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Hyksos

Historical Overview Section

1650-1535BC
The Hyksos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt and was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, which was under the control of Theban-based Old or Middle Kingdom Egyptian rulers. This cosy relationship was good for trade, however in spite of the prosperity that the stable political situation brought, the native Egyptians continued to view the Hyksos as non-Egyptian "invaders". When they were eventually driven out of Egypt, all traces of their occupation were erased.

Later accounts from the time of the Ptolemies record a folklore in which the Hyksos appeared in Egypt as an armed invasion by a horde of foreign barbarians who met little resistance and who subdued the country by military force. The stories claimed that the Hyksos burnt their cities, destroyed temples and led women and children into slavery. This was used by later scholars to hypothesise that new revolutionary methods of warfare were employed by the Hyksos, such as the composite bow, as well as the improved recurve bow and most importantly the horse-drawn war chariot, as well as improved arrowheads, various kinds of swords and daggers, a new type of shield, mailed shirts, and the metal helmet. However nowadays the rather less FoG-tastic concept is of a simple migration, with little or no violence involved, which the Egyptian rulers of 13th Dynasty were too weak to stop as they wer preoccupied by struggling to cope with domestic famine and plague.


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