Semqen

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Semqen (also Šamuqēnu) was an Hyksos ruler of Lower Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in the mid 17th century BC. According to Jürgen von Beckerath he was the third king of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos kings of the 15th Dynasty. [4] [5] This opinion was shared by William C. Hayes and Wolfgang Helck but 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. 16501580 BC. [6] Consequently, Ryholt sees Semqen as an early Hyksos king of the 15th Dynasty, perhaps its first ruler. This analysis has convinced some egyptologists, such as Darrell Baker and Janine Bourriau, [7] [8] but not others including Stephen Quirke. [9]

Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt, established 15th dynasty ca. 1650-1550 BC

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. In the context of Ancient Egypt, the term "Asiatic" may refer to people native to areas east of Egypt.

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt: the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two channels major that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Jürgen von Beckerath was a German Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer who published countless articles in journals such as Orientalia, Göttinger Miszellen (GM), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE), Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO), and Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK) among others. Together with Kenneth Kitchen, he is viewed as one of the foremost scholars on the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.

Attestations

Semqen's only contemporary attestation is a brown steatite scarab-seal from Tell el-Yahudiyeh in the Nile Delta. [10] Significantly, the scarab gives him the title of Heka-chasut, "Ruler of the foreign lands", a title exclusively associated with the early Hyksos rulers. [1] [11] Furthermore, the design of the scarab indicates that it was likely produced either during the 14th or the 15th Dynasty, the later being much more probable.

Nile Delta delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River drains into the Mediterranean Sea

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.

The original location of the seal, the title it is inscribed with and its design led Kim Ryholt to propose that Semqen belonged to the early 15th Dynasty, although he also points to the conjectural nature of this proposition. Ryholt further adds that the title Heka-chasut, even if securely dated to the 15th Dynasty, may not have been borne only by the rulers of this dynasty. [7]

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.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Fraser, G.W. , A catalogue of scarabs belonging to George Fraser (cat. no. 179). London, Bernard Quaritch, 1900.
  2. Percy E. Newberry: Scarabs an introduction to the study of Egyptian seals and signet rings, with forty-four plates and one hundred and sixteen illustrations in the text, 1906, available online copyright-free see plate XXIII, num 10 and page 152.
  3. Percy E. Newberry: Scarabs an introduction to the study of Egyptian seals and signet rings, with forty-four plates and one hundred and sixteen illustrations in the text, 1906, available online copyright-free see plate XXIII, num 10 and page 152.
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : P. von Zabern, 1999, ISBN   3-8053-2591-6, available online see p. 120121.
  5. William C. Hayes, The Cambridge Ancient History (Fascicle): 6: Egypt: From the Death of Ammenemes III to Seqenenre II, CUP Archive, 1962 p 19
  6. K.S.B. Ryholt: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, excerpts available online here.
  7. 1 2 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN   978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 378
  8. Janine Bourriau, Ian Shaw (editor): The Oxford history of ancient Egypt, chapter The Second Intermediate Period, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2003, ISBN   0-19-280458-8,
  9. Stephen Quirke, Marcel Maree (editor): The Second Intermediate Period Thirteenth - Seventeenth Dynasties, Current Research, Future Prospects, Leuven 2011, Paris — Walpole, MA. ISBN   978-9042922280, p. 56, n. 6
  10. Olga Tufnell: Studies on Scarab Seals Vol. 2, Aris & Phillips 1984, ISBN   978-0856681301, see seal num. 3463 and pl. LXII, p. 382.
  11. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie: Egypt and Israel, London : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1911, available online copyright-free