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Author Topic:   For archaeologist Nuggin re the pyramids and Jews
Brian
Member (Idle past 3187 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 1 of 12 (238253)
08-29-2005 10:57 AM


Hi Nuggin,

Paul will probably chip in here later as we have both discussed many archaeological topics at the forum.

I have a small problem with one of your statements in Faith's thread, namely that you believe that the Jews were employed in the building of pyramids in Egypt.

I actually have 2 problems with that claim, the first one is a little pedantic and concerns the use of the word 'Jews'. Jews are the descendants of Jacobs son Judah, but the Bible states that it was all of Jacobs clan that went to Egypt not just Judah and family. So, I think to be more accurate you should use 'hebrew' or 'Israelite'. A bit pedantic, but its best to be accurate.

Secondly, and what I think is a more seriously problem is that the Bible never states that the Hebrews built any pyramids, they were only employed in the building of the store cities of Pithom and Rameses (exodus 1.11).

Som can you tell me what makes you think that they were employed in building pyramids?

Also, as an archaeologist, I am sure that you are familiair with archaeological methodologies and you can provide ample support for your claim.

Cheers, look forward to your answer.

Admin, I put this in coffee house because I consider this a small informal discussion.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:12 AM Brian has responded
 Message 3 by arachnophilia, posted 08-29-2005 11:15 AM Brian has not yet responded

    
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 2 of 12 (238259)
08-29-2005 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
08-29-2005 10:57 AM


Owning up to a screw up
So, I think to be more accurate you should use 'hebrew' or 'Israelite'.

Yup, Hebrew's would be a better term, I agree.

Secondly, and what I think is a more seriously problem is that the Bible never states that the Hebrews built any pyramids, they were only employed in the building of the store cities of Pithom and Rameses (exodus 1.11).

So can you tell me what makes you think that they were employed in building pyramids?

Archaeologist, but No Egyptologist am I!

I have long had a bias against "armchair archaeology" and Egyptology and it's come back to nip me in the bum!

After posting and reading responses I have gone and looked up some stuff online. It seems that this assumption on my part is incorrect. The Pyramids (the famous ones anyway) don't appear to have been built on the back of Hebrew labor. My bad.

My point in the thread however was this -- there is physical evidence of the work the Hebrews did while enslaved by Egypt. Therefore there are parts of the Bible which do in fact have a great deal of external evidence for being factual, while other parts do not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 10:57 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 11:19 AM Nuggin has responded
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 08-29-2005 11:25 AM Nuggin has not yet responded

    
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 206 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 3 of 12 (238262)
08-29-2005 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
08-29-2005 10:57 AM


allow me to add two more problems
this is one of those pretty standard "i've read the bible!" kind of claims, similar to saying that the fruit adam and eve ate was an apple. it's part of our traditional retelling.

anyways. two more problems.

1. the majority of pyramids were build in the old kingdom, and some in the middle kingdom (2800-1800 bc or so). the hebrews would have been in egypt in the new kingdom or maybe as early as the hyksos period. the dates most people work with are about 1650 bc to 1250 bc (give or take). in other words, they weren't there at the right time.

2. we know who built the pyramids. they tended to be buried next to them under their own miniature pyramid grave markers. worker graveyards have been excavated. it was an honored position, part of a higher calling to serve your god on earth. it was not something they would let slaves do.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3187 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 4 of 12 (238263)
08-29-2005 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Nuggin
08-29-2005 11:12 AM


Re: Owning up to a screw up
Hi Nuggin,

No probs with the slip up, we all do it, and big up for having the balls to admit it.

However, there's always a 'however' around here, as you'll find out.

I completely disagree with this statement:

there is physical evidence of the work the Hebrews did while enslaved by Egypt.

I certainly would like to see evidence to suport this as I am of the undertsanding that there is no direct evidence of Hebrews in Egypt, I am happy to be corrected here. But, at best, we have some circumstantial situations, but nothing direct, unless you have some new evidence to present?

I cannot even think of a maximalist who would say there is direct evidence.

BTW, what is your area of aracheological research?

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:12 AM Nuggin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:27 AM Brian has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15319
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 5 of 12 (238266)
08-29-2005 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Nuggin
08-29-2005 11:12 AM


Re: Owning up to a screw up
There really is a difference between showing that something was done and showing who did it. If you wanted to claim "considerable physical evidence" then I would think that you would need evidence directly linking the Hebrews to the work.

The whole Captivity and Exodus business has been discussed here several times and it would be hard to pick a worse example - the evidence is very much lacking. You really would have done better with the Mesha stele, for instance.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:12 AM Nuggin has not yet responded

    
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 6 of 12 (238267)
08-29-2005 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Brian
08-29-2005 11:19 AM


Re: Owning up to a screw up
I'll look for info on physical evidence (either of Hebrews in Egypt, or more broadly I'll site an example of something else in the Bible with physical evidence.)

what is your area of aracheological research?

I'm primarily interested in New World archaeology, specifically date of arrival / one migration v. multiple migrations.

I keep an eye on Biological Anthropology (Human evolution) as well, but only as a spectator.

To be completely fair, I've been out of the field a while and am currently working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 11:19 AM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 11:31 AM Nuggin has responded

    
Brian
Member (Idle past 3187 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 7 of 12 (238268)
08-29-2005 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nuggin
08-29-2005 11:27 AM


Re: Owning up to a screw up
Hi,

I'll look for info on physical evidence (either of Hebrews in Egypt, or more broadly I'll site an example of something else in the Bible with physical evidence.)

I do agree that there is external evidence for quite a bit of the Bible, but, as I said before, the accuracy only starts to solidify as we near the 6th century BCE. The evidence for events in the 'historical' books is surprisingly lacking, the epic events are all invisible in the archaeological record.

currently working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles.

Got any parts for a Scottish Indiana Jones? :D

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:27 AM Nuggin has responded

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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 8 of 12 (238270)
08-29-2005 11:33 AM


Hebrews in Egypt
From www.bibleandscience.com

Biblical Archaeology:
Evidence of the Exodus from Egypt

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Merneptah Stele
Merneptah pylon at University of Penn Museum
One of the most important discoveries that relate to the time of the Exodus is the Merneptah stele which dates to about 1210 BC. Merneptah, the king of Egypt, boasts that he has destroyed his enemies in Canaan. He states: Plundered is the Canaan with every evil; Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer; Yanoam is made as that which does not exist; Israel is laid waste, his seed is not; (ANET 1969, 378).The word "Israel" here is written in Egyptian with the determinative for people rather than land (ANET 1969, 378 note 18). This implies that Israel did not have a king or kingdom at this time. This would be the time of the judges. The text also implies that Israel was as strong as the other cities mentioned, and not just a small tribe. The south to north order of the three city-states may provide a general location for Israel. There is an interesting place named in Joshua 15:9 and 18:15, "well of waters of Nephtoah," that may be the Hebrew name of Merneptah. The well which is probably anachronistically named after Merneptah would be near Jerusalem. The Egyptian Papyrus Anastasi III contains "The Journal of a Frontier Official" which mentions this well. It says:Year 3, 1st Month of the 3rd Season, Day 17. The Chief of Bowmen of the Wells of Mer-ne-Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat--life, prosperity, health!--which is (on) the mountain range, arrived for a (judicial) investigation in the fortress which is in Sile (ANET 1969, 258).Yurco has recently re-analyzed the Karnak battle reliefs, and has concluded that they should be ascribed to Merneptah and not Ramses II (1990, 21-38). There are four scenes which Yurco correlates with the Merneptah stele. One scene is the battle against the city of Ashkelon which is specifically named. Yurco argues that the other two city scenes are Gezer and Yanoam. He concludes that the open country scene must be Israel. Rainey rejects this view because it shows them with chariots and infantry (1990, 56-60). Lawrence Stager suggests that the small horses pulling the chariot belong to pharaoh's army as in the Ashkelon scene (1985, 58). Rainey thinks the Shasu are Israelites, but others identify the Shasu as Edomites (Stager 1985, 60). Both scholars Yurco and Rainey agree that these battle scenes are from Merneptah's reign (Yurco 1991, 61; Rainey 1992, 73-4; Hess 1993, 134). Before the discovery of the Merneptah stele scholars placed the date of the exodus and entry into Canaan much later. They are now forced to admit that Israel was already in Canaan at the time of Merneptah. Israel was big and strong enough to challenge Egypt in battle. This stele puts a terminus ante quem date of 1210 BC for the exodus (McCarter 1992, 132).

I think we can debate the "concreteness" of this evidence, or what would be needed to "prove" the history, but this is certainly a good start.


Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 11:39 AM Nuggin has not yet responded
 Message 11 by PaulK, posted 08-29-2005 11:42 AM Nuggin has responded

    
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 9 of 12 (238271)
08-29-2005 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Brian
08-29-2005 11:31 AM


Re: Owning up to a screw up
the accuracy only starts to solidify as we near the 6th century BCE

Yeah, but that's generally true for all archaeology. The further back you go, the harder it is to find stuff.

I think that your point is this: Early Biblical accounts have little physical evidence in addition to being far more fanciful than later stories, and therefore should be taken as metaphor more than fact.

Couldn't agree more


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Brian, posted 08-29-2005 11:31 AM Brian has not yet responded

    
Brian
Member (Idle past 3187 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 10 of 12 (238273)
08-29-2005 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Nuggin
08-29-2005 11:33 AM


Re: Hebrews in Egypt
This is used as 'evidence' of Israelites in Palestine.

The Merneptah stele is dated to around 1205 BCE, and mentions Israel being laid waste, the Stele is not evidence of Israelites in Egypt. It says nothing about the Exodus or even the religious practices of the 'Israelites'.

Also, there is no certainty that the Israel in the Stele and the Israel of the Bible are one and the same, although it is likely.

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Nuggin, posted 08-29-2005 11:33 AM Nuggin has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15319
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 11 of 12 (238274)
08-29-2005 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Nuggin
08-29-2005 11:33 AM


Re: Hebrews in Egypt
While there are some quibbles to be made, I'm prepared to accept the the Merenptah stele as evidence of Hebrews in (or near) Canaan. But that's as far as it goes. It really isn't evidence of the Exodus.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 12 of 12 (238275)
08-29-2005 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by PaulK
08-29-2005 11:42 AM


Re: Hebrews in Egypt
I agree.

I think we've strayed off my original point which was "There is physical evidence of things in the Bible". I just sited a bad example in refering to Exodus


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