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sinewave

Archaeological Evidence For Moses

297 posts in this topic

Yeah....The Bible.

As pointed out, no serious historian or archaeologist uses the Bible as archaeological evidence or historical source.

Not that that stops a fair amount of Bible-thumping Christian nimrods from doing it, but those people make a public spectacle of the trouble they take to keep themselves from ever thinking.

--Jaylemurph

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People have long tried to fix a time for the biblical Exodus. The Old Testament (1 Kings 6:1) tells us the Exodus occurred 480 years after the building of Solomon's temple, which was erected around 968 BCE. This would place the Exodus in around 1448 BCE. In Egypt this would place the Exodus in Dynasty 18, specifically during the reign of Tuthmosis III, who was on the throne from around 1479 to 1425 BCE (Reeves & Wilkinson 1996).

First, thanks for that excellent breakdown of the timeline but I am a little confused. Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

Edited by sinewave

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OK, I am a little confused here. Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

I caught that, too, but I'm sure it's just a typo for "before" -- the maths work out.

--Jaylemurph

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This is not quite true, but I suppose it all depends on how far back (or how recent) you are prepared to go. Josephus did us the favour of recording several (antagonistic) reports of Moses (from my website ):

Manetho (an Egyptian historian) [AA I.15 (74-102), 26 (227-252)]

* The Hebrews were in fact called the Hyksos (shepherds), and that they had previously invaded Egypt and subdued its inhabitants. They were driven from Egypt and resettled in Jerusalem.

* The Hebrews were affected by the plagues of Egypt as much as the Egyptians.

* Moses was a priest born in, Heliopolis and was known by the name Osarsiph.

* A king called Amenhotep was advised by his high priest that he would 'see the gods' if he were to clear the country of the lepers and the impure people. He drove eighty thousand of them into the quarries (which resulted in a revolt).

* Those who revolted appointed Moses as their leader, who instructed them to fortify Avaris in preparation for war against Amenhotep.

* Moses' followers included Egyptian priests and other 'polluted' Egyptians.

* Moses sent ambassadors to the shepherds in Jerusalem, explaining the situation in Egypt and asking for their assistance in his war against Egypt.

* The shepherds were delighted at this news and two hundred thousand men from Jerusalem later invaded Egypt, upon which Amenhotep gathered his army, but 'did not join them in battle' and instead fled with his army and a multitude of Egyptians into Ethiopia. There they remained for thirteen years.

* Under instruction of Moses, the people of Jerusalem, who along with the expelled polluted Egyptians had invaded Egypt, treated the men in a barbarous manner, set the cities and villages on fire, destroyed the images of the gods and forced the priests to slaughter their sacred animals and eat them. These men were then ejected naked out of Egypt.

...

Manetho always presents a good example of why one must be wary when consulting literature of the Classical period as source material. It is generally unreliable. A person well acquainted with pharaonic history can easily spot the many errors in material written by Manetho, Herodotus, and others. They are not really to be blamed because they were not quite historians as we think of the term. It is no exaggeration to say we modern people who study the history have a much clearer and more reliable understanding of ancient Egyptian history than Manetho did. Some examples:

* The Hebrews were in fact called the Hyksos (shepherds), and that they had previously invaded Egypt and subdued its inhabitants. They were driven from Egypt and resettled in Jerusalem.

The Hebrews and Hyksos were two completely different people. The word "Hyksos" is a Greek corruption of the original Egypt HKA-xAswt, which does not mean "shepherds" but literally "foreign rulers." They were pastoralists just as the Egyptians were, but Manetho was clearly confused as to the source. Born in the Delta and serving his Macedonian masters in Alexandria, it's quite possible Manetho never saw the inscriptions at sites much farther south in Egypt where the battle narratives existed from the time of the Hyksos. These inscriptions are well known to historians today.

The first identifiable Hyksos are shown on tomb walls dating to the Middle Kingdom, around Dynasty 12. They are depicted as pastoralists leading livestock and wagons full of possessions, migrating into Egypt. The particular relief of which I'm thinking even identifies the man up front as HKA-xAst, the leader of this particular band of migrants. There was no sweeping invasion of Egypt on their part. Rather, all evidence suggests the Hyksos had been settling down in Egypt long before they assumed power of Lower Egypt. They were growing strong as Egypt was growing weak, and they took advantage. Archaeology of Avaris and other Hyksos centers clearly shows most of these people were from the southern Levant, and their burials and architecture directly reflect the veneration of Baal and other Canaanite deities.

There is no Hebraic association. The Hebrews would not exist for a long time after the Hyksos were expelled. They were not resettled in Jerusalem, a pagan Canaanite village at that time, but were violently attacked all the way deep into the Levant as they retreated. The goal of Ahmose I wasn't to resettle them but to exterminate them.

* Moses was a priest born in, Heliopolis and was known by the name Osarsiph.

No such evidence exists. "Osarsiph" is the name Manetho gives to the priest who supposedly created monotheism in Egypt and upset the natural order of the Egyptians, but it's clear Manetho did not possess any sort of reliable historical record. Obviously he was working from a dim memory of Akhenaten, the heretic king, most of whose life would have been completely forgotten by the time Manetho lived. At most there would have been oral traditions of a heretic king who proscribed the worship of important gods in the murky depths of their own ancient history.

* A king called Amenhotep was advised by his high priest that he would 'see the gods' if he were to clear the country of the lepers and the impure people. He drove eighty thousand of them into the quarries (which resulted in a revolt).

There were several kings who went by the name Amunhotep (Akhenaten among them), and we know a great deal about them all. Nothing from their reigns would corroborate the above statement. Again, Manetho may have been working from mostly lost history, but I've always found the line about the lepers to be a bit interesting. One working theory for why Akhenaten built a brand-new capital at a virgin site, was the probability of plague striking the land at the time. It was almost certainly happening in the time of the previous king, Amunhotep III. Most likely Asiatics migrating from the Levant brought the plague with them. The theory states that the gods had failed the Egyptians and were allowing the plague to wreak havoc, so Akhenaten changed his loyalty to the Aten and built a new city on untouched ground to venerate that god. It's just a theory and there is no definitive evidence to support it, but it's more reliable on all levels than Manetho's statement.

* Moses sent ambassadors to the shepherds in Jerusalem, explaining the situation in Egypt and asking for their assistance in his war against Egypt.

* The shepherds were delighted at this news and two hundred thousand men from Jerusalem later invaded Egypt, upon which Amenhotep gathered his army, but 'did not join them in battle' and instead fled with his army and a multitude of Egyptians into Ethiopia. There they remained for thirteen years.

Jerusalem was a Canaanite village at this time. There is no connection to the Hebrews, who did not exist yet. And if we're trying to place this in the time of the Hyksos, the Egyptians were already giving the Hyksos a hell of a beating, so it's quite unrealistic to think that a little village in the highlands of the Levant would want to take on the might of the new Egyptian army.

There was a king in the Late Period who did in fact flee to Nubia when Egypt was invaded the first time by the Persians and Manetho was probably familiar with this event--he lived only a short time later--but it has nothing to do with the time of the Hyksos.

To sum it up, Manetho's account is not a reliable work of history in most respects. He was probably familiar with the figure of Moses from the early Old Testament of the Hebrews, which was first put into written words long before Manetho lived, so as with other Classical writers Manetho was drawing from other traditions when rendering his history.

To regard Manetho's work as factual history is a mistake from the get-go. It simply must be supplemented with modern archaeology and philology, the sum of which paint for us a much clearer picture of history in ancient Egypt.

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...

Well, at least the first book was written in this century. It's a typical trick of pseudo-historian fringe writers to rely on out-of-date or exploded theories. You could cite any number of 19th Century texts to make it look like there's an active debate on whether the Irish or African-Americans are legitimately human: that doesn't make it so.

--Jaylemurph

I agree. While Breasted was a brilliant man and one of the pioneers of Egyptology, it's always been annoying to me that fringe writers draw on only very old and often outdated material. It's a mistake that will lead them to ruin, every time. You will also notice that fringe writers earnestly avoid citing current research, because current research will shred to bits almost every argument these whackadoo fringe writers make. It's not only painfully obvious but really quite pathetic. What troubles me more is that people sincerely wishing to learn more but accidentally succumbing first to loons like Osman, Sitchin, Hancock, Bauval, et al, will be intellectually polluted for the rest of their lives.

Man, I must be in a harsh mood.

First, thanks for that excellent breakdown of the timeline but I am a little confused. Given those dates, wouldn't the Exodus have occurred before the building of Solomon's Temple?

:w00t: Yes, sinewave, I should've written "before." That was really quite idiotic of me. A big thanks for pointing that out. :tu:

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:w00t: Yes, sinewave, I should've written "before." That was really quite idiotic of me. A big thanks for pointing that out. :tu:

We'll let it slide just this once. :) As always, your post is informative and interesting.

Edited by sinewave

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Manetho always presents a good example of why one must be wary when consulting literature of the Classical period as source material. It is generally unreliable. A person well acquainted with pharaonic history can easily spot the many errors in material written by Manetho, Herodotus, and others. They are not really to be blamed because they were not quite historians as we think of the term. It is no exaggeration to say we modern people who study the history have a much clearer and more reliable understanding of ancient Egyptian history than Manetho did. Some examples:

The Hebrews and Hyksos were two completely different people. The word "Hyksos" is a Greek corruption of the original Egypt HKA-xAswt, which does not mean "shepherds" but literally "foreign rulers." They were pastoralists just as the Egyptians were, but Manetho was clearly confused as to the source. Born in the Delta and serving his Macedonian masters in Alexandria, it's quite possible Manetho never saw the inscriptions at sites much farther south in Egypt where the battle narratives existed from the time of the Hyksos. These inscriptions are well known to historians today.

The first identifiable Hyksos are shown on tomb walls dating to the Middle Kingdom, around Dynasty 12. They are depicted as pastoralists leading livestock and wagons full of possessions, migrating into Egypt. The particular relief of which I'm thinking even identifies the man up front as HKA-xAst, the leader of this particular band of migrants. There was no sweeping invasion of Egypt on their part. Rather, all evidence suggests the Hyksos had been settling down in Egypt long before they assumed power of Lower Egypt. They were growing strong as Egypt was growing weak, and they took advantage. Archaeology of Avaris and other Hyksos centers clearly shows most of these people were from the southern Levant, and their burials and architecture directly reflect the veneration of Baal and other Canaanite deities.

There is no Hebraic association. The Hebrews would not exist for a long time after the Hyksos were expelled. They were not resettled in Jerusalem, a pagan Canaanite village at that time, but were violently attacked all the way deep into the Levant as they retreated. The goal of Ahmose I wasn't to resettle them but to exterminate them.

No such evidence exists. "Osarsiph" is the name Manetho gives to the priest who supposedly created monotheism in Egypt and upset the natural order of the Egyptians, but it's clear Manetho did not possess any sort of reliable historical record. Obviously he was working from a dim memory of Akhenaten, the heretic king, most of whose life would have been completely forgotten by the time Manetho lived. At most there would have been oral traditions of a heretic king who proscribed the worship of important gods in the murky depths of their own ancient history.

There were several kings who went by the name Amunhotep (Akhenaten among them), and we know a great deal about them all. Nothing from their reigns would corroborate the above statement. Again, Manetho may have been working from mostly lost history, but I've always found the line about the lepers to be a bit interesting. One working theory for why Akhenaten built a brand-new capital at a virgin site, was the probability of plague striking the land at the time. It was almost certainly happening in the time of the previous king, Amunhotep III. Most likely Asiatics migrating from the Levant brought the plague with them. The theory states that the gods had failed the Egyptians and were allowing the plague to wreak havoc, so Akhenaten changed his loyalty to the Aten and built a new city on untouched ground to venerate that god. It's just a theory and there is no definitive evidence to support it, but it's more reliable on all levels than Manetho's statement.

Jerusalem was a Canaanite village at this time. There is no connection to the Hebrews, who did not exist yet. And if we're trying to place this in the time of the Hyksos, the Egyptians were already giving the Hyksos a hell of a beating, so it's quite unrealistic to think that a little village in the highlands of the Levant would want to take on the might of the new Egyptian army.

There was a king in the Late Period who did in fact flee to Nubia when Egypt was invaded the first time by the Persians and Manetho was probably familiar with this event--he lived only a short time later--but it has nothing to do with the time of the Hyksos.

To sum it up, Manetho's account is not a reliable work of history in most respects. He was probably familiar with the figure of Moses from the early Old Testament of the Hebrews, which was first put into written words long before Manetho lived, so as with other Classical writers Manetho was drawing from other traditions when rendering his history.

To regard Manetho's work as factual history is a mistake from the get-go. It simply must be supplemented with modern archaeology and philology, the sum of which paint for us a much clearer picture of history in ancient Egypt.

Would that have been Nechtanebo II, or was there another who fled to Nubia?

cormac

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Would that have been Nechtanebo II, or was there another who fled to Nubia?

cormac

Yeah, that's the guy. Thanks for clarifying it. I couldn't remember when I was posting at work whether it was Nectanebo I or II and decided to wait till I got home to look that up for myself. You beat me to it.

And don't tell my boss I was posting at work. The punishment for that is impalement or having to throw out all my books and buy only fringe crap from now on, so naturally I'd choose impalement. Still, it'd be an awfully messy end. :w00t:

It also occurs to me that the subject of this thread is "Archaeological Evidence for Moses." Despite my usual verbosity in the above posts, the question is exceedingly easy to answer. As "archaeology" means the excavation of sites to reveal knowledge, we can say flat out that there is no archaeological evidence for Moses. Archaeology has never produced such evidence, period.

I know, I'm being picky.

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That book was published in 2003. It's hardly new. Nor is one statement taken totally out of context, hardly a ringing endorsement of current academic consensus. Nor is someone saying "There are people who believe X" make that X an actual point of debate for people who know what they're talking about.

Well, at least the first book was written in this century. It's a typical trick of pseudo-historian fringe writers to rely on out-of-date or exploded theories. You could cite any number of 19th Century texts to make it look like there's an active debate on whether the Irish or African-Americans are legitimately human: that doesn't make it so.

--Jaylemurph

Sorry if you don't like my info.

As anything new?

Do you really think there will ever be anything new?

There is only the re-examination of what is already in the record.

If a skeleton was found in the area where Moses was supposedly killed, do you think it could be proven that it was his?

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Sorry if you don't like my info.

As anything new?

Do you really think there will ever be anything new?

There is only the re-examination of what is already in the record.

If a skeleton was found in the area where Moses was supposedly killed, do you think it could be proven that it was his?

I beg to differ. Most Egyptologists currently engaged in excavations and research believe that to this point, we may have found only around 40% of what's out there. Some Egyptologists believe it's even less. Suffice it to say, there will always be something new coming to light. Our grandkids' grandkids' grandkids' could be digging there some day, and still have plenty to find.

I've been researching ancient Egypt for around 25 years now and am familiar with many of the mysteries that still remain. We are far from having all of the answers, and only further excavations and research, properly conducted, will provide more answers.

By the way, that book, The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, is very good. I've had it on my shelf for years, a very enjoyable read. If you absorbed all of the information from it, I should think you'd know for yourself that a great deal of mystery remains, and a great deal remains to be found.

In quoting the book in Post 22 of this thread, you wrote:

"Since antiquity, many writers have tried to associate Moses with Akhenaten ... Manetho, who claimed that the founder of monotheism - whom he called Osarsiph - assumed the name Moses, and led his folllowers out of Egypt in Akhenaten's reign. The spectre of Akhenaten was also transformed into Moses by writers such as Lysimachus, Tacitus and Strabo."

When quoting from a professional source, be sure to balance the equation if a balance is there. For instance, that chapter also says (Donner; ed. Manley 2003: 274):

No connection is actually stated in the Old Testament, and no direct evidence of Moses has ever been found in Egypt...The Old Testament offers no hint of a relationship with Akhenaten, and it is even debatable whether its authors could have known about him at all.

This chapter, called "Was Moses at the court of Akhenaten," seeks to provide a look at what can and cannot be found, so the author tries to provide that balance I mentioned. Donner ends, however, with this note (ibid: 276):

In this sense we may wonder whether he [Moses] is not historically more 'real' than the likes of Achilles, Agamemnon or Hector. Nevertheless, if one were to seek a genuinely historical founder of Hebrew monotheism influenced by a foreign culture, one would certainly not find him at the court of Akhenaten.

What the author leaves unsaid, in fact, is that monotheistic Judaism was probably much more a result of exposure to Persian Zoroastrianism than to any practice of religion in Egypt. What we see in the highlands of Judah prior to the Hebrews' captivity in Babylon was definitely a form of henotheism. Only after Cyrus the Great released the Jews from Babylon do we see the people of Judah embrace a true form of monotheism, and that was many centuries after the time of Akhenaten.

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Sorry if you don't like my info.

As anything new?

Do you really think there will ever be anything new?

There is only the re-examination of what is already in the record.

If a skeleton was found in the area where Moses was supposedly killed, do you think it could be proven that it was his?

Archeologists please clarify for me: Is everything that ever was to be found fossilized I didn't think so. Anything burnt, washed away by water or just left open to the elements will degrade and dissappear. Only that which is buried gets fossilized awaiting discovery in most cases. This could have been why Kings were so often buried in tombs while ordinary individuals could have been cremated on funeral pyres.

As far as Moses goes the legend states that he went away into his secret tomb in Mt Sinai awaiting the day of judgement much like the story of Arthur.

As for Ahkenaton, despite similarities with Moses and Abram he can almost certainly be pinned down to Ikhenaton father of Tutankhamun. There is more reason to conclude that did exist than did not. However archeological proof would be tricky and nothing short of the bronze serpent or Ten Commandments would satisfy most people. That is their perogative and historical or mythological character he has surely left his mark and that cannot be denied.

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Archeologists please clarify for me: Is everything that ever was to be found fossilized I didn't think so. Anything burnt, washed away by water or just left open to the elements will degrade and dissappear. Only that which is buried gets fossilized awaiting discovery in most cases. This could have been why Kings were so often buried in tombs while ordinary individuals could have been cremated on funeral pyres.

This isn't fossilisation. Fossilisation occurs when bone is turned chemically into rock (I think), and takes millions and millions of years.

The Egyptian dead were embalmed.

Kmt, I've tried to read through as much as possible, sorry if I missed this, but forgetting Moses for a while, is there any evidence that monotheism originated in Egypt?

Edited by Emma_Acid

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This isn't fossilisation. Fossilisation occurs when bone is turned chemically into rock (I think), and takes millions and millions of years.

The Egyptian dead were embalmed.

Kmt, I've tried to read through as much as possible, sorry if I missed this, but forgetting Moses for a while, is there any evidence that monotheism originated in Egypt?

I can answer that fast: NO.

We know that Egypt was the first country to have an (almost) monotheistic state religion.

It is still a matter of debate if there was first a monotheistic religion that got muddled up by "saints" who were promoted to gods (very likely) or the idea of god came by the veneration of the ancestor's spirits.

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However archeological proof would be tricky and nothing short of the bronze serpent or Ten Commandments would satisfy most people. That is their perogative and historical or mythological character he has surely left his mark and that cannot be denied.

Archeologists would be very happy if they would find remnants of a tribe that did not eat pork in the middle East around that time. So far the earliest finds are from about 1000 BCE.

If they they eat pork they are not Jews.

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Archeologists would be very happy if they would find remnants of a tribe that did not eat pork in the middle East around that time. So far the earliest finds are from about 1000 BCE.

If they they eat pork they are not Jews.

D'uh... I have had this conversation on here before. Were Moses' people jews? No they were not they were hebrews or Israelites. Where in the Ten Commandments does it say Thou shalt not eat swine. It doesn't, you must be refering to the Torah and Talmud. The Talmud being the scripture that gave the most advice for practical living in which the law of Kosher was found. This is probably during the time of the captivity in Babylon.

Eaxctly what sort of artefacts do you think could be found to evidence a non pork eating people in pre history? As I have said whar we find is not all there ever was. It could in fact only be a small proportion, they could have sustained themselves of largely biodegradable housing and tools. However, we do know from scripture that the Israelites were familiar with metallurgy from prety early on but the world is a big place and there are plenty of holes ready to be dug in that area that could prove such things.

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D'uh... I have had this conversation on here before. Were Moses' people jews? No they were not they were hebrews or Israelites. Where in the Ten Commandments does it say Thou shalt not eat swine. It doesn't, you must be refering to the Torah and Talmud. The Talmud being the scripture that gave the most advice for practical living in which the law of Kosher was found. This is probably during the time of the captivity in Babylon.

Eaxctly what sort of artefacts do you think could be found to evidence a non pork eating people in pre history? As I have said whar we find is not all there ever was. It could in fact only be a small proportion, they could have sustained themselves of largely biodegradable housing and tools. However, we do know from scripture that the Israelites were familiar with metallurgy from prety early on but the world is a big place and there are plenty of holes ready to be dug in that area that could prove such things.

You really are the living embodiment of Pope's warning about "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Going by the only text that mentions Moses, he was *there* when god gave the dietary and cultural laws that define the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews. I mean, if you're going to pretend you know what you're talking about, at least get your story straight. If you want to believe the Bible, believe the Bible; if you want to resort to history, resort to history, but your ignorant mix of the two is an affront to both and serves no other purpose that to make you look fool in the worst possible way.

--Jaylemurph

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You really are the living embodiment of Pope's warning about "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Going by the only text that mentions Moses, he was *there* when god gave the dietary and cultural laws that define the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews. I mean, if you're going to pretend you know what you're talking about, at least get your story straight. If you want to believe the Bible, believe the Bible; if you want to resort to history, resort to history, but your ignorant mix of the two is an affront to both and serves no other purpose that to make you look fool in the worst possible way.

--Jaylemurph

Like I have said time and again the comments that I post are not the sole extent of my thoughts or knowledge. Indeed the Lord would have given Moses the run down of the Law (icluding dietary). The reason for this has made me ponder one of our longest held beliefs about the 'Jews'. Did they not eat pork because the Romans had them eating sewage or was there more to it? Was pig farming even wide spread in egypt and Sinai for one to make such specific laws? Wild boars would have been better game, which leads me to my question did they not eat Boar because it was deemed unclean or in fact because it was revered?

I can't believe you used the Pope to insult me. I don't claim to get all my facts straight but do you consider my opinions/suggestions insanity and harmful to developing minds? My view is don't believe what you are told figure it out for yourself. In my case that could take an awfully long time.

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D'uh... I have had this conversation on here before. Were Moses' people jews? No they were not they were hebrews or Israelites. Where in the Ten Commandments does it say Thou shalt not eat swine. It doesn't, you must be refering to the Torah and Talmud. The Talmud being the scripture that gave the most advice for practical living in which the law of Kosher was found. This is probably during the time of the captivity in Babylon.

Eaxctly what sort of artefacts do you think could be found to evidence a non pork eating people in pre history? As I have said whar we find is not all there ever was. It could in fact only be a small proportion, they could have sustained themselves of largely biodegradable housing and tools. However, we do know from scripture that the Israelites were familiar with metallurgy from prety early on but the world is a big place and there are plenty of holes ready to be dug in that area that could prove such things.

Wow, I really must say. So, according to you the Deuteronomy was not from Moses, and if it was it seez nowhere :" Thou shalt not east from the swine nor from the eagle..." ?

And no, not artifacts gnawed bones is all you have to find. If you find a settlement without gnawed pig bones in its thrash pit and you can date it before 500 CE then you have found a Jewish settlement (if after it also could be a Muslim settlement).

Your knowledge about archeology should be expanded before trying to sell us that one.

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Jaylemurph, not to be critical, only helpful..

According to: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091119191058AAjvsJo and 'Jeopardy' , this morning.. :)

The Alexander Pope Quote is actually...

"Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defense,

And fills up all the mighty void of sense.

If once right reason drives that cloud away,

Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.

Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,

Make use of every friend--and every foe.

A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

And drinking largely sobers us again."

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Kmt, are you familiar with the authors of this article:

http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/nn/win95_wente.html

WHO WAS WHO AMONG THE ROYAL MUMMIES

By Edward F. Wente, Professor, The Oriental Institute

and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The University of Chicago

(This article originally appeared in The Oriental Institute News and Notes, No. 144, Winter 1995, and is made available electronically with the permission of the editor.)”

In studying the bone structure they are suggesting that some of the mummies have been misidentified.

I thought of this possibility when I was doing my paintings. The one that really bothered me was Amenhotep III. He really does look more like he should be the son of Amenhotep II. However I read that he was son of Thutmose IV and was of mixed race, so I showed him that way.

There are also theories that either the Biblical Patriarchs WERE the Pharaohs or that they were real or fictional characters modeled on the Biographies of the Pharaohs.

And then, what do you know about those Egyptian Zodiacs. I am reading that when decoded that they are from dates in the A.D.

http://www.pims.math.ca/pi/.

The results presented in [1] are most intriguing. The dates obtained were as follows:

Round Denderah zodiac - morning of March 20, 1185 A.D.

Long zodiac - April 22-26, 1168 A.D.

Big Esna zodiac - March 31 - April 3, 1394 A.D.

Small Esna zodiac - May 6-8, 1404 A.D.

This was from: http://www.revisedhistory.org/egyptian-horo.htm

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This isn't fossilisation. Fossilisation occurs when bone is turned chemically into rock (I think), and takes millions and millions of years.

The Egyptian dead were embalmed.

Kmt, I've tried to read through as much as possible, sorry if I missed this, but forgetting Moses for a while, is there any evidence that monotheism originated in Egypt?

I don't know if I am agreeing or disagreeing with questionmark in his earlier response, but as it stands now Egypt would appear to have been the first culture in which a form of monotheism was practiced.

I used to fight this tooth and nail, mostly because of the unfounded and idiotic connections fringe writers have made between Akhenaten and Moses, but more careful research on my part has convinced me that, yes, Akhenaten did arrive at a form of monotheism. It certainly did not start out that way, as reliefs and stelae from early in Akhenaten's reign show him accompanied by other deities such as Maat, but by the end of his reign he venerated only the Aten. It was as though several millennia of polytheistic religion had never existed--at least until Akhenaten's death. Within a decade of his demise, the Aten as sole god was already becoming a memory. Starting with Horemheb at the end of Dynasty 18, later rulers made sure it worked out that way.

So I would have to state that monotheism was first practiced in Egypt, if only for a very short time. It has nothing to do with Moses or the later rise of monotheistic Judah, which is obvious, but I am always compelled to say that. :D

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Kmt, are you familiar with the authors of this article:

http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/nn/win95_wente.html

WHO WAS WHO AMONG THE ROYAL MUMMIES

By Edward F. Wente, Professor, The Oriental Institute

and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The University of Chicago

(This article originally appeared in The Oriental Institute News and Notes, No. 144, Winter 1995, and is made available electronically with the permission of the editor.)”

In studying the bone structure they are suggesting that some of the mummies have been misidentified.

I thought of this possibility when I was doing my paintings. The one that really bothered me was Amenhotep III. He really does look more like he should be the son of Amenhotep II. However I read that he was son of Thutmose IV and was of mixed race, so I showed him that way.

I have not read this particular article but am well familiar with the debate. Most of us who study the history and take research seriously have to acknowledge the possibility that some of the royal mummies found in DB320 were misidentified by the men who cleared the tombs and relocated the mummies in Dynasty 21. That the mummies were probably moved to several different caches several different times would have only added to the possibility of misidentification. The identity of Amunhotep III is in fact one of those long under dispute.

A good example, and more recent, is the mummy thought to have been Tuthmosis I (1504-1492 BCE), a great ruler of early Dynasty 18. This mummy was more carefully examined only a couple of years ago. Not many people questioned its identity, as far as I'm aware, but upon closer analysis it was demonstrated that this was the mummy of a man much to young to have been Tuthmosis I, and indeed this man had died of an arrow wound. The arrow point is still embedded in his chest!

There are also theories that either the Biblical Patriarchs WERE the Pharaohs or that they were real or fictional characters modeled on the Biographies of the Pharaohs.

I'm familiar with some of these theories and find all of them ludicrous. One fellow I came across on the Web was dead certain that Amunhotep III was Solomon and Tutankhamun was David. This was on the forum where I'm a Moderator, but even so I wasn't able to restrain myself and behave nicely. I was obliged to tear his theory apart. I mean, come on, it's backwards to begin with! David ruled before Solomon because, well, Solomon was his son! This is the sort of faulty logic from which people suffer.

In general, however, I find no logic or plausibility in these theories. Most of the Egyptian kings about whom these fringe folks write, such as Amunhotep III and Tutankhamun, lived in a time during which we have no archaeological or textual proof for the existence of the Hebrews--they did not yet exist, in other words. Bottom line, though, ancient Egypt and ancient Judah were two completely different states possessing two very different cultures.

And then, what do you know about those Egyptian Zodiacs. I am reading that when decoded that they are from dates in the A.D.

http://www.pims.math.ca/pi/.

The results presented in [1] are most intriguing. The dates obtained were as follows:

Round Denderah zodiac - morning of March 20, 1185 A.D.

Long zodiac - April 22-26, 1168 A.D.

Big Esna zodiac - March 31 - April 3, 1394 A.D.

Small Esna zodiac - May 6-8, 1404 A.D.

This was from: http://www.revisedhistory.org/egyptian-horo.htm

LOL Sadly I must admit that archaeoastronomy has never interested me, so I know very little about it except on a basic level.

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Jaylemurph, not to be critical, only helpful..

According to: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091119191058AAjvsJo and 'Jeopardy' , this morning.. :)

The Alexander Pope Quote is actually...

"Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defense,

And fills up all the mighty void of sense.

If once right reason drives that cloud away,

Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.

Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,

Make use of every friend--and every foe.

A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

And drinking largely sobers us again."

That made my day! You're quite right to point out my error! Well said! (For what it's worth, I'm well aware of my own defects, but the advice is suitably apt for Slim, as well. Arguably, more so.

--Jaylemurph

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I'd like to weigh in on some hair splitting that was taking place a little earlier. You know me, I can't resist. :D

Jew, Hebrew, or Israelite?

First of all, Moses was most definitely a Jew. He was also a Hebrew. Technically they're the same thing. A number of people very close to me are of the Jewish faith, including people with whom I work at the museum and my own boss. If you're ever in doubt about such things and happen to know a Jewish person, by all means ask him or her! It is believed the word "Hebrew" derives from the Hebraic term Ivri, which means "from the other side." This goes all the way back to the traditions of Abraham--in other words, all the way back to the beginning. Today a Jewish person would say "Hebrew" refers to the language spoken by their ancestors and in modern Israel, but as my boss has explained to me, it does also mean the same thing as Jew. It would just be an outdated way to identify someone of the faith.

Biblical scholars might get a bit more fussy about the two terms. In some of my readings I've noticed that historically speaking, "Hebrew" is often used to refer to pre-exilic Judah and "Jew" to post-exilic Judah. This is merely a means to distinguish between two different states of development in that culture. Historians have observed that prior to the Hebrews' captivity in Babylon, their religion was noticeably still henotheistic, meaning they acknowledged the possible existence of other deities in the region but paid homage only to Yahweh. After the Hebrews had been released from captivity in 539 BCE and were allowed to return to Judah and Jerusalem, their religion developed into a true monotheism in which Yahweh was (and is) the one and only God. Incidentally, the releasing of the Jews from Babylon is why Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, is fondly remembered in the Old Testament. He was one of the good guys as far as the Jews were concerned.

When writing about antiquity I guess in general I prefer the term "Hebrew," for much the same reason as my boss prefers to be referred to as a Jew. "Hebrew" clearly delineates an older time for that culture. I do not call the people of the southern kingdom of Judah "Israelites," however, because in antiquity that would refer to the northern kingdom. Perhaps I'm the one splitting hairs now.

Swine in the Ancient Near East

There is no doubt that pigs were a common source of meat in the ancient Near East. They appear in Egypt all the way back to the middens and tells of late prehistory, in a clearly domesticated context. In Book II of The Histories Herodotus spends some time stressing how lowly the pig was regarded and, subsequently, the people who raised them, to the point where, Herodotus writes, a swineherd was allowed to marry only the daughter of another swineherd (II.47).

As usual Herodotus is a little muddled on points of accuracy. To be sure the Egyptians' relationship with the pig was somewhat ambiguous, one reason being the pig was one of the emblematic animals of Set, the god of chaos. There were in fact certain social and religious groups which were proscribed from consuming pork (David 2003: 365), but for the most part pork was widely consumed in ancient Egypt. It was probably one of the only sources of meat regularly available to poorer people. This does not mean the pig was considered lowly or unclean, however. There is a scene in the Saqqara tomb of the nobleman Kagemni, dating to Dynasty 6, in which a swineherd is shown giving milk to a piglet from his own tongue (Shaw & Nicholson 1995: 34). This is not something one would ordinarily do to an animal considered unclean.

For the Hebrews it was different. They appear to have avoided pork from the very beginning. Archaeology of the highlands of Judah has produced readily identifiable sites belonging to Jewish settlements dating all the way back to proto-Hebraic times (Late Bronze Age). This was long before the Hebrews formed their own fixed culture and state, but even in the earliest times proto-Hebraic sites show a clear lack of pig remains (Finkelstein 2001: 119-120). Neighboring sites belonging to Canaanite peoples generally do reveal the remains of pigs, however, demonstrating that pork was widely consumed in the Levant.

So why did the Hebrews always seem to avoid pork? Deuteronomy 14:8 states the pig was not to be consumed "...because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses." The degree of clarity in meaning of this statement can be argued, and there is really no evidence that the Hebrews avoided pork due to economic or health reasons. The most likely scenario for the rise of the Hebrews is as an offshoot of their Canaanite kin in the upheavals of the Late Bronze Age. There remains to this day no solid evidence whatsoever for the Old Testament version of the Promised Land and the Hebraic conquest of the Canaanites. It's possible, then, that proscription against pork was merely yet one more means for the nascent Hebrew people to set themselves apart from the rest of Canaanite culture, from which they were swiftly diverging.

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Thanks Kmt, that sure was informative. that about wraps the issue up for me. Domestic pig farming was widespread after all and Jews are post exile, hebrews pre exile. Simple. The only point a would like to mention is as to the writing of the scripture. Is it prudent to think that Moses passed down the first five books in an oral tradition until they were wrote by scribes during the exile or were they written much earlier? Either way what is the chance of Books develoing or being altered in the centuries where it was recalled orally?

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