Major Artifact Confirms Biblical Account

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Excerpt The Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) announces the discovery of an Egyptian scarab, dated to around the time period of the book of Joshua in the Bible. Rated the #1 Bible archaeology discovery of 2013 by Christianity Today. Continue reading

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Major Artifact Confirms Biblical Account

ABR has been conducting excavations in Israel since 1995 at Khirbet el-Maqatir (9 miles north of Jerusalem), which meets the biblical requirements to be identified as the fortress of Ai conquered by the Israelites as recorded in Joshua 7-8.

Copyright 2013, Associates for Biblical Research. may not be reproduced anywhere, in any format, without the express written permission of the Associates for Biblical Research. Photo by Mike Luddeni.

Pottery excavated at the site indicates the fortress was in use in the Late Bronze period, circa 1500-1400 BC. The scarab is a rare type that was made in the early 18th dynasty, ca. 1485-1418 BC. This is a significant discovery since it provides an independent date for the fortress apart from pottery. According to the Bible, the Israelites left Egypt in 1446 BC and entered Canaan in 1406 BC. The scarab substantiates the historical accuracy of the narratives found in Joshua.

Named the Number One Discovery of 2013 by Christianity Today!

The Egyptian scarab from Khirbet el-Maqatir will be on display in the Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University from January 22 to December 20, 2014.

For more information, please contact:

Henry B. Smith Jr.

Associates for Biblical Research

Director of Development

Contact Page

Download Press Release

Download Museum Exhibit Flyer

Media Photo File (off site link)

Watch video footage of the Discovery of the Scarab at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

Hear Dr. Scott Stripling talk about the Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit at Houston Baptist University.



Press Release Maqatir Scarab Museum-1a.pdf (406.69 kb)

rev 1-10(2) full page HBU Exhibit_red crackle.pdf (1.34 mb)

Press Release Maqatir Scarab Museum-Press Conf FINAL.pdf (411.72 kb)

Comments Comment RSS

2/19/2014 5:13 PM #

If the 18th Dynasty started in 1570 BC or 1550 BC, depending on the Egyptian chronology, wouldn't a scarab from the "early" 18th Dynasty be from 1570-1450 BC or so? What is it about the scarab that allows one to date it so precisely to 1485-1418 BC? I'm assuming that includes the reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II. Great find! Thanks!

Charles - 2/19/2014 5:13:04 PM

2/20/2014 11:35 AM #

Dear Charles,

Good question. The scarab is very rare, and the motif has parallels from the reigns of Amenhotep II (1455-1418) and Thutmoses III (1506-1452). Since TIII subjugated Canaan in ca. 1482 BC or so, it is highly likely it arrived there after that time. Further, the scarab was found undisturbed, in situ, with Late Bronze I pottery in the same locus.

We will be publishing more information on the scarab as our research progresses.

I hope this is helpful.

Henry Smith
ABR Staff

Henry B Smith Jr - 2/20/2014 11:35:03 AM

2/21/2014 7:11 PM #

I'm sure someone has answered this somewhere, but the mummies of both Amenhotep II and Thutmoses III (as well as the predecessor of TIII and the successor of AII) have allegedly been discovered, and the Bible says that the Pharaoh of the Exodus died in the Red Sea, so how could this scarab be from a time 40 years after the Exodus? Is it possible that the Egyptians recovered his body from the Red Sea and mummified him? That seems unlikely.

Joel - 2/21/2014 7:11:03 PM

2/21/2014 8:21 PM #

Dear Joel,

Thanks for your good question. The poetic nature of the Psalm which speaks of the drowning does not necessitate the drowning of the Pharaoh himself, according to Doug Petrovich. I am inclined to agree with him. See Section V, 1-2, here:

Hope this helps!
Henry Smith
ABR Staff

ABR - 2/21/2014 8:21:32 PM

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