Saturday, January 22, 2011


The Hyksos (Egyptian heka khasewet meaning "foreign rulers") were an ethnically mixed group of Southwest Asiatic or Semitic people who appeared in the eastern Nile Delta during the Second Intermediate Period. They rose to power during the Second Intermediate Period, and ruled Lower and Middle Egypt for over one hundred years, forming the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties of Egypt, (ca. 1674-1548 B.C.E.).

Traditionally, only the six Fifteenth Dynasty rulers are called "Hyksos."

The Hyksos had names that bear strong similarities to Canaanite names, especially those which contain the names of Canaanite deities such as Anath or Ba'al. Archaeologists think of the Canaanites as being indistinguishable from the Phoenicians. The Hyksos introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot.

The numerous Sixteenth Dynasty princes are believed to be a mixed collection of "Hyksos", Asiatic Semites, and local native Egyptian princes. The names of the Fifteenth Dynasty Hyksos are known from Egyptian monuments, scarabs and other small objects, and Manetho's history of Egypt, written during the time of Ptolemy II.

Some scholars controversially associate the Hyksos to the ancient Hebrews, seeing their departure from Egypt as the story retold in the Exodus.

It is significant that the Hyksos departure as such is not currently known from any Levantine literature contemporary with the event, while the Exodus is told in the Bible as the formative event of Jewish culture.

The Hyksos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt and was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, which was under control by Theban-based rulers. Hyksos relations with the south seem to have been mainly of a commercial nature, although Theban princes appear to have recognized the Hyksos rulers and may possibly have provided them with tribute for a period. The Hyksos Fifteenth Dynasty rulers established their capital and seat of government at Memphis and their summer residence at Avaris.


No comments:




Blog Archive

Desiring God Blog

Youth for Christ International