Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt
|ca. 1725 BC–ca. 1650 BC|
|Common languages||Egyptian language|
|Religion||ancient Egyptian religion|
|Historical era||Bronze Age|
|ca. 1725 BC|
|ca. 1650 BC|
|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
The Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt was a series of rulers reigning during the Second Intermediate Period over the Nile Delta region of Egypt. They are also commonly referred to as the Hyksos. It lasted between 75 (c. 1725–1650 BC) and 155 years (c. 1805–1650 BC), depending on the scholar. The capital of the dynasty was probably Avaris. The 14th Dynasty existed concurrently with the 13th Dynasty based in Memphis. The rulers of the 14th Dynasty are commonly identified by Egyptologists as being of Canaanite (Semitic) descent, owing to the distinct origins of the names of some of their kings and princes, like Ipqu (West Semitic for "grace"), Yakbim ("ia-ak-bi-im", an Amorite name), Qareh (West Semitic for "the bald one"), or Yaqub-Har. Names in relation with Nubia are also recorded in two cases, king Nehesy ("The Nubian") and queen Tati.
The 14th Dynasty is sometimes combined with the 11th, 12th and 13th Dynasties in the period Middle Kingdom of Egypt, though the 14th Dynasty overlaps at least partially with either (or both of) the 13th Dynasty and the 15th Dynasty. More commonly, the 14th Dynasty is grouped with the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th in the Second Intermediate Period .
Such are the gaps in the knowledge of the 14th Dynasty, that its absolute chronological position is debated and varies by as much as 75 years among authorities. Egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposes that the 14th Dynasty emerged during the late 12th Dynasty, c. 1805 BC, during or shortly after Sobekneferu's rule. He contends that the local Canaanite population residing in the eastern Delta declared its independence and staved off possible attempts from the 13th Dynasty Memphite kings to recover the Delta. According to Ryholt, the 14th Dynasty thus lasted from 1805 BC until its demise under the Hyksos 15th Dynasty, c. 1650 BC, i.e. lasting 155 years.
This hypothesis is not shared by some Egyptologists such as Manfred Bietak, Daphna Ben Tor and James and Susan Allen, who argue that the 14th Dynasty cannot have emerged before the mid 13th Dynasty, c. 1720 BC, after the reign of Sobekhotep IV.In particular, they argue that the evidence from the strata levels in which 14th Dynasty seals were discovered conclusively establishes that the 14th Dynasty was only contemporary with the 13th Dynasty in the last half century of the latter's existence, i.e. after c. 1700 BC. Additionally, Manfred Bietak has dated the inscriptions and monuments of Nehesy, possibly the second ruler of the dynasty, to around 1700 BC as well.
Following the very short reign of Nehesy, most scholars–among them, Manfred Bietak and Kim Ryholt–agree that the Delta region was struck by a prolonged famine and perhaps a plague lasting until the end of the 14th Dynasty.The same famine may have affected the 13th Dynasty, which also exhibits instability and numerous ephemeral kings in its last 50 years of existence, from c. 1700 BC until 1650 BC. The weakened state of both kingdoms may explain, in part, why they fell rapidly to the emerging Hyksos power c. 1650 BC.
The Manethonian tradition credits the Fourteenth Dynasty with as many as 76 kings ruling from Xois rather than Avaris. However, Egyptologist Kim Ryholt notes that the Turin Canon mentions only c. 56 kings and does not have enough space to have recorded over 70 kings. Ryholt also points to excavations at Avaris which revealed the existence of a large royal palace dating to the second intermediate period. One of its courtyards housed a statue of a king or high-ranking official, over twice life-sized, and wearing non-Egyptian attributes. For these reasons, Ryholt and most Egyptologists share the view that Avaris rather than Xois was the seat of power of the 14th Dynasty.
The precise borders of the 14th Dynasty state are not known due to the general scarcity of monuments left by this dynasty. In his study of the second intermediate period however, the Egyptologist Kim Ryholt concludes that the territory directly controlled by the 14th Dynasty roughly consisted of the Nile delta, with its border located around Athribis in the western Delta and Bubastis in the east.
Seals attributable to the 14th Dynasty have been found in Middle and Upper-Egypt, then 13th Dynasty territory, and as far south as Dongola, beyond the third cataract. To the north, seals have been found in the southern Levant, principally along the Mediterranean coast and as far north as Tell Kabri, in modern-day Israel.This indicates the existence of an important trade with the 13th Dynasty, Canaanite city-states, and Nubia. Ryholt further proposes that king Sheshi, whom he sees as a 14th dynasty ruler, married a Nubian princess, queen Tati, to strengthen relations with the Kushite kingdom.
The order of rulers for this dynasty is established by the Turin Royal Canon and is widely accepted, except for the first five rulers, which are given below after Ryholt.The names of these rulers is not given on the Turin Canon, except possibly for one, and Ryholt proposes that they were mentioned as wsf in the list, which denotes a lacuna in the original document from which the list was copied in the Ramesside period. Rather, Ryholt identifies the first five kings thanks to a seriation of their seals. His conclusions are debated however in Ben Tor's study of the strata levels in which seals attributed to the first five kings have been found. Ben Tor concludes that Sheshi's, 'Ammu's and Yakbim's reigns date to the second half of the Hyksos 15th dynasty and are not contemporary with the 13th dynasty. Thus according to Ben Tor, these kings were most likely minor vassal rulers of the Hyksos kings reigning in the Nile Delta.
|Name of King||Image||Dates||Comments|
|Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty|
|Chronological position is contested|
|Chronological position is contested|
|Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty|
|Attested by over 300 scarab-seals, possibly married to queen Tati who was a Kushite. Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty|
The following rulers are not controversial, being established by the Turin canon as well as, for a few of them, by contemporary sources:
|Name of King||Image||Dates||Comments|
|Best attested king of the dynasty, he left his name on two monuments at Avaris. His name means "The Nubian".|
|Turin canon: reigned 1 year, 5 months, 15 days|
|Turin canon: reigned 3 years [lost] months, 1 day|
|Attested by a single stela from Saft el-Hinna, in the Delta|
|Turin canon: reigned 1 year|
|Lost in the Turin kinglist|
|Attested by a jar bearing his prenomen. At least 5 months of reign.|
|wsf in the Turin kinglist, indicating a lacuna in the document from which the list was copied|
|With Nehesy, Nebsenre and Merdjefare, only undisputed king known from contemporary sources|
|Eight lines lost in the Turin kinglist|
|Three lines lost in the Turin kinglist|
|Five lines lost in the Turin kinglist|
Finally, several rulers attested by contemporary artefacts and otherwise unknown from the Turin Canon may be dated to the 14thor 15th Dynasty. Their identities and chronological position remain unclear:
|Name of King||Image||Attestations|
Merneferre Ay was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the mid 13th Dynasty. The longest reigning pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty, he ruled a likely fragmented Egypt for over 23 years in the early to mid 17th century BC. A pyramidion bearing his name shows that he possibly completed a pyramid, probably located in the necropolis of Memphis.
Hyksos is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The seat of power of these kings was the city of Avaris in the Nile delta, from where they ruled over Lower and Middle Egypt up to Cusae. In the Aegyptiaca, a history of Egypt written by the Greco-Egyptian priest and historian Manetho in the 3rd century BC, the term Hyksos is used ethnically to designate people of probable West Semitic, Levantine origin. While Manetho portrayed the Hyksos as invaders and oppressors, this interpretation is questioned in modern Egyptology. Instead, Hyksos rule might have been preceded by groups of Canaanite peoples who gradually settled in the Nile delta from the end of the Twelfth Dynasty onwards and who may have seceded from the crumbling and unstable Egyptian control at some point during the Thirteenth Dynasty.
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.
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.
Anat-her may have been the first ruler of the Sixteenth Dynasty of Egypt, reigning over some part of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period as a vassal of the Hyksos kings of the 15th Dynasty. This is contested however, with the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrel Baker believing that 'Anat-Har was a Canaanite chieftain contemporary with the powerful 12th Dynasty. Others such as Nicholas Geoffrey Lempriere Hammond contend that he was a prince of the 15th Dynasty. 'Anat-Har's name means "Anat is content" and refers to the Semitic goddess Anat, showing that he was of Canaanite descent.
Khamudi was the last Hyksos ruler of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Khamudi came to power in 1534 BC or 1541 BC, ruling the northern portion of Egypt from his capital Avaris. His ultimate defeat at the hands of Ahmose I, after a short reign, marks the end of the Second Intermediate Period.
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.
Maaibre Sheshi was a ruler of areas of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. The dynasty, chronological position, duration and extent of his reign are uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The difficulty of identification is mirrored by problems in determining events from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt. Nonetheless, Sheshi is, in terms of the number of artifacts attributed to him, the best-attested king of the period spanning the end of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate period; roughly from c. 1800 BC until 1550 BC. Hundreds of scaraboid seals bearing his name have been found throughout Canaan, Egypt, Nubia, and as far away as Carthage, where some were still in use 1,500 years after his death.
Nehesy Aasehre (Nehesi) was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. He is placed by most scholars into the early 14th Dynasty, as either the second or the sixth pharaoh of this dynasty. As such he is considered to have reigned for a short time c. 1705 BC and would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta. Recent evidence makes it possible that a second person with this name, a son of a Hyksos king, lived at a slightly later time during the late 15th Dynasty c. 1580 BC. It is possible that most of the artefacts attributed to the king Nehesy mentioned in the Turin canon, in fact belong to this Hyksos prince.
Merdjefare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Merdjefare would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.
Wazad was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Wazad was a member of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt reigning c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, he would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. The Memphis-based 13th Dynasty reigned over Middle and Upper Egypt at the same time. Alternatively, according to Jürgen von Beckerath and Wolfgang Helck, Wazad was a ruler of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty. This view is debated in Egyptology, in particular because Ryholt and others have argued that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom rather than a vassal dynasty of the Hyksos.
Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period.
Sewadjkare III was an Egyptian pharaoh of the Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Sewadjkare III would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.
Merkare was an Egyptian pharaoh of the late 13th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period reigning for a short while, some time between 1663 BC and 1649 BC.
Sekheperenre was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Sekheperenre was the twenty-second king of the dynasty; alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the seventeenth ruler. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Sekheperenre would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.
Sehebre was a ruler of the Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt ruling for three to four years c. 1700 BC during the Second Intermediate Period. According to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker, he was the fifth king of the dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well.
Shenshek was a ruler of some part of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly during the 17th century BC, and likely belonging to the 14th Dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. His chronological position and identity are unclear.
Bebnum is a poorly known ruler of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, reigning in the early or mid 17th century BC.
'Apepi was a ruler of some part of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1650 BC. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, 'Apepi was the fifty-first ruler of the 14th Dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees 'Apepi as a member of the late 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos rulers of the 15th 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.
| Dynasty of Egypt |