Yasser Metwally

My life…and the world

Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos (1783 BC-1540 BC)

The author: Professor Yasser Metwally


Around 1650 BC, as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs weakened, Asiatic immigrants living in the Eastern Delta town of Avaris seized control of the region and forced the central government to retreat to Thebes, where the pharaoh was treated as a vassal and expected to pay tribute. The Hyksos ("foreign rulers") imitated Egyptian models of government and portrayed themselves as pharaohs, thus integrating Egyptian elements into their Middle Bronze Age culture.

A lifesize wooden statue of the 13th Dynasty king Hor I was found at Dashur....Click to enlarge

Figure 1. A lifesize wooden statue of the 13th Dynasty king Hor I was found at Dashur.

After their retreat, the Theban kings found themselves trapped between the Hyksos to the north and the Hyksos’ Nubian allies, the Kushites, to the south. Nearly 100 years of tenuous inaction followed, and it was not until 1555 BC that the Theban forces gathered enough strength to challenge the Hyksos in a conflict that would last more than 30 years. The pharaohs Seqenenre Tao II and Kamose were ultimately able to defeat the Nubians, but it was Kamose’s successor, Ahmose I, who successfully waged a series of campaigns that permanently eradicated the Hyksos’ presence in Egypt. In the New Kingdom that followed, the military became a central priority for the pharaohs seeking to expand Egypt’s borders and secure her complete dominance of the Near East.


  1. The Egyptian dynasties [Full text]
  2. Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt [Full text]
  3. First Intermediate Period in Ancient Egyptian life [Full text]
  4. Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom [Full text]
  5. Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom [Full text]

November 28, 2009 - Posted by | Ancient Egyptian panorama

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