[b-hebrew] Qestion on 18th Dynasty Egypt (Marianne Luban)

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Nov 19 18:44:26 EST 2004

On 19/11/2004 23:12, Walter R. Mattfeld wrote:

> ...
> I am "surprised" by your argument, that there is no evidence for a large
> number of people coming into and leaving Egypt in the archaeological 
> record.
> Had you read the archaeological reports on what has been found in 
> Egypt and
> the Sinai, would know that such an argument is untenable. Trade goods 
> from
> the Negev appear in Egypt in the Early Bronze Age and Egyptian items 
> appear
> in the Negev in the same period. Along the "way of Horus" the biblical 
> "way
> of the Philistines" archaeologists have found pottery and campsites
> witnessing these goods moving into and out of Egypt and the Negev. 
> They have
> even found "overnight" campsites along this route.

OK, the overnight campsites of traders were found. These people were not 
nomads. Some of them were dealers in pottery. Not surprisingly pottery 
remains were found. This does not imply that there were not other nomads 
who, as Marianne suggested, did not use pottery.

> If ANYONE has knowledge of archaeological debris of the "BCE period" from
> the vicinity of the plain er Raha and Gebels Musa, 'Arribeh, Ras 
> Safsfa and
> Katharina, I would be _most appreciative_ of recieving said data to 
> update
> my files on  the Exodus and the archaeological evidence for it.

Yet again, Walter, you are arguing from silence. The lack of evidence 
for BCE encampment near to Mount Sinai is not evidence that there was no 
such encampment - although it might be evidence that the Israelites used 
skins rather than pottery. And there is also the possibility that you 
are looking quite in the wrong place (even that Sinai was in what is now 
Saudi Arabia), or that the entire campsite has been washed out by flash 
floods or covered with thick layers of silt or sand. Do you know what 
the terrain around Sinai is like? I have been there. The flat-bottomed 
valley just west of St. Catherine's monastery is clearly covered with a 
flat layer of deposits from flash floods, which very likely turn it into 
a temporary lake. If that was where the Israelites camped, any remains 
they left behind could be covered by metres of sand and silt.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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