|1649 BC–1582 BC|
|Common languages||Egyptian language|
|Religion||ancient Egyptian religion|
|Historical era||Bronze Age|
|Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
See also: List of Pharaohs by Period and Dynasty
The Sixteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XVI)was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled the Theban region in Upper Egypt for 70 years.
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.
Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.
This dynasty, together with Dynasties XV and XVII, are often combined under the group title, Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650–1580 BC), a period that saw the division of Upper and Lower Egypt between the pharaohs at Thebes and the Hyksos kings of the 15th dynasty based at Avaris.
In Egyptian history, the Upper and Lower Egypt period was the final stage of prehistoric Egypt and directly preceded the nation's unification. The conception of Egypt as the Two Lands was an example of the dualism in ancient Egyptian culture and appeared frequently in texts and imagery, including in the titles of Egyptian pharaohs.
Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.
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" refers to people native to areas east of Egypt.
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.
Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.
Sextus Julius Africanus was a Christian traveler and historian of the late second and early third centuries. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Church Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers.
George Synkellos or Syncellus was a Byzantine chronicler and ecclesiastic. He had lived many years in Palestine as a monk, before coming to Constantinople, where he was appointed synkellos to Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople. He later retired to a monastery to write what was intended to be his great work, a chronicle of world history, Ekloge chronographias, or Extract of Chronography. According to Anastasius Bibliothecarius, George "struggled valiantly against heresy [i.e. Iconoclasm] and received many punishments from the rulers who raged against the rites of the Church", although the accuracy of the claim is suspect.
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 Sixteenth Dynasty as Theban.
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.
The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egyptian hieratic papyrus thought to date from the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, now in the Museo Egizio in Turin. The papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the ancient Egyptians, and is the basis for most chronology before the reign of Ramesses II.
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.
Sewadjenre Nebiryraw was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Theban-based 16th Dynasty, during the Second Intermediate Period.
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.
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every inhabited continent in the world has experienced a period of famine throughout history. In the 19th and 20th century, it was generally Southeast and South Asia, as well as Eastern and Central Europe that suffered the most deaths from famine. The numbers dying from famine began to fall sharply from the 2000s.
The Thirteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties XI, XII and XIV under the group title Middle Kingdom. Some writers separate it from these dynasties and join it to Dynasties XIV through XVII as part of the Second Intermediate Period. Dynasty XIII lasted from approximately 1803 BC until approximately 1649 BC, i.e. for 154 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.
Various chronological orderings and lists of kings have been proposed by scholars for this dynasty. These lists fall broadly in two categories: those assuming that the 16th Dynasty comprised vassals of the Hyksos, as advocated by Jürgen von Beckerath and Wolfgang Helck; and those assuming that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom, as recently proposed by Kim Ryholt.
The traditional list of rulers of the 16th Dynasty regroups kings believed to be vassals of the Hyksos, some of which have semitic names such as Semqen and Anat-her. The list of kings differs from scholar to scholar and it is here given as per Jürgen von Beckerath's Dynasty XV/XVI in his Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen.Wolfgang Helck, who also believes that the 16th Dynasty was an Hyksos vassal state, proposed a slightly different list of kings. Many of the rulers listed here in the 16th Dynasty under the hypothesis that they were vassals of the Hyksos are put in the 14th Dynasty in the hypothesis that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom. The chronological ordering is largely uncertain.
|Name of king||Dates||Comments|
|Possibly a prince of the 15th Dynasty or a Canaanite chieftain contemporary with the 12th Dynasty|
|May belong to the early 15th Dynasty|
|May belong to the early 15th Dynasty|
|May belong to the early 15th Dynasty|
|May be identical with the Hyksos ruler Apepi|
|May belong to the early 14th Dynasty|
|May belong to the late 14th Dynasty|
|May belong to the 17th Dynasty|
|May be the same person as 'Ammu|
|May belong to the 14th Dynasty|
|Possibly Qareh, may belong to the 14th Dynasty|
|Likely to be Sheneh rather than Shenes and may belong to the 14th Dynasty|
|Reading is uncertain|
In his 1997 study of the Second Intermediate Period, the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt argues that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom. From Ryholt's reconstruction of the Turin canon, 15 kings can be associated to the dynasty, several of whom are attested by contemporary sources.While 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 list of rulers is given here as per Kim Ryholt and is supposedly in chronological order:
|Name of king||Dates||Comments|
|Name lost in a lacuna of the Turin canon|
|Five kings lost in a lacuna of the Turin canon|
Additional kings are classified as belonging to this dynasty per Kim Ryholt but their chronological position is uncertain. They may correspond to the last five lost kings on the Turin canon:
|Name of king||Dates||Comments|
|May have tried to sue the Hyksos for peace|
|Left a colossal statue of himself in Karnak|
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.
Sekhemrewahkhau 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.
Semqen 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. 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. 1650–1580 BC. 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, but not others including Stephen Quirke.
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.
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 1500 years after his death.
Sekhemre Seusertawy Sobekhotep VIII was possibly the third king of the 16th Dynasty of Egypt reigning over the Theban region in Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Alternatively, he may be a ruler of the 13th or 17th Dynasty. If he was a king of the 16th Dynasty, Sobekhotep VIII would be credited 16 years of reign by the Turin canon, starting c. 1650 BC, at the time of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt.
Neferkare Khendu was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighth Dynasty during the early First Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker he was the sixth king of the Eighth Dynasty.
Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III Iykhernofret was the third or fourth ruler of the Theban 16th Dynasty, reigning after Sobekhotep VIII according to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker. He is assigned a reign of 1 year in the Turin Canon and is known primarily by a single stela from Thebes. In an older study, Von Beckerath dated Neferhotep III to the end of the 13th Dynasty.
Seankhibre Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early Thirteenth Dynasty ruling in the first half of the 18th century BC during a time referred to as the late Middle Kingdom or early Second Intermediate Period, depending on the scholar. Amenemhat VI certainly enjoyed a short reign, estimated at 3 years or shorter. He is attested by a few contemporary artefacts and is listed on two different king lists. He may belong to a larger family of pharaohs including Amenemhat V, Ameny Qemau, Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef and Iufni.
'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.
The Abydos Dynasty is hypothesized to have been a short-lived local dynasty ruling over parts of Middle and Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt. The Abydos Dynasty would have been contemporaneous with the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties, from approximately 1650 to 1600 BC. It would have been based in or around Abydos and its royal necropolis might have been located at the foot of the Mountain of Anubis, a hill resembling a pyramid in the Abydene desert, close to a rock-cut tomb built for pharaoh Senusret III.
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. According to the egyptologist Kim Ryholt, he was the sixteenth king of the dynasty, reigning for 3 years, from 1775 BC until 1772 BC. Thomas Schneider, on the other hand, places his reign from 1752 BC until 1746 BC. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the third king of the dynasty. As a ruler of the early 13th Dynasty, Khabaw would have ruled from Memphis to Aswan and possibly over the western Nile Delta.
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.
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 |