Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim

Pi-Ramesses. The fertile plain at Tell el-Daba is believed by archaeologists to have been the ancient store city of Ramesses. Excavations at the site are divided between teams from Austria and Germany. Among the discoveries so far are the round column bases seen at lower right in the photo; one such base supported an octagonal pillar. The pillar originally bore the titles of Sety I, but they were overwritten by order of his son, Ramesses II, who had his own titles engraved over those of his father. Many scholars believe Ramesses II is the best candidate for the pharaoh of the Exodus, but author Malamat suggests that there was no single, dramatic Exodus but rather a drawn-out interplay between Semitic peoples and the Egyptians—a series of interactions that climaxed in about 1200 B.C., just after the reign of Ramesses II.