Saturday, 10 June 2017

Child Slaves of biblical Egypt

An ongoing excavation of the ancient Egyptian capital city Amarna, may shed light on the treatment of ancient slaves and their children. The city, in an isolated desert bay some 10 kilometers from the Nile, was the seat of power of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Called a “heretic”, Akhenaten ruled 17 years until his death in 1332 BC. The discovery of workmen’s burial plots provide a window into his brief reign.
The simple desert graves of the ordinary Egyptians who lived and worked in Akhenaten’s city paint a picture of poverty, hard work, poor diet, ill-health, frequent injury and early death.

Site of Egypt’s Amarna, taken from the desert cliffs to the north of the city.
As the work progressed, a trend started to become clear to the excavators. Almost all the skeletons were immature; children, teenagers and young adults. Initial analysis concluded that the remains were of youths aged 7-25, most of whom are thought to have been under 15 when they died. Most had suffered some kind of traumatic injury.

An Akkadian cuneiform letter found at Amarna