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A Mnḫprrꜥ Scarab from Tel Abel Beth Maacah

Arlette David, Robert A. Mullins, Nava Panitz-Cohen


During excavations at Tell Abil el-Qameḥ, identified as the biblical Abel Beth Maacah and located in the Upper Galilee on the modern border between Israel, Lebanon and Syria, a high-quality Mnḫprrꜥ scarab was found in an Iron Age I context, just above substantial Late Bronze IIB remains. Its typology suggests it to be a product from the reign of Ramses II's. Prompted by this discovery, we examine aspects of Egyptian involvement in this region during the time of Dynasty 19. It is suggested that following the outcome of the battle of Qadesh and the destruction of Hazor sometime in the 13th century BCE, the geo-political balance shifted and the area of the Upper Galilee and the northern Jordan Valley became a buffer zone, with more of an economic, rather than a military role. Egyptian interests in this northern reach of their empire were governed by mediators, rather than by the direct rule characteristic of Beth-Shean and the area to its south.


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