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The lost army of Cambyses

24 June 2014

At http://phys.org/print322466839.html … a new slant on that story famously told by Herodotus. Egyptologist Olaf Kapar has a theory that has a ring of truth about it. According to Herodotus a column of 50,000 soldiers belonging to the king of Persia entered the desert west of Thebes – and was never seen again. They were swallowed up in a sand storm. The key is in the destination of the army, the oasis of Dakla. This is where an Egyptian leader in rebellion against Persian control of his country had set up a base to harry the foreigners – and their cohorts. According to the new theory Pedubastis III ambushed the Persian troops, somewhere in the desert, and defeated them decisively. He then went on to reconquer a large part of Egypt and had himself crowned pharaoh at Memphis. Two years later it all went wrong. The new king of Persia, Darius, despatched an army and defeated Pedubast. Kapar alleges that Darius was embarrassed by the Persian defeat and airbrushed it out of history by concocting the tale of a sand storm.

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