Digging Up the Past

Chapter 1 - Land of the Pyramids

Exodus from Kahun

Sir Flinders Petrie excavated in the Faiyum from 1880 onwards, and in
1986 Dr Rosalie of the Manchester Museum reviewed his work there.
She published this review in The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt.
Chapter 7 is titled 'The Foreign Population at Kahun'.

On page 191 she wrote, 'It is apparent that the Asiatics were present
in the town (Kahun) in some numbers and this may have reflected
thesituation elsewhere in Egypt. It can be stated that these people
were loosely classed as "Asiatics", although their exact homeland
in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined ... The reason for their
presence remains unclear.'

Both Petrie and David assumed the traditional dates and did not
associatethese migrants with the Israelites, but by the revised dates
their identification would be obvious.

One curious discovery made by Petrie was of large 'wooden boxes ...
underneath the floors of many houses at Kahun. They contained
babies, sometimes buried two or three to a box, and aged only a
few months at death.'
This would be consistent with the record, that
Pharaoh decreed that all the male children were to be killed at birth,
(Exodus 1:16)
, though some mothers managed to protect their babes
until they were a few months old (Exodus 2:3).

Dr. Rosalie David and her groundbreaking book on the Kahun Exodus

Home burial boxes for Israelite babies

Israel fled Egypt under God's command

The most striking feature of this slavery was their sudden
disappearance from the scene

David wrote, 'The quantity, range and type of articles of everyday
use which were left behind in the houses may indeed suggest that
the departure was sudden and unpremeditated' (page 199).

According to the chronology provided in 1 Kings 6:1, the Exodus
occurred about 1,445 BC, which would be soon after the end of the
12th dynasty. Moses would have been born during the reign of
Amenemhat III
, who had no surviving sons, and only one daughter,
, who was childless. This would explain why she was
bathing at the river instead of in her palace. She would have been
praying to the Nile god Hapi, who was also the fertility god. She
would have seen the baby in the bulrushes as an answer to her
prayer, and proposed to make him her son and heir to the throne.

But when Moses was 40 years old he murdered an Egyptian who
was ill-treating an Israelite. When Pharaoh heard of the incident
Moses was obliged to flee. This left Amenemhet without an heir,
and when his daughter died the dynasty came to an end, to be
replaced by the 13th Dynasty during which the ten plagues fell
upon Egypt and the Exodus took place. Neferhotep I who was
the last king before the Hyksos entered Egypt, and could have
been the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Baby Moses rescued from the bulrushes by Sobekneferu

Nile fertility god, Hapi