Posts Tagged ‘12th dynasty’
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 based in Thebes which was contemporary with the 6th dynasty based in Memphis. 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.
The Israelites numbered about 70 when they first came to live in Egypt at the invitation of the Pharaoh whose vizier was Jacob’s 11th son Jospeh-Imhotep. They were allowed to live in the best part of the land; Goshen. Here they flourished and multiplied under the protection of Joseph who was second in charge of Egypt and had saved the country from a seven year famine by storing up grain to sell before the famine started. Joseph had brought up all the land of Egypt and had made the Pharaoh very rich and powerful. Joseph lived until the age of 110 years and served several pharaohs. When he died, he was embalmed and given a royal Egyptian burial – some 80 yrs after he first entered Egypt.
The Israelites came to Egypt in the 3rd dynasty when Netjerikhet was the Pharaoh. Pharaoh Netjerikhet came to be know as Pharaoh Djoser as time went by (the pharaoh of Joseph). The Israelites flourished and multiplied during the 3rd & 4th dynasties while Joseph was alive and continued to multiply during the 5th & 6th dynasties after his death. The 6th dynasty, which was based in Memphis in Lower Egypt, was contemporary with the 9th and 10th dynasties based in Herakleopolis and the 11th dynasty based in Thebes.
About 100 years after Joseph’s death, a pharaoh who did not know Joseph came to power. Amenemhet I was the vizier of Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty based in Thebes (Upper Egypt). He assassinated Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty and took over both Upper and Lower Egypt to start what is known as the 12th dynasty (or Egypt’s Middle Kingdom). The pharaohs of the middle kingdom did not like the Israelites and felt threatened by them. Fearing that they would join their enemies, they forced the Israelites into slavery.
The 12th dynasty pharaohs constructed their pyramids from mud brick with only a veneer of limestone. The 12th dynasty pharaohs needed a large slave labor force to make the mud bricks required for their pyramids. This became the task of the Israelites who by the time of the Exodus had come to number over two million. The 12th dynasty lasted some 200 years and during this time, 7 pyramids were constructed as well as the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was considered one of wonders of the ancient world by Heroditis.
Moses was born during the co-reign of Senusret III and Amenemhet III about 4yrs into Amenemhet III’s reign. Amenemhet III built two pyramids and the Labyrinth. He was very cruel to the Israelites and it was probably he who ordered the midwives to kill the Hebrew baby boys. His daughter Sobeknefru was childless and there was no male heir to the throne. Sobeknefru adopted a Hebrew baby Moses that she found in a basket amongst the reeds of the Nile and she brought him up as her own in her household. He was known as Amenemhet IV.
When Amenemhet IV was old enough, 30yrs, he began a co-regency with Amenemhet III. This lasted 9 yrs and then Amenemhet IV suddenly disappeared. This left no male heir to the throne. Consequently, Sobeknefru had to assume the throne but she only lived for 8yrs and then she died. When she died, the 12th dynasty ended and Egypt became unstable. There was a rapid succession of pharaohs in the 13th dynasty. The longest ruling was Neferhotep I who reigned for 11 years. It was Neferhotep I who was the pharaoh when Moses-Amenemhet IV returned from exile. Neferhotep I was the Exodus Pharaoh who chased the Israelites and whose army and chariots were drowned in the Red Sea.
Egypt was crippled by the Exodus of the Israelites and became vulnerable to invasion. Not long after the Exodus, the Hyksos, shepherd kings from Arabia, invaded Egypt and built a fort at Avaris. From there, they occupied and controlled Lower Egypt for the next 400years.
It was Joseph who set the precedent for Mega Tombs and Monuments for Pharaohs by burying Netjerikhet in a grain silo and stacking mastabas on top of it.
Joseph upsized the Mastaba to a Pyramid when he buried his pharaoh in a grain silo. He set the precedent for the pharaohs that followed. Few were able to surpass the solid limestone pyramid that Joseph-Imhotep erected. It was to become the gold standard for the burial of pharaohs in future dynasties.
If Joseph was Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty and Moses was Amenemhet IV of the 12th dynsasty, where do David and Solomon fit in?
The Bible says that Joseph was a sage or vicroy for the Pharaoh and Imhotep fits the bill perfectly. Moses was an Israelite baby who was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her own. Maybe he would have been a pharaoh if he did not have to go into exile in Midian for 40 yrs at the age of 40. The Israelites had to make mud bricks and work the fields for pharaoh. There were 2 million Israelites and they were slaves in Egypt for at least half of the time that they were there. Even if they only made one mudbrick per person per day, that’s a lot of mudbricks. The 12th dynasty pyramids had a core that was made of mudbricks. Amenemhet III was the last pharaoh of the 12th dynasty to build a pyramid. In fact, he built two pyramids that had mudbrick cores and he also built the labyrinth. He reigned for 46 yrs and had a daughter called Sobekneferu who had no children of her own. Another figure called Amenemhet IV who had no genealogical records, co-reigned with Amenemhet III for 9 yrs and then suddenly disappeared. Moses may well have been Amenemhet IV. This would make sense and agree with Bible as Moses was raised by pharaoh and was being groomed to be the next pharaoh. This was around the time that Moses had to flead to Midian. Sobekneferu took over after Amenemhet III died but only reigned 4-8 years and then she died and the 12th dynasty ended. There was a rapid succession of pharaohs in the 13th dynasty and second intermediate period. Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt 430 years after they first came to Egypt at the age of 80 during the reign of Neferhotep I. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 yrs. Then they were lead into to promised land by Joshua. The period of the Judges lasted around 400 yrs. Then Saul became the first king of Israel who was succeeded by David who was succeeded by Solomon. The dates for Solomon building the temple are fairly established and accepted even by worldly archaeolgists as around 960BC. The bible says that the exodus took place 480 years before this.
Saul and David were Kings of Israel. It does not make sense to try and equate them with an Egyptian pharaoh. It would be good to know which pharaoh in Egypt was ruling when David and Solomon were ruling in Israel.
From what I can see, it appears that Apopi II, the last pharaoh of the second intermediate period – a Hyksos was driven out of Egypt by a rebellion lead by Kahmose, the son of Sequenre and the brother of Ahmose I. When Apopi II and the Hyksos left Egypt heading north, they encountered the Israelites who were lead by Saul at the time. Samuel instructed Saul to put them all to death. Saul all but wiped out the Hyksos as instructed but disobeyed Samuel by sparing Agag (Apopi II). Samuel put him to death himself. Ahmose I became the first pharaoh of the New kingdom of Egypt while Saul continued to reign in Israel. Saul in Israel was then succeeded by David and then Solomon and Ahmose I in Egypt was succeeded by Amenhotep I, then Thutmoses I followed by Thutmose II and then Hatshepsut (the Queen of Sheeba who visited Solomon). Thutmoses III succeeded Hatshepsut and became the most powerful pharaoh of Egypt plundering Israel during the period of the divided kingdom of Israel. He was the Shishak of the Bible. David was 1000BC and Saul about 1040BC. If the Egyptian dates do not match it is because they are wrong. The Egyptian dates need to be revised – I could go on and on as to why they are wrong but just accept this for now.
David Down’s revised Egyptian Chronology fits with Moses in the 12th dynasty. With a long sojourn and no first intermediate period, his chronology also fits with Joseph being Imhotep.
Wyatt was right about Imhotep being Joseph and did find the site of the Red Sea crossing and the real Mt Sinai in Arabia but wrongly concluded that Moses was in the 18th dynasty.
Wyatt believed Joseph was Imhotep but placed Moses in the 18th dynasty because the chariot wheels he found at the bottom of the Red Sea were thought to date from the 18th dynasty.
There is no evidence for a massive exodus of slaves in the 18th dynasty. It would be very hard to explain how Joseph was third dynasty and Moses 18th dynasty particularly if there was a short sojourn.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the Israelites were enslaved during the 12th dynasty. Moses was born during the co-regency of Sesostris III and Amenemhet III in 1526BC. Moses fled from Amenemhet III at the age of 40 after showing his loyalty to the Hebrews. Moses remained in Exile in Midian for 40 yrs. When he was 80 years old, Moses returned to confront a different pharaoh (Neferhotep I of the 13th dynasty). He lead the Israelites out of Egypt in the 13th dynasty in 1446BC. Pilars were left by Solomon to mark the site of the Red Sea crossing which occurred 480 years before Solomon began building the temple. With a revised chronology and a long sojourn, it is quite possible that Joseph may have existed in the third dynasty and Moses lived towards the end of the 12th and 13th dynasty.
Wyatt found these pillars in 1978 and went on to find chariot wheels in the Red Sea at this point. Unfortunately, experts insisted that the chariot wheels could not have been from the 12th dynasty and sent Wyatt on a wild goose chase looking for evidence of the Israelites in the 18th dynasty. There is, however, no evidence for the Israelite slaves and a mass exodus in the 18th dynasty.
The Hyksos exodus at the end of the second intermediate period was not the Israelite Exodus either. The Hyksos were rulers of Egypt. The Hyksos were foreigners to Egypt who were able invade and rule over Lower Egypt after Egypt had been devastated by the Israelite Exodus in the 13th dynasty when Neferhotep was the Pharaoh. The Hyksos ruled Egypt for some 400yrs (Egypt’s second intermediate period). Eventually, the family of Ahmoses based in Thebes (Upper Egypt in the 17th dynasty) contemporary with the Hyksos 15-16th dynasties in Lower Egypt, lead a rebellion against the Hyksos and successfully chased the Hyksos out of Egypt. The Hyksos (Amelekites) headed towards Israel where they had encounters with King Saul and David. The prophet Samuel instructed Saul to wipe them out but Saul spared their king Agag (Apopi II) and brought him to Samuel. Samuel put Agag to death. David had a few encounters with the Hyksos (Amalekites) too. The Amelekites plundered David’s camp and abducted his wives and children. David managed to catch up with them and wipe them out and get his family back. Ironically, it was an Amelakite who slew King Saul after he had been fatally wounded.
In summary, Wyatt seems to have been right about Imhotep being Joseph and did discover the route of the Exodus, the site of the Red Sea crossing and the true or biblical Mt Sinai in Arabia. Unfortunately, the Chariot wheels that he found at the bottom of the Red Sea were erroneously dated to the 18th dynasty which lead him on a wild goose chase looking for Moses in the 18th dynasty. He, nevertheless, made some critical discoveries which have helped to reconstruct history and reconcile it with the Bible.
Yet the Bible also tells us that the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years to the very day. Exodus 12:40-41
The Israelite Oppression ended when the 12th dynasty ended, about 10 years after Moses / Amenemhet IV went into exile at the age of 40 years. This was 400 years after Jacob and his family came to Egypt. The Exodus did not take place until 30 years into the 13th dynasty when Moses / Amenemhet IV returned to confront Neferhotep I at the age of 80 years.
The Israelite oppression lasted 400 years – it ended when the 12th dynasty ended. No more pyramids were built after the 12th dynasty. The 13th dynasty was very chaotic and the Pharaohs did not focus on oppressing the Israelites because their thrones were not stable enough and maybe their attitude towards the Israelites was slightly more sympathetic than that of the 12th dynasty pharaohs. The Exodus occurred 30 years into the 13th dynasty during the reign of Neferhotep I who was the longest ruling pharaoh of that dynasty (11 years).
Amenemhet III would have reigned between 2-6 years after Moses fled to Midian and Sobekneferu would have reigned between 4-8 years after her father Amenemhet III and then she died. When she died, the 12th dynasty ended as there was no heir to the throne. The result was that Egypt fell into Chaos. There was a rapid succession of Pharaohs in the 13th dynasty and as a result, the Israelites were not oppressed during this time. They were able to keep multiplying and prepare to leave Egypt.