Line Drawing by P. Van der Veen

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Although nearly half of the crucial name-ring is broken off, the missing hieroglyphs can be reconstructed with confidence, as shown in this drawing. Yet scholars don’t all agree that it can be read as “Israel.” Those who oppose the reading point out that here the name contains a “sh” hieroglyph instead of the “s” sign used to spell Israel on the Merneptah Stele. Supporters of the reading, however, point out that place names were not always spelled consistently in hieroglyphic inscriptions and that there is no other known West Semitic name that so closely resembles “Israel.”