Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 10, 2008

5. Joseph’s Grain Silos Found in Egypt?


Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

A recent article in The New York Times reports an intriguing archaeological find.

Yet the reporter neglected to raise the obvious question which could reveal the discovery to be of far greater import.

The official announcement of the discovery of 7 grain silos at Tell Edfu was made by the secretary general of the Supreme Council for Antiquities in Egypt.

The silos vary from 18 to 22 feet in diameter and were probably at least 25 feet tall. They were made of mud bricks and are estimated to be over 3500 years old. Archaeologists say layers of sediment at the site indicate occupation dating back 5,000 years, but this is surely too large a figure since Noah’s Flood occurred 4500 years ago.

Prof. Moeller, an Egyptologist from the University of Chicago, described the archaeological excavations at Tell Edfu on the upper Nile between Luxor (ancient Thebes) and Aswan. Tell Edfu was a provincial capital in ancient Egypt. Modern Edfu is a city of about 60,000 with remains of ancient pyramids about 3 miles north of the city.

Moeller said the size of the silos was a surprise, unlike anything found before. They are the largest known storage bins from ancient Egypt.

Could these storage silos have been built at Prime Minister Joseph’s direction in order to store the grain from the good years for use in the famine years? (Genesis 41:33-36)

Archaeologists dated the silos around 1630 to 1520 BC, but archaeological dating is rough at best. Joseph went to Egypt around 1890 BC. If the archaeological estimates are in the right ball park, then these silos probably were constructed under Joseph and are a little older than the archaeologists think.

It’s very likely that the accompanying administration building or governor’s palace that they are also excavating at Tell Edfu belonged to or was used by Joseph. The archaeologists think this building is older than the grain silos.

(Reference: Uncovering Evidence of a Workaday World Along the Nile, The New York Times, July 1, 2008.)

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fifth article in a series on Biblical Archaeology.
Read the prequels:
1. The Mystery of Tsinnur
2. Copper Country
3. One Night of Sin Spawns Centuries of Havoc
4. Blown to Pieces

Read the sequel:
6. Archaeological Study Bible

For more articles on Biblical Archaeology, see the Eyewitness to Jesus series on ancient documents that show the Gospel of Matthew is an eyewitness account.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Thursday July 10, 2008 A.D.

Read my July 2008 Bible-Science newspaper column:
Age of the Earth 3 — Genealogies.

“And now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it. And let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish during the famine. (Genesis 41:33-36)


  1. wow,,,the LORD’S seed never withers neither can it rot


  2. Hi Bible-Science Guy, this is interesting indeed.
    Especially the earlier dating of 1630-1520BC.
    Two things come to mind:

    1. David Rohl’s theory revolutionises the dating of Joseph’s arrival in Egypt.
    Rohl is a British Egyptologist and former director of the Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences (ISIS) who from the 1980s has put forward several unconventional theories revising the chronology of Ancient Egypt and Israel to form an alternative new chronology.
    He has discovered a series a patterns to match Joseph’s arrival, the Exodus, and the capture of Jericho to this later period.

    2. Microbiologist Siro Trevisanato, author of The Plagues of Egypt: Archaeology, History and Science Look at the Bible
    The earth shattering volcanic eruption that annihilated a whole civilisation, the Santorino Eruption seems to have provoked the 10 plagues that happened in between 1642BC and 1540BC, therefore the dating of Joseph in Egypt could also fit the time of the construction of the above granaries.


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