Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687

That’s the title of a new essay by Peter van der Veen and published in a Journal I have never even heard of before, the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections.  Here’s the abstract-

In 2001, Manfed Görg published a new reading of a Fragmentary name ring on a topographical pedestal relief in the Berlin Museum (no. 21687). Although the inscription had previously been listed in topographical studies, the reading of the fragmentary third name ring had not received adequate attention. Görg suggested reading the broken name as an archaic form for “Israel” and argued that it could have been copied during the Nineteenth Dynasty from an earlier list. As his publication was in German, his proposal has so far been unavailable to a wider English- speaking readership. Two scholars, Bryant Wood and James Hoffmeier, have briefly discussed Görg’s proposal; while the former welcomed it, the latter rejected it on linguistic grounds. The present authors republish the relief fragment here in English and include new evidence that appears to support Görg’s original reading.

Here’s the fragment in question:

click to enlarge


UPDATE: If you’d like a copy of the essay, Peter has given me permission to pass it along.  You can get a copy by writing me or Peter van der Veen.

7 thoughts on “Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687

  1. Dr. West-
    Good to meet you in Atlanta. I would love a copy of this paper. Bryant Wood’s endorsement makes me quite skeptical, however.


  2. Hi Andy,

    Bryant Wood is also interested in this inscription but we don’t agree on the date of Exodus. Besides Wood there were many others who kindly helped reading the English and making useful suggestions. This paper was written by me with the cooperation of two Egyptologists Christoffer Theis (who does his PhD with Professor Joachim Quack) and Professor Manfred Görg who has contributed greatly to the study of ancient topographical lists from Egypt and who above all suggestion the I-sh3/r-‘l = Israel equation in Biblische Notizenb in 2001. These are the authors of the article.
    Best wishes


  3. Dear Dr. West,

    would it be possible to get a copy?
    That would be very nice.

    Thanks in advance.


  4. Dear Dr. West,

    hmm, that’s strange. The adress I’ve provided in the contact form is right, so I don’t have an idea what’s wrong. But I mailed Peter van der Veen, so it could be he will send me the article too.



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