Skip to comments.Mystery Surrounding Lost Army of Persian King Cambyses II May Have Been Solved
Posted on 06/21/2014 7:05:18 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Cambyses II, the oldest son of Cyrus the Great, sent his army to destroy the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis. 50,000 warriors entered the Egypts western desert near Luxor. Somewhere in the middle of the desert the army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed.
Although many scientists regard the story as a myth, amateur as well as professional archaeologists have searched for the remains of the Persian soldiers for many decades.
Prof Kaper never believed this story. Some expect to find an entire army, fully equipped. However, experience has long shown that you cannot die from a sandstorm, he said.
Prof Kaper argues that the lost army of Cambyses II did not disappear, but was defeated.
My research shows that the army was not simply passing through the desert, its final destination was the Dakhla Oasis.
This was the location of the troops of the Egyptian rebel leader Petubastis III.
He ultimately ambushed the army of Cambyses II, and in this way managed from his base in the oasis to reconquer a large part of Egypt, after which he let himself be crowned Pharaoh in the capital, Memphis. ...
During the past ten years, Prof Kaper has been involved in excavations in Amheida, in the Dakhla Oasis.
Earlier this year, he deciphered the full list of titles of Petubastis III on ancient temple blocks.
Thats when the puzzle pieces fell into place, Prof Kaper said.
The temple blocks indicate that this must have been a stronghold at the start of the Persian period. Once we combined this with the limited information we had about Petubastis III, the excavation site and the story of Herodotus, we were able to reconstruct what happened.
(Excerpt) Read more at sci-news.com ...
Persian warriors, a detail from the frieze in Darius' palace in Susa. Pergamon Museum / Vorderasiatisches Museum, Germany. Image credit: Mohammed Shamma / CC BY 2.0.
As good a theory as any.
Note: remains of small groups of Persian soldiers have indeed turned up, and none of them AFAIK show any sign of death in combat. Also note that the archaeologist claims that it’s not possible to die in a sandstorm, a claim that is ridiculous on its face. It’s unlikely that an entire 50,000 man army will be found in formation buried in the desert — it’s perfectly reasonable to figure that zero visibility led to groups of various sizes going off in various directions. Also, given the details in Herodotus’ account — and we know that he was basically always reliable as a reteller of what he hear or a when he described what he saw — suggests that a small number of survivors managed to return to make report, and that’s not surprising at all.
The Butler usually did it. Or Colonel Mustard in the Den with a lamp.
Having read the account of Alexander’s troop march home from the Indus through southern Persia, I can totally believe that.
video from 2009:
They're all black and curly hair.
from the grouch:
Sandstorm? If Obama were there he would have blamed a youtube video.
The idea that the Persians would undertake a march through a pretty daunting desert would also not be surprising, given the conditions in much of their empire in Asia.
Thanks. The Egyptians used re-curved bows as well.
“the oldest son of Cyrus the Great, sent his army to destroy the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis. 50,000 warriors entered the Egypts western desert” under the command of general Gorges Bushtes. And the rest is, as we say, history according to Democritus.
That’s my shower wall!
Just remember Desert One in the Iranian desert and it is clear what a sandstorm can do even to modern armies.
Hmm, under George Bush?
I think I've heard "King," but not "Pharoah."
Actually, George Bush is the 157th great grandson on his mothers side. Cousin marriages that far back have had time to work out the inbreeding recessives out of the lines.
It’s the MOOPS
Quite true but skepticism arises from the fact Herodotus was a "reteller". He honestly wrote down what he was told but never checked to see if what he was told was true. Still, a great historian given his times.
And who declared you can’t die in a sandstorm? In the middle of the desert?
(Paul Revere And The Raiders)
True, the sand isn't going to kill you.
However, an extended sandstorm will do a dandy job of immobilizing and disorienting you while you die from exposure and thirst. Also really, really hard on draft animals other than camels. Persians were big on cavalry.
Carl Sagan spelled pharaoh “pharoah”, but that’s not surprising.
There’s a pretty little thing, waiting for the King, down in the jungle room, btw.
Details of his history have been widely derided; his report of how the Egyptians used croc dung for certain eye ailments was hooted and mocked, until recent decades when a naturally occurring antibiotic was discovered in croc dung. Obviously the Egyptians didn’t have microbiology, and must have arrived at the point of trying this out via some kind of magical thinking, but it shows that Herodotus is accurate, with the possible exception of reproducing historical conversations or their gist, such as what the Persian King said — but even those were probably just his reporting something he was told and found credible. He wasn’t without a filter — here and there he mentions the existence of some information that he didn’t find credible, and refused to relay it, which is probably too bad. He relays three different explanations of why the Nile flood comes when it does, including the correct one (melting snows, which he states the least probable), then offers a fourth one of his own, giving a glimpse into the way the ancient Greeks understood their natural world.
“Just remember Desert One in the Iranian desert and it is clear what a sandstorm can do even to modern armies.”
I still hold Bozo the peanut farmer responsible for that.
I attended a memorial service for the special ops troops from Hurlburt field who were killed.
I don’t know who was actually responsible for the foul up but it was a bad one. I guess in the end Jimmy Carter was responsible.
Despite that and the fact that I despise Carter, he at least did try which is more than most would have done.
At least Jimmy wasn’t a Moslem terrorist tho he probably did like them.
“Despite that and the fact that I despise Carter, he at least did try which is more than most would have done.”
Scuttlebutt was that Carter micromanaged that helo into the ground. He made bad decisions at more than one crucial juncture—decisions that should have been made by the special operators.
He did have a reputation for micromanaging everything so I can believe that.
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