Egyptian Gods at Safi

213880562.jpgAn interesting set of finds from this summer’s excavation is a set of five amulets/figurines discovered in Area T. The five figures depicted are of Egyptian dieties. Found in a Late Iron Age I/early Iron Age II context, it can be connected to the appearance (or reappearance) of Egyptian finds at nearby Ekron at the same time (St. IV). Most likely, this is to bedsc00985.JPG related to the “reentering” of Philistia into the eastern Mediterranean “World System” in the late 11th and early 10th centuries. This is seen as well with the beginning of the appearance of Cypriote, Phoenician and Greek pottery in this region. The dieties are (from left to right) Ptah, Sekhmet, Hathor, Sekhmet, and Isis and Horus. Needless to say, finding of these little pretty things can bring the toughest guys to lay down and meditate!!!

12 thoughts on “Egyptian Gods at Safi

  1. Stefanfrommunich

    And add to this the two scarabs you found in area T as well, both with the same motif that can be read “Amun-Ra is Lord!” (In fact this group of scarabs is quite interesting and their reading is more complex than that; I studied the group at a scarab symposion published in the BAR Interntl. Series 1205, 2004). – These little finds may nicely illustrate the Bible’s very close associating the Philistines with Egypt, cf. Gen 10:13f (the Pelishtim among Mitzrayim’s offspring; for more on this cf. M. Goerg in: Aegypten und der oestliche Mittelmeerraum, AeAT 44, 2000), a topic that leaves A LOT to be said about.

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  2. This may also add some fuel to the debate on whether the “Sea Peoples” really settled in Canaan as Egyptian mercenaries, as Ramses III seems to claim, or whether they conquered their cities by force from the Egyptians, and Ramses’ claim is just “spin”.

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  3. Ted Proffitt

    Sirs:
    I find it interesting that you say Philistines were “‘reentering’ the East Mediterranean world system.” That’s one of the points I made in my MA thesis, “Aegean-Egyptian Relations in the Bronze Age, 2000-1000 BC,” Cal-State U., Fullerton, 1972. I suggested on the basis of Amoz’s comment about Philistines, that they did indeed reenter and that they were Aegeanized Semites and that there was an E. Med. world system during the BA. LaterI published “Philistines: Aegeanized Semites,” in NE Archaeological Society Bulletin (1976 or 78, I think).

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  4. arenmaeir

    Ted,
    Without getting too much into the details, I firmly believe that the Philistines consisted of various largely Aegean immigrants, mixed in with local, who in the early stages had a predominantly Aegean influenced culture, which slowly “creolized” and became more and more Levantine (although still retaining certain foreign aspects throughout the Iron Age). During most of the Iron I (that is after the initial contacts in the earliest phases) there is little evidence of contacts between Philistia and the outside world. In the late Iron I and early Iron II one sees evidence of contact with Egypt, Phoenician, and even Greece. This, I believe is due to the changing global scene in the eastern Mediterranean. The same can be said about other regions of the Levant as well.

    Aren

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  5. Avi

    OK,

    Everyone here is talking about the “reentry” of the Phillistines in to the re-emerging of the E. Med. “World System”, but very on the rejuvenated system itself…

    What exactly “re-emerged” here – trade, political power (i.e. groups moving from survival to expansion), local economy? Where else can we see signs of this change?

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  6. Pawel78

    Nice figurines. It looks like a traveller’s set – something that every Egyptian merchant couldn’t do without. Note the chronological context of the find: “Late Iron Age I/early Iron Age II”. Maybe these are traces of one of Wenamun’s colleagues? Or what other Egyptian influence can we witness here? (open question)
    Unfortunately I can’t see here much relation to the Ramses III’s wars with the Sea Peoples (sorry, Yigal).

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  7. Nice figurines. For me it looks like a traveller’s set – something that every Egyptian merchant couldn’t do without. Note the chronological context of the find: “Late Iron Age I/early Iron Age II”. Maybe these are traces of one of Wenamun’s colleagues?
    Or what other Egyptian influence can we witness here?
    Unfortunately I can’t see here much relation to the Ramses III’s wars with the Sea Peoples (sorry, Yigal).

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  8. Pawel

    Nice figurines. For me it looks like a traveller’s set – something that every Egyptian merchant couldn’t do without. Note the chronological context of the find: “Late Iron Age I/early Iron Age II”. Maybe these are traces of one of Wenamun’s colleagues?
    Or what other Egyptian influence can we witness here?
    Unfortunately I can’t see here much relation to the Ramses III’s wars with the Sea Peoples (sorry, Yigal)

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  9. Pawel Wolinski

    Nice figurines. For me it looks like a traveller’s set – something that every Egyptian merchant couldn’t do without. Note the chronological context of the find: “Late Iron Age I/early Iron Age II”. Maybe these are traces of one of Wenamun’s colleagues?
    Or what other Egyptian influence can we witness here?
    Unfortunately I can’t see much relation to the Ramses III’s wars with the Sea Peoples (sorry, Yigal).

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  10. “This may also add some fuel to the debate on whether the “Sea Peoples” really settled in Canaan as Egyptian mercenaries, as Ramses III seems to claim” – Yigal.

    I’m not convinced Ramesses III made any such claim, what he does claim, though most seem to be oblivious to it, is that he swept across the ‘hill-countries’ of Djahy to disperse the ‘rebellious’ (sbiu) Peleset. The implication being they were already resident, they assisted in the rebellion, and they fled from the Egyptians in ox-carts.
    Consequently, the wide swath of devastation across the Levant is caused by the Egyptians in putting down the rebellion. Ergo, we have evidence (as above) of their re-occupation in selected cities – IF they date from this period.

    Jon Smyth

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