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From a plan made and published by Professor Flinders Petrie, Illahun, Kahun and Gurob, pl. xiv.

Kahun (Arabic: كاهون, Kahūn‎) is an ancient Egyptian workers village that is located in the modern village of El-Lahun in Faiyum. It was built during the construction of the pyramid of Sesotris II and was occupied until the 13th dynasty.[1] Biblical archaeologists such as David Down[2] and Bryant Wood[3] have concluded that Kahun was occupied by Israelite slaves that were laboring in Egypt prior to the Exodus of Israel.

The site was originally excavated by Sir Flinders Petrie (in 1888-90 and again in 1914). Along with household items and tools that provided a good representation of life during the 13th dynasty, Petri also found the Kahun papyri which discussed medical and mathematics topics and is best known for the insights it gives into the use of Egyptian fractions.[1]

Dr. Rosalie David who wrote a book about Petrie's excavations said:

It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may have reflected the situation elsewhere in Egypt…. Their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined…. The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear.[4]

The Exodus

Main Article: Exodus of Israel

Kahun seems to have been abandoned without premeditation during the 13th dynasty, which David Down points to as evidence of a mass Exodus of Israelites from Egypt. Tools and household possessions were found at the site indicating that the town was deserted suddenly.[5]

Dr. David also comments in her book about the inexplicable abandonment of the town:

It is apparent that the completion of the king’s pyramid was not the reason why Kahun’s inhabitants eventually deserted the town, abandoning their tools and other possessions in the shops and houses.[6]
There are different opinions of how this first period of occupation at Kahun drew to a close... The quantity, range and type of articles of everyday use which were left behind in the houses may indeed suggest that the departure was sudden and unpremeditated.[7]

In addition, larger wooden boxes were discovered underneath many of the homes which contained babies, sometimes buried two or three to a box, and aged only a few months at death. Down suggests that these infant deaths might well be attributed to the Hebrew male babies who were killed by order of the Pharaoh as told in Exodus 1:22 .[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 El-Lahun by Wikipedia
  2. Ashton, John F., and Down, David. Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline p.100, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006.
  3. Wood, B., New evidence for Israel in Egypt, Newsletter of the Horn Archaeological Museum, p. 3, Winter–Spring 1999.
  4. David, A.R., The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt: A Modern Investigation of Pharaoh’s Workforce, Guild Publishing, London, p. 191, 1996.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Searching for Moses by David Down. Journal of Creation 15(1):53–57. April 2001
  6. David, A.R., p.195
  7. David, A.R., p.199