Third Intermediate Period/Iron Age I-II Raphia and Egypt’s Response to the Changed Political Spectrum in the Levant: Early Results

A paper by Stuart Ibrahim for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 8 May in the Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

Archaeological analysis has established that, following the Bronze Age Collapse (around 1200–1177 BC), all of the great Bronze Age kingdoms and empires, except for Egypt, crumbled into dust.  Other cultures and peoples took this opportunity to seize these lands and form their own kingdoms.  In the meantime, Egypt had declined into a period of Chaos (the Third Intermediate Period), with separate dynasties ruling over Upper and Lower Egypt.  It was only in Dynasty 22, under the Libyan King, Shoshenq I, that Egypt was reunified and able to influence the Levantine region.

This presentation comprises the preliminary results for my PhD analysis on the site of Raphia/Tell Rafa and the surrounding region and will attempt to expand on what we know already.  While the primary analysis will be on Raphia itself, the focus of this paper is on the surrounding regions and the most likely occupants of Raphia (these being the Philistines, the Israelites, surviving Canaanites (?) or even the Edomites).  These results will then be used to address the question of whether Egypt reclaimed Rafa under Shoshenq I or not.

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