Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dr Hawass writes in Al-Ahram Weekly on the mummy of Ramses the Great (Ramses II), whom he tentatively identifies as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Dr Hawass has been in deep water recently, facing accusations of anti-Semitism (which I have chosen not to reproduce on this blog as I think it was something of a storm in a teacup) so a pro-Exodus article is politic.

More importantly, he indicates that CT Scans and DNA tests will be performed on the mummies of Ramses I and Ramses II, along with mummies believed to be of the family of Ramses II. It'll be a long wait - but worth it. The more I read about the two main royal mummy caches the more I realise that the identification of some of the royal mummies is not entirely secure. I suspect that DNA tests of the royal mummies will turn up more questions than answers: if paternity is disproven is a mummy misidentified or was a birth illegitimate?

5 comments:

Vincent said...

Hawass seemed fairly confident in that article in Al Ahram that Rameses II was NOT the pharoah of the Exodus. As recent as 2007 (and perhaps even later) Hawass was adamantly claiming that the Exodus is fiction. See here for example: Did the Red Sea Part? in which Hawass states:

“Really, it’s a myth,”

“If they get upset, I don’t care,” Dr. Hawass said. “This is my career as an archaeologist. I should tell them the truth. If the people are upset, that is not my problem.”
So I am not sure this is going to aliviate the concerns of Jews offended by his recent remarks. I think it might be more akin to rubbing salt into the wound.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Maybe Vincent. I read it as accepting that the Exodus did take place but indicating that there is no archaeological evidence that Ramesses II drowned. On the other hand, as you say it is possible to read at more as a denial of the Exodus.

Under the circumstances though, "rubbing salt into the wound" is quite a great pun by you!

PS I'm not convinced by the alignment of Egyptian and Biblical chronologies. I know David Rohl's theories aren't highlu regarded by many Egyptologists but I think he is right to raise some questions about the orhodox alignment. I wish the Egyptians had recorded comet sightings or something which could be tied in to astronomical records.

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