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An exodus which was merely a myth

On the site of an ancient fortress, in northern Sinai, archaeologists of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has announced that it had found some pumice stones, evidence of the terrible disaster and the first known tsunami in history. The volcanic rocks projected in the Sinai during the eruption, 3500 years ago, the volcano Cycladic of Thera, confirm stories Pharaohs.

The cataclysm of Thera, the current Santorini in the Aegean Sea, has been presented through innumerable writings as having preceded or caused the ten plagues of Egypt explained, or a punishment reserved for Levites revolted against Moses. "This discovery is not provided proof of the exodus, archaeology does not confirm this, and it is a myth," said Zahi Hawas, secretary general of the CSA. That the explosion of the volcano occurred, resulting in the decline of the Minoan civilization, Crete. A massive tidal wave would have resulted in the death of 35000 people on the coast south of the Mediterranean and in ashes villages in Egypt, Palestine and the Arabian peninsula. For Zahi Hawas, "if the exodus has occurred, what we do not know, it can not be at this time, but two centuries later, under Ramses II. However, the presence of ash and volcanic rocks on the site of the ancient fortress of Tharo to Tell Hebwa, confirms, in his view, ancient inscriptions referring to the expulsion of the Hyksos, enemies of the Egyptians. Texts suggest, in fact , natural disasters occurred during the era of the Hyksos, a military caste came from the east, and their exodus before the start of the New Kingdom, carried out shortly by the eruption of the Thera volcano. For example, several stories relating to this war show up on a stele of the temple of Karnak Séti I do, in a description of the route of Horus in a text under Thoutmotsis III or on a papyrus on the war waged by King Ahmos.

The skeletons hyksos

The team also discovered in the Sinai desert the ruins of a fort with four rectangular towers, which date from the eighteenth pharaonic dynasty. This fortress is now considered the oldest structure on the military line of defense, also known as Route Horus. But there was not the slightest proof of the story of the Old Testament, the story of Moses and the Jews, and their exodus from Egypt and their wandering in the wilderness. Two female skeletons, pottery and jewelry were recovered. Those remains were members of the civilization hyksos, an enemy of the people of the ancient Egyptians.

The researchers argue that this discovery is particularly interesting because of the volcanic rocks found on the site of the excavations. They believe that these are traces left by the eruption of Santorini volcano, more than 15 centuries before Christ. Santorini is a small archipelago of volcanic islands in the Aegean Sea, south-east of mainland Greece. This volcano would then have killed more than 35000 people and wiped out the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.

The intersection of war

Showing the foundations of the fort of the XVIIIth dynasty, the oldest ever found in this line of defense, known as the road of Horus, Mohamad Abdel-Maqsoud, the leader of excavations and the director of the central administration of Egyptian antiquities, said that it is testimony to the fierceness of the fighting. "It is here that was established the first large lock of the empire against the conquerors from the east, as the Hyksos," he says, whereas today the Suez Canal is only 5 km. But the basis for subsequent attacks in the Pharaonic empire in the direction of Palestine, with the establishment of a chain composed of a dozen strongholds until what is now known as the Gaza Strip.

This story may have inspired the biblical story of the exodus, according to some scholars. "They can say what they want, I detailed, did not hesitate to say Hawas. I am an archaeologist and my job is to tell the truth. If the truth disturbed, it's not my problem. " The story of the exodus is celebrated as a crucial moment in the creation of the Jewish people. According to the Old Testament, Moses was the son of a Jewish slave who had abandoned on the Nile in a wicker basket to protect the Pharaoh's persecution. Rescued from the waters by the Pharaoh's daughter and raised in the court, he will discover the secret of its origins and, with God's help, will free his people. But archaeologists working in the region have never managed to substantiate the biblical narrative, as to the presence of the Jews in Egypt, there is only one archaeological discovery may confirm it. Many books have been written on the subject, but the debate is for the most part remained quiet in order not to offend believers.

"Without historical evidence, we are forced to say that some things are never arrived: it is the job of an archaeologist," Hawas. The site is a two-hour drive from Cairo, after the bridge Mubarak, in the northern Sinai, in a region called East Qantara. For nearly a decade, archaeologists returning Egyptian soil with the help of surrounding towns daily to try to unearth remnants of the past. This desolate landscape, which is the monotony broken only by a few electrical towers, has generated enthusiasm because it confirms stories told in hieroglyphics or going back to antiquity. The archaeological remains dating in fact more or less at the time, according to the Bible, the Jews fled Egypt and then spent forty years wandering in the wilderness in search of the Promised Land. "The exodus is a myth," said Hawas front of a wall built during the period known as the New Kingdom.