Origins Of The Hyksos
The Hyksos rulers of the fifteenth dynasty of Egypt were of non-Egyptian origin. Most archaeologists describe the Hyksos as as a mix of Asiatic peoples, suggested by recorded names such as Khyan and Sakir-Har that resemble Asiatic names, and pottery finds that resemble Palestinian pottery. The name Hyksos was used by the Egyptian historian Manetho (ca. 300 BCE), who, according to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (1st century CE), translated the word as “king-shepherds” or “captive shepherds.” Josephus himself wished to demonstrate the great antiquity of the Jews, and thus identified the Hyksos with the Hebrews of the Bible. Hyksos was in fact probably an Egyptian term for “rulers of foreign lands” (heqa-khase), and it almost certainly designated the foreign dynasts rather than a whole nation. The Hyksos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt and was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, which was under control by Theban-based rulers except for Thebes's port city of Elim at modern Quasir. Hyksos relations with the south seem to have been mainly of a commercial nature, although Theban princes appear to have recognized the Hyksos rulers and may possibly have provided them with tribute for a period. The Hyksos Fifteenth Dynasty rulers established their capital and seat of government at Memphis and their summer residence at Avaris.
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