Caphtor - Non-traditional Identifications

Non-traditional Identifications

From the 18th century onwards commentators attempted several identifications of Caphtor which increasingly disregarded the traditional identification as an Egyptian coastal locality in the vicinity of Pelusium. These included identification with Coptus, Colchis, Cyprus, Cappadocia in Asia Minor, Cilicia and Crete.

The identification with Coptus is noted in Osborne's A Universal History From The Earliest Account of Time, where it is remarked that many suppose the name to have originated from Caphtor. While this interepretation agrees with tradition placing Caphtor in Egypt it disregards the tradition that it was a coastland (iy rendered island in some Bible translations) and more precisely Caphutkia and this contradiction is noted in Osborne. It is now known that the name Coptus is derived from Egyptian Gebtu which is not associated with the name Caphtor.

Egyptian kftı͗w (conventionally vocalised as Keftiu) is attested in numerous inscriptions. The 19th century view suggesting that Keftiu corresponded to Caphtor, and that Caphtor was to be identified with Cyprus or Syria shifted to an association with Crete under the influence of Sir Arthur Evans. It was criticised in 1931 by G. A. Wainwright, who located Keftiu in Cilicia, on the Mediterranean shore of Asia Minor, and he drew together evidence from a wide variety of sources: in geographical lists and the inscription of Tutmose III's "Hymn of Victory", where the place of Keftiu in lists appeared to exist among recognizable regions in the northeasternmost corner of the Mediterranean, in the text of the "Keftiuan spell" śntkppwymntrkkr, of ca 1200 BC, in which Cilician and Syrian deities Sanda Tarku and Kubaba were claimed, in personal names associated in texts with Keftiu and in Tutmose's "silver shawabty vessel of the work of Keftiu" and vessels of iron, which were received as gifts from Tinay in northern Syria. Wainwright's view is not generally accepted as his evidence shows at most a cultural exchange between Keftiu and Anatolia without pinpointing its location on the Mediterranean coast. In 1980 J. Strange drew together a comprehensive collection of documents that mentioned Caphtor or Keftiu. He noted that crucial texts dissociate Keftiu from "the Islands in the Middle of the Sea", by which Egyptian scribes denoted Crete.

The stone base of a statue during the reign of Amenhotep III includes the name kftı͗w in a list of Mediterranean ship stops as distinct from several Cretan cities such as Kydonia, Phaistos, and Amnisos, thus showing that the term does not refer to Crete.

Read more about this topic:  Caphtor