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Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687

Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, Manfred Görg


In 2001, Manfred Görg published a new reading of a fragmentary name ring on a topographical pedestal relief in the Berlin Museum (no. 21687).  Although the inscription had previously been listed in topographical studies, the reading of the fragmentary third name ring had not received adequate attention. Görg suggested reading the broken name as an archaic form for “Israel” and argued that it could have been copied during the Nineteenth Dynasty from an earlier list. As his publication was in German, his proposal has so far been unavailable to a wider English-speaking readership. Two scholars, Bryant Wood and James Hoffmeier, have briefly discussed Görg’s proposal; while the former welcomed it, the latter rejected it on linguistic grounds.  The present authors republish the relief agment here in English and include new evidence that appears to support Görg’s original reading.


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