The Merneptah Stele is an ancient Egyptian artifact that dates back to around 1208 BCE. The stele is a large stone slab that is inscribed with hieroglyphs and was commissioned by Pharaoh Merneptah to commemorate his military victories.
The stele is of particular interest to biblical scholars as it contains what is believed to be the earliest known reference to the people of Israel outside of the Bible. The inscription refers to a group of people known as “Israel” and states that they were defeated by the Egyptians during Merneptah’s campaign in the Levant.
The stele is therefore an important piece of evidence that supports the existence of the ancient Israelites and their presence in the land of Canaan during this period.