“Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.” (Exodus 1:11)
An Egyptian researcher accused Israel last week of attempting to Judaize Egyptian archaeology.
Amir Gamal of the “Non-Stop Robberies” movement told Egypt’s Elaph newspaper that Israel has been attempting to falsify Egyptian archaeological evidence to prove the Biblical Israelites built the pyramids.
Loath to be caught doing so, the claim goes, Israel does not send its own archaeologists into Egypt. Rather, the tiny Jewish country operates through foreign missions, particularly from the Czech Republic, indirectly engaging in “espionage and counterfeiting of Egyptian history.”
Gamal accused Czech Egyptologist Miroslav Barta of Charles University in Prague of trying to “establish that the Jews had a direct role in the construction of Egyptian civilization.”
Additionally, Gamal argued, Israel is trying to associate Pharaoh Sheshonq I, the founder of the 22nd Dynasty in the middle of the 10th century BCE, as the Biblical King Shishak. According to 1 Kings 14, Shishak invaded the southern kingdom of Judah during the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and made off with treasures from the Temple and the king’s treasury. Gamal expressed concern that Israel would seek to lay claim to gold and treasures buried with Sheshonq 1 in Tanis, Egypt.
Barta scoffed at Gamal’s claims. In an email to JNS.org, he wrote, “The article tries to discredit the name and reputation of the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission as well as the reputation of myself…The first evidence for Israel dates to around 1200 BC, i.e. some 1400 years after the first true pyramids were built.”
“Mr. Amir Gamal, if not a fully false identity, is unfortunately a highly incompetent person providing no firm evidence whatsoever for any of his totally unjust and totally out of place allegations,” he added.
This is not the first time the Biblical account of the Israelites in Egypt has made waves in the modern state. In March, Egyptian newspaper columnist Ahmad Al-Gamal called on his government to sue Israel for damages caused by the ten plagues initiated to free the Jews’ ancestors.