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Egypt and Israel                         219
there is, in a tomb, a representation of Egyptians attacking
villages which were evidently in southern Palestine, since these
towns or villages are called 'the enemy town Nedya, the enemy
town <En-Ka * . .', the latter evidently eAin-Ka, 'the spring
of Ka . . .', clearly a Semitic name. Somewhat later (about
1950 B.C.) we have the interesting story of Sinuhe, an important
official who had accidentally become acquainted with a secret
communication intended only for his royal master; he, there-
fore, thought it advisable to escape from the king's wrath and
fled to southern Palestine; there he settled down among the
Bedawin. It is the account of his sojourn among these 'plun-
derers' or 'sand-dwellers', as they were called by the Egyptians,
that throws light on the relationship between Egypt and these
Asiatics; the picture given of the life and conditions in Palestine
corresponds with those of the time of the TeH-el-Amarna letters
(i4th century, see further below). Among other things, Sinuhe
refers to the building of a wall 'to prevent the Asiatics from
going down into Egypt', which shows that incursions into Egypt
from Syria-Palestine had begun long before the time of the
Hyksos invasion (see below).
Again, one of the inscriptions in a tomb of Beni-Hasan (near
Hermopolis), belonging to about 1900 B.C., tells of how a body
of thirty-seven Aamu, or Bedawin, from the desert, brought
tribute of green eye-paint; their leader has the name of Ibsha
or Abshai (cf. the Biblical Abishai, I Sam. xxvi. 6, &c.), who
is called a 'prince of the desert'. The scene depicting this
presents the facial characteristics of these Aamu as clearly
Semitic, and thus witnesses again to the contact between Egypt
and the Asiatic dwellers of Syria-Palestine. This is further
illustrated by the discovery, made some years ago now, of a small
Egyptian statuette found on the site of ancient Gezer, belonging
approximately to 2000 B.C.; it has on it a short inscription in
hieroglyphics, containing a formula, as Professor F. LL Griffith
points out, which 'is usual on statuettes dedicated in temples