In the past, scientists were inclined to accept Manetho’s report on the appearance of Hyksos in Egypt as a description of the sudden invasion of hordes of conquerors carrying fire and destruction. In recent years, the rethinking of the material has forced us to draw new conclusions.
First, archaeological excavations did not give exact confirmation that the Hyksos had invaded the country as conquerors; ceramics and fortifications, which were considered the remnants of their culture, have, by common opinion, another source.Their culture either fully corresponded to the local, or they quickly adopted the customs of the Egyptians. Mane-von, embarrassed by false etymology, translated the word “Hyksos” as “the rulers of the shepherds”, but the “rulers of the mountains” were more accurate. Under this name they were well known to the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom; for example, a group of such people in their “multi-colored cloaks” is represented in the painting of the tomb in Beni-Hassan.
These “rulers of the uplands” were just wandering Semites who traded with Egypt or came to worship shrines and buy corn or water the herds according to the tradition-consecrated centuries.There are stories of how, during the famine, they were sold into slavery for corn, or they themselves were hired to work for food and shelter. Recent studies of papyri from the Brooklyn Museum and other documents showed that in Egypt there were many Asians who, since the first interim period, served as cooks, brewers, bath attendants, etc. Immigrant children often received Egyptian names and therefore fell out of our sight.
It is known that at the court of Senusert II there were Asian dancers and gatekeepers, which indicates that sometimes foreigners had to occupy important and trustworthy posts. It is easy to see that by the middle of the Thirteenth Dynasty, energetic and efficient Semites could also be safely settled in the Egyptian state, like the Greek freedmen in imperial Rome. The famine and displacement of peoples led to the large-scale penetration of the Semites into the Delta, especially during the period of anarchy, which struck the Middle Kingdom. As a result, the state of Lower Egypt, led by an Asian ruler and officials, imperceptibly appropriated all the functions of the government of the pharaoh could be formed.Apparently, this is exactly what happened.
On the eastern borders of the Delta, the principality of the Hyksos was formed, with its capital in Avaris, and Asian influence spread throughout Lower Egypt to Memphis itself, until, almost without a single blow, power was knocked out of the hands of the last weak ruler of the Thirteenth Dynasty. The rulers of the Hyksos, whom we know by their names, probably founded the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties, adopting Egyptian titles, costumes and habits, began to write their foreign names with hieroglyphics and adopted the usual throne names. The fact that in Lower Egypt they were perceived as legitimate rulers is clear from the fact that they are on the list of pharaohs written in the time of the Ramesses.By the XVI century BC. e. in the Nile valley, the following political situation seems to have developed: Lower Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of pharaohs-Hyksos, who inherited the prestige and power of the Egyptian rulers; their influence extended beyond the Delta, on the territory of Sinai and Palestine.
Upper Egypt from Elephantine to a place north of Assiut enjoyed a fragile independence under the rule of the Theban rulers, who paid tribute to the Hyksos. The areas south of Elephantine (Nubia and Lower Sudan) were also independent; They were ruled by the rulers of Kush, but in alliance with the Hyksos – this unusual state of things deserves explanation.Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom subjugated Sudan right up to the Second threshold and created factories outside this border to Kerma itself. An amazing hybrid culture flourished here, using both Egyptian techniques for making utensils made of faience and metal, as well as foreign materials such as mica and shells, as well as local design.
Back in the reign of Amenemhet II Hapjefi, the ruler of this district, created for himself in his native Assiut a beautiful tomb and was buried in Kerma under a large mound surrounded by servants and women. They were dragged here and strangled so that they could accompany their master in the afterlife. If Hapjefi could adopt such a barbaric custom, then there is nothing surprising in that,