Bust of Nefertiti, Queen Consort of Akhenaten, 18th Dynasty, Egypt CREDIT
Ancient Origins is a website that kept showing up as a contributing source for articles which I have used in this blog. Earlier this year, I subscribed to the digital version as a stimulant to my own creative thinking and as a source of leads to archaeological conundrums. Recently, I saw a couple articles in Ancient Origins regarding a significant topic that is archaeologically unsettled, indeed very much up in the air, and important to 54% of the world’s population, mainly Christianity, Islam and Judaism. That topic is the historicity of the Biblical account of the rebellion and Exodus from Egypt led by Moses.
I am not afraid of investigating the third-rail subject of religion. I never could understand why so much antipathy is poised against the most proven, accurate and ample source of ancient data and leads, much of it verified by modern archaeology e.g. Hittites, other “-ites,” Philistines, Syrians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Ethiopians, Sudanese, and other civilizations from Sumer to Akkad and Elam etc.
I’m talking about the Bible. I never read it until I was 35—evidence of my closed-minded Philistine education at Trinity Grammar School, Western Junior High School, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, University of Maryland, and Yale University Graduate School. I heard more of Jesus Christ and God in the Marines, not always respectfully but taken seriously, than in all that schooling combined. At least my Marines, whose business is facing down death to protect our country, do indeed better understand the basic stakes of life. No snowflakes there.
Recently reading a couple of articles in Ancient Origins about the rebellion in Egypt and related historical evidence and speculations opened my mind to the outstanding questions of evidence of the Exodus chapter in the Bible. This subject is not a baseless myth. The timing of the appearance of monotheism with Akhenaten in Egypt and the monotheistic Jews per the books of Exodus, Judges and 1 Samuel, and our expanding knowledge of the turmoil of the arrival of the Sea Peoples on the coasts of the Levant plus the supporting archaeology in Israel leads every open mind toward a mid-2nd millennium B.C. date for the rebellion in Egypt and the Exodus. It’s not a forced estimate, it seems to naturally fit the facts we have, more so now than ever. It’s certainly no more than an hypothesis, but so is most archaeology.
This is the most important archaeological conundrum that seems solvable in our time. Most important? Find another in which 54% of the world’s population has a stake.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke