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Amenhotep II's Campaign to Takhsi

Author(s): Anson F. Rainey

Source: Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 10 (1973), pp. 71-75
Published by: American Research Center in Egypt
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Amenhotep IPs Campaign to Takhsi
Anson F. Rainey

Recent discussion by Redford,1 Parker2 and

A comparison of the Memphis stele, lines 2-3
others3 has dealt with the problem of a(Urk.
co- IV, 1301.9-13) with the Amada stele,
regency between Thutmose III and Amenhotep
lines 16--19 (= Karnak, lines 19-23; Urk. IV,
II. The most reasonable conclusion to emerge
1296.13 - 1298.4) reveals some interesting simi-
from these studies is that of Alt4 (supported by This is particularly evident in the choice
of words and the parallel actions depicted.
Redford and Parker) that Amenhotep's "first
victorious campaign* ' was begun while Thut-
Furthermore, the partly defaced geographical
mose was still alive and that the latter passed
name in the Memphis stele (Urk. IV, 1301.10)
away before the triumphant return of the
is certainly not ts Nhsy, "the Nubian Land/' as
Egyptian army. In other words, Amenhotep Helck and Edel have restored it, but Tahsi.5
embarked on that military enterprise whileThe
he "first campaign" of the Amada stele was
was still crown prince or co-regent, and returned
directed against the seven princes who were in
to find himself sole ruler. The Amada stele was ^-J^P^, w n Ta-h-sit "the district of
then set up by the new pharaoh to commemo-Takhsi" (Urk. IV, 1297.3-4). Helck reports that
rate his first victory in the field. the text of the Memphis stele, as restored by a
Since Alt's interpretation seems reasonable19th Dynasty scribe, contained the reading
and will apparently stand the test of time, it\\\, w s ta,Q which he compared with the
may be useful to add an additional piece ofwriting of U Nhsy, viz. ~ ^ | p ^, in Amada
evidence that could shed some light on the(Urk. IV, 1298.3-4). However, the presence of
mysterious change in the numbering of Amen- the w in the restored Memphis text surely goes
hotep's campaigns which we find in the Memphisback to the word for "district" in the allusion
stele. Though the motives for renumbering the to Takhsi in the Amada text. The original read-
campaigns may be open to some question, it
5 Concerning the region of TakhsijTakhshi, cf.
would appear that the scribe of the MemphisGardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica II, i5o*~52*,
stele was well aware of the Takhsi campaign No. 258. The cuneiform ^Tak-H (EA 189, rev. 12)
and probably even alludes to it in the "pro- and the Egyptian syllabic spelling Ta-h-ii (Urk. IV,
logue" to the campaigns he wishes to extol in893. 5ff.; 1297. 3-4; etc.), as well as the suggested
his own text. equation with biblical Tafias' (Gen. 22 : 24), all point to
an original *Tahti. The syllabic transcriptions used in
this article are based on the table in Helck, Die Be-
1 Redford, JEA 51 (1965), 107-22. ziehungen Agyptens zu Vorderasien im 3. und 2. Jahr-
2 Parker, Studies in Honor of John A.Wilsontausend v. Chr. (Ag. Abh. 5)1, 592-603; where a sign
(SAOC, 35), 75-82; cf. also Yeivin, JARCE 6 (1967),
does not appear in Helck's list (usually a common
119-28. variant of some other), it has been given an additional
3 E.g. Aldred, ZAS 94 (1967), 6; Hornung, ZDMG
cipher. [This article was written before the author had
117 (1967), 11-16; v. Beckerath, ZDMG 118 (1968),
access to the revised edition of Beziehungen.]
18-21. Urk. IV, 1301, n. c; Edel, ZDPV 69 (1953), 114,
4 Alt, ZDPV 70 (1954), 4- n. 17.


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72 JARCE X (1973)

ing, therefore, should along with the
be restored as hands (am
from the(Urk.
in the Memphis "prologue" other slain
IV, enemies).
1301.10): Th
king)11 transported the
y ^ [_ J #] p [^], w [n Ta-h]-s\il "the dis- other wret
trict of Takhsi to Nubia (Ts-Sty) that he be hanged12
wall of Napata
receives some further support to demonstrate
from the close(r rd
parallels in thought and victories of
wording his majesty
between thefor e
ever .action
description of the military ... ,13 and the sub-
sequent display of the vanquished foes' bodies
The text of the opening lines in the M
in the Amada text with the "prologue" of the
stele is very difficult due to the faulty re
Memphis stele. In the former passage it is stated
by the later scribe. It may even be
that Amenhotep had the stele set up
such inscriptions were already so arti
... after his majesty's returnthat
contrived fromone Upper
should not exp
Retjenu when he had overthrown
grammatical precision. all his
opponents (rkyw'fnbw) lowing
(thus)tentative translation
broadening the repre
borders of Egypt, ori his to
attempt first
render victorious
the phrases as they
campaign.7 the context. Various words echoing the
given above from the Amada stele will
The return of the pharaoh and his severe treat-
in parentheses. In addition to the us
ment of the seven princes from Takhsi, espe-
titles, Amenhotep is described as the o
cially the desecration of their corpses by dis-
playing them publicly is then reiterated in . . . whose mace {hd'f) has smitten N
(N-h-ri-n), whose bow has laid lo
When his majesty returned in joy of heart rregion^(!) [of Takhjsi (V! [n Ta-
(m iwt-ib) to his father Amon, it was after8 who seized15 forcefully like Montu ar
he had slain with his own mace (m hd-f dsf)
the seven princes who were in the region of
11 A new independent clause is here introduced by
Takhsi (w n Ta-h-ii), they being hung9 upside
'h'-n plus impersonal sdm-n-tw referring to the king,
down on the prow of his majesty's Falcon cf. Polotsky, op. citr, 20-21; "the other enemy" is
Boat taken here as direct object rather than as subject of a
of these wretched men beforepassive theshnt-tw.
rampart of
12 The Old Perfective -hw is used here to express
result; for another example of this rare usage cf. a few
7 Urk. IV, 1296. 13-16. lines earlier, W-n rdi-n hm-f ir-tw wd pn, smnw m r;
8 The initial ii-n htn-f is, of course, pr pn . an emphatic
. ., "Then his majesty had this stele made that
form; the translation above assumes thatbethe
it should, set upempha-
in the entrance to this house ..."
sized predicate is the circumstantial (Urk.clause
IV, 1296. beginning
7-10); cf. Erman, Agyptische Gram-
with smt-n-f; cf. Polotsky, Egyptian matik*,Tenses (Proc.
335, who stresses that this usage is usually
Israel Acad. II, No. 5), 7-10. Prof. Polotsky's inter- after rdi.
pretation of Egyptian syntax makes it incumbent 13 Urk. IV, 1 297. 1- 1298.2.
upon the translator to decide just which type of verbal 14 Taking hwi-n hd-f and ptpt-n pdt-f as relative
form is present in a given situation, and often more forms; as part of the description of Pharaoh they can
than one possibility exists. The present writer must hardly be otherwise. Edel, ZDPV 69 (1953), 126,
assume full responsibility for his own choices in the translates them as finite verbs though he does not list
texts cited here; all shortcomings are his own. them under his examples of sdrvt'n-f, ibid., 138; Wilson
9 This circumstantial clause begins with the Old also seems to take the forms as finite in his translation
Perfective 3 m* pl. dw. .-.,. A NE T, 245c, where he follows the reading hm-f
10 A new stage in the action, predicated on what has rather than hd'f.
already occurred, is introduced by wn-in-tw, using the 15 The participle, it (it), coming in parallelism with
impersonal sdm-in-tw in polite reference to the king, the two preceding sdm-n-fs, shows that the latter can
cf. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar3 , 429. 1. hardly be anything but relative forms.

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his panoply, whose heart is satisfiedto be immortalized

{htp ib-f)16 by the displayed foe while
having seen them (tnt-n-f sw)17 afterthe Memphis
he had passage emphasizes that Pharaoh
cut off18 the heads of the malcontents himself gained satisfaction from viewing
(Iukw-tb)." them.
Of course, one cannot be certain just how much In conclusion, one may suggest that the
the later restorer has altered the original. For scribe of the Memphis stele preferred to treat
that very reason, the apparent discrepancy the Takhsi affair as only a demonstration of
between hanging the bodies of the seven princes Amenhotep's prowess. Perhaps it was to show
from Takhsi in the Amada stele, and the cutting his worthiness to rule. On the other hand, he
off of the heads of the malcontents in the (the scribe) was embarking on a new system of
Memphis text need not be given too much numbering the later campaigns, probably be-
weight. Perhaps it is only a curious coincidence, cause the earlier ''first campaign" had really
but both beheading the victims and displaying begun before Amenhotep became Pharaoh.
their bodies on the city wall are featured inThe theTakhsi affair, viewed in the light of Red-
Philistine treatment of Saul and his sons ford's chronological suggestion, also provides
(1 Sam. 30.8-10). occasion for reopening the question of the author
The allusion to Naharina and especiallyin toTaanach
the Texts Nos. 5 and 6. Most recently,
mace of Pharaoh certainly are reminiscent of has argued that these two epistles
the stress in the earlier inscription onwere Amen-
related to Amenhotep's campaign to the
hotep's very own mace. The satisfaction Sharon and Jezreel plains, i.e. the second
of the
victor appears in both texts, expressed by campaign
idioms of the Memphis stele. Earlier sug-
pertaining to the heart.20 The viewing of the
gestions by Albright had made the Amenhotep
punished enemies is also mentioned; the who Amada
authored the letters governor of Canaan22
text stresses that his majesty's invincibility who was
was perhaps the later pharaoh himself
before his ascent to the throne.23 The whole
16 Again the verb can be constructed as a relative problem arises, of course, from the absence in
form, though it is tempting to see here a new sentence, the cuneiform texts of the usual titles borne by
in which case htp ib-f would be emphatic with the fol-
Pharaoh in such correspondence.24 Now it is
lowing clause as emphasized predicate, cf. Polotsky,
op. cit.
clear that Amenhotep did make a military ex-
17 The verb form is here taken as circumstantial pedition prior to the death of his father,
sdm-n-f) note that the slain enemy from Takhsi Thutmose
in the III. Therefore, one is tempted to
Amada Stela was to be hung on the wall of Napata so
speculate that he was the sender of the two
that the victoriousness of Pharaoh "might be seen"
epistles in question during the course of his
(mt-tw, prospective passive after rdi), cf. above re-
march through Canaan. Taanach No. 6 was
garding the Amada Stela, line 9 (Urk. IV, 1298. 1-2).
evidently sent before No. 5; in No. 6 the ruler
18 This circumstantial clause beginning with sdm-n-f
at Taanach is chided for not reporting in person
is dependent upon the preceding mt-n-f sn; he viewed
them after he had cut off their heads. to Gaza while No. 5 is an order to send troops to
19 The restored htkw-ib has the same determinative
Megiddo. Though tablet No. 6 might reflect an
6^ as rkyw in Amada, line 19 (Urk. IV, 1296. 13-14). order to the Taanach ruler to present himself
From the indication in Urk. IV, 1301. 13, the deter-
minative was partially scratched over, which suggests
that this is all the restorer had to go by. The original21 Malamat, Scripta Hierosolymitana 3 (1961)
text may have had rkyw or perhaps the synonymous 218-27.
rkw-ib. 23 Albright, ZAS 62 (1926), 63-64.
20 Cf . the conventional m iwt-ib, Amada, line 1 723 Albright, JPOS 4 (1924), 140, n. 2.
(Urk. IV, 1297. 1-2) with htp ib-f in Memphis, line 3 24 Cf. the six el-'Amarna tablets from Pharaoh to his
vassals EA 99, 162, 163 (Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-
(Urk. IV, 1 30 1. 12). Again one would like to know just
how much in the way of traces remained from the Tafeln) and EA 367, 369, 370 (Rainey, El Amarnc
Tablets 359-371 [AOAT 8]).
original text to guide the restorer in the latter passage.

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74 JARCE X (1973)

with his local forces at on

It is also shown Gaza
the map by during
E. Graf von th
called second campaign (really the third
hardly seems likely that
B. Mazar Amenhotep
(Maisler)32 has subsequently argued II w
have been able to for the identification
move through of Tell
the el-'Atnr
Wddi(Tel -
(Nahal cIron) without having
Me'amer, 159237) contacte
with Tafia, ttoAis nnrecov,
vassal at Taanach.25
city of the cavalrymen/' where Herod it is h
had settled some Amenhotep
conceivable that, when of his veterans.33 Mazar had retu
from Anaharath to the vicinity of
sought to equate this PApa with Q-b-cu, the Megid
he would have merely ordered
Gab'u that appears the
as No. 114 in the topo- rul
Taanach to show graphical
his loyalty by
list of Thutmose III. sendin
However, on
tribute and the basis
troops.27 Ifof the fact thatruler
the the above mentioned
there had
gone to Gaza and had stood
Tell es-Setnen aside
does exist while
nearby, though it is A
hotep was engagedonly
in his
a small crucial
Byzantine ruin, S. Yeivinconfront
with Canaanite forces in
to equate the
the large Sharon
Tell el-'Amr Plain,
with K-b-*-sti- t
surely we would mab-ny
hear about
No. 41 punitive
on Thutmose Ill's list.34 Mazar a
against him like that taken
accepted this against
revised identification for Tell the
el- p
of Gabca-sutnan.28 Therefore,
cAmrt35 and subsequently, so didthe possib
that both Taanach No. Although 6 Abeland No*
and Yeivin may be 5 rightpertai
the Takhsi campaign that Tell of Amenhotep
es-Setnen probably preserves an echo II is
as a real option. of the ancient second element in the town of
GaVa-suman, its testimony is not adequate to
EXCURSUS ON GAB<A-$UMAN prove that the original name meant "Hill of
(olive) oil" as argued by Yeivin.37 The hiero-
The first to suggest that Tell es-Setnenglyphic forms, K-b-c-sii-tna5-n (Thutmose III,
(158239), ca. y2 mile (0.80 km.) SSW of No.
Tell41) and Q-b-ca-sti-ma6-n (Urk. IV, 1308.12)
el-Harbaj (Tel Regev, 158240) was the original
show s. which can only reflect Semitic s ort (th).
site of Gab'a-sutnan was Abel.29 Tell es-Setnen Bor6e,38 had already noted that these phonetic
appears on the SWP map, Sheet V, ref. Kh.30
relationships require a form containing the
numeral "8" from the Semitic root *ttnny.39
23 Memphis Stela, lines 17-29 (Urk. IV, 1305.13 -
1308.14) ; Karnak Stela, lines 29-32 (Urk. IV, 1314.14 - 31 V. Mulmen, ZDPV 31 (1908), ref. N-6 on map
I3I5.8)- Opp. p. 258; cf. also p. 121:
26 Memphis, lines 28-29 (Urk. IV, 1308. 11-14); for 32 Mazar (Maisler), BJPES 11 (1945), 35-41 =
the most recent discussions and bibliography, cf. BIES Reader B, 54-60 (Hebrew); idem, HUCA 24
Aharoni, The Land of the Bible, 155-56; idem, JNES 26 {1952-53), 3O-
(1967), 212-15; Aharoni and Avi-Yonah, The Mac- 33 Josephus, War III, iii, 1 (36); Antiq. XV, viii, 5
millan Bible Atlas, Map 36, p. 34. (294); Life, xxiv (115, 117).
27 Taanach No. 5. 4-15; cf. Albright, BASOR 94 34 Yeivin, JEA 36 (1950), 57; JARCE 6 (1967), 128.
(April, 1944), 23-24. For th.e dUru as possible military 35 Yeivin, JEA 36 (1950), 57, n. 5.
personnel, cf. Rainey, JNES 25 (1967), 296-301. 36 Aharoni, JNES 19 (i960), 183.
28 See the Excursus, below. 37 Yeivin, loc. cit.
29 Abel, Geographie de la Palestine II, 13. This site 38 Boree, Die alien Ortsnamen Paldstinas, 22 e,
was still shown on Topocadastral Sheet 15-23 of the No. 7, p. 7, n. 2.
1:20,000 series in the edition of 1929-30, but by the 39 For bibliography on the various opinions about
edition of the same sheet in 1941 it had been replaced this root, cf . Buhl, Wilhelm Gesenius' Hebrdisches und
by Kefar Hasidim ; the tell was 350 meters S. of the 240 Aramdisches Handworterbuch uber das Alte Testament
grid line and just beside the 151 grid line, which seems (17. Aufl., 191 5), 844 b. That the root was quadri-
to have run across the eastern edge of the site. literal, with a final yod, seems assured by the Ugaritic
30 Cf . Conder and Kitchener, The Survey of Western form for "80": tmnynt; Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook
Palestine I, 353. (Rome, 1965), 7.37.

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of the
His surmise receives further support from Cavalrymen, the Byzantine village
fact that the short form tmn {Hamdnel) for this
farther north may have carried with it a rem-
numeral is used with great frequency inof
nant con-
the original Hebrew name, thus giving
temporary Ugaritic.40 During the Late rise to the form Tell es-Semen. On the other
Age, the name Gabca-suman probably hand, meant
that name may have been "Hill of the
"Hill of the Eight" or something similar. In through
the the Israelite Period, and the
Iron Age, when the Semitic t shifted to s into "Hill of Butter" may have been
Hebrew, the original significance ofmade during the Roman-Byzantine or the
the name
Arab have
may have been lost and the Israelites may periods. In any case, the original name
thus reinterpreted it to mean *Gebac-setnen,
could hardly have been other than "Hill of the
"Hill of (olive) oil." Then, in the Arab period,
Eight." The original form is hard to determine,
after the town had long been famous perhaps
as a place
*tdtniny *tutndn(e) or Humn.

40 Gordon, op. cit., 7.16. Tel Aviv University

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