Bible · Israel · Old Testament

Birdwatcher in Israel discovers ancient Egyptian scarab seal

Not the actual scarab in the story. Scarab of Amunhotep I. Steatite, glazed, 7/16 x 11/16 in. (1.1 x 1.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 44.123.142. Creative Commons-BY-NC.
Not the actual scarab in the story. Scarab of Amunhotep I. Steatite, glazed, 7/16 x 11/16 in. (1.1 x 1.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 44.123.142. Creative Commons-BY-NC.

Haifa University announced on April 24 that an amateur birdwatcher stumbled upon an Egyptian scarab seal dating as far back as the 18th century BC. Alexander Ternopolsky was near the Tel Dor archaeological site on Israel’s Carmel coast when he found the seal.

Dor was a vibrant port city where lots of trade took place at the foot of Mt. Carmel. It was named in ancient Egyptian documents, some of them being 3500 years old. Goods that ancient Egyptians loved were traded there, such as a variety of spices. The city was mentioned several times in the Old Testament as being part of the territory belonging to the tribe of Manasseh. Prior to that, Canaanite tribes who were under Egyptian rule ran the city.

The seal, which was manufactured during the 13th dynasty of the pharaohs, has engravings identifying the “bearer of the seal” as the “overseer of the treasury” in Egypt. It also bears his name, which has yet to be determined. If the 18th century is the correct date for the seal, this was during the era when the Canaanites were in charge of Dor and during the time of Isaac’s latter years, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph’s time in Egypt when Pharaoh made him second in command followed by Joseph’s welcoming the other patriarchs and their families into Egypt.

Source: Michael Zeff, Amid Celebrations of the Exodus, Birdwatcher Discovers 3,700-Year-Old Egyptian Scarab, BreakingIsraelNews.com, April 25, 2016.

 

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