Episode 79: Let My People Go

Amunhotep II (Part 3): the Origins of the Exodus.

1435 BCE was a landmark year. Leading two campaigns, in regnal years seven and nine, Amunhotep II institutes a new policy of depopulating rebellious regions in Canaan, Lebanon and Syria. He strips whole communities of their families, and brings thousands back to Egypt as captives. These prisoners include groups – like the Apiru and Shasu – who may be precursors to the Biblical Hebrews. We go in search of some Biblical stories…

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2017.7.79 tt52 Nakht osirisnet (2) - Copy

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The armour of an Egyptian charioteer, mid-18th Dynasty (Davies 1917)

2017.7.79 tt52 Nakht osirisnet (2)

Wine-makers (Egyptian and Hurrian) in the tomb of Nakht at Thebes (Osiris.net)

2017.7.79 foreigners Khaemwaset, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.

2017.7.79 foreigners Puiemra, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.

2017.7.79 foreigners Menkheperresoneb, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.

2017.7.79 foreigners Menna, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.

2017.7.79 foreigners plowing, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.2017.7.79 Paheri workers, Morris 2014

Image from Morris, 2014.

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Tomb of Paheri: a Canaanite (left) bundles flax, while an Egyptian (centre) calls him an “old, balding farm-hand” (Osiris.net)

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A scene of the marshes and waterways of the Delta, from the tomb of Qen-Amun at Thebes (Davies 1917)

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Work and leisure in the Delta: at bottom-right, Egyptian and foreign peasants work the vineyards, catch fish, and bring their products to Nakht and his wife (left). Tomb of Nakht, at Thebes (Osiris.net)

Syrian Soldier Stela - staatliche museum

A Syrian drinks beer through a straw, while his servant and wife look on – the straw is an invention of Mesopotamia, which the Egyptians never picked up. Amarna Period (Staatliche Museum, Berlin)

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Fisher-men working among the marshes of the Delta. Tomb of Rekh-mi-Re (Osiris.net)

Bibliography

Osiris.net – Tomb of Nakht (website)

Ancient.eu – Teaching of Khety / Satire of the Trades (website)

Wine of Ancient Egypt.com (Project Website)

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