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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Second Intermediate Period /

Hyksos headdress
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Hyksos headdress for a princess.

Ruling dynasty in ancient Egypt, of foreign origin. The Hyksos is ranked as the 15 Dynasty. The name 'Hyksos' means about 'Desert princes'.
The origins of the Hyksos are unclear, but they were probably from Palestine and Syria. Evidence clearly indicate that they were a Semitic people with a nomadic life style.
Some 13 centuries later, the Egyptian historian, Manetho, describes the Hyksos as little but a disaster for Egypt. This may well be considered a nationalist idea, as their substantial influence on Egyptian culture was very positive in many respects. Most intriguing may be their introduction of horse and chariot, but more important were their revolutionizing of bronze working, pottery production and weaving, where Egypt was underdeveloped compared to Asian cultures. They also introduced new musical instruments and musical styles.
The Hyksos also introduced new gods, mainly Astarte and Reshef, but they also embraced Egyptian gods like Seth.
The Hyksos established themselves in Egypt at least in the 18th century BCE, some 70 years before they took power from the memphite rulers of the 14th Dynasty.

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By Tore Kjeilen