A 12-year-old girl at the Temple Mount Sifting Project recently discovered an amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III. The artifact is a small pendant, which is missing its bottom part and displays a partial cartouche (an oval frame around Egyptian hieroglyphics) bearing the name of the 15th century BC Egyptian ruler. Its inscription has been reconstructed based upon an identical pendant found in northern Israel in 1978. Thutmose III is known for his military conquests, referring to himself as "the one who has subdued a thousand cities." The amulet probably arrived in Jerusalem sometime during the 300 years it was under Egyptian control during the Late Bronze Age.
I was just reading a story, from jewishpress.com, about the amulet bearing the name of Thutmose III discovered in sifted soil from the Temple Mount. I'm of the opinion that this adds to the evidence for the early date for Exodus. I was curious as to ABR's take on this, as I value the opinions and research of your worthy organization.
Yours in Christ,
Jeffrey E. Sams — "Jeff"
Thank you for contacting ABR with your question. The discovery of the Thutmose III amulet was another find of great interest, although, in terms of archaeological context, it has very limited value. I did share your question with Dr. Wood, and he provided this brief response: "Scarabs of T III are fairly common, as he was revered for centuries following his reign. Since we have no context for the scarab, it cannot help us to date the Exodus."
Some scarabs, like that of Nefertiti, are of much greater significance because of their rarity, and because efforts were made to eradicate her from Egyptian records and memory. Also, when a scarab is found in situ — in its isolated, protected context — at an archaeological site, we can determine dating with much greater certainty. Unfortunately, Thutmose III was such an important figure his scarabs/amulets were continually produced well after his death, limiting their value for dating.
Thanks again for your important question!
Scott Lanser, ABR Director