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Hyksos buildings are the latest ancient discovery in Tel Habuwa
Important new discoveries at the Tel Habuwa dig east of the Suez Canal shed light on the campaign by Ahmose I (c.1550–1525 BC) against the Hyksos invaders
Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 16 Mar 2013
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remains discovered

A team of Egyptian archaeologists digging at Tel Habuwa, near the town of Qantara East and three kilometres east of the Suez Canal, have made a major discovery.

The find comes as part of the search for more of the ancient forts that played a major role in protecting ancient Egypt's eastern gateway from foreign invasion.

During excavation works, archaeologists chanced upon the remains of administrative buildings dating back to the Hyksos and the New Kingdom periods in the second millennium BC, as well as a great many grain silos. 

Each administrative edifice is a two-storey structure with a number of mud brick rooms and courtyards. Inside these halls a collection of coffins, skulls and skeletons of human beings and animals were found buried in sand.

Early studies of the skeletons reveal that they bear deep scars and wounds as the result of being stabbed with arrows or spears.

"This indicates that the battles between the Hyksos and the military troops led by the ancient Egyptian king Ahmose I (c.1550–1525 BC) were violent and aggressive," said Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said that a large number of grain silos and army storage galleries from the reign of kings Tuthmose III and Ramses II were also discovered. These silos can store more than 280 tonnes of grain, which indicates the great number of the Egyptian army forces which were at Tel Habuwa at that time.

Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, leader of excavation work and deputy of the Ancient Egyptian antiquities department at the antiquities ministry, told Ahram Online that the remains of burned buildings were also found, confirming written accounts on papyrus that describe a great conflagration during Ahmose I's battle against the Hyksos.

"This this is a very important discovery which provides us with a better understanding of the Rind papyrus -- now on display in the British Museum -- and the military strategy used by the Pharaoh Ahmose I to liberate Egypt from the Hyksos," said Abdel-Maqsoud. 

He pointed out that the Rind papyrus mentions that Ahmose attacked Tharo and imposed his authority on the town in order to lay siege to the Hyksos in their capital Avaris -- near the Delta town of Sharqiya -- and block any contact with their allies in the east.

Until 2003, when the fortified city of Tharo was found, Abdel Maqsoud said, nothing was known about this military town. 

At that time several objects were found testifying that Tharo dated from the New Kingdom, so Egyptologists believed that it was built by Ahmose I's successors in an attempt to protect Egypt's eastern gate from any further invaders. 

This latest discovery, however, proves that Tharo was built long before that, since the Hyksos took over it as a military base on Egypt's eastern border. The town expanded after the war of liberation, and forts were built throughout the period of the New Kingdom.





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Manuel Colunga-Hernandez
22-03-2014 02:33pm
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Timing
I am of the mind that the Hyksos expulsion is more akin to the time of the actual 'Exodus'. The story of Moses and his marriage to an Ethiopian woman and dwelling in Ethiopia during the time of his personal 'exile'. And there is the Pharaoh - Achmose I (brother of he born of the waters) that has been overlooked for so long. And I agree with the arguments against the Hebrews being such a large population among the Egyptians. But then not one of us alive can really say WHO was where when except by what we have left to us in the digs. Then there is the waterways, the climate during that specific period which were different in that period of time. So many variables. But there could be an explanation yet waiting for us. And I firmly believe it sits in the Torah text itself. Which, will be coming forth thanks to some recent research into the Hebrew text. I think some of us will be pleasantly surprised - and many, even Jewish researchers, will be somewhat chagrined... we shall see.
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4



W. Ron Hess
17-02-2014 07:01am
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Vast numbers of "slaves" vs. realities
I'm concerned about the scenario of hundreds of thousands of Israelite "slaves" hurling themselves into the wilderness, to some period of wandering, entering "the promised land," and then (per Josephus and his sources) founding Jerusalem (yet archaeology shows that "city" was only a village until after David's time). Your discoveries only throw light on possible timing range for that core scenario. But is it realitic that such a huge force of expatriates from Egypt could have been enslaved in the first place, and then kept enslaved during the generations between the eras of Abraham or Joseph to Ramasees II? Would an Egyptian army of 10,000 to 20,000 with a few hundred horse and chariots have realistically been able to cow such a horde of "slaves" for so long a period? Given that the slaves had freedom to wander about the Egyptian countryside gathering straw for making their bricks, what kept them from revolting or fleeing well before the traditional Exodus? (WRH in Winder, GA)
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3



Sara Mayberry
23-04-2013 09:58pm
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Commenting on the new discovery
How do you find these spots to dig? Who was the one who found this spot? I think that your article should explain that. Otherwise thanks for letting the world know, because I feel that there is a lot of information about the ancient egyptian discoveries that we don't know about.
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2



Scott I.
24-03-2013 04:30pm
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Ancient Immigration Woes
I believe that the tremendous influx of trade in Egypt under Amenemhet III, with uncountable numbers of amphora found in excavation, that this Pharaoh was the one who stored grain for potential famine and supplied the entire region with grain during famine, under Joseph according to the Bible. Many different cultures began to settle in the Delta, due to famine in their home territories. Egypt was overloaded with immigrants and lost control of the Delta to foreign (partially Assyrian says I) invaders. Ahmose came along and began to drive them out. Israel would remain as laborers throughout the 18th until Amenhotep/Amenohphis IV, who became Akhenaten, says I. Josephus records Apion as using forms of a name that spell it out. Achenceres was one of those. This is the real reason the 18th dynasty collapsed. Egyptian nobles would never have let Akhenaten destroy Egypt all by himself. 1 lesson we might learn from this is that unbridled immigration can cause many serious problems.
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1



Larry Bruce, PhD
21-03-2013 08:57pm
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Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies and Archaeology, Baptist College of Florida
What role do you think Khamose may have played in the preliminary attacks on the Hyksos in the Delta? If the Israelites were in the W. Tumilat area at this time, do you believe the efforts of Khamose and Ahmose may have resulted in the beginning of the Israelite enslavement (as in the biblical account)? Is this interpretive scenario plausible in your opinion? One last question. Do you have the lat/long coordinates so I could locate this site using Google Earth? Thanks for your important contribution.
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