Sobekhotep IV - Sobekhotep IV's Rule Over A Divided Egypt With The Hyksos

Sobekhotep IV's Rule Over A Divided Egypt With The Hyksos

While Sobekhotep IV was one of the most powerful 13th dynasty rulers and his control over Memphis, Middle Egypt and Thebes is well attested by historical records, it is now known that his kingdom did not rule over a united Egypt by his reign and that parts of the Delta region was already ruled by the Hyksos king named Khyan. In a recently published Egypt and the Levant Volume 21 (2011) paper by Nadine Moeller, Gregory Marouard and N. Ayers, these three scholars discuss the discovery of an important early 12th dynasty Middle Kingdom administrative building in the eastern Tell Edfu area of Upper Egypt which was continuously used into the early Second Intermediate Period before it fell out of use in the 17th dynasty when its remains were sealed up by a large silo court. Fieldwork by Egyptologists in 2010 and 2011 into the remains of the former 12th dynasty building which was also used in the 13th dynasty led to the discovery of a large adjoining hall which proved to contain 41 sealings showing the cartouche of the Hyksos ruler Khyan together with 9 sealings naming the 13th dynasty king Sobekhotep IV.

As Moeller, Marouard and Ayers write: "These finds come from a secure and sealed archaeological context and open up new questions about the cultural and chronological evolution of the late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period." These finds suggest that 1. Khyan was actually one of the earlier Hyksos kings and may not have been succeeded by Apophis—who was the second last king of the Hyksos kingdom—2. the 15th Hyksos dynasty was already in existence by the mid-13th dynasty period since Khyan controlled a part of northern Egypt at the same time as Sobekhotep IV ruled the rest of Egypt as a pharaoh of the 13th dynasty.

This find confirms the remarks of the 2nd century BCE historian, Artapanus, that under a king named Chenephres or Chanephres (ie. Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV here), Egypt was already divided into various kingdoms.

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