18 Facts About Sheshi


Maaibre Sheshi was a ruler of areas of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period.

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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.

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Second hypothesis supported by Egyptologist William Ayres Ward and the archaeologist Daphna Ben-Tor propose that Sheshi was a Hyksos king and belongs to the second half of the 15th Dynasty, reigning between Khyan and Apophis.

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Alternatively, Manfred Bietak has proposed that Sheshi was a vassal of the Hyksos, ruling over some part of Egypt or Canaan.

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Ryholt proposed that Sheshi allied his kingdom with the Kushites in Nubia via a dynastic marriage with the Nubian princess Tati.

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Nomen of Sheshi is inscribed on over two hundred scarab seals, which constitute the sole attestations of his reign.

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The number of scarabs attributed to Sheshi is paralleled in number only by those bearing the prenomen Maaibre, meaning "The righteous one is the heart of Ra".

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Consequently, Maaibre Sheshi is the best attested ruler of the Second Intermediate Period in terms of the number of artefacts attributed to him, with 396 seals and two seal impressions showing his nomen or prenomen.

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Over 80 percent of the seals attributed to Maaibre Sheshi are of unknown provenance, but the remaining 20 percent have been found throughout Egypt, Nubia and Canaan, indicating widespread trade and diplomatic contacts during Sheshi's reign.

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Finally, two seal impressions of Sheshi have been found in Carthage, in a context dated archeologically to the 2nd-century BC.

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Seals of Sheshi are now scattered in many different museums, including the Israel Museum, Petrie Museum, Ashmolean, British Museum, Louvre, Walters Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

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Sheshi is absent from the Turin canon, a list of kings written on papyrus during the Ramesside period and which serves as the primary historical source for the Second Intermediate Period.

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Finally, Aharon Kempinski and Donald B Redford have proposed that Sheshi is the historical figure who gave rise to the Biblical Sheshai, one of the Anakim living in Hebron at the time of the conquest of Canaan by the Hebrews according to Numbers 13:22.

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In contrast, if Sheshi is to be identified with Maaibre, then Sheshi bore a prenomen.

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Consequently, Ryholt suggests that Sheshi was actually a 14th Dynasty ruler, the 14th Dynasty being a line of kings of Canaanite descent possibly ruling over the Eastern Nile Delta immediately before the arrival of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty.

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Ryholt thus proposes that Sheshi reigned from c 1745 BC until 1705 BC and was a contemporary of Khabaw and Djedkheperew.

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Ryholt's hypothesis regarding Sheshi comes with his dating the start of the 14th Dynasty around 1805 BC, over 90 years earlier than accepted by most Egyptologists.

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Ryholt proposes that Sheshi had at least two consorts; Tati with whom he fathered his successor pharaoh Nehesy, and an unknown queen with whom he fathered a prince Ipqu.

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