Home Region:  Northeast Africa (Africa)

Egypt - Thebes-Hyksos Period

EQ 2020  eg_thebes_hyksos / EgThebH

During the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1720‒1567 BCE), or alternatively ’the Hyksos period and the Era of the Second Theban Petty State’, [1] Egypt as a whole once again experienced a phase of political decentralization, split into regions controlled by competing dynasties. The Hyksos (Fifteenth Dynasty) occupied the north. The Hyksos were a non-native Egyptian ruling clan who invaded Egypt from the Levant, establishing a military and bureaucratic stronghold at Avaris in the Nile Delta. [2] The area subject to Hyksos authority spread west and east across the delta and, at the polity’s peak in the mid-16th century BCE, probably reached as far south as Middle Egypt. [3] The Nile Valley south of Hermopolis was dominated by a rival power, the Theban kings of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties. [4] [5]
Population and political organization
Political fragmentation characterizes Egypt after the Middle Kingdom and the Hyksos invasion. In Upper Egypt, the Theban kingdom ruled by Egyptians (the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties) claimed a continuity with the Middle Kingdom, lasting about 100 years up to the end of the period. [6] [7] Egyptian archaeologist Josef Wegner has proposed based on finds near Abydos that a short-lived independent kingdom, an ’Abydos Dynasty’, existed alongside the Theban Sixteenth Dynasty but ’lost their independence as part of political events that led up to the Theban ascendancy’ of the Seventeenth Dynasty. [8]
Unfortunately, due to the disjointed nature of Egyptian politics at the time and the inconsistent material, [5] very little can be said about the population of the region during this period. The provincial organization of Theban Egypt at this time saw the king employ garrison commanders side-by-side with governors, or sometimes combined into one office. This may suggest ’a general militarization of the provinces’. [9] The governors of the provinces were often married directly into the family of the Upper Egyptian king. [9] At this time Upper Egypt was relatively poor and weak in relation to Lower Egypt. Among the achievements of the Hyksos administration at Avaris was the copying of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, which required a scribe trained to the highest degree of skill and with access to a specialized mathematical archive, most likely at the Temple of Ptah at Memphis. [10] By contrast, although they carried out renovations of ancient Egyptian temples and portrayed themselves as restorers of order and harmony in the old pharaonic style, the Theban rulers and elite were cut off from the scholarly legacy of the Middle Kingdom because they lacked access to the centres of scribal learning at Memphis. [11] In order to maintain the crucial funerary rituals, they were obliged to create new compilations of texts (including one of the earliest known examples of the spell book we know as the Book of the Dead. [12]

[1]: (Morenz and Popko 2010, 102) Ludwig D. Morenz and Lutz Popko. 2010. ’The Second Intermediate Period and the New Kingdom’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 101-19. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 173) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 182) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

[4]: (Lloyd 2010, xxxv) Alan B. Lloyd. 2010. ’Chronology’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, xxxii-xliii. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[5]: (Bourriau 2003, 172-73) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

[6]: (Wegner 2015, 68) Josef Wegner. 2015. ’A Royal Necropolis at South Abydos: New Light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period’. Near Eastern Archaeology 78 (2): 68-78.

[7]: (Morenz and Popko 2010, 106-08) Ludwig D. Morenz and Lutz Popko. 2010. ’The Second Intermediate Period and the New Kingdom’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 101-19. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[8]: (Wegner 2015, 73) Josef Wegner. 2015. ’A Royal Necropolis at South Abydos: New Light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period’. Near Eastern Archaeology 78 (2): 68-78.

[9]: (Shirley 2013, 557) J. J. Shirley. 2013. ’Crisis and Restructuring of the State: From the Second Intermediate Period to the Advent of the Ramesses’, in Ancient Egyptian Adminstration, edited by Juan Carlos Moreno García, 521-606. Leiden: Brill.

[10]: (Bourriau 2003, 181) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

[11]: (Bourriau 2003, 188, 193) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

[12]: (Bourriau 2003, 193) Janine Bourriau. 2003. ’The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 172-206. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
36 R  
Original Name:
Egypt - Thebes-Hyksos Period  
Capital:
Tell el Daba  
Thebes  
Avaris  
Alternative Name:
Hyksos Kingdom  
15th Dynasty  
16th Dynasty  
17th Dynasty  
Second Intermediate Period  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,555 BCE  
Duration:
[1,720 BCE ➜ 1,567 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Egypt - New Kingdom Thutmosid Period  
Preceding Entity:
Egypt - Middle Kingdom  
Degree of Centralization:
nominal  
loose  
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Afro-Asiatic  
Language:
Ancient Egyptian  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[50,000 to 100,000] people  
Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 5]  
Religious Level:
[3 to 4]  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
[5 to 6]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
inferred absent  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred present  
Court:
present  
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
inferred absent  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
inferred present  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
inferred present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
inferred absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
inferred absent  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
inferred absent  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
inferred absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Egypt - Thebes-Hyksos Period (eg_thebes_hyksos) was in:
 (1720 BCE 1567 BCE)   Upper Egypt
Home NGA: Upper Egypt

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Egypt - Thebes-Hyksos Period

"If we accept the evidence in favour of Seneb-Kay and the seven other similar tombs representing an independent kingdom, the "Abydos Dynasty," then we may plausibly suggest that this was a kingdom geographically flanked by a mosaic of potential political rivals. To the south lay the Theban kingdom ruled by the 16th Dynasty. To the nnorth the Hyksos 15th Dynasty and a possible array of vassal rulers would have dominated the Nile Delta. At the beginning of this era the vestiges of the 13th Dynasty may have still controlled the area around the Middle Kingdom royal capital at Itj-Tawy, even after secession of Upper Egypt (Ilin-Tomich 2014)." [1]

[1]: (Wegner 2015, 77) Wegner, Josef. 2015. A royal necropolis at South Abydos: New light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Near Eastern archaeology. Volume 78. Issue 2. 68-78.


Capital:
Tell el Daba

"The beginning of the Second Intermediate Period is marked by the abandonment of the Residence at Lisht, 32 km. south of Memphis, and the establishment of the royal court and seat of government at Thebes, the Southern City." [1]
Memphis: capital of the 12th Dynasty kings [2]
Itjtawy: capital of the 13th Dynasty kings [2]
16th and 17th Dynasty kings: "We cannot be certain that they all ruled from Thebes, and some may have been local rulers in important towns such as Abydos, Elkab, and Edfu." [3]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 191)

Capital:
Thebes

"The beginning of the Second Intermediate Period is marked by the abandonment of the Residence at Lisht, 32 km. south of Memphis, and the establishment of the royal court and seat of government at Thebes, the Southern City." [1]
Memphis: capital of the 12th Dynasty kings [2]
Itjtawy: capital of the 13th Dynasty kings [2]
16th and 17th Dynasty kings: "We cannot be certain that they all ruled from Thebes, and some may have been local rulers in important towns such as Abydos, Elkab, and Edfu." [3]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 191)

Capital:
Avaris

"The beginning of the Second Intermediate Period is marked by the abandonment of the Residence at Lisht, 32 km. south of Memphis, and the establishment of the royal court and seat of government at Thebes, the Southern City." [1]
Memphis: capital of the 12th Dynasty kings [2]
Itjtawy: capital of the 13th Dynasty kings [2]
16th and 17th Dynasty kings: "We cannot be certain that they all ruled from Thebes, and some may have been local rulers in important towns such as Abydos, Elkab, and Edfu." [3]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 191)


Alternative Name:
Hyksos Kingdom

Second Intermediate Period: c. 1650-1550 BCE [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

Alternative Name:
15th Dynasty

Second Intermediate Period: c. 1650-1550 BCE [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

Alternative Name:
16th Dynasty

Second Intermediate Period: c. 1650-1550 BCE [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

Alternative Name:
17th Dynasty

Second Intermediate Period: c. 1650-1550 BCE [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

Alternative Name:
Second Intermediate Period

Second Intermediate Period: c. 1650-1550 BCE [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,555 BCE

Zenith of the Hyksos period: reign of Aauserra Apepi c.1555 BCE. [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 181)


Duration:
[1,720 BCE ➜ 1,567 BCE]

{1720-1567 BCE; 1720-1420 BCE} or 1720-{1567-1420} BCE
Conquest of Avaris c1532-1528 BCE. [1]
"The late Second Intermediate Period, the final stage of the Middle Bronze Age in Egypt, was associated with the decline of the Middle Kingdom state system and the emergence of a fragmentary political situation in which Egypt was ultimately dominated by two rival kingdoms, the Thebans (Dynasties 16-17) in Upper Egypt, and the Hyksos (Dynasty 15) in the Nile Delta." [2]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)

[2]: (Wegner 2015, 68) Wegner, Josef. 2015. A royal necropolis at South Abydos: New light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Near Eastern archaeology. Volume 78. Issue 2. 68-78.


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none

"Theban ruler Kamos rejected his status as vassal." [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 183)


Succeeding Entity:
Egypt - New Kingdom Thutmosid Period

Preceding Entity:
Egypt - Middle Kingdom

Degree of Centralization:
nominal

EWA: this should be between nominal and loose
if Hyksos polity did not hold further south than el-Qusiya NGA region for the "Hyksos Period" must be a quasi-polity?

Degree of Centralization:
loose

EWA: this should be between nominal and loose
if Hyksos polity did not hold further south than el-Qusiya NGA region for the "Hyksos Period" must be a quasi-polity?

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

EWA: this should be between nominal and loose
if Hyksos polity did not hold further south than el-Qusiya NGA region for the "Hyksos Period" must be a quasi-polity?


Language

Language:
Ancient Egyptian

The Hyksos "adopted the language and customs of their subjects" [1]

[1]: (Sayce 1903, 349)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[50,000 to 100,000] people

[50,000-100,000]: 1600 BCE Avaris. [1] When expelled from Egypt Josephus said 240,000 Hyksos households from the Avaris area had to relocate in Syria. [2]
Tell el-Dab’a covered almost 4 KM2 (400 ha) at its largest extent. [3] Using an estimate of [50-200] people per hectare, this would be equivalent to a population of 20,000-80,000.

[1]: (Modelski 2003, 218)

[2]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 6)

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 180)


Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2

KM2.
Approximation of territory 16th Dynasty Egypt - in Upper Egypt.
"The late Second Intermediate Period, the final stage of the Middle Bronze Age in Egypt, was associated with the decline of the Middle Kingdom state system and the emergence of a fragmentary political situation in which Egypt was ultimately dominated by two rival kingdoms, the Thebans (Dynasties 16-17) in Upper Egypt, and the Hyksos (Dynasty 15) in the Nile Delta." [1] 1720-1567 BCE
"If we accept the evidence in favour of Seneb-Kay and the seven other similar tombs representing an independent kingdom, the "Abydos Dynasty," then we may plausibly suggest that this was a kingdom geographically flanked by a mosaic of potential political rivals. To the south lay the Theban kingdom ruled by the 16th Dynasty. To the north the Hyksos 15th Dynasty and a possible array of vassal rulers would have dominated the Nile Delta. At the beginning of this era the vestiges of the 13th Dynasty may have still controlled the area around the Middle Kingdom royal capital at Itj-Tawy, even after secession of Upper Egypt (Ilin-Tomich 2014)." [2]
Hyksos held Upper Egypt only for a short time. [3] Manetho implied Hyksos initially held the entire country. Delta was the stronghold. Carnarvon Tablet I suggests territory as far as "Middle Egypt" toward end of 17th Dynasty. There are Hyksos monuments south of Middle Egypt but not much evidence for occupation this region. Cusae possibly southern limit, as suggested by Newberry. Southern granite was used in the Hyksos realm, but this could have come from trade. [4] Khian’s name not found south of Gebelein (40 km south of Thebes). Khian’s rule before 1620 BCE. [5]

[1]: (Wegner 2015, 68) Wegner, Josef. 2015. A royal necropolis at South Abydos: New light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Near Eastern archaeology. Volume 78. Issue 2. 68-78.

[2]: (Wegner 2015, 77) Wegner, Josef. 2015. A royal necropolis at South Abydos: New light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Near Eastern archaeology. Volume 78. Issue 2. 68-78.

[3]: (Hall 1928)

[4]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 15-16)

[5]: (Hayes 1990, 6)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 5]

EWA: 4 Memphis, 3 regional centres like Hierakonpolies and Abidos, 2 minor centre like Aswan/Naga-el-Deir, 1 villages. ref. Bard 2014, 2nd edition.
1. Memphis
2. Regional centres like Hierakonpolis and Abydos3. Minor centres like Aswan and Naga-el-Deir4. Villages(5. Hamlets)
EWA final: this variable for early dynastic to Hyksos should be 4 to 5. The reason is that we can infer the existince of hamlets at the bottom end of the scale. This should be implemented for all the intermediate polities.


Religious Level:
[3 to 4]

AD: possibly this hierarchy?
1. Ruler
2. High priest3. Priest
3. Temple scribes4. Scribes
EWA: Kim Ryholt. The political situation in Egypt ... 1997. might have relevant data.
Official religion modelled on Egyptian. State god Seth of Avaris. [1]
Reference to Horemkhauef, a chief inspector of priests (late 13th Dynasty?). Lector priests. Scribes. [2]
Temple overseers, temple scribes, scribes, cultivators of divine offerings, scribes of the divine seal, masters of foodbearers, high priests, overseer of singers, w’b priests, and hm-ntr, hry-hbt, wnwt, and sm3. [3]

[1]: (Hayes 1990, 4)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 186)

[3]: (Shirley 2013, 562)


Military Level:
6

In Theban Egypt:
"The continuing military ethos of the time is illustrated by the popularity of military titles such as "commander of the crew of the ruler" and "commander of the town regiment." They show a defensive grouping of military resources around the king and confirm the importance of local militias based on towns." [1]
Garrison commander at Abydos "no later - though probably also earlier - than soon after Rahotep’s reign." "The same man was also the "mayor", that is, the highest local administrator" [2]
At the rank of "royal sealer" there was an "overseer of troops." [3]
1. King
2. King’s Sons - military officials "presumably" responsible directly to the king. Often garrison commanders, but also other military officials. [4]
2. Vizier3. Overseer of troops [5] 4. Commander of the garrison crew of the ruler [6] 5. soldier/officer of the ruler’s crew [6] 6. soldier/officer of a town regiment [6]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 192)

[2]: (Maree 2010, 266)

[3]: (Grajetzki 2010, 305)

[4]: (Shirley 2013, 553)

[5]: (Shirley 2013, 566)

[6]: (Shirley 2013, 530)


Administrative Level:
[5 to 6]


1. King
_13th Dynasty Royal Court_ [1] nb: this is a Middle Kingdom dynasty
2. Vizier
3. Royal sealerincluding: treasurer, high steward, overseer of fields, overseer of troops, overseer of the compound, overseer of sealers4. ... ? ...
5. ... ? ...
_16th and 17th Dynasty Palace and Central Administration_
2. Vizier"The vizier and overseers of sealed things continue to represent the highest civil and palace authorities attested during the 16th and 17th Dynasties." King’s sons increased importance during 17th Dynasty. [2]
 ??. Overseer of the Sealers [3] - a level above the Overseer of Sealed Things?
3. Overseer of Sealed Things [4] 4. Deputy Overseer of Sealed Things [4] 5. Great scribe of the overseer of sealed things [3] 6. Scribe / Scribe of the document [5]
2. King’s council?"Saying things in the presence of His Majesty in his ’h by the council of the great ones who attend him." (Stele and tablet of King Kamose). [6]
2. King’s Sons"During the late 13th Dynasty the king’s son title began to be used for officials given particular duties, principally military officials stationed at forts and garrisons, indicating both the level of their connection to the king, and presumably that they were responsible directly to him. This function seems to have carried over into the 16th and 17th Dynasties, when this title is attested with great frequency for individuals who were not likely to have been actual princes. The officials who bear it come from a variety of administrative areas: priests, governors, overseers of the gs-pr, and especially garrison commanders and other memebers of the military." [7]
_ Central government line _ [8]
2. Central elite
3. "Overseer of works" title in Theban Egypt [9]
4. Scribes
_ Provincial line _
2. Provincial governors (Theban region) (EWA: Local potentates) [8] Governors [10] often garrison commanders during late 16th and 17th Dynasties. [11]
In Theban Egypt "At several towns the installation of garrison commanders in addition to governors, or one official holding both titles, indicates a general militarization of the provinces." Provincial court was closely connected to King’s court at Thebes, with governors marrying princesses and often assigned specific duties. [12]
Mayor of Elephantine (16th Dynasty Theban Egypt). Neferhotep responsible to king for the region Thebes to Elephantine. [13]
3. maybe "Sons of the king" (=City governors)Mayor was the highest local administrator in Theban Egypt. Could also hold position of garrison commander. [14]
4. Scribes

[1]: (Grajetzki 2010, 305)

[2]: (Shirley 2013, 548)

[3]: (Shirley 2013, 529)

[4]: (Shirley 2013, 528)

[5]: (Shirley 2013, 527, 530)

[6]: (Pagliari 2012, 592) Pagliari, Giulia. 2012. Function and significance of ancient Egyptian royal palaces from the Middle Kingdom to the Saite period: a lexicographical study and its possible connection with the archaeological evidence. Ph.D. thesis. University of Birmingham.

[7]: (Shirley 2013, 553)

[8]: (EWA, Sept 2014)

[9]: (Bourriau 2003, 192)

[10]: (Shirley 2013, 556)

[11]: (Shirley 2013, 559)

[12]: (Shirley 2013, 557)

[13]: (Bourriau 2003, 194-195)

[14]: (Maree 2010, 266)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

In Theban Egypt:
"The continuing military ethos of the time is illustrated by the popularity of military titles such as "commander of the crew of the ruler" and "commander of the town regiment." They show a defensive grouping of military resources around the king and confirm the importance of local militias based on towns." [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 192)


Professional Priesthood:
present

Official religion modelled on Egyptian. State god Seth of Avaris. [1]
Reference to Horemkhauef, a chief inspector of priests (late 13th Dynasty?). Lector priests. Scribes. [2]
Temple overseers, temple scribes, scribes, cultivators of divine offerings, scribes of the divine seal, masters of foodbearers, high priests, overseer of singers, w’b priests, and hm-ntr, hry-hbt, wnwt, and sm3. [3]

[1]: (Hayes 1990, 4)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 186)

[3]: (Shirley 2013, 562)


Professional Military Officer:
present

In Theban Egypt:
"The continuing military ethos of the time is illustrated by the popularity of military titles such as "commander of the crew of the ruler" and "commander of the town regiment." They show a defensive grouping of military resources around the king and confirm the importance of local militias based on towns." [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 192)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

"The vizier and overseers of sealed things continue to represent the highest civil and palace authorities attested during the 16th and 17th Dynasties." King’s sons increased importance during 17th Dynasty. [1]

[1]: (Shirley 2013, 548)


Merit Promotion:
absent

Evidence of father-son successions among 13th dynasty Viziers. Succession "well attested for governors and at lower levels of the administration." [1]

[1]: (Grajetzki 2010, 306)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Administrators of the royal court. [1]

[1]: (Grajetzki 2010)



Law

No specialised judges can be confirmed for the Middle Kingdom.


Formal Legal Code:
present

Likely that there were different legal systems in different regions. I.e. Delta region where Hyksos were congregated and the more southerly vassal regions, such as Thebes.


Courts were inferred present for Middle Kingdom.

Courts were inferred present for Middle Kingdom.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Trading was a daily activity. [1] "lack of evidence of state ’control’ of crafts or of the economy; ... absence of evidence of ’redistribution’ ... increasingly widespread evidence of commercial activity ... exaggerated attention to titles has paid neither sufficient attention to their absence, nor to the lack of evidence for an administrative role of titles when they are documented. Together these points suggest that the Ancient Egyptian economy was a pre-capitalist market economy in which administration played a relatively unimportant role in itself." [2]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 24)

[2]: (Warburton 2007) Warburton, David A. 2007. Work and Compensation in Ancient Egypt. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Vol. 93. pp 175-194. Egypt Exploration Society.


Irrigation System:
absent

Hyksos introduced the well-sweep. [1] Not enough to be considered an irrigation system (significant infrastructure such as pipes, cisterns, channels that constitute a working system, that requires more than one person to maintain.)

[1]: (Hayes 1990, 4)




Transport Infrastructure

Excavations at Tell el Dab’a uncovered major harbour site. [1] "[E]ntire length of the Syrian and Palestinian coast was dotted with seaports which were open to traffic." [2] Probably a harbour at Tell el-Dab’a. The people of this town were likely "engaged in foreign trade, sea travel and boat production." [3]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 40)

[2]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 24)

[3]: (Bietak in Maree ed. 2010, 140)



Bridge:
unknown

Earliest reference to small bridge is for the new kingdom. Bridges over wide expanse of water unknown. [1] However, it is highly probable that small bridges were necessary before this time and Egyptians would have been more than capable of building and maintaining them.

[1]: (Arnold 2003, 37)


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Galena was mined at Gebel-el-Zeit. [1]

[1]: (Marée 2009, 148) Marée, Marcel. 2009. THE 12th-17th DYNASTIES AT GEBEL EL-ZEIT. BIBLIOTHECA ORIENTALIS LXVI N° 3-4, mei-augustus.


Information / Writing System


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

The Coptic alphabet is the script used for writing the Coptic language. The repertoire of glyphs is based on the Greek alphabet augmented by letters borrowed from the Egyptian Demotic and is the first alphabetic script used for the Egyptian language. [1]

[1]: Ritner, Robert Kriech. 1996. "The Coptic Alphabet". In The World’s Writing Systems, edited by Peter T. Daniels and William Bright. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 1994:287-290.



Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Hieroglyphs.



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

Treatise on mathematics dated to the 23rd year of the reign of Apophis Ra-aa-user. [1] "literary and scientific texts such as Papyrus Sallier I and the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. [2]

[1]: (Sayce 1903, 350)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)



Religious Literature:
present

"Such centres, with their archives, were not destroyed and may even have flourished under the Hyksos, but the Thebans would have been unable to consult them, thus perhaps necessitating the creation of a new compilation of texts needed for the all-important funerary rituals. One of the first collection of spells that we know as the Book of the Dead dates to the 16th Dynasty and comes from a coffin of Queen Mentuhotep, wife of King Djehuty." [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 193)


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

"records of administration, public and private" [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)


History:
present

Inscriptions of "funerary biographies" [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 173)



Information / Money

Precious Metal:
present

Hyksos imported gold and silver. [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)






Information / Postal System


Courier:
present

Messengers. [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 199)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Tell el-Dab’a covered almost 4 KM2 at its largest extent. Citadel on western edge on the river, watchtower to the southeast over the land, around them an "enclosure wall" 6.2 meters wide (later 8.5m) and "buttressed at intervals." [1] Wall built at Buhen (perhaps renewal of existing fortifications) under Theban control in the third year of Kamose. [2]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 180)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 195)


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Tell el-Dab’a covered almost 4 KM2 at its largest extent. Citadel on western edge on the river, watchtower to the southeast over the land, around them an "enclosure wall" 6.2 meters wide (later 8.5m) and "buttressed at intervals." [1] Wall built at Buhen (perhaps renewal of existing fortifications) under Theban control in the third year of Kamose. [2]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 180)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 195)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Tell el-Dab’a covered almost 4 KM2 at its largest extent. Citadel on western edge on the river, watchtower to the southeast over the land, around them an "enclosure wall" 6.2 meters wide (later 8.5m) and "buttressed at intervals." [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 180)



"The type of town defense most characteristic of the Hyksos was a sloping revetment or rampart above which a town wall itself was often built. For added protection a moat or fosse was frequently dug." [1]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 20-21)



Earth Rampart:
present

"The type of town defense most characteristic of the Hyksos was a sloping revetment or rampart above which a town wall itself was often built. For added protection a moat or fosse was frequently dug. The materials which went into the construction of the revetment... sand, mud, mud-brick, stone, and plaster." Many Hyksos fortifications were "rectangular or even square where the ground contour permitted... the sides or corners of these structures tend to face the cardinal points. Such fortifications have been uncovered in Lower Egypt, Palestine, and Syria... best known rectangular camp... at Tell el-Yahudiyyah in the Delta. The structure was about 1100 feet square on the inside, with rounded corners. An embankment of sand was faced with plaster and properly braced on the inside by a retaining wall." [1]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 20-21)


"The type of town defense most characteristic of the Hyksos was a sloping revetment or rampart above which a town wall itself was often built. For added protection a moat or fosse was frequently dug." [1]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 20-21)


Complex Fortification:
absent

Multiple lines of fortification not described by sources. Tell el-Dab’a covered almost 4 KM2 at its largest extent. Citadel on western edge on the river, watchtower to the southeast over the land, around them an "enclosure wall" 6.2 meters wide (later 8.5m) and "buttressed at intervals." [1] In Upper Egypt there were "forts guarding the second Nile cataract" at Elephantine. [2] Fort at Buhen. [3]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 180)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 194)

[3]: (Bourriau 2003, 194-195)



Military use of Metals

not in use at this time period


not in use at this time period


Copper:
present

bronze includes copper. Hyksos introduced bronze metallurgy. [1] Hyksos imported bronze. [2]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 20)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)


Bronze:
present

Hyksos introduced bronze metallurgy. [1] Hyksos imported bronze. [2]

[1]: (Wilson and Allen 1939, 20)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

not invented at this time


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

not invented at this time


Sling:
present

Inferred from presence of slings in previous and subsequent polities in Upper Egypt.


Self Bow:
present

[1] Stave bow "did not disappear from the battlefield in the New Kingdom." [2] So presumably was used before the New Kingdom.

[1]: (Booth 2005, 37)

[2]: (Healy 1992)



Handheld Firearm:
absent

not invented at this time


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

not invented at this time


Crossbow:
absent

not invented at this time


Composite Bow:
present

"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE." [1] "The composite bows spread into Palestine around 1800 BCE and were introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos in 1700 BCE." [2] Composite bows in the Old Akkadian style. [3]

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[2]: (Roy 2015, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2015. Warfare in Pre-British India - 1500 BCE to 1740 CE. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Booth 2005, 37)


New World weapon


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

Mace was the dominant weapon of war between 4000-2500 BCE in Sumer and until the Hyksos invasions (1700 BCE) in Egypt after which time Egyptians began to use the helmet. From 1700 BCE the kopesh, sickle-sword, rather than the mace, became the symbolic weapon of the Egyptian Pharoah. [1] Present but used less frequently?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 24-25) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Mace was the dominant weapon of war between 4000-2500 BCE in Sumer and until the Hyksos invasions (1700 BCE) in Egypt after which time Egyptians began to use the helmet. From 1700 BCE the kopesh, sickle-sword, rather than the mace, became the symbolic weapon of the Egyptian Pharoah. [1] Sobekemsaf II’s (17th Dynasty) burial contained a sword [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 24) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 193)


Spear:
present

[1]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 37)



Dagger:
present

Hyksos used daggers. [1]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 199)


Battle Axe:
present

Hyksos imported axes "without number" i.e. a lot. [1] "While in Sumer the sickle-sword quickly gave way to the penetrating axe, in Egypt it remained a major weapon until the seventeenth century B.C." when the socket axe was introduced by the Hyksos. [2]

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)

[2]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 63, 61) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Animals used in warfare

Horse and chariot. [1] Hyksos imported horses and chariots. [2] Injuries to the body of king Senab-Kay, early ruler Abydos region, parallel to 16th Dynasty kings, suggest he was attacked on horseback. [3]

[1]: (Hall 1928, 311)

[2]: (Bourriau 2003, 182)

[3]: (Wegner 2015, 74) Wegner, Josef. 2015. A royal necropolis at South Abydos: New light on Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. Near Eastern archaeology. Volume 78. Issue 2. 68-78.


Elephant:
absent

Non-expert reference suggesting that elephants were not used until Kushite military - this needs to be confirmed.


Donkey:
present

"During the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom the Egyptians depended upon the donkey’s back for land transport. ... Well before 3000 BC donkeys in Upper Egypt were trained to carry loads." [1] The donkey was probably domesticated from the African wild ass ’in more than one place’ but for the Nubian subspecies 5500-4500 BCE in the Sudan. [2] "During the Bronze Age the standard mechanism of transport was the donkey (Egypt) or the solid-wheeled cart drawn by the onager (Sumer). Ramses II revolutionized Egyptian logistics by introducing the ox-drawn cart, which quickly became the standard mode of military logistical transport for almost a thousand years." [3]

[1]: (Drews 2017, 34) Robert Drews. 2017. Militarism and the Indo-Europeanizing of Europe. Routledge. Abingdon.

[2]: (Mitchell 2018, 39) Peter Mitchell 2018. The Donkey in Human History: An Archaeological Perspective. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 7) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.



camels not considered native to Egypt, likely introduced by Persians in 525 BCE


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Full body armor. [1]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 39)


Shield:
present

[1]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 39)


Scaled Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. "By 2100 BCE the victory stele of Naram Sin appears to show plate armor, and it is likely that plate armor had been in wide use for a few hundred years. Plate armor was constructed of thin bronze plates sewn to a leather shirt or jerkin." [1] Coding this as scale armor. "the Egyptians had been using bronze armor since the Eighteenth dynasty, "but it consisted of nothing more elaborate than metal scales sewn onto a leather base." [2] 18th Dynasty: mid-late 2nd millennium BCE.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138) Fischer-Bovet (2014) Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge University Press


Plate Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. "the Egyptians had been using bronze armor since the Eighteenth dynasty, "but it consisted of nothing more elaborate than metal scales sewn onto a leather base." [1] 18th Dynasty: mid-late 2nd millennium BCE.

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138) Fischer-Bovet (2014) Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge University Press


Limb Protection:
present

[1]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 39)


Leather Cloth:
present

[1]

[1]: (Booth 2005, 39)


Laminar Armor:
absent

Technology not yet available. Lamellar armour introduced by the Assyrians (9th century BCE?): "a shirt constructed of laminated layers of leather sewn or glued together. To the outer surface of this coat were attached fitted iron plates, each plate joined to the next at the edge with no overlap and held in place by stitching or gluing." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Helmet:
present

Present. [1] What description accompanied this code of present? No helmets until the 18th Dynasty c1500 BCE. [2] Earliest known helmet dates to 2500 BCE in Sumer. After this time use of helmets became widespread. [3] These sources are in contradiction. Egypt was close enough to Sumer to possibly be influenced by technological developments there so a code of inferred present seems reasonable.

[1]: (Booth 2005, 39)

[2]: (Hoffmeier 2001) J K Hoffmeier in D B Redford. ed. 2001. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 22) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Chainmail:
absent

Iron chain mail not introduced until the third century BCE, probably by Celtic peoples. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.



Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Battle fleet. [1] In context of riverine attack.

[1]: (Bourriau 2003, 201)




Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.