First version: monday March 9th, 2009
EXODUS DATING: A PROPOSAL
Version Thursday, December 26th, 2019
The Nile changed its bed circa 1130 BC, thus provoking the sudden abandon of the megalopolis of Pi-Ramses, and the exodus of the six hundred thousand people -without the children- that the Old Testament states.
NOTE: When transcribing Levant's names or toponyms in this text, the sign "" is used, instead of "sh", for transcription of the hieroglyph "pool" and the arabic letter "shin", that are about homophones; the sign " c " for transcription of the hieroglyph "arm" and the arabic consonant "cayn", also considered homophones; and the apostrophe for transcription of the hieroglyph "vulture" (usually transcribed as "3") and the arabic sign "hamza", again homophones.
An event that has particularly fascinated believers and scholars has been the dramatic exodus of the Hebrew people, as Septuaginta says,
(=from the land of Egypt, the house of slavery) (Deut, 5, 6). Its proposed date has been changed several times, as Egyptology and other sciences were providing objective evidence.
Objective evidence: this is what has recently emerged as a result of the work of Austrian Egyptologist Dr. Manfred Bietak.
Here I intend, most modestly (I am not archaeologist), to derive from these data, in a merely speculative way, some possible implications for the dating of the Exodus.
The number and origin of migrants
a) The number of evacuees
Egyptian Annals remain silent about it, but the Old Testament says that the crowd that came out was (Exodus, 12, 38) "a motley crowd and great herds of sheep and cows". Motley crowd means mix of ethnic groups?. Exodus, 12, 37 stands that more
than 600,000 people came, "not counting the children."
Contemporary criticism does not accept this enormous figure. Nor it considers credible that such mass could survive in the desert for forty years.
We will see this later on.
b) Place of origin of the evacuees
Concerning the place of origin, again the usually meticulous Egyptian sources say nothing, but, according to the Bible, the exit of the Exodus had its origin in Pi-Ramses.
The lost City of Ramses
We know that Ramses II the Great (~1279-1212)  founded a new capital on the eastern shore of the "Waters of Ra" (on the map, in blue, continuous line) along the temple built in the area by Seti I, a city which received the
name of Per-Ramses or, in the dialect of the time, Pi-Ramses (Domain of Ramses). He set up residence there from the 11th year of his reign (~ 1269). His successors (with exceptions, like Merenptah) held in that city the capital.
Around Pi-Ramses gradually developed a big city, which grew enormously over the years to cover 10 km along the Nile, with a width of about 3 km, giving a floor space of 3,000 Ha, the largest city in the world then, bigger than Thebes,
Heliopolis, and even Babylon. The modern city of Qantir occupies the perimeter of the vast palace of Ramses, which gives an idea of its size.
The growth of the city came to encompass Tell ad-Dabca, site of the fortress-city of Avaris, the capital of the hated Hyksos. The Avaris of the Hyksos would have, according to Dr. Bietak, some 250 hectares, with room for 60,000 people. The
number of inhabitants of Pi-Ramses is very difficult to ascertain, estimates varying between half a million and a million and a half.
The Nile Delta
It is worth to emphasize that, although during the rule of the Hyksos was accentuated the flow of Asian immigrants, this flow existed since long before  and continued to exist afterwards. Furthermore, the destruction of Hykso power could not
lead to a mass expulsion of all Asians, but only the exile of the ruling class and the subjugation of the rest. With regard to the ethnicity of the Hyksos, the finding in Avaris of Cretan-style paintings, including scenes of taurokathapsia (ταυροκαθαψια),
nothing will probe, since also the palace of Amenophis III at Malqatta was decorated by Cretan artisans, as well as the royal palace of Qatna, North of Qade, destroyed by the Hittites at ~1340. (5).
The Tell of the Hyena
Years ago Dr. Bietak, Director of the Institute of Egyptology of the University of Vienna and the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo, published the results of his diggings at Tell ad-Dabca (Tell of the Hyena), about two kilometers
south of the Qantir site, Eastern Delta. He had found a clear sequence of occupation: over the remains of the Middle Kingdom, a Semitic cultural layer associated with Palestine and Syria - traces of occupation by the Hyksos - and, after a long
hiatus, a powerful reconstruction at the time of Ramses II. The news is that recent studies by magnetometer, with the decisive intervention of the German archaeologist Prof. Edgar Pusch, have allowed a glimpse of the lost city of Ramses, and
surveys performed in situ have identified what was the course of the Nile at the time, thus leading to gather a data set highly relevant. (See bibliography).
The silting of the Pelusiac arm of the Nile
According to Dr. Bietak, in the XIIth century BC, the eastern arm of the Nile, called the "Waters of Ra", and then leading to the sea near the later city of Pelusium (Tell el-Farama), future key of the Eastern Delta, began to silt. Herculean
efforts were made to dredge it, as evidenced by the landfills still be seen in the area, but in the end, there was no choice but to abandon the struggle: the Nile had irreversibly opened its way to the sea by a new arm, later to be called Tanite Arm (on
the map, in blue, dashed).
No documents have been published so far describing these works, or alluding to their cost, which must have been gigantic. Necessarily had to affect the economic crisis that hinders much of the reigns of the XXth Dynasty.
A dramatic dilemma
Once dried the "Waters of Ra", one of two things: either changing back the course of the Nile, or changing the city. At some point it was decided to build a new capital precisely on the banks of the new main course of the Nile, later on called
tanitic arm, having been built on its banks a city that in Greek would be named Tanis. In Egyptian is Djacnet. The Bible calls it Zoan. It is the enormous site of San el-Haggar, where San reminds of Zoan, and in Arabic hayyar -in Egyptian dialect haggar- means quarry.
Djacnet hieroglyph. The circle with St. Andrew's cross is the determinative of "city."
The number of evacuees and the number of exiles
We wonder whether, in view of the gigantism of the megalopolis of Pi-Ramses, its abandonment could lead to the narrative of the departure of more than 600,000 people stated in the Bible.
We should not exclude the possibility that the foundation works of Tanis were contemporary or even earlier to an abandonment of Pi-Ramses previsibly inevitable. The most remarkable monuments were transferred from the damned city to the new capital. Some, like a colossal statue of
Ramses II, were found at Tanis, which complicated the first dating attempts by Pierre Montet.
More than a megalopolis of orderly growth, Pi-Ramses would have grown in its time in the way of the so-called ranchitos in Caracas, or favelasin Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It seems logical that the evacuees were offered a relocation within
Egypt, although in such circumstances that a dissenting minority would prefer to return to the land of their ancestors. Their small number would make possible their survival in the desert.
The Bible of Jerusalem: Ramses II, the date post quem
The Bible of Jerusalem (9) says in his Introduction to the Pentateuch:
"The modern historian's task is to confront these data in the Bible with the general facts of history.
On the date of the Exodus, we cannot trust the indications of I-Kings 6, 1, or Judges 11, 26, which come out of secondary and artificial computational procedures. But the Bible contains a decisive indication: according to the ancient text of Ex 1, 11, Hebrews worked in the construction of the cities of deposit Ramses and Pitom.
Accordingly, the Exodus musthave taken place after the access to the throne of Ramses II, who founded the City of Ramses."
Therefore, a post quem date would be the 11th year of Ramses II (~ 1269).
Undoubtedly, the Egyptian domination over Canaan collapsed, at an unspecified date, Egypt being replaced by two entities that fought fiercely against each other: the Hebrews and the Philistines, without Egyptian intervention. We must therefore find out
this unspecified date, closely linked to the end of the XXth Dynasty.
MAP OF CANAAN AT THE END OF THE XIXth DYNASTY
(See attached clarifications)
MAP: Clarifications on place names
Some place names are repeated, so we must not confuse Qade on the banks of the Orontes with Qade north of Hazor, nor Qade-Barnea south-west of Jerusalem, in the confines of the desert.
Let us not mistake Hazor, north of Lake Kennaret (later called "Sea" of Galilee or Lake Tiberias) which was the center of the whole surrounding kingdoms (according to the Bible, it would be taken and destroyed by Joshua), with or Gezer or Gazer,
halfway between Yaffa (by the sea) and Jerusalem, which would be severely punished the ~4th year of Pharaoh Merenptah.
The name "Gilgal" (meaning cromlech, stone circle) is repeated in at least three points of Canaan. The nearest to Jericho and the Jordan -the only one outlined in the map- was a meeting place in the early days of the conquest.
In several place names the word "bet", often written "beth", in the languages of the region means house.
In several place names the word "el" or better, '" 'el ", is the name of a divinity that has been embedded in personal names as Isra'el, Isma'el, Rapha'el, Mikha'el, etc.
Spanish Mediterranean areas provide us with the word "rambla" (deriving from Arabic raml=sand), preferable to the more humid climates word "torrent" to describe various channels usually dry, very common in all the coasts of this sea. They are
drawn in dashed blue line.
(END of clarifications).
EGYPTIAN PUNITIVE EXPEDITIONS AGAINST CANAAN DURING THE XIXth DYNASTY
Egyptian rule over the region of Canaan is very old. It collapsed a the end of the XVIIIth Dynasty, in times of Akhenaten. Horemheb tried to reset it without success.
Campaign of Sethos I (1296-1279)
It was Sethos I, of the XIXth Dynasty, who ruthlessly reimposed it, conquering the city of Yenocam on the banks of the Jordan, on the road passing south of the Sea of Galilee, and driving from Meguiddo to Astarot, capital of the kingdom of Basan (1st year stela found at Bet-San (Tell el-Husn, Cisjordania), and bas-reliefs of the great temple of Amun at Karnak).
Campaigns of Ramses II (1279-1212)(year 4th -1276- and year 5th -1275-)
Again Ramses II in the 4th year of his reign, had to give a "blow of authority", as reported by another stela, also found in Bet-San. He clashed with the Hittite power and intrigues, and tried to reconquer the city and the
acropolis of Qade on the Orontes, moving there with a powerful army (5th year) consisting of four divisions, one of them called Seth, in honour of this god. The battle ended in a draw, the acropolis of Qade was not taken by the Egyptians, and never would be.
Campaing of Ramses II (7th year -1273-)
In his 7th year, Ramses II launched a pincer movement against the kingdom of Moab, located east of the Dead Sea. He moved up the coast to Gaza, leading then to the east, passing north of present day Jerusalem, crossing the
Jordan and leaving Mount Nebo on his right, turned to the South, by Dibon, to the city of Rabat-Batora. His eldest son Amen·hir·jopef, abandoning the "Way of Horus" (the coast road, which later on would be called "Way of the Philistines"
not yet installed there) plunged eastward across the wilderness of Sinai Peninsula to reach the Rambla of Arabah. He twisted northward to converge with his father the Pharaoh and close the iron clad on Rabat-Batora, which was wiped off the
map. Since then, the city of Qir-Moab appears as the capital of Moab.
Other campaigns of Ramses II against Canaan
In his 8th year (1272) he launched another campaign in Western Galilee, submitting Akko, and winning Merom and other cities. In the South he had to submit Akelon, and excavations prove that he destroyed manu militari, then
reestablished Yaffa, leaving inscriptions on the pillars that flank the gateway to the city. The papyrus Anastasi I says that the cities of Jaffa, Damascus, and Sumur were personal property of Ramses II.
The peace treaty of Ramses II with the Hittite Great King Hattuili III
In his 21st year (~1259), after long negociations, a perpetual peace was agreed with the new Hittite Great King Hattuili III (~1267-1237). This one sent to the city of Pi-Ramses the cuneiform text engraved in a silver tablet, whose centre showed the Great Seal of the Hittite State, with the god Set embracing the Great Prince of Hatti. (See (7), p. 295). Ramses II ordered a hieroglyphic version to be engraved in the walls of the great temple of Ammon in Karnak. Impressed by the veneration of the Hittite State to god Set, patron of his family, and whose name bore his predecessor Sethos I, he considered pertinent to change once more the name of the Egyptian crown prince: Amen·hir·jopef became Seth·hir·jopef, and immediately communicated it to his Hittite "father", King Hatusil.
The Pax Ægyptiaca
The two great powers, personnalized in the Great King of Hatti and in the Pharaoh of Egypt, so divided their respective areas of influence, allowing to each other free hand in each. The demarcation line went from the north of Sumur in the coast to the south of Qade in the interior. Ugarit, the richest city, stayed under Hittite influence. This Pax Ægyptiaca pointed to guarantee for ever the stability of the Levant. Marriages were agreed between both royal families, and when there was famine in Anatolia, after a persistent drought that today we would define as "climatic change", Egypt, whose irrigation agriculture, thanks to the Nile, did not required rain, sent by order of Pharaoh Merenptah ships loaded with wheat. The ships unloaded at Ura harbour, by the mouth of river Göksu, classical Calycadnus (in Greek Καλυκαδνος).
The stele of year 400
At a moment after year 34th of Ramses II (after ~1246) a polemic stele was sculpted dated as never seen before (Since the Ist Dynasty, the dating restarted since the beginning of each reign): «...In the year 400, in the IVth month of emu (Summer), in the IVth day, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sethos Great-in-Victories, son of Ra, beloved of Nebty, etc...». The stele was discovered in 1863 by Auguste Mariette in Tanis, from where ruled the Pharaohs of the XXIst Dynasty; later forgotten, it was rediscovered by the also Frenchman Pierre Montet (1931), stating that it was transported to Tanis coming, as so many other monuments, from the abandoned Pi-Ramses. At its head, an effigy of Ramses II offers wine to the god Seth-Baal, to his left. This quasi-cumenical version of Seth [3 bis], Egyptian god venerated since the Ist Dynasty, identifies it with the Canaanite Baal. It also establishes him as remote predecessor of Sethos I, father of Ramses II, and son of the founder of the XIXth Dynasty, going back 400 years and evoking, according to some, nothing less than the invasion of the Hyksos. (See (7), pp. 385-387 of the Spanish translation). Another indication, and indeed an evident one, of the complicity that Ramses always liked to show towards its Asiatic subjects, complicity that makes very improbable indeed that he ever adopted against them repressive measures of the kind adopted, and with very sound reasons, by Ramses III, as we shall see.
IRON HAND OF MERENPTAH IN CANAAN AND ELSEWHERE
Campaign of Merenptah (4th year?) against Canaan
Merenptah, like his father and grandfather, had to re-impose its authority in Canaan by the force of arms. The Victory Stele says he subdued the cities of Akelon and Gezer (which are clearly identified) and claims to have "left
no seed" ("eradicated?) to YiSRRi3R. Although most analysts are inclined to identify these people with Israel, it is not impossible, in view of the enclosed map, that it relates simply to have devastated the crops of the Yizre'el plain, like
others are saying. In the North he swept the city of Yenocam, which had been submitted by Seti I, but had rebelled. Around the plateau above Yizre'el, the map shows two place names with the same termination that Yenocam: Yoqnecam, and Iblecam.
The Egyptians should have done a thorough job in Yenocam, wiping it out, because it still is not clear if the city lies at Tell el-Nacam or Tell el-cAbidiyah.
MEANWHILE, IN THE HITTITE EMPIRE
Great assyrian victory over Hatti
The strongest opponent of the Great King of Hatti Hattuili III (~1267-1237) was Assyria, that was taking over the remains of the Kingdom of Mitanni, and was able to dominate the High Mesopotamia till the Euphrates.
An Assyrian tablet (Grayson 1987: 272, 275) says:
"In the beginning of my reign, I, Tukulti-Ninurta [1244-1208], deported 28.000 men of Hatti from the other side of the Euphrates towards my territory."
This text gives us an idea of the magnitude of the population movements caused by the wars of that times.
Treaty of Kurunta (1235)
We know that, at a request of the Great King Hattuili III, Ramses II sent his royal scribe and chief doctor Pariamaju equipped of medicinal plants to treat the sympthoms of Kurunta, King of the land of Tarhuntaa. (See (7), p. 377-378 of the spanish translation).
In the year 42nd of Ramses II (1237), the Great King of Hatti "passed to the vast and temible domain of the Storm god" ((7), p. 379), and he was succeeded by Tudhaliya IV.
A bronze tablet dated in 1235, registers that Kurunta receives from the Great King of Hatti Tudhaliya the sovereignty over Tarhuntaa. "Referent to the great throne of Hatti the protocol be as the one of the King of Karkemi. Over the King of Tarhuntaa be greater the Crown Prince; otherwise, no one be greater". Thus dictated Tudhaliya IV (1237-1209).
TREATY OF KURUNTA
Bronze tablet with cuneiform text in Hittite language
Finding: ruins of Hattusa, 1986
Museum of Ancient Civilizations of Anatolia, Ankara
Tudhalia IV creates King of Tarhuntaa to Kurunta (Obverse)
Tudhalia IV creates King of Tarhuntaa to Kurunta (Reverse)
This treaty could very well have been the first step towards the disgregation of the Hittite Empire, of a nature markedly feudal. Thus, less than half century later (~1188), Wilusa (=Ilion) would fall, as well as other satellite kingdoms of the Empire, which would crumble down without remedy.
Conquests of Tudhaliya IV (1237-1209)
First he Intervened in Millawanda/Miletus, imposing the son of the precedent King as satellite ruler, calling him "my son". He then entered with his army in Karkia (=Caria) and, after on, in Lukka (=Lycia), where he did "numerous captives", as we are informed by the Luwian hieroglyphic text at the pool of Yalburt, discovered in 1970 in Ilgin, northwest of Konia.
The lost in favour of the Assyrians of the copper mines of Ergani pushed Tudhaliya to take over Alaia (=Cyprus, or part of it), rich in copper, as its greek name shows. So he wrote, with laconic cruelty: "I captured the King of Alaia with his wives, his children and girls, and I brought with me all his goods, including silver and gold, and I brought all the captives to Hattusa. Immediately I enslaved Alaia and made it tributary". (14).
For all these misdeeds he was helped by the fleet of Ugarit
Master of Cyprus' copper, Tudhaliya imposed to Ugarit, to Karkemi and to all his satellite Kings an embargo over the imports of the said metal procedent from Assyria.
The Levant of the Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age
The last Kings of the Hittite Empire
In his 67th year, (1213), the heart of Ramses II, that had been beating for 92 years, just stopped. ((7), p. 391).
At the death of Tudhaliya IV, four years later, he was succeeded by Arnuwandas III (1209-1205), contemporary of Pharaoh Merenptah. His successor Suppiluliuma II would be since 1205 King of Hatti.
Campaigns of Suppiluliuma II
He energically imposed his authority over the rebels in Wiyanawanda (Oenoanda or Oinoanda, in greek τα
Οινοανδα), by present day Incealiler, at almost 1.200 m, in the head of river Xantus, at that time in Karkia (=Caria). He did the same in Tamina, Masa, Lukka (=Lycia) and Ikuna (¿=Konia?)... In this victorious campaign "I surpassed - he asserts proudly - to the precedent Kings; My Majesty brought all the countries inside the frontiers of Hatti...My Majesty overcame, took Tarhuntaa" (16).
In another inscription, in the southern corner of the eastern cistern of Hattusa, he affirms that during his reign was sacked the city of Tarhuntaa, whose site we unknow, though obviously it must be looked for inside the kingdom of the same name.
We know that, after the destruction of Mersin and Tarsus, both cities were reoccupated by people using ceramic type LH III C (LH= Late Helladic). It is important to investigate what was about the only hittite harbour: Ura, west of Mersin and by the mouth of river Göksu, ancien Calycadnus, a key position in front of Cyprus and Ugarit, and still not excavated.
Invasion. Suppiluliuma II disappears (1187?)
That was all we knew.
But in the archives of Ugarit, faithful vassal of the Great King of Hatti, this disturbing fragmentary text has been found:
"The enemy [advances] against us and he cannot be counted [...] Our number is [pur ?] [...] Whatever be available, look for it and send it to me". (Astour 1965).
Furthermore, from the translation of (15), recently published, the following can be thus extracted:
At about 1180, Kupanta-Kurunta III, King of Mira and Arzawa, ignoring Suppiluliuma II, last King of Hatti, adopted the title of Great King Labarna and even when Wilusa had been in the past a Hittite protectorate, he headed another four satellite Kings: Walmus (in Greek, Almus), King of Wilusa (=Ilion), the King of Hapalla, the King of the Valley of Seha and the King of Assuwa (= the Low Hermos -modern Gediz-, included Mount Sypilus). From his throne in the city of Mira (Beyçesultan), he appointed generalissimo of the coalition to Muksus (Phrygian name also found in tumuli at Gordion), Grand Prince of Wilusa. This, on board of the ships hired by the Labarna, disembarked at Akalon -not far from the Egyptian border-, where he established an enormous fortified precinct (50 Has.).
Possible route of the expedition against Akalon
INGLORIOUS END OF THE XIXth DYNASTY
Amen·mose's enigma (~1200-1196)
When dying (1201) at the age of 67, Pharaoh Merenptah, who had resided at Menfis, the legítimate heir was his son Nefer·set·ra, to which we call Sethos II, born from his queen Istnofret. Notwithstanding that, begins to rule from Thebes an Amen·mose (some times transcribed Amen·meses), of uncertain origin. He would be, according the German egyptologist Rolf Krauss, as cited in (17), and to who we follow up in that, son of Nefer·set·ra. His name of nesu bity was Meni·ra Setepen·ra, and his name of Sa-Ra, Amen·mose Hika·wasit, that is, Amen·mose, Lord of Thebes. Soon (1196) he would be ousted from power, a power limited - it seems - to the South only. His mother might had been Ta'jat, a daughter that Ramses II had with his daughter Henu·tim·ra, and he would have married Tiyi, a Nubian princess.
This Amen·mose was born -according (17)- in 1226 B.C., that is, in the year 54th of Ramses II. His tomb in the Valley of the Kings is KV10, well known since Antiquity. In the tomb's well appear scenes of Ta'jat performing offerings to several gods. Inside was found part of the cover of a sarcophagus of rose granite, clearly inscribed with the name Ta'jat, which would support the hipothesis of this queen being buried there. From the titular Amen·mose no vestige has been found, neither in this tomb nor elsewhere. About his disappearance since 1196 we lack absolutely of any data.
Reigns of Sethos II (~ 1201-1195) and Siptah (~ 1195-1189)
Again a Pharaoh of this XIXth Dynasty chooses the name of Sethos, the god of its subjects of Asiatic origin.
Colossus of Sethos II in display at the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy
As for the Egyptian rule in Bet-San (Tell es-Husn, Cisjordania) during these reigns (whose "cartouches" were found there), it is witnessed in Level VII, which shows a Canaanite city with Egyptian garrison. The full biography of the anti-pharaoh Amen·mose (~1200-1196) remains obscure.
At the death of Sethos II he is buried in the tomb KV15. He leaves a son called Siptah, still a child and with a crippled leg, to which Chancellor Bay, an intriguing character of jacru (syro-cananean) ethnics succeeds in installing in the throne of his father. For six years long Siptah is titular King under the regency of his stepmother Tawsert, widow of Sethos II, while all the power of the State is administered during this reign and, maybe, during the following one, by the Chancellor Bay, so relevant that he started building his own tomb -KV13- in the Valley of the Kings.
Reign of Tawsert (~1189-1187)
When the child was dead, he was buried in the tomb KV47 and the Queen Regent assumed the Pharaonic titles with the name of nesu bity of Sit·ra Mery·amun (Daughter of Ra Beloved of Amun) and the name of Sa-Ra of Tawsert Merenmut (Powerful beloved of Mut). But within two years an end to her ephimerous reign and to the XIXth Dynasty was put by general Seth·nakht, founder of the XXth Dynasty. The end of the last she-Pharaoh of Egypt is not known. In her tomb, KV14, there is a sarcophagus of rose granite, already broken in Antiquity, but with the cartouches of Seth·nakht.
The death of Chancelor Bay
The recent recomposition of two ostraca fragments let us know that the Chancellor Bay was killed following instructions of Siptah, who also ordered to stop the works at the tomb KV13 of the usurper, who never was to be buried there.
Date of the fall of Troy (~1188)
According to the Egyptian historian Manethon, Troy fall during the reign of Thuoris (in Greek, Θυορις), adding that is called Polybus in Homerus. Modern egyptology calls her Tawsert.
CANAAN AND THE XXth DYNASTY
At this point, Manethon inserts a change of Dynasty. A new Pharaoh -named Seth·nakht, in honour of god Seth- faces succesfully a crisis from which we ignore much, and after two years he hands over the power to his son. This one adopts the prestigious name of Ramses, modernly designated as Ramses III.
Ramses III (~ 1185-1153)
In Cisjordania, in Bet-San, was found the statue of Ramses III, whose photo is enclosed.
Statue of Ramses III unearthed at Bet-San (Tell el-Husn)
In Transjordania two sites have been studied, very important indeed for dating the end of Egyptian rule in the region: Tell es-Sacidiya (See Appendix 2) and Deir cAlla.
At Tell es-Sacidiya, near the Jordan, has been excavated and studied an Egyptian military post of the time of Ramses III. Just south, in Deir cAlla (Upper Monastery) in the right bank of river Yabbok, a tributary of the Jordan, are dated two attempts of
reconstruction by Ramses III, followed by fires. On the death of Ramses III (~ 1153 BC) (today we know that he was slaughtered in a bloody palace conspiracy) it is reoccupied with ceramic so-called "Philistine."
Ramses III in Canaan also built temples for the worship of the Canaanite gods, witnessing the Egyptian control of both banks of the Jordan at the time. Papyrus Harris provides an overview of this long reign (32 years), written apparently for the coronation of Ramses IV, but it reviews no evidence of significant
developments, as no doubt would have been the collapse of Egyptian power in Canaan.
However, the major event of this reign was the rejection of the invasion of "Sea Peoples".
Collapse of the Hitite Empire and Invasion of the Sea Peoples (~1178)
The destructions are evidenced in all the coast of Levant, from Alallakh and Ugarit in the North, till Jaffa, Adod, and Akalon in the South. But they are not detected neither in Byblos nor in Sidon, what could be explained supposing that these sea cities hired their ships to the attackers. Since then, the words «Canaan» and «Cananaites» disappear, substituted this last one by «Peleset», or its variants «Philistines» or «Palestinians».
From Akalon would have departed the amphibian attack that Ramses III (~1185-1153), already of the XXth Dynasty, repelled mobilizing all the Egyptians. The grandiose bas-reliefs in his temple of millions of years at Medinet Habu ponder his decisive victory stopping in the year 8th of his reign (~1178) the terrible maritime-terrestrial invasion of the so-called Sea Peoples .
The Peleset captured by Ramses III were marked with the name of the Pharaoh and enrolled in the Egyptian army: "... I established them in the fortified places ... I assigned them rations and clothing of the treasures and granaries each year
"Cartouches" with the royal names of Ramses III.
First "cartouche": User·macat·ra Meri·amon
(see Appendix 3),
and second "cartouche": Ramses Hika·iunu.
If, when the Exodus occurred the Philistines were not yet installed in Canaan, year ~ 1178 would be date ante quem. But as the group of invasion led by Moses did a detour via the south and the east of the Dead Sea, and attacked from Transjordania, nothing
prevents that the coast were already at that time in the hands of the Philistines.
The question is when they became independent, for initially they would be mere fœderati of the Pharaoh (formula later used under the Roman Empire with the Wisigoths and other peoples). As we have seen, the power of Ramses III on both sides of
the Jordan is proved, and also archaeological remains testifying to the Egyptian presence in Palestine during subsequent reigns were found.
In short, the collapse of Egyptian power on Canaan had to occur during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses N, where N> 4. And it would give us a date post quem for the Exodus, as the Bible does not mention fighting against Egypt during the Hebrew
occupation of Canaan.
Later on, King Saoul and his successors would fight with variable success against the tyrants of the Philistine Pentapolis: Adod, Akalon, Gaza, Gat (Tell as-Safi) and Ecron (Tell Mikne). Gaza as well as Akalon, Adod and Gat are place names already mentioned in the letters of Tell el-Amarna. Not so Ecron, word of Thraco-Phrygian origin, where the proto-indoeuropean root *akr- or *aker- means «high».
HISTORIC RELEVANCE OF PI-RAMSES' ABANDONMENT
Returning to the Delta, if the abandonment of Pi-Ramses, so sudden as the one of New Orleans in 2005, and like New Orleans, imposed by uncontrolled waters, coincided with the biblic Exodus, indeed it would have been a major
event in the history of Egypt! In addition, if so, it would finally provide the date of the Exodus, which so much ink has spilled so far in vain.
The socio-political implications of the abandonment of Pi-Ramses, not to mention the economic, had to be huge, even for the unbridled pharaonic power. Just compare the economic and political cost today in a great country like the USA of
the evacuation of the city of New Orleans, flooded suddenly as a result of a hurricane. New Orleans was reoccupied once the dikes repaired. But we know several examples of definitive abandonment of Mesopotamian cities, once the Euphrates changed its course. For instance, the very old city of Nippur -a couple of millenia older than the Ist Dynasty of Egypt-, city whose main temple was dedicated to the Sumerian god Enlil, besides an arm of the Euphrates today dry called Shatt en-Nil, abandon doubtlessly related to the drying of said arm.
Egyptian sources do not directly and clearly inform us how was managed the thorny issue of relocating the inhabitants of the desolate megalopolis of Pi-Ramses. But there are very clear indirect evidences.
The year 1130 that seems to have marked the end of the City of Ramses coincide (as the most probable dating) with the 3rd year of the reign of Ramses VII (~1133-1125) or the 7th year -and probably the last one-, if the dating was ~1137 to 1130.
In any case, between 40 and 50 years after the invasion of the Philistines (~1178), and their installation in what was to be known as the Philistine Pentapolis, which covered the South of Canaan.
In 1130, if still alive Amen·meses (to which someones propose to identify with the Biblical Moses), born in ~1226 according (17), he would be 96. Exodus 7, 7, signals that Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron 83, when they adressed the Pharaoh whose name is not said. The ending -moses or -meses - fred from the unconvenient initial mention of Ammon - , is common to several Egyptian theophore names, as Tutmose, Ahmose, etc.
The proposed identification of Merenptah or Ramses II as Pharaohs of the Exodus decayed with the finding of their mummies, now visitable in a special camera of the Egyptian Museum at Cairo. Even when the Old Testament asserts that the Egyptian army
perished at the Red Sea, it does not say explicitly that the Pharaoh did; if we nevertheless look for a Pharaoh whose mummy is lost, all the mummies from the XXth Dinasty are conserved, but two: the one of Ramses VII and the one of Ramses VIII.
What we know about Ramses VII - that he survived his firstborn son, and that his mummy has not been found so far - (See Appendix 3), and of Ramses VIII - whose burial place, if any, is unknown - does not contradict the story of the Pentateuch.
NILE'S DELTA: GEOGRAPHY, COASTAL DYNAMICS AND EARTHQUAKES
It is important to note that deltas vary so quickly - quickly on a geological scale-, that the map of the Nile Delta during the XXth Dynasty would certainly be very different from today. Let us consider this in more detail.
Fluvial dynamics and coastal dynamics
Modern coastal engineering has achieved significant progress in both fluvial dynamics and coastal dynamics. Work could be done to reconstruct the map of the Nile delta over the millennia, in the light of these two phenomena:
a) Fluvial dynamics
As we know in Aragon, where I write, river Ebro in the flat region 100 km upstream and downstream the city of Saragossa, snakes down, literally: it changes its course, it strangles meanders, leaving residual semi-lunar lakes called
galachos, whose destiny is to dry up. The Nile is behaving the same way in the plains of its Delta. In both rivers and in any others of the Planet: the Garonne, the Mississippi, the river Meander (Turkey), who named the phenomenon, etc., we can
glimpse through aerial photography the constant variations of their channels in plane areas, where they form meanders. Events of sudden channel changes often occur as a result of severe flooding, a yearly event in the Nile, and irregular in
time in other rivers (Ebro, Indus, Yellow River, etc.). The arms and the mouths of the Nile have continued to alter its course over the centuries.
b) Coastal dynamics
Depending on whether or not there are tides, as well as the angle of incidence of the dominant waves, the rushing of the rivers develop deltas (such as the Nile and the Ebro), arrows (such as the one of Huelva), lagoons (called "albuferas" in Spain, "albufeiras" in Portugal, "estanys" or "étangs" in Languedoc), raffles (as in Peñíscola and Gibraltar), or other coastal formations.
The Nile, the largest river in the Mediterranean, a sea without tides, which developed a Delta where thousands of years earlier there had been an estuary, has been generating a string of "albuferas", whose destiny is to silt in, giving way to
a second string of "albuferas", and so on -ainsi de suite.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, and subsidence of seabed
Furthermore, eastern Mediterranean is an area of high seismic instability, where also many earthquakes generate tsunamis. The contemporary Greek seismologists have documented dozens of tsunamis only since the early XIXth
century . The god Poseidon, "which removes the Earth," embodies the impact that these phenomena caused in the psyche of ancient Greeks. Later on, the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus documented the terrible tsunami of July 21st, 365,
which swept the coast of Alexandria and its region. Still in the VIth century, Alexandria was commemorating the "Day of the Horror." Recent underwater discoveries off the city have found the remains of the Hellenistic Portus Magnus to about 6
m deep. Close by, the entire eastern part of the bay of Aboukir sank beneath the sea in shallow waters, apparently in the second half of the VIIIth century AD. Beneath the waves have been found the remains of the cities of Canopus and Thonis,
and the great temple of Herakleon, along with the former Canopic mouth of the Nile (18).
All the above evidence proves that a tsunami could easily swallow an army running along the coasts of the Delta or surrounding areas.
In addition, the slow subsidence of the seabed in this region seems to indicate a general tilting of the delta, which for centuries has been turning around a north-south axis, and counterclockwise, slowly moving the mouths of the Nile from
East to West. Taking advantage that no country in the world has preserved such a long and detailed sequence data on flooding as Egypt (for example, in the famous Palermo Stone), we can investigate, to better understand the events we are
studying, the map of Delta those old days. From current Delta (whose contours are drawn in green on the attached map, as well as the two existing arms of the Nile, several "albuferas", and the Suez Canal), we can deduce, with the help of
satellite photographs, a first approximation to the shape of the Delta at that distant time, more than three thousand years ago.
THE TEN PLAGUES OF EGYPT
Preceded the Exodus of the so-called Ten Plagues of Egypt, let's comment some aspects of this traumatic process.
First Plague: water turns into blood. The blood of the Burgundians.
As mentioned ut supra (§ Fluvial dynamics), changes in the bed of the rivers use to happen during floods, becoming visible at the end of these. In other words, when the waters of the Nile descended at the end of Akhet year 1130, it became
obvious that the Waters of Ra, once navigable, had become a rosary of decreasing putrid pools, with adequate conditions for the development of the toxic alga Oscillatoria rubescens, that reddens the waters and kills fishes. This event is well known in Europe since 1825, when the waters of lake Morat (in German Murtensee) became red (19), , and the fishermen told that it was "the blood of the Burgundians" that came up from the bottom. In the memory of these people still lived the bloody battle of Morat in which, on June 21st 1476, the Swiss annihilated besides the lake the army of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Such are the words of Philippe de Commynes, counselor of the King of France, in his Mémoires: «Le seigneur de Contay, qui arriva vers le roy, tost après la bataille, confessa au roy, moy présent, qu'en ladite bataille estoient morts huit mil hommes du parti dudit duc...» (20, p. 353). (The lord of Contay, that arrived towards the King [Louis XI of France, nicknamed The Universal Spider] soon after the battle, confessed to the King, I being present, that in that battle were dead eight thousand men of the party of the said Duke [of Burgundy]...).
Following Plagues and duration of the process
From the red, toxic waters of the Nile first should flie the frogs (Second Plague), that did not devour any more the larvae of mosquitos (Third Plague) and other insects (Fourth Plague). Its proliferation should cause the ulcers, and these, at its turn, the death of cattle (Fifth Plague) and of many people, maybe by anthrax (Sixth Plague), thus establishing a chain of Plages, one after the other. Naturally, hail, locusts and darkness were due to different causes .
Let us now see how much could have lasted all this ordeal.
We know that between the First and Second Plague seven days were spent. Accepting the words of the
Pentateuch after the Seventh Plague, hail: "It was destroyed the flax and barley, because barley was already in the stem and flax in flower, but wheat and buckwheat were not destroyed, by being late" (Ex. 9, 31-32) we can find the period of the
year in what the Plague happened. Since in Egypt flax blooms in late January, the barley begins to ripen in late February, and wheat ripes in late March or early April, the Seventh Plague, hail, must have happened between mid-January and mid-February.
According to sources, between the Seventh and the Tenth Plague (that obviously would derivate from other cuases ) elapsed one month and a half, or two months, and probably will not have elapsed a much longer period between the First and Seventh Plague.
In short, biblical exegetes believe that the process of the Ten Plagues would have lasted at most three to four months, from mid-November to late March. This is about to say that the Plagues started shortly after the end of Akhet season, and
that they lasted most of Peret season .
After all this sequence of catastrophies along Peret, emu arrived, drying the wells and forcing the quick way out of all the population of the enormous Pi-Ramses, pressured by thirst.
MANNING OF EGYPTIAN WAR CHARIOTS: DATE POST QUEM
On leaving in pursuit of the Hebrews, "Pharaoh," whoever it was, "took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, each car with three warriors" (Ex, 14, 7) [KJV and (1-a)]. This is a very interesting detail,
because the Egyptian chariot (at least in the battle of Qade against the Hittites, in the 5th year of Rameses II) had a staff of two warriors: the charioteer, who held the reins, and the warrior itself said, and not three. In the bas-reliefs
of the great temple of Amun at Karnak depicting the battle, repeatedly published [see eg., pp. 179, (7), Spanish translation], it is easy to distinguish the Hittite chariots, with a provision of three warriors, from the chariots of the
Egyptians, with two warriors only.
So, one of two things: either the text of Exodus tells us badly, or indeed the Egyptian war chariot at the time of the Exodus had a staff of three fighters. It is not impossible that the inglorious role played by the Egyptians in the
aforementioned battle induced a subsequent change in the allocation of the cars, imitating the Hittite design, proven more effective. Precisely, details irrelevant for the story such as this one, are who deserve more faith in traditions past.
It is high likely that each car in the Exodus had just three warriors, and not one, nor two, nor four. Why would they invent this irrelevant detail? The Septuaginta translators wrote, in that verse 7 of chapter 14:
(And he took six hundred chosen chariots
and all the horses/cars of the Egyptians
and three warriors on all [of them]).
The above proves that the Exodus could not have happened before the battle of Qade (5th year of Ramses II-1274-), nor before the date on which Egypt
increased from two to three warriors the manning of each chariot. This would set a date of Exodus even more recent. Let Egyptologists find out that date, and we will have one more benchmark.
Ramses III, oppressor of Bedouins
On the other hand, Dr. Bietak has published in (21) an extremely acute observation that had gone unnoticed to the diggers themselves: two "four rooms" reeds-made huts, whose sculpted shallow foundations on the rock were found on the west bank of
Thebes (most Israeli experts believe this type of "four rooms houses" are typical of Israelis), were inhabited by Israeli workers, perhaps slaves. Their task: the demolition of the temple of millions of years of Ay and his successor Horemheb, most likely
ordered by Ramses IV (~1153-1146). The slavery of these individuals  would be documented in the Great Papyrus Harris, where Ramses III, after boasting of his victory over the Sea Peoples, added: "... I destroyed the people of Seir among the
Bedouin (osu) tribes; I devastated their stores, their people, their property, and their cattle, in no given number, I immobilized them and brought them into captivity, as the tribute of Egypt. I gave them to the Ennead of gods as slaves for
their houses (temples)." (Quote from (21)).
Accordingly, we can expect to find more huts of this kind in different parts of Egypt. Therefore, Ramses III may have been the oppressor Pharaoh mentioned in the book of Exodus. When a power is at war with another ethnic group, it tends to distrust those
living in their territory belonging to that ethnic group. There are recent cases.
CONCLUSION: A LATE DATING FOR THE EXODUS?
All the above mentioned allows us to suggest the possibility of a late dating of the Exodus, so considering that Psalm 78 (verse 12) gives the stormy interviews between Moses and the nameless Pharaoh, just in the city of Djacnet / Zoan / Tanis, whose
construction may have begun. Although strictly speaking, this data only proves one thing: that the received text was written after the founding of Tanis, this Psalm nevertheless suggests a late Exodus.
The precise date would be much more difficult to determine, since construction of the new capital, and transfer to it of the great stone monuments of Pi-Ramses, would be delayed for several decades. In effect, the formal establishment of Tanis
as the new capital took place during the long reign of Ramses XI (~ 1094-1064), specifically in year 19th (~ 1076), ie. about 55 years after the abandonment of Pi-Ramses.
Ramses XI, with his long reign of 30 years, was the last monarch of the XXth Dynasty. In its 19th year, in addition to the installation of the court in the new capital of Tanis, Egypt was officially established in the era of wehem mesut,
literally, "repetition of births" or, if preferred, Renaissance era.
But this is a separate issue that I shall, perhaps, try later. END.
The "Victory Stele" of Merenptah (~ 1208) date ante quem?
In the 5th year of the reign of Merenptah (~ 1212-1201), 13th son and successor of Ramses II the Great, Egypt rejected an invading coalition formed by two Libyan tribes allied to Luka, arden, Akiwaa, ekle and Tura; in total, seven allies. The
Egyptian victory was commemorated in the granite stela
Royal "cartouches" of Pharaoh Merenptah. First "cartouche": Ba·en·ra Meri·amon;
second "cartouche ": Meren·ptah Hotep·hir·macat
whose photo has been published in (22), found at Thebes in 1896. Although the data in a whole are of great interest, they are skirted here to focus on his last line, referring to Asia, which Egyptologists translated: "... Every evil afflicts Canaan,
Akelon is deported, Gazer is conquered, Yenocam is no more there, Israel is wasted, with no seed, Khacru has become Egypt's widow ...". The text in italics is read in the before-last line of the stela. Akelon, Gezer and Yenocam were Canaanite
cities (see map). Khacru designates the Syro-Palestinian region.
Therefore, the year ~1208 had Israelites in Canaan, ergo the Exodus would have been prior to that date. But in reality, the text does not necessarily proves that finding. In fact:
Hieroglyphic script wrote only the consonants, and to some words it used to postpone an additional sign not to be read, but whose function was to clarify the meaning of the preceding word. This sign is called a determinative.
Thus, the word "MR" (pyramid), was followed by the schematic drawing of a pyramid. Well, in the stela, which is read from right to left, the determinative following the word YiSRRI3R (where the transcription of the hieroglyphic sign 3 "vulture"
represents a consonant sound that does not exist in Indo-European languages, similar to that shown by the Arabic sign "hamza") included, on three vertical lines (the Egyptian plural), a man and a woman. It would, therefore, be about people, not about a
nation or a city.
Some Egyptologists are inclined to locate this YiSRRI3R, identifiable with Israel according to most experts, in the interior of Canaan.
Two Biblical references include the name of pharaoh Merenptah. They cite both a source located northwest of Jerusalem, called the source of "Neptoah" or "Mineptah" (Joshua 15, 9 and 18,15). Archaeology has proven that in times of
Merenptah resided there an Egyptian garrison. The existence of the locality and of the garrison seem to prove the Egyptian control of the territory during this reign.
Fourth: The rule of Ramses III in Transjordania and in Northern Cisjordania
The site of Tell es-Sacidiya later commented, and the statue of Ramses III found at Bet-San (Tell el-Husn), prove Egyptian control of both banks of the Jordan under this pharaoh, which invalidates Merenptah arguments about forty
The literality of the text describes (in its harsher interpretation) the extermination of a proto-Israel executed by a Merenptah quite inflexible: other documents claim that the battle against the invading Libyans and their
allies left 6,000 dead and 9,000 enemy prisoners. At the foot of the window of his palace at Menphis were deposited the hands and the genitals of the dead enemies, as proof of victory. The prisoners would be executed until the last, and executed
-cruelty never seen before or since in Egypt-, by impalement. Would the Holy Qur'an (38,12 and 89,10) allude to it when writing Pharaoh "of the stakes" (in Arabic, du-l-awtad)?
But if we do not accept that interpretation of the stela's text, but the more likely that the tribe was severely hit but survived, it might well be assumed that one or more groups that later left Egypt were associated with the remnants of that tribe and
other tribes already settled Canaan. All of them, twelve in number, would have made what in Greek world was called an "amphictyony" or alliance made sacred before a deity in his sanctuary. Thus, according to Joshua, 24, the Alliance of the
Twelve Tribes would have been solemnized in the assembly of echem, on the basis of the Ten Commandments written by Moses. To commemorate the Alliance, Joshua stood there a large stone. And the first sanctuary -in the Tent of Meeting- was
installed (Joshua 18, 1) - at Siloh (today Seilun, some 20 km south of Nablus).
For all the foregoing, the Merenptah stela does not prove that ~1208 is date ante quem for the biblical Exodus.
The question marks of Tell es-Sacidiya
This source of Transjordania, in the current Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, involves, in our opinion, a great interest for the topic under study: the dating of the Exodus.
It is located (see map) halfway between Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, within walking distance of river Jordan, and has its own source of drinking water. The tell is located between two tributaries of the Jordan River: Yarnak to the North and
Yabbok to the South, which limit the land of Gilead, which was won by the very Moses in person, assigning it to a half tribe of Manasseh.
He was surveyed in 1942 by N. Glueck. The war situation in the region prevented further work until twenty years later. Between 1964 and 1966 excavated there James Pritchard, from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), which cleared the spring and
the pool. After a new nineteen-year hiatus, Jonathan Tubb, from the British Museum, resumed field work, which found no treasure, but something much more valuable: that in Stratum XII, the area was controlled by the Pharaohs of the XXth Dynasty (founded
by Setnakht, it also includes the Pharaohs from Ramses III onwards: Ramses IV, V, and so on until Ramses XI, with whom, as is well known, the cited Dynasty was extinct). In addition to a wall, a palace complex has been excavated, as well as a
large house, all around the significant water infrastructure referred to above. In the cemetery have been open more than four hundred tombs, most of which are completely Egyptian, with many bodies wrapped in linen bandages. Burials have also
been found that could indicate the presence there of the "Sea Peoples." View (23) for details.
The complex was destroyed by iron and fire at the end of s. XII BC.
Archaeology must clarify the meaning of the Egyptian presence at Tell es-Sacidiya in this historic moment, presence always valuable when establishing dates. Because it is noticeable whether Egyptian rule would have been there before the Exodus,
and the destruction of Egyptian Tell es-Sacidiya a result of it.
Ramses VII (~ 1133-1125)
Given the possibility that Pharaoh Ramses VII were the Exodus' Pharaoh, we collect in these notes what we could find about him.
He was the sixth Pharaoh of the XXth Dynasty. His rule might not have lasted over 7 years. Other dating for his reign is ~1138-1131. Its original name was not Ramses, but he adopted it in the act of his enthronement.
Quo nomine vis vocari? (By what name do you want to be called?) asks the cardinal chamberlain to the pope elected by the Sacred College. Pharaoh also, at his enthronement (and, sometimes, in significant occasions), adopted a new name. As these
titles used to condense his "government program", let us see what names adopted the seventh of the Ramses the day of his inauguration:
He chose as name of "Nesu Bity" (traditionally translated as "king of Upper and Lower Egypt", the term is given now a more subtle meaning, but always dual: Nesu would indicate the divine and immortal Pharaoh, while Bity would indicate the human and
mortal Pharaoh) the first of these two "cartouches":
Anyone versed in hieroglyphs will read effortlessly in the one at the left User·Macat·ra Setep·en·ra ("Powerful is the righteousness (Macat) of Ra, Chosen of Ra"), identical to that of Ramses III, which imitated in that to Ramses II. This equality of title suggests that - as did Ramses III - he chose as political model Ramses the Great, referring to Ra's
righteousness rather than to his mercy. Just as Amon was the god of Thebes, and in general, of Southern Egypt, the god of the North was Ra. In addition, the Egyptians designated as "Waters of Ra" the pelusiac arm of the Nile, at whose
shores had Ramses II built his new capital city.
He chose as name of "Sa-Ra" (second cartouche, on the right) that of Ramses Itef·amon Neter·hika·iunu, which informs us that wanted to be considered "Ramses descendant of Amun, ruler of the god of Iunu." The city of Iunu, in Greek Heliopolis, in
the Bible is On, and it was the Delta city which hold the main sanctuary of Ra.
The power of Ramses VII would be effective in the Delta, and little more than theoretical in the South, because we know that the lands of Amun made to this god and his priests, extremely rich and powerful. An asymmetric situation with the
diminished power of the Crown, which would undoubtedly be a source of tensions of all kinds.
He chose as "Nebty" name (cartouche ommitted) that of Me·kemet Wefja·sety ("Protector of Egypt, feared by foreigners"), which seems to imply a strong line of reaction against a foreign threat, but which one?
(Statue of Ramses VII - presumed portrait)
If the premature death of the firstborn, which broke once again the line of succession (as had happened to Ramses II -twelve times-, Seti II, Ramses III and Ramses V, among others), would
have constituted an additional source of concern for the Pharaoh, it would have been with much reason, as he would eventually be succeeded by his uncle, Ramses VIII.
The tomb of Ramses VII
The most important monument of this king is his grave, known as KV1 in the Valley of the Kings. It is a modest tomb that has been open for centuries (it contains graffiti in Greek and Latin).
KV1 is too far from the bulk of the graves of the Valley of the Kings, in a sub-valley known simply as the valley of the Tomb of Ramses VII. This isolation has resulted in not being popular among tourists. The royal grave closer to it, in a
southerly direction, is KV2. Its design, featuring a straight axis, is oriented in a northwesterly direction, and is very simple: an entrance ramp, a corridor, and the burial chamber itself. Further on, it can be guessed the beginning of a
second chamber, which was unfinished, probably due to the unexpected death of the king. The coffin had to be placed in the chamber, enlarged for the occasion. The second room, just outlined, was used to house the canopic vessels of the
It is anomalous that his tomb at Thebes remained unfinished the 7 th year of the reign, when it was common for pharaoh's tombs to be finished the second year of his ascension to the throne. This fact, coupled with the "strike" of workers that
describes the Turin papyrus, confirms the existence of so serious economic difficulties, that they came to affect a privileged group, as were the workers of the royal tombs of Thebes. Egyptology reports that the shortage of wheat resulted in
tripling its price in this reign.
Excavation of KV1
The first excavation was conducted in 1906 by Edward Ayrton. Although we knew that previous visits had cataloged and studied this grave beforehands, Ayrton's expedition was in charge of reopening and cleaning the site.
Only under the leadership of Edwin Brock, from the Museum of Ontario , was conducted a larger study, completed with the adequation of the tomb for beeing open to the public.
As foreseen (KV1 was used for many years by Coptic monks and hermits), there were not found many objects in the tomb: Only some uebtis, the remains of amphorae or ostraka, belonging to different periods. The grave is merely
carved in the floor stone and covered with a slab, which was been broken by one side to reach the mummy and the riches that she would hide. This massive lid is decorated with figures of Isis, Nephthys, Serket and the four sons of Horus.
The mummy of the King
No one knows the circumstances of his death, nor his mummy has been found to date, although there were four faience vessels with the king's name in the cache near DB320, in Deir el-Bahari, which may suggest that the his is one
of the unidentified bodies found in that cache.
None of this information is repugnant to what the Bible assigns to the Pharaoh of the Exodus and his environment.
(1) Ur, by Sir Leonard Woolley, Collection The King Penguin Books, Edited by Penguin Books. Ltd.; London, 1946.
(2) Y la Biblia tenía razón, by Werner Keller; Ediciones Omega, 9ª edición; Barcelona 1961.
(3) Archaeology of the Bible Lands, by Magnus Magnusson; editor: The Bodley Head Ltd.; London 1977.
(4) The Exodus Enigma, by Ian Wilson; editor: Wiedenfeld & Nicholson; London, 1985.
(5) Qatna, el enigma de la ciudad perdida; Revista Geo, nº 283, August 2010, pp. 49-72.
(6) Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos, by Dr. Manfred Bietak; editor: The British Museum Press; London 1996.
(7) Ramsés II: la véritable histoire, by Christiane Desroches Noblecourt; Éditions Pygmalion; Paris 1996.
(8) Biblia de Jerusalén; 1st edition in Spanish (nihil obstat of 1966), translated having present the French text fixed by l'École Bíblique de Jérusalem, Éditorial Desclée de Brouwer, Bruxelles.
(9) Biblia de Jerusalén; 2nd edition in Spanish (nihil obstat of 1975), Éditions du Cerf, París, 1973; this edition omits the mention of the three warriors over the chariot.
(10) Ägypten und Levante, by Dr. Manfred Bietak; (in German); editor: International Journal for Egyptian Archaelogy; Vienna, 1999.
(11) Kenneth Kitchen is author of many publications (see Internet); among them: The reliability of the Old Testament; editor: William Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
(12) Arqueología de la Biblia, by James Hoffmeier; editor: SAN PABLO; Madrid, 2008.
(13) The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, by Bill Manley; editor: Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 2003.
(14) La crisis del siglo XII a.C. Pueblos del Mar y guerra de Troya ca. 1215-1175 a.C.; author: Alfredo Mederos Martín; Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; 2007.
(15) Rediscovered Luwian Hieroglyphic inscriptions from Western Asia Minor, provissional version by Eberhard Zangger and Fred Woudhuizen; Proceedings of the Dutch Archaelogical Society, vol. 50, 2018.
(16)Historia y leyes de los hititas; pp. 288-289: T91-Hazañas de Suppiluliuma II. Inscripción jeroglífica de Südburg ; Ediciones AKAL
(17) Moisés, el faraón rebelde (Moses, the rebel Pharaoh); author: Bernard Simonay; editor: Grijalbo; Barcelona, 2004.
(18) Tesoros sumergidos de Egipto, catalog of the great exhibition (Madrid, 2008). Editors: Franck Goddio, with David Fabre.
(19) "Oscillatoria rubescens", D.C. as an indicator of Lago Maggiore Eutrophication, by O. Ravera & R. A. Vollenweider; contribution Nº. 395 to the Euratom Biology Division; manuscrip received in 1968.
(20) «Mémoires sur Louis XI», by Philippe de Commynes; edition prepared by Jean Dufournet; Editorial Gallimard, Collection Folio; 1979.
(21) Israelites Found in Egypt, by Dr. Manfred Bietak; Spanish translation by Ana Quesada; and An Iron-Age Four-Room House in Ramesside Egypt, Eretz-Israel, 22 (1999), pp. 10-12.
(22) The Hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt, by Aidan Dodson; editor: New Holland Publishers, Ltd
(23) Archaeological Encyclopaedia of the Holy Land, entry " SAIDIYEH (TEL ES-)".
 Critics have set the chronology of the Nineteenth Dynasty in doubt for a few years. Although the aforementioned Introduction to the Pentateuch accepts the years 1290-1224 BC for the start-end of the reign of Ramses II the Great, we preferred the low dating: 1279-1213. For the Twentieth Dynasty, the most modern chronology of the recent work (22) by Aidan Dodson.
 Upon discovering and excavating the city-state of Ebla in the Syrian region of Aleppo, a rich library of clay tablets was found. Several artifacts, including an alabaster vase with the name of Pharaoh Pepi I (Sixth Dynasty), allow to date
Ebla from s. XXVII BC. Kings were elected for periods of seven years. But one of them, named Ebrum, was king (according to Pettinato, but not by other researchers) for twenty-seven years, then retired from politics and lead a religious
reformation. Could this Ebrum be identified with the figure of Abram who, according to the Bible, changed his name into Abraham? (~1850 BC).
 According to Galanopoulos (1960), between 1801 and 1958 were recorded in Eastern Mediterranean as many as 482 earthquakes of intensity greater than six, of which 170 of intensity equal to or greater than 7. Twenty of them generated
tsunamis, where 6 of them catastrophic. According to Pararas-Carayannis (1973), earthquakes and tsunamis have hit the continental and insular Greece since ancient times, causing catastrophic damage to the Minoan world and other ancient
settlements. Many of these phenomena affected the Egyptian coast.
 In the temple of Abou Simbel we can see a bas-relief of Ramses II protected by the god Seth to the left and the god Horus to the right. Being both gods mithological enemies, Ramses pretends to project a message of unification and consensus. The god Seth was represented in papyri and bas-reliefs with human body and the peculiar head of the "Seth animal", of uncertain nature. I am inclined in favor of the aardvark (scientific name Orycteropus afer, from Greek ορυκτηρ, digger; and πους, feet; and from Latin afer, African), placentary mammal exclusively African, of ~1,30 m long, tail included, with pig-like snout, donkey-like ears, 4 strong claws in his forelegs and 5 in his hind legs, and kangaroo-like tail. Strange animal, indeed. Brown in its top and reddish in its low, it has nocturnal habits, digging labyrinthine burrows with several entrances for protection and mating. Though its food is almost exclusively termites and ants, it has several molars. Nocturnal and shy, it therefore is rarely visible. Its habitat includes all the African continent south of parallel 20º North ( which in the Nile means the 3rd Cataract), except Gabon, Rio Muni and surrounding countries. In Egypt does not exist today, but may have existed in Pharaonic times.
 Experts affirm that there was no slavery in Egypt in the Greco-Roman sense of the term, "slave" for life and hereditary (in Greek, δουος), on which the master had the right to life and death, and who could buy or sell them. The
Egyptian language lacked even a word to designate this odious concept. Egyptians used the words, "hem" or "bak" to designate workers or state officials, even of the highest ranking. Even the Wazir, head of all of them, was considered "bak" of the
 Avaris is the Greek version of Egyptian Hat waret, where both "t" were deaf, thus giving Hawara. There is a Hawara in El Fayum (Egypt) and, also, Fabara (Aragon, Spain), Favara (Valencia, Spain,) and Favara (near Agrigento, Sicily, Italy).
 According to (14 bis), Oscillatoria rubescens is known to occur in many other eutrophicated European, American and Japanese lakes and reservoirs. That would also be the case of the beautiful Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia. The spectacular «Blood Falls» in Antarctis (77º 43' S, 162º 16' E) would merely be iron oxide.
 It is anachronistic, quite obviously, to use Gregorian calendar to define the period of the year of beginning and end of the Ten Plagues. It happens, nevertheless, that Julian calendar, from which ours is mere retouch, is basically the
Egyptian pharaonic calendar. It divided the year in twelve months of 30 days each, comprising three seasons of four months each: The first season, Akhet ("flood"), started end of June-begining of July; the second season was Peret ("exit", of
the lands out of the water); and the last one was Shemu ("summer", that is, water shortage), thus closing the year. Each month had three weeks of ten days. To these 360 days, 5 epagomenous days were added. This was equivalent to compute years
of 365 days, while in reality the tropic year of our Planet lasts 365,2422 days. Such computing incurred in an error of 0,2422 days per year. The temple of Ra in Heliopolis was in charge of observing the heliacal rising of the star Sothis, today called Sirius,
rising that initially coincided with the beginning of Ajet. Between two consecutive heliacal risings a sidereal year of 365,25636 days elapses.
 It is worth noting, nevertheless, that no mice Plague was mentioned, even in a cerealistic land, due indeed to the efficacity of egyptian cats, which maintained under control in these difficult circumstances the population of little
rodents. Cat was a sacred animal in Egypt, under the protection of goddess Baset o Bst. Yet today, many of us still call our cats with the customary "bs, bs, bs", thus invoking, without knowing it, the said goddess.