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Pithom

PITHOM (pī'thŏm, Heb. pithōm). A city in Egypt in the valley between the Nile and Lake Timsah; perhaps Tell er-Retabah; dedicated to the sun-god Atum; with Rameses to the north, one of the store cities built by the slave labor of the Israelites (Exod.1.11), probably in the reign of Seti I or Ramses II (1319-1234 b.c.). Recent excavations at Tell Mashkutah near Succoth have uncovered bricks made without straw in the upper layers; made with stubble and weeds pulled up by the roots on the middle level; and made with good, clean straw at the bottom of the walls. An inscription at Rameses relates that it was built with Semitic slave labor from Asia. Whether Pithom is at Tell Mashkutah or Tell er-Retabah, it must be in the neighborhood; and the archaeological evidence mentioned above illustrates its construction by Israelite slaves. As a store city on the frontier it held supplies of grain for military forces operating there.