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Scholars Disagree: Can You Name the Panel with the Israelites? Anson F. Rainey, Biblical Archaeology Review (17:6), Nov/Dec 1991.

Merneptah Stele Full View

Merneptah Stele

In a brilliant piece of detective work entitled “3,200-Year-Old Picture of Israelites Found in Egypt,” BAR 16-05, Frank J. Yurco analyzes the reliefs on a wall of the Cour de la Cachette in the Karnak temple in Upper Egypt. But he points to the wrong picture as that of Israelites. This has disastrous results for his conclusions.

Yurco’s scrupulous examination of the cartouches is certainly convincing. He has clearly demonstrated that the original pharaoh to whom the battle reliefs on the western face of the western wall of the Cour de la Cachette must be ascribed is Merneptah,a not Ramesses II.

His results are rendered even more likely when we remember that the western face of the eastern wall of the same Cour de la Cachette carries Merneptah’s battle scenes depicting his defeat of the Libyans and the Sea Peoples who had tried to invade Egypt from the west. The famous “Israel” Stele of Merneptah is devoted mainly to Merneptah’s defeat of the Libyans and the Sea Peoples. That the reliefs on the western face of the eastern wall of the Cour de la Cachette depict Merneptah’s defeat of the Libyans and the Sea Peoples supports the suggestion that the reliefs on the other wall do correlate with his military victories in Canaan as described more cursorily in the same stele.

Read the rest of Scholars Disagree: Can You Name the Panel with the Israelites? in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

Posted in: The Exodus

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