29 Facts About Hyksos


The Hyksos practiced many Levantine or Canaanite customs, but many Egyptian customs.

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However, Kim Ryholt, argues that "Hyksos" was not an official title of the rulers of the Fifteenth Dynasty, and is never encountered together with royal titulary, only appearing as the title in the case of Sakir-Har.

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Only ancient account of the whole Hyksos period is by the Hellenistic Egyptian historian Manetho, who exists only as quoted by others.

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Hyksos claimed to be rulers of both Lower and Upper Egypt; however, their southern border was marked at Hermopolis and Cusae.

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Conflict between Thebes and the Hyksos is known exclusively from pro-Theban sources, and it is difficult to construct a chronology.

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Hyksos has possession of Hermopolis, and no man can rest, being deprived by the levies of the Setiu.

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Knowledge of Ahmose I's campaigns against the Hyksos mostly comes from the tomb of Ahmose, son of Ebana, who gives a first person account claiming that Ahmose I sacked Avaris:.

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Despairing of achieving his object, he concluded a treaty, under which [the Hyksos] were all to evacuate Egypt and go whither they would unmolested.

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Hyksos show a mix of Egyptian and Levantine cultural traits.

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Khyan, one of the Hyksos rulers, is known for his wide-ranging contacts, as objects in his name have been found at Knossos and Hattusha indicating diplomatic contacts with Crete and the Hittites, and a sphinx with his name was bought on the art market at Baghdad and might demonstrate diplomatic contacts with Babylon, possibly with the first Kassites ruler Gandash.

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Intensive contacts between Kerma and the Hyksos are further attested by seals with the names of Asiatic rulers or with designs known from Avaris at Kerma.

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Manfred Bietak continues to refer to Hyksos vassals, including minor dynasties of West Semitic rulers in Egypt.

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Hyksos do not appear to have produced any court art, instead appropriating monuments from earlier dynasties by writing their names on them.

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The Hyksos interred infants who died in imported Canaanite amphorae.

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The Hyksos practiced the burial of horses and other equids, likely a composite custom of the Egyptian association of the god Set with the donkey and near-eastern notions of equids as representing status.

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Traditionally, the Hyksos have been credited with introducing a number of other military innovations, such as the sickle-sword and composite bow; however, "[t]o what extent the kingdom of Avaris should be credited for these innovations is debatable, " with scholarly opinion currently divided.

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Hyksos introduced better weaving techniques and new musical instruments to Egypt.

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Horse was probably introduced to Egypt by the Hyksos, and became a favourite subject of Egyptian art, as in this whip handle from the reign of Amenhotep III.

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Early period of Hyksos period established their capital of Avaris "as the commercial capital of the Delta".

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The Hyksos exported large quantities of material looted from southern Egypt, especially Egyptian sculptures, to the areas of Canaan and Syria.

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The Hyksos produced local, Levantine-influenced industries, such as Tell el-Yahudiyeh Ware.

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The Hyksos are known to have worshiped the Canaanite storm god Baal, who was associated with the Egyptian god Set.

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Hyksos' rule continued to be condemned by New Kingdom pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, who, 80 years after their defeat, claimed to rebuild many shrines and temples which they had neglected.

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Scholars used to suggest that this marked 400 years since the Hyksos had established their rule, however the lists of Ramesses' ancestors continued to omit the Hyksos and there is no evidence that they were honored during his reign.

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The Hyksos are marked as foreign kings via a throw-stick determinative rather than a divine determinative after their names, and the use of the title rather than the usual royal title.

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Nineteenth-Dynasty story The Quarrel of Apophis and Seqenenre claimed that the Hyksos worshiped no god but Set, making the conflict into one between Ra, the patron of Thebes, and Set as patron of Avaris.

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Furthermore, the battle with the Hyksos was interpreted in light of the mythical battle between the gods Horus and Set, transforming Set into an Asiatic deity while allowing for the integration of Asiatics into Egyptian society.

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Manetho's portrayal of the Hyksos, written nearly 1300 years after the end of Hyksos rule and found in Josephus, is even more negative than the New Kingdom sources.

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Marc van de Mieroop argues that Josephus's portrayal of the initial Hyksos invasion is no more trustworthy than his later claims that they were related to the Exodus, supposedly portrayed in Manetho as performed by a band of lepers.

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