A Preliminary Note
Most Ancient Days -- Preface
Chapter 1 -- The Number of the Years: chronology from Adam to Saul
Chapter 2 -- The Age of Evil Imagining: the Confusion and Scatter at Babel
Chapter 3 -- The Generations of the Sons of Noah: the Tabel of Nations
Chapter 4 -- Cities of the Twin Rivers: Shinar from Babel to Sodom
Chapter 5 -- Profane Fables: Egyptian historiagraphy and the standard paradigm
Chapter 6 -- Kings of the Nile: Egypt from Babel to Sodom

Chapter 7 -- Stones of Sumer: Jemdet Nasr and "Early Dynastic"

Chapter 8 -- Sands of Egypt: Dyanasty XIIa & IIa

Chapters 9 & 10 (The Age of Base Metal: The Middle Bronze Age) -- Expanded and presented here.

Chapter 11 -- Joseph Over the House of Pharaoh: Egypt in the 18th century

Chapter 12 -- The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph: The Old Kingdom to the Exodus

Chapter 13 -- Moses Prince of Egypt: Dynasty XIII and the "First Intermediate Period"

Chapter 14 -- Into the Hands of the Living God: the Ten Plagues of Egypt

Chapter 8 -- Sands of Egypt: Dynasty XIIa & IIa

Chapter 8

Sands of Egypt:

Dynasty XIIa & IIa

Now we will backtrack three centuries, and turn our attention to Egypt, first to the culture of Thebes and the first part of Dynasty XII of the "Middle Kingdom" — contempo­raneous with the ED IIIa period of Mesopotamia. Then we will look at the "Archaic" Dynas­ty II, of Thinis.

Dynasty XIIa [b] (1918-1780 [-1705-1684]/ º1991-1786)

Dynasty XIIa was an extension of the Middle Kingdom culture founded during Dynas­ty XI. It is a profound mystery that no direct correlations are found between Pales­tine and the culture of the Middle Kingdom (as we saw in Chapter 5), until we realize that there was indeed contact between these neighbors, but it is all assigned to the (contemporaneous but misplaced) culture of the so-called "Archaic" period. For 250 years following Chedorla­omer's invasion and the Sodom catastrophe, the powerful government of the Middle Kingdom did not appreciably use Syrian pottery, but provin­cial, Archaic or Old Kingdom dynasties sometimes did. Whenever Syrian pottery of this age is found in Egypt, it is assigned to the "Archaic" period, even though it also belongs to the "Middle" Kingdom. Error begets error.

The tradition preserved by Manetho tells us thatThe Twelfth Dynasty consisted of seven kings of Thebes. Archeology recognizes 8 rulers — 4 kings named Amenemhet and 3 named Sesostris (or Senwosre), and a final ruler, queen Sebeknofru; other sources remember more rulers, as we shall see. Although it is called a Theban dynasty, Amenem­het I (the founder of the line) moved his capital northward to the more central Dahshur, which means "controller of the two lands". Again, Sesostris I, the 2nd king, moved his capital (apparently during the coregency with his father) to nearby Itj-Tawy, 32 miles south of Memphis.

2 Table 8-1

Dynasty XII




(Turin Papy­rus)

1918- c. 1900 / *1991-1962

Amenemhet I

20/16 (TP, 29)

c. 1900- c. 1860 / *1971-1928

Sesostris I

42/46 (TP, 45)

c. 1860-1829 / *1929-1895

great war

Amenemhet II

32/38 (TP, 20)

c. 1836- c. 1818 / *1897-1878

(Sesostris II, coregent) Mane­tho ig­nores


1829- c. 1780 / *1878-1842

Sesostris III


c. 1780-c. 1730 / *1842-1797

Amenemhet III, Lamares


c. 1730-1705

Joseph dies

(Dodecarchy) monu­ments ig­nore



(Ameres) monu­ments ignore


1697-1689? / *1798-1789

Amenemhet IV


1688-1685? / *1789-1786

Sebek-Neferura queen


The Turin Papyrus records that this dynasty lasted213 years, 1 months, 17 days. Given that this line started in 1918 at the end of the seven years of unrest, then it ended in 1705, the very year of the death of Joseph. Another source says it lasted 160 years, thus ending in 1758 bc — at which time in the nome of Thinis there was grave civil unrest — after which a rival claimant to the throne, war­like Khasekhem, won out (c. 1758); Jacob had died the year before, in 1759 during the reign of Lamares of Dynasty XII. Yet another length was given as 245 years, but this may be an er­ror, where some scribe added up the reigns with­out recognizing coregen­cies; again, the higher value may in­clude the years of Amen­emhet I as vi­zier, before he gained control of the Middle Kingdom. Or, most probably, it included the initial king of Dynas­ty XIII.

The various lengths of reigns are quite confused, and the best I have been able to do for some of these kings is to estimate. For the first three kings, the two sets of numbers — those calculated from the monu­ments, and those preserved in the Turin Papyrus — both add up to 94; and Manetho's numbers add up to 94 plus 6, which we may take to be the seven years of civil war. Amenemhet I, then, ruled from 1918 to c. 1898, Sesostris I from c. 1898 to c. 1856, and Amenemhet II from c. 1856 to 1824; for the sake of simplicity, I will round off the esti­mates.

We have seen that Amenemhet was an offi­cial of Mentuhotep III, and that he finally won out in the unrest which brought down the first Theban dynasty. Amenemhet I (Ammenemes, Sehetep-Ib-Ra, 1918-c. 1900/ º1991-1962) seems to have won the throne with the support of the nomarchs. Manetho says,In succession to [the kings of Dynas­ty XI], Ammenemes [Amenem­het I] ruled for 16 years. Whether this re­fers to his years as vizier, or to the be­ginning of the seven years of unrest, or the end, is not stated. But we know that he con­trolled much of Egypt starting in 1918.

Because of the expedience of his close relationship with the nomarchs,he rein­forced the nome system by se­curing provincial bound­aries and re-establishing powers and privileges. With their positions enhanced in this way, the nomarchs became influential and, in time, dangerous. He wor­shipped Amon of Thebes, who was promi­nent in Dynas­ty XII. With his son, he built the new capital — Itj-Tawy, "Seizer of the Two Lands" — near al-Lisht, where his pyramid tomb is sur­rounded by the mastabas of his court­iers. He built walls in the eastern Delta, the "Walls of the Ruler", against Asiatics and their incursions. In his day, northern Nubia was annexed, and fortresses were built at the second cataract.

To those who may be wondering how it is that the change of dynasties in Thebes had no immediate effect in ter­minating the reigns of the vassal nom­archs, I would give the simple analo­gy that the election of an American pres­ident need have no immediate effect on the term of a State office. There is a real difference between local and national concerns, which fact must be recognized for ancient Egypt as much as for modern America. With this in mind, to know the names of some of these dynasties would be the equivalent of knowing the names of all the mayors of, say, Cincinnati.

We find a clear picture of these times in The Story of Sinuhe — the "crown jewel" of Middle Kingdom literature. Sinuhe was an attendant of the wife of Sesostris I, and he tells of his adventures in Egypt and Palestine. Amenemhet I died in his 30th year on the throne (c. 1900 bc):The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetepibre, flew to heaven and united with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its maker.

Sesostris was summoned from his cam­paign in Libya, but some of his brothers planned to seize the throne. Sinuhe was present to overhear the plotting:I heard his voice, as he spoke, while I was in the near distance. My heart fluttered, my arms spread out, a trembling befell all my limbs. I removed myself in leaps, to seek a hiding place. I put myself between two bushes, so as to leave the road to its traveler. I set out southward. I did not plan to go to the residence [because] I believed there would be turmoil and did not expect to survive it. Turning northward, hereached the "Walls of the Ruler," which were made to repel the Asiatics and to crush the Sand-farers. I crouched in a bush for fear of being seen by the guard on duty upon the wall.

The term ‘Asiatics’ is a translation of Ammu, which shares its root with ‘Amorite’, the restless Western Semitic tribesmen of the Arabian and Syrian deserts. In Egyptian litera­ture however, the term need not imply any specific race.

In the desert, Sinuhe suffered grave thirst, but an Asiatic leader recognized him and gaveme water, and boiled milk for me. I went with him to his tribe. What he did for me was good. Sinuhe moved on to Byblos, and thence to Qedem where he spent a year and a half. Then Ammunenshi [Amoritic for "God is verily my prince"], the ruler of Upper Retenu [Galilee], took me to him, saying to me: 'You will be happy with me; you will hear the language of Egypt.' At this time, Retenu belonged to Egypt "like a hound" — that is, its culture was deeply influenced by that of the early Middle Kingdom. The empire of Nimrod had long since gone into the dust, and Sumer was in turmoil.

Sinuhe was made an official of this Amorite of Canaan, king Ammunenshi. He set me at the head of his children. He married me to his eldest daughter. He let me chose for myself of his land, of the best that was his, on his [northern] border with another land. It was a good land called Yah. Figs were in it and grapes. It had more wine than water. Abundant was its honey, plentiful its oil. All kinds of fruit were on its trees. Barley was there and emmer, and no end of cattle of all kinds. Much also came to me because of the love of me; for he had made me chief of a tribe in the best part of his land.

The name of this "Land of Yah", located in Galilee, invites us to notice that Yah is the very name of the God of the Bible: Yah or Ja is the root of Yahweh or Jehovah (cf. Ps 68:4). Its description, as a land flowing with milk and honey — or wine and honey — describes the Promised Land of Abraham; in fact, Abra­ham was still alive at this time. Whether this was God's land prior to His promise to Abra­ham, or whether it became His land in its having been given to Abraham, I cannot say. But we can see that the Amorites were aware of its religious importance, and the Amorites were none other than the same Western Semites who spoke the language of Abraham.

Sinuhe continues, sayingI passed many years, my children becoming strong men, each a master of his tribe. . . .When Asiatics conspired to attack the Rulers of Hill-Countries, I opposed their movements. For this ruler of Retenu made me carry out numerous missions as commander of his troops. Every hill tribe against which I marched I vanquished, so that it was driven from the pasture of its wells. I plundered its cattle, carried off its families, seized their food, and killed people by my strong arm, by my bow, by my movements and my skillful plans.

Who are these "Rulers of Hill-Countries"? The Egyptian term is heqau khasat (kh3w h3swt),the term from which the name 'Hyksos' was derived. This has the effect of identifying the Hyksos with the Amorites of Canaan, who were the ammu. From Sinuhe's account of his exploits, we gain some insight into the culture of pre-Exodus Canaan during the era from his arrival around 1898 bc to the time when his sons were grown, by the 1860's. Abraham died in 1891 (and Eber in 1887); Esau married and Isaac was age 100 in 1866.

Archeology recognizes the evidence of this period in the (post-Sodom) unwalled settle­ments of the seminomadic population of Middle Bronze I — built at least in part, we know now, by Amorites. Contem­poraneous to this, albeit unrecognized as such, are at least some of the artifacts identified as Early Bronze II, consisting of settlements with mud brick or undressed stone walls, some with defensive towers.

Sinuhe was not always the aggressor in his conflicts. He relates in a poem thatThere came a hero of Retenu/ To challenge me in my tent./ A Champion was he without peer,/ He had subdued it all./ He said he would fight with me,/ He planned to plun­der me,/ He meant to seize my cattle,/ At the behest of his tribe. Sinuhe laments to king Ammunenshi that the personal challenge was due to envy:'Is an inferior be­loved when he becomes a superior? No Asiatic makes friends with a Delta-man.' He pre­pared himself for the fight:At night I strung my bow, sorted my arrows, prac­ticed with my dagger, polished my weapons. When it dawned Retenu came — it had assem­bled its tribes; it had gathered its neighboring peoples; it was intent on this combat. We are reading here not of politics and conquest, but of the social customs of personal combat. The "champion" was some tough guy, who had fought and won many duels.

When I had made his weapons attack me, I let his arrows pass me by without effect, one following the other. Then, when He charged me, I shot him, my arrow sticking in his neck. He screamed; he fell on his nose; I slew him with his axe. I raised my war cry over his back, while every Asiatic shouted. I gave praise to Mont [the Theban god of war], while his people mourned him. The ruler Ammunenshi took me in his arms. Then I took off his goods; I plundered his cattle. What he had meant to do to me I did to him. I took what was in his tent; I stripped his camp. Thus I became great, wealthy in goods, rich in herds.

But despite his victory and all his prosperity, his heart yet longed after the black soil of his homeland. What is more important than that my corpse be buried in the land in which I was born! . . .Would that my body were young again! For old age has come; feebleness has overtaken me. My eyes are heavy, my arms weak; my legs fail to follow. The heart is weary; death is near.

Back in Egypt, his former master, Sesostris I, heard of his infirmity; this was prior to c. 1860, when the reign of Sesostris ended. The king sent a royal decree telling Sinuhe that there was no need to fear the pharaoh. Sinuhe quotes the king:That you circled the foreign countries . . . was the counsel of your own heart. What had you done that one should act against you? . . .This matter [of your exile] — it carried away your heart. It was not in my heart against you. . . .Come back to Egypt! . . .You shall not die abroad! Not shall Asiatics inter you. You shall not be wrapped in the skin of a ram to serve as your coffin. Too long a roaming of the earth! Think of your corpse, come back! About a century later, in 1759 bc, we find the same sentiment with regard to the patriarch Jacob; ironically, where Sinuhe longs to leave Canaan to be buried in Egypt, Jacob's body is taken from Egypt to be buried in Ca­naan (Gen 47).

Sinuhe journeyed southward to the beginning of the Horusway (the Egyptian road to Palestine) at the border fortress of Sile (or T3rt/ T3rw) in the northeastern Delta. The commander of the fort sent word to the royal residence at Itj-Tawy; Sesostris senta trusted overseer of the royal domains with whom were loaded ships, bearing royal gifts for the Asiatics who had come with me to escort me to Horusways.

In the throne room, Sinuhe

found his majesty on the great throne in a kiosk of gold. Stretched out on my belly, I did not know myself before him, while this god greeted me pleasant­ly. . . .his majesty said to the queen: 'Here is Sinuhe, come as an Asiatic, a product of nomads!' . . .'He shall not fear, he shall not dread! He shall be a Companion among the nobles. He shall be among the court­iers. Proceed to the robing-room to wait on him.' . . . I was put in the house of a prince. In it were luxuries: a bathroom and mirrors. . . .I was shaved; my hair was combed. . . .I was clothed in fine linen; I was anointed with fine oil. I slept on a bed. I had returned the sand to those who dwell in it, the tree-oil to those who grease themselves with it. I was given a house and garden that had belonged to a courtier. Many craftsmen rebuilt it, and all its woodwork was made anew. Meals were brought to me from the palace three times, four times a day, apart from what the royal children gave without a moment's pause. A stone pyramid was built for me in the midst of the pyramids. . . .A funerary domain was made for me. It had fields and a garden in the right place, as is done for a Companion of the first rank. My statue was overlaid with gold, its skirt with electrum. It was his majesty who ordered it made. There is no commoner for whom the like has been done. I was in the favor of the king, until the day of landing [death] came. And here the tale of Sinuhe ends.

To return to the pharaohs, it is said that Amenemhet ruled for 20 years, and then appointed his son Sesostris I as coregent, to share the throne for 10 years. The practice of coregency seems to have been the norm for Dynasty XII, which is the major cause of the conflicting numbers of the various king lists. Be that as it may, Amenemhet I died, perhaps assassinated, while his son and heir was fighting in the western land of the Tjemeh and Tjehenu — Libyan tribes which eventually merged. We have read from Sinuhe of the fomenting of unrest, but the transition was resolved with Sesostris firmly seated on the throne.

Sesostris I (Kheper-Ka-Ra, c. 1900-c. 1860/ º1971-1928) sent punitive forces to Nubia and Libya, and had relations with western Asian countries, as we know. He did much building, but only dust and ruins are left. He was succeeded by Amenemhet II (Neb-Kau-Ra, c. 1860-c. 1829/ º1929-1895), whose long reign was terminated when he was murdered by his eunuchs (and all things consid­ered, who can blame them?).

Sesostris II (Kha-Kheper-Ra, c. 1836-c. 1818/ º1897-1878) follows in modern lists, but was omitted in the lists of Manetho — from which we may deduce that this king had no independent rule, but rather acted as coregent with both Amenemhet II and Seso­stris III. In any case, he and his elder, Amenem­het II, set about to reclaim the wilderness of the Fayum, a project closely associated with the crocodile god (Sebek) at the nome capital of Shedet; this reclamation culminated in the time of Amenemhet III (commencing c. 1780 bc). A statuette of the wife of Sesostris II (and daughter of Amenemhet II) was found at Ugarit.

As for Sesostris III (Senwosre, Kha-Kau-Ra, c. 1829-1780/ º1879-1842), he was the greatest conqueror of his dynasty, ruling immediately before the advent of Joseph. Manetho records the startling detail that this kingwas said to have been 4 cubits 3 palms 2 fingers' breadths in stature” — that is, 7'2". It may be that he was even more boastful and blasphemous than all his predecessors, if such a thing were possible. He usurped the titles of the ‘god’, and called himself by the religious title "King of kings and Lord of lords"; he also styled himself on his many monuments as the "Judge of the dead", proclaiming that all must face him in the afterlife.

Now, according to the Palermo Stone and a temple inscription uncovered at Edfu, there was a great war which took place 363 years after Menes started to rule in Egypt. We have seen that the Confu­sion at Babel, and the consequent emigration of Menes/ Mizraim and his clan, occurred in 2192 bc — and 363 years afterwards is 1829 bc. It is presumably in this great war that Sesostris III conducted his con­quests. He is the first Egyptian credited with the conquest of Syria, and innine years he subdued the whole of Asia, and Europe as far as Thrace, everywhere erecting memorials of his conquest of the tribes. The ancient histories record that the memorials he erected were phallic for noble races, and vaginal for ignoble races. Inscriptions tell us that he invaded Palestine, conquering the 'Amu (Amorites) up to Sekmem (Shechem — it was only 25 years or so later, in 1799, that the men of this city were killed by the sons of Israel, after the rape of Dinah).

From Table 1-1, Biblical Chronology, we can see that it is exactly in that pivotal year of 1829 that Jacob started to dwell in the land of Padam Aram, and so away from the unrest of the Great War of Sesostris, and its consequent dangers in Pales­tine. This is why the Bible does not mention it: it was not relevant to Jacob's story. Only in 1809 did Jacob returned to Palestine, by which time the new political order had been well-estab­lished. As we just observed, in 1799 Shechem raped Dinah, and after enticing the men of the city to circumcise themselves, the sons of Israel massacred the debilitated male population (Gen 34). The year after this, in 1798, Joseph was sold into Egypt, and Benjamin, the last of Israel's sons, was born. In Sumer, the rival city-states continued their squabbling — and it would be no surprise to find that Sesostris exacted tribute from the cities of the east.

From archeology we learn that Sesostris's relationship with Byblos seems to have been amicable, at least in the beginning, and he had influence at Ugarit. He built permanent garrisons along Egypt's borders, and customs-posts to regulate immigration. This seems to have been necessary because of the restless Asiatics, who were attracted to Egypt by its prosperity; many acted as servants or as artisans, and they may have arrived in Egypt in the same manner as Joseph: as slaves. Egyptian agents mined turquoise in Sinai, and there is evidence of trade with Asia and the Aegean region. A channel was cleared at the First Cataract (the boarder of Nubia, where the Aswan Dam is now) so that ships could pass to Elephantine and engage in trade with Africa south of Egypt. In Nubia, Sesostris built forts at the Second Cataract, as had Amenemhet I a century before him.

At this time (c. 1829-1780/ º1879-1842), Sumer was in the disarray of Early Dynastic IIIa (c. 1900-1800/ *2600-2500). Standard chronology would have this era of Egyptian history be the Isin-Larsa era (c. 1300-1100/ *2017-1763), during which trade was not wide-spread — due, in fact, to the inhibiting factor of the Hyksos. Of course, the Asiatic Hyksos had "large-scale" imports of their own Syrian-style pottery — but that is getting ahead of the story. Take a moment to amuse yourself with the various and sundry "dates", here. Sesostris (c. 1800/ º1860) actually lived at the time of Early Dynastic IIIa (c. ‑1800/ -*2500), but is wrongly thought to have lived in the Larsa period (c. 1250/ c. *1850). What a mess.

At home in Egypt, perhaps as prologue and perhaps as epilogue to his foreign conquests, and perhaps as part of the "Great War", Sesostris completely reorganized the government of the Middle King­dom. The local lords, the nomarchs, had brought Dynas­ty XII to power, and had been rewarded by Amenemhet I. But in the ensuing century they had become a threat to centralized rule, and so Seso­stris sup­pressed the nomes. By means that are no longer clear, Sesostris III clipped their wings com­ple­te­ly; the great provincial houses suddenly came to an end. A new bureaucracy was created, cen­tered around the court at Itj-Tawy; the country was administered through three provinc­es, under high officials and the vizier. Under the new system of internal government the greatest power in the land rested in the hands of the vizier, the king's principal officer of state. This reform had the effect of preparing the way for the rise of Joseph, who was, as we know from the book of Genesis, just such a vizier.

The common Egyptian name for Palestine used during and after Dynasty XVIII — first dynasty of the New Kingdom, 700 years to come — was Retenu or Rezenu. But the only time ‘Rezenu’ appears in the inscriptions of the Middle Kingdom is under Seso­stris III, in a brief account of a raid into Palestine, against M‑n‑tyw. Now, if we make the simple assumption that this account was written in the last five years of Sesostris' rule, which overlaps the beginning of Joseph's power, then we notice some startling implications.

With regard to Rezenu, it has been suggested that this term originated as an attempt to pronounce Arzenu, which is Hebrew for "Our Country". As for M‑n‑tyw, this name is found in later Egyptian documents to refer to Menashe — that is, King Manassah of Judah. Manassah (M‑n‑tyw) was one of the sons of Joseph — indeed, born between 1785 and 1778, which include the very five years in ques­tion. Far from indicating that the Hebrew sub-tribe of Manassah was present in Pale­stine prior to the Exodus, the presence of M‑n‑tyw in Palestine at this time shows that Joseph named his son, born in Egypt, with a name which was used in his father's homeland.

The author of the report of the raid finds himself acting against someone, or some group, who shared the name of Joseph's son. In telling of this, he refers to the land promised to Joseph's father as "our land" — not a name, but a description which became the common way of describing Palestine in the New Kingdom. It is tempting to speculate that Joseph was involved in this raid, and that it was he who gave the Egyptians their name for Palestine.

Dynasty II 1940/39-c. 1638/ º2980-2780, contemporary of Dynasty XII

The fragmentary Palermo Stone has been reconstructed in a variety of ways, so that the duration of Dynasties I and II is supposed by various scholars to have lasted 295, 444, 419 or 453, 520-545, or finally 544 years. From Manetho's data, we calculate the termina­tion date of Dynasty II to have been 1638; so his account of the two dynasties of Thinis has them lasting 554 years, all together only nine or ten years longer than the longest of the Palermo Stone reconstructions. This slight discrepancy can easily be accounted for by assuming that coregencies were mishandled by the Egyptian scribes who gathered this historical information. Standard chronologies simply ignore the ancient historians, since the data cannot be made to fit the modern paradigm. (Remember that Dynasty VIII ended 955 years after Menes started to rule, which leaves only 401 years for the remaining six dynasties, if they all ran end to end — and by no means can either Manetho's nor the modern Egyptologists' dates be made to fit into such a constricted period.)

Dynasty II started up in the last decades of Dynasty XI. The available information on this second and last dynasty of Thinis, as with most of the others, is quite scanty. We have the enigmatic tomb inscriptions and perhaps a few monuments, and we have the epigrams of historians. This dynasty is included in the Palermo Stone, the Turin Papyrus, and in Manetho, who tells us that it lasted either 297 or 302 year. As we have already noticed, the different authors who summarized Manetho did not add wrong, but rather took different starting or ending points for the dynasties. They may have considered some king too obscure or unimportant to include, or may have counted an ascension to power from one event or from some later event.

With the demise of Qay-A, last king of Thinite Dynasty I, it would seem that Mentuhotep II, suzerain of Dynasty XI, appointed or confirmed a new noble house in this nome. The first king of the new line is known from archeology as Ra-Neb; perhaps he started as a vizier or a coregent of Qay-A. From the histories, we have Ra-Neb listed as Boethos or Bochos, ruling for about 38 years, from 1940 to 1902/ c. º2980-2950, contemporaneous with the Thebans, Mentuhotep III (1937-1925), and Amenem­het I (1918-c. 1900) of Dynasty XII.

Manetho tells us that in the reign of Ra-Neba chasm opened at Bubastus in the Delta, and many perished. Using arcane calculations from the theory of cyclic catastrophism, which I will discuss in another place, I have dated this upheaval in the autumn of 1926 bc; it was caused by a process similar to that which created the Dead Sea during the Sodom catastrophe, forty years before. As an indepen­dent confirmation of my calculations, I am pleased to observe that the seven years of political chaos which ended Dynasty XI in Thebes commenced in 1926/5; the turmoil of the catastrophe must have acted as a portent and physical cause of this social unrest.

The next king was called Hetepsekhemui ("The two powers are at peace"); Manetho gives him as Kaiechos (Chechous, Choos, or Kakauy) ruling for 39 years (1902-1863/ c. º2920-2890), and he says this king was involved in instituting goat- and bull-worship at Memphis and Heliopolis. This should not be taken to mean that he invented such idolatry, or even that he introduced or reformed it, but merely that he build temples and established priests. He was the contemporary and vassal of Amenemhet I and Sesostris I (1900-1860) of Thebes. In Palestine, Sinuhe beat out his self-imposed exile, and in Mesopo­tamia, Mesilim was in power.

The third king of Dynasty II was Netery-Mu (Ny-Neter), known to have ruled for over 22 years. Manetho calls him Binothris, Banutjeren or Biophis, and lists him as ruling for 47 years (1863-1816/ c. º2890-2860), contemporary with Amenemhet II (c. 1860-1824). His reign was remarkable for the fact that at this time it was decided that women may rule; consider­ing that queens had already ruled, starting with Isis/ Semiramis, we must suppose that what is meant here is that women may rule even locally.

The fourth king is known as Peribsen (Sekhem-Ib Per-En-Maat; in Manetho, Tlas and Wadjnas), ruling for 17 years (1816-1799/ c. º2860-2840). It has been suggested that he was a usurper, presum­ably because he is unique in calling himself a "Seth-king", rather than a "Horus-king". As such, he might be aligning himself with that faction which had opposed Nimrod, favoring the cause of Shem. There is no comment from Manetho about his reign, and his relationship with the Theban suzerain Sesostris III (1829-1780) is unknown, but it is around this time, c. 1810, that Dynasties III and IV start up. It may be that this usurper was somehow connected to the rise of these new houses. Let's remember how Sesostris had suppressed the older noble houses, as too powerful.

I will break off the account of Egyptian history here, because the 1700's have a particu­lar character, which requires a separate chapter. We have seen that Dynasties XII and II were contemporaries, although they are separated by about a thousand years by the standard construction of history. Dynasty XII ruled during the high culture of the "Middle Kingdom", and the more provincial culture of Dynasty II is called "Archaic". Finally, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Joseph, lived during the 20th to 18th centu­ries bc.

Ch. 8 — Sands of Egypt

[1].Africanus, in Waddell, p. 67.

[2].See Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, p. 71.

[3].Africanus, in Waddell, p. 63.

[4].T.G.H. James, "Egypt, History of: Egypt to the end of the 17th dynasty," Ency. Brit., Vol. 6, p. 469.

[5].M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. 1, p. 223; all the follow quotations of Sinuhe are from these pages.

[6].AEL, Vol. 1, p. 224; paragraph ignored after "traveler."

[7].AEL, Vol. 1, pp. 226-227.

[8].AEL, Vol. 1, p. 234, note #7.

[9].AEL, Vol. 1, p. 228; the dash replaces a period for clarity.

[10].AEL, Vol. 1. p. 228; paragraph break ignored after "his arms."

[11].AEL, Vol. 1, pp. 229-230.

[12].AEL, Vol. 1, p. 231.

[13].AEL, Vol. 1, pp. 232-233; paragraph breaks are ignored.

[14].W.S. Smith, Ancient Egypt (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1960), p. 77.

[15].Eusebius, in Waddell, p. 71.

[16].In Hoeh, p. 91.

[17].Africanus, Waddell, p. 67.

[18].This is another one of the independent validations of my reconstruction: I did not manipulate these dates to ar­rive at such correspondences.

[19].James, p. 470.

[20].James, p. 470.

[21].The term does appear in the literature of the Middle Kingdom, as we saw in the Tale of Sinuhe, but this is taken as the emendation of a scribe who sought to clar­ify the text for later readers.

[22].Velikovsky (1952), p. 163.

[23].See the relevant section on the Chronological Table. This brief period for the birth of Joseph's sons was derived from the data in Bible, not from any demands of theory — the correspondence is real, not a manipulation of data.

[24].Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 1, pt. 1, p. 175.

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