The ancient site of Tanis in the Egyptian Delta has been the subject of much examination in relation to its identity as the official location of the site. The proposed sites of Avaris and Pi – Ramesses were thought to be the location of Tanis. Due to heavy recycling of furniture, décor and construction materials from other sites, many historians and archeologists dismissed the site as the legitimate Tanis, known to be the capital of the Egyptian XXIst – XXIInd dynasties, as many findings suggested otherwise. The articles this essay will analyse, Gold of the Pharaohs by J. Yoyotte and Avaris the Capital of the Hyksos by M. Bietak, explore not only the identification of Tanis but also can contribute to the debate of the Egyptian excavations at Qantir and Tell el-Dab`a.
J. Yoyette’s article Gold of the Pharaohs gives much evidence as to the history and geographical location of Tanis (Yoyette 1988, 30). Details of the site in relation to the placement of the Nile, including specifics of the site Tell San el-Hagar on the ‘Tanitic branch of the Nile’ (Yoyette 1988, 31), provide a basic layer of information that chronicles the inhabitants and agricultural practices of the land from the XIIth dynasty through to the XIXth dynasty.
The article addresses the debate on reasons why early excavators identified the site of Tanis as Avaris and Pi-Ramesses. Cumulative evidence found throughout ruins pointed towards the site being identified as Pi-Ramesses, due to inscriptions of the name of Ramesses II found on multiple walls and blocks. Certain archeologists were convinced for a prolonged period of time that the main temple at Tanis was the work of Ramesses II and largely the work of the ’great sovereign of the XIXth dynasty’ (Yoyette 1988, 32). Artifacts such as a triad showing Ramesses II between two gods, uncovered by the Montet team of archeologists, reinforced a belief in the site belonging to that of Avaris, thus creating alternate views. Both theories have...
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