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The influence of Egyptian culture on ancient Jewish culture is evident

This is according to the excavation findings of the Antiquities Authority in the area of ​​Kibbutz Lahav in the south. In the cave were discovered, among other things, seals, seal rings, statuettes (statuettes) and amulets in the form of gods, sacred in Egyptian culture * The collection indicates the existence of an Egyptian clerical center in the area. "The Israelites left Egypt, but it seems that even years after the move to Israel, Egypt did not leave the Israelites and their descendants," says archaeologist Amir Ganor from the Antiquities Authority

. Scarab seal of King Thutmose III. Next to the king's name is a sphinx. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Antiquities Authority

"The Israelites left Egypt, but it seems that even years after the move to Israel, Egypt did not leave the Israelites and their descendants," says archaeologist Amir Ganor from the Antiquities Authority, who over the past year conducted an excavation in a cave in Kibbutz Lahav in the south.

At a press conference in Jerusalem on the eve of Passover, the Antiquities Authority presented to the public unique archaeological finds, which testify to the existence of an Egyptian clerical center in the area about 3400 years ago.

During an operational activity of the Antiquities Robbery Prevention Unit in the Tel Khalif area, an underground cave was located with signs of antiquities robbery. The inspectors discovered that antiquities robbers broke into the cave, and began looting ancient pottery from 3000 years ago and damaging the ancient layers. The members of the Antiquities Authority prevented further damage to the cave and excavated the site, with the aim of saving the precious archaeological find and information from the robbers' axes.

In the excavation, impressive archaeological evidence was discovered, mainly from the Late Bronze Age - approximately 1500 BC, and the Iron Age - 1,000 BC. Over 300 pottery vessels of various types were discovered in the cave, some of which were discovered intact. Along with pottery, dozens of jewelry made of bronze, shell and faience, unique stone tools made of yellowish alabaster stone, seals, signet rings and make-up tools were discovered. The objects were placed and accumulated in the cave for decades.

According to archaeologist Amir Ganor, Director of the Robbery Prevention Unit at the Antiquities Authority, "Among the many finds that were discovered, most of which are typical of the Jewish culture in the south of the country, we found dozens of seals made of stone, some of which are shaped like winged beetles (scarabs), and engraved with symbols and figures typical of the Egyptian culture that ruled the land In the Late Bronze Age. Some of the seals were designed on semi-precious stones, originating in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula.

According to Dr. Dafna Ben Tor, curator of Egyptian archeology at the Israel Museum, "most of the scarab seals found in the excavation date back to the 15th-14th centuries AD." During this period, Canaan was under Egyptian rule." Dr. Ben Tor adds that the names of kings appeared on some of the seals: "Among other things, it is possible to identify a sphinx standing in front of the name of King Thutms III, who reigned approximately 1504-1450 BCE. Another scarab seal bears the name of Amenhotep III, who reigned from approximately 1349-1386 BCE. Another scarab depicts Petah, the main god of the city of Memphis." The excavation also discovered many figurines and amulets in the form of gods, sacred in Egyptian culture.

An oil candle and a pottery jar from the Iron Age discovered in the cave. Photo: The Robbery Prevention Unit at the Antiquities Authority
An oil candle and a pottery jar from the Iron Age discovered in the cave. Photo: The Robbery Prevention Unit at the Antiquities Authority

According to Ganor, "Many years after the exodus of the Egyptians, evidence of the influence of Egyptian culture on the Jewish inhabitants of the land is still evident in the archaeological excavation."
Examining the findings, it is evident that some of them were produced in Egypt itself, and they were brought to the land of Canaan by the Israelites or merchants, but some of the findings were produced in Israel while imitating the way of production and copying the Egyptian cultural motifs, and using local raw materials.

According to Dr. Amir Golani from the Antiquities Authority, "During the Late Bronze Age, Egypt was a very powerful empire, which cast its spell on our regions. The Egyptian conversion was manifested not only in military and political control, but also in a strong cultural influence which contributed to the shaping of society. Alongside the Egyptian clerical system in the Land of Israel, local elites developed in the Land who adopted many of the Egyptian customs and their art."

The findings were transferred to the Antiquities Authority laboratories for treatment. The investigation of the cave and the find is still in its infancy, and after the completion of the treatment of the hundreds of finds that were uncovered, it will be possible to add important information about the Egyptian influence on the population of the Land of Israel during the Late Bronze Age and the Bible.

The Robbery Prevention Unit expressed great satisfaction that, following the hard and determined work of the unit's members, the robbery of the antiquities in the cave was foiled, the hundreds of finds were saved from robbery and looting, and it was possible for archaeologists to carry out an orderly study on the site, which will allow adding valuable information to the understanding of the country's culture in antiquity.


More of the topic in Hayadan:

A collection of findings discovered in an excavation in the area of ​​Kibbutz Lahav, 2015, with Egyptian characteristics. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Antiquities Authority
A collection of findings discovered in an excavation in the area of ​​Kibbutz Lahav, 2015, with Egyptian characteristics. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Antiquities Authority

23 תגובות

  1. was Created,
    The one in whom the exile lives is the right and Bibi is Cicero. Bibi and the Right abolished Israeliness and the secularism that established a miracle here in the form of a state, language and culture and put back the sense of persecution, Badad Yishkun and the Holocaust on the map.

  2. Raphael
    One of the reasons for leaving Israel is the religious coercion that secularists feel. Part of this is expressed in the economy - we feel that we support a considerable population of parasites, who are also not ready to serve in the army.

    I hope that the religious will realize that they need to change the situation before it is too late. I emphasize that I am not talking about all religious people, some of them contribute a lot

  3. It is relatively easy to get the Jews out of the diaspora, but it is very difficult to get the diaspora out of the Jews.
    We see this well even today on the Israeli left.

  4. 67 After the Jews left the diaspora and established the Jewish state, the gentile culture still did not leave some of the Jews from the Tzitsani camp. And some of them even left the country and returned to exile.

  5. gift

    A Jew is a son of the tribe of Judah or a son of the tribes that were his geographical neighbors and some of them finally merged into the tribe of Judah, the merger especially after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel while the kingdom of Judah survived. The main merging tribes: Benjamin who was Judah's northern neighbor and Shimon (according to my memory) who was Judah's southern neighbor. All the claims are according to traditions, the archaeologists find to confirm the traditions, as of today, they find quite meager.

  6. This is on the assumption that there was an exodus from Egypt... there is no archaeological evidence for this.

  7. I don't understand the claim in the title. Seems like an idle claim.

    The exodus from Egypt is estimated approximately 3300 years ago and the entry into Israel approximately 3250 years ago. Before that, it is known that there were long periods in which the Egyptians controlled parts of the Land of Israel and also controlled the cities of Medina to the north of the Land of Israel. Therefore, the fact that 3400 years ago there were places in the Land of Israel (according to the new findings) where Egyptians ruled - has nothing to do with the exodus of Egyptians that happened only later).

    It is also known (from verified historical sources and not from the Bible) that the seafarers deprived the Egyptians of some of the coastal areas in the eastern Mediterranean. The Philistines are part of these sea peoples (they controlled the coastal strip from Gaza to Nahal Yarkon), other sea peoples took over the coastal strip north of Yarkon, it is not clear what their exact area of ​​control was. Corresponds to the stories of the Bible.

    So the exodus from Egypt corresponds to a time when Egypt's hold on the Land of Israel ended or was in the process of ending.

  8. Herzl,
    I don't know why you are convinced that it was Penn who wrote the ancient mythology, the fact that he is called a writer does not crown him as the author of parts of Tanach. Regarding some historical archeological things I have no argument with you. But Judaism is a complete system and not just a question of belief in a single God, stories and actions that must be done, and this system was built in late stages in relation to the times attributed to the Exodus and David. In those times, the customary narrative system of Judaism was not perfected.

  9. Herzl
    Regarding belief in one God, in Egypt one of the pharaohs in the 17th century BC tried to introduce this type of religion, but the social conditions were not ripe for it. It takes time for any idea to be absorbed and assimilated in society and it doesn't matter what field it is.

  10. Leyar - in archaeological research they discovered that there were tribes that did not eat pork much in the Land of Israel according to all the archaeological evidence for Judaism. Indeed it is not clear when the belief in an exclusive God began. But the mythology written by Shapan the writer in the 7th century BC was not "invented" but was an oral mythology that was partly based on cases that existed, of course with exaggeration and glorification beyond all proportion. For example, in underwater studies of the Black Sea it turned out that it was dry until about 7000 years ago, then the rise of the Mediterranean Sea caused sea water to break through the Dardanelles Strait and the Black Sea was flooded for several months. Probably the story of Noah and the flood is the story of a family that survived because they had a boat and took a pair of goats with them. The story fits the fact that Mount Hararet is adjacent to the Black Sea to the south. Some of the mythology seems clearly invented, such as the two conflicting creation stories in chapters XNUMX and XNUMX of Genesis that were probably written down after the writer's whim. But these are also stories that have been passed down orally for hundreds of years and were not invented by the person who wrote them, because if they had been invented at the time of writing such a strong contradiction would not have been built. There are many more points - for example, many archaeologists disbelieved the very existence of King David until his name was found in the monument at Tel Dan. Of course, the question still remains open as to whether David was a "Jew" meaning he believed in one God.

  11. During the Bronze Age Jews were not dreamed of anywhere, and the name Yehuda is also doubtful if it existed. Judaism was invented in the 6th century BC in Babylon. The Exodus from Egypt is a mythology that was invented by a talented writer during the time of King Josiah of Judah in the 7th century BC.

  12. If it is accepted that the exodus from Egypt took place in the 13th century BC, how does this theory fit in with the saying "The Israelites left Egypt, but it seems that even years after the move to the land, Egypt did not leave the Israelites and their descendants"? The findings predate the exodus by about 200 years.

  13. Bet-ya is right, and it's no secret. It is clear from the Torah that David and Solomon were kings under Egyptian protection. In her marriage, Pharaoh's daughter received several cities in the inner plain as a dowry from Pharaoh to David. But the coastal plain probably remained under direct Egyptian control. The system of local kings under the patronage of a great kingdom was very popular in the ancient world. (Britain did so in the 19th century, and even established kings where there were none before). But I do not agree with "there is nothing special about it" - in my opinion the findings are interesting and should be published.

  14. Well, it was clear that in honor of Passover another article would appear about archaeological discoveries related to the holiday, only that the conclusion from the discoveries recorded in the article tries to fit itself into the title, to say the least. The Jewish people mostly lived in the mountain area. Samaria and Judea, and later he advanced mainly to the north. The area of ​​Kibbutz Lahav, and the Negev in general, almost always belonged to Egypt, and this is nothing new. And as the previous commenter also wrote: cultures have always been influenced by one another, and there is nothing special about that.

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