Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Western World in 300 Events: Event 19 - The Hyksos Invasion

The Hyksos were a people of Western Asian origin who dominated large portions of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period (the time between the Middle and New Kingdoms). They were related to the Canaanites and Hurrians and had names of a Semitic origin. The XVth, XVIh, Abydos and XVIIth dynasties are associated with the Hykos whose period of influence covers the time period of the 17th and 16th centuries BCE.

A technologically sophisticated people the Hyksos were known for their crop and animal breeding, bronze work/pottery and musical instruments. They introduced the horse and chariot to Egypt and made use of composite bows and battle axes when fighting. The fortification techniques that they employed were also advanced.

On a cultural level the Hyksos practiced horse burial and worshiped a storm god not to different to that of the Egyptian deity, Seth.

While their influence on Egyptian culture is unmistakable, Hyksos power would finally collapse when Ahmose I, the first pharaoh of the XVIIIth dynasty, drove the Hyksos out from Egypt.

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