Early Edom And Moab
The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan
edited by Piotr Bienkowski
1992 AD

(Early Edom And Moab, Egyptian evidence on Ancient Jordan; K. A. Kitchen, Editor: Piotr Bienkowski, 1992 AD)

The Egyptian Evidence on Ancient Jordan K.A. Kitchen

The written historical sources for the lands of the Jordan plateau, between rift valley and outer desert, come for periods before c. 1000 BC almost entirely from pharaonic Egypt, seconded by a limited amount of biblical tradition. Thereafter, Egyptian sources fade, and it is only from the 9th/8th centuries BC that indigenous ancient Jordanian sources and reports from Mesopotamia carry forward the story, still with biblical contributions. Non-literary archaeological data round out the picture. We shall review the Egyptian data chronologically.

Early 2nd millennium BC

We begin this early — as compactly as possible — to lay the foundations for later epochs. There are now three series of Egyptian 'Execration Texts' that list lands and rulers on both sides of the Jordan: the Mirgissa series (Koenig 1990:111-112) of c. 1870 BC (at very latest, c. 1840 BC)1, the Berlin series (Sethe 1926) coming closely after these with identical phraseology, of c. 1850 BC (at latest, c. 1840 BC), and then the Brussels series (Posener 1940), near the end of the 12th Dynasty c. 1800 BC (at latest, c. 1760 BC). From these texts, limited but valuable facts about Jordan in Middle Bronze Age II can be gleaned.2 Locations east of the Jordan can be viewed in three groups (Figure 3.1): SHUTU is a region named in a Beni Hasan tomb, the Mirgissa texts and the Berlin texts as an area (having three rulers in the Berlin texts), later specified as Upper and Lower Shutu in the Brussels texts. The identification of this name with Sheth of 'the Sons of Sheth' as an ancient synonym for Moab(ites) in Numbers 24:16 is widely accepted and fits wel1.3 We have a virtual succession of local rulers, thus:

These rulers should be compared with `Ammi-inshi (or -nasi), ruler of 'Upper Retenu' in south Syria (north-west of Jordan) in the story of Sinuhe, ruling agricultural and pastoral territories within definite political boundaries with other polities.6 Some would claim (Rainey 1972:376 and n.38 [following Mazar]; Aharoni 1979:19, 143, 186, n.20) that Sinuhe's enclave within his area, 133 or 'Araru, coincides with the Araru of the later Amama Letters (EA 256), east of the Sea of Galilee and along the north side of the Yarmuk.

2. KUSHU occurs in the story of Sinuhe (c.1900 BC) and in the Brussels texts. In the former, Sinuhe summons the leader (? -hnty) Ya`ush from out of Kushu7 (Sinuhe B 220). The man's name is identical with the Ya`ush ('Jeush') of Gen. 36:5, 15 (are), 18, among the sons of Esau traditionally said to have decamped to Edom in the late patriarchal age (c. 17th century BC). In the Brussels texts (c. 1800 BC), it is of special interest that we find not 'rulers' (hew) but instead 'chiefs' (wrw) of clans (whywt) of (the territory) Kushu (Posener 1940:88-89, E 50-51). Their names, unfortunately, are too damaged to yield safe sense. Here again, an archaic biblical allusion is generally admitted to indicate the probable location of these clans — Hab. 3:7 sets Kushan in parallel with Midian. In this case, Kushu/Kushan may be set south of Shutu (in later Moab), in what became Edom, between eventual Moab and Midian. Correspondingly, we find in this sparser region, not well-delimited agro-pastoral political entities under settled rulers, but clans (perhaps pastoral/semi-nomadic) as attested in later sources down to the 12th century BC (see under Ramesses III, below). Series of tribal chiefs, with paramount leaders who were doubtless primus inter pares, appear to be what we have in the Execration Texts, cf. the Shutu list above, and also the 'Edomite' king-list of Gen. 36:31-39, whose non-dynastic succession should be compared with the 18th-century BC Egyptian 13th Dynasty, in which hardly more than six out of 60 kings show any kind of family succession.8 In western Palestine, the Execration Texts also have not only urban centres but also tribal groups linked with them. This finds a direct counterpart in contemporary Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, where it seems clear that we now have lines of kings over tribal groups (or confederations) reigning in given areas contemporaneously with rulers of urban states there. Such also would have been the Assyrian King List's early 'kings who lived in tents', and not merely fictions (Yuhong and Dailey Early Edom and Moab: The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan 1990). Clearly, if it were not for the attestations of such tribal kings in cuneiform documents with their urban counterparts, we would (archaeologically) know nothing of them. Thus, the relatively poor, even fugitive attestation of material evidence for the Middle and Late Bronze Ages in (later) Edom and Moab is equally unreliable as negative evidence, if (as is most probable) the rulers of Shutu and clan- chiefs of Kushu were agro-pastoralists and largely nomadic pastoralists respectively.

3. Northern locations. Beginning up north, just east of the former Lake Huleh, the later principality of Maacah may rather doubtfully be foreshadowed in the Mky or M'Icy of E 37 and 62 of the Brussels texts. However that may be, there were both chiefs (wrw) and a ruler (hq3), perhaps their overlord, named Shamshi-[...]. South of here, the town of Ashteroth (near Qarnaim) was ruled by Ya[...]-ilu, on the north- south route east of the Jordan valley (E 25). Out eastward, one Yamru ruled in Busruna (E 27), a Yansim/b-Hadad (E 19) in Sur (Rock [of Bashan?]), and far to the south, Abu-[...] in Qarqur (E 56). Just east of Irbid at Tell er-Ramith, Ramoth (Gilead) may just possibly be the Rmt of the Brussels texts (F 3), where it is a variant replacing Yarmuth. Certainly in north Jordan, one `Apiru-`anu ruled in Pahil (E 8: Pella). Finally, a Ya(n)tin-Hadad ruled at Haram (E 4), probably the Beth-Haram reported for the later area of Gad, just north-east of the north end of the Dead Sea at Tell Iktanu. Of these places, Pahil (Tubaqat Fahl; Homes-Fredericq and Hennessy 1989:408, 417-420), (Beth)-Haram (Tell Iktanu; ibid. 275-280), and other sites (cf. Sauer 1986:4, 6) are, correspondingly, attested in the Middle Bronze Age. The side-by-side existence of settled rulers and more tribal chiefs finds a societal echo in contemporary Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, where Amorite tribal 'kings' ruled in the same general areas also subject to the dynasts reigning in specific cities; documents bear oaths sworn in the joint names of such 'complementary' rulers, for example (Yuhong and Dalley 1990).

In summary, the Egyptians of the early 2nd millennium BC clearly knew of, and had contacts with, the whole line of territory east of the Jordan valley from east of Huleh south to what became Edom. Up north, Maacah is shadowy, but Araru was probably already an entity. Certainly Ashteroth, Busruna and Sur(-Bashan) were settlements on and near important routes. In later Gilead (latiore sensu), inland east of Pella, were perhaps Ramith, certainly Haram, and faraway Qarqur. Bordering south of this, Upper Shutu may have occupied the later Ammonite territory while Lower Shutu held the later Moab. South again roamed the clans of Kushu. The proper names of all the local rulers belonged to the familiar range of West Semitic ('Amorite/Canaanite') types so well-attested from the vast Mari archives and reaching back into Ur III records even before the start of the 2nd millennium BC.

Archaeologically, contact with Egypt can also be seen culturally. The outstanding example is the superb ivory-inlaid box from the Middle Bronze Age settlement at Pella, of entirely Egyptian form, and largely Egyptian in decoration (Homes-Fredericq and Hennessy 1989:419; Bienkowski 1991:104 and p1.126).

Late 2nd millennium BC: 18th Dynasty, c. 1550-1300 BC

The great topographical list of Tuthmosis III

In the basic list of 119 place-names, we have first to proceed by elimination. Nos. 1 and 2, Qadesh and Megiddo, were the leaders whose opposition to Egyptian rule led to the campaign by Tuthmosis III in his 22nd/23rd year (1457 BC), culminating in the siege of Megiddo and his penetrating northwards. Nos. 3-9 belong to the land of Amq (Beqa` valley between the Lebanon and Antilebanon ranges), while Nos. 10-12 remain obscure. After Nos. 13-14, Damascus and (H)adaru, Nos. 15-21 are also obscure at present - e.g., No. 19 (birt) could be either Beirut on the coast or Berothai in the Beqa`. Nos. 22-29/30 circle out to Bashan and back to the area of Ashteroth, while Nos. 31-34 are in the Upper Jordan valley. In each of the clearer sets of names, so far, it is possible to discern segments of itineraries like those in Papyrus Anastasi I, much as was suggested by Redford (1982a, b). However, Nos. 35-39 are merely scattered across south Galilee in no clear order, whereas Nos. 40-44 traverse the vale of Jezreel from west to east (with, perhaps, 45, 46), and Nos. 47-48 go from Accho to Mount Carmel headland. Unfortunately, Nos. 49-54 are a further obscure series, perhaps linked with south Galilee through No. 52, Anaharoth. At two extremes, Nos. 55-56 are back up in the Beqa` valley, while Nos. 57-59 are the 'Negev' and two linked places. Then, Nos. 60-63 and 64-71 are two segments of the West- Palestinian south-north route behind the coast, from south of Gaza to the Carmel ridge. Nos. 72-79 are mainly obscure, but Shabtuna (73) and Ruhizzi (79) point back north to the Beqa` and Qadesh-on-Orontes. No. 80 might be 'Galil(ee)', but 81-88 are obscure once more. Leaving aside Nos. 89-103 for a moment, Nos. 104-105 may be Gezer (unusual spelling?) and Rubute, and No. 106 unknown. Nos. 107-117 are clearly a circle again around the vale of Jezreel area, while Nos. 118-119, finally, are obscure.

Setting aside Nos. 89-103, and all the obscure names, all the foregoing groups of names belong either to the Egyptian province of Canaan, from the Negev up to Galilee, or to regions immediately north/north-east of it, especially in the Bashan, Damascus and Beqa` areas. A bone of contention remains the 15 names Nos. 89-103. Until the 1980s, it was fashionable to guess at north Galilean identifications, as is exemplified in Aharoni's major book (1979, gazetteer pp.162-163:89-102, lumped in with Nos. 80-88), and even in the 1984 treatment by Abituv. But it has to be said that there is not one 'safe', unambiguous identification in Galilee in this entire group of names. Thus, Abils ('streams') can occur in any main region; Edrei could be either that in Galilee or the one out east at Dera'a in Bashan, and so on. No. 98, tpn, could in theory be at Talmudic Taphnith, at present Tibnin — an untested site?

However, Redford has proposed a radically different solution for these 15 names — as part of an itinerary running north—south from the latitudes of Damascus through Transjordan down to Kerak (1982a, b).9 His suggested sequence is no mere armchair exercise, as he took the trouble personally to study on the ground the possible archaeological topography of most of this route. His sequence would run as follows:

89.? Hykrm — ?Assyrian Hukkurina, south of

Damascus, north of the Yarmuk, at Leja?10

90.** 'Abil I, 'stream' — the Yarmuk.

91.*** 'Edre`i, on the south side of the Yarmuk.11

92.** 'Abil H, 'stream' — Nahr ez-Zerqa.

93. Kntit, Gittoth, 'wine-presses'?

94. Mqrpt, 'fertile depression'?

95.* 'yn, 'Ain (Musa).

96.** Krmn, (Abil)—Keramin (near Na'ur).12

97.? Bt-i — obscure.13

98.*? Tpn —Dibon?

99.** 'Abil III, 'stream' — Wadi Mujib, just south of


100.** Yarutu — Yarut (Redford 1982a:72; Worschech

1990:20-27, with LB/EI pottery finds).

101.*? Hrkr, ?Kerak.14

On the starring system applied above to classify these proposed identifications, Edrei and the three 'streams' come out very well, and especially if it be

conceded that Nos. 98 and 100 really are Dibon and Yarut, to north and south of the Wadi Mujib. Nos. 93-95 make good sense in terms of actual Jordanian topography, while tirkr/Kerak is attractive. In geographical sequence, Tpn=Dibon would fit well. However, two problems arise here. First, the orthography is entirely different from that of the indubitable Ramesside example of Dibon (see below). This is not fatal; new spellings do appear in Egyptian group-writing from time to time, through time. The second objection is rather more serious. Over and over again, in this system, Egyptian b Semitic b, and not p. And likewise, Egyptian p = Semitic p, and not b. If this rule were absolute, then Tuthmoside Tpn could not be Dibon, either on phonetic equivalents or on orthography. But in the great list of Tuthmosis III, at No. 78, the name is regularly equated with a theoretical Semitic *Ygb-' il. Again, No. 103, qpt, is sometimes equated with Gibbethon on the assumption that No. 104 is Gezer (e.g. Aharoni 1979:163). But none of this is beyond doubt, and cannot establish a b/p equivalence. Rather, the one indubitable b/p equivalence is provided by the name of Byblos. During the Old Kingdom into the 12th Dynasty, it appears in Egyptian as Kbn, and in cuneiform as Kubla. In the 12th/13th Dynasties, the Egyptian spelling moves to Kpn, as equivalent of cuneiform Gubla and later West Semitic Gbl, Gebal, modern Jebail.15 The Byblos equation of b/p may thus permit the suggested identifications quoted above, including Tpn=Dibon. If the latter be disallowed, but the Jordanian locale be retained, the Tpn would have to be some otherwise unattested place on the Jordanian north—south route.

Thus, Redford's hypothesis of a Jordanian itinerary lying behind Nos. 89-101 of the great list remains such, but on balance appears to have much to commend it, so far as the scanty data go. It is certainly far superior to the north Galilee hypothesis. If acceptable, Redford's view would have the Egyptian data give us a clear route through Jordan from south Syria to the edges of Edom c. 1450 BC, in the Late Bronze Age.16

The later lists at Soleb (Amenophis III), recopied at Aksha and Amara West (Ramesses II)

Careful correlation of the four individual lists (c. 1380 BC; c. 1270/1250 BC) (cf. Edel 1980) yields very little for Jordan in the late 2nd millennium, and perhaps less than once thought to be the case. It is possible to distinguish six stable groups of names, thus:

A. Naharin, Hatti, Alasia, Sangara, Keftiu

Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, East Mediterranean.

B. Qadesh, Ugarit, Qatna, Pahil (Pella) =

Phoenicia/Syria, plus Jordan valley.

C. Carchemish, Mrkws, Tyre, Q'tk, Byblos, Assur,

Lullu, Ipnnt / Ipjm, Mw-qd = Mesopotamia, Syria,


D. P3-srawn-bnlr, Pst, Danaya, 'Irw.f (Urhiya, Uruk,

Babylon) = East Mediterranean, Mesopotamia.

E. 'Canaan' (= Gaza?), Raphia, Sharuhen, [....], Mahaz, Socoh, Joppa = south-west Palestine and coast-plain.

F. Ta-Shasu — the six 'Shasu-lands', T(w)rb, Yhw,

Pyspys (or Gysgys?), Rbn, S'r(?).

Of all these sets of names, nothing touches Jordan in five out of the six except Pella in set B.17 The real question is the localization of the sixth set, the Shasu-land names. The last name cited has been almost universally identified as Seir (Seir), although this means assuming that the first of two rs in the writing of the name here is a dittography, or a slip for one of two other signs. This is perfectly possible, and the interpretation as Seir is not ruled out. However, none of the other five names has ever been convincingly located in Jordan, despite several attempts. An entirely fresh view of this section was proposed by Astour (1979), offering identifications for the whole series in Lebanon and south Syria (including for the apparent Seir as a S`rr). In other Egyptian documents, the Shasu are attested securely all the way from north Sinai and the Negev up into Syria as far as Qadesh (cf. Giveon 1971), so Astour's view is certainly possible for five of the names, leaving the Seir name open.

The El-Amarna correspondence, mid-14th century BC

This archive is Egyptian only by find-spot, except for Egyptian 'file-copies'. Hence it can be dealt with here only summarily, especially as very little of it affects Jordan. With one exception, noted below, all letters from east of the Jordan come from (or refer to) places north of a line from Pella across to Busruna (Bosra, Busra Eski Sham) of EA 197:13, 199:23. This includes seven towns in Ge<shu>r (EA 256),18 the land immediately east of the Sea of Galilee. Then there is Ashteroth, now Tell 'Astara (EA 197:10; 256:21), and Siri-bashani (EA 201:14), 'Rock of Bashan', the biblical Har-Bashan in the Jebel Druze.

The one seeming exception to an entirely northern locale is the land of Meru, in EA 288:26. Here, Abdi-Khepa, ruler of Jerusalem, claims: 'I was at war (all the way) from the land of Sheru (up) to Ginti-Kirmil'. The latter is in north Canaan, probably near the Carmel range (Schmitt 1987:43-48), so the former (Sheru) would correspondingly symbolize the southernmost pole of Abdi-Khepa's vision, and hence the fairly general inclination to accept an identification of Sheru with Seir.19

Otherwise, Pella itself under Mut-Balu (EA 255, 256) is the only other Jordanian locus mentioned. But field archaeology can take us a little further. To the south at Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Late Bronze Age finds include a fine ivory cosmetic box in the shape of a fish, reminiscent of Egyptian products and style during the 16th-13th centuries BC (Bienkowski 1991:104 and p1.127).

Late 2nd millennium BC: 19th-20th Dynasties, c. 1300-1170 BC

In terms of Egypt east of the Jordan, Sethos I (c. 1294/90-1279 BC) follows on from the evidence of the Amarna letters. They showed Egyptian overlordship in Geshur and Bashan, north of the Yarmuk — and at Tell esh-Shihab was found a stela of Sethos I (PM VII:383; text in KRI 1:17). Regrettably, only the top half has survived, showing the king before the deities Amun and Mut of Thebes — any historical details have been lost with the now missing lower half that would have contained the main text of the monument. Tell esh-Shihab itself may have been the Kheni (`Ain?)-anab of EA 256, and the Qiryath-`Anab of Papyrus Anastasi I under Ramesses 11.20 In the topographical lists of Sethos I, the sole Transjordanian location known to be named is Pahil (Pella), and this repeatedly.21 The people of Pahil were reported as siding with the rebel chief of nearby Hammath in seizing the Egyptian centre at Beth-Shan.22 A list of toponyms on a granite sphinx now at the Palace of Diocletian at Split may date to this reign or — probably — earlier; at No. 28, it mentions Ashteroth (of Bashan) (KRI 1:36:13, No.8).

Under Ramesses II (c. 1279-1213 BC), our information shows a definite increase. In his topographical lists at Karnak, Pahil recurs. Another place, Qmhm, might be speculatively understood as a *Qom-Ham, 'height?/settlement? of Ham' (Ham occurring just once in Gen. 14:5), unless it were a variant of Qamon (Judg. 10:5), usually located south of the Yarmuk23 — if an amissible soft h be allowed. Like his father, Ramesses II also left a stela up in Bashan, at Sheikh Said to the north of Tell esh-Shihab. Sheikh Said may possibly have been the ancient Qarnaim, twin settlement to Ashteroth (cf. Aharoni 1979:438).

More important are the explicit references to Moab and Seir/Edom from Ramesses II through to Ramesses III and later. First, we may deal with Seir/Edom. The sometimes disputed mention of Seir in the Amara West list, under Shasu-lands, would simply have been copied from that of Amenophis III at Soleb, in a part not now extant. In texts of his own time, Ramesses II twice describes himself as one 'who plunders the mountain of Seir with his valiant arm; in context, Shasu is used in parallel phrases.24 On another stela from Tell er-Retabeh (east Delta), he 'plunders their [=the Shasu's] (mountain) ridges, slaying their people and building with towns (dmi) bearing his name'.25 The location of this Shasu (not paralleled by Seir) remains uncertain. But the mountain of Seir is already a fixed expression, reminiscent of the Hebrew phrase Mount Seir.26 What we learn from this is limited but of some value, namely that Seir was hilly (as in Hebrew sources), and that in the 13th century BC it was worth Ramesses II either raiding it or claiming it as subdued. Some 60 or more years later, in the eighth year of Merenptah, c. 1206 BC, the term Edom appears for the first time. Papyrus Anastasi VI contains the following well-known report (lines 51-61): "We have finished with allowing the Shasu clansfolk of Edom to pass the fort of Merenptah that is in Succoth ['Tjeku'], to the pools (brkt) of Pi-Atum of Merenptah that (is/are) in Succoth, to keep them alive and to keep alive their livestock, by the will of Pharaoh, LPH, the good Sun of Egypt, along with the names from the other days on which the fort of Merenptah that is in Succoth was passed [by such people...] (text, Gardiner 1937:76-77; translations, e.g. ANET:259; with notes, Caminos 1954:293)."

The picture is one of pastoralists with their livestock, which agrees well with the next item in the dossier. That in turn comes from the reign of Ramesses III (c. 1184-1153 BC). Between accounts of his conflicts with the Sea Peoples and with the Libyans (also attested on the walls of his temple at Medinet Habu), there appears the following passage (Papyrus Harris I, 76:9-11): "I destroyed the Seirites, the clans of the Shasu, I pillaged their tents [using the West Semitic term ' °hell, with their people, their property, and their livestock likewise, without limit... (text, Erichsen 1933:93; translation, e.g. ANET:262:I; cf. Grdseloff 1947:87-88)."

This is entirely consistent with the pastoralists of Merenptah's time, and the raid on Seir by Ramesses III (an action repeating the claim of Ramesses II) may have been linked with Egyptian mining interests in Timna in both reigns, and the security of those interests. Clearly, Seir/Edom was not just a deserted wilderness in the Late Bronze/Iron Age transitional period — there were enough people there to concern Egyptian official interests, and the lifestyle was (at least in part) pastoral and (with tents) at least semi- nomadic. The consequent scarcity of tangible physical remains in the archaeological record is, therefore, not surprising; cf. above on the tented tribal kings of the Old Babylonian period. Moab, and especially Edom, should be considered mainly as 'tented kingdoms', likewise, in at any rate the 13th to perhaps the 9th centuries BC, as a result.

A century or more later brings us to a peculiar, perhaps literary letter of c. 1000 BC (at least in our extant MS — composition may have been earlier). Here, one dispossessed Egyptian official begs of another that his dire plight might be relieved (Papyrus Moscow 127; Caminos 1977:66-69, 72, pls.11/12, Co1.5:4-5). Right at the end, the man utters in rhetorical vein: 'Oh that I could send him [his local oppressor] off to Nahar(in),27 to fetch the hidden tmrgn,28 with whom he had (previously) gone to those of Seir!'29 This comes close in date to the reported flight of the baby prince of Edom into 21st- Dynasty Egypt (1 Kings 11:14-22).30 Thus, we have at least some evidence for an inhabited Edom/Seir — and having intermittent relations with Egypt — from the 13th into the 10th centuries BC.

Now we return north, to Moab, and back in time to Ramesses II. For over 80 years, the occurrence of Moab as an undoubted place-name in a topographical list of Ramesses II has been universally recognized.31 Therefore it is hardly surprising that further records of Moab in this reign should have come to light. A few decades ago, clearances by the exterior east wall of the forecourt of Ramesses II at the temple of Luxor laid bare two whole registers of war-scenes of Ramesses II (Kitchen 1964; texts, recollated, KRI II:179-183). The names of forts in the upper register indicated a Syrian locale for the events there depicted: an Apheq and Krmyn,32 known from other Syrian war-scenes of this reign.33 In the lower register, the place-names are mostly palimpsest. The names of places captured were plastered-over, and the new surface recut with names that relate to the Syrian locale of the upper register: Shabduna, the Shabtuna of Qadesh fame, and Da[l]at=Silul, 'Door of the Locusts', only otherwise known from a Ramesses II topographical list at Luxor itself.34

But our interest is in the original names of the lower register. In the first (north) scene, captives are led away from below a conventionally-drawn fort, whose original label reads very clearly:

Town (dmi) that Pharaoh's arm captured in the land of Moab: Btrt (Butartu).

Despite being inscribed in palimpsest with the plaster gone, almost every significant sign of both versions can be read with complete assurance. So, the scenario of this activity is in Moab beyond any possible dispute.35 The case for identifying Btrt as Raba Batora was made long ago, and is not easily bettered, locating this place at some 14 miles/23 km. south of the Arnon, or about 57 miles/92 km. south of Amman.36

The second scene has two places. The first has resisted any convincing identification: Yn( ?)d... or Y(..)d... in the mountain of Mrrn. The second is labelled, again, with no possible doubt as to the reading:

Town (dmi) that Pharaoh's arm [captur]ed: Tibunu.

In this strictly Moabite context, this name is, and can only be, Dibon. In the third scene, no further names are readably preserved.

There is, therefore, no factual doubt whatsoever about the readings of the names Moab, Butartu, Tibunu, and no convincing alternative to interpreting these three names as standing for Moab, (Raba) Batora and Dibon. That is — or should have been — the end of the matter, if normal scholarly standards were to prevail. Unfortunately, in biblical studies, they do not; and a veritable 'ignoramus choir' has done its best to evade the clear impact of this evidence.

First came Ahituv (1972) in a paper swarming with careless inaccuracies,37 wrongly locating Tibunu in Galilee, in the wake of Aharoni's placement of Tuthmoside Tpn, itself now ruled out by Redford's study (Redford 1982a, 1982b:118-119). Ahituv's blunders were completely refuted soon afterwards by this writer (Kitchen 1976), a fact conveniently ignored by some commentators.38 Totally misleading were the remarks by Miller (1977:250-251), entirely wrongly claiming that this writer's readings were 'open to question' and that 'the names "Moab" and "Dibon" could be read only after prolonged study which involved some reconstruction of the text'. As has been made clear already above, exactly the opposite is true. There is no doubt about the physical readings of Moab, Dibon or Butartu; prolonged study and recollations were devoted to the wall specifically to ensure that no fundamental error could creep into its decipherment; and there was no 'reconstruction' of the text other than in minor details. In any future edition of that work, Miller's remarks require to be publicly retracted. In turn in 1979, Weippert indulged in equally misleading speculations (1979:27 and n.44). First, the type of fort shown (be it 2b or whatever) is irrelevant; whenever the places named on such forts can be identified, they were proper settlements — and the term dmi, 'town', means a proper settlement (even if small), not merely a few tents of moving nomads. Therefore, we do know that Ramesses II did capture either a fort or a settlement, if of unknown size, contrary to Weippert's misleading remarks. Second, Weippert blindly follows Ahituv over Tibunu, in total disregard of the relevant facts about context, spelling, etc., set out by the writer in 1976. Third, Weippert's ideas about *Yud-hamelek for Yni?]d[...] are worthless; the probable n would preclude his idea completely, and the alternative w, likewise. Thus, his denials of a Moabite locale are totally without factual foundation and must be dismissed.

Then in 1981, Weinstein blindly and wholly uncritically followed the errors of Ahituv, in total ignorance of the refutation of those errors (1981:21). Aliituv in 1984 merely repeated his mistakes of over a decade before, without the slightest attempt to discuss any other views or contrary facts, in a work damned by others for its incompetence.39 His excuse (shared by others) that no Late Bronze remains are attested at Dibon is facile (cf. below), and — curiously — is an excuse that rarely prevents him from accepting other identifications that suit him; cf. his pp.103 (Gibeon), 115/6 (Hashabu), 116 (Hasi), 131 and n.33 (Labwe), and 147 (Na'aman). Clearly, double standards rule here.

Finally, we have F.M. Cross who, in a hasty and ill-conceived addendum to a footnote, peremptorily rejected the clear equation of Tibunu — Dibon on the say-so of Ahituv, Weippert and Weinstein, without the slightest attempt to verify the facts (Cross 1988:58f., n.41, second part). 'I've got my pet theory, don't confuse me with contrary facts' represents his approach and the absolute nadir of scholarship.

The whole tissue of nonsense, therefore, may be set aside in favour of the facts. Moab was a real entity in the 13th century BC, sufficiently to engage the attentions of Ramesses II. While it (like Edom) may have had a considerable pastoral/semi-nomadic element, it also had a certain number of settlements, and some — including Dibon and (Raba) Batora — are named by Ramesses. The 'Mount Mrrn' is some strategic spur whose name has simply not come down to us in any continuous tradition.40 The date of Ramesses II's campaign into Moab is unknown; it is probably best dated after Year 9, as recently suggested.41

The claim has several times been made that there was no Late Bronze Dibon, hence it could not be Tibunu. Here, we have the fashionable fallacy (of which archaeologists in particular should beware): 'we never found it, so it never existed!' The proper attitude, of course, is different; it should be: 'we never found it — either we missed it, or it's long gone, or it never was'. The work done at Dhiban so far has been useful, but remains very inadequate. Our knowledge of the main mound at Dhiban is incomplete — and there is no guarantee that the Late Bronze settlement was on that spot, rather than nearby, whether under the modern village or

The Egyptian Evidence on Ancient Jordan

elsewhere. Site-shift is so well-attested a

phenomenon42 that it cannot be arbitrarily ruled out here. The Egyptian texts in this matter are valuable evidence hinting at what we have so far missed, and should not be cavalierly dismissed, especially by those who are unfitted to interpret them.

The recent official publication of his Lower Galilee surveys by Zvi Gal (Gal 1992, esp. 54-62) has now delivered the coup de grace to Abituv's mistaken transferral of Transjordanian toponyms to imaginary Galilean locations. The 'Bronze Age' sites (i.e. Late Bronze) supposed by Aharoni in his pioneering work appear in fact to be solely Early Bronze and/or Middle Bronze in nearly every case. None of the sites to which Ahituv (and his uncritical followers) would attach the Transjordanian names in Galilee is Late Bronze at all! The total evidence from documents of Tuthmosis III, Amenophis III and Ramesses II (as Gal points out clearly) shows that Tpn and the rest really are Transjordanian and Bashan, not west of Jordan.

Passing to a different class of evidence, we do have other possible indications for Egyptian influence in the Jordan of Late Bronze II/Iron I, at the turn of the 13th/12th centuries BC: namely, the Balu'a and Shihan stelae from Moab itself.43 Leaving aside its illegible inscription, we have on the Balu'a stela a human ruler flanked by a god at the left and a goddess at the right — all in purely Egyptian costume except for the man's headgear. Both deities wear the tall, bulbous-topped crown with two flanking plumes known in Egyptian as the Atef-crown — and in Egypt, mainly the prerogative of deities (not humans), especially of Osiris and Sokar. The deities wear millennially-old 'traditional' gear — collar and kilt for the god, long shift for the goddess. By contrast, the man in the middle wears full-length, pleated 'modern' robes of the late 2nd millennium BC. His headgear is either a bungled form of the Egyptian khopresh or Blue Crown of the pharaohs (mid-2nd millennium BC onwards) or else a cap related to what is worn by various Levantines in Egyptian war-scenes and other sources.44 The scene itself is directly reminiscent of numberless Egyptian temple scenes of a king between deities who bless him.45

Much less well preserved, the Shihan stela illustrates a different concept. Its two-dimensional artistic conventions are based on Egyptian (as is true of the Levant as far north as Ugarit), and the one personage depicted wears a traditional Egyptian short royal kilt, if with rather un-Egyptian striations. The pendant plait and curl are also un-Egyptian in this form and position. The man's poise is that of a victor, about to plunge his spear into some defeated and recumbent foe. This theme has Egyptian iconographic origins, in the familiar triumph-scenes

showing Pharaoh about to crush a bunch of cowering and defeated foes (or just one foe) with his uplifted mace.46 In Ugarit, the theme reappears among the ivories of the bedstead, one showing the king of Ugarit grasping a defeated foe (in the Egyptian fashion), but threatening him with a sword, not a mace (Schaeffer 1954:57, p1.10; also ANEP, no.817). Here, the theme is repeated, but the spear replaces the sword or the mace, and the foe is lost with the bottom of the monument.

Both of these pieces are now attributed to the 13th/12th centuries BC (Zayadine 1991:37 and pls.33-34), and represent monumental-type art on a modest scale (Baltea stela 1.7 m. [c. 5+ feet], Shihan stela 1.03 m. [c. 3+ feet] high) as prestige symbols of some local ruler in Moab. This implies the existence of some kind of simple political state, with at least a few tangible centres permanently occupied under organized rule, exercised over farming and pastoral populations of unknown if modest extent. This would agree with the growing Egyptian interest in the area, seeking (under Ramesses II) to dominate the emerging entities east of the Jordan and Dead Sea.

The early 1st millennium BC: Late Period and Iron I—II (c. 1000-600 BC)

After 1000 BC, all Egyptian evidence for relations abroad is limited and fleeting. The centres of political power were almost entirely in Memphis and the Delta, where monuments are mainly fragmentary, and most written records on papyrus have long since perished. The monumental tradition of celebrating success abroad has itself now become attenuated. Leave aside the triumphal reliefs of Siamun and Shoshenq I plus victory stelae of Psammetichus I and II, and evidence is almost zero. So, in terms of history, for Jordan, Egypt's sole contribution at this period (besides Papyrus Moscow 127, see above) is the campaign of Shoshenq I in Palestine and the topographical list included in the triumph-scene celebrating that campaign.47 Names in rows II and V of the great list show the Egyptian forces briefly penetrating land east of the Jordan. In II, we have 19-22, 3drm, (LOST), Jwd, and Mahanaim. The first three names remain unidentified; Mahanaim is nowadays usually located at Tell edh-Dhahab el-Gharbi (Gordon and Villiers 1983). In V, we have names 53-56, Penuel, a Hadashat ('New town'), then probably Succoth, and Adam(ah).48 So, we catch just a brief glimpse of settlements in the Wadi Zerqa (ancient Jabbok) and environs, c. 925 BC.

More obvious to the eye in this general period are background Egyptian influences on art in the Iron Age kingdoms of Ammon, Moab and Edom. The kingdom of Ammon is justly famed for a remarkable series of sculptured figures found within its bounds, some 30 in al1.49 A fair number of the male figures and heads wear a conical crown with broader top and side-plumes, reminiscent of, and ultimately derived from, the Egyptian Atef-crown. However, the form of the Ammonite crown suggests that it was adopted and adapted not from Egypt directly, but via Phoenicia and the Levant. As in both areas, this is principally a crown of deities, and one may here endorse the view that the relevant Ammonite figures and heads are of a deity, not (e.g.) of kings. Contrast the head of Yerah-ezer, an indubitable Ammonite Idng.50 These Atef-crowned pieces may well represent Milcom, the only securely attested god of the Ammonites. By contrast with indirect items like Atef-crowns, actual Egyptian artworks were sometimes acquired by ancient Jordanians. One example is the faience chalice, of which a fragment was found at Buseirah; this type of vessel is securely dated to the 10th-9th centuries BC (one of Shoshenq I/Takeloth II, another to Shoshenq son of Osorkon II), may have begun in the 1 1 th century BC, and almost certainly continued into the 8th century BC ('Bocchoris vase') if not beyond (cf. Milward 1975).

Seal-stones from Edom, Moab and Ammon often show artistic devices as well as inscriptions. Here, alongside use of Syrian and Mesopotamian-related motifs, one may find Egyptian and Egyptianizing motifs. The latter (like the Atef-crown) were undoubtedly mediated via the Levant - so, e.g., the modified winged discs and crowned creatures on some seals (in Bienkowski 1991:140-141, pls.160- 161; Bordreuil 1987:159, 161, nos.168, 171). The former may include scarabs and more closely Egyptian-style figures.51 Here, as in other respects, the ancient Jordanians in a cosmopolitan world made lively and intelligent use of the resources of that world in creating their own particular culture and civilization.


1. Here, the first date given each time is based on the current optimum dates for the Egyptian 12th Dynasty (Kitchen 1989:153). The dates in brackets are the absolute minimum dates (possibly too low!), as favoured by R. Krauss (Kitchen 1987:49 - Low).

2. From the considerable secondary literature on these texts, the most useful contributions are the following: Albright 1928; 1941a, b; Alt 1941; Moran 1957; Goetze 1958; Rainey 1972:381-388; and Helck 1962:49-68.

3. The precise location of Upper and Lower Shutu remains theoretical. Still attractive is the suggestion by Albright (1941b:34 n.8) to place Lower Shutu in the Mishor of Moab and Upper Shutu to its east, in the

Amman district. The terms Upper and Lower show that specific districts were envisaged, and Shutu has nothing to do with Egyptian 1w, 'dry' and is not simply a vague general term as is wrongly alleged in the totally misleading presentation by Thompson (1974:123ff.).

4. Mention of Shutu is in a hieratic epigraph (Newberry 1893:p1.38:2 = Lepsius 1904:88).

5. On this name, cf. Moran 1957:342, comparing Iakmesi of the Assyrian King List.

6. Sinuhe, R 30-108; text Blackman 1932:9-23; translations cf. ANET:19-20, Lichtheim 1973:224-227; on states cf. Rainey 1972:374, 378-379.

7. The common rendering Ithent-Yeush of Khenti-Kushu (two hybrids of Egyptian and Semitic) is clearly wrong; the second is certainly prepositional (m-lint), and the former may be a title.

8. For the 13th Dynasty, cf. von Beckerath 1964-65:29ff.; Hayes 1973:44ff. In Gen. 36:31-39, the whole list deserves reconsideration; the two Hadads are reminiscent of Hadad-names in the Execration Texts.

9. For a critique of Redford's Jordanian hypothesis, see Timm 1989:35-50. But his constant complaint that 'name-groups' in lists have no markers is specious; no such markers ever occur in any of these lists. Groups only emerge by establishing sound identifications - then they validate themselves.

10. Location possible, but identity rather uncertain; cf. Weippert 1973-74:65-66.

11. Cf. Redford 1982a:60 and n.43 with references. For the seeming lack of places mentioned between Edrei and the next Abil (Zerqa), Redford points out the seeming corresponding lack of attested Late Bronze Age sites along the main route (p.66 and n.115).

12. Redford 1982b:119 distinguished between Nos. 95 and 96 (` Ain and Keramin), whereas in 1982a:66, 69-70 he appeared to treat them as virtually one location. Krmn would then be the Abel-Keramim of Judg. 11:33. He wished also to identify it with present-day Tell el-`Umeiri.

13. Cf. Redford 1982a:62 on this place; Gorg (1976) would - wrongly - link it with Bwtrt under Ramesses

which he misinterprets as *Bt-Lt, 'House of Lot'. Cf.

also identifications proposed by W. Zwickel in Worschech 1990:127 n.15.

14. For a possible link between the supposed ancient and modern names, cf. Redford 1982a:63. His full list of suggested identifications, p.74.

15. On the spellings of Byblos, cf. Horn 1963. The b/p equivalence provided by the name of Byblos (Kbn/Kpn) is admitted by Timm 1989:40-41, but its relevance is evaded by him.

16. Late Bronze sites in Jordan were gazetteered in outline by Sauer 1986:6-9, without subdivision into LB I and II; other refinements will doubtless also be needed as work proceeds in the field.

17. Aksha 11, Amara West 11 (KRI II:211, 215); Soleb, Simons 1937, IX, g.3; Giveon 1964:249, VIII, A.1. The Egyptian Evidence on Ancient Jordan Soleb lists, see also Leclant 1965.

18. Listed as Udumu, Aduru, Araru (cf. 133 of Sinuhe), Meshtu, Magdalu, Kheni-anabu and Sarqu, plus Hayyunu and Yabiluma (both EA 256), and Shaskhimu (EA 203:4) and Tubu (EA 205:3), perhaps the land of Tob.

19. So, tentatively, Moran 1987:602; likewise earlier, Aharoni 1979:189 n.112, with Zoar in mind; and Schmitt 1987:43.

20. Papyrus Anastasi I, 22:4 — text, Gardiner 1911:66 end; Fischer-Elfert 1983:136 top; translations e.g. Gardiner 1911:24*; ANET:477.

21. Texts KRI I:29:54A, 32:49A and A2, 33:15, 34:13, 15; Epigraphic Survey 1986:p1s.15/16:54 [p.65] and 17/18:54 [p.56] for the Karnak examples.

22. First Beth-Shan stela, lines 14ff., KRI 1:12:7-14; translations cf. ANET:253-254; cf. also Murnane 1985:59f., 68.

23. In lists of Ramesses H, Pahil, in KR1 II:163:26, 215:11. Qiryath-`Anab, KRI H:163:41. Qmhm, under Sethos I, Epigraphic Survey 1986:65 n.f to pls.17/18:53; under Ramesses H, KRI H:163:30, and probably in the lists, pp.177, 178, 184.

24. Tanis, Obelisk I, E. face, KRI 11:409:1; broken parallel, Gebel Shaluf stela II, KRI 11:303:6; translations, Kitchen 1964:66, 67.

25. KRI 11:304:14-15; translation given here corrects that in Kitchen 1964:66 — 'ridges', not 'tells' for jswt.

26. As in Gen. 14:6, 36:8, 9; Deut. 2:1, 5; Jos. 15:10, 24:4; 1 Chr. 4:22; 2 Chr. 20:10, 22, 23; Ezek. 35:2, 3, 7, 15.

27. Written Nhr (for Nhrn) as sometimes in other cases; references, Caminos 1977:67 n.6. Caminos shrinks from identifying the name as Naharin [N. Syria] here, while admitting (p.67) that the ancient writer is making a wild wish — that his oppressor be sent off to the back of beyond; hence, the reference to Trans-Euphratean North Syria is entirely appropriate from an Egyptian perspective.

28. A person (and a hapax), with near certainty a loanword. Why not a metathesised form of Semitic trgmn, targamannu, 'guide, interpreter'? (In Akkadian, cf. von Soden 1959-1981:1329b.)

29. Clearly so, in the text; again, Caminos had wished to locate this entity within Egypt itself. But this would miss the point of the victim's ardent desire to fetch deliverance even from afar.

30. On this passage and its background, see Kitchen 1986:273-275 and references.

31. On the base of the westernmost statue of Ramesses H before the pylon of Luxor temple — KRI 11:185, Cw 14 (collated by this writer), earlier in Simons 1937, No.XXII e+d; and first published by Kyle 1908. 'Moab' may also possibly occur in the Amara West list of Ramesses II at No.17 (cf. Timm 1989:12-13), with a slightly different orthography — a list copied from the Soleb lists of Amenophis III (14th century BC); but this is not certain.

32. Kitchen 1964, Scenes E-[H], pp.57 and fig.4 (Krmyn) and 60-61, fig.5 (Apheq), p1.6; KRI 11:182:6, 12.

33. So, at Karnak, south wall, Great Hypostyle Hall — KRI 11:156:16 (Krmyn), 157:16 (Apheq).

34. On this wall, Kitchen 1964, text AM, p.50 and fig.2, p1.3 (KRI II:180:3), and ibid., text BIVB, p.53f., fig.3, p1.4 (KRI II:181:4). List, KRI 11:178, No.19.

35. The actual state of the wall and of the texts is clearly represented in Kitchen 1964:49, fig.7, AI, A and B (the photo in p1.3 is not adequate); the text in KRI 11:180:2 resulted from repeated careful collation of the originals.

36. See the discussion (Kitchen 1964:64-67, with map, fig.6). The highly speculative attempt to reinterpret this toponym as *Beth-Lot by GOrg (1976; 1978:7-8) must be dismissed as fantasy, without any support from any other source, and based on misuse of a dubious name in the Execration Texts plus an Ugaritic plural. Simple lack of LB/EI surface pottery at later Raba Batora (or at El-Lejjun, cf. Kafafi 1985:19) is not decisive in the absence of proper excavation. An attractive alternative (with El pottery) is offered by Worschech 1990:102 and n.44, with fig.28; a chain of forts, early lion Age, protecting Moab, cf. ibid., 105, 109, and Miller infra, Chapter 9. On the term Raba Batora, see Timm 1989:16-18, and his 18-19, dismissing GOrg's fantasies.

37. Ahituv's mistakes include 1) the howler of confusing Luxor with Karnak; 2) wrongly attributing to this writer the supposed equation of Tibunu with Tuthmosid Tpn, which was not accepted, see Kitchen 1964:55; 3) he carelessly confused Krmyn, Qrmn, and other distinct place-names; 4) he paid no attention to the differing locales of the two registers of scenes; 5) his adduction of the incomplete name Tpn[....] in Kom el-Hetan is irrelevant; 6) he failed to understand the nature of the palimpsests or the wall-surfaces.

38. Not quite all, cf. Gorg 1978; Timm 1989:25-33.

39. Ahituv 1984; cf. reviews, Kitchen 1988, esp.105-106, which let him off lightly, and particularly Knauf and Lenzen 1989, which did not.

40. One suggestion is to locate it at Jebel Shihan, so Worschech 1990:127-128; but if so, then Ynd... must also be located there, and not at Yarut 8 km. south, to fit the Egyptian text.

41. By Haider 1987. A date in Year 4 (Timm 1989:20-21) is highly unlikely, because Ramesses II was on the Phoenician coast that year, not in Transjordan; the change of relief-label almost certainly was executed long after Year 5, as the spelling of Shabtuna does not correspond with that in the Qadesh texts, but is from a different scribal orthography.

42. Cf., e.g., Aharoni 1979:123-124; in Jordan, also, as in other desertic areas, site-deflation can be more pervasive.

43. Conveniently pictured in Dearman infra, Chapter 8 Figure 8.4 and Mattingly infra, Chapter 7 Figure 7.2, and Bienkowski 1991:35-36, pls.33-34. For the site of Jebel Shihan, see Worschech 1990:13-15. On recent work at Balu'a, cf. ibid., 71-90, following on idem. 1986. One should note that the cartouche on the bulla (Worschech 1990:87f., fig.26a, p1.10:1) has been misread: it is not Menkare, but Djoserkare, the prenomen of Amenophis I, c. 1520 BC. The piece is in any case long posthumous, so its real date is not affected by this change of reading.

44. Cf. the headgear of the captives on a well known Megiddo ivory, Loud 1939:p1.4:2a, 2b; often reproduced since, e.g. Yadin 1963:243.

45. E.g., on stelae, Tuthmosis lII (c. 1450 BC) offering to Amun and attended by the goddess 'Thebes' (Grapow 1936:p1.1), or Merenptah between Amun and the goddess Mut on the famous 'Israel stela' (Petrie 1897:p1.13); in temple scenes, e.g. Osorkon I, Epigraphic Survey 1954:p1.13.

46. Cf. study of this type of relief, Gaballa and Kitchen 1969:23-28.

47. Definitive publication, Epigraphic Survey 1954:p1s.2- 9. General account of the campaign and full discussion, see Kitchen 1986:294-302 and 432-447, plus 575. The boustrophedon theory of Mazar is impossible, cf. facts stated in ibid., 444-445.

48. For these names here, see Kitchen 1986:438, correcting Mazar and Aharoni.

49. See, conveniently, Abu Assaf 1980/81, plus two more figures, Oman 1986:36-39, Nos.12-13.

50. Conveniently illustrated in Bienkowski 1991:40, p1.38. That the Atef-wearing figures are those of a deity was also advocated by Dornemann (1983), Abu Assaf (1980-81:36, 77-78) and others.

51. As in Bienkowski 1991:138, p1.156 top right (scarab with proper Egyptian figure and standard); cf. ibid., top left, winged scarab.


Abu Assaf, A.

1980-81Untersuchungen zur Ammonitischen

Rundbildkunst. UFo 12:7-78, pls.l-17.

Aharoni, Y.

1979 Land of the Bible.' London.

Ahituv, S.

1972 Did Ramesses H Conquer Dibon? IEJ 22:141-142.

1984 Canaanite Toponyms in Ancient Egyptian Documents. Jerusalem.

Albright, W.F.

1928 The Egyptian Empire in Asia in the Twenty-first Century B.C. JPOS 8:223-256.

1941a New Egyptian Data on Palestine in the Patriarchal Age. BASOR 81:16-21.

1941b The Land of Damascus between 1850 and 1750 B .0 . BASOR 83:30-36.

1954 Northwest-Semitic Names in a List of Egyptian Slaves from the Eighteenth Century B.C. JAOS 74:222-233.

Alt, A.

1941 Herren und Herrensitze Palastinas im Anfang des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr. Vorlaufige Bemerkungen zu den neuen Achtungstexten. ZDPV 64:21-39.

Astour, M.C.

1979 Yahweh in Egyptian Topographic Lists. In Festschrift Elmar Edel 12. Miirz 1979, eds. M. Gorg and E. Pusch. Bamberg, 17-34.

Beckerath, J. von

1964-65Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der zweiten Zwischenzeit in Agypten. Munchen. Agyptologische Forschungen 23: Gltickstadt.

Bienkowski, P., ed.

1991 Treasures from an Ancient Land: The Art of Jordan. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton. Blackman, A.M.

1932 Middle-Egyptian Stories. Brussels.

Bordreuil, P.

1987 Transjordanische Siegel mit Inschriften. In Der KOnigsweg: 9000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur in Jordanien und Paldstina, eds. S. Mittmann et al. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 156-169.

Caminos, R.A.

1954 Late-Egyptian Miscellanies. Oxford.

1977 A Tale of Woe. Oxford.

Cross, F.M.

1988 Reuben, First-born of Jacob. ZAW 100 Supplement-issue:46-65.

Edel, E.

1980 Die Ortsnamen in den Tempeln von Aksha, Amarah und Soleb im Sudan. BN 11:63-79. Epigraphic Survey

1954 Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak III: The Bubastite Portal. Chicago.

1986 The Battle Reliefs of King Sety I. RIK IV: Chicago.

Erichsen, W.

1933 Papyrus Harris I. Brussels.

Fischer-Elfert, H-W.

1983 Die satirische Streitschrift des Papyrus Anastasi I. Wiesbaden.

Gaballa, G.A. and Kitchen, K.A.

1969 Ramesside Varia II. ZAS 96:14-28.

Gal, Z.

The Egyptian Evidence on Ancient Jordan

27:275-289, pls.54-68.

Gorg, M.

1976 Bwtrt = 'Wohnsitz des Lot'. GM 19:31-32.

1978 Namenstudien I: Fruhe moabitische Ortsnamen. BN 7:7-14.

Grapow, H.

1936 Sprachliche und schriftliche Formung

Agyptischer Texte. Leipziger Agyptologische Studien 7: Ghickstadt.

Grdseloff, B.

1947 EdOm, d'apres les Sources Egyptiennes. Revue de l'Histoire Juive en Egypte 1:69-99.

Haider, P.

1987 Zum Moab-Feldzug Ramses' H. SAK 14:107-123.

Hayes, W.C.

1973 Egypt: From the Death of Ammenemes HI to Seqenenre II. In CAH II:1,42-76.

Heck, W.

1962 Die Beziehungen Agyptens zu Vorderasien im 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Homes-Fredericq, D. and Hennessy, J.B., eds.

1989 Archaeology of Jordan II: Field Reports. Louvain: Peeters.

Horn, S.H.

1963 Byblos in Ancient Records. AUSS 1:52-61. Kafafi, Z.

1985 Egyptian Topographical Lists of the Late Bronze

Age in Jordan (East Bank;. BN 29:17-21.

Kitchen, K.A.

1964 Some New Light on the Asiatic Wars of Ramesses H. JEA 50:47-70.

1976 Two Notes on Ramesside History. Oriens Antiquus 15:313-314.

1986 The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-

650 BC).2 Warminster: Aris and Phillips.

1987 The Basics of Egyptian Chronology in Relation to the Bronze Age. In High, Middle and Low, Part 1, ed. P. Astrom. Gothenburg: Astrom, 37-55.

1988 Review of Ahituv, Canaanite Toponyms in Ancient Egyptian Documents. CdE 63:102-111.

1989 Supplementary Notes on the Basics of Egyptian Chronology. In High, Middle and Low, Part 3, ed. P. Astrom. Gothenburg: Astrom, 152-159.

Knauf, E.A. and Lenzen, C.

1989 Review of Ahituv, Canaanite Toponyms in Ancient Egyptian Documents. ZDPV 105:174-177.

Koenig, Y.

1990 Les Textes d'Envoinement de Mirgissa. RdE 41:101-125.

Kyle, M.G.

1908 Some Geographic and Ethnic Lists of Rameses

at the Temple of Luxor. RT 30:222-223.

Leclant, J.

1965 Les Fouilles de Soleb (Nubie Soudanaise). In Göttingen Vortrage, ed. S. Schott. Gottingen, 205-216.

Lepsius, C.R.

1904 Denkmeiler aus Aegypten und Aethiopen, Text, II, ed. E. Naville. Leipzig.

Lichtheim, M.

1973 Ancient Egyptian Literature I: Old and Middle Kingdoms. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Loud, G.

1939 The Megiddo Ivories. Chicago.

Miller, J.M.

1977 The Israelite Occupation of Canaan. In Israelite and Judean History, eds. J.H. Hayes and J.M. Miller. London/Philadelphia: Westminster Press/SCM Press, 213-284.

Milward, A.

1975 A Fragment of an Egyptian Relief Chalice from Buseirah, Jordan. Levant 7:16-18.

Moran, W.L.

1957 Mari Notes on the Execration Texts. Orientalia n.s. 26:339-345.

1987 Les Lettres d'El Amarna. Paris.

Murnane, W.J.

1985 The Road to Kadesh SAOC 42: Chicago. Newberry, P.E.

1893 Beni Hasan I. London.

Ornan, T.

1986 A Man and his Land: Highlights from the Moshe Dayan Collection. Jerusalem.

Petrie, W.M.F.

1897 Six Temples at Thebes in 1896. London.

Posener, G.

1940 Princes et Pays d'Asie et de Nubie. Brussels. Rainey, A.F.

1972 The World of Sinuhe. /OS 2:369-408.

Redford, D.B.

1982a A Bronze Age Itinerary in Transjordan (Nos.89- 101 of Tuthmosis III's List of Asiatic Toponyms). JSSEA 12:55-74.

1982b Contact between Egypt and Jordan in the New

Kingdom: Some Comments on Sources. In SHAJ

1, ed. A. Hadidi. Amman: Department of

Antiquities, 115-119.

Sauer, J.A.

1986 Transjordan in the Bronze and Iron Ages: A Critique of Glueck's Synthesis. BASOR 263:1-26. Schaeffer, C.F.A.

1954 Les Fouilles de Ras Shamra-Ugarit, quinzieme,

seizieme et dix-septieme Campagnes (1951, 1952

et 1953), Rapport Sommaire. Syria 31:14-67. Schmitt, G.

1987 Gaba, Getta und Gintikirmil. ZDPV 103:22-48. Sethe, K.

1926 Die Achtung feindlicher Fiirsten, VOlker und Dinge auf altagyptischen Tongefassscherben des Mittleren Reiches. Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-Hist. Klasse No.5: Berlin.

Simons, S.J.

1937 Handbook for the Study of Egyptian Topographical Lists Relating to Western Asia.


Early Edom and Moab: The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan

Soden, W. von

1959-1981 Akkadisches HandwOrterbuch. Wiesbaden. Thompson, T.L.

1974 The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives.


Timm, S.

1989 Moab zwischen den Miichten: Studien zu historischen Denkmiilern und Texten. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Weinstein, J.M.

1981 The Egyptian Empire in Palestine: A Reassessment. BASOR 241:1-28.

Weippert, M.

1973-74 Die Kampfe des assyrischen Konigs

Assurbanipal gegen die Araber. WdO 7:39-85.

1979 The Israelite 'Conquest' and the Evidence from Transjordan. In Symposia Celebrating the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1900-1975), ed. F.M. Cross. Cambridge, MA: ASOR,


Worschech, U.

1986 The Fourth Season in the North-West Ard el-Kerak, and Soundings at Balu`. ADAJ 30:285-310.

1990 Die Beziehungen Moabs zu Israel und Agypten in der Eisenzeit: Siedlungsarchtiologische und siedlungshistorische Untersuchungen im Kernland Moabs (Ard el-Kerak). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Yadin, Y.

1963 The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands. London. Yuhong, W. and Dalley, S.

1990 The Origins of the Manana Dynasty at Kish and the Assyrian King List. Iraq 52:159-165. Zayadine, F.

1991 Sculpture in Ancient Jordan. In Treasures from an Ancient Land: The Art of Jordan, ed. P. Bienkowski. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton, 31-61.

Early Edom and Moab: The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan

0Figure 1.1 Edom, Moab and surrounding areas, with place names mentioned in the text.

Early Edom and Moab: The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan

Territorial Designations in Moab

cM of Moab?

Figure 8.1 Territorial designations in Moab.

Settlement Patterns and the Beginning of the Iron Age in Moab

*B aluca

Figure 8.2 The northern region of Moab.

Early Edom and Moab: The Beginning of the Iron Age in Southern Jordan

Figure 8.3 The southern region of Moab.


7. Iron Age Settlement in the Land of Edom Stephen Hart

8. Wadi Feinan region

9. The Iron Age pottery of the Wadi Feinan region

10. Iron Age Settlement in the Land of Edom

11. The Date of Sedentary Occupation in Edom: Evidence from Umm el-Biyara, Tawilan and Buseirah

Umm el-Biyara, Tawilan and Buseirah (for location see Bienkowski infra, Chapter 1 Figure 1.1), excavated by the late Crystal Bennett between 1960 and 1982, are still the only Edomite sites to have been extensively investigated (see summary in Bienkowski 1990a). Nevertheless, no final report has yet appeared on any of the three.

This paper has two aims. First, to summarize the evidence for the date of the earliest Iron Age settlement at each of these sites. Second, to assess critically the claims by Israel Finkelstein that there was widespread Iron I occupation throughout Edom (Finkelstein 1992a, b; Bienkowski 1992).

Umm el-Biyara: Umm el-Biyara rises 300 m. from the Petra basin and is the highest mountain overlooking Petra from the west. It was excavated in 1960, 1963 and 1965 (Bennett 1966; Bienkowski 1990a:91-95). One of the main aims of the excavation was to obtain a group of stratified pottery from Edom. Bennett excavated c. 700 m.2, less than one-third of the whole site. She found a group of dry-stone houses with long corridor rooms, and small square rooms leading off (Figure 11.1). The occupation was evidently domestic, and the main area of the settlement was destroyed by a fire. In one room a clay impression of a royal seal was found (Figure 11.2), restored convincingly as qws g[br]Imlk '[dtn], 'Qos-Gabr, King of Edom' (cf. Bartlett 1989:213). This is the only example of a king's seal from Iron Age Jordan. Qos-Gabr (or 'Qaus-gabri') is mentioned twice in Assyrian inscriptions: on Prism B of Esarhaddon, which is dated 673-2 BC (ANET:291; Borger 1956: Nin.A v.56), and in a description of the first campaign of Ashurbanipal of 667 BC (ANET:294; Streck 1916:ccclx, 139; see also Millard infra, Chapter 4). The two references to Qos-Gabr thus date between 673 and 667 BC. Parallels, such as they are, for pottery and small finds also point to a 7th-century BC date, within the Iron II period (Figures 11.3-4; Oakeshott 1978:96-99, 158-183; Hart 1989:51). The seal impression of Qos-Gabr is still the only clear evidence from any site for the absolute date of pottery from Edom. Of course, it only gives us a terminus post quem for the date of the pottery. We really have no idea and at present no means of knowing how much earlier this type of pottery might date — and by extension the settlements from which it comes. Is the pottery largely 7th century, or does it go back to the 8th, 9th or even 10th centuries BC? Umm el-Biyara does not provide the answers, since it is essentially a one-period site and no stratified sequence of pottery was recovered. It is true that Bennett reported three 'phases' of construction, but it is clear that they cannot be separated much chronologically and that they represent a single period of occupation. The sequence all over the site appears to be the same: floor, collapse, abandonment and collapse. All the floors, whether on bedrock, slate or packing, appear to be contemporary (Bienkowski 1990a:93-95).

Tawilan: Glueck's original survey of Tawilan had concluded that it was a very important Edomite site, dating from the 13th to 6th centuries BC (Glueck 1934:13-14; 1935:82-83). Glueck's Tawilan comprised a possible outer wall, and a 'conjectural' inner wall, terminating in a north-western and a southern 'tower'. The original objective of most of Bennett's trenches was to ascertain the validity of Glueck's identifications, none of which stood up to scrutiny (see Bienkowski 1990a:96).Buseirah: Buseirah is on a promontory c. 22 km. south of Tafila, 4 km. west of the King's Highway. It was excavated from 1971-1974 and in 1980. One of the main aims of the excavation was to provide a good chronological sequence for the history of Edom (Bennett 1983; Bienkowski 1990a: 101-103). Buseirah was a substantial administrative centre dominated by two or three large buildings and fortified by a town wall. The area excavated probably embraced only the central part of the ancient city, the rest being hidden under the present-day village to the south. Bennett concluded that the city was divided into Upper and Lower Towns. The Upper Town consisted of the 'Acropolis' (Area A) with palatial and/or temple buildings built on a deep fill or mound, the Lower Town of ordinary domestic buildings on the terraces surrounding the 'Acropolis' (Areas B and D) (Figure 11.6); Area C also probably contained a public building (Figure 11.7). The Upper Town was cut off from the Lower Town by a battered enclosure wall, which has been traced only between Areas B and A (Figure 11.6).

11. The Date of Sedentary Occupation in Edom: Evidence from Umm el-Biyara, Tawilan and Buseirah cannot be conclusively demonstrated (Bienkowski 1990b) — thus a 7th or 6th-century occupation terminating prior to the date of the tablet cannot be excluded; but on the other hand 2) if we assume an association between tablet and occupation, it is nevertheless not certain which king Darius is named. Darius I (521 BC) and III (335 BC) have been excluded by some scholars, while dating to Darius II would put the date of the tablet at 423 BC — but none of the three can be definitely excluded (see Dalley forthcoming). 4. It is impossible to judge the exact shape of the Shiloh pithos rims, because Finkelstein has so far published only photographs, not drawings (see Finkelstein 1988a). 5. Sauer has also remarked that 'some possible Iron I sherds have already been published from Buseira' (1986:10), referring to two incomplete storage jars (Bennett 1975:fig.8:7-8), the first of which was also cited by Finkelstein (1992a:fig.2:17). Stephen Hart dates both these to Iron II on parallels from Edom (Hart 1989:129; cf. also Hart infra, Chapter 10).

12. Evidence from the Wadi el-Hasa and Southern Ghors and North-east Arabah Archaeological Surveys

Conclusions: The above-detailed evidence from the WHS and SGNAS indicates human occupation in the areas during Iron I and II. This occupation is in contrast to the general lack of occupation in the same areas in the preceding Late Bronze Age. On the basis of the findings from the literature search for ceramic parallels, it seems that the Iron Age began in these areas sometime between 1200 and 1000 BC or in the so-called Iron IA. It is impossible to determine, on the basis of the available evidence, a more precise date other than within this 200-year time-frame. Excavations at the sites where the WHS and the SGNAS collected Iron IA sherds will hopefully determine the date more precisely.

13. Edom Outside the Famous Excavations: Evidence from Surveys in the Greater Petra Area

An Edomite occupation of es-Sela`

There are definite indications of Edomite occupation on the rock opposite the recent but possibly also ancient village of Sela' near Buseirah (Figure 13.2).

Thus, es-Sela` is by no means a 'miniature Petra', but nor is it an indisputable typical Edomite site. It was certainly a stronghold of importance near the ancient north-south route and another one branching off to Wadi Arabah for more than 4000 years, undoubtedly also for Edomites in the mid- 1st millennium BC. It will take much studying, comparing and, hopefully, also excavating to know tolerably well what belonged to what period and what population.

The Edomite mountain stronghold of Bala III

There are several possible explanations for the particular location of the site on Baja III. A defensive plan of the Assyrians could have been imposed in the region against the desert tribes (Hart 1986:58). During the time documented by the pottery, copper production in the Feinan region flourished, and thousands of tons of slag were produced. Hauptmann reports a 'copper industry' serving a wider Near Eastern market (Hauptmann 1986:37; Knauf and Lenzen 1987:86) which had to be controlled. Furthermore, it is easy to imagine political crises when there was danger of molestation from military units or bands of robbers. On the other hand, could not our people on the Baja summit, at least during certain periods, have been the evil-doers who after their tricks sought refuge where a handful of men or even women could defend themselves against an army (cf. Lindner and Farajat 1987)?

Umm el-Ala: an Edomite fortress south of Petra

It was by pure chance that after Baja III another Iron II (Edomite) site should have been discovered. When I was invited by the then Director-General of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan to survey the valley of es-Sadeh, not even the name of it was undisputed. Nothing was known besides the information that there were 'Nabataean ruins' which had been seen by a helicopter reconnaissance team of H.R.H. Prince Hassan and a small detail of Jordanian archaeologists. As a matter of fact, the Nabataeans had been there, and they had left noteworthy ruins. But on an isolated plateau with steep cliffs on all sides at 820 m. above sea level called Umm el-Ala by the beduin, other house ruins were found and dated by surface and excavation finds to the 7th-6th centuries BC (Figures 13.26-29). The foundations showed the astounding lengths of c. 20, 47 and 83 m. Other dwellings below the rim of the plateau were rock-shelters with walls of large boulders in front of them. There was no notable difference in the pottery between that collected from the plateau and from the rock-shelters.

14. 'Edomite' Pottery from the Petra Region by John P. Zeitler

Es-Sadeh: A large number of finds was collected in es-Sadeh. The typological spectrum is restricted to 12 major types (Lindner et al. 1990:206ff.), ranging from large vessels (group 3) to small bowls (group 8). The fabric is coarse, the colour is usually light red. The temper consists of grey and brown grits. Although already published (ibid.), a short description of the groups is given for convenience. Two further groups (13, 14) have also been defined. Baja III: Baja III revealed an assemblage of hard and coarse ware, mostly cooking pots, bag-shaped jars and large storage jars. The colour varies from light buff to pink; fragments of larger vessels show a grey core. The temper is usually of small white grits. Painted pottery is lacking, also in the undrawn part of the sample (Lindner p.c.). The spectrum is restricted. Using the typology established for the es-Sadeh pottery, only groups 1 (jug with high neck and handle), 2 (cooking pots), 7 (jars with rilled rims), 9 (bowls with high, slightly outturned rims) are present. The only form different from es-Sadeh is part of a jug with a shoulder handle, straight neck and outturned lip (Lindner and Farajat 1987:fig. 5:14). This type is referred to as group 15 (Figure 14.2:1, 10). Another Edomite settlement in the Petra region is Tawilan. Although only a few examples of its finds have been published (Bennett 1984), they allow general comparisons with our material. Cooking pots (ibid.fig.5:797) have close similarities with group 2. Bowls and cups are comparable with groups 9, 11 and 12, although the illustrated examples from Tawilan have a higher, more rounded bottom (ibid. fig.3:872, 841, 803, 885, 860). Additionally, one bowl shows parallels with group 13 (ibid. fig.4:802), and the lip treatment of a mug (ibid.fig.3:844) is similar to the lips of our group 6. Minor typological differences cannot be discussed in detail, as the published material from Tawilan is much too small for definite conclusions. In terms of chronological questions, Tawilan is a disappointment. Its pottery is mostly homogeneous and shows no indications of a typological development based on vertical stratigraphy (Bienkowski 1990:101). Bienkowski subdivided five phases, which revealed Iron II pottery, probably from the 7th-6th century BC (Bienkowski 1990:97, 101 and infra, Chapter 11; cf. Bennett 1984:4). The most prominent Edomite site in Jordan is Buseirah. The pottery there shows a large variety of both coarse and fine wares. From the published examples, many similarities can be detected. Surprisingly, the type assemblage of es-Sadeh is not wholly repeated in the Buseirah finds. The following pottery groups are well represented at both es-Sadeh and Buseirah: Typologically similar pieces are also attested in the finds from Tell el-Kheleifeh. The cooking pots (group 2) and jugs (group 1) are especially abundant there (Pratico 1985:24). Like the other Edomite sites, Tell el-Kheleifeh lacks any intra-site pottery development. In general, the finds are dated to Iron II with parallels ranging between the 8th and 6th centuries (ibid.26f.). In conclusion, a link between the pottery assemblage and the location of Edomite sites is observable. As an hypothesis, it seems possible that similar localities induced similar typological assemblages. Following this statement, two types of Edomite settlement seem plausible: Interpretation of this difference is difficult. As Bennett stated, painted pottery seems to belong to a ruling class (Bennett 1975:15). In our case, this would indicate an absence of the ruling class from the mountain settlements, although a royal seal impression was found on Umm el-Biyara. The extreme position of the settlements makes it difficult to suggest a farming community. Farming usually requires arable land and a good supply of water. Neither of these is available at Baja III, Umm el-Biyara or es-Sadeh. There, water had to be gathered in cisterns and the ground is nothing but an outcrop of rocks. On the other hand, all three sites dominate rich arable lands in the vicinity, cultivated again in Nabataean times. Therefore, regional control seems to be a possible function of the sites. Whether they had more functions is uncertain at the moment. Based only on the pottery assemblage gathered from short surveys and the situation of the sites, any assumption remains speculative. In any case, more excavations are necessary before the mist rises over the Edomite mountains of Jordan.

15. Romancing the Stones: New Light on Glueck's 1934 Survey of Eastern Palestine as a Result of Recent Work by the Wadi Fidan Project

Concluding remarks: The misplacing of Glueck's site of Khirbet Hamra Ifdan is a very good example of one of the key problems inherent in large scale surveys in difficult terrain, that of relocation of sites without the adequate ability to map their location in detail. The somewhat worrying aspect of modem surveys in southern Jordan is that in many ways we have not yet reached beyond the level of Glueck's early work. This perhaps overly critical assessment can be more or less supported when we consider that in spite of the intervening 50 years between ourselves and Glueck, we are still almost invariably reliant upon a small team of haggard archaeologists roaming over vast areas, locating sites with little precision. Our attempts to refine our survey techniques, and by so doing to gather the essential information necessary to answer some of the most basic questions, have been rather limited in comparison to surveys in other Mediterranean countries. The point which we seem to be missing in our surveys of southern Jordan is that while they have invariably added to the quantity of known 'sites', they have rarely given us specific insight into either the full history of any one 'site' in particular or to that 'site's' relationships in time and space, or how it relates to the evolving landscape and man's use of it. In many ways we are still back at Nelson Glueck's tried and true method of assessing a 'site's' importance based upon the 'quantities of sherds found'. What is needed in archaeological surveys of this region is a more balanced approach in which large- scale extensive surveys are balanced against smaller, intensive surveys, possibly with the introduction of selective, small-scale excavation for clarification of the actual nature of surface deposits. Without a more detailed analysis of the region which would be the obvious result of such studies, we will be confined to the very limited nature of questions which can now be answered by our survey results. This intensive analysis of specific sites may to some degree redress the problem of assessing the quality of site recovery rather than continually attempting to maximize the quantity of sites recorded.



By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

Click to View