Fragments of Ancient Life: Evidence for the
By Charles Colson
CNS Commentary from BreakPoint
The American Egyptologist, Kent Weeks, made an exciting discovery
not long ago, in a burial tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. He
found four broken canopic jars. "What are they?" you ask.
Well, they're ancient burial jars that just may provide further
proof that events described in the book of Exodus really happened as
Canopic jars were used for holding the mummified organs of the dead.
The remarkable thing about this find, Weeks says, was that the names
of four of the sons of Ramses II were painted on them. Scholars
believe Ramses II was the Pharaoh who debated with Moses over the
fate of the Israelites, and whose resistance provoked the 10
Even more exciting was the fact that, painted on one of the jars, is
the name of Ramses' oldest son: Amun- her-khepshef. The oldest son
would have been the one who was killed during the plague on the
firstborn sons of Egypt, described in the Bible.
And near the broken jars, lying in a pit, were the skulls of four
young men, likely thrown there by ancient grave robbers. These
skulls provide additional evidence that the tomb contains the sons
For instance, each of the skulls has perfect white teeth -- an
indication that the young men enjoyed a diet available only to those
of royal blood. Most ancient Egyptians, by their mid-twenties,
already had teeth that were stained and ground down to the gum line
from eating bread contaminated with sand.
Weeks also found fragments of mummies that ancient grave robbers had
torn to shreds. He sent samples of bones and tissue to Cornell
University for genetic tests. If the tests reveal that the owners of
the four skulls were brothers, Weeks will have strong evidence that
the tomb is indeed the burial chamber of the sons of Ramses II.
Who knows? If the four brothers are the sons of Ramses, and the
oldest can be identified, researchers may even discover the exact
nature of the plague that struck down Ramses' son that grim night
when the Israelites were miraculously spared.
Sifting through bone fragments and pottery shards from 3000 B.C. has
led to many stunning discoveries, supporting the biblical texts. But
this isn't the first time archaeology has helped confirm the
authority of Scripture -- not by a long stretch.
Critics used to just dismiss the stories about the patriarchs --
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But then archaeologists discovered
cuneiform tablets containing references to several biblical names:
names like Abraham and his brothers, Nahor and Haran.
Suddenly those passages in Genesis were transferred from the realm
of myth into the realm of real history -- where the Bible had put
them all along.
With a record like this, Christians don't need to be intimidated by
liberal critics. In fact, we ought to eagerly anticipate every new
discovery -- like the jars and skulls Kent Weeks just uncovered in
Egypt's Valley of the Kings.
For each new excavation provides fresh evidence we can offer to
skeptics -- evidence confirming that the God of faith is also the
God of history.
Charles Colson is chairman of Prison
Fellowship Ministries. His daily commentary can be heard on
radio stations throughout the United States, and at the Breakpoint
From BreakPoint®, March 24, 2000, Copyright
2000, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of
Prison Fellowship Ministries, PO Box 17500, Washington, DC
200041-0500. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or
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