Egyptian Timeline:

Second Intermediate Period (1782 B.C. 1570 B.C.)


Prehistoric and Predynastic Periods First Intermediate Period The Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate Period New Kingdom Third Intermediate Period Late Period Graeco-Roman Period Byzantine Period Early Dynastic Period Old Kingdom
At the same time as the decline in authority of the rulers of Dynasty 13, large numbers of foreigners from western Asia were moving into parts of Lower Egypt and settling there [17452]. Few monuments date to this time and it is difficult to trace this migration in detail. But the immigrants were later called the Hyksos, from the Egyptian term heka khasut, meaning "rulers of foreign lands." They were a mixed bag of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples who came to Egypt not as warriors bent on conquest, as we once believed, but as peasants seeking grazing land for their sheep and goats or work as laborers and servants. They quickly adopted Egyptian customs and readily mixed these with their own cultural traditions. 17452
By Dynasty 15, they had established their own city in the eastern Delta at Tall ad Dab'a, and as their numbers increased, they moved deeper into the country, eventually controlling Memphis and other cities in the north. They ruled much of Lower and Middle Egypt for over a century and sought alliances with opponents of Egypt to the south in Nubia. Not surprisingly, this potential pincer soon brought the Upper Egyptians, whose capital was Thebes, into open conflict with both. The ensuing battles, fought by Theban kings Ta'a II, Kames, and Ahmes I, were ultimately won by the Theban rulers who regained control of a united Egypt [17449]. 17449
The Hyksos first introduced the harnessed horse and chariot into Egypt, both used extensively in the New Kingdom for military activities, but little else [14367]. They also brought the composite bow, armor, the vertical loom, the lyre and the lute. 14367
Published or last modified on: August 23, 2002
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