Why Emmet Sweeney is Wrong About Punt and Sheba

Even though I showed in my previous rebuttal Sweeney’s “Punt in Phoenicia” is impossible, since Ramesses III confirms that the Egyptians set sail for Punt from Mersa Gawasis, Sweeney still continues to amaze me in his capacity to make s**t up.

The simple fact that Retenu gave Thutmose III tribute of myrrh does not mean that Retenu actually grew its own myrrh! Myrrh was a precious commodity, and could be used to pay tribute with far less expense than sending out tons of wheat. Also, Sweeney forgets to check his own Bible when he claims that:

But, as Velikovsky stated, there is very good reason to suppose that in antiquity the shrub was also cultivated in Syria/Palestine. This is hinted very strongly in a number of biblical passages. Thus in the Song of Songs, reputedly composed by Solomon, we read:

“My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh; Sweeter your love than wine, the scent of your perfume than any spice; Your lips drip honey, and the scent of your robes is like the scent of Lebanon.” [Song of Songs 4:10-11]

Note how Lebanon is apparently here linked with myrrh.

(Psst… I don’t think Emmet realizes Song of Solomon 5:5 does NOT come directly before Song of Solomon 4:10-11.) I have no idea where in the world Sweeney got his composite quote from, but it shows how Sweeney fact-checks his sources. As for what “the scent of Lebanon” is, I have no clue, although I’m guessing it’s the scent of some sort of wood (cedar?)-the scent is certainly not myrrh, that has never been documented as growing anywhere in Lebanon, in either the Sumerian, Mari, Egyptian, Assyrian, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, Medieval, or Modern records.

As for Sweeney’s imaginary Lake Huleh-it never existed. There most certainly was a “Lake Huleh” around 33° 4’N, 35°37’E, which was drained under Zionist auspices between 1951 and 1958, but that is not the “Huleh Valley” imagined by Sweeney! That is a figment of his imagination, and certainly not “the marshes of the earth” of Thutmose III-Egyptian control extended as far as Carchemish, and those legendary “marshes” were paired by Thutmose III with the Kingdom of Mitanni in his Poetic Stela.

Sweeney’s statement that the conventional Punt was “a primitive land” during the days of Hatshepsut is quite true- and supported by Hatshepsut’s reliefs, which show no clearly developed state in Punt. In the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC, conventional Punt was far from an empty land-the 1st Intermediate-Middle Kingdom site of Mahal Teglinos (SE Kassala) at the northern foot of Jebel Taka, containing Arabian, Kerman, and Egyptian pottery, attests to this. “At Agordat in the middle Barka valley (Eritrea), an Egyptian-style ceramic ear-plug and some stone celts which imitate bronze prototypes of the 17th-18th Dynasties have been excavated in sites dating to the mid-second millennium BC. On the Eritrean coast at Adulis (15°15’43″N, 39°39’35″E), two fragments of glass vessels typical of the New Kingdom have been found in a level dating to the late second millennium BC.” (Bard, Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, p.637). Indeed, Hatshepsut describes Punt as a land rich in wildlife and spices, but never describes Punt itself as urbanized-her reliefs show no artificial harbors or port cities, just chiefs in kilts and queens in fine dresses and necklaces. See my previous rebuttal for more about Punt itself. Indeed, the Queen of Parehu’s chiefdom was said by the relief to have been carried by a mere donkey, showing Punt was hardly considered by the Egyptians to be as developed as Egypt. Punt’s triangle-sailed boats are most assuredly not ships of Tarshish, Keftiu, or Byblos. The fact the existence of Punt was well known to the Egyptians does not mean Punt was well-charted and explored. I doubt a typical Christian would be able to point out even the most general area of where Jesus was crucified on a world map. Hatshepsut herself made it clear that her voyage was one of discovery.

Sweeney’s new idea of Waset=Sewa=Sheba=Thebais is interesting, but probably wrong, since Genesis 10 mentions Sheba as a descendant of Raamah(=Ragmatum, modern Najran, Saudi Arabia) along with Dedan (modern Al-Ula). Neither Sheba nor Seba is mentioned as a descendant of Mizraim(=Egypt). This shows Sheba is probably that famous kingdom of Saba centered in Marib, 15°25’38″N, 45°20’10″E. The connection of Waset=Sewa=Sheba=Thebais has not, as I know, been accepted in the scholarly community at large. I also find it linguistically doubtful, since Egyptian s is not likely to have been transliterated as a Hebrew shin, since in all other cases it is transliterated as a samek (e.g. Rameses). It is also not likely to transition to a Greek Theta. Tarshish, meanwhile, might have an original “ch” behind the Greek tau and Hebrew shin. I’m still sticking with the old etymology “Egyptian Ta-opet/ape (“the head”)= Coptic Tape, spoken as Thaba=Greek Thebais”.

Also, the Queen of Sheba is described in the Bible as being amazed at “all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of YHWH”-yet the Deir el Bahari reliefs mention none of these, but do mention a Puntite chief named Parehu, ruling with his wife, Ati, and having two sons and a daughter. The Queen is also mentioned as “arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones”-yet, Hatshepsut arrived in a fleet of ships, no camels were described as boarding them, and neither do her reliefs make mention of any visit to any kingdom-only of a visit to the Puntite coast. Neither does she mention arriving with even a single camel. Indeed, Hatshepsut received green (i.e. good) gold of ‘Amau from Punt and also received very much myrrh-but the Bible mentions the Queen’s great giving of spices-that “never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon”-perfectly fitting a queen of the kingdom of Marib, which had many myrrh and some frankincense fields under its disposal, consistent with Jeremiah 6:20 and Isaiah 60:6, where Sheba was described as a source of frankincense (Heb. lebonah, from laben, “to be white”).

As for Sweeney’s desperate attempt to counteract Hatshepsut’s clear statement that

“He [Amon] hath made my kingdom, the Black Land, and the Red Lands are united under my feet. My southern boundary is as far as Punt …; my eastern boundary is as far as the marshes of Asia, and the Asiatics are in my grasp; my western boundary is as far as the mountain of Manu … my fame is among the Sand-dwellers altogether. The myrrh of Punt has been brought to me … all the luxurious marvels of this country were brought to my palace in one collection, which the Asiatics presented … turquoise/chrysocolla of the country of Reshet. They have brought me the choicest products of … consisting of cedar, of juniper and of meru-wood; … all the goodly sweet woods of God’s Land. I brought the tribute of Tehenu(Libya)…” (Emphasis Mine)

by saying “All the queen seems to be saying is that her southern border, in Nubia, is as far distant from Thebes as her northern border, in Punt.”, he seems to forget that, taking his statement literally, one would wind up in an Egyptian northern border on the northern border of the Kingdom of Judah, and the fact that Egypt’s actual northern border was at Carchemish, well north of his “Hula Valley”. Hatshepsut does not here include a northern border because the only thing directly north of Egypt is salt water, and her Levantine border was already covered in her eastern border, which was as far as the marshes of Asia, that is, the marshes of the Upper Euphrates. As to whether her southern border really was as far south as Punt, if she knew about latitude, her statement would be correct, if not, she would be simply exaggerating in the manner of Esarhaddon, who stated that all the kings who lived in the sea, as far as Tarshish, submitted to him.

It is therefore concluded that Emmet Sweeney is full of s**t regarding both Punt, Sheba, the Bible, and Lebanese geography, and that the conventional locations of both Punt and Sheba are correct. It is a pity rebels do not always think out the consequences of their statements before making them.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

47 thoughts on “Why Emmet Sweeney is Wrong About Punt and Sheba”

  1. Have a look at Song of Solomon 2:14, “Oh my dove, you are in the clefts of the Rock; in the secret places of the stairs” and compare that with the scene at Deir el-Bahari at Hatshepsut’s temple. Look at the secret tunnels to the left and right, the clefts in the rock and the stairway/causeway. I think you might find Mr Sweeney has a stronger argument than you give credit for. Not proven but certainly stronger! Regards, Don Stewart, http://don-stewart-research.blogspot.com/ and http://174.121.152.61/~don/book/

  2. The Song is often dated to the Persian period. Punt, as I have shown, was certainly nowhere near Palestine, and there is no reason to postulate any link between the Queen of Sheba and Hatshepsut, as I have shown in this post. Indeed, for what would a queen like Hatshepsut pay such valuable items as gold, spices, and precious stones, to a kinglet of the highlands? Also, see my post on the “beginning of Iron IIa” debate as for why radiocarbon dating suggests to a high degree of certainty Solomon was not contemporary with the New Kingdom.

  3. That’s just the point, from the Book of Kings, Hatshepsut-Sheba went to see a “kinglet in the highlands” because God chose the smallest nation to represent Him to mankind. Hatshepsut had heard “reports” as Josephus claims, but there was a special “voice” she heard or some sign (Hebrew “aut”, hence “the sign”, “H’aut” or “H’at”) she received as her temple frescos narrate. When the Book of Kings says, “There was no breath in her”, after all she saw, i.e., she was breathless, she believed in the God Solomon worshipped. That’s why Thutmosis III and the religious system in Egypt, together with the Army and Bureaucracy moved to force her off the throne. How could their queen turn to the God who destroyed Egypt 500 years earlier in the Ten Plagues and the Red Sea Crossing (1485 BC)? It was a terrible apostasy. They even removed her from the king lists as they did with the really heretical Akhenaten.

    Yes, Israel might have been a kinglet in the highlands but it was also the bridge or punt where God met man to redeem him from sin and slavery. Punt was the bridge between the great sea routes (Atlantic-Mediterranean-Red Sea – Indian Ocean). Punt was the bridge connecting Africa (Ophir) with Eurasia. The Pope, or Pontiff, usurped this role by saying “pontiffecio” or “I make a bridge” (between man and God). In 30 AD, the Cross on which Jesus of Nazareth (Eth Nazar = The Branch or little shoot in Hebrew) was crucified stood outside the walls of the Capital of one of the countries of Punt. It was Jesus of Nazareth who was the true redeemer or bridge between Man and God. Israel was one part of “Punt”, or even the most important part, but at times Ammon, Moab (Jordan) and Lebanon (Tyre, Sidon and Byblos) were also part of the ‘Puntland’ that Amenhotep III said he came to when he looked into the sun’s rising. That certainly was not Yemen or Somalia, nor Arabia. It was the Gaza Strip, Israel and the Jordan (“Mou Qedi” of the ancient Egyptians) and the Dead Sea-Aravah valley leading to Eilat. By using El Qseir on the Egyptian Coast as a base, Egypt (Thebes, where Sheba-Hatshepsut lived) could trade with Punt via Eilat.

    The problem for the opponents of the Sheba = Hatshepsut thesis is that the thesis supports the Bible’s message about Man’s Relationship with God. Jesus referred to Hatshepsut as the “Queen of the South”. She received only “One Sign” (H’aut in Hebrew) and believed but people like the Israelite leaders who rejected many obvious signs will find themselves resurrected and answering to this woman who will be part of a judgement panel, or perhaps citation in evidence, that sends people to eternal damnation for disbelieving the obvious. For all that, we cannot claim we have proven Hatshepsut = Sheba, but given the limited data we all have to work on surely this framework-thesis deserves some investigation. If one looks at my quasi-simultaneous equation proof, on http://don-stewart-research.blogspot.com/, 31 December 2008, one can see that the evidence is really strong. However, if Hatshepsut is not Sheba, then on the evidence I present on that blog, why did Hatshepsut apparently attempt to emulate the history of the “Queen Sheba” of I Kings 10? That verse anyway indicates with the previous verse that the queen who visitred Solomon ruled or sheba’d Ophir (= Auphirah, = Afirah = Africa). Unfortunately for Egyptologists, if Hatshepsut was ’emulating’ Sheba or “The Queen of Ophir-Africa”, then Hatshepsut still lived in circa 950 BC not 1450 BC.

  4. Mr. Stewart, if you had read the About page on this blog, you would know I am an atheist and am not the least bit receptive to arguments of a theological nature. Using late sources such as Josephus, who certainly had no access to pre-exilic texts, does not help your case. There is not the least bit of evidence Hatshepsut became a YHWH-worshiper later in her life. As far as her mummy shows, her great dental problems, tumor, and osteoporosis could have at least been contributing factors in her death. Your comparison of the Egyptian “Land of Punt” with Latin “Pont” is simply bizarre. Also, Hatshepsut did not sail by Quseir, but by Mersa Gawasis! Please read my previous rebuttal of Sweeney for a definitive case Punt was in Eritrea/Northern Ethiopia. If you do not think my case there is decisive, please state your complaints in the comments section of that post. There is absolutely no chance anyone would be so stupid as to use Mersa Gawasis or Quseir to sail to Eloth (windfinder.com/grafiken/forecasts/superforecast_egypt_gulf_suez_aqaba15.png). I have never claimed Punt is to be placed in S. Arabia, although an extension of Punt onto the E. side of the Red Sea is not impossible. There is no good reason to suppose “Ophir” and “Africa” were the same region, since Ophir was probably in midwest Arabia (againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/the-location-of-ophir/), while the term “Africa” came from the Carthaginians. Of course, the two regions might have had a common root word behind them, but there is no biblical reason to suggest they are the same. The New Kingdom Egyptians knew of no “Ophir” only of an “Amau”.

  5. Also, on what basis do you claim Hatshepsut tried to emulate Solomon’s Temple when Deir el-Bahari was of quite different dimensions and had chapels only to Egyptian, not to any foreign, gods? Also, all excavations in the City of David have shown that it probably did not even exist during the time of Hatshepsut (that is, between approximately 1530 and 1410 BC by the conventional chronology). Punt was referred by Amenhotep III as part of the East simply because it was to the east of the Nile. As I showed quite clearly in this post, Hatshepsut most assuredly did not “emulate the history of the Queen Sheba”.

  6. There is every reason to suppose “Ophir” is Africa. Read the Hebrew for “Ophir”: Au-Ph-I-R-Ha or A-F-I-R-Ha or Africa. The Egyptians being IN Africa and the Israelites being IN Asia naturally mentioned the other continent respectively. Hatshepsut had enormous opposition to her conversion. Think of the opposition Prince Charles would have if he announced he wanted to be Muslim or Shinto. Thus Hatshepsut cleverly or wisely built the temple at Deir el Bahari to reflect the words of Song of Solomon “Oh my dove, thou art in the clefts of the rock in the secret places of the stairs”. The temple had three secret places – the enigmatic tunnels at the side and the djeser djeseru or holy of holies which the stairs and causeway led to. The clefts in the rock were places Elijah and Moses hid to see God but that motif is only found in the Bible. In Hatshepsut-Sheba’s and Solomon’s day the event re Elijah had not happened but Solomon could tell her of Moses’ experience. The “Amau” or Am or Yam or Amu that various Egyptologists talk about is the term earlier Egyptians used. Josephus’ reference to the Shepherd kings or “Hyksos” relates to this “Amu” culture. They were the Amu-Melech. “melech” is Semitic for ‘king’. So the Amu-Melech or “Shepherd Kings” were the Bible’s Amalek. In Psalm 78:49, the Bible refers to the Malakhei Roim usually translated “Evil Angels”. If the aleph is dropped, because it may have been a later addition or edition to make the sentence more explainable to later generations, we get malkei roim or shepherd kings. The Malkhei, the Amu-Melech or the Hyksos-Shepherd Kings controlled Egypt for 450 years until Saul and David of Israel defeated them and broke their power base.

    I am not saying you implied Punt to be anywhere but most Egyptologists say Punt was Somalia, Yemen etc. I am merely pointing out that El “Quseir” evokes the name of Mount Seir oin Edom. Therefore it is a clear clue to show that Egypt traded with the countries of the Eilat-Aqaba Arm of the Red Sea fork around the Sinai. At Eilath-Etzion Geber-Aqaba, Egyptians could have transported goods to Asia (i.e., exports) or imported from Asia via the Jordan-Aravah. “Jordan” means to ‘go down’ in Hebrew. Surely it is the Mou Qedi of the Egyptians which means “river flowing upside down”. Also, the Jordan flows to below sea level – a clearly inverted process since al other rivers flow to sea level not below it. Clues like that show that Modern Egyptology is full of impossibilities.

    If the Bible says a queen from Africa made a great journey to see a king in Israel, a.k.a. God’s Holy Land and the Egyptians say a great queen made a hazardous voyage to see a foreign land known as the Divine Land or God’s land, the sensible mind says there is at least a prima facie case these two accounts are somehow related. However, while I have met some exceptions such as an Atheist in the UK who is warning the public to take notice of what the Christians are saying about Muslims there, atheists generally do not want to make such sensible connections because their world-view would clearly be seriously threatened. Egyptologists’, mostly atheists or agnostics as far as I can tell, only serious objection to the thesis that Sheba is Hatshepsut is their chronology which puts Hatshepsut and Solomon some 500 years apart. But on what sensible thinking can one equate the statement of Merneptah Baenre Meriamun Hotephir-maat that “Israel’s (Jacob’s) seed (descendants) is destroyed (Castrated); the land razed to the ground” in 1210 BC the official date for “Merneptah” son of Ramesses II, to the actual situation in the Bible. There it tells us of Israel’s royals and other notables being put into the care of the head Eunuch of King Nebuchadnezzaer of Chaldeo-Babylon. The Bible has Jeremiah saying the land is “tohu and bohu”, the same condition the earth was after the Fall of Satan in Genesis 1:2, after Nebuchadnezzar ransacked Judah in 586 BC. That’s what Merneptah was talking about – not an event in 1210 BC.

  7. I prefer Ophir to be in Arabia due to the fact it is mentioned as part of the Joktan, between Sheba (the kingdom of Marib) and Havilah (the Arabian desert), and not be the same as any “Africa” because the latter word originated in the vicinity of Carthage, which is not known for its gold and is quite distant from Arabia. The Song is often dated to the Persian period. I see no reason to date it to the time of Solomon, much less extrapolate a single historical fact from its poetry.

    The Asiatic people Amu (ain/aleph/mem/if plural, waw) and the Land of Amau (ain/mem/waw) are not the same thing. Amau always referred to the gold mines which could only be accessed by Kush or Punt, and was around the areas of Hassai and Gebeit. Egyptians never used the term “Amu-Mlk”, since they had no need to use Semitic words. Amalek is spelled (ain/mem/lamed/qof)-containing within it neither the term “Amau” nor “Amu”. Also, if you have read anything besides Velikovsky, you would have known that “Hyksos” is merely a corruption of hk3 h3swt (not shasu!), meaning simply “rulers of foreign lands”. That fact was probably still known in pre-Hellenistic Palestine, where Psalm 78 was written.

    Have you read a word of “Hatshepsut did not sail by Quseir, but by Mersa Gawasis”? Mersa Gawasis is 35 miles to the north of Quseir and was continuously known as “Sww” or “the Harbor” throughout the Pharonic era. The idea any ship could sail from Gawasis to Aqaba, much less on the Jordan, is an idea so “full of impossibilities” as to not be worth commenting on (see the Windfinder map in my previous comment). What are these “impossibilities” in Egyptology you speak of? Why did your supposed Hatshepsut/Queen of Sheba not use the Via Maris/Way of the Philistines, and, as the Bible says, actually use camels? Punt as primarily in Somalia has been dead in the scholarly, though not the popular literature, since 1973.

    Please re-read the previous rebuttal, comment on that, and re-read the above post. There is no similarity between a queen who sends an expedition from the land of Egypt by ship to a land of spices and savages and a queen that sends an expedition from the land of Sheba by camel to a king whose wealth amazes her. In any case, 19th Dynasty rule is associated with Lachish VII, Gezer XIV and Megiddo VIIB, while the last days of Judah are associated with Lachish II, Gezer V, and Megiddo II. What part of the conventional chronology is not fixed by historical associations is fixed by radiocarbon dating (isfn.skytech.co.il/articles.aspx?catid=1&catName=Chronology). For a debunking of parallels between Necho and Ramesses, see againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/kadesh/. One should not expect a source from the exilic period (both Judges and Jeremiah, see bibleorigins.net) to give us any details about the Palestine of over 600 years before.

  8. Also, Ta Netjer (God’s Land) seems to be a poetic term meant to include all the land east of the Nile, including the Sinai Peninsula (see the link to Kush in my previous comment), all the Levant, and Punt.

  9. I am not disputing your suggestion for Hatshepsut’s departure point on the Red Sea. All I am saying is that “El Quseir” reflects the name of Mt Seir in modern South Jordan. That means it must have been used as a port for trade with Jordan (ancient Moab, Ammon and Edom), the Aravah, Israel etc. The main point is that Egyptologists fail to see that considerable trade took place on the Red Sea near and around the Sinai Peninsula and further north. Kathryn Bard recently found “produce of Punt” boxes hidden in a cave on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea opp., Sinai.

    You say the ancient Egyptians never used Semitic words. But most dictionaries show many Hebrew-Semitic words in ancient Egyptian. The Rosetta Stone only shows how Coptic and Greek were represented in the hieroglyphs. That’s why Egyptologists’ translations of more ancient dynastic periods that preceded the Greek and Coptic eras are so unreliable. You put far too much faith in them.

    However, all of this is just internecine warfare not science. Science requires one to establish predictions from one’s model, hypothesis- and null hypothesis-testing, etc.

    Getting back to basics, in this entire ‘Sheba-Hatshepsut’ debate, we have two ancient countries, Israel and Egypt, with two clearly ancient written records, hieroglyphs and Hebrew Scriptures (and other Hebrew literature), both noting a queen of some significance. Where else do we find such records or any near-equivalent? The Egyptian queen leaves her land to go somewhere else and the Biblical record has a queen from somewhere else coming to Israel. If there were lots of records of various queens at the start of the first Millennium before Christ leaving various countries and arriving at others with the second-party country likewise recording the visit, then we would have a different argument. But there are no such records. This was in an age where women did not rule countries except under almost unique circumstances. So statistically, one has to say the two records were unique events mainly because women did not rule countries and worse, where they did, where is the evidence that they ever paid state visits to a foreign land? In fact kings, let alone scarce-as-hen’s-teeth ‘queens’, rarely did made ‘interstate’ visits excepts as prisoners of war or as vassals. I cannot, off-hand, think of one apart from a couple of Biblical examples such as Hiram and Solomon and even then emissaries were used rather than state visits. Israel and Egypt were neighbours. It is not as though we are talking about a Chinese queen visiting Ethiopia. Neighbouring countries’ histories usually cannot be written without the other. A history of Britain that had no reference to Japan could exist reasonably easily until circa 1860. But a history of Britain with no reference to France would be almost impossible to write in any era before or after 1860. Therefore, on simple basic assumptions, one would have thought an Egyptian record of a queen going to a place that many argue translates as “God’s Land” would be lined up with an Israelite record about a queen from Ophir (Africa) coming to a place well known throughout many ages as “The Holy Land” and that last point surely cannot be argued against unless one is bloody-minded. One would think that historians would have modelled the respective data using these assumptions, evidence and facts as a starting point. One reason they didn’t is that Hatshepsut’s place in Egyptian history really only began to see the light of day from the 1940’s. By then, the chronology had been too set in stone to suggest a 15th century BC Egyptian Queen could have been to Israel in the 10th century. But brave scientists like (Pasteur?) who took chances like giving patients a dose of chicken-pox to ward off smallpox would have re-thought their chronology. Egyptologists are not that brave.

    Hatshepsut, assuming she apostasised from the pagan religion of Isis, Tut, Ra etc., would have a mighty struggle retaining power. Akhenaten’s sons quickly lost power after the sick man died. Only Akhenaten and Hatshepsut were removed from the king lists when Ramesses II revised them. That should raise suspicions. The Biblical record has its African Queen coming to belief or “converting” (“There was no more breath in her”). Jesus confirms this interpretation in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Josephus, for obvious reasons, does not go that far down the assumption track. So how would a queen of Egypt (and Ethiopia) signify that she disagreed with the Egyptian pantheon and had converted to belief in a foreign God? The most obvious answer is that she heard Solomon composing his famous Song of Solomon (SoS) and built the temple to code-ify his enigmatic words. SoS refers to a black woman upon whose ancestors “the sun looked down on”. [The Sudanese (The Suten-bat, South and North) say their country is the ‘black stan’]. Spiritually, both the woman and man are seeking God in the book. But in verse 14 of chapter 2, there is the statement, “Oh my dove, thou art in the cleft of the rock in the secret places of the stairs”. One look at Hatshepsut’s temple, that probably Thutmose III buried, reveals the clefty rock in the cliff-face (backdrop), secret tunnels to the sides, and a secret holy place to which the stairs and promenades ascend. The name “Hat-Shep-sut” could be read “The Sign of the Sheba (ruler) of the South (Sut) or ‘soper’ scribe of the south’. The temple is the sign that she had seen and heard Solomon’s wisdom, and his temple in Jerusalem, but was prevented from doing so because they would not let her finish her temple at Deir el-Bahari and probably forced her to abdicate.

    Thutmose III and his supporters were determined to stop her project in its tracks but by burying the temple they ironically preserved it from 3000 years of vandalism. The British and French (Petrie and Naville) finished excavating and preparing the temple at Deir el Bahari in 1948, the year Israel resurrected. Jesus referred to the “Queen of the South” (= Egypt and Ethiopia) in the context of “The Resurrection”. This event involves everyone for all are resurrected to face judgement. Believers in Christ receive the judgement of their lives in order to find out what rewards they take into the Messianic Kingdom. Unbelievers find out how severe their eternal punishment will be. This is the real reason the Hatshepsut-Sheba link has to be severed because to the unbelievers if attests to the truth of the Bible. For believers, it proves and disproves nothing. It is evidence for the accuracy of the Biblical record. Actually, it is another gentile woman who more closely proves the resurrection of Jesus. That is Mary Magdalene. “Magdalene” is a nick-name for a Phoenician (Migdol-Tower-Tyre). The idea that a resurrected Messiah of Israel would appear first to a Phoenician woman is so far from a Jewish conception that it appears that is exactly what happened and it more or less proves the resurrection because if the story was made up there would not be a Phoenician woman’s involvement.

    Just as Adam and his Eve led man into sin and death, so the Last Adam (Jesus-Yeshua)proved “I am The Resurrection” and Mary Magdalene/Sheba-Hatshepsut attest to that. However, by hiding behind a maze of questionable hieroglyph interpretations based on weak assumptions reagrding the translations found on the Rosetta Stone, opponents of the Biblical account can obfuscate to their heart’s content. That very process is the spiritual path they follow to ignore the obvious. The obvious is found in two unusual accounts in two neighbouring countries. The queen of one visits another country and in the other neighbouring country a queen’s visit is received. Coincidence? Only a fake chronology separates the two buy approx., 500 years. But Merneptah Baenre Meriamun Hotephirmaat said “Israel’s Seed is destroyed (castrated); The Land razed to the ground”. Did he say that in 1200 BC or 600 BC? Common sense demands the latter. Since Merneptah’s dynasty, the 19th, followed the 18th after a short period, the 18th dynasty must also be brought forward.

    I attended the Sackler Colloquium in 2004 where leading Egyptologists were privately admitting the chronology is a mess. They are looking to revise it over the next “100” years. Some of us can’t wait so we are doing the work for them a bit faster.

    Regards

    Don Stewart

  10. If Mersa Gawasis was 35 miles N. of Quseir and it was known as Sww (not Seir) during its lifetime, than how can it affect the name of a Helleno-Roman port known as Myos Hormus (Mussel Harbor), which would only be known as Quseir, possibly descending from Arabic “qasiir” (“short”, or “small”), during the Islamic period? Can you give me a single clearly recorded instance of a sail-ship sailing from Quseir to Aqaba? If not, please stop claiming the place-name Quseir could possibly descend from “Seir”. Also, I am not aware of any Puntite products Kathryn Bard has found at Mersa Gawasis except for “Obsidian, probably imported from Punt/Eritrea” and “[closed bottle/jar] imports from the southern Red Sea [which] confirm that the Yemeni coast and possibly Eritrea were involved in the Egypt-Punt trade network”.

    I only stated that Egyptians had no need to use Semitic words (although they did on occasion; e.g., suph, yam, possibly “Amu”) and that they never used the word Mlk. This is, as far as I know, true. To question the translations of the Egyptologists while knowing almost nothing about the process of the translation of Ancient Egyptian is to do quite a disservice to all the inscriptional data we currently have. Queens and women did play important roles, at least in Kedar and Adummatu, including being beaters at royal hunts in the 8th-7th Cs BC. Since the inscriptional record for South Arabia is about as shoddy as it is for Palestine (no completely extrabiblical evidence for Solomon!), it is reasonable to suppose the North Arabian respect of queens could have existed in South Arabia. However, it truly makes no sense why Kings and Chronicles would describe Hatshepsut as being “of Sheba”, not “of Mizraim”, and carrying spices with the help of camels. Also, the Queen is never described as “of Ophir”.

    Indeed, it makes far more sense for a ruler to come personally in diplomatic meetings if communication is slow. Since communication between Marib and Judah was extremely slow and the Palestinian-Arabian spice trade was far more important for any ruler of Marib than for Solomon, it makes sense that any queen of Marib would come personally in case of any diplomatic concern she had regarding the acts of a Palestinian ruler regarding the spice trade. If Hatshepsut was meant to be the Queen of Sheba, why did Solomon not visit her fabulous palaces (all poor Solomon had, at the very most, was a 17-acre royal compound in Jerusalem and several small Palestinian cities)?

    Hatshepsut was removed from the Abydos king list (which dates from the days of Seti I, not of Ramesses II) because Thutmose III considered her to have been an usurper. There is not the least bit of Egyptological evidence she was guilty of heresy in the manner of Akhenaten.

    You know just how receptive I am, as an atheist and a skeptic, to theological gobbledygook, late sources (Josephus, the Gospels, and the Song of Solomon), and Galileo gambits. Also, there were a number of Migdols in Palestine, including Magdala on the Sea of Galilee- there is no necessity in making Mary Magdalene Phoenician. Your statement Petrie and Naville finished excavating Deir el-Bahari six years after Petrie’s death and twenty-two years after Naville’s makes me question your sanity.

    What are these “leading Egyptologists” you are speaking of that I have never heard of? Egyptian chronology might have less than 50 or so loose years before Thutmose IV, but after that it is considered by all serious scholars to be sound. The conventional chronology is hardly “fake”, but is supported by radiocarbon dating, styles of art, Assyrian chronology, dendrochronology, and the simple fact of Ramesside strata being far below those of the Assyrian era (see my previous comment). When “common sense” comes up against solid, physical remains, the latter always wins. This is why chronology is changed slowly by the changing weight of evidence, rather than by the quick making up of stuff. In any case, common sense would never lead us to believe a queen like Hatshepsut would pay such valuable items as gold, spices, and precious stones, to a kinglet of the highlands, or that a queen who sends an expedition from the land of Egypt by ship to a land of spices and savages is the same as a queen that sends an expedition from the land of Sheba by camel to a king whose wealth amazes her (only much theological bafflegab and baseless historical and linguistic speculation, which is all you have presented to me).

  11. You write, “Your statement Petrie and Naville finished excavating Deir el-Bahari six years after Petrie’s death and twenty-two years after Naville’s makes me question your sanity.” Obviously I am not that stupid. I am not sure how you could even write this and it is your sanity that is therefore in doubt. I am sure you are quite sane. Perhaps I omitted to say “e.g., Petrie and Naville …”. The point is that people like me who have been robbed of everything we have – jobs, houses, careers, and last night my computer from my work desk leaving me with another big loss (there are so many criminals in this world and no jails to shut them up) simply have no time for silly little internecine wars that people like you seem to wage. I wonder who funds you to spend all those hours doing what you do.

    Go back to basics. Country ‘A’ has a queen going abroad to visit another country (‘X’). Country B has a queen coming from another country to visit it (‘Y’). Countries A and B are neighbours with a common border which is, ironically, also the boundary between two continents (Africa and Asia). There are no similar parallels anywhere in the world and certainly not in circa 950 BC. Any common-sense analyst would hypothesise that ‘X’ = ‘Y’ unless another equally detailed parallel were to emerge from some other records. All you can do in your latest missive is to imagine some Arabian queen coming to Israel. We know from Jesus’ statement that “The Queen of the South” came to visit Solomon. We know that he meant Egypt and Ethiopia by that term (“South”). The Hebrew of I Kings 9:24 to I Kings 10:13 clearly shows one daughter of Pharaoh (Hebrew Pe, Resh, Ayin, He) going to Israel then Solomon’s sailors coming to “Ophir” (Aleph, vav, pe, yod, resh, he). Note the similarity between “Pharaoh” and “Auphirah”. I think it is obvious that the terms “pharaoh”, so common in the Bible which you appear to reject, are similar and derive from the same root. That is the Pharaoh was leader of Africa as Gadaffi wants to be.I Kings 1:10 shows that the queen “ruling” or “sheba’ing” Ophir, as confirmed by the vav conjunctive, came to see Solomon. That was another daughter of Thutmose I, presumably Hatshepsut after Thutmose II had died. It is really a common sense argument based on a common sense reading of the basic Hebrew. We know Hebrew far better than Egyptologists know Hieroglyphs. In the final analysis, we are taught by the God you say does not exist. You won’t even accept the Biblical record to be valid data but you expect us to believe in Egyptologists who privately admit in their secret caucuses and cabals – because I was inside one of them in 2004 and heard them saying these things – that their chronology and much else of what they believe is in fact wrong. I am the sane one. If you believe what Egyptologists themselves do not believe then you are the more likely candidate for insanity. Unfortunately because of the robbery I sustained on Friday, I am too crippled by material loss to continue this correpsondence because I have much greater priorities and problems at hand. As a victim of Satan’s marauders, for the third time in 6 years, I must leave this debate and devote my remaining scarce resources to other pressing tasks,

    Regards

    Don Stewart

  12. Mr. Stewart, I am sure you are aware that the amount of stupidity on the Internet is quite enormous. I am truly sorry if I misunderstood your lack of care in writing (if it was for good reason) as the beginning of a lack of sanity. I do not believe our debate here was “internecine”, since none of my arguments were threatened. I view this thread as a graveyard of Velikovskyan arguments, to be shown to any future Velikovskyan who attempts to debate me. Ur debate, this is not.

    As I have shown quite clearly in my previous rebuttal to Emmet Sweeney, Country X in no way resembled Country B. As I have shown in this post and comment thread, the B-Y and A-X journeys of the two queens are completely different (sail-ship vs. camel, uncivilized wonderland vs. civilized palaces) and any journey of a queen from Country A to Country B would be nonsensical (it would be more proper that the king from Country B came to Country A). Also, as I have shown in this thread, there would be good reason for any ruler of Country Y, if my conclusion about its location is correct, to come to Country B if the ruler of Country B had any control over Country B’s spice trade. The New Testament is a late source, and, therefore, is subject to late traditions divorced from the traditions of the pre-exilic era. I do not “reject” the Bible, only those parts which are not supported by roughly contemporary extrabiblical history. I do not see any similarity between the words “Pharaoh” and “Ophir” as you have transcribed them. I have stated the reason for my opinion Ophir is to be found in Arabia at the beginning of my August 23 comment.

    I have read of no modern Egyptologist aware of the debates in Egyptian chronology who doubts the basic (within 20 years) chronology of the New Kingdom, nor have I read a single modern Egyptologist doubt the absolute chronology of Ramesses II and Merenptah. Egyptian chronology is filled with small problems-the lengths of the reigns of Amenhotep II and Thutmose II being among them. While these small problems do make Egyptian chronology rather chaotic, there is absolutely no need to postulate any revisions of over 50 years in any part of Egyptian chronology, especially in regard to the New Kingdom.

    In other news, I am planning to read and review your “Winged Disk of Judah” and see if your arguments there are any good.

  13. Mr Harding,
    Your note in various places in your blog that I am “full of s..t.” That is one accusation I cannot deny, as regards my character and personality, as no doubt anyone who knows me will confirm. You also criticize my historical ideas regarding the identity of the Queen of Sheba – which are however anything but “s..t”. One of your criticisms is sort of half valid, most are not; but none of them, valid or invalid, pose any serious problems for the Hatshepsut/Sheba equation. Three of these are as follows:

    (a) I had believed that the journey to Punt went by way of the Nile into the Mediterranean and disembarked at Joppa or Tyre. From there, I had imagined the expedition could have made its way inland to the Jordan Valley, beginning at Lake Hula in the north. You get yourself into a whole lather about this, saying that Lake Hula was never a lake, and that in any case it has been drained by “the Zionists.” (those goddamn Zionists seem to be behind everything – they probably even caused Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake). Anyway, I no longer believe the expedition went anywhere near Lake Hula (drained or not!), and am now in agreement with Velikovsky that it proceeded via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah. As you yourself note, journeys to Punt normally proceeded from Mersa Gawasis on the Red Sea and therefore could not have entered the Mediterranean. In point of fact I have never denied that a journey to Punt is possible via Mersa Gawasis on the Red Sea. Anyone with half a brain knows that one can travel to Israel from Egypt via this route. And I now realize that this is precisely the route Hatshepsut took. Her expedition proceeded via the port of Elat along the Arabah past the Dead Sea and into the southern Jordan Valley. I am fairly certain that the date-palms which in Punt seemed to grow on the shoreline, as well as the houses on stilts, were located at Elat, Israel’s port on the Gulf of Aqaba. Elat, as Eva Danelius pointed out twenty years ago, was well-known for its date-palms in antiquity, whilst the town stands at the confluence of several wadis which are periodically subject to flooding. As such, houses on stilts would have been almost required. As I have made very clear in several articles published over the past three years, I regard Punt or Ta Netjer (Land of the God) as precisely the region of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea in particular was especially sacred to the Egyptians, as it furnished two of the principal materials used in embalming – natron salt and bitumen. It is known that the Egyptian word for “god,” netjer, is related to our word natron and, according to Siegfried Morenz it is “striking that the most human of gods, Osiris, is called netjer in a particular context: in quite a number of puns this word is used almost as though it were his name.” (S. Morenz, Egyptian Religion (Cornell University Press, 1973), p. 19) Osiris, the archetypal mummy, was also closely associated with the city of Byblos, where his body was encased in a tamarisk tree.
    (b) You criticize my claim that frankincense grew in ancient Israel. You suggest that a quote I used from the Song of Songs cannot be used as proof that incense grew in Israel. This of course is correct, but the above quote was by no means the major proof for this proposition. In fact, as I stated in an internet article posted two years ago, the Jordan Valley was well-known for its frankincense production in antiquity, and it seems clear that the Egyptians regarded Punt as a sacred region largely by reason of this material, which was associated with embalming and temple ritual. The Arabah or Jordan Valley has a tropical climate owing to its extremely low elevation and even today its flora and fauna is typically a mixture of African and Asian. Much of the vegetation is identical to that otherwise associated with the Sudan and more particularly with the “low-lying parts of Abyssinia.” (H. C. Luke, “Palestine” in Countries of the World Vol. 5 (Waverley Books, London), p. 3072) Velikovsky of course claimed that frankincense – the major goal of Hatshepsut’s expedition – had in ancient times been cultivated in the Jordan Valley, and in order to be sure about this I consulted Yadin Roman, editor of Israeli natural history journal Eretz, who informed me that “the Jordan Valley was a major center for the growth of these products [myrrh and frankincense],” whilst “Around Ein Gedi, Jericho, Phasaelis and other Jordan Valley sites extensive agricultural installations have been found for the cultivation of spices …” (Personal communication, 2nd October, 2009). These “agricultural installations” were of course hillside terraces, which can be plainly viewed in the area to this day. Interestingly, although in my letter of enquiry to Mr. Roman I had made no mention of Hatshepsut and her “myrrh terraces,” he nevertheless pointed out that the incenses and spices of the Jordan Valley led to it being “coveted by Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.”
    (c) I have argued that Punt cannot have been Eritrea or Somalia, for these were primitive lands in the time of Hatshepsut, with no evidence of a Bronze Age culture that the Egyptians could have traded with. You on the contrary suggested that the Punt reliefs at Deir el Bahri show Punt to be a primitive land and therefore like Eritrea and Somalia. But the Puntites portrayed at Deir el Bahri are anything but primitive. Indeed, they look very much like the Egyptians themselves, attired even in Egyptian-style kilts of (apparently) well-woven cotton. They give “green gold” or more properly “green metal” (apparently copper ore), as well as actual gold, to the Egyptians. This speaks of mining operations in their country. They have an advanced agricultural system, with terracing and carefully cultivated incense trees. Incense production is not a characteristic of subsistence agriculture, and is produced for export, as a “cash crop.” Indeed the Puntites have far-reaching trading links. One of the gifts they give to the Egyptians is lapis-lazuli. I’m sure you are aware that this precious mineral had its origin in the Badakhshan region of modern Afghanistan. What were primitive savages in Africa doing trading with central Asia? Even worse, how could they import lapis-lazuli from such a distance and fail to import metal tools and technology from the much-nearer Egyptians – with whom they were in regular contact since the Old Kingdom? Their agriculture, their trading-relations and their mining operations – not to mention their dress – mark these people as a civilized nation comparable with the Egyptians themselves. Your attempt to suggest otherwise is mistaken.

    You, along with the academic establishment, make no mention of a whole series of Egyptian documents which clearly and unequivocally place Punt in the region of Syria/Palestine. But these texts have now received a full-blooded reappraisal in the form of an article titled “Locating Punt” by author Dimitri Meeks in David O’Connor’s and Stephen Quirke’s Mysterious Lands (Encounters with Ancient Egypt) (2003). Meeks, who is not, by the way, a supporter of Velikovsky, goes to the original sources, bypassing conventional wisdom as found in the textbooks and guidebooks, and what he finds is most illuminating. He notes, to begin with, that “Texts locating Punt beyond doubt in the south are in the minority, but they are the only ones cited in the current consensus on the location of the ‘country.’ All the other texts [that locate Punt to the north or northeast], despite their large number, have been ignored.” (Ibid., p. 58)

    Meeks then proceeds to highlight several toponym lists at Soleb, beginning with one of Amenhotep III, which clearly “locate Punt closely to the north of Egypt among places [where] Punt appears to be either between Pehal [in Transjordan] and Shosou, or in the sequence Mitanni, Shosou, Kadesh, Punt, Qutna, Tahse, Yenoam…” “Curiously,” says Meeks, “these sequences seem to have sometimes been taken unquestioningly to be the result of error on the part of scribes and sculptors…
    “Numerous texts, from at least the Middle Kingdom onwards, describe Punt as the land of the rising sun and locate it in the East, equating it with the eastern horizon.” (Ibid., pp. 56-7)

    Centuries after the time of Amenhotep III, Punt is mentioned again, in the monuments of the Ptolemies: “Once the construction of the temple of Edfu was completed, the priests decided to have inscribed on its walls an historic account of the events which marked the … years that the work had taken. … In connection with the dynastic feuds between Ptolemy IX Soter and Ptolemy X Alexander I, they note laconically in relation: ‘he fled to Punt, his older brother took possession of Egypt and was crowned king again’. … Other sources record that Ptolemy X [then] fled to Cyprus, but Egyptologists have only mentioned the apparent [north-south] contradiction without further comment. … However ignorant one might assume Egyptian priests to be, they could scarcely have confused an island north of Egypt [Cyprus] with the depths of Africa.” (Ibid., p. 69) Punt is mentioned again, this time in the Roman period, and once again it is clearly located in Syria/Palestine. Here the region is listed “between Upper Retjenou, corresponding to Palestine, and Pa Bekhen, the mountainous northern part of Mesopotamia … on the one side and Beiber or Babylon (?) – or a place name in southern Palestine …” In Meeks’ words, “All these texts agree in assigning Punt and its inhabitants to the Near East in more or less direct contact with the land of the Mediterranean coast.” (Ibid., p. 65)

    Meeks concluded: “The hypothesis of an African location for the land of Punt is based on extremely fragile grounds. It is contradicted by numerous texts and has only become an established fact in Egyptology because no-one has taken into account the full range of evidence on the subject, regardless of place of such an African hypothesis becomes self evident. The only way to reconcile all the data is to locate Punt in the Arabian peninsula. The territory of Punt began quite close to that of Egypt, once Sinai had been crossed, in Arabia Petraea or the Negev. It incorporated in a rather imprecise manner the whole coastal zone of the Red Sea down as far as present day Yemen and the actual heart of Punt probably corresponded more or less to YemeniTihama.”

    But if Punt extended from the Sinai down to the Yemen, or even worse, was in Eritrea/Somalia, how do we explain the following puzzles – puzzles which I would like you too to explain:

    (a) How is it that Thutmose III claimed to have conquered Punt in his first year? We know that the regions he conquered at that time were in southern Syria/Palestine and Nubia. But establishment academics claim that Punt was in Eritrea or Somalia. Are they (and you) trying to suggest that Thutmose III conquered Eritrea or Somalia?
    (b) It is accepted by all Egyptologists that the Egyptians used the name Ta Netjer – (“God’s Land” or more appropriately “Land of the God”) – for both Syria/Palestine and Punt. How do you explain this?
    (c) How do you explain all the inscriptions mentioned by Meeks which unequivocally place Punt in Syria/Palestine?

    These are just a few of the insurmountable problems posed by the establishment’s take on Hatshepsut and Punt. There are many, many more – which of course you have not mentioned in your blog. But if you can answer the above three without resort to special pleading or hand-waving I may concede there is some grounds for a serious debate.

    The ball’s in your court.

    Emmet Sweeney

    1. saying that Lake Hula was never a lake

      -I never denied it was a lake! I just denied the thing you represented as the “Huleh Valley” was ever a lake!

      those goddamn Zionists seem to be behind everything – they probably even caused Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake

      No! Really!

      Anyway, I no longer believe the expedition went anywhere near Lake Hula (drained or not!), and am now in agreement with Velikovsky that it proceeded via the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah.

      -More reasonable; still bizarre. As the winds in the Gulf of Aqaba blow North to South, I strongly suspect a land journey through the Aravah would be easier to accomplish.

      Anyone with half a brain knows that one can travel to Israel from Egypt via this route.

      -But this does not necessarily translate to travel the other way, especially in a sailing ship (oars would certainly help).

      Her expedition proceeded via the port of Elat along the Arabah past the Dead Sea and into the southern Jordan Valley.

      -Why not use the well-tested Way of Horus instead of risking some vessels on the Straits of Tiran and going through two land journeys nevertheless?

      As such, houses on stilts would have been almost required.

      -I don’t know of any from the 19th century, but I do know that the houses of Tell el-Kheleifeh were made of good old-fashioned mud-brick. The floods near the western side of Aqaba were a reason why settlement tended to be to the East of those floods, near Aqaba Fort, Islamic Ayla, Nabatean Aila, or Biblical Elat/Tell el-Kheleifeh.

      . In fact, as I stated in an internet article posted two years ago, the Jordan Valley was well-known for its frankincense production in antiquity, and it seems clear that the Egyptians regarded Punt as a sacred region largely by reason of this material, which was associated with embalming and temple ritual.

      -Can you link to that article? So far, I am only aware of textual references to Somalia, Oman, Yemen, and Ethiopia, and Eritrea as growing frankincense. Judah did produce much basalm from the Dead Sea coast in the 7th C BC, and this industry certainly revived after the Babylonian exile to continue into the Roman era. Perhaps it was the basalm industry Yadin Roman was referring to? Besides, the Jordan Valley was very sparsely settled in the LB I.

      They give “green gold” or more properly “green metal” (apparently copper ore), as well as actual gold, to the Egyptians.

      This gold was of Amau, a land which supplied the Egyptians with ivory and ebony as well as gold (see the Meeks article you mention, p. 65), which I (for now) consider to be in the area of the present-day Hassai gold mines (and possibly the Gebeit gold mine). The copper-yielding Arabah was known to the Egyptians as Atika. What is your basis for what you consider to be the more preferable translation “green metal”?

      They have an advanced agricultural system, with terracing and carefully cultivated incense trees.

      -Such terracing did exist in the Jordan Valley in the 7th C BC and late 6th C BC-late 1st C AD. It did not, to my knowledge, exist in the Late Bronze Age. It might have existed in poorly-archaeologically explored Eretria and Ethiopia.

      One of the gifts they give to the Egyptians is lapis-lazuli.

      !!! If this is even remotely true, I may have to reconsider my current thoughts about either lapis-lazuli or the Puntites. Could you give a source for your claim?

      Curiously,” says Meeks, “these sequences seem to have sometimes been taken unquestioningly to be the result of error on the part of scribes and sculptors…

      -Which they almost certainly are; Punt is certainly not in well-recorded Syria! Punt isn’t in Cyprus (Alashiya), either. I suspect the location of land of Punt was forgotten after the 6th C BC, though I may be wrong. Indeed, by the 7th C BC (or even the 13th C BC, see Meeks’ mention of an inscription of Seti I on the bottom of pg. 66), Punt may have possibly (though not certainly) been identified with the thriving kingdoms of South Arabia.

      You, along with the academic establishment, make no mention of a whole series of Egyptian documents which clearly and unequivocally place Punt in the region of Syria/Palestine.

      Because I, along with the academic establishment, have a particular distaste for late sources and clearly out-of-place names in topographical lists.

      (a) How is it that Thutmose III claimed to have conquered Punt in his first year? We know that the regions he conquered at that time were in southern Syria/Palestine and Nubia. But establishment academics claim that Punt was in Eritrea or Somalia. Are they (and you) trying to suggest that Thutmose III conquered Eritrea or Somalia?

      My answer is simple: whoever was writing for Thutmose III was lying. The only evidence the royal inscriptions of Thutmose III give for his supposed conquest of Punt is a name on a topographic list (even according to you). Thutmose III also included Kadesh as a city on a topographic list of cities taken in his first campaign, even though Kadesh was not captured in his first campaign. As pointed out by several scholars, topographic lists were never intended to be factual statements of conquests, but, rather, propaganda pieces. A military campaign against Punt would have certainly been mentioned in Thutmose III’s annals, or at least a record other than a mere topographic list, as it would have given rise to some detailed boasting.

      It is accepted by all Egyptologists that the Egyptians used the name Ta Netjer – (“God’s Land” or more appropriately “Land of the God”) – for both Syria/Palestine and Punt. How do you explain this?

      -Both were to the East of the Nile and had strong trading links with Egypt.

      I consider the earlier lists that place Punt in the North to be mistakes and the later ones to be speculation on the part of their authors.

      My question for you is how you explain the clear evidence for a southern location for Punt I have pointed out in my previous rebuttal (which, judging from my view counts, you seem to have glanced at), especially the el-Kab inscription.

  14. Mr Harding,
    Your response illustrates in the clearest way the weakness of the conventional take on Punt and its location:

    (a) I had said that since Thutmose III claimed to have conquered Punt, Punt cannot be located in Eritrea or Somalia.
    You said: Thutmose III’s scribes were lying.
    (b) I had said that the toponym lists mentioned by Demitri Meeks (of which there are at least half a dozen) clearly place Punt in Syria/Palestine.
    You said: The lists are untrustworthy as they are of late date (though one was from the time of Amenhotep III)
    (c) I had said that since both Punt and Syria/Palestine were known by the name Ta Netjer (“Divine Land”), this suggest that they were the same place.
    You said: It does not follow that the two places were identical and that the Egyptians could have used the same name for two different places.

    All these responses involved special pleading: In each case the logical and straightforward solution is rejected in order to rescue the prevailing paradigm which places Punt in Eritrea or Somalia. So the Egyptian scribes were either lying or ignorant. This is a rejection of Occam’s most fundamental principle.

    The above list by no means exhausts the evidence for placing Punt in Palestine. On the contrary, a volume could be filled with it. Consider, as a small sample, the following:

    (1) An official of the Sixth Dynasty claimed to have visited Punt and Byblos eleven times. This would strongly suggest that Punt was close to Byblos (and this, by the way, is an early, not a late, source).
    (2) The goddess Hathor was known as the “Lady of Punt,” but she was also called the “Lady of Byblos,” and a shrine of hers existed at Timna in southern Israel.
    (3) The Egyptians claimed to be of Puntite origin, but the Phoenicians, on the testimony of Sanchoniathon, claimed that the Egyptians had come from their country.

    I could go on, but this should illustrate what I mean.

    The only inscription – as far as I know – which appears to place Punt in the south of Egypt is that of Hatshepsut in which she boasts that her “southern boundary is as far as Punt.” This much-quoted text however creates a very grave problem. If it means what mainstream Egyptologists assert, then Hatshepsut was claiming to rule as far south as the border of Eritrea (or Somalia). This of course is impossible since at no time did Egypt’s border extend much further south than the Third Cataract – hundreds of miles from the border of Eritrea. So, once again, in order to rescue the prevailing paradigm we have to assume that the Egyptian scribes were lying. This means that every single Egyptian text which mentions or alludes to Punt’s location has to be dismissed as a lie or an error in order to save the prevailing theory! Surely you must see the absurdity of this position.

    In actual fact, it is far more likely that in the above-quoted inscription Hatshepsut was using the distance from Punt as a measure. And we should note that Arthur Weigall, on the authority of Lepsius, translates the text as “my southern frontier is as far off as the lands of Puont.” In short, Hatshepsut’s southern boundary, on the Nile, was as far away from Thebes as was Punt, in the north-east.

    Note: the reference for the Egyptians claiming a Puntite origin is Pertie, The Making of Egypt (London, 1939), p. 77. The reference for the Sanchoniathon information is Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, I, ch. ix-x. The Weigall reference is A History of the Pharaohs (London, 1927), p. 310. The reference for the lapis lazuli given by the Puntites to the Egyptians is Breasted, Records, Vol. 2, Sec. 278.

    1. (a) I had said that since Thutmose III claimed to have conquered Punt, Punt cannot be located in Eritrea or Somalia.
      You said: Thutmose III’s scribes were lying.

      -True.

      (b) I had said that the toponym lists mentioned by Demitri Meeks (of which there are at least half a dozen) clearly place Punt in Syria/Palestine.
      You said: The lists are untrustworthy as they are of late date (though one was from the time of Amenhotep III)

      -My response to the Amenhotep III list was “Punt is certainly not in well-recorded Syria!”.

      You said: It does not follow that the two places were identical and that the Egyptians could have used the same name for two different places.

      -That’s one way of getting across the meaning of my response.

      All these responses involved special pleading: In each case the logical and straightforward solution is rejected in order to rescue the prevailing paradigm which places Punt in Eritrea or Somalia. So the Egyptian scribes were either lying or ignorant. This is a rejection of Occam’s most fundamental principle.

      -Not true. I have never imagined topographical lists to be inerrant. In absence of any detailed boasting of Thutmose III’s conquest of Punt, the “logical and straightforward solution” is that the scribes who mentioned Punt in the topographic list you mention were lying.

      (1) An official of the Sixth Dynasty claimed to have visited Punt and Byblos eleven times. This would strongly suggest that Punt was close to Byblos (and this, by the way, is an early, not a late, source).

      -Or it might strongly suggest that Punt was far away from Byblos, Byblos being the northernmost land the Egyptians traded with on a regular basis, Punt the southernmost.

      (2) The goddess Hathor was known as the “Lady of Punt,” but she was also called the “Lady of Byblos,” and a shrine of hers existed at Timna in southern Israel.

      -Which further demonstrates that Hathor was associated by the Egyptians with many different locations.

      (3) The Egyptians claimed to be of Puntite origin, but the Phoenicians, on the testimony of Sanchoniathon, claimed that the Egyptians had come from their country.

      -Sanchoniathon, if he existed, was almost certainly a late source, and, thus, cannot be used to argue that the Egyptians believed Punt to be in Cisjordan or Lebanon.

      This of course is impossible since at no time did Egypt’s border extend much further south than the Third Cataract – hundreds of miles from the border of Eritrea.

      -The southern boundary stelae of Thutmose I and III were at Kurgus, between the fourth and fifth cataracts. As I have already addressed the statement regarding Hatshepsut’s southern border in my main post, I feel no need to further comment on it here. The mention of lapis lazuli and turquoise at Deir el-Bahari is not associated with any land, but is part of a statement explaining the purposes of the giant scales in the scene in Naville’s Plate LXXXI. Also, you only answered one of my questions to you in my above response-there were at least three more.

  15. Mr Harding,
    Since we’re clearly going nowhere with this debate, merely going round in circles, I’m making this my last posting. Just to repeat what I said earlier, there is not a single Egyptian inscription that unquestionably places Punt to the south of Egypt, whereas there are at least six which unquestionably place it in Syria/Palestine, as well as dozens of other first class evidences also pointing to Syria/Palestine.

    Furthermore, I neglected to mention in my last posting that there is no archaeological evidence for contact between Egypt and Eritrea until the time of the Ptolemies – and even that was miniscule. Regular contact only appeared in Roman times. (See Timothy Insoll, The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 40) There are in addition no ancient agricultural terraces in Eritrea. You don’t need archaeology to find these: if they exist they can be seen by anyone. But they don’t exist.

    Punt, as you may know, was originally placed by early Egyptologists in Asia, but they relocated it to Africa after the discovery of the Deir el Bahri reliefs, which showed apparently African animals such as a giraffe and leopards. However, as I’ve demonstrated in great detail in several places, Syria/Palestine was anciently the home of most of the creatures now typical of the African savannah. These included lions, leopards, gazelles and, yes, giraffes. Elephants were found further north and Thutmose III hunted large herds of these in northern Syria.

    The one and only “proof” of an African Punt thus collapses. Punt was Israel.

    I wish you a great deal of fun in your continuing crusade against the much-defamed and long-dead Velikovsky, but your ideas will be sidelined in the end.

    1. we’re clearly going nowhere with this debate

      -Because you have not responded to any of my points in it, while I have responded to all of yours! The el-Kab inscription does make Punt an ally of Kush when Kush campaigned against 17th Dynasty Upper Egypt, clearly demonstrating the near-certainty Punt was in the South. Archaeologically, Eritrea is not Israel-few archaeological surveys have taken place there, especially at privately-owned terraces (the highland of Eritrea isn’t a desert; terraces there are either re-used by private landholders or eroded by rain). The fauna of the Punt reliefs of Hatshepsut are not the only reasons (or even the best ones) Egyptologists place Punt in Africa! As you have continued to pretend none of the evidence I presented in my responses (and even first post!) exists, if this response really is your last one, I can only conclude I have won the debate with you over the location of Punt, and will state this to any future Velikovskyan with whom I may cross paths. If you choose to respond again, my question to you would be “what hypothetical new evidence would persuade you to change your view on Punt?”. My answer to that question are a few Egyptian inscriptions in the Jordan Valley naming the land of the Aravah as Punt, strong evidence of LB I (not earlier, not later) production of spice in the Jordan Valley (such evidence may include botanic remains and/or LB I terraces with such remains), an Egyptian inscription describing a land campaign to Punt with the Puntites being portrayed not as nomads, but as settled spice-exporting people between Cis- and Trans-jordan, or a clay tablet from a ruler of Punt (or another such object explicitly labeled as being of Punt) being traceable to the Jordan Valley by petrographic analysis or other means that could find that object’s provenance.

  16. Mr Harding,

    It seems you don’t like Velikovskians very much.
    Humanity should be greatfull for the stone that Dr. Velikovsky has thrown in the pond.
    Mr Sweeney has made a very strong case and has my vote. Moreover, he remains a gentleman in his choice of words.
    It seems that you don’t accept defeat easily so I offer you a rhetorical question:
    The debate stands and falls with the location of Punt. I have made the same translation on the base of the broken obelisk in Karnak and agree with A. Weigall.
    But for argument’s sake lets assume it in your location.
    Everybody agrees also that the Egyptians were a bit of graffity artists and made sure everybody knew they had passed were they did.
    What happened with the multitude of scarabs or any other egyptian artefact in your location?

    Sincerely,

    NF.

    1. Those scarabs might be still there. As for why they haven’t been found, both Eritrea and Sudan are intensely authoritarian dictatorships with bureaucracies unlikely to be efficient. Archaeological sites are not well-protected in either country. Though excavations led by Western teams do take place in both Sudan and Eritrea, they are necessarily limited by their respective dictatorships. Most archaeological attention in eastern Sudan and Eritrea is on the Graeco-Roman period. Also, did you not notice the mentions of Pharaonic Egyptian artifacts in Eritrea in this post? I have not accepted defeat here because I have not been defeated; Mr. Sweeney, however, has.

      Your comment comes close to violating Rules 2, 6, and 8 of this blog’s comment policy. Heed this warning.

  17. I’m someone who unusual in that I support the basic chronology of Velikovsky but not the Hahtushet as Sheba identification.

    I have no made up my mind on Punt yet (many Kings visited Solomon so Hathushet could have as well, Shea is singled out for theological reasons) so hahtushet could have,

    Your arguments against placing Punt in Canaan are valid. But I’m still unsure. What I do know is the popular African identification or Punt I feel is unlikely.

    I’ve read contradictory things about what the Status of Parahu and Ati actually were. Sometimes both are called King and Queen, sometimes Ati a Queen and Parahu only a chief. Both you and those supporting the Hathushet and Sheba theory refer to neither as Royalty. So I’d like to know what words for them the Egyptian inscription actually uses.

    If Punt had a ruling Queen, then the logical conclusion to me is that Punt is Sheba/Ma’rib. Which did trade with same African regions superficially suspected.

          1. Way to late to correlate to the Queen of Sheba then. The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon in his 37th year at the latest. If the 21st of Tuthosis III is the 5th of Rehoboam, then the Punt expedition would be well into the 30s of Solomon’s reign.

    1. Possible. Yemeni pottery (even from, apparently, beyond the Bab al-Mandeb) has been found at Mersa Gawasis. But, again, Parehu and his wife don’t look very Arab and there’s firmer textual evidence for placing at least a part of Punt in Eritrea and Eastern Sudan than there is for placing at least a part of Punt in Arabia.

          1. I’m also curious about the foreign wives of Tuhtmosis III. Are the ones he wouldn’t have married till after Hatshepsut died or could have have married them earlier? I’ve heard it theorized one of them could be form Punt or Sheba

            1. I think he could have married them earlier (at least, that’s the general impression I get from the Amarna letters; I think there is a specific Amarna letter or two confirming this).

            2. Obviously, the Amarna letters do not mention anything about Thutmose III. Do you have any evidence against continuity of most royal customs from the time of Thutmose III to the time of Amenhotep III?

      1. What do you mean by “don’t look very Arab” ? It was my understanding that ‘Arabs’ came on the scene later.

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