Second Intermediate PeriodComments
siblingsAbydos wareAncient Egyptian artworkAncient Egyptian funerary practiceAncient Egyptian mythosAncient Egyptian scribal educationAncient Egyptian technologyEgyptian king Amunhotep IIIEgyptian king DjoserEgyptian king ShishakEgyptian king SnefruEgyptian king TaharqaEgyptian terrainFirst Intermediate PeriodKadesh TreatyMiddle KingdomOld KingdomPtolemies

Second Intermediate Period

Egypt's central government weakened, allowing Asiatic kings based in the eastern Delta to seize power of Lower Egypt and set up an independent regime in ~1650 BC. These Asiatic kings were known as the Hyksos, based on the Egyptian phrase meaning rulers of foreign lands. Hyksos power grew over all of Egypt but was based in Avaris (modern Tell el-Dab'a) and never directly controlled Thebes.

The Hyksos strove to accomodate native customs and beliefs, contrary to their modern reputation of violence. The brought innovations to Egypt, including the horse and chariot. The Hyksos was met with resistance by the Seventeenth Dynasty, a new family of Theban rulers whose last king, Kamose, sacked Avaris; the Hyksos were finally defeated and expelled from Egypt under the reign of Kamose's brother, Amosis, who founded the New Kingdom.

Military garrisons in the south become increasingly independent • In the late 13th dynasty the southern fortresses are overrun by the Kerma culture • At around the same Yme the capital moves from Memphis to Thebes

2nd Intermediate Era1785-1552 BC
Dynasty XV1773-1580 BCThe reign of Hyksos kings from the Delta at Avaris.
Dynasty XVI1650-1580 BCTheban rulers contemporary with the Hyksos kings.
Dynasty XVII1580-1550 BC
Nubkheperra Intef VII
Sobekemsaf II
Seqenenra Tao II~1560 BC
Wadjkheperra Kamose1555-1550 BC
AmosisFounder of the New Kingdom.

Major finds of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt

Quartzite statue of AnkrekhuDyn 12
1850 BC
AbydosThis statue has strong Middle Kingdom elements: the deceased is seated and wrapped in a cloak; he looks serious and has large ears; and his wig is conventional. The folds of the drapery are carefully carved, with attention given to the fringed edge. (British Museum)
Statue of SenebtyfyDyn 13
1750 BC
This private statue is of quartzite; the use of quartzite for private statuary began in the Middle Kingdom. Senebtyfy is shown as overweight, a sign of prosperity. The long kilt high on his chest and the khat bag wig are those of a high official; it is characteristic of Middle Kingdom dignitaries and officials. Horizontal stripes indicate patterning in the fabric, a rare feature in statuary. (British Museum).
Stela of King WepwawetemsafDyn 13
1750 BC
AbydosLimestone. Stick figure drawing showing onset of recension. First time that the king is shown with the god. He's a king-non-king. The king is also depicted with proportions similar to those found in private stelae of the time. (British Museum)
Apotropaic Ivory WandDyn 13
1750 BC
ThebesThe depictions on this knife encompass a range of protective images related to childbirth. There is an early version of the god Bes; a pregnant hippopotamus with a knife, the god Taweret; lions; the scarab of rebirth; and other protective demons. Bes is one of the few gods always shown facing forward; here, he is very hung, has an aggressive face and is not as dwarf-like as usual. Though not prominent on this example, frogs are oftentimes on these types of objects because hekka is the Egyptian word or magic and also frog/tadpole. This wand would have been used perhaps to draw a protective circle around a woman giving birth, and broken either before being placed in the tomb or while in use to shed negative energy. (British Museum)
Wooden Rishi CoffinDyn 17
1600 BC
ThebesVery poorly carved face and a blocky shape, with paint in the 'Rishi' feather pattern. (British Museum)
Limestone stela of SenbiDyn 13
1700 BC
Round-topped funerary stele incised on a rectangular slab, its shape being delimited by a narrow band. The prenomen of king Amenemmes III inside a cartouche is shown at the center of the round top between the mummiform Osiris on the right and the jackal-god Wepwawet on the left. Below the round top are three lines of hieroglyphs. At the center of the stele, the funerary meal of Senbi is shown. The deceased sits on an elegant stool, inhaling the scent of a lotus flower. His parents sit to the right of the pile of offerings. On the lower part of the stele, four pairs of kneeling persons are represented as they take possession of piles of funerary offerings. This is part of a growing trend of familial scenes. (British Museum and Archaeological Museum Florence.)
Minoan Style Paintings from Tel el DabaDyn 17
1550 BC
AvarisEgyptian Museum.
Limestone Statue of SiamunDyn 17
1550 BC
This archaizing statue recalls Dynasty 5/6 styles, even including the archaic bob wig. (Metropolitan)
Statue of King Sobekemsaf IDyn 17
1550 BC
Karnak, ThebesRed granite. Extremely high and very pinched waist. Seated. (British Museum)
Relief of King Sobekemsaf IDyn 17
1500 BC
Tomb of Intef at Dra Abu el NagaDyn 17Dra Abu el Naga
Rock-cut tomb with pyramid superstructure.


Hamiton 2007, xxiii