- A scull recently found by Egyptologists may belong to Amun-her-khepeshef, the oldest son of Rameses II, who is amply described in the Bible as the ruler of Egypt during the Jewish exodus more than 3000 years ago. The scull was found in the Valley of the Kings, close to Luxor.
American archaeologist Kent Weeks recently opened a "hidden tomb" in the valley that holds the remnants of a large list of Egypt's ancient rulers, the pharaohs. The "badly fractured skull" and other sculls found on the site have since then been analysed by specialists, who came to a surprising conclusion.
Mr Weeks announced that the scientific evidence gave support to the theory that the sculls belonged to the sons of Rameses II, who is the legendary Pharaoh Rameses the Great. One skull, probably the most fractured one, may be that of the firstborn son.
This son of Rameses II became the divine ruler of Egypt under the name of Pharaoh Amun-her-khepeshef. He made his way into history as the ruler exposed to the Biblical plagues that, according to the Jewish legend, were sent by God to punish Egypt for holding Hebrew slaves. Amun-her-khepeshef himself fell victim to the tenth Biblical plague, according to the legend.
A detailed, non-invasive analysis of the skulls and remains has been undertaken in an attempt to determine their identity. Three additional sets of human remains - two skulls and a full skeleton - found by Mr Weeks and analysed, may also be sons of Rameses II.
The investigations into the identity of the sculls found near Luxor have been documented by the US tv channel 'Discovery Channel', which is airing a two-hour documentary on this on 5 December. 'Discovery Channel' also partly has financed the analysis of Mr Week's discovery.
'Boston Globe' journalist Charles Sennott further is investigating the story of the Biblical exodus of the Jews from Egypt and looks at the possible links between the story in the Bible and the skull believed to be Rameses' firstborn son.
Mr Weeks' discovery "could have profound implications for understanding a biblical narrative that is at the core of Judaism and part of the foundation of Christianity and Islam," says Mr Sennott. "It raises the question as to whether the oldest son of the pharaoh of the Exodus was struck down not by the hand of God, as the Bible says, but by the hand of man," the US journalist adds.
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