Sunday, January 20, 2019

Long arm of pharaoh Tirhakah



Image result for tirhakah taharqa

 
by
 
Damien F. Mackey
 
 
 
“[Snofru] is said to have led an expedition into Nubia to crush a ‘revolt’ …
and to have captured 7,000 prisoners”.
 
N. Grimal
 
“The IREM of Upper Egypt rebel and are crushed by Ramses-II.  7,000 prisoners taken”.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pharaoh Sneferu (Snefru, Snofru), whom the conventional Egyptologists have dated as far back as c. 2613 - 2589 BC, seems to me to be something of an anachronism for such early times. Certainly, there is a disturbing lack of archaeology for his famous Nubian campaign, as attested by Torgny Säve-Söderbergh (“From prehistory to Pharaonic times”, p. 22):
https://unesdoc.unesco.org/.../attach_import_5f9b266d-d651-4d81-bff4-4e38018bc57e
 
These Egyptian enterprises seem to have taken place during a vacuum in Nubian history, and when King Snofru tells us that he "hacked up the land of Nubia, taking 7,000 prisoners and bringing away 200,000 cattle and sheep", we are at a loss from an archaeological point of view, for no traces have been found of this population with its vast herds.
 
The fact that King Snofru mentions cattle as characteristic of the Nubian economy of his time indicates that his opponents were pastoralist nomads, probably living in the areas which are now desert which were more habitable at that time thanks to a more humid climate.
….
Many questions remain unanswered. This is often the case for similar periods when there are no archaeological finds to enlighten us about what really happened. ….
 
[End of quote]
 
Moreover, the numbers of captives Sneferu is said to have taken in his Nubian campaign seems to have been an excessive number for that particular period in time.
N. Grimal has written about it (A History of Ancient Egypt, pp. 67-68):
 
The Palermo Stone suggests that Snofru was a warlike king. He is said to have led an expedition into Nubia to crush a ‘revolt’ in the Dodekaschoenos region and to have captured 7,000 prisoners in the campaign. This is a huge number considering that the population of the Dodekaschoenos, effectively corresponding to Egyptian-dominated Nubia, was thought to be 50,000 only in the 1950’s. The account of this campaign also mentions the even higher number of 200,000 head of cattle, as well as 13,100 head of cattle which, according to the same source was obtained in a campaign against the Libyans, 11,000 of them are said to have been taken prisoner. ….
[End of quote]
 
There is much uncertainty as well about Sneferu’s actual length of reign:
http://wikipedia.moesalih.com/Snofru Estimates of his reign vary, with for instance The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt suggesting a reign from around 2613 to 2589 BCE,[4] a reign of 24 years, while Rolf Krauss suggests a 30-year reign,[5] and Rainer Stadelmann a 48-year reign.[6]
And, as is apparent from the following Tour of Egypt article, there is debate as to his parentage; his dynasty; and his wife:
 
Snefru in Tour Egypt SNEFRU, 1ST KING OF EGYPT'S 4TH DYNASTY by Jimmy Dunn Snefru is credited as being the first pharaoh of Egypt's 4th Dynasty.
…. Snefru was most likely the son of Huni, his predecessor, though there seems some controversy to this, considering the break in Dynasties. However, his mother may have been Meresankh I, who was probably a lessor wife or concubine and therefore not of royal blood. Hence, this may explain what prompted the ancient historian, Manetho (here, Snefru is known by his Greek name, Soris), to begin a new dynasty with Snefru. However, it should be noted that both the royal canon of Turin and the later Saqqara List both end the previous dynasty with Huni.
Snefru was almost certainly married to Hetepheres I, who would have been at least his half sister, probably by a more senior queen, in order to legitimize his rule. ….
 
[End of quote]
 
First new consideration
 
Sneferu may have been hopelessly misplaced in the arrangement of pharaohs and dynasties. And a possible identification for Sneferu much further down in Egyptian history might be as the similarly named, Snefer-Ra, that is, Piankhi, of the so-called 25th “Ethiopian” dynasty.
 
He, Piankhi, I have already enlarged by identifying him with the famous Tirhakah, having concluded: “Snefer-Ra Piankhi was Tirhakah”. See e.g. my series:
 
Piankhi same as Bible's Tirhakah?
 
 
Piankhi same as Bible's Tirhakah? Part Two: 25th (Ethiopian) Dynasty not clear cut
 
 
First Conclusion: Sneferu may be Snefer-Ra Piankhi/Tirhakah.
 
 
Second new consideration
 
Since the number of prisoners from Nubia attributed to Sneferu’s campaign - but whose plausibility is seriously questioned for such an early time - is exactly the same as the number attributed to Ramses II in Irem (Nubia), 7,000, then the possibility needs to be at least considered that Sneferu = Snefer-Ra (Piankhi-Tirhakah) was also Ramses II.
Piankhi in fact bore at least two names of Ramses II, Meryamun and Usermaatre. 
 
 
 
Immense building, and fleet, programme
 
 
 
According to N. Grimal (A History of Ancient Egypt, p. 69):
 
“Not only is Snofru credited with the construction of ships, fortresses, palaces and temples but he is the only ruler to whom three pyramids are ascribed”.
 
In Part One:
I put forward the, albeit controversial, proposal that pharaoh Sneferu – about whom there appears to be a fair degree of biographical uncertainty – may have been wildly mis-placed historically, and that he might actually be the same as Snefer-Ra Piankhi (= Tirhakah).
His achievements as outlined above by Grimal were phenomenal, and perhaps more befitting a later Egyptian dynast than an Old Kingdom one. This same comment would apply to the incredible amount of captives and cattle that pharaoh Snefru is aid to have taken from Nubia and from Libya.
 
Furthermore, I, having noted that Ramses II had also, like Sneferu, captured 7,000 Nubians, had proceeded to advance the further possibility that the composite Sneferu was also pharaoh Ramses II ‘the Great’.
I have already identified Ramses II with Ramses III. See e.g. my article:
 
New Revision for Ramses II
 
 
Ramses II was a famous conqueror of the Nubians, just like Sneferu.
 
Ramesses II striking an Ethiopian prisoner... : News Photo
 
And, like Sneferu again, Ramses II conquered the Libyans
 
Image result for ramses III striking libyans
 
And so did Ramses III.
 
Image result for ramses III striking enemies
 
Moreover, the colossal number of cattle, 200,000, that Sneferu allegedly captured from the Nubians would befit a Ramses III, who “confirmed the temples in their property ... half a million head of cattle, over 400,000 of which were the sole property of Amon”:
 
Tirhakah a conqueror on a Ramesside scale
 
 
“…. the inscription was branded by the noted Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge
as an “example of the worthlessness, historically, of such lists”.
…. Petrie concludes that “Taharqa was as much ruler of Qedesh and Naharina as George II. was king of France, though officially so-called.” …..
 
The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle
 
 
Further to my suggestion in Part Two of this series:
that the composite Sneferu (= Snefer-Ra Piankhi/Tirhakah) may also have been pharaoh Ramses II, I find that the pharaoh’s (as Tirhakah) list of captured cities seems to be identical, in part, to those of Ramses II ‘the Great’.
 
This is invariably interpreted by scholars as Tirhakah seeking to emulate an earlier Ramses II.
 
We read in the article, The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle, pp. 114-117:
 
… Egyptologists were amazed to find a long list of captured cities written on the base of a statue found at Karnak which belonged to a king named Tirhakah …. Each city represents the greater region under the control of this king. This record not only states that a king named Tirhakah controlled Ethiopia, Egypt, and northern Africa, but it claims that he had some sort of sovereignty over Tunip (Upper Syria, west of the Euphrates) … Qadesh (Lower Syria/ Palestine) … and the Shasu (region of Edom and the Trans-Jordan) … as far north as Arzawa (western Asia Minor) … Khatti (eastern Asia Minor) … and Naharin (western Mesopotamia) … and as far east as Assur (Assyria) …and Sinagar (Babylonia) ….
 
In a footnote (p. 114, n.61), we reads this comment:
 
Mariette-Bey (KETA, pp. 66f), followed by Petrie (AHOE, 3, p. 297), and others, thought this list from Tirhakah was copied from an identical one found on a colossus which they believed belonged to Ramesses the Great (cf. KETA, Plate 385f). This colossus was identified with Ramesses II because his name was found inscribed upon it.
 
The article continues:
 
…. the inscription was branded by the noted Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge as an “example of the worthlessness, historically, of such lists”. …. Petrie concludes that “Taharqa was as much ruler of Qedesh and Naharina as George II. was king of France, though officially so-called.” …..
Despite the fact that these inscriptions are presently shunned, the ancient records actually confirm them. Severus (1.50), for example, notes that this “Tarraca, king of Ethiopia, invaded the kingdom of the Assyrians, Strabo speaks of a great king named “Tearko the Ethiopian” …. Tearko being the Greek form of the name Tirhakah. …. Tearko, he states, had led one of the great expeditions of the ancient world which were not "matters of off-hand knowledge to everybody”. ….
[End of quotes]
 
But perhaps, now, some of these inscriptions will need to be re-interpreted.
We have already found, rather surprisingly, that 20th dynasty archaeology may have been contemporaneous with the 25th dynasty (Tirhakah’s). 
Also, we may now be in a better position to understand why Horemheb is associated with Tirhakah on an inscription:
 
 
 
And why Ramses II is depicted alongside Esarhaddon, a contemporary of Tirhakah:
 
Velikovsky had pharaoh Tirhakah contemporaneous with Horemheb. Part Two: A second challenging inscription
 
 
Dr. Velikovsky may well have got it right insofar as he had determined that Ramses II was a contemporary of Nebuchednezzar II, whom I have identified with Esarhaddon:
 
Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar
 
 
- though I personally would embrace a 25th dynasty identification for the 19th dynasty of Ramessides rather than Velikovsky’s choice of a 26th dynasty parallel.
 
And Dr. Courville  may not have been too far out, either, in dating the long reign of Ramses  II to the approximate era of king Hezekiah of Judah, as the biblical pharaoh ‘So’. Though Courville had the long reign of a now-aged Ramesses II concluding with the ‘So’ incident, whereas I think that the ‘So’ era would be far closer to the beginning of the reign of Ramses II.
Courville’s hopeful derivation of the name, ‘So’, from a Suten Bat name of Ramses II is far from convincing. I wrote of this in my university thesis:
 
A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah
and its Background
 
 
(Volume One, p. 266):
 
Now according to Courville’s system … Ramses II, whose reign would have terminated in 726/725 BC, must have been the biblical “King So of Egypt” with whom Hoshea of Israel conspired against the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:4). Courville had plausibly (in his context) suggested that the reason why ‘So’ was unable to help Hoshea of Israel was because the Egyptian king was, as Ramses II, now right at the end of his very long reign, and hence aged and feeble. Courville had looked to find the name ‘So’ amongst the many names of Ramses II, and had opted for the rather obscure ‘So’ element in that pharaoh’s Suten Bat name, Ra-user-Maat-Sotep-en-Ra.727 (See also pp. 286-287). ….