On Heroopolis and Pithom

A couple months ago, I concluded that, as it is universally agreed that there was no city called Pithom before the Late Period, Pithom as a city mentioned outside the Bible could only be identified with Tell el-Maskhuta, the ancient Heroopolis. Though it is possible that the Biblical Pithom may have been the name of the temple at Tell el-Retabeh applied to the city, outside the Bible, Pithom as a city-name (not as a temple-name) simply cannot be Tell el-Retabeh. Consequently, as “Tjeku” is known to be mentioned as a city-name during the New Kingdom, it is most likely that Tell el-Retabeh was known as the sgr of Tjeku during the New Kingdom. Thus, I find that the identifications of Hoffmeier and Kitchen need to be reversed: Retabeh was the ancient city of Tjeku/Succoth; Maskhuta was the ancient city of Patomos/Pithom. I presume that the name “Maskhuta” preserves the name “Succoth” due to “Tjeku” continuing to be the Egyptian name of the Wadi Tumilat into the Roman period.

Author: pithom

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

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