This engraved slab of granite is more than ten feet tall and was found in 1896 in Western Thebes, Egypt. It contains the oldest* certain reference to “Israel” outside of the Bible, and is referred to as the Merneptah Stela. It was carved c. 1210 BC in hieroglyphs and is currently located in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. (Note: the word "Israel" is the darkened section in the second line from the bottom, which can be seen more clearly by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.)
*The Berlin Pedestal may contain a reference to Israel that is older than the Merneptah Stela.
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION: © Greg Gulbrandsen