Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Marriane Luban has an article on her blog which she has called "The DNA of Moses" in which she describes a project testing the DNA of modern day Cohens.  There is more here and even a dedicated Wikipedia article.

While this seems off-topic for News from the Valley of the Kings, as more studies into the DNA of royal and priestly mummies are done studies like this might help identify the time of Exodus which could help with our overall understanding of chronology.  It is also why I believe the DNA of tested mummies should be fully published as, in many ways, links between ourselves and our ancestors is what makes real for history for many.

70 comments:

Marianne Luban said...

Although I don't think the Egyptians want the markers of their mummies, royal or common, to be compared with anybody, I think you have a point. But first, can you imagine them publishing the markers of their kings only to have somebody who was tested by Family Tree DNA or some other projects come along and say "Look here, I am related to that guy and now call me the pretender to the throne of Egypt." It could happen. I once read that Ramesses II with all his children stands a good chance to have living descendants to this very day.

Even less, I would imagine, would the anti-Zionist and pro Palestinian Egyptians care to have any of their ancient priestly remains show up as being related to somebody named Cohen. Of course, Aaron was not designated the first cohen gadol [high priest]until after the Biblical exodus from Egypt but maybe there was a reason behind it. Maybe he was already in that business. I don't believe in this "slaves were liberated" claim--at least not literally. Those descendants of Jacob who had now been in Egypt for centuries were not going to be slaves anymore for sure. Some could have been priests and certainly worshipped foreign gods, such as the "golden calf" and the tabernacle certainly fits the description of an Egyptian portable shrine. If those "cherubim" with their outstretched wings were the winged goddesses of Egypt, then that shrine could not have been made earlier than sometime during the reign of Amenhotep III when the goddesses began to sprout wings. Anyway, offices in ancient Egypt were hereditary whenever possible and that could extend to some of the priestly ones. Anyway, it proved so in the lineage of Aaron.

Dennis said...

Is it possible to 'average out' the DNA mutations from 3000 years to get back to the Moses DNA? Seems like one would have to know how each family line connected back in order to produce some kind of weighted average. Obviously it is not possible to know exactly where a random mutation occurred and remove it. I would like to see the intended process and justifications used.
As a side note I talked to Otto Schanden last week about the KV-63 "flesh" reported as mummification leftovers in the press. His opinion is that the pieces of meat were probably Ox or some other animal left over from a feast and just thrown into the trash. No DNA study on that stuff. Dennis

william Theaux said...

Dear Kate,
Why should we say that the "Cohen's forensic" is of topic ? as for quite a long time now and constantly there has been questioning wether there is a link between Moses and KV55 (if KV55 is Akhnaton). Indeed if Moses is not Akhnaton therefore, there is no link between egyptological DNA forensic and 'stranger''s DNA ! But if Akhnaton was know under other names (as 'Moses' amongst them) therefore the "Cohen's forensic" is full topics.
I know so well that many people do not believe in Akhnaton-Moses-Etc.. in spite of reasonable evidences which state this hypothesis well before many others. But it is on the sole basis of such a refusal that 'off topics' can been claimed . The Cohen DNA is a rather old story that I have integrated at my own gathering of evidence (it was published in the New York Times prior year 2000 ; http://www.akhnaton.net/akh/suba/cohen.htm ) ; at that time M.Luban was amongst our akhnaton@yahoogroups (one of my most appreciated participant especially on the topics of ancient egyptian historians - hello Marianne by the way) of which I dearly keep archives.
As I don't want to oppose the well assured affirmation that KV55 has nothing to do with Moses, I only stand on the asserted basis that it is probably not Akhnaton. Therefore I have collected your recent information about Prof. Baker/ASU for a page ( http://www.akhnaton.net/2010/htm/201011100940_amarna_instance-veille_2010.htm ) of my study. This page is written in French but easy to antomaticaly-translate. The reason why I do this is because I am intrigued by the fact that semenkhkare is so scarcely mentioned at our present time and recently even more, in comparison with earlier posts ( http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/mummypages1/18C.htm & http://www.heptune.com/smenkhka.html ). This is why I continue to mention the fact that will have someday to be addressed finaly : in regard to the memory that Greece kept of his past, as well as Hebrews in their own domain, there are even as much 'antique' information about semelkhkare (in KV55) than there is through Cohen's family about Akhnaton as M.Luban reminds us.
DWT
flog.référence : http://www.psybakh.net/2010/20100807193700_flog-6.htm#2010112085000
flog.convention : http://www.psybakh.net/2010/2010032411300_fondation.htm

DWT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DWT said...

sorry my earlier post was sent twice (for some reason Google first asked to repost and then admitted both) - please delete if you wish what is doubled (I don't know how to delete from my own) - please excuse my 'frenglish' too

Marianne Luban said...

I, personally, cannot see any evidence that would be able to identify Akhenaten with Moses but, just looking at the DNA angle, there is a likelihood that some of Akhenaten's y-DNA still exists--but not thanks to him. On average, only 1 in 50 male lines survive in 1000 years. However the number of sons of a single man increases the chances for his y-DNA to perpetuate itself. The one who had the same y-DNA as Akhenaten was Amenhotep III, a dedicated polygamist who, it is known, collected women "in whom there is no flaw". How many sons A III managed to get is not known--and this may be a separate issue from the demise of the Thutmosid dynasty with Tutankhamun. In some monarchies, such as that of England, the line of succession is practically endless but we don't know that in ancient Egypt just any son-- yet alone descendant-- of a king was considered a potential successor. It may have been that the children [preferably sons] of the Great Royal Wife or Queen were first in line and then those of his lesser wives, but not any of the children of the previous king. This makes a certain amount of sense because polygamous rulers should not run out of sons so easily but, after Tutankhamun, no king's son or even daughter was able to inherit, even though not that many years had lapsed since the death of Amenhotep III and he should have still had a living child or two around. Something to think about.
However, Jacob created a founder effect by virtue of having twelve sons.

John Bright said...

The problem with Smenkhkare is that his identity has become confused because of the theory that "he" is in fact a "she" and is none other than Nefertiti. It is most unfortunate that the Amarna Period attracts so musch speculation: KV55 and its occupant being the centre of much of it. Some years ago I applied to do a MPhil/PhD on the topic of KV55 but was turned down because "there is not enough solid information". It seems that the DNA findings are joining that category. There is a good book in all this: one that separates the conjecture, the speculation and the outright fantasy from the few incontrovertible facts that exist.

Marianne Luban said...

John, I don't think any up-to-date scholar equates Smenkhkare with Nefertiti. I think Dr. James Allen sorted it out pretty well. Even an ancient historian like Manetho knew there was more than one "Akencheres" or "Ankhkheperure". But, really, what we call ancient Egyptian history consists of a good deal of speculation, especially that Amarna ers. Somebody aptly dubbed it "The Amarna Tarpits".

Kate Phizackerley said...

The evidence for Nefertiti taking the throne is only synchronicity of name. In a period where names were reused (Anhkenespaaten for example) that is little more than conjecture. The evidence is far stronger that Nefertiti died before Akhenaten.

I am aware some link Moses to the Amarma period. Mostly it seems to rely on a date for the Thera eruption which is somewhat hard to justify. I agree with Marianne that Aaron was probably a priest of some sort in Egypt and a priest of the Aten would make theological sense. It is unsurprising that people therefore make links with the Amarna period. Quite simply though we don't presently know. DNA evidence of the Kohenim is unlikely to prove things one way or the other, but it could be another piece in the jigsaw.

Marianne Luban said...

Nefertiti is depicted in pharaonic poses. I think she might have been a co-regent with her husband for a time while he lived--but I don't see how she could have been his successor. If Akhenaten became ill, incapacitated, even temporarily, he could rely upon her to fulfill some of his duties. That is the only way I can explain the "pharaonic" Nefertiti.

DWT said...

I was uncertain in continuing the thread after my post for I don't know the posting policy and I don't want to drift too much appart the topic. Yet I red further that it is not unusual to comment at distance of the original DNA case. So (as I am currently making a summary of thirty years of study on the amarna-neighbourg matter) I have some comments to share at the present point here.
I must say that even if one (Marianne) « cannot see any evidence that would be able to identify Akhenaten with Moses,» what this does mean is like seeing a bird in the sky and stating that there is no evidence that it is a bird - it can be a plane, a dream, a fake and there is scientifically no proof before we capture it and examine it. For Marianne and most of us certainly know that there has been at least one publication (Osman and I personnaly know more others well referenced technicians for this) with stands for the Akhnaton-Moses thesis. This thesis moreover gives a stricking support to Freud's essay (which is, as we know, the long life study of Freud's career) in stating the _possibility_ for historical Akhnaton and legendary Moses being contemporary.
Being contemporain of a legend is a paradox. It helps to introduce what I whish to explain : if Moses were/is Akhnaton, there will probably never be any evidence (in our rational way of hunting birds and facts) for it. Because when our present-scientific method seeks to check the identity of two phenomenons, it takes one and the other in order to compare their qualities etc.. In the present case (of what psychoanalysis calls a primal scene) we certainly can 'take' Akhnaton (at least for a little bit more than a century - much more 'physically' known than a prior 'trismegistus' well-known-king of Aegypt in pre-renaissance knowledge, builder of an 'Adocentyn' (Adon City) for monotheistic solar experience leading to Moses etc.. all this was Marsile Ficinus conclusion for Cosme de Medicis and started with St Augustine and other 'Fathers of the Church' after the erasure of Hermopolis built after Alexandre in front (opposit bank) of Amarna's ruins) as a positive evidence. But then.. if we are in need to finding Moses the same way in order to set up a rational comparison.. we can guess that we shall never find him ! So there will never be any seenable evidence that would be able to identify Akhnaton with Moses. This is the fate of a "Primal Scene". It can be compare with the fact that we shall never be able to get by ourself the data of our birth. We have to set up the amarna study from a logical point a first - and that is what psychoanalysis has been stating in our modern times in regards with the fact that we can never remember our 'first memory'. Take one dice (a dice of Destiny) from a table and put it down on another table. You will never be able to compare it with the first unless you keep aside a story of them.

(text too long 4,746c. must be at most 4,096 - to follow..)

DWT said...

(continuing... text too long 4,746c. must be at most 4,096)

I am sorry for mentioning psychoanalysis by the way, for I know there is no confidence it can bring. For it is precisely what it claims for (the dice of destiny changes although the story is soon written). There is no confidence and cannot be evidence for Akhnaton-Moses. And worst, this uncertainty defends itself for going further (it is forbidden to play dices on history table). Yet, if we dare to look further there is another logical riddle and.. door. It bears the name of a "complex". In fact the memory of a primal scene is accessible in spite of all - this has to pass through a complex - which was named Triplex in the previous times (technical name for 'trismegistus') and nowaday is called Oedipus Complex. For it is in fact through the bias of a third point of view that the three, all at once, become a real 'evidence'. The story-memory wich states the 'first memory' is called 'secondary'. It is the fundamental trope in psychohistory.
I am sure than most of us here know that the riddle of KV55 is 'possibly' written in the Oedipus tale. In such case, it will 'certainly' conclude that Akhnaton was remembered as Moses (and that it is the reason why Moses can never be found and compared). Before that we reach that point (for the present point is in mode of stressing on compacting all the repressed in one single evident Akhnaton in KV55 - as predicted at Colonus, by the way) we can (an we do) tease our teeths with a Aaron as Freud already prepared for it (Freud did not claimed a Akhnaton-Moses identification but a relative instead, doubling it with a murder/war between the two in guise of a Smenkhkare-Tutankhamon rivalry) - so that we can confidently say that ther is no evidence for nothing at all. Yes indeed this is what I conclude too, in my carreer summary : no evidence but a non-sense war until the end of such time.
DWT

John Bright said...

Marianne, I agree with your comments, but the theory is still trotted out. I have sometimes wondered if the female pharaoh might have been Ankhsenamen briefly holding power in the hope of marriage to the Hittite prince, but That is another piece of pure speculation. On chronological matters, I came across a chap called David Rohl who put forward a case for the Amarna Letters referring to King Saul but in the same lecture he seemd to destroy any credibility this might have had by referring to the marriage of Akhnaten to his mother: shades of Velikovsky. Tar Pits is a good analogy!

John Bright said...

In the Karnak temples of Aten, Nefertiti seems to have equal status as Akhnaten in some of the reliefs. (These pre-date the founding of Amarna. I have read, and seen pictures of some cartouches from these temples that show the name of Amenhotep IV replaced by Akhnaten.) As to when she died, sometime after Year 12 of Akhnaten's reign seems to be the earliest that can be surmised. Before Year 17 would seem to be the latest. My apologies for the simple arithmetic here, but that gives a 5 year time-slot.

Marianne Luban said...

DWT said:
"I must say that even if one (Marianne) « cannot see any evidence that would be able to identify Akhenaten with Moses,» what this does mean is like seeing a bird in the sky and stating that there is no evidence that it is a bird - it can be a plane, a dream, a fake and there is scientifically no proof before we capture it and examine it."

If someone sees nothing it may well be because there is nothing to see. People suffering from schizophrenia often hear voices, but that doesn't mean others need hear them, as well.

DWT:
" For Marianne and most of us certainly know that there has been at least one publication (Osman and I personnaly know more others well referenced technicians for this) with stands for the Akhnaton-Moses thesis."

Osman was also the one who equated Yuya with Joseph, made him a "stranger in the Valley" [the title of his book] but science has, IMO, disproved that Yuya was a stranger to Thuya and even Amenhotep III because all share the same rare blood group, A2. The Biblical Joseph married a girl, Asenath, who was not related to him but if one has a blood group carried by less than 1% of the Egyptian population, one is part of a very small marriage pool.

The only reason that anyone has identitified Akhenaten with Moses is because both were monotheists. But they were certainly not the same kind of monotheist. Akhenaten worshipped the sun and Moses did not. Anyone who wishes to believe Akhenaten was Moses needs to write his own version of the Book of Exodus. One cannot be both Pharaoh and Pharaoh's opponent at the same time. And please don't start with some kind of analytical stuff about "split personalities", something like that. This is not the place for it.

John Bright said...

Was Akhnaten really a monotheist? I ask this because the deity he worshipped was a development of Re-Harakhte and is shown in anthropomorphic form on the Karnak temples of Aten, where I believe the grotesque colossi of Akhnaten have been interpreted as showing him as Shu.

Marianne Luban said...

Akhenaten worshipped the Aten which was a form of Ra-Horakhty. Since, early in his reign he styled himself as the personification of Shu [and Nefertiti as Tefnut], these being twins who sprang from Ra, forming a kind of "holy trinity" with him. That's how Akhenaten and Nefertiti could still be gods and maintain their brand of monotheism. The couple is never seen with any deity besides the sun, of course.

Kate Phizackerley said...

John if as tentatively indicated by the DNA, the KV21A mummy is Ankhesenamun then it would seem unlikely that she was ever Pharaoh. There is no evidence of a kingly burial or even of co-regency with Ay. For me the evidence points to either Meritaten or an unknown/obscure royal woman like one of the tasherits.

But if there was a clear paternal line of succession to Tutankhamun as shown by the DNA, how did any woman manage to claim the throne? Perhaps as regent but wouldn't the Younger Lady have been the obvious tegent? For me it feels like we are unaware of a key piece in the puzzle.

John Bright said...

Akhnaten is shown offering images of the goddess Maat to Re-Harakhte on the Karnak reliefs. The portrayal of himself a$nd Nefertiti as gods further suggests this was not true monotheism. $

John Bright said...

The DNA from one of the KV21 bodies has been linked to the two stillborn children found buried with Tutankhamen but has not been positively identified beyond that by the scientist conducting the tests. The two bodies from this tomb were intact when Belzoni found them and were buried with their left arms flexed across the chest. There are lots of pieces in this jigsaw, but at the moment theyare not completing the whole puzzle.
There is a ring that shows the cartouches of Ankhsenamen alongside Ay's. Is this a sign of a co-regency or marriage or something else?

DWT said...

Marianne Luban :
" And please don't start with some kind of analytical stuff about "split personalities", something like that. "
You are welcome Marianne. You put a funny hat on my head and why not ? I set up in French (google translate will do) why you do so IMO.
(http://www.akhnaton.net/2010/htm/20101114104300_kate-blog.htm)
Reciprocally I have always been very impressed and pleased with your contributions. I learned a lot from you and appreciate most of the time the information that you share. For instance this identical blood group in Yuya, Thuya and Amenophis III. I was unaware of it and it made me think a lot.
My data about Osman is not as precise as yours but perhaps makes it a little sense. I met him when I had moved in London in order to study at the Warburg Institute about Trismegistus. He was just publishing his Akhnaton-Moses at that time and his book 'Stranger in the Valley of the Nile' had already been published for two or three years. I had never expected this meeting wich happened by a very strange coincidence (an unknown woman who pretended to be a reincarnation of Tiye yeld at me one day in a photocopy shop after she looked over my shoulder a letter to my cousin about Akhnaton ! and then she said she knew about the 'heretic' Osman of whom I had myself never heard of. But the next day I went at the bookshop that she indicated... Later on I contacted his publisher etc..(sometimes schizophrenics help)). During the followings years I continued with universities and it was lecturing in New Zealand (Hamilton Waikato University) that I met the man who helped me making my opinion. He his a sholar born in NewYork and as a jew he could migrate in Israel where he cheked with colleagues scholars here what worth was Osman's Yuya/Joseph thesis. They sent me back their report saying that it was excellent.
This was some years ago, now, an it is on this basis that I integrate your blood-group information. For there is most probably something quite indicative there.
DWT

DWT said...

Kate :
" some link Moses to the Amarma period. Mostly it seems to rely on a date for the Thera eruption "
&
" I agree with Marianne that Aaron was probably a priest of some sort in Egypt and a priest of the Aten would make theological sense "
Just in case it can be helpful to remind : the probability that you see as 'theologicl sense' is strictly the same on which bases Freud's essay about Moses. Yet for the Amanian-Moses theory, the eruption ofThera is not always mentioned or used. There are many other elements which havec been in use.
Just to notice too : Freud did not identify Aaron. I guess he was very cautious. Nor did he identify Akhnaton. But he certainly built his theory with a Moses " a priest (or a governor) of some sort in Egypt and a priest of the Aten " as you say. My own reasonning then follows as such :
First : Akhnaton=Moses by Osman (and/or others) may be uncertain. But it indicates at the minimum that Freud was reasonable when considering Akhnaton and Moses living at one moment at the same period and same place (Amarnian). Therefore, Osman simply reinforces Freud over this limited (and probable) chronological point. Second : the history of Freud's research itself supports another 'jigsaw piece' which is a limited thesis amongst a whole controversial affair. This limited scop has been approved by many (amongst them Martin Bernal that you certainly know as one of your scholars). Bernal (and others) approves Oedipus=Akhnaton.
The problem with Oedipus=Akhnaton is that is it difficult to identify "Oedipus at Colonus" except if we admit Akhnaton=Moses. Therefore these two intriguing pieces (of the jigsaw) combine together and well support each-one-another.
Only then can we we insert these bizare two-fitted-pieces in the pattern of the larger jigsaw puzzle which is requested for explaining the legend of Trismegistus (a Hermes which originates avec Hermopolis Magna - built as you know on the Nile opposite in front of ancient-Amarna).
This pattern calls egyptology for a multidisciplinary association ; otherwise egyptology is naturally obsessed with keeping and finding all in its own land (as we see Hawass & gov. so eager to identify Akhnaton's body).
DWT

Anonymous said...

Akhnaten=Oedipus=Moses?????
You cannot be serious man!
This is as bad as the great pyramid telling the future.

David said...

FWIW (not much, so I'll keep it short)

My hypothesis and chronology is that Joseph came to Egypt during the Hyksos period. The Israelites were not the Hyksos but they were sufficiently kindred from Asia to get along, much to the chagrin of native Egyptians, despite saving them from starvation. (God often saves the tares to spare the wheat.) The "king who knew not Joseph" who enslaved the Israelites was the resurgent native king Amenhotep I or perhaps Ahmose.

The pharaoh who defied Moses and his One God was Amenhotep IV. Amenhotep IV was defeated by the 10 plagues, abetted by the Thera eruption and tsunami. Afterward, seeing the power of Moses' One God, he converted to an imitation of the Israelite's religion as best as he vaguely understood it, a god of light. This god who had wrought so much damage in Egypt was resented and abandoned by the Egyptians within a few years. I do not think Moses and Akhenaton were the same person.

My hypothesis generally favors the "late" date for Thera, around 1500 BC, but pushes at least the 2nd Intermediate Period and New Kingdom chronologies back a century or so from the standard chronology.

Marianne Luban said...

DWT:

You are welcome Marianne. You put a funny hat on my head and why not ? I set up in French (google translate will do) why you do so IMO.
(http://www.akhnaton.net/2010/htm/20101114104300_kate-blog.htm)

Monsieur/Dr. Theaux. I didn't mean to put a "funny hat" on your head but I must strongly object to your having taken comments that I wrote HERE and put them elsewhere WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. Putting them into French, which I can read, by the way, is no excuse. You are in violation of International Copyright Law by doing so. Everything I write on the Internet is automatically under my copyright--and the same goes for everyone else. Moreover, you have placed my remarks and construed them as you please, without any chance for me to reply to them at that site. Take them off! Kate, please instruct this man that anything written on your blog stays here unless permission granted.

Kate Phizackerley said...

@DWT

I must re-iterate Marianne's request that you do not repost her comments, or those of anybody else, without the commentator's explicit permission. You should also remove them, as requested, from the French page.

If you wish to comment on your own site then please either:

a) get permission from the person whose writing you wish to reproduce or
b) use short excerpts and link to this page for the rest

Thank you for your help in this. I very much appreciate the dialogue and debeate here and don't wish anything which would damage that.

DWT said...

Kate, I am sorry for all this mess that I didn't want. I am deleting from my site the miror/archive page of this blog page where I wrote. I shall suppress from my french page the excerpts in english from Marianne and her name. I shall keep them in French but distorted enough and under a fake name so that nobody will be able to recognize the true one. I reiterate my appreciation for Marianne who is helpfull in all ways.
I shall only kept public on my 'flog' what I myself write (flog is public and I put there all that I write and think). I am not advocating here free speech and free thinkink which are political matter. I am processing scientifically the method. Marianne who is allways fecond did not claimed Universal nor Divine Copyright Law but International. This is strongly indicative if we think twice that internationalism is that which came in the post-amarnian era (and supposedly its repression/Ramses). There must be influences between internationalism and our memory of its pre-scene. Especially if we observe what must be said in one field and kept from the other. Of course we can hope that with pleasure we'll simply find the truth, objective, and in one place (and not the other). But with no splitting and no psyche we may search which piece is lacking (or exceed) from the famous jigsaw, unable to realize that it is the saw (the frontier, border, no man's land). A one block truth is certainly desireable but we can imagine what happens when we find an historical event without considering the laws of memory ; first thing it can be damaging.
I retire myself from the blog without bitterness and you can delete my posts (you can copy them, ^_*). Being rather buzy it will take some days but I will write about memory and property a short page with this experience and about laws of memory. I'll keep you informed as soon as it will be uploaded ; you will either enjoy it or simply check out if it does not do any arm.
DWT

Kate Phizackerley said...

@DWY
Thanks - but there's no need for you to retire from this blog as well.
Kate

Tony Holmes said...

I love the discussions about Akhenaten being or not being Moses, but why is everyone fixated on Akhenaten. A perfectly obvious member of Amunhotep III's family who disappeared as a young man (only presumed dead)was Akhenaten's older brother Djutmoses who only had to drop the reference to Thoth from his name - hey presto - Moses. Akhenaten is better candidate for Moses's brother Aaron (Aten?) from Tony Holmes

Stephanie said...

@ Tony, I`ve read your book which is based on these theories. Although it is really impressive to read, it involves several disappearances and changing of identities which is hard to imagine to have happened in reality.
There is no sound proof for it but no compelling proof against it either.

Marianne Luban said...

What about the title of this thread, which is "The DNA of Moses"? The predicted y-DNA of Moses is on my blog. It may only be an exercise in "likelihood" based on certain factors but, if one wishes to argue for ancient Egyptian persons of history being Moses, one had better update oneself and acknowledge that the y-DNA of the Thutmosid Dynasty male mummies has to match the Cohens--any of them within their haplogroups--if one is to be identified with Moses or Aaron. By the way, one can see the DNA of the Cohens and those with other surnames who match them genetically on the Family Tree DNA website. Just do a search on "Cohen", click on the name's project URL and then "results". Isn't that the purpose of the DNA testing in the first place--to either confirm or refute speculation?

Kate Phizackerley said...

Marianne
I know everyone is interested in the identity of Moses, but isn't Aaron the real potential target for DNA? Supposedly Moses was adopted so his DNA could have been very different, but Aaron could have been an Egyptian, potentially part of the greater royal family.

However I agree that if the SRY of the Kohenim were to be shown to derive from, or be linked to, Pharaonic DNA that would be huge with present day political repurcusions. For instance Israel might have a stronger claim to New Kungdom treasures than Greece.

That's why raw data needs to be published and independently verified. This all has the potential to be explosively important.

Marianne Luban said...

Well, Kate, if we are to credit what is in the Hebrew Bible, we have to believe that Moses and Aaron were the children of the same parents. On my blog I gave the chapter and verse where it says so. There is no compelling information to believe otherwise, so any speculation there seems unwarranted. Moses was adopted, alright, but by an Egyptian royal lady. Nowhere does it say that Aaron was an Egyptian, but he doesn't have to be in order to be participating in the Egyptian religious practices. Remember, there really was no Judaism as we know it until Moses gave the Law. The family of Moses and Aaron had lived in Egypt for centuries and were doubtless fully integrated into that society. They were not part the "slaves in Egypt" scenario, despite what films have depicted? Were there Semitic-speaking slaves contemporaneous with them? I'm sure there were due to the military ambitions of the pharaohs who brought captives back to Egypt, especially Thutmose III and his son, Amenhotep II--this last holding the record for capturing persons from western Asia.

Now--either the Bible gives the correct basic information about Moses and Aaron--or it does not. [Forget about the ages assigned to these people or certain other mythic embellishments]. However,
it would seem there really is a priestly line, a genealogy, just as the Bible states--with a common ancestor in the pharaonic era. If that much has turned out to be true, one ought to be careful about wanting to chance the other details of the scenario. I am not a religious person but I am a great believer in the traditions of our people. Look at all those men who have been called to the Torah as "X son of Z haCohen" and are stilled called that way--with science proving it wasn't for no reason. They remembered because of our traditions and only because of them. If Moses and Aaron, the Egyptians, recalled or learned that their ancestor had been a "wandering Aramean", then that was their tradition. There were a nomadic people in Egypt depicted as far back as the 12th Dynasty. Their name is transliterated "aAmw" but in the Middle Kingdom the /A/ element had the value of "r".

John Bright said...

The stories of Genesis and Exodus have come down to us through the hands of redactors who each had a distinctive influence that scholars have labelledJ D E and P. In dealing with these stories we are looking at tales that have been reworked over a period of several hundred years. They contain elements borrowed from other stories as well as the kernels of the original tales. While the stories have become part of history, that does not mean they are historical fact.

Marianne Luban said...

John, they *are* just stories, but that still does not mean they do not contain fact. The "novelization" element does not mean the people did not exist. Take for example the "Setne Cycle", Egyptian tales of the Late Period. They center around one Prince Khaemwase, son of Ramesses II, and have some fantastic things happen to him. And yet this prince was a flesh and blood man who never dreamed he would some day in the distant future become the hero of these tales. Or, more immediately, there is the story of General Thutmose who served Thutmose III, which is called "The Taking of Joppa". Some of that is certainly fiction, but that does not mean there was no General Thutmose [there certainly was] or that there was no siege of such a Canaanite city. I am not going to argue with people over the accuracy of our scriptures. It is as pointless as arguing how much of Ramesses's account of the "Battle of Kadesh" is the truth.

John Bright said...

My point was that people seem to be taking them at face value when there are so many layers to them that the origin is undoubtedly far from the end of the tale.
I think the tales of the taking of Joppa and The Battle of Kadesh are in a different category. There was a very absorbing programme broadcast on the BBC about the origin of Greek myths in Hittite tales. While this process might be applicable to Biblical stories, it does not apply to these two Egyptian ones.

Marianne Luban said...

I'm afraid it does apply to them, John. They are no more pure history than anything in the Torah. One is a fictionalized account of something that occurred in the reign of Thutmose III and the other is unabashed propaganda from during the rule of Ramesses II. History as we know it was something that began with the Greeks. But, as anyone familiar with Herodotus knows, its beginnings were rather shaky. In my own book, which has the very long but appropriate title "The Exodus Chronicles: Beliefs, Legends & Rumors from Antiquity Regarding the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt" I quote a great historian, Eugen Weber, regarding the anatomy of history. It is a longer quote but he ends with "Still, invented or perceived, history remains an artifact, the work of our minds and imaginations." And I said, "Thus, history is not a totally objective creation. Your experiences may not be mine, even though we were at the same place on a given day. We can come from different perspectives." Jan Assmann, Egyptologist, said, "The present is 'haunted' by the past and the past is remodeled, invented, reinvented, and reconstructed by the present."

So, you see, looking at the Bible from an historical viewpoint, it doesn't matter how many redactors there were or how many "layers" because history is mutable, anyway, especially the ancient sort. It is comprised just as much of "the historic imagination" [sometimes called "speculation"] as fact. What is taken "at face value" today is subject to change tomorrow depending upon new evidence or, lacking that, somebody writing a paper taking a fresh look at old evidence--rather like taking apart a building and reassembling it in a different shape with the same bricks. As for the history of more modern times, there is no such thing as "absolute" history there, either, that is to say a history without bias, totally devoid of chauvanism or national viewpoint. Yes, "all written history is a form of distortion." Ask Antonia Fraser. It is a quote from her "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England". When it comes to myths, a gooud source is Robert Birley's "The Undergrowth of History", who wrote, "Apocryphal stories generally survive because they encapsulate a true facet of an historical period, however false the facts on which they are based." I could go on and on. History--it ain't a simple matter.

John Bright said...

I am afraid I disagree. I can look Ramesses II in the face and visit all the remaining buildings for which he was responsible. I can see Thutiy's bowl in the Louvre. These are well attested remains that indicate their owners lived. Certainly I cannot be sure of what they did, but then again, I cannot be sure of many of the things I have done thanks to the vagiaries of human memory.
Moses and the associated events demand steps of faith and have resulted in very different outcomes to any tales woven about our two Egyptian people. They are, therefore, in a very different category. The very existence of Moses is only contained in the stories, which cannot be said of Ramesses and The Battle of Kadesh.

Marianne said...

I thought we were talking about written history, John, but now you want to bring in bodies and tangible objects. Well, okay, but how do you know for sure there is nothing extant that belonged to Moses--because you don't know who Moses really was? He might be an actual figure of Egyptian history but no one can now prove a connection. Egyptologist Rolf Krauss, for example, wrote an entire book about why he thought Amenmesse the Viceroy during the reign of Merneptah could be identical with Moses. I bring forth a couple of candidates in my own book, as well, but I have no strong opinion one way or another. During the Late Period, there were some Egyptian historians, some of them quite anti-Semitic, who had every opportunity to deny there ever was a Moses--and yet, while mentioning him, they never denied his existence. You bring up "faith" and what is in museums. You can go to Turin and see a shroud but, insofar as I know, only faith can assure you it is that of Jesus. Come to that, what unchallenged tangible proof is there that Jesus ever existed except in the written word? Do I want to challenge it? No. I don't like to undermine what is important to the religions of others. Yet we Jews are faced with that all the time--even from some of our co-religionists. Acknowledge one thing at least. If you aren't Jewish, you don't know how the Jewish memory works. You can question there was an exodus, a Moses, but why do you think Jews have been commemorating Passover for centuries? Just for the fun of it? It's not that much fun! Every holiday we have commemorates something, some event, even things that occurred in the 20th Century like the Holocaust and the establishment of the state of Israel. Yes, we have actual days on the calendar for those to be observed. The 20th Century events are well-documented and are far less embellished by folklore--but there are deniers of those out there, as well.

You don't really know the history of Egypt, either, no matter how many artifacts there are in museums. Not really. All you know is the "history" that's been cobbled together.

Kate Phizackerley said...

I am personally more inclined to believe historical accounts if they are books of faith because they need to be believable at the time. The Exodus story could have been made up, but would a national make up that it had been slaves in a foreign land for decades? I think not. For me it seems very likely that the central themes of a period in Egypt and a mass Exodus under the guidance of one or more spiritual leaders are very likely historical accounts. Actually, I am also inclined to believe in part at least details of the Ten Commandments and the Ark of the Covenant because when it was firsy written down, they were known, tanglible objects (meeting John's criterion).

I think we do therefore have to see some sort of Exodus as historic fact. It is also apparent that considerable Egyptian religous motifs were incorporated into Judaism. The Ark is very Egyptian for instance.

I suspect there was more. The indications are that some of the traditions of Isis may also have passed into Jewish life. (In fact I suspect that the reason Chistianity is so masclunised is that the Isis traditions were lost from it.)

Marianne Luban said...

Here's the problem, though. I think there really was only one Moses but more than one exodus from Egypt. After I gathered all the evidence for my book, it seemed to me the ancient historians were describing more than one event. In fact, to this very day, there is no consensus about the timeframe in which the exodus described in the HB occurs.
The Samaritans, a small sect who live on the West Bank of the Jordan and in Holon, Israel, have the Torah, but they broke with the Jews centuries ago. That is to say, they had their kingdom of Israel while the Jews had the one called Judah until both were destroyed. Anyway, the Samaritan reckoning of time doesn't start with Adam but with the entrance of Joshua into Canaan. In other words, their Year is not 5,000 + as is the Jewish Year [the Muslims have their own Year, too] but far less. According to them, Joshua entered into Canaan around the time people used to think the eruption on Thera ocurred--although they don't concern themselves with that. Passover is the major holiday of the Samaritans.

Regardless, the pharaoh of the exodus is not named in the HB and this may have been intentional instead of a lapse of memory. Or maybe it was because no one could really recall who was king of Egypt when the exodus involving Moses took place. My opinion is that the Book of Exodus was written as an account that incorporated them all and gives an astonishingly large figure for the population that left. In the Jewish calendar, there is only one day of commemoration called Tisha b'Av [or the 9th of the Month of Av] because, by tradition, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed *twice* on that very day. See where I am going? I do not believe one voluntary exodus or expulsion from Egypt of the Jews or proto-Jews was enough. Not in all of pharaonic history. History repeats itself and even in more modern times, that is in CE, Jews did well in Egypt for awhile only to have to go. If they could. The Jews of Alexandria, so well-tolerated by most of the Ptolemies for nearly three centuries, were massacred by the Romans. During the Middle Ages, the famous Moses Maimonides was the personal physician to Saladin and the head of the Jewish community of Old Cairo, which was considerable, but after Saladin that period of tolerance ended, too. But the next great exodus of Jews, some of them having lived in Egypt since the time of the Spanish Inquisition [expelled from Spain] was ca. 1950, during the Nasser regime. Now there are scarcely any Jews left in Egypt at all. While the state of Israel exists, they will not go back to Egypt again. Taking everything into consideration, all legends, rumors, beliefs, etc., here are the pharaohs who *might* have been involved in an exodus:

Ahmose I
Thutmose I or III-Hatshepsut
Amenhotep II
Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten
Merneptah
Amenmesse [if Rolf Krauss is right]
Setnakht

Each for a reason but not necessarily all that are listed. I think Egypt was a revolving door for Semitic speaking peoples and the Hyksos can be included. BTW, there weren't really a people called "Hyksos"--that just comes from Manetho. In more ancient times they were called "Aamu" such as in the Speos Artemidos inscription of Hatshepsut. "Ever since the Aamu were in Avaris [Hwt-wart] of the Northland, wanderers among them, destroying all that was made-- they ruled without Ra and without divine order down to the time of my own Majesty...And when I came as Horus my uraeus threw fire against my opponents. And after I expelled the abomination of the gods, the earth removed their footprints."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DWT said...

Hello Kate,

We have a significant and psychological singularity within which reflects the missing artifacts that history keeps for clever understanging : just following the "17 November 2010 03:23" post which ends so : « And when I came as Horus my uraeus threw fire against my opponents. And after I expelled the abomination of the gods, the earth removed their footprints.» - we have anonymous' "17 November 2010 18:26" post which says : « This post has been removed by a blog administrator.» I am not judging the reason why it was deleted but acting the scientific observation, if we dare contemplate the actual facts we find an echo of the construct of historical data in the heart of the amarnian affair :
As we all begin to know the case of Moses and Monotheism has been first taken in charge by psychoanalysis (the essential book Freud began to write by 1910 and only published when he prescribed his own euthanasia - 1939). Since then I could take again the task (1985) when I was immediatly supported by A.Osman (1900). All this is now documented but we reach the frontier where we meet our own repression itself. This is why the fact is due that psychoanalysis is the basic tool in the amarnian matter. In short it asks for the key of censorship in History. My own thirty years focus leads to copyright and property which is a whole cultural princeps in nationalism - and of course the very nationalistic principle which was set up in Kadesh in the aftermath of Amarna.
As I am even not sure it you will keep this comment on the blog (I don't know you well enough at that time) I add more precise comments on my own site ( http://www.akhnaton.net/2010/htm/20101120114500-stu-open-PIC.htm ). If my post is deleted this will be like Egypt with a big piece of the puzzle missing and the attempt to replace it with fasle data - beside my site with censored and forbidden references, fake names looks like Israël etc.. But we understand that Israël follows the law of truth yet. This is just a practical model we can use for a better understanding of probable history.
Sincerely,
DWT

John Samsen said...

So many people accept the idea described in the Pentateuch that the Israelites were slaves; the same books tell of the wealth and riches and personal slaves owned by the Israelites. If they were slaves in Egypt, then they must have looted much on their way out.

Ron Lankshear said...

Actually John the idea was given by God who said "I will free you from being slaves to them" Exodus 6:6

Then in Exodus 11:2 "Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold."

And Marianne I would think that pharaoh was not named because people called him pharaoh. Putting the various names that Pharaohs had into Hebrew seems to have been a difficult task. When pharaoh's of certain events are named the Bible words have to be analysed to work out who is meant in our terms. Who was "So"?
Was Shishak actually Shoshenq? Both David Rohl and Veliknovsky have suggested not Sheshonk.
(can we even agree on a English spelling)?

John Bright said...

Miss out the vowels:sh-sh-k (or q with a dot underneath). I believe the vowels in the Hebrew were added later: perhaps Marianne can elucidate us on the Masoretic vowel system? David Rohl advanced the idea that sh-sh-k was a nickname for Ramesses II. This seems to go against the evidence, however vague, of the Bubastite Portal at Karnak.

John Bright said...

Miss out the vowels:sh-sh-k (or q with a dot underneath). I believe the vowels in the Hebrew were added later: perhaps Marianne can elucidate us on the Masoretic vowel system? David Rohl advanced the idea that sh-sh-k was a nickname for Ramesses II. This seems to go against the evidence, however vague, of the Bubastite Portal at Karnak.

Marianne Luban said...

We call those kings "Sheshonq", but the name is not written with any vowels--just "SSnq". I think "Shishak" can't amount to any name but the above. Egyptian /n/ was notoriously weak and one of those consonants that tended to elide into the next one in pronunication, like /m/, /p/ and /b/--the labials. Linguistics isn't like mathematics--"close" counts, just like in horseshoes. Consonants are dropped and appear out of nowhere. The name "Thompson", for example, is just the son of Thomas, but an otiose "p" crept in there. An Egyptian phrase like "imn-ra nsw nTrw" [Amun-ra, king of the gods] was written in Greek texts as "Amonrasonther"--missing one "n" there, as well.

Ron Lankshear said...

I cannot recall what Velikovsky name reasons where for saying Shishak was Tuthmose III or also in English as Tuthmosis

But for Rohl there is an explanation at David Rohl's "New Chronology"

"Shisha is an acceptable transliteration of the official Egyptian nickname (Sysw)(10) of the Pharaoh Ramses II, and that the liguistic path to the Biblical name Shishak is more straightforward than that of Sheshonq, especially if it is recognized that the final "k" was added as a play on words (a recognized practice used in the Bible when translating foreign names) to render the connotation of "assaulter" in Hebrew.(1"

Marianne Luban said...

I have never heard of such a "play on words" and I wonder if Rohl ever gave a single example other than the one he seems to have created? Anyone?

John Bright said...

Apart from in his book, David Rohl mentioned this in an Egyptology Summer School at University College, London in, I think, 1993 or 1994. He gave no further examples of such usage. His argument was rather tenuous and, I seem to recall, the following discussion was very short since there were few grounds to discuss.

John Bright said...

I meant to add that the David Rohl led Summer School was well attended (there were people from North America as well as the UK), and that a fair proportion of the attendees had post-graduate qualifications so that the discussions were both lively and well-informed.

John Bright said...

Some further thoughts on David Rohl's proposal: in his new chronology, one of the kings writing letters to the Amarna Court was identified as Saul. This assertion had me puzzled as I thought Saul was fighting the Philistines who the Egyptians record as invading the area in the time of Ramesses III. This particular pharaoh was conspicuous by his absence in the argument put forward, though I cannot see how the evidence from the walls at Medinet Habu can be ignored.
Much emphasis was placed on the eruption of Thera (not just to fix a date but also to explain the parting of the sea) and the departure of the Hyksos from Avaris. A defaced anonymous statue found at the excavations at what is thought to be Avaris was identified as Joseph.
The logic of this chronology would place Ahmose as the pharaoh of the Exodus. In the Channel 4 documentary that accompanied the book "A Test of Time", there was a poorly edited interview with Kenneth Kitchen who at the time was one of the recognized experts on the Late Ramesside-Third Intermediate Period. This did nothing to support the proposed new system which has not found much favour subsequently.

Anonymous said...

john i thought that Rohls old ideas re his new chronology had been thoroughly discredited now, especially by recent carbon dating of items from tombs. Also his ideas of emphasising names and sounds to correlate (or not|)with ancient place names or characters is just so much wishful thinking.

John Bright said...

Anon., you have misunderstood me. Personally speaking,I'm not sure how viable it ever was. He made too many leaps that were not supported by the available data.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Rohl does make some interesting observations but there is so little consensus as to the date of the Thetan explosion that the centrepiece of his chronology fails. A date during the Second Intermediate is a real possibility.

COmparison of names is very weak too. The Jesus Tomb jumps to conclusions on names and that doesn't rely on different renderings across languages.

I still believe DNA may help but we will need much larger data sets before statistics can do that.

Ron Lankshear said...

I do watch Rohl new chronology group on yahoo and they do not seem to think they have "failed"

Trying to say any conventional system is wrong is of course an uphill battle everything is based on the old ideas.

In Chronology Archaeology Levels are often quoted with precise dates BC whereas LBA might be better.

I'm not sure how lack of an agreed date for Thera upsets Rohl. The methods of dating are frequently discussed by the group.

Saul and the Philistines - well Psrt might be said to be the Philistines But then the Bible talks about Philistines in Philistia in earlier days. Are they all the same people. I find their origins most confusing

John Bright said...

It was not just the Thera eruption that was used to justify the revision of the chronology. Much was made of the overlapping of the 21st,22nd, 23rd, and 24th Dynasties so that the time period they occupied could be shrunk considerably (it was at this point in the proposal that the disagreement with Professor Kitchen arose). This had the effect of bringing the 19th Dynasty "down" to the time of Solomon's successors. It all seemed very selective when he explained it at the Summer School, picking the points in favour of the hypothesis and totally ignoring those against. As you say, Carbon dating should be quoted with a PLUS/MINUS range, so it does not give an exact year. There are possible cross checks to dendro-chronology and there is a new test called, I think, thermo-luminescent dating. This process produced some interesting results when applied to Menkaure's pyramid at Giza. I gather, however, it is in its early days and the results are disputed.
As to the Sea Peoples: if Ramesses III defeated their invasion somewhere between 1182-1135 B.C. (based on Gardiner's dates), and settled the defeated people in Philistia so they became the Philistines: if
Shoshenk/Sheshonk/Shishak was king somewhere between 945 and 924,this would give the Sea Peoples some 100+ years to establish their league of cities. Saul/David/Solomon would occupy some 50 years which brings the dating into the period of Shoshenk. Please note I used "if", so I am not arguing this as hard chronological fact.

Ron Lankshear said...

Correct Thera is I would think not Rohl's main basis of revision. I think he started with seeing that those 21st 22nd Dynasties were not as long as Kenneth Kitchen had them. And in fact he has them with some overlap of joint rulers and not a continuous line of succession.
There are a lot of other areas of course when you start to dismantle some 250 years of established chronology you will have difficulties.

If you have an interest in all this then do try http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewChronology2

I am interested in the area of Jacob's conquest and that there is a Jericho ruin that seems to fit but is ruled too early in conventional chronology.

John Bright said...

I studied Theology at King's London back in the late Sixties. One Old Testament event I recall that was the cause of some academic fluttering was the sack of Ay (not the Pharaoh!!). If I remember correctly, the archaeology, as interpreted at the time, had the sack several centuries before the assumed date of Joshua/Judges. As you say, the sack of Jericho also raises similar concerns.
Nicholas Grimal has a succinct explanation of the TIP in L'Histoire de l'Egypte ancienne which includes a map to show the areas that each ruler controlled. There is an English translation.He retains a long chronology with overlapping Dynasties.

Marianne Luban said...

I have a link to a good video about Thera and the end of the Minoan civilization on my blog. Scroll to the top of this thread and there is the link to my blog. You can watch this fascinating video right on your computer and there are several others in the "Secrets of the Dead" series which you might want to watch, as well, including "The Silver Pharaoh".

Ron Lankshear said...

Thanks Marianne - I shall have to find time to watch 50+ minutes on line but the first shot got me - Throne Room at Knossos - which is where I met my wife because her flash wouldn't work. I assume its about Thera destroying crops etc on Crete.

And John I agree Ay and other places are impacted by chronology setting Joshua too late to fit conquest destructions. And the chronology is from the Bible via the Shishak and Rehoboam placing around 925

Marianne Luban said...

Back to DNA and my mentioning the likelihood of descendants of Ramesses II. It goes without saying that the more sons the better chance of a line of y-DNA surviving. The 19th Dynasty petered out but that doesn't mean there wasn't a single male descendant of Ram. II left alive. Anyway, it would be interesting to put the DNA of all the Egyptian royals into the Family Tree DNA data base and see if any matches with modern persons pop up. In fact, it would be fascinating. Somebody has already entered Tut's DNA into a database, but I can't remember which one--and he seems to have at least one match. At least that's what I heard, even though I haven't seen the results first hand.

Marianne Luban said...

I found it. As was mentioned here before, but some new readers may not be aware, it is said that sample 115, from Beit Jaan, differs by one with a 15 at DYS437 from the presumed Tut values in a Druze individual. The initial study was "The Druze: A Population Genetic Refugium of the Near East" by Behar, Skorecki, Hammer, et alii, May 2008.

John Bright said...

If the DNA link to Tutankhamen is genuine, and the person in question does not live in Egypt (I know that is an assumption), his or her family tree would be fascinating.

Back to Minoam links, in the Lessing Archive, there is a photograph of a block from Amarna found at Hermopolis. The scene shows two female musicians playing a human sized stringed instrument. The females in question are both wearing Minoan hooped skirts. I wonder if girls from the Aegean found their way into the Harim of Amenhotep III or Ramesses II?

Marianne Luban said...

Beit Jann is a Druze village on Mt. Meron in northern Israel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beit_Jann

Anonymous said...

....and as the Druze faith originated in Egypt in the 11th Century, that might give a link to a descendant of Tutankhamen.

Marianne Luban said...

Here is a link to the paper of Behar et al

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002105

It's quite interesting reading.

Marianne Luban said...

I forgot to add that any modern individual who might share y-DNA with Tutankhamun would not likely be his descendant. Don't forget that the y-DNA of Tutankhamun would have been the same as the other kings of the 18th Dynasty going back at least as far as Thutmose I.

Leilah said...

Just where did they find this magical dna for Moses? How can they be sure it's Moses? Thousands of years have past and now all of a sudden we have Moses DNA? Egyptians I understand, they preserved the bodies quite well, but Moses? Come on now folks, are we DNA testing "aliens" too? It's kinda like the magical discovery of Genghis Khans descendants, where did they get ole Genghis' DNA sample from to test it against the reported millions of ancestors? I'm just curious to know where the original DNA of the ancients came from?

Search

Admin Control Panel