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Rise and Fall of the Hyksos in the Egyptian Civilization - Research Paper Example

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Nearly two thousand years before Christ, Egypt was invaded by an army of nomadic people from Asia, who later came to be known as the Hyksos or ‘shepherd kings’ in detestation by the local Egyptians…
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Rise and Fall of the Hyksos in the Egyptian Civilization
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Download file to see previous pages Their power was enhanced every time any Asian force entered Egypt, whom they greeted as allies . Hyksos were declared to be a large force, and managed to invade Egypt without much resistance. They were able to accomplish this because they took advantage of a time when the dynasty of Pharaohs was nearing its end, and the Pharaoh had no son to succeed him. They crushed the ruling regime, and burnt the cities and temples to the ground. The natives were treated brutally, and some were even made slaves. Finally, they appointed a member of their army, Salitis, as king and established a new city called Ausaris . The Hyksos ruled in a period which is commonly known as the Second Intermediate Period, in which the Asians were known as ‘Aamu’ by the locals. The Fifteenth Dynasty (1663-1570 BC) is usually assigned to these Hyksos kings. The Hyksos, started by ruling the eastern Delta, and later they spread their power to the middle and southern parts of Egypt. During the Second Intermediate Period, Egypt was in a state of turmoil, as opposing groups were rising from different areas. Among these emerged two strong leaders, the Hyksos kings, ruling from their capital Avaris, and the Theban Dynasty. During their rule, the Hyksos kings continued to attack the southern region, in order to gain control over the Theban Kingdom, which they eventually managed to do but for a short time period. The ethnic origins of the Hyksos have always been a controversial topic. There is plenty of evidence to support that they were from Palestine, as their culture was very similar to that of the last stage of Middle Bronze Age II from the Syro-Palestinian region. But there are also indications of Mesopotamian culture in the Hyksos kingdom. Objects such as composite bows and chariots used by the Hyksos, were part of the Mesopotamian civilization. But it was odd that these objects were of the old design when used by the Hyksos, as compared to the new ones which were being used in Mesopotamia at the time. Thus, it can be concluded that the Hyksos were not directly influenced by the Mesopotamians3. The Hyksos were grand builders and craftsmen, and their method of governance was almost similar to that of the Egyptians. Although the Hyksos brought a few of their gods when they invaded Egypt, they also displayed respect to the idols of the Egyptian natives, some of which also became a part of their own religion. Egypt already had various interactions with the forces from Asia. These included several wars and trade to a certain extent; therefore it would not be startling to notice that mix cultures did exist in different areas in Egypt at that time. The Hyksos belonged to the Semitic tribe who gained control of Egypt from the leaders of the Second Intermediate Period, which took place after the 13th Dynasty. Their names largely come from the West Semitic languages and there also have been hints that these people were Hurrian. It is difficult to verify the origins of these people in Asia, and at Tell el-Dab'a, as their culture was not steady, but kept on changing. According to one theory, the local Egyptians allowed, settlers from the region of Lebanon and Palestine to settle down on their lands. The leaders of these settlers gradually established matrimonial relations with the local Egyptians. This is supported by the fact that foreign features of the Hyksos at Tell el-Dab'a have been excavated at sites to the south of Palestine such as Tell el-Ajjul, at the Syrian site of Ebla and at Byblos in modern Lebanon. Hence, the Hyksos ended up ruling Egypt mainly because of the the huge number of Asians who travelled to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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