Macquarie University
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Rise of the Hyksos: Egypt and the Levant from the Middle Kingdom to the early Second Intermediate Period

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posted on 2022-03-29, 02:56 authored by Anna-Latifa Mourad
The Second Intermediate Period of Egypt is characterised by the destabilisation of the Egyptian state. It is recognised as the time in which the ḥḳ3.w ḫ3s.wt ‘rulers of foreign lands’, or ‘Hyksos’, extended their control over Egypt during the Fifteenth Dynasty. Investigations into how the Hyksos were able to gain such control remained dependent on Manetho’s affirmation of an Asiatic invasion until recent excavations at Tell el‐Dab’a disclosed new data on their dynasty. Since then, much debate has circulated on the rise of the Hyksos, with scholars advocating one of three models: (1) invasion; (2) gradual infiltration and peaceful takeover; or (3) gradual infiltration and violent takeover. The Hyksos have also been argued to be from either the Northern or Southern Levant, the confusion partly due to a lack of an up‐to‐date study assessing Levantines, their growing influences on Egypt, and whether this influence helped the Hyksos establish their rule. The thesis is a response to this need and focuses on the rise of the Hyksos by tracing Egyptian‐Levantine contact from the Middle Kingdom to the early Second Intermediate Period. It outlines the development of the status of Levantines in Egyptian society, and reassesses the changing nature of Egyptian‐Levantine relations. The approach is holistic, gathering archaeological, textual and artistic evidence that reveals intercultural contact. Special focus is placed on archaeological ethnic markers to identify the presence of Levantines in Egypt. The Egyptian concept of ethnicity is also utilised as a means to differentiate between Egyptians and a Levantine ethnic group in Egyptian textual and artistic compositions. The methods are proven to be well‐suited in determining the rise of the Fifteenth Dynasty, offering significant insight into its origin. Consequently, current knowledge surrounding Egyptian‐Levantine relations and the collapse of the Middle Kingdom are illuminated, and new light is shed on the enigmatic Hyksos dynasty of Egypt.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Previous scholarship -- 3. Ethnicity and its representation -- 4. Tracing Asiatics in Egypt -- 5. Between Egypt and the Levant: the Eastern Desert -- 6. Contact with the Egyptian in the Levant -- 7. Representing Asiatics and the Levant -- 8. Rulers of foreign lands.


Due to copyright restrictions, Volume II Chapters 4-6: Figures (pages 178-370) have been omitted from this thesis. Includes bibliographical references "A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy"

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Naguib Kanawati


Copyright Anna-Latifa Mourad 2014 Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (2 volumes (xxii, 448, xii, 177 pages)) illustrations, maps

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