[b-hebrew] Question on 18th Dynasty Egypt (Peter Kirk)

Walter R. Mattfeld mattfeld12 at charter.net
Fri Nov 19 19:19:41 EST 2004

Dear Peter,

I was countering Marianne's blanket statement that nomads do NOT use 
pottery. I showed that they DID, from Stone Age through Middle Bronze times. 
And pottery exists in the Negev and Arabah for Nomads in the Ramesside era, 
the 13th-12th centuries BCE.

Is it possible that some nomads did not use pottery ? Yes. They could have 
used wooden bowls and cups, but how does one _cook_ in a "wooden" bowl ?

If scholars are correct that the Iron IA settlement of Transjordan and the 
Hill Country of Canaan as well as the Negev (Tel Masos and Nahal Yattir) is 
Israel under Joshua, and these sites possess pottery, including clay cooking 
pots, then where's the Iron IA pottery debris in the Sinai (it exists ONLY 
for the Negev and Arabah, Edom and Transjordan and Midian/Madyan) ?

Yes, it is possible that the Late Bronze-Iron IA sites have "all" been 
missed in the Sinai, hidden under flash flood deposits, but would people 
used to flashfloods and the wilderness, which can sweep away tents and 
people, be so "stupid" as to camp in places prone to flooding ? This would 
negate your argument the Israelite campsites are under flashflood deposits 
of silt. If they had any intelligence or wits about them they would camp at 
elevations employed by nomads in earlier ages, the Stone Age- Middle Bronze 
to avoid such perils as flash flooding. Yet the Late Bronze-Iron IA debris 
is not present as sherd scatters atop the earth's surface, like Stone Age 
sherd scatters.

Did Israel leave ALL pottery behind in Egypt and take ONLY wooden bowls and 
metal cooking pots ? Its possible, but improbable. They were getting the 
"bum's rush" in the exit from Egypt when dawn rose after the Passover night. 
Where would they have the time to round up tents, wooden vessels and metal 
pots, and flee Egypt ?

Where are the Late Bronze Age (1560-1200 BCE) burial tumuli of the thousands 
struck down in the wilderness ? Perhaps one might argue their carcasses were 
left to rot where they fell, but this seems unlikely as Israel did take the 
time to bury the king of Ai before the sun set. And Achan and family were 
buried under a _cairn_ of stones near Jericho. If they were content to let 
Israel rot on the earth's surface in the Sinai why not let Achan and family 
rot in full view of all at Jericho as a lesson ? Burial Cairns exist all 
over the Sinai, Negev and Arabah, places Israel wandered in according to the 
biblical narratives, but none are of an Exodus ca. 1446 BCE.  If Rothenberg 
is right about the Negebite pottery being 13th-12th century BCE instead of 
10th century BCE, then cairns associated with this pottery _would support_ 
those arguing for a Ramesside Exodus.

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.
mattfeld12 at charter.net 

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