Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt
|1650 BC–c. 1550 BC|
Egypt during the Fifteenth Dynasty
|Common languages||Egyptian language|
|Religion||ancient Egyptian religion|
|Historical era||Bronze Age|
|c. 1550 BC|
|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
The Fifteenth Dynasty was a foreign dynasty of ancient Egypt. It was founded by Salitis, a Hyksos from West Asia whose people had invaded the country and conquered Lower Egypt.The 15th, 16th, and 17th Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Second Intermediate Period. The 15th Dynasty dates approximately from 1650 to 1550 BC.
The kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty are said to have been Canaanite.Pharaoh Kamose is known to have referred to Apophis, one of the kings of the dynasty, as "Chieftain of Retjenu (i.e. Caanan)". The kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty formed "the second Asiatic Kingdom in the Delta", covering an area which may have included Canaan itself, although the archaeological record is sparse. The dynasty probably lasted for a period of about 108 years.
The first king, also described as a Hyksos (ḥḳꜣw-ḫꜣswt, a "shepherd" according to Africanus), led his people into an occupation of the Nile Delta area and settled his capital at Avaris. These events put an end to the Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt.There is no evidence of conflict at that time however, and the settling of the Canaanite populations could have occurred rather peacefully in the power vacuum left by the disintegration of the Fourteenth Dynasty. Subsequent relations with Egyptian polities, however, were marked with violent conflict.
The people of Avaris in the Nile Delta were called "Aamu" by the Egyptians, which was also the term used to designate the inhabitants of Syria and the Levant, or the enemies of Ramses II at the battle of Kadesh. This has generally been translated as "Western Asiatics" by Egyptologists.
The term Hyksos was traditionally used to designate foreign chieftains, and more specifically "rulers of the Asiatics", already before the Fifteenth Dynasty and also after it.It was not an official title of the rulers of the Fifteenth dynasty, and is never encountered together with royal titulature, except in one rare instance in an inscription from Tell el-Dab'a mentioning an unknown king and describing him as an Hyksos. "Hyksos" was rather a generic term which is encountered separately from royal titulature, and in regnal lists after the end of the Fifteenth Dynasty itself. In another instance, Khyan is thought to have used the title "Hyksos" early in his reign, and then abandoned it for traditional Egyptian titulature when he invaded the whole of Egypt. Only the first four kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty are known to have used the naming "Hyksos", and after that royal titulature becomes purely Egyptian.
Regular conflicts continued with the Egyptian dynasties to the south, the Sixteenth Dynasty, the Abydos Dynasty and the Seventeenth Dynasty, with shorts intervals of peace during which there were some relations with Nubia.Soon after the occupation of the Nile Delta, where it replaced the Fourteenth Dynasty, the Fifteenth Dynasty expanded to occupy Memphis, leading to the fall of the Thirteenth Dynasty at Memphis. As Egyptian political power disintegrated at Memphis, new dynasties arose in the south, the Abydos Dynasty and the Sixteenth Dynasty at Thebes.
The Fifteenth Dynasty at one point, after a period of about 20 years since its foundation, extended its rule as far south as Thebes, entering into conflict with Pharaoh Neferhotep III.The whole of Egypt was conquered during the reign of Khayan. The Abydos Dynasty also vanished on the occasion of these southern conquests. Numerous monuments from conquered areas were brought north to the capital of Avaris, and many were marked with additional inscriptions, especially by Apophis.
The Fifteenth Dynasty eventually ended with the conquest of Avaris by the Pharaoh Ahmose I.
The trading relations of the Fifteenth Dynasty were mainly with Canaan and Cyprus.Trade with Canaan is said to have been "intensive", especially with many imports of Canaanite wares, and may have reflected the Canaanite origins of the dynasty. According to the Kamose stelae, the Hyksos imported "charriots and horses, ships, timber, gold, lapis lazuli, silver, turquoise, bronze, axes without number, oil, incense, fat and honey". The Fifteenth Dynasty also exported large quantities of material looted from southern Egypt, especially Egyptian sculptures, to the areas of Canaan and Syria. These transfers of Egyptian artifacts to the Near East may especially be attributed to king Apophis. Trade relations with Cyprus were also very important.
The relation of the Fifteenth Dynasty to Egyptian religious traditions was ambiguous, and they are said by commentators from the Eighteenth Dynasty that "they ruled without ackowledging Re".The dynasty is recorded as having destroyed Egyptian monuments and removed Egyptian statuary for booty, as well as plundering royal tombs, Ahmose complaining that "pyramids have been torn down".
Known rulers of the 15th Dynasty are as follows:
|Name||Image||Dates and comments|
|Salitis||Mentioned by Manetho as first king of the dynasty; currently unidentified with any known archaeologically attested person.|
|Semqen||Mentioned on the Turin king list. According to Ryholt, he was an early Hyksos ruler, possibly the first king of the dynasty; von Beckerath assigns him to the 16th dynasty.|
|Aperanat||Mentioned on the Turin king list. According to Ryholt, he was an early Hyksos ruler, possibly the second king of the dynasty; von Beckerath assigns him to the 16th dynasty.|
|Khyan||Ruled 10+ years.|
|Yanassi||Khyan's eldest son, possibly at the origin of the mention of a king Iannas in Manetho's Aegyptiaca|
|Sakir-Har||Named as an Hyksos king on a doorjamb found at Avaris. Regnal order uncertain.|
|Apophis||c. 1590?–1550 BC|
Ruled 40+ years.
|Khamudi||c. 1550–1540 BC|
The 15th Dynasty of Egypt was the first Hyksos dynasty, ruling from Avaris, without control of the entire land. The Hyksos preferred to stay in northern Egypt since they infiltrated from the north-east. The names and order of kings is uncertain. The Turin King list indicates that there were six Hyksos kings, with an obscure Khamudi listed as the final king of the 15th Dynasty.
Some scholars argue there were two Apophis kings named Apepi, but this is primarily because there are two known prenomens for this king: Awoserre and Aqenenre. However, the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt maintains in his study of the Second Intermediate Period that these prenomens all refer to one man: Apepi I, who ruled Egypt for 40+X years.This is also supported by this king's employment of a third prenomen during his reign: Nebkhepeshre. Apophis likely employed different prenomens over the course of several periods of his reign. This scenario is not without precedent or parallel, since several kings, including Mentuhotep II, the famous Ramesses II, and Seti II, are known to have used two different prenomens during their reigns.
The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when ancient Egypt fell into disarray for a second time, between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom. The concept of a "Second Intermediate Period" was coined in 1942 by German Egyptologist Hanns Stock.
Djedhotepre Dedumose I was an Egyptian pharaoh of the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Darrell Baker, Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, he was a king of the 16th Dynasty. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath, Thomas Schneider and Detlef Franke see him as a king of the 13th Dynasty.
Meruserre Yaqub-Har was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th or 16th century BCE. As he reigned during Egypt's fragmented Second Intermediate Period, it is difficult to date his reign precisely, and even the dynasty to which he belonged is uncertain.
The Sixteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled the Theban region in Upper Egypt for 70 years.
The Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the third dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. The 17th Dynasty dates approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC. Its mainly Theban rulers are contemporary with the Hyksos of the Fifteenth Dynasty and succeed the Sixteenth Dynasty, which was also based in Thebes.
Apepi or Apophis was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the Fifteenth Dynasty and the end of the Second Intermediate Period that was dominated by this foreign dynasty of rulers called the Hyksos. According to the Turin Canon of Kings, he ruled over the northern portion of Egypt for forty years. He ruled during the early half of the 16th century BC and outlived his southern rival, Kamose, but not Ahmose I. Although his reign only entailed northern Egypt, Apepi was dominant over most of Egypt during the early portion of his reign, and traded peacefully with the native Theban Seventeenth dynasty to the south.
Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV was one of the more powerful Egyptian kings of the 13th Dynasty, who reigned at least eight years. His brothers, Neferhotep I and Sihathor, were his predecessors on the throne, the latter having only ruled as coregent for a few months.
Nubkheperre Intef was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt. He is known to be the brother of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef—and this king's immediate successor—since he donated Louvre Coffin E3019 for this king's burial which bears an inscription that it was donated for king Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef "as that which his brother, king Antefgives", notes Kim Ryholt. As the German scholar Thomas Schneider writes in the 2006 book Ancient Egyptian Chronology :
Nebmaatre is the prenomen of a poorly attested ruler of the late Second Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt. Nebmaatre may have been a member of the early 17th Dynasty and as such would have reigned over the Theban region. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath believes that Nebmaatre was a ruler of the late 16th Dynasty.
'Ammu Aahotepre or Ahotepre was a minor Hyksos pharaoh of Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt.
Retjenu, was an ancient Egyptian name for Canaan and Syria. It covered the region from the Negev Desert north to the Orontes River. The borders of Retjenu shifted with time, but it generally consisted of three regions. The southernmost was Djahy, which had about the same boundaries as Canaan. Lebanon proper was located in the middle, between the Mediterranean and the Orontes River. North of Lebanon was designated Amurru, the land of the Amorites.
Kim Steven Bardrum Ryholt is a professor of Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen and a specialist on Egyptian history and literature. He is director of the research center Canon and Identity Formation in the Earliest Literate Societies under the University of Copenhagen Programme of Excellence and director of The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection & Project.
Sakir-Har was an Hyksos ruler over some part of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly in the early 16th century BC. Sakir-Har is attested by a single inscription on a doorjamb excavated at Tell el-Dab'a—ancient Avaris—by Manfred Bietak in the 1990s. The doorjamb, now in Cairo under the catalog number Cairo TD-8316, bears his partial royal titulary in the manner of the Ancient Egyptian, showing his Nebti and Golden Falcon names, as well as his nomen. The doorjamb reads
[Horus who... ...], The possessor of the Wadjet and Nekhbet diadems who subdues the bow people. The Golden Falcon who establishes his boundary. The heka-khawaset, Sakir-Har.
Keminub was an ancient Egyptian woman with the title king's wife. She is only known from her burial next to the pyramid of Amenemhet II at Dahshur. For that reason, it has been suggested she was his wife.
Djedneferre Dedumose II was a native ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was a ruler of the Theban 16th Dynasty. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath, Thomas Schneider and Detlef Franke see him as a king of the 13th Dynasty.
Iufni was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker he was the 7th king of the dynasty, while Jürgen von Beckerath and Detlef Franke see him as the 6th ruler. Iufni reigned from Memphis for a very short time c. 1788 BC or 1741 BC.
Sekhaenre Yakbim or Yakbmu was a ruler during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. Although his dynastic and temporal collocation is disputed, Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt believes that he likely was the founder of the Levantine-blooded Fourteenth Dynasty, while in older literature he was mainly considered a member of the Sixteenth Dynasty.
Nebsenre was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Nebsenre reigned for a least five months over the Eastern and possibly Western Nile Delta, some time during the first half of the 17th century BCE. As such Nebsenre was a contemporary of the Memphis based 13th Dynasty.
Yanassi was a prince and possibly a Hyksos king of the Fifteenth Dynasty. He was the eldest king's son of the Hyksos pharaoh Khyan and possibly the crown prince, designated to be Khyan's successor. He may have succeeded his father as king Iannas from the West Semitic Jinaśśi’-Ad, thereby giving rise to the mention in Manetho's Aegyptiaca of a king Iannas ruling–improbably–after Apophis. Alternatively, the Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has proposed that Khyan was succeeded by Apophis, and because Yanassi was Khyan's eldest son, Ryholt proposed that Apophis was an usurper. This opinion has been rejected as mere speculation by scholars including David Aston Archaeological discoveries in the 2010s show that Khyan's rule may have to be pushed further back in time, creating the need and time for one or more kings to reign between Khyan and Apophis. In addition, the Turin canon, an exhaustive list of kings written during the reign of Ramses II, can be interpreted to have credited more than 10 years of reign to a king ruling before Apophis and after Khyan, possibly Yanassi, if he was indeed Apophis' immediate predecessor.
Nebdjefare was a pharaoh of the Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He appears to have ruled during the Second Intermediate Period, for between 12 and 24 months, during the 17th century BC. Knowledge of his reign comes entirely from the severely damaged Turin King List.
| Dynasty of Egypt |