Kings of Egypt, Egyptian pharaoh Ahmose I and the Hyksos

Egyptian king Ahmose I

Now, we are going to discuss some facts about one of the most important kings of Egypt, which is pharaoh king Ahmose I.

And also we are going to mention some facts about the first invasion in history over Egypt by some tribes known as the Hyksos.

Egyptian facts about pharaoh king Ahmose I

King Ahmose I was the founder of 19th Dynasty. The 18th dynasty was the first dynasty in the new kingdom in Egypt. His name was (Iˁḥ ms) which means born by the moon. His family was the ruling family in “Thebes”.

His father was King Sequnen Ra II who started the liberation war against the Hyksos and was killed at one of the battles against them.

His brother was kamose who defeated the Hyksos but never expelled them from Egypt. His mother was queen Iˁḥ hotep.

The most remarkable achievement for Ahmose was the expelling of the Hyksos out the country, as he was followed by his brother kamose and continued what his father and brother started.

He took Memphis from the Hyksos and besieged their capital “Avaris”. He defeated them in Egypt, then they escaped and he followed them to the city of “Gaza”.

After that, we didn’t hear about the Hyksos in the history. And then he founded the 18th dynasty in Egypt and became the ruler of Egypt.

Facts about his internal achievements

  • He expelled the Hyksos out of the country
  • After expelling the Hyksos, he came back to Egypt and put down the rebellion which breaks out by some remains of Hyksos family in Egypt.
  • He rebuilt the administrative system in the country.
  • He rebuilt the temples which destroyed by the Hyksos.
  • He decided to make the city of “Thebes” the capital of Egypt.

Facts about his external achievements

  • He led an expedition to Nubia to stop the Nubian invasion.
  • He made commercial relations with Asia and Nubia as he imported some goods like gold, silver, and turquoise from there.
  • There were three important women who played a very important role during the wars against the Hyksos.

Queen Iah Hotep

She was Ahmose’s mother who had an important role as well during the wars.

But some historians mentioned that maybe she was not Egyptian after finding some of her jewelry having an Aegean influence, but there was no proof that she was foreign.

Ahmose Nefertiri

She was Ahmose’s wife and later during the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties she was considered to be the goddess of the necropolis.

Queen Teti Sheri

She was Ahmose’s grandmother who played a very important role during the wars against the Hyksos. He was buried in Dra Abu el-Naga area, but his mummy was found in the Deir el-Bahari cache.

Hyksos invasion

Facts about Hyksos
Facts about Egypt, scene depicts the tribes of Hyksos

Before talking about the Hyksos invasion, we should mention the circumstances and conditions which led to this invasion. The Egyptian historian Manetho states that the 13th dynasty was followed by 14th.

He said that there were about 76 kings ruling for about 184 years, and their center of the rule was in Sakha in the west of the delta.

The Turin papyrus states 21 kings of them while the Karnak palette didn’t state them at all.

The 13th dynasty was of better luck than the 14th because of the presence of the Hyksos during the latter and already based in the east of the delta. While Thebes and other parts of Egypt were still under the power of the ruling houses.

At that time Egypt lived what the historians called it “the 2nd intermediate period” as Egypt at that time was very weak and faced an era of collapsing and chaos.

So it was a chance for the enemies to conquer Egypt especially the Asiatic people.

Who were the Hyksos?

The word of Hyksos means in ancient Egyptian language “rulers of the foreign lands”.

This name appeared for the first time in the 12th dynasty in the tomb of khnumhotep II as it appears in one scene of this tomb above a group of Asiatic.

The Hyksos was a group of tribes gathered together on one aim which was finding a secure place to live. The founder of the Hyksos called salatis or sheshi or sharek as he built great military forces.

Their origin

  • We don’t know the origin exactly but some scholars said that they belonged to the Semitic origin as we have some name from the Semitic origin like Abd, nekhmin and Jacob.

Also, we have some Semitic gods like baal and astrate.

  • Another opinion said that they were a group of tribes gathering themselves, some came from Asia and the other came from Europe to find secure land.
  • The third opinion said that they belonged to the Aryan origin and they came from the Aryan lands and also they had some features of Aryan nations.

Generally, we know that the Hyksos came from the east and they came from several nations and their origin was Asiatic.

How did they invade Egypt?

Chariot in ancient Egypt
Facts about ancient Egypt, the chariot

Some scholars believed that the Hyksos invaded Egypt through the chariots as it was a new weapon at these days. That’s happened during the 14th dynasty.

How did they rule Egypt?

They weren’t friendly and they ill-treated the Egyptians. They humiliated their gods and destroyed their temples. They didn’t mix with the Egyptians as they kept away from them.

Their religion

The Hyksos worshiped several gods from animals and the main deity was Sotekh, this god represented in a form of donkey

Their rulers

  • In the 15th dynasty: they were 6 kings.
  • In the 16th dynasty: they were 32 kings.
  • In the 17th dynasty: they were 43 kings.

The number of the rulers was increasing and this means that the rulers became weaker and the governors became stronger.

Duration of their rule

According to Manetho, he said that they ruled for 900 years.

This seems not acceptable as the number of the years between the middle kingdom and the new kingdom was 200 years only.

The liberation war

The number of the Hyksos kings was increasing, which means that the power of the local governors was increased especially in the 17th and 18th dynasty as they thought in the liberation war.

The governors started to write their names and before it (nsw bity) which means the king of upper and lower Egypt.

They started to stop worshiping of god Sotekh and came back to the worship of god Ra.

Facts about Egypt king Sequnen Ra II

He was one of the local governors of Thebes.  He was the 1st ruler to start the liberation war. He decided to organize the people and the local governors of the south to start the war.

All of them were agreed to fight the Hyksos and stopped paying the tribute.

The documents that lead us to know the liberation war

  • The 1st one is salle papyrus.
  • The 2nd on is the mummy of Sequnen Ra II.

We found his mummy full of injuries and wounds which are indication that he died in war or battle.

Sequnen Ra II was followed by his son kamose who started gathering people of Upper and Lower Egypt to make the unification and defeated the Hyksos but he didn’t achieve the great liberation.

He was very angry as when he gathered the people there were 2 opinions about the liberation war:

  • The first: some of them said yes and agreed to fight the Hyksos
  • The second: the other said no and said that they were living in middle Egypt and the Hyksos settled in the north and the Nubians at the south

So, he was angry and decided to fight them till the end of his life. On Karnak stela kamose said that he defeated the Hyksos but they didn’t leave Egypt.

After kamose his brother Ahmose (the founder of the 18th dynasty) came and continued the war against the Hyksos. He was able to captive Memphis and he decided to besiege Avaris (the capital of the Hyksos).

Then he expelled them from Egypt and followed them till Sharohin (south of Gaza). We have mentioned here the most important facts about Egypt King Ahmose I and the Hyksos.