nubia to defend the northern borders of Egypt.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2013 8:54:51 GMT -7 by atalante
Prof. D.B. Redford writes in his book, "Akhenaten, the Heretic King," > (Princeton University Press, 1984) page 194: > > "Akhenaten authorized the viceroy of Kush, one Thutmose, to move against > (the southern tribes). A fragmentary stele from Buhen later carved by the > viceroy describes the event in stereotyped phrases, and records the capture > of something in excess of 145 Nubians and 361 cattle. In addition an > undisclosed number of the captives were impaled upon stakes." > > This campaign took place in year 12 of Akhenaten. >
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2013 16:31:31 GMT -7 by atalante
Post by orionvonkoch on Jul 16, 2013 8:32:00 GMT -7
Atalante, you are so good. Great posts and I will begin to read this every time from now on. Do you think that the ancient Egyptians might have been involved in mining the massive amounts of copper from the Michigan Area/s of North America?
But the documentary video shows that reconstructions of Hatshepsut's ships were bobbing around like corks, when they actually sailed down the Red Sea. (And the reconstruction used 60 tons of wood per ship.)
On the above link for that PBS documentary episode, you can click to view a written transcript.
If the ancient Egyptian sea-going ships tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean (heading to Michigan) and encountered any adverse weather -- I predict the ancient Egyptian ships would have sunk like the Titanic.
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2013 5:25:44 GMT -7 by atalante
The Phizackerley article also integrates well with Manetho's legend about Osarseph. So I will apply it here, instead of tabulating a lot of confusing other attempts to sort out the end of the Amarna period.
Phizackerley proposed that the mummy from KV55 is Smenkare (and also a brother of Akhenaten). Hawass has proved that the KN55 mummy is the father of king Tut.
Phizackerley proposed that KV35YL was Meritaten (daughter of Akhenaten). Hawass has proved that KV35YL was the mother of king Tut.
Then Phizackerley reconstructs the proper DNA of both Akhenaten and Nefertiti, whose mummies she says are still unknown.
First he married Meritaten, daughter of Akhenaten. Then when Meritaten died, Smenkhare married Ankhsenpaaten, a younger daughter of Akhenaten (who would later be the wife of king Tut).
The article by Kate Phizackerley, which I discussed in my previous post, shows that Smenkhare and Meritaten were the parents of king Tut.
The general rules for dynastic succession in the 18th Dynasty indicated that king Tut would eventually become king of Egypt. But initially, the toddler child Tut was much too young to rule any kingdom -- so a group of 4 advisors was set up to rule Egypt until Tut was old enough to serve as king.
The widow of king Akhenaten (i.e. Nerfertiti) shared an equivalent of semi-kingship with Smenkhare; while Ay was Grand Vizier of Egypt, and Horemheb was commander of the Egyptian armies.
Manetho's legend about Osarseph indicates that Smenkhare led a group of "polluted" people away from Amarna. Supposedly this group petitioned the ruling cadre of Egypt to leave Amarna, presumably going to either Memphis or Avaris/Qantir (the place where Ramesses I, son of Commander Osiris-Seti, would later build a military facility). Modern archaeology has recovered artifacts about Smenkhare from only two places -- Amarna and Memphis.
Nefertiti and her daughters continued to live at Amarna.
Modern archaeology shows that the woman who became mummy KV35YL (presumably Meritaten) died in a violent attack that smashed off her jaw.
Smenkhare then remarried, in some figurative sense, to a younger daughter of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. The second wife of Smenkhare was named Ankhsenpaaten.
Manetho's legend about Osarseph picks up the storyline at this point, and claims that when Smenkhare's group of Amarna-emigrants reached Memphis or Avaris -- they elected Osarseph (a priest of Heliopolis) to lead this emigrant group. And Osarseph led the emigrant group to the place known as Avaris, the previous home of the Hyksos rulers.
Before this point in time, Osarseph had been carrying out the instructions from Akhenaten, to destroy the statues of animal-deities that had been sacred in Egypt.
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2013 13:57:31 GMT -7 by atalante
In Josephus's version of Manetho's Osarseph legend, -- there is a surprising (and anachronistic) connection between Osarseph and the Hyksos. Manetho had dated the Hyksos to dynasty 15; but the activity of Osarseph belongs in dynasties 18 and/or 19.
Josephus/Manetho suggests that Osarseph invited Hyksos (i.e. shepherd kings) from the region around Jerusalem to come back to Avaris (capital city from the previous Hyksos dynasty) and merge with an Egyptian army that Osarseph was leading, as headquartered near Avaris.
According to Josephus, this created a large army under the command of Osarseph. And this army proceeded to battle against the Egyptian military forces of Amenhotep IV = Akhenaten (presumably including a few years when his widow Nefertiti was signing documents as -- "effective for her husband" Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten).
The situation that is being described by Manetho and Josephus would normally be described as a civil war, with various Egyptian military units confronting each other. According to the Osarseph legend, this civil war situation continued until a son named "Seti also called Ramesses" gained control of Egypt.
Many of the underlying details have become jumbled in the Osarseph legend. But the legend itself was discussing a slow transition of power, between Egypt's 18th and 19th dynasties.
The historical Egyptian people who were involved in the Osarseph legend were the following sequence: Commander Osiris-Seti (=Osarseph), then Ramesses I, then Seti I, then Ramesses II (the Great). These people formed the nucleus of Egypt's 19th dynasty.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2013 9:41:21 GMT -7 by atalante
Commander Osiris-Seti appears in the Amarna Letters, by the name Shuta -- who was a royal commissioner of Egypt for a region of the biblical holyland that included at least Acre, Jerusalem, and Damascus.
This activity of Shuta has been jumbled somewhat in Josephus-Manetho's legend about Osarseph -- where there are jumbled claims that Osarseph(= Commander Osiris Seti = Shuta) supervised Hyksos that had been evicted from Egypt.
It would be far more accurate to comment that Shuta (= Osarseph) supervised a region in the biblical holyland where ex-Hyksos MIGHT HAVE LIVED, when the Hyksos had been initially evicted from Egypt, roughly 200 years before the time of Shuta and Akhenaten.
Šuta, ("Shuta"), was an Egyptian commissioner of the 1350-1335 BC Amarna letters correspondence. The name Šuta is a hypocoristicon-(nickname/petname) for the Ancient Egyptian god Seth, (Seth being the "God of the Desert", and an 'anti-Horus' god-(duality, Horus/Seth)).
The following letters are referenced to commissioner Šuta, (EA, for 'el Amarna' letters):
1.EA 234—Title: "Like Magdalu in Egypt"–Satatna of Akka/Acre, Israel letter. 2.EA 288—Title: "Benign neglect"–Abdi-Heba [of Jerusalem] letter. See: Tjaru.
Shuta Date: fl. 14th century BCE Occupation: military official of the 18th dynasty of Egypt From: Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Revised Edition.
He served in the 'Amarna Period as a military commander in the reign of Akhenaten (1353–1335 BCE). Some records indicate that he was the grandfather or great grandfather of Ramesses I (r. 1307–1306 BCE). He was mentioned in the 'Amarna Letters, the correspondence of Akhenaten's period, actually accused by Biryawaza, the prince of Damascus, of unjustly demanding land grants for Egypt. Shuta and other commanders were being forced to vacate certain vassal states during Akhenaten's reign as the empire collapsed. endquote
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2013 14:27:58 GMT -7 by atalante
A huge Egyptian city (called Pi-Ramesses) was founded and developed by pharaohs Ramesses I and II, immediately adjacent to the temporary stronghold at Avaris (= Tell el-Dab'a) that had been chosen by Osarseph (the father of Ramesses I) and Smenkare.
Pi-Ramesses (/pɪər.ɑːmɛs/); (Pi-Ramesses Aa-nakhtu, meaning "House of Ramesses, Great in Victory") was the new capital built by the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt Pharaoh Ramesses II (Ramesses the Great, reigned 1279–1213 BC) at Qantir near the old site of Avaris. The city had previously served as a summer palace under Seti I (c. 1290–1279 BC) and may have been originally founded by Ramesses I (c. 1292–1290 BC) while he served under Horemheb.
...In the 1960s Manfred Bietak, recognising that Pi-Ramesses was known to have been located on the then-easternmost branch of the Nile, painstakingly mapped all the branches of the ancient Delta and established that the Pelusiac branch was the easternmost during Ramesses' reign while the Tanitic branch (i.e. the branch on which Tanis was located) did not exist at all. Excavations were therefore begun at the site of the highest Ramesside pottery location, Tell el-Dab'a and Qantir, and although there were no traces of any previous habitation visible on the surface, discoveries soon identified this as both the Hyksos capital Avaris and the Ramesside capital Pi-Ramesses.
(Qantir, the site of Pi-Ramesses, lies some 30 kilometers to the south of Tanis; Tell el-Dab´a, the site of Avaris, is situated a little further south of Qantir).
...Ramesses II was born and raised in the area, and family connections may have played a part in his decision to move his capital so far north; but geopolitical reasons may have been of greater importance, as Pi-Ramesses was much closer to the Egyptian vassal states in Asia and to the border with the hostile Hittite empire. Intelligence and diplomats would reach the pharaoh much more quickly, and the main corps of the army were also encamped in the city and could quickly be mobilised to deal with incursions of Hittites or Shasu nomads from across the Jordan.
Built on the banks of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile and with a population of over 300,000, making it one of the largest cities of ancient Egypt, Pi-Ramesses flourished for more than a century after Ramesses' death and poems were written about its splendour. According to the latest estimates the city was spread over about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi) or around 6 km (3.7 mi) long by 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Its layout, as shown by ground-penetrating radar, consisted of a huge central temple, a large precinct of mansions bordering the river in the west set in a rigid grid pattern of streets, and a disorderly collection of houses and workshops in the east. The palace of Ramesses is believed to lie beneath the modern village of Qantir. An Austrian team of archaeologists headed by Manfred Bietak, who discovered the site, found evidence of many canals and lakes and have described the city as the Venice of Egypt.
...It is now known that the Pelusiac branch of the Nile began silting up c. 1060 BCE, leaving the city without water when the river eventually established a new course to the west now called the Tanitic branch.  The Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt moved the city to the new branch establishing Djanet (Tanis) on its banks, 100 km (62 mi) to the north-west of Pi-Ramesses as the new capital of Lower Egypt. The Pharaohs of the Twenty-first Dynasty transported all the old Ramesside temples, obelisks, stelae, statues and sphinxes from Pi-Ramesses to the new site. The obelisks and statues, the largest weighing over 200 tons, were transported in one piece while major buildings were dismantled into sections and reassembled at Tanis. Stone from the less important buildings was reused and recycled for the creation of new temples and buildings.
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2013 14:18:43 GMT -7 by atalante
When Osarseph and Smenkhare established a stronghold at Avaris, the basic idea was no-brainer. Any rational view, at that time, would understand that this stronghold was needed -- to defend Egypt from external threats when Akheneaten's empire was crumbling.
It was basically a return to the Middle Kingdom's defensive strategy -- when Amenemhet I built his "walls of the ruler" nearby, to protect Egypt from invading groups.
A precursor in the location of Avaris had originally been called a town named Rowarty ("the fork in two roads"), because the two main roads (to Lebanon, Syria, and the biblical holyland) converged near Avaris/Rowarty.
Last Edit: Jul 21, 2013 8:52:59 GMT -7 by atalante
Egypt used puppet rulers of the holyland during the era of Akhenaten (and the Amarna letters); and those rulers lacked any local power base, aside from Egyptian support. This lack of local influence is very obvious in the Amarna letters (where local rulers in the biblical holyland often remind Akhenaten that they are lower than dirt).
Archaeology has shown WHY the biblical holyland had lost its people with influential local connections for ruling the biblical holyland.
A "mixed multitude", containing thousands of influential people from the biblical holyland, had been conquered by Nuhashshi invaders from the north; then re-conquered by Egypt; and then relocated to Egypt -- with these activities occurring about a century before Akhenaten.
Two stelae from Egypt state king Amenhotep II (who reigned ca. 1427-1401 BC) resettled this "mixed multitude" into Egypt, at the end of his 2nd military campaign into Syria Palestine.
In Genesis 14:14, biblical Abraham was surrounded by his local group of 318 "retainers" (who were Apiru/Hebrews). But Abraham's local group of Apiru was small compared to the 3600 Apiru that Amenhotep II transferred into Egypt, ca 1425 BC.
On two stelae at Memphis and Karnak, Thutmose III's son Amenhotep II boasts of having made 89,600 prisoners in his campaign in Canaan (around 1420 BC), including "127 princes and 179 nobles(?) of Retenu, 3600 Apiru, 15,200 Shasu, 36,600 [Horites]", etc.
brig admin 3: But winter is far from over. Subzero temperatures tonight and possibly tomorrow night and a wind driving the chill factor even lower. Ohio has got to be one of the windiest states in America. The only time it stops is when the temperature tops 90.
Mar 3, 2014 18:25:53 GMT -7
brig admin 3: will be going to school up into June to make up all of the snow days. So far this area has had snow, lots of it, but we missed the freezing rain and ice that plagued the eastern states and even the southern part of Ohio.
Mar 3, 2014 18:21:09 GMT -7
brig admin 3: This has been the winter without end. I'm on the eastern section. Ohio, the southeastern portion of the state. We've lucked out so far in that we have been between the really bad bouts of snow and ice. We've had our share, to be sure, the school kids
Mar 3, 2014 18:18:06 GMT -7
brig admin 3: Good to hear from you again. I knew the Scots and Irish were closely related in some fashion. I see the Scots are clamoring for independence again. They are a small country; but technically they were independent for a very long time. I hope they make it.
Mar 3, 2014 18:13:58 GMT -7
lophophora: Been crazy floods these last few weeks here, and winds too, but the greenhouse just hung in there!Winter was overall quite mild though. You have had some extremes of weather there? one coast snowed in and the other in drought?
Mar 1, 2014 4:31:18 GMT -7
lophophora: The scots are descended from a tribe of irish way back in the mists of time I think
Mar 1, 2014 1:20:54 GMT -7
lophophora: Hi Brig, no you didn't in any manner insult me! Sorry, I have been busy and not always online.
Mar 1, 2014 1:18:45 GMT -7
brig admin 3: lophophora if I in some manner insulted you; it was definitely unintentional.
Feb 23, 2014 15:48:20 GMT -7
brig admin 3: I'm not as well aquainted with Wales. But I understand many of them still speak their original language. Must be quite a feat in a country so small.
Jan 18, 2014 18:22:00 GMT -7
brig admin 3: A branch of my family is well established in Ireland and carries its own Coat of Arms. Beautiful green coat headed by a stag. But then, according to most histories I've read there isn't a great deal of difference between the Scots and Irish.
Jan 18, 2014 18:18:38 GMT -7
lophophora: Our ancestry goes back to Ireland, via Wales
Jan 18, 2014 1:07:39 GMT -7
lophophora: I am in the east, near Cambridge. The south coast of ireland, and down in cornwall, can remain quite mild most winters, they even have lizards! But I've nevsome er seen a native one.
Jan 18, 2014 1:07:08 GMT -7
brig admin 3: Do you live in the south of England?I understand it is almost tropical. Something about the Gulf Stream,I believe.I have always been fascinated by thngs Irish, Scot, and English. My ancestors originated in Clan Keith of Scotland.
Jan 17, 2014 18:33:56 GMT -7
brig admin 3: I have a real love of tomatoes and I plant variety of peppers. Way too wet for cactus. I prefer the tomatoes with a high acid content. They have the best taste with a bit of zing. I ordered a new computer. This one is shot (or should be)
Jan 17, 2014 18:26:23 GMT -7
lophophora: hi brig, I fear winter is yet to come here! We have had only 2 frosts, and sitting at 50f most days (england). But yes, yay for seed catalogues, lots of new cacti to sow this year!
Jan 16, 2014 2:48:48 GMT -7
brig admin 3: I'm getting seed catalogues can spring be far behind? We're sitting out Easter and spring items at my wife's store. Last weeks windchill of minus 30 drees has me wel ready for spring. Fity degrees forecast for this weekend tempts spring.But I know better.
Jan 10, 2014 18:04:28 GMT -7