Skip to comments.Wealthy 3,600-year-old Trading Hub Found in Gaza
Posted on 06/25/2016 6:29:28 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The remains of a vast Bronze Age town... has been discovered in Gaza, and has now been shown to be a rich trading hub. The prosperity of its Canaanite inhabitants is evident in discoveries of elaborate gold jewelry, vast amounts of imported pottery and an unprecedented number of scarabs... trade between the seaside Canaanite town and other Mediterranean peoples, notably the ancient Cypriots. Among the clay sherds discovered were over 200 of white slip I type of pottery, a type of ware rarely found outside of Cyprus.
Tell el-Ajjul, which lies right on the Gazan coast, was first explored by Sir William M. Flanders Petrie from 1930-1934, who mistakenly thought it to be ancient Gaza. His excavations yielded vast amount of imported pottery, jewelry and gold objects, some of which are displayed at British Museum... From Tell el-Ajjul, Cypriot products, especially pottery, copper and bronze, were distributed throughout the southern Levant, including Transjordan.
Fischer believes that the large amount of luxury items is the consequence of surplus from trade, especially considering that there are no other natural sources which would explain the wealth of Tell el-Ajjul, except for possibly selling products from farming, such as wine and olive oil...
Who exactly ruled this important trade junction during Middle to Late Bronze Age is a mystery... Egyptian governors from the 18th and 19th dynasty seem to have taken over the town.
Fischer believes Tell el-Ajjul is identical with Sharuhen, where according to Egyptian sources the Hyksos fled after being expelled from Egypt by Pharaoh Ahmose I.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
Another one of *those* topics.
Before the muslims. Now it’s just another islamist dump.
I find it fascinating that a large, wealthy city can completely disappear from history. Makes me wonder what else we don’t know about our past.
I enjoy your posts immensely. Thanks!
Indeed! It looks as if the photographer is standing on the beach, and the excavators are "cleaning up" a portion of the eroding shoreline.
What's amazing about that (despite the clickbait title) is that the site has been known since at least 1930 -- and the site-rapers haven't eradicated it, looking for salable "stuff"!
I'd guess that most of the "goodies" pictured were from Petrie's excavations...
thank you Sunkenciv!
That ‘medallion’ looks to me like the discs used on bridles of chariot horses. They were used right at the end of the bit to put pressure on the horse’s mouth to turn right or left. The projections were inward. You can see photos of them in David Gregory’s book.
Weren’t the original Gazan people thought to be a group of Indo-European steppe people that penetrated the middle east?
read it and weep:
THESES FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION
OF ANCIENT HISTORY
30. In the siege of Auaris, Saul was assisted by Kamose and Ahmose, the vassal princes of Thebes.
31. Manethos story about the Hyksos leaving Auaris by agreement reflects the scriptural incident concerning the Kenites leaving the besieged Amalekite fortress.
32. The invasion of southern Palestine by the escaping remnants of the Hyksos is reflected in I Samuel 30; and their further destruction at Sheruhen, in the Talmudic story of Joabs war against the capital of the Amalekites.
33. This last bastion of the Amalekites was probably on one of the rocks of Petra.
34. Manetho confused Sheruhen with Jerusalem, and the Israelites, the redeemers of Egypt, with the Hyksos.
35. This confusion spread in the Ptolemaic time and became the cause of the rise of anti-Semitism which, fed from different channels, survived until today.
36. The period of the Wanderings in the Desert, of Joshua, and of the Judges, corresponds to the time of Hyksos domination in Egypt and the Near East. The period of the Hyksos lasted for more than four hundred years. The archaeological findings of the Hyksos period in Palestine appertain to the time of the Conquest and the Judges.
37. Two kingdoms rose on the ruins of the Hyksos Empire: the kingdom of Israel under David, and the New Kingdom of Egypt under the Eighteenth Dynasty. The beginnings of these two dynasties are not separated by six centuries; they started simultaneously.
Yeah, and really, I should have started with #16/section II.
By the time of the later Israelite monarchy, the Philistines appear to have been Hurrian (based on surviving local info); apparently they hadn’t been during the time of the Judges (in the OT, 40 years of Philistine domination; the Samson/Shamgar story; David vs Goliath). The Philistines were *not* the “People of the Sea”.
Neal Bierling’s “Giving Goliath His Due” is back online (the old site fell off, and I’m getting errors trying to load the Wayback Machine versions) — wrote this in chapter 5:
[snip] The name Goliath, like Achish, is not Semitic, but rather Anatolian (McCarter 1980, 291, Mitchell 1967, 415; Wainwright 1959, 79). Not all agree though; the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (2:524) proposes that Goliath may have been a remnant of one of the aboriginal groups of giants of Palestine who now were in the employ of the Philistines. [1. Naveh (1985, 9, 13 n. 14) states that Ikausu, the name of the king of Ekron in the seventh century b.c., is a non-Semitic name that can be associated with that of the Achish of Gath in David’s time. The name in the seventh century has a shin ending that is non-West Semitic.] [/snip]
> the site has been known since at least 1930 — and the site-rapers haven’t eradicated it
Yeah, it’s almost as if neither they nor their ancestors were living there in 1930. :’)
I’d love it if there were some ruins around here, but alas, I live in the quiet of western Michigan.
Well, there’s Detroit.
The Stratigraphy of the 19th Dynasty in Asia MinorPetrie found a temple of Rameses II at Tahpanhes, a 26th Dynasty site. Psammetichus (663 - 610 GAD) of the 26th Dynasty had granted Tahpanhes to his Greek and Carian mercenaries. It existed during the 26th Dynasty until the time of Amasis (569 -525). He found no artefacts of dynasties 20 to 25... Excavators at Lachish found a temple with 19th Dynasty artefacts also contained Israelite material of the 7th century. The stratum of the time Nebuchadnezzar, circa 590, contained the scarabs of Ramses II circa 1290... At Byblos... Ahiram... was buried in a coffin made by his son. His son's inscription was in Phoenician script of the 8th or 7th century as was the imported Cypriote pottery but the broken Egyptian vases and the coffin in the tomb were from the time of Ramses II... Rowe, the excavator of Beth Shan, designated the upper Strata IX to V to the 18th, 19th and the early 20th Dynasty. Levels IX, VIII, and VII are ascribed to the 18th Dynasty. Levels VI and V are ascribed to the 19th and early 20th Dynasties. The succeeding Stratum IV was ascribed to the period of the Late 20th Dynasty, Judges and Philistines, Israelite kings, Assyrians, Psammetichus and the Scythians as well as the Neo-Babylonians and the early years of the Persians. Whereas 5 strata are assigned to just over 300 years, the one and only Israelite stratum was assigned over 700 years. Furthermore, the thickness of Stratum IV is eight times thinner than the combined Strata V and VI, circa 150 years... Indeed, Mazar reports that Level VII belongs to the 19th Dynasty and Level VI to the 20th Dynasty. This leaves two levels V and IV for the Israelite levels. Though he cites Rowe as a reference, he gives no explanation of the discrepancy. Although it is suggested that the Philistines followed the 20th Dynasty, Rowe reports no Philistine pottery at this level. Furthermore, no artefacts identified as Israelite, Assyrian or Neo-Babylonian is reported either. Only a statue of Ramses III is found here together with Scythian artefacts. If Seti I and Ramses II (1300 - 1200) directly overlie the Scythians in Neo-Babylonian and Persian times (600 - 300), there remains a 600-year gap, just like the Syrian sites... It is hopeless to carry on special pleading any longer to avoid the obvious. There is no 600-year gap. The 19th Dynasty existed in the 7th not the 13th century. The 19th and 26th Dynasties are the same as Velikovsky has claimed.
by Alan Montgomery
The tell has been explored to a depth of about thirteen meters, and another thirteen meters conceal the older strata, still unexplored. The deepest stratum explored (IX) is that of Thutmose III and is assigned to between -1501 and -1447. Stratum VIII is ascribed to the period of -1447 to -1412, , and Stratum VII to Amenhotep III, Akhnaton, and the epigoni of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Stratum VI is divided into two thick layers, the "early Seti" and the "late Seti," together composing the period from -1313 to -1292. Stratum V, the largest, is that of Ramses II ( -1292 to -1225). Stratum IV covers the time of the "Late-Ramessides, Philistines, Israelites, Assyrians, Scythians, Neo-Babylonians, Old Persians, etc." or from -1224 to -302, over nine hundred years of stormy history. This means that none of these periods has a separate stratum: one very thin layer represents all of them. But this stratum is less than one third of the stratum of Seti; in other words, the stratum of 922 years, including many consecutive important periods in the history of Beth-Shan, is equal in thickness to layers deposited every seven years during the reign of Seti; and again, this 922-year deposit is but one fifth the thickness of the stratum of Ramses II alone.
The real meaning of the strata archaeology of Beth-Shan is as follows: Strata IX to V (Thutmose III to Ramses II) cover the period of the kings from Solomon to Zedekiah and the exile. Stratum IV covers only the end of the Neo-Babylonian period (Nabonidus) and the old Persian, which is contemporaneous with the Later Ramessides. Strata III, II, and I are correctly presented as Hellenistic-Roman, Byzantine, and Arabian.
The exact order of events that ended with Ays elaborate and beautiful sarcophagus being smashed to smithereens, we do not know; but the Eighteenth Dynasty was terminated by invasion. Ay was not followed on the throne by any kin of his -- the House of Akhnaton was followed by foreign rule.
Under the Libyan Dynasty not only the worship of Amon, but even the worship of Aton survived. Amon was a deity through long periods of Egyptian history, but the worship of Aton was very characteristic for the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty only.
A stele, now in the Cairo Museum, shows a priest in office under king Osorkon II, one of the later Libyan pharaohs. The priest is described in the text as "Prophet of Amonrasonter in Karnak who contemplates Aton of Thebes" , a somewhat peculiar description which H. Kees remarked upon. He noted that it is "as if the priest had lived in Amarna times! ".
At the beginning of this century James H. Breasted drew attention to the fact that the Ethiopian temple-city Gem-Aten, known from the annals of the Nubian kings, carries the same name as Akhnaton's temple at Thebes, and that the two must be in some relation, despite the great difference in age. A relief in a Theban tomb shows Akhnaton with his family worshipping in the temple of Gem-Aten. "The name of the Theban temple of Aton therefore furnished the name of the Nubian city, and there can be no doubt that lkhenaton [Akhnaton] was its founder, and that he named it after the Theban temple of his god. . . . We have here the remarkable fact that this Nubian city of lkhenaton survived and still bore the name he gave it nearly a thousand years after his death and the destruction of the new city of his god in Egypt (Amarna)."
Herodotus in his history of Egypt placed Sennacherib's invasion in the reign of "the priest of Hephaestos, whose name was Sethos." At that time, he wrote, "king Sanacharib (came) against Egypt with a great host of Arabians and Assyrians." It is generally assumed that Herodotus or his informants made a mistake: "In the popular tradition preserved by Herodotus the name of the Egyptian king is given as 'Sethos' . . . the true appellation of the monarch has disappeared in favor of the great Seti. . . . It is impossible to reject the whole story to the actual period of Seti in face of the direct mention of Sennacherib (Sanacharaibos)."
In the conventional scheme of history Seti the Great lived in the latter part of the fourteenth century; the events with which we are now concerned took place in the final years of the eighth century. Sethos of Herodotus was now, however, Seti the Great, as was surmised by the historian quoted above: he was his grandfather. To keep the narrative free from misunderstandings, I shall call the first of that name the way Herodotos called him, "Sethos," retaining for the more famous grandson the name Seti. If we can prove our thesis then the confusion of history, for which Herodotus is not to be blamed, put the grandson six hundred years before his grandfather.
Sennacherib invaded Egypt twice. His first campaign resulted in a victory for the Assyrians and Egypt's submission; his second, fifteen years later, as it will be told, ended in disaster. Sennacherib's records speak only of his first campaign and are silent about the second; the Scriptures do not distinguish between the two campaigns; and in the Egyptian record, transmitted by Herodotus, only the second campaign was remembered. Each of our sources has preserved only a part of the story, and to obtain the complete picture we must draw on each of them in turn.
The road to Egypt and the flanks having been made secure, Esarhaddon wrote: "I trod upon Arzani [to] the Brook of Egypt." We had already occasion to explain the geographical term Arzani as the Hebrew Arzenu, "our land" by which the Scriptures (Joshua 9:11, Judges 16:24, Psalms 85:10, Micah 5:4) repeatedly refer to Israel and Judah; by the same term ('rezenu) this land was known to the rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty, Thutmose and others. "Brook of Egypt," or in the Assyrian text Nahal Musur, is Nahal Mizraim of Hebrew texts; it is Wadi el-Arish, the historical frontier of Egypt and Palestine. The "town of the Brook of Egypt" in Esarhaddon's inscription is el-Arish, the ancient Avaris.
It was in his tenth year, or -671, that Esarhaddon entered Egypt: he marched unopposed only as far as a place he calls Ishupri: there he met his adversary, Tirhaka, king of Ethiopia (Nubia) and Egypt. The progress from here on was slow; it took fifteen days to advance from Ishupri to Memphis, close to the apex of the Delta a few miles south from present-day Cairo.
"From the town of Ishupri as far as Memphis, his royal residence, a distance of fifteen days' march, I fought daily, without interruption, very bloody battles against Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, the one accursed by all the great gods. Five times I hit him with the point of my arrows, inflicting wounds from which he should not recover, and then I laid siege to Memphis, his royal residence, and conquered it in half a day by means of mines, breaches, and assault ladders; I destroyed it, tore down its walls, and burned it down."
Before we go on to recount the events that followed, we should examine more closely the question which was the "town of Ishupri" that Esarhaddon mentions as the starting point in his confrontation with Tirhaka. Its name was not known from the list of cities compiled from hieroglyphic texts of the imperial age of Egypt, and it intrigued the Orientalists. When their efforts to find its derivation were crowned with success, the solution raised a rather grave question.
Ishupri was understood as an Assyrian transcription of the throne name of pharaoh Sethos (Wesher-khepru-re) and meaning "Sethosville" or the like. The leading German Orientalist Albrecht Alt came to this conclusion, and the solution was accepted by other Orientalists. The question raised by this solution was in the enormous time span between Sethos and Esarhaddon on the conventional time-table. Sethos (in the conventional history Seti II) is placed in the second part of the thirteenth century, and Esarhaddon ruled Assyria from -681 to -668, invading Egypt in -671; in between there lie some five hundred and seventy years. The survival of the name Sethosville (Ishupri) was estimated by Alt as "remarkable," and even more remarkable (um so bemerkenswerter) is the fact that for these almost six hundred years this locality remained unmentioned in the hieroglyphic texts and appeared for the first time in the annals of Esarhaddon. In his inscriptions he refers to Ishupri not less than three times. How did an Assyrian king of the seventh century come to call a fortress or a locality east of the Delta, possibly at Kantara of today, by the name of an obscure pharaoh of an age long past? Or why did this city name, familiar to Esarhaddon, escape mention in all texts, Egyptian or others, prior to -671? Should it not have been preserved on some document belonging to the king who built it or the following generations, if the city was called after him?
In the present reconstruction Sethos is recognized as the grandfather of Seti the Great; we found him in the history of Herodotus as the adversary of Sennacherib, father of Esarhaddon. He was considered a savior of Egypt and it was therefore only natural to find that a city or fortress guarding the Asiatic frontier was named after him: Esarhaddon on his campaign to recover Egypt, only a few years after the events of -687, called it by the name it then carried "House of Sethos," or "Sethosville." Sethos, the adversary of Esarhaddon's father, could even have been still alive.
In the course of the brief reign of Ramses I (Necho I), Tirhaka, who had fought against Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, died at his capital of Napata. In Assurbanipal's words, "The night of death overtook him." He left behind, widowed, his chief wife Duk-hat-amun, but no sons -- a son and another wife had been captured years earlier by Esarhaddon in Memphis and deported to Assyria. The succession to the Ethiopian throne would pass through Duk-hat-amun if she could find a husband of royal blood; if not, Tirhaka's nephew, Tandamane, was next in the line of succession.
In the biography of Suppiluliumas, compiled by his son Mursilis, there is quoted a letter from a queen of Egypt named Dakhamun: "My husband died," she wrote, "and I have no son. People say that you have many sons. If you were to send me one of your sons, he might become my husband." She added she did not wish to marry a commoner from among her subjects. Since the reign of Suppiluliumas has been placed about 600 years before the reign of Tirhaka, the identity of Dakhamun has remained a mystery. She is usually identified as one of Akhnaton's daughters. But of all the queens of ancient Egypt, only one had a name that corresponds to Dakhamun of the annals of Mursilis -- namely, Duk-hat-amun, the widow of Tirhaka...
At this, Suppiluliumas "complied with the lady's wishes," and sent her a prince.
But a few weeks later the news arrived that the prince had been assasinated. Whether this was done by the Assyrians, who held control over Syria-Palestine, as well as northern Egypt, or whether a court intrigue by the opponents of Duk-hat-amun caused the prince's death is not known.
"Not far into Asia, Seti apparently meets a fortified town, to which the relief gives the name Pekanan [Pekanon]. . . . Exactly what this name means here is not certain." A scene on a bas-relief illustrates the occupation of the fortress Pekanon in Palestine... A few other places in the plain of Jezreel are also mentioned as having been occupied with the intention of repelling the invasion of the foreigners, but prominence is given to Pekanon.
No reference to the city of Pekanon is found in previous lists of Palestinian cities compiled by the pharaohs, nor had the Israelites found a city by that name when they occupied Canaan. Some scholars presume that it may mean Pi-Canaan or "The Canaan," but others disagree. The name has the sign of a country, but it is pictured on the bas-relief as a city. This suggests that the city was the capital of a country.
The city of Pekanon must have existed for but a short moment. It is conceded that Egyptian documents before Seti (whose reign, according to the conventional chronology, started in -1310) do not know such a city. Hebrew annals containing a list of the Palestinian cities of the thirteenth century (the supposed time of the conquest by Joshua) do not know it either. In the Egyptian sources Pekanon is met once more on the stele of Merneptah (the grandson of Seti), who mentions the Israelites in Palestine. Thus the name Pekanon became a hopeless issue in historical geography.
Pekanon was a city fortified by Pekah, the next to the last king of Israel. Cities built, rebuilt, or fortified by kings were often named in their honor. Pekah, son of Remaliah, reigned in Samaria for twenty years (II Kings 15:27). He was a ruler eager for enterprises, from the day he slew Pekahiah, his master, until the day he slaughtered 120,000 people of Judah and "carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand" (II Chronicles 28:8), only to release them shortly thereafter.
According to the reconstruction of history offered here, Pekah preceded Seti the Great by two generations. This order of things explains why, in the list of Thutmose III containing the names of hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian localities, the name of Pekanon does not appear, and why, in the biblical register of cities of Canaan, there is no mention of this name in the days of Joshua's conquest or later. Judging by the significance attached to Pekanon in the records of Seti, it was an important city in or near the Esdraelon Valley, renamed by King Pekah, who rebuilt or fortified it.
Chapters 4-6 of the young Jeremiah are generally regarded as expressing the fear of the people of Palestine at the approach of the Scythian hordes. The prophet spoke of the evil that would come down from the north and a great destruction (4:6), of whole cities that would "flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen" (4:29), of "a mighty nation . . . whose language thou knowest not" (5:15). "Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth" (6:22).
The Egyptian king, however, succeeded by persuasion in halting their advance toward Egypt. He, like the Scythians, was an ally of Assurbanipal. According to Herodotus, Psammetichos was besieging a city in Palestine when the Scythians reached that country.
I have identified Seti the Great with Psammetichos of Herodotus. Now we are bound to ask: What city was Psammetichos besieging when the Scythians descended from the north?
The translation of the Seventy (Septuagint) calls Beth-Shan by the name of Scythopolis; so do Josephus and Eusebius. Georgius Syncellus, the Byzantine chronologist, explained that the use of the name Scythopolis for Beth-Shan was due to the presence of Scythians, who had remained there from among the invading hordes in the days of Psammetichos.
As has been said above, Beth-Shan was besieged and occupied by Seti, and his steles and the graves of the Greek mercenaries who served with him were discovered there. Ramses II, his successor, also occupied Beth-Shan for some time, but no vestiges have been found there of Egyptian kings of later times. The conventional chronology compelled the archaeologists of Beth-Shan to conclude that after Seti and Ramses II the city was practically uninhabited until the time of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the seventh century, although from the Scriptures we know that Beth-Shan was an important city in the days of Judges and Kings.
Seti-meri-en-Ptah Men-maat-Re, who left his steles in Beth-Shan, was Psammetichos of Herodotus. It was the seventh century.
[Jan Sammer's Editorial Postscript] Kadesh of Seti's Conquest: This identification was given in brief in Velikovsky's article in KRONOS III:3, mentioned above. The relevant passage reads: "There is a mural that shows Seti capturing a city called Kadesh. Modern scholars recognized that this Kadesh or Temple City was not the Kadesh mentioned in the annals of Thutmose. Whereas the Kadesh of Thutmose was in southern Palestine, the Kadesh of Seti was in Coele-Syria. The position of the northern city suggested that it was Dunip, the site of an Amon temple built in the days of Thutmose III. Dunip, in its turn, was identified with Baalbek.'
Rare clay sarcophagus found in Israel alongside Seti I scarab seal ring
The Guardian | April 9, 2014 14:53 EDT | AP none stated
Posted on 4/10/2014 12:02:37 AM by blueplum
Rare sarcophagus, Egyptian scarab found in Israel
Phys.Org | Apr 09, 2014 | by Daniel Estrin
Posted on 4/17/2014 2:05:42 PM by Red Badger
Immanuel Velikovsky, "Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History", June 10, 1945
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