Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
|c. 1650 BC – c. 1550 BC|
The political situation in the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt (c. 1650 — c. 1550 BC) Thebes was briefly conquered by the Hyksos c. 1580 BC
|Common languages||Ancient Egyptian|
|Religion||Ancient Egyptian religion|
• c. 1648 BC
• c. 1555 – c. 1550 BC
|c. 1650 BC|
|c. 1550 BC|
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|History of Egypt|
|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
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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.
It is best known as the period when the Hyksos people of West Asia made their appearance in Egypt and whose reign comprised the 15th dynasty founded by Salitis.
The 12th Dynasty of Egypt came to an end at the end of the 19th century BC with the death of Queen Sobekneferu (1806–1802 BC).Apparently she had no heirs, causing the 12th dynasty to come to a sudden end, and, with it, the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom; it was succeeded by the much weaker 13th Dynasty. Retaining the seat of the 12th dynasty, the 13th dynasty ruled from Itjtawy ("Seizer-of-the-Two-Lands") for most of its existence, switching to Thebes in the far south possibly since the reign of Merneferre Ay.
The 13th dynasty is notable for the accession of the first formally recognised Semitic-speaking king, Khendjer ("Boar"). The 13th Dynasty proved unable to hold on to the entire territory of Egypt however, and a provincial ruling family of Western Asian descent in Avaris, located in the marshes of the eastern Nile Delta, broke away from the central authority to form the 14th Dynasty.
The 15th Dynasty dates approximately from 1650 to 1550 BC.Known rulers of the Fifteenth Dynasty are as follows:
The 15th Dynasty of Egypt was the first Hyksos dynasty. It ruled from Avaris but did not control the entire land. The Hyksos preferred to stay in northern Egypt since they infiltrated from the northeast. The names and order of their 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 I and Apepi II, but this is primarily due to the fact 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, who ruled Egypt for 40 or more years.This is also supported by the fact that this king employed a third prenomen during his reign: Nebkhepeshre. Apepi likely employed several different prenomens throughout various periods of his reign. This scenario is not unprecedented, as later kings, including the famous Ramesses II and Seti II, are known to have used two different prenomens in their own reigns.
The 16th Dynasty ruled the Theban region in Upper Egyptfor 70 years.
Of the two chief versions of Manetho's Aegyptiaca, Dynasty XVI is described by the more reliableAfricanus (supported by Syncellus) as "shepherd [ hyksos ] kings", but by Eusebius as Theban.
Ryholt (1997), followed by Bourriau (2003), in reconstructing the Turin canon, interpreted a list of Thebes-based kings to constitute Manetho's Dynasty XVI, although this is one of Ryholt's "most debatable and far-reaching" conclusions.For this reason other scholars do not follow Ryholt and see only insufficient evidence for the interpretation of the 16th Dynasty as Theban.
The continuing war against Dynasty XV dominated the short-lived 16th dynasty. The armies of the 15th dynasty, winning town after town from their southern enemies, continually encroached on the 16th dynasty territory, eventually threatening and then conquering Thebes itself. In his study of the second intermediate period, the egyptologist Kim Ryholt has suggested that Dedumose I sued for a truce in the latter years of the dynasty,but one of his predecessors, Nebiryraw I, may have been more successful and seems to have enjoyed a period of peace in his reign.
Famine, which had plagued Upper Egypt during the late 13th dynasty and the 14th dynasty, also blighted the 16th dynasty, most evidently during and after the reign of Neferhotep III.
From Ryholt's reconstruction of the Turin canon, 15 kings of the dynasty can now be named, five of whom appear in contemporary sources.While they were most likely rulers based in Thebes itself, some may have been local rulers from other important Upper Egyptian towns, including Abydos, El Kab and Edfu. By the reign of Nebiriau I, the realm controlled by the 16th dynasty extended at least as far north as Hu and south to Edfu. Not listed in the Turin canon (after Ryholt) is Wepwawetemsaf, who left a stele at Abydos and was likely a local kinglet of the Abydos Dynasty.
Ryholt gives the list of kings of the 16th dynasty as shown in the table below.Others, such as Helck, Vandersleyen, Bennett combine some of these rulers with the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt. The estimated dates come from Bennett's publication.
The Abydos Dynasty may have been a short-lived local dynasty ruling over part of Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt and was contemporary with the 15th and 16th Dynasties, approximately from 1650 to 1600 BC.The existence of an Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Franke and later elaborated on by Egyptologist Kim Ryholt in 1997. The existence of the dynasty may have been vindicated in January 2014, when the tomb of the previously unknown pharaoh Seneb Kay was discovered in Abydos. The dynasty tentatively includes four rulers: Wepwawetemsaf, Pantjeny, Snaaib, and Seneb Kay.
The royal necropolis of the Abydos Dynasty was found in the southern part of Abydos, in an area called Anubis Mountain in ancient times. The rulers of the Abydos Dynasty placed their burial ground adjacent to the tombs of the Middle Kingdom rulers.
Around the time Memphis and Itj-tawy fell to the Hyksos, the native Egyptian ruling house in Thebes declared its independence from Itj-tawy, becoming the 17th Dynasty. This dynasty would eventually lead the war of liberation that drove the Hyksos back into Asia. The Theban-based 17th Dynasty restored numerous temples throughout Upper Egypt while maintaining peaceful trading relations with the Hyksos kingdom in the north. Indeed, Senakhtenre Ahmose, the first king in the line of Ahmoside kings, even imported white limestone from the Hyksos-controlled region of Tura to make a granary door at the Temple of Karnak. However, his successors — the final two kings of this dynasty — Seqenenre Tao and Kamose are traditionally credited with defeating the Hyksos in the course of the wars of liberation. With the creation of the 18th Dynasty around 1550 BC the New Kingdom period of Egyptian history begins with Ahmose I, its first pharaoh, completing the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt and placing the country, once again, under centralised administrative control.
The Hyksos were a people of diverse origins, possibly from Western Asia, who settled in the eastern Nile Delta some time before 1650 BC. The arrival of the Hyksos led to the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty and initiated the Second Intermediate Period of 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 dynasty was foreign to ancient Egypt, founded by Salitis, a Hyksos from West Asia whose people had invaded the country and conquered Lower Egypt.
The Sixteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled the Theban region in Upper Egypt for 70 years.
The Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt was a series of rulers reigning during the Second Intermediate Period over the Nile Delta region of Egypt. It lasted between 75 and 155 years, 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, Yakbim, Qareh, or Yaqub-Har. Names in relation with Nubia are also recorded in two cases, king Nehesy and queen Tati.
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.
Rahotep was an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings. The egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker believe that Rahotep was the first king of the 17th Dynasty.
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.
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.
Seuserenre Khyan, Khian or Khayan was a king of the Hyksos Fifteenth dynasty of Egypt. His royal name Seuserenre translates as "The one whom Re has caused to be strong." Khyan bears the titles of an Egyptian king, but also the title ruler of the foreign land (heqa-khaset). The later title is the typical designation of the Hyksos rulers.
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.
Aper-'Anati was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in the mid-17th century BC. According to Jürgen von Beckerath he was the second king of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos kings of the 15th Dynasty. This opinion was recently rejected by Kim Ryholt. In his 1997 study of the Second Intermediate Period, Ryholt argues that the kings of the 16th Dynasty ruled an independent Theban realm c. 1650–1580 BC. Consequently, Ryholt sees 'Aper-'Anati as an early Hyksos king of the 15th Dynasty, perhaps its second ruler. This analysis has convinced some Egyptologists, such as Darrell Baker and Janine Bourriau, but not others including Stephen Quirke.
Seankhenre Mentuhotepi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the fifth king of the 16th Dynasty reigning over the Theban region in Upper Egypt. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the fifth king of the 17th Dynasty.
Sekhemraneferkhau Wepwawetemsaf was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was a king of the Abydos Dynasty, although they leave his position within this dynasty undetermined. Alternatively, the Egyptologist Jürgen von Beckerath sees Wepwawetemsaf as a king of the late 13th Dynasty, while Marcel Marée proposes that he was a king of the late 16th Dynasty.
Menkhaure Snaaib was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker he was a king of the Abydos Dynasty, although they leave his position within the dynasty undetermined. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees Snaaib as a king reigning near the end of the 13th Dynasty.
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.
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.
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.
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