MERNEPTAH’S ISRAEL. In his well-known 1991 BAR article, Frank Yurco identified several battle reliefs of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah at Karnak. The worn reliefs portray the various victories reported in Merneptah’s famous stele, including his victory over the “people” “Israel.” But which relief depicts Pharaoh’s battle with Israel? While Yurco identified Israel as a group of Canaanite-dressed warriors being overrun by the king in one panel, Rainey argues that the Israelites are actually shown on another panel, among depictions of captured shasu nomads. This portrayal befits the Biblical portrayal of the early Israelites, who originated not from the Canaanite cities but rather from the nomadic steppe lands east of the Jordan River.