Translations of Graffiti at Wadi el-Ḥôl Egypt (1500 BCE)
Wadi el-Ḥôl in Egypt
(Jan 15, 2023) This is the first translation of the two graffiti texts found at the exit of Wadi el-Ḥôl ("Wadi of Terror") in the Qena bend area of Egypt. Their signs represent a transitional stage between Minoan Phaistos Disk and Linear A. These texts were found by John and Deborah Darnell during their 1993-94 excavation season (Darnell, and all 2005). Their location was the first night’s camping spot on a caravan route out of Luxor, the longtime Egyptian capital in the center of the country. At the time Luxor was re-establishing its power and would soon become the capital of a newly reunited Egypt in 1550 BCE. Its 18th dynasty rulers (1550-1295 BCE) would soon reunite Egypt by throwing out the Akkadian speaking rulers from the Levant known as the Hyksos (c. 1640-1550 BC).
The anti-magic theme of these two texts indicate the authors belonged to Israelite culture. At this time Israel was not a political entity but was a group of anti-magic people living in the Levant devoted to the life power class of the Ancient Pagan Paradigm. Hence the name "Israel" which is from Akkadian meaning "the righteous of Alu" from išaru.alu. They had their own letter style variant which was different from the Phoenician and Aegean people.
ReferencesDarnell, J.C.; Dobbs-Allsopp, F.W.; Lundberg, M.J.; McCarter, P.K.; Zuckerman, B. (2005) Two Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi el-Ḥôl. The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Volume 59. Boston. American School of Oriental Research. Online at: https://www.academia.edu/19066825/Two_Early_Alphabetic_Inscriptions_from_the_Wadi_el_H%C3%B4l_New_Evidence_for_the_Origin_of_the_Alphabet_from_the_Western_Desert_of_Egypt
Shaw, Ian -editor (2000) Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press
The Vertical Inscription at Wadi el-Ḥôl (1500 BCE) - Sinai Text 1.1
The large Egyptian Ankh life sign (head, outstretched arms, body) summarizes the overall theme of the text which is about the best way to bring new life to earth.
The shapes of these letters are intermediate between the signs of the Phaistos Disk and Linear A indicating the author is not Minoan but someone else from a group who acquired writing technology before Linear A was fully developed. That other group would be the Israelites just up the coast.
Akkadian Text (Sinai Text 1.1):
- Mu WA Tu Gu
- Ḫu Pu Qu
- Tu Ya
- WA RI Lu
- Fertility-fluids are made miserable by magic's energy.
- Hu (Sun god representing the life network) opens the threads
- Don't make magic
- Misery is from a lack the eagle-vulture-powers
Eagle-Vultures edit the connections of the life threads (channels)
Photo from West Semitic Research Project, Photo by Bruce Zuckerman with scratched inscriptions inked for clarity by Marylin Lundberg 1999. Online at: https://dornsife.usc.edu/wsrp/
White letter assignments added by David Olmsted
The Horizontal Inscription at Wadi el-Ḥôl (1500 BCE) - Sinai Text 1.2
(Feb 26, 2023) This text also is blaming the magical motion powers for inhibiting the powers of Yahu (the Revealer).
- A Su MūBû Na
- ḪaMû Inu
- Ku Nu Mu
- NâLu Bu Gu
- That Su is mobilizing the Revealer (Yahu),
- who is being paralyzed by the moon-eyed-ones (magic-crafters),
- on account of the Revealer's fertility-fluids
- being dispersed by their nourishments of energy.
Wadi el-Hol Inscription Site
Boxes Show Locations of Wadi el-Hol Inscriptions
Minoans in Egypt
Minoan Fresco from Tell El-Dab'a / Avaris (c1450 BCE)
Yet as indicated by the letter styles at Wadi el-Hol the Israelites acquired Minoan writing technology around 1700 BCE just prior to the developed of Minoan Linear A at the Minoan port city of Malia. Both Linear A, Phoenician, Israelite writing developed from the signs on the Phaistos disk. Yet because they could read each other's texts the Minoans and Israelites would have worked closely together.
(Image taken at Heraklion Archaeological Museum by Martin Dürrschnabel via Wikimedia commons. Online at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reconstructed_Minoan_Fresco_Avaris.jpg
Map of Nile Delta showing Hyksos Capital City of Avaris
Translation Resources Used
All texts translated to the scholar's standard.
Lexicon UsedOlmsted, D.D (January 1, 2022) Mediterranean Akkadian Lexicon 3rd Edition – 2022. DOI Permanent URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/nbb6-wg16. Online at: https://www.academia.edu/66851810/Mediterranean_Akkadian_Lexicon_3rd_Edition_2022
Letter Chart UsedBronze Age Letters
Israelites in Egypt
Queen Pharaoh Hatshepsut came to power shortly after her half-brother and husband, Thutmoses II (1492-1479) died. She was the one who consolidated the new Egyptian empire and made an accommodation with the natives of the southern Levant who were mostly Israelites. Hatshepsut had the following statement posted on a wall in her mortuary temple at Deir-el Bahari and it mentions the "Asiatics" as miners in the Sinai:[I am a] good [heir] …. One to whom the kingship of the Black Land (the Nile delta lands of upper Egypt) and the Red Land (lower Egypt) was given, all foreign land being beneath my feet. My southern frontier is on the shores of Pwenet (Punt) … My eastern frontier is on the marshes of Asia (Jordan River valley) and the Montiu of Asia are in my grip. My western frontier is at Manu-mountain (the mythical mountain across the western desert) and I rule ….. and my power overwhelms them that are across the sand all together. As grain is shipped, so is myrrh of Pwenet (Punt) brought to me … and all the marvels of this foreign land – they are directed to my palace as a single item. The Asiatics (those of the Reed-Boat) provide … of turquoise from the land of Roshayt (Sinai), they bring me the choicest products of Negev, namely cedar and juniper (?) and mrw-wood …. All the fine woods of God’s (Alu's) land … (translated by Redford 1992 p 151 although not to any declared standard so its accuracy is uncertain)
The word "Asiatics" is a mistranslation of an Akkadian compound word, a.amu (chapter 8 in Shaw, 2000). It means “those of the Reed-Boat.” The “Reed-Boat” is an epithet for the goddess Ayu who corresponds to the crescent moon and is the connective life power of the Ancient Pagan Paradigm. The “people of the Reed-Boat” thus represents all the non-Phoenician people of the Levant who are centered on the life powers. This includes Israel. The crescent moon icon would continue on as the symbol of Islam. The Phoenicians were more focused on the magical motion powers instead of the life powers.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Merenptah_Israel_Stele_Cairo.jpg
Merneptah Stele May or May not Mention "Israel." In Either Case the Entity is an Egyptian Ally and not an Enemy
(August 1, 2022) The Merneptah Stele is an inscription by Commisioned by Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah (1213–1203 BCE). It was discovered by Flinders Petrie at Thebes in 1896 and it is now housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The stele is mostly a description of his successful war against the Libyans but Merneptah also went against their Libyan's allies up the coast in the Levant. The traditional translation (not done to any standard so accuracy uncertain) of its last three lines divided into sentences is:
- The princes are prostrate, saying, "Peace!"
- Not one is raising his head among the Nine Bows.
- Now that Tehenu (Libya) has come to ruin,
- Hatti is pacified;
- (new paragraph starting the Levant list)
- The Canaan has been plundered into every sort of woe:
- Ashkelon has been overcome;
- Gezer has been captured;
- Yano'am is made non-existent.
- Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;
- (end of paragraph should be here)
- Hurru is become a widow because of Egypt. (Hurru or Hurrians are not in the Levant but are located in northern Mesopotamia)
The traditional translation of line 9 is wrong given that "Israel" is an Akkadian word. The sound of its Egyptian hieroglyphic is:
ysr[?] or isr[?]
While the sound of the first part is suggestive of the word "Israel" the sound of the last part of the word is uncertain because the images which represent it are seemingly unknown from other texts. Most Egyptian translators think is a word suffix is Egyptian meaning "people" but that is just a guess. If so the word would mix Akkadian with Egyptian which is unlikely.
In any case the traditional translation of the sentence is wrong as shown below:
isr[ ] fk.t bn pr.t =f
Israel waste [negation] seed/grain his/its
It should be (assuming isr[ ] means Israel :
Israel has not wasted its seed.
A negation is always applied to the verb ahead of it. This correct translation shows that Israel was not an enemy but was an ally of Egypt which Egypt is helping to defend.