Posts Tagged With: Petrie

The Pyramid Age coincides with the Sojourn of Israel in Egypt

The pyramids of Egypt remain one of the great wonders of the world.

How the Ancient Egyptians managed to cut the huge solid limestone blocks, transport them and lift them into position before the wheel was even invented remains a mystery.

The first pyramid to be built was the Stepped Pyramid of Djoser (Netjerikhet) which is part of a complex in Saqqara Egypt that appears to be a grain storage and distribution center. The Step Pyramid itself was built on top of a shaft that was originally used as a grain silo but then converted into a tomb for the Pharaoh. The Step Pyramid is really a series of Mastabas, made from solid limestone blocks, stacked up on top of one another. The Step Pyramid was used to bury Netjerikhet’s 3 wives and 11 daughters and Netjerikhet’s sarcophagus was placed on a platform in the shaft beneath the Stepped Pyramid.

The Step Pyramid was designed by Imhotep who may well be the Joseph of the Bible. Joseph and Imhotep have many similarities but have not been thought to be one in the same person because of discrepancies between the estimated dates of their existence.

The Step Pyramid became the standard for the burial of pharaohs in subsequent dynasties.

Joseph would have lived well into the fourth dynasty if he was Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty and would no doubt have served more than one pharaoh.

The great pyramids of Giza far surpass the size of the first pyramid at Saqqara and contain enormous blocks that still leave the experts puzzled as to how they could have been lifted into place with the technology of the day.

The 12th dynasty appears to have arisen out of the 11th dynasty which was contemporary with the 6th dynasty. The Middle Kingdom of Egypt, therefore, directly followed the Old Kingdom. There was no first intermediate period as such.

The pyramids of the 12th dynasty were made from mudbricks that contained straw as a reinforcement. Each pyramid would have contained millions upon millions of these mudbricks which were about 24 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches in size. The 12th dynasty pyramids thus had a core that was made of mud bricks but the outer veneer was made of limestone which was becoming more difficult to quarry by the 12th dynasty and therefore in short supply. Over the centuries, the outer veneer of limestone has fallen down and been pilfered exposing the inner mudbrick core.

Paradoxically, the first pyramids to have been built, those of the 3rd and 4th dynasty (Old Kingdom Pyramids), have stood the test of time better than those built in the 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom Pyramids). This is because the Old Kingdom Pyramids were made entirely out of solid limestone blocks while the Middle Kingdom Pyramids were made largely from Mud Bricks (the core) and only had a veneer of limestone.

The pharaohs of the 12th dynasty would have required a large slave labor force to make the mudbricks for the 12th dynasty pyramids.

The Israelites had come to number around 2 million by the time of the Exodus. The seven pyramids of the 12th dynasty were built over a 200 year period. Flinders Petrie found evidence of a sudden massive exodus of slaves from the town of Kahun in the 13th dynasty. The town of Kahun was a semetic workers village where the builders of the 12th dynasty pyramids lived.

If the Israelite exodus took place in the 13th dynasty then it would seem likely that it was the Israelites who were enslaved during the 12th dynasty and given the task of making mudbricks for the pyramids. After the Exodus in the 13th dynasty, no more pyramids were built.

If the first pyramid was designed by an Israelite, Joseph-Imhotep, and the Israelites were slaves in Egypt up until the last pyramid of the 12th dynasty was built, then the Pyramid age would coincide with the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt! It therefore follows that the pyramid age spanned a 400 year period from around 1900BC to 1500BC.

see Evidence for the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt

The relationship between the Israelite sojourn (430yrs) and the dynasties of Egypt.

The relationship between the Israelite sojourn (430yrs) and the dynasties of Egypt.

A schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon. There was no first intermediate period.

A schematic diagram illustrating the relationship between the Egyptian Kingdoms and dynasties and the various phases of Israel as the Israelites grew to be a nation while they were in Egypt and then traveled to the promised land where they were ruled initially by Judges and later by Kings. The nation of Israel became divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) after Solomon. There was no first intermediate period.

Categories: Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Mud bricks containing straw, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moses was born during the co-regency of Senusret III and Amenemhet III in the 12th dynasty during the Israelite Oppression. The 12th dynasty was doomed when Moses (Amenemhet IV) went into exile and it was crippled by the Exodus of the Israelites 40 years later.

Moses was an Israelite who was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her own. Moses spend the first 40 years of his life growing up in Pharaoh’s household. There was no change of pharaoh during this time. As the princess did not have any other children, Moses would have become the next pharaoh if he did not have to flee to Midian after showing his loyalty to the Israelites.

Moses was born 80 years before the Exodus and fled to Midian 40 years before the Exodus.

Moses was born during the Israelite Oppression at a time when the Pharaoh was trying to kill all the Hebrew baby boys.

The Israelites had been in Egypt for 430-80=350 years and had been forced into slavery for about 150 years since the start of the 12th dynasty.

Sesostris III - (The father of Amenemhet III)

Senusret III (Sesostris III) – (The father of Amenemhet III)

Amenemhet III, the 6th pharaoh of the 12 dynasty, the last pharaoh to build a great pyramid, had an ambitious building program. His first pyramid at Dashur had flawed foundations and so he built a second pyramid at Hawara. He also build the Labyrinth; considered, in it’s day, to be one of the great wonders of the world by Heroditis. Both of his pyramids were constructed with a core that contained millions upon millions of mud bricks (as was the case for all the pyramids of the 12th dynasty). The labyrinth was a mortuary building that had over one thousand rooms. It was also built from mud bricks and was equal in grandeur to the pyramids themselves.

The Israelites now numbered around 2 million and the Bible says that their chief occupation was making mud bricks for the Pharaoh.

Petrie found a workers village at Kahun, not far from Hawara, where the 12th dynasty pyramids were centered. From his detailed collection of scarabs found in the village, he was able to determine that the village had been occupied from the time of Sesostris II (Senusret II) up until the time of Neferhotep I. The village appeared to have been evacuated fairly suddenly. Petrie also found numerous boxes containing the skeletons of one, two or three babies at a time. The boxes were found under the floors of the houses in the village and were left almost to commemorate the deaths hundreds of babies in the town.

The thirteenth dynasty was only a short dynasty but there was a quick succession of Pharaohs. Neferhotep I was the longest ruling pharaoh of that dynasty, ruling 11 yrs. His body was never found. As the slave village at Kahun was occupied up until the time of Neferhotep I and Neferhotep I ruled 20 to 30 years after the end of the 12th dynasty, it is likely that Neferhotep I was the Exodus Pharaoh whom Moses confronted when he returned from Exile.

There was a large Exodus of slaves during the reign of Neferhotep I according to Petrie. These slaves lived in Kahun which was a workers village for the builders of the 12th dynasty pyramids.

It is quite likely that these slaves were the Israelite slaves who were lead out of Egypt by Moses when he was 80yrs old, 30 years after the 12th dynasty ended.

The 6th pharaoh of the 12th dynasty Amenemhet III, the last pharaoh to construct any pyramids, constructed 2 mud brick pyramids and the labyrinth. He reigned for 46 yrs and so he was reigning long enough to have seen Moses adopted by his daughter (Sobeknefru) and reach 40 years of age.

Amenemhet III did have a 9 year co-regency with a figure called Amenemhet IV whose ancestry is not recorded in Egyptian records. Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared and never got to reign over Egypt by himself.

When Moses-Amenemhet IV fled to Midian, the 12th dynasty continued for another 10 years. When Amenemhet III died 2 yrs after Moses fled to Midian, Sobeknefru had to assume the throne as there were no other heirs. She only lived for another 8 yrs and when she died, the 12th dynasty ended. Egypt became unstable and there was a rapid succession of pharaohs in the 13th dynasty until Neferhotep I.

The loss of Moses-Amenemhet IV in itself was a big blow to Amenemhet III as it meant that he had no male successor to the throne. His daughter Sobeknefru had to take over when he died. She did not build a pyramid and there are very few monuments commemorating her. Amenemhet IV’s tomb and mummy have never been found. This is likely to be because Amenemhet IV was Moses who fled to Midian and then returned 40 years later to confront a different pharaoh (Neferhotep I), and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

The Exodus of the Israelites was an even bigger blow to Egypt because Egypt lost not only it’s slave labor force, it lost it’s army, it’s pharaoh, it’s transportation system, it’s firstborn children and much of it’s crops and animals. It is little wonder that Egypt was not able to undertake massive projects like the construction of pyramids after the Exodus had taken place. What’s more, Egypt had lost all of it’s defenses and was recovering from the plagues that had besmitten it. Consequently, Egypt was vulnerable to invasion and this is just what happened. Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos (also known as the Amu or the Amalekites) shortly after the Exodus. The Hyksos set up a fort at Avaris where they occupied and controlled Lower Egypt for the next 400 years. During this time, the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years and then in the Promised Land where they were ruled by a series of Judges.

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Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israel, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amenemhet I was the founder of the 12th dynasty. He was the vizier of his predecessor Mentuhotep IV who he may have assassinated.

The Amenemhet I pyramid at El-Lisht.
Amenmehet I was a vizier of Mentuhotep IV of the previous dynasty. He was not of royal descent. He is thought to have overthrown Mentuhotep IV and founded the 12th dynasty.
The 12th dynasty lasted almost 200 yrs and was essentially the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
The pyramids of the 12th dynasty characteristically had a core that was made out of mudbricks and an external veneer that was made from limestone.
A large slave labour force was needed to make the mudbricks.
A workers village was found by Petrie in 1891 at Kahun. He found scarabs from the time of Sensuret II that indicated that it was occupied during the 12th dynasty up until the 13th dynasty. He also found evidence of a sudden exodus from the village in the 13th dynasty. He thought that many of the semitic slaves were Isralites.
Joseph came to Egypt at the age of 30 yrs and was 110 yrs when he died. The Jews lived in Egypt 430 years and then Moses lead them out of Egypt (The Exodus). The Israelites numbered only 70 when they came to Egypt in the ?third dynasty. By the 12th dynasty, they numbered over a million and the pharaoh had long forgotten their connection to Joseph (?Imhotep) who had saved Egypt from famine and may even have built the first pyramid.

Amenemhet I – the first pharaoh of the 12th dynasty. He reigned for 30 yrs (including a 10 yr coregency with his son Sensuret I) and then was assassinated.

Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Mud bricks containing straw, Pharaohs of the Oppression, Pyramids, slavery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The last of the Great Pyramids of Egypt

The entrance to the Amenemhet III pyramid at Hawara. The pyramids of the 12th dynasty had an inner core made from mudbricks and an outer veneer made of limestone. Over the centuries, the outer limestone veneer has fallen away revealing the inner core which was made of mud bricks. There is also a lot of erosion. The mudbricks are likely to have been made by Israelite slaves who were in Egypt at the time. After the Exodus of the Israelites in the 13th dynasty (Neferhotep), no more large pyramids were constructed. Petrie found a workers village at Kahun in 1890. The artifacts he found in the village (namely the scarabs of Pharaohs) indicate that the village was constructed during the time of Sesostris II and was occupied until the 13th dynasty.

Categories: 12th dynasty, 13th Dynasty, Egypt, Israelite Slaves in Egypt, Kahun - Worker Village of the Middle Kingdom, Moses, Pharaoh of the Exodus, Pharaohs of the Oppression | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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