The Curse of the Corporation
Part III 1800 BCE to 1301 BCE
1800 BCE - Greece - The Eleusinian Mysteries, according to St. Epiphanius traced back to this time ("the time of Inachus"). [!]
The Assembly of Gods descends to Demeter's Throne to pay homage to her Mysteries
The main inititiation hall (Telesterion) at Eleusis
The Eleusinian Mysteries were undoubtedly the most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece. According to the myth told in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the earth goddess Demeter went to Eleusis in search of her daughter Kore (Persephone), who had been abducted by Hades (Pluto), god of the underworld. Befriended by the royal family of Eleusis, she agreed to rear the queen's son. She was, however, prevented by the queen's fear from making the boy immortal and eternally young. After this occasion, she revealed her identity to the royal family and commanded that a temple be built for her into which she retired.
According to the Hymn to Demeter, the Mysteries at Eleusis originated in the two-fold story of Demeter's life her separation from and reunion with her daughter and her failure to make the queen's son immortal. After Eleusis was incorporated, the city of Athens took responsibility for the festival, but the festival never lost its local associations.
The Mysteries began with the march of the mystai (initiates) in solemn procession from Athens to Eleusis. The rites that they then performed in the Telesterion, or Hall of Initiation, were and remain a secret. Something was recited, something was revealed, and acts were performed, but there is no sure evidence of what the rites actually were, though some garbled information was given by later, Christian writers who tried to condemn the Mysteries as pagan abominations. The initiates were sworn to secrecy. On the few occasions that the vow was broken, the Mysteries were relayed to an audience through a public performance. This was usually in the form of a dramatic dance that was sacred to the gods.
It is clear, however, that neophytes were initiated in stages and that the annual process began with purification rites at what were called the Lesser Mysteries held at Agrai (Agrae) on the stream of Ilissos river, outside of Athens, in the month of Anthesterion (February-March). The Greater Mysteries at Eleusis was celebrated annually in the month of Boedromion (September-October). It included a ritual bath in the sea, three days of fasting, and completion of the still-mysterious central rite. These acts completed the initiation, and the initiate was promised benefits of some kind in the afterlife.
1800 BCE - China - The Chinese Empire arises, marking the commencement of the first Chinese dynasty.
1800 BCE - Egypt - Horses reach Egypt, transforming North African warfare thereafter.
1800 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The Sumerian king list is compiled.
1798 - 1786 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhet IV - Maakherure.
Because of the long reign of Amenemhat III, it is possible that Amenemhat IV was the grandson of his predecessor, rather than his son. It should be noted, however, that the fact that there is no trace of Amenemhat III ever having had a son, does not rule out that Amenemhat IV may have been the son of his predecessor.
It is generally believed that he was married to Nefrusobek, who is assumed to have been a daughter of Amenemhat III. If both assumptions are correct, it is more likely that Amenemhat IV may still have been a son of his predecessor.
In any case, the name of the mother of Amenemhat IV is not known, which might perhaps mean that she was already deceased when he ascended to the throne. According to Manetho, this king ruled for only 8 years, a number that is confirmed by the 9 years, 3 months and 27 days credited to him in the Turin King-list. This short reign is confirmed by the relatively few sources that have survived from his reign. It might also indicate that Amenemhat IV was already an elderly man when he came to power.
He shared the first year of his reign in co-regency with Amenemhat III. Amenemhat IV completed several temples that were started by Amenemhat III. Inscriptions in Nubia also show that he still controlled the territory that was conquered during the reign of Sesostris III.
He appears to have died without heir and was succeeded by Nefrusobek. He was probably buried in his pyramid in Masghuna.
1786 - 1570 BCE - Egypt - During this period of the Thirteenth through Seventeenth Dynasties, there were 10 kings which lasted for approximately 70 years. They ruled from It-tawy near the Faiyum. Near the end of the 13th Dynasty, the 14th Dynasty, emerged and appears to have controlled the western delta. This dynasty eventually collapsed when the Hyksos invaded from the east. This is another period of historical uncertainty because it involves as many as five different territorial dynasties.
1786 - 1783 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Wegaf - Ugaf - Khwitawyre - "Re Protects The Two Lands."
Up to now are preserved some artifacts dated back to this ruler's times that corroborate Egyptian dominance in Nubia then. They are located near the 2nd Cataract. Later notes concerning Ugaf are found in Turin Canon and Royal Table of Karnak and at block from temple of Montu at Medamud as well as Rubenson's badge dated to the Late Period. D. Franke believes that Ugaf might had been military commander before he overtook the rule.
1785 - 1782 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferusobek - Sobekkare.
She was the last ruler of the 12th Dynasty, Nefrusobek is generally believed to have been a daughter of Amenemhat III and the widow of Amenemhat IV. According to Manetho, she may have been a sister of Amenemhat IV.
Her marriage to Amenemhat IV seems to have left them with no male heir, so Nefrusobek became one of the few women to have become queen in Ancient Egypt.
The 4 years credited to her by Manetho are confirmed by the 3 years, 10 months and 24 days that have been recorded in the Turin King-list. The fact that she is listed in the Turin King-list is, in itself, interesting because it shows that she was not considered as a mere regent or as an usurper.
Nefrusobek is the first known female king to have had a full royal titulary. Her titulary still shows the typical ending for feminine words, thus combining the traditionally male titles with the reality that Nefrusobek was a woman.
A graffito in the Nubian fortress of Kumma indicates that like her predecessor, Nefrusobek was still in charge of the Nubian territory that had been conquered by Sesostris III. She also contributed to the Labyrinth of Amenemhat III and probably granted her ancestor divine status in the Fayum.
Several pieces of statues of Nefrusobek have been found. Like her titulary, her statues also combine the traditional aspects of kingdom with the reality that this king was female. Thus, a headless statue of Nefrusobek is found in the Louvre Museum in Paris that still has a part of the nemes head-cloth showing on her shoulders, while she is still wearing a typically female dress.
Her tomb has not yet been identified, although it has sometimes been assumed that she was buried in a pyramid in Mashguna.
1783 - 1780 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhat-senebef - Amenemhat V Senbuf - Senbuef - Sekhemkare - "Powerful Of Ka, Re" - Amenemhat Senbuf - "Amun Is At The Head ; He Is Wholesome ; Amon is Foremost."
The Turin Canon gives 3 years of rule. Some relics of this ruler have been found, which include stone blocks of Tod, a seal, scarab, inscriptions from Semna and Aksut and a statue of the temple on Elephantine.
1775 - 1772 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sekhemre-khutawi - "Powerful is Re ; Protector of the Two Lands."
The Turin Canon mentions 6 years of reign for this Egyptian ruler. His existence is also proven by papyri of Illahun and Nilometer of Semna in Nubia, as well as royal plate of Karnak and artifacts from Bubastis, Uronarti and Kerma.
1773 BCE - Greece - Phoroneus of Anatolia introduced the practice of offering sacrifices to the Gods. Other evidence suggests this practice is worldwide and goes back to antiquity.
1764 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - Hammurabi of Babylon conquers Elam.
1763 - 600 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - The first king of Babylon - the one who managed to end the chaos and unite all the tribes into a nation - was named Hammurabi, who founded and ruled over a mostly united Mesopotamia, and compiled a law code. The union under Hammurabi was eventually destroyed by raiders from Asia Minor, possibly the Hittites (?) from modern Turkey.
The Babylonia Empire was begun in this era (Babylonian Bâbili, "gate of God"; Old Persian Babirush). It was the ancient country of Mesopotamia, known originally as Sumer and later as Sumer and Akkad, lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, south of modern Baghdâd, Iraq.
The Babylonian civilization, which endured from the 18th until the 6th century BCE, was, like the Sumerian that preceded it, urban in character, although based on agriculture rather than industry. The country consisted of a dozen or so cities, surrounded by villages and hamlets. At the head of the political structure was the king, a more or less absolute monarch who exercised legislative and judicial, as well as executive powers. Beneath him was a group of appointed governors and administrators. Mayors and councils of city elders were in charge of local administration.
The Babylonians modified and transformed their Sumerian heritage in accordance with their own culture and ethos. The resulting way of life proved to be so effective that it underwent relatively little change for some 1200 years. It exerted influence on all the neighboring countries, especially the kingdom of Assyria, which adopted Babylonian culture almost in its entirety. Fortunately, many written documents from this period have been excavated and made available to scholars. One of the most important is the remarkable collection of laws often designated as the Code of Hammurabi, which, together with other documents and letters belonging to different periods, provides a comprehensive picture of Babylonian social structure and economic organization.
The Code of Hammurabi is credited with the beginning of the insurance industry as it promised compensation for any subject who was robbed in return for a regular contribution to a common pool of money.
Hammurabi proclaimed the Babylonian God of Marduk to be subordinate to the Gods Anu and Enlil. Prayers and incantations, previously only allowed in Sumerian, can now also be said in Akkadian Sumerian in the right ear of the bull and Akkadian in the left ear. The Law of Hammurabi is actually the Law of the Ancients, an important function of the King of Justice that is required of all Kings and it evolved over a long period of time. The 282 laws end with a call for divine punishment against whoever would deface or alter the just laws. The laws are carved in stone. It is noteworthy this ancient warning is carried into the modern Bible.
Hammurabi assembled what some contend is an evil religious code that would dominate European belief systems for centuries. He followed the fundamental principle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; punishments included whippings and maiming. Execution under his religious code included impaling, burning and drowning. This Code of Law would be incorporated into the Old Testament (Bible) and although explicitly eliminated in the New Testament, this evil code of conduct would be incorporated into Roman Catholic Church tradition reaching its peak during the Inquisition age. Babylon also gave us a vision of the trinity, God the Father (Kumarbi), Goddess of the Sun (Chepat) and God of the Weather (Tesud). Not far removed from God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit of later theology. The Church, Crown and the Nobility own all the land. This pattern to be enforced by the Roman Catholic Church in Europe into the twentieth century. The Code of Law, similar to the Jewish code of law Deuteronomy, likely evolved over a thousand years or more.
1761 - 1758 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhat VI - Sekhemkare - "Powerful Of Ka, Re."
Egyptologist Detlef Franke questions the existence of Amenemhat VI. In his opinion the second and fourth ruler of this dynasty are the same person.
1760 BCE - Mesopotamia - Babylon (Iraq) - Hammurabi of Babylon and the Amorites conquer Ashur ending the first Assyrian empire. Alphabetic writing emerges as simpler way of recording information than Egyptian hieroglyphics.
1758 - 1757 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sehetepibre I.
This ruler is authenticated by a cylindrical seal and on a fragment of stele of galenite mined in Gebel Zeit at the Red Sea.
1756 - 1756 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Iufni.
The King whose name He belongs to me is confirmed only by the Turin Canon.
1756 - 1750 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhat VII - Sankhibre - "The Heart Of The Re Lives." Amenemhat - "Amon Is At The Head."
The Turin Canon and Table of Karnak give evidence to this ruler. His name was inscribed also on stone block from architrave at Heliopolis and cylindrical seals.
1752 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - Kutur-Nahhunte of Elam conquers southern Babylonia.
1750 BCE - Egypt - This marks the approximate era of the movement of Jacob / Israel's family into Goshen, Egypt. It is the time of Joseph, perhaps dated to the Hyksos period, which dates are uncertain.
1750 - 1748 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Nebnun - Semenkare - "Ka Is The Strengthened Power Of Re." - Nebnun - "[My] Lord Is Nun."
The throne name of this ruler was smn-kA-ra, listed in the Turin Canon, which meant Ka is the strengthened power of Re. In the faience stela from the temple of Gebel Zeit, discovered in 1984, the birth name Nebnwn - [My] Lord is Nun is disclosed, which indicates that this ruler used galenite mines in the Eastern Mountains.
1748 - 1745 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sehetepibre II - Amu Sihornerjheryotef - Hornedjheriotef - "Horus Protects His Father." Sehetepibre - "Satisfied Is The Heart Of Re."
A ruler presumably of Asiatic origin, his name, recorded in Turin Canon meant Horus protects his father. Only remains of his palace at Tell el-Daba still exist. To this king is ascribed a scarab found at Jerycho.
1745 - 1743 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sewadjkare.
The name of this ruler, mentioned solely in Turin Canon, means Re of refreshing Ka.
1742 - 1742 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Nedjemibre.
This regent of throne name nDmib-ra - Pleasant is the heart of Re, is documented in the Turin Canon. Also ascribed to him are two scarabs, one of Memphis and the second of Asia Minor.
Scarab of Sobekhotep
1741 - 1738 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep I.
The Turin Canon mentions the birth name of this king - sbk-ra-Htp(w) - Sobek is pleased. His throne name xai-anx-ra means Living we are the incarnation of Re. The ruler is also mentioned in the Royal Table of Karnak. A stela of Abydos preserves his Horus name - Hr smA-tAwi - Horus the one who unifies the Two Lands, Nebti name - Dd-xaw - Of lasting incarnations, and the Golden Horus name - kAw-nTrw - The Ka strengths of Gods.
1736 - 1736 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Reniseneb.
The throne name of this king means My name is healthy, which appears only in the Turin Canon, giving the indication that this king ruled only 4 months.
1736 - 1731 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Hor I.
With no doubt this king was fond of the person of Amenemhat III. This is confirmed both by Hor's canopic jars sealed with the name of Amenemhat and shown by the incredible care he used for the burial place of this great pharaoh. Hor ordered the renovation of the pyramid of Amenemhat III at Dahshur. Hor wanted to be buried in the unused shaft tomb in the northern site of this pyramid. This tomb was discovered in 1894 CE by Egyptologist J. de Morgan and yielded remains of burial and funerary equipment.
1731 - 1724 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhat VIII - "Amon Is Foremost."
The ruler mentioned on the basis of the monument sacred to the god Montu, on cylindrical seals, scarab and graffito in the pyramid of queen Chuit at Sakkara.
1724 - 1718 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep II - Amenemhat IX - "Amon Is Foremost ; Sobek Is Pleased."
The son of Amenemhat VIII and queen Nubhetepti, he carryied the double name of Amenemhat-Sebekhotep. According to Egyptologist J. von Beckerath, who assigned to his ruler the Bulak papyrus 18, he ruled at least 3 years. Based on the Brooklyn Papyrus 35.1446, Egyptologist S. Quirke extended this period by two years. Traces of the building activities of Sebekhotep II are found in the Theban district, Gebelein and Kerma. Egyptologist D. Franke assigns to Sebekhotep a pyramid (Ai I ?) located south-east of Khendjer's pyramid in Southern Sakkara.
1718 - 1712 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Khendjer - Weserkare - "Ka Of Re Is Strong"
His burial place is a pyramid at North Saqqara, primarily 37 m. high, angle of slope 55o, crowned with pyramidion of black granite, surrounded with outer and internal brick-wall. The complex consists also of a mortuary temple, north chapel and queen's pyramid. Inside the pyramid is a row of passages with an uncommon system of blockades and arrangements, which secured the chamber which was hollowed out of a 60 ton block of quartzite. The existence of the pharaoh Khendjer is recorded on two papyri, the Brooklyn and Bulak-18. In the Turin Canon, Khendjer is omitted.
1712 - 1710 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Imiramesha - Mermesha - "Commander Of The Army ; General."
Egyptologist J. von Beckerath suggests that the name of this ruler which meant Commander of the army was primarily a title adequate to his function, and became his name at the moment of his taking rule. To this king are devoted two colossal sitting statues of Tanis (placed primarily at Memphis), which were later usurped by Apopis. He presumably ruled for only two to three years.
1709 - 1709 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Intef IV - Antef IV.
1708 - 1708 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Seth I.
The inscription of his name remains only on a fragment of the Turin Canon. It is presumed that he ruled only a very short time.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Panteni.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ameni Kemau.
The remains of a pyramid and sarcophagus belonging to this king were discovered in 1957 CE on the necropolis at Dahshur.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ibi I.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Aakeni.
The name of this ruler, meaning the brave donkey, appears only in genealogy of priests at Memphis. In Egyptologist Backerath's opinion, this name comes from Seth is Brave, and was altered to this form at the time of excommunication of the god Seth.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekemsaf I.
Relief of King Sobekhotep III
1708 - 1705 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep III - "Pleasing To The God Sobek ; Sobek Is Satisfied." Sekhemre Swadjtawi - "Powerful Is Re ; He Makes To Flourish The Two Lands."
He was the son of Mentuhotep and Juhetibu. Scarabs and inscriptions on the island Sekhel as well as inscriptions on rock near Hermonthis explain the genealogy of Sebekhotep's family. At the beginning of his rule, he probably sent military expeditions to Asia. His building activity focused mainly around the Theban district, Bubastis, Sekhel and Elephantine. The Turin Canon assigns to him one year, one month and two days of rule.
1705 - 1694 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferhotep I
Neferhotep I was the son of a temple priest in Abydos. His father's position helped him to gain the royal image as the king because he did not have any royal blood in his family. Neferhotep is inscribed on some stones discovered near Byblos. Other stones with texts that were carved in Aswan document his reign. His power appears to have extended to the Delta in the north and to the Nubian Nome in the south.
1700 - 1400 BCE - Egypt - Israel's slavery in Egypt. [p167<] While we were yet a mere family we were exiled from our land. The people of Israel was only formed in Egypt: 'Behold the people of the children of Israel …' (Exodus 1:9). The exile in Egypt was a prototype of all subsequent exiles.
Some of our Rabbis see this exile as a punishment for sin, the sin being the desire to assimilate. Jacob's children who came just 'to stay in the country' (Gen. 47:4) eventually filled the country (Exodus 1:7) and established themselves there.
A new king arose (Exodus 1:8) - when Joseph died they abrogated the Contract of circumcision, Saying 'let us be like the Egyptians!' Because they did this, God changed the Egyptians' love of them to hatred. 'A new king' - one who brought out new decrees against them.
Midrash Rabbah, Exodus.
The slavery in Egypt had an educational purpose. For the children of Israel are servants to me, they are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, I am GOD your God (Leviticus 25:55).
Only at the Red Sea did Moses and the people fully understand the meaning of being slaves to the Egyptians. Israel saw the great power that GOD had used against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:31). The slavery had been to prepare the people of Israel to be fit to be servants of GOD.
The children of Israel had reproduced, and proliferated, and increased, and become extremely powerful (Exodus 1:7). Pharaoh worried because of the increase in population of the Israelites. He said to his people "The people of the children of Israel are more numerous and more powerful than we are - come, let us deal craftily with them" (Exodus 1:9-10).
Jacob's family settled in Goshen so as not to mix and assimilate with the Egyptians. A family of seventy people increased so much that they became a people, and were referred to as such by Pharaoh. The people of Israel filled Egypt and begun to assimilate with the Egyptians. Pharaoh was afraid of Israel and issued four decrees against them. The Egyptians not only imposed excessive hard labour on the Israelites, but also 'embittered their lives'. The Israelites groaned from the work, and cried out to God to rescue them.
Jacob left the Land of Israel temporarily and hoped to return there. God's kindness to Jacob's family in Egypt was to increase their size until they became a people. Pharaoh decreed 'lest they increase' (Exodus 1:10) and God said 'so they increased' (Exodus 1:12). The slavery was intended to mould the character of the people of Israel and to prepare them for receiving the Torah. (A)
The Phaistos Disk, today on display at the Iraklion Archaeological Museum, was discovered in Crete in 1908 CE.
1700 BCE - Crete - Anamolous printed clay tablet, the Phaistos Disk, uncovered in Crete in the 20th century. It appears as the work of a printing contraption, with movable type, etc., but presses fonts into clay rather than pressing ink on paper. It pre-dates all other inventions of printing by millenia.
In a century which has seen the cracking of Linear B, Ugaritic, and other orthographic systems, the Phaistos Disk has eluded decipherment. The disk is thought to date from around 1700 BCE. It is a roundish disk of clay, with symbols stamped into it. The text consists of 61 words, 16 of which are accompanied by a mysterious "slash" mark.
This mysterious clay disk is on display at the Archaeological Museum in Iraklion, Crete, along with other Minoan treasures. Both sides are covered with hieroglyphics - writing in pictures and symbols.
1694 - 1694 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sihathor - Sahathor.
1693 - 1685 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep IV - Sebekhotep IV.
1685 - 1680 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep V.
1680 - 1669 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Iaib.
1669 - 1656 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ay - Ai I.
As king, Ay, did not have any royal blood. He was from Avaris, a city located in Eastern Delta that was heavily populated with Heksus. The Heksus are the Asiatics who controlled Northern Egypt until 1500 BCE. Ay built his pyramid near Avaris, but only ruins remain from his temple.
1656 - 1654 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep VI - Sebekhotep VI.
1654 - 1654 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ini I.
1654 - 1651 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sankhenre Suadjetu - Sewadjtu.
1651 - 1650 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ined.
1650 BCE - Nubia (Sudan) - When King Nedjeh of Nubia took over the Egyptian forts in Nubia about 1650 BCE, some Egyptian soldiers stayed and worked for them. An inscription of one Egyptian soldier states that he served "as a valiant servant, … washing my feet in the waters of Kush, in the company of King Nedjeh."
1650 - 1647 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferhotep II.
1646 - 1646 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Hori - Hor II.
1644 - 1642 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sobekhotep VII - Sebekhotep VII.
1641 - 1638 BCE - XIII Egyptian Dynasty - Dedumes I - Didumes - Dudimose I.
XIII Egyptian Dynasty - There are other kings who are presumed to have ruled Egypt, but their dates of rule are unknown and there is little information regarding their reigns
Se … kare
Sekhanre I - Sekhaenre
Merkheperre - Merikheperre
Senweseret IV - Sesostris IV - Senusret IV
With the decline of the 13th Dynasty, Egypt lost much of its power and cohesion. The military leaders and soldiers stationed in Nubia became more and more independent. Some of them may even have permanently settled in Nubia. The fortresses built along the Eastern border were either abandoned, or control over who passed the borders was not as strict as it used to be. Canaanite nomads entered the country freely. Most of these Canaanites settled and became traders, farmers or craftsmen, but at least one of them, Khendjer, became a king. By the end of the 13th Dynasty, the Eastern Delta was populated mostly by Asiatics. This era ushered in the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. Due to overlapping rule, the XIVth Dynasty was thought to exist in different areas at approximately the same time.
1705 - 1590 BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - This obscure dynasty known as the Xios was ruled from the western delta for 57 years, producing only two known kings. The following is only a part 50 ruler's names of the XIVth Dynasty of the royal register supplied by the Turin Canon. The rulers of XIVth Dynasty found their seat at Xios in the western Delta. The rulers, known only by their names, were to pay tribute to the kings of XVth and XVIth Hyksos (Semitic) Dynasties ruling then in Awaris in the eastern Delta and having strong influence on the rest of the land.
Located in the eastern delta, this "dynasty" consisted of purely local rulers who governed during this period of disunity. What exists today to identify these rulers, consists of little more than their names, some of the names consisting only of fragments.
1705 - ???? BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Nehesi - Aasehre - "Great In Council Is Re." Nehesi - "Nubian."
One of few rulers of this dynasty whose rule is documented by artifacts, an obelisk in front of temple of Seth at Raahu (north-east Delta), two stele of Tell Habwe, scarabs, the pillar of Tanis with Nehesi's mother's name mentioned on it, and the pillar of Peret are only some of them. In Egyptologist M. Bietak's opinion, Nehesi's father might have been either an Egyptian administrator or warrior who usurped the royal rule in the north-eastern Delta during that time. The Turin Canon places Nehesi as second in the registry of the kings of the XIV dynasty.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Khatire
1704 - ???? BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Nebfawre - "The Lord Of Magnificence Is Re."
According to the Turin Canon this king ruled one year, 5 months and 15 days.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sehebre.
The King whose name means "This who is strengthened by Re," is mentioned in the Turin Canon.
1699 - ???? BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Meridjefare.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sewadjkare (II)
1694 - ???? BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Nebdjefare.
The name meaning "The Lord of nourishment is Re," is mentioned in Royal Canon of Turin.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Ubenre.
This king's name is confirmed in the Turin Canon and means "The Dazzling of Re."
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - …djefare
1690 - ???? BCE - XIV Egyptian Dynasty - …wbenre
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Awtibre
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Herwibre
The name of the king meaning "Re of the happy heart," is mentioned only in the Turin Canon.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Nebsenre.
His throne name means "Their Lord is Re," is documented by the Turin Canon. The same source assigns to him a short rule of 5 months and 20 days.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sekheperenre.
The name means "Shaped by Re," and is confirmed in Turin Canon that ascribes to him 2 months and one day of rule.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Djedkherure.
He was an obscure ruler in a part of the Delta. The Turin Canon shows evidence of his reign for only 2 months and 5 days.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sankhibre.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Kanefertumre.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sekhem…re.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Kakemetre.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Neferibre.
His throne name is found in the Turin Canon, and is interpreted as "Perfect is the heart of Re."
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - A…(?)
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Kha…re
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Ankhkare
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Semen…re
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Djed…re
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Senefer…re
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Menibre
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Djed…re
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Inek…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - I…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Ip…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Hebi
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Aped
This is presumably a fictitious royal name inscribed on the Turin Papirus.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Hepw.
This name is likewise presumed to be a fictitious royal name inscribed on the Turin Papirus.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Shemsu.
The name of this ruler is interpreted as Henchman. He was probably a fictitious character, mentioned solely in the Turin Canon.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Meni…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Urkai.
The form of the name which means "Great and Tall," leads to the belief that he was a fictitious character.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - …kare.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - …kare.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Hepu…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - …annati.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Bebnem.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Iuf…
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Seth II.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Sinu.
This king was probably a fictitious character, but is mentioned in the Turin Canon. The name means Sinw - "The Sage."
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Hor III.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Nibef.
This is presumably the name of a king who had never existed. This name is mentioned only in the Turin Canon and means "He is not thirsty."
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Penestensepti.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Kherhemwetshepsut
The name means "The one who seizes [posesses] noble wives." He is regarded as a fictitious figure.
XIV Egyptian Dynasty - Khuihemwet.
The name means "Defender of women." Most likely he was also a fictitious figure.
1628 BCE - Greece - The catastrophic eruption of the volcanic island of Thera (Atlantis?), now Santorini, in the northern Mediterannean occurred. (Perhaps this is why the printing technology which produced the Phaistos Disk was lost.) The resulting wave surge from this eruption was also was responsible for the demise of the Manoan Civilization on Crete. It is also theorized that this event may have partially caused the Biblical Plagues in Egypt at the time of the Jewish Exodus.
Map of Santorini
Cliffs of Phira
The eruption of Santorini in Greece in 1628 BCE was one of the largest in the last 10,000 years. About 7 cubic miles (30 cubic km) of rhyodacite magma was erupted. The plinian column during the initial phase of the eruption was about 23 miles (36 km) high. The removal of such a large volume of magma caused the volcano to collapse, producing a caldera. Ash fell over a large area in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey. The eruption probably caused the end of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.
Santorini is complex of overlapping shield volcanoes. Basalt and andesite lava flows that make the shield are exposed in the cliff below the town of Phira. Some of the cliff is thought to be a caldera wall associated with an eruption 21,000 year ago. Archaeologists Druitt and Francaviglia (1992 CE) found evidence of at least 12 large explosive eruptions in the last 200,000 years at Santorin. The white layer at the top is the Minoan tephra from the 1650 BCE eruption.
Exposure of about 150 feet (50 m) of Minoan tephra. The tephra consists of pumice, pyroclastic surge, and pyroclastic flow deposits.
Akroteri, a Minoan city on the south part of Thera, is being excavated. About 3-6 feet (1-2 m) of ash fell on the city which had a population of about 30,000. The residents appear to have been successfully evacuated prior to the eruption. No bodies have been found in the ash like those at Vesuvius and Pompeii. Archeologists also reported that movable objects had been taken from the city.
The Kameni Islands formed after the caldera. Eleven eruptions since 197 BCE have made the two islands. The most recent eruption at Santorini was in 1950 CE on Nea Kameni, the northern island. The eruption was phreatic and lasted less than a month. It constructed a dome and produced lava flows.
1624 - 1514 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - The Dynasty of so-called Great Hyksos, Bedouins who exploited the general weakness of Egypt and invaded the Delta in the XVIIth century BCE. Their position became strengthened by the internal problems in the Egyptian state. These intruders seized mainly the eastern Delta where ca. 1630 BCE they founded a city of Awaris (Avaris). Throughout the following century these tribes, being enhanced by continuous influx of Semite population, captured the Delta and part of the Upper Egypt. This period begins the rule of the XVth Dynasty at Awaris. The Hyksos were from Syria and Palestine, and introduced the horse and chariot to Egypt.
The Hittites (Luwian, Palaic and Nesite) drove the Semites and Indo-European speaking peoples and some Aegeans southward from Mesopotamia - Babylon - Iraq. These people entered the Egyptian Delta en masse and are called the Semitic-Hyksos people. These invading Semitic-Hyksos are accused of all manner of crime and left a bitter memory in Egypt. Hyksos are descendants of Churrit (Asianic-Hurrians) and Semite tribes from Auaris in the east. The Hyksos worshipped the Asiatic storm God, as did the Assyrian (Sumerians) and Persian people. The Hurrian is neither Semitic nor Indo-European, but rather an Asiatic-speaking people. They also appear to be closely related to the people of the country Urartu (Armenia). It has been suggested that Joseph, the Asiatic Semitic-Habiru (Hebrew), is believed associated with these invading Hyksos. The Biblical Joseph, however, has not been verified as an historical person outside the bible.
The Semitic Hyksos-Habiru stayed in Egypt like mice in wheat. They pillaged towns, murdering and enslaving. These Asiatic Habiru, including the Canaanites, are considered an infestation of Egypt by plague-ridden, unclean and leprous peoples. It is noteworthy that being unclean or leprous is justification in the future for the expulsion from Egypt of those people associated with the Exodus.
Realm of the Hyksos
Derivation of their names is either Egyptian or Asiatic. The present evidence is too scant to distinguish if they are of Egyptian origin or somehow related to the Great Hyksos ruling in Awaris, or, ultimately that their names are nothing else but a work of fiction.
This dynasty is characterized by minor kings who ruled in the shadow of the 15th Dynasty and produced two known rulers. The two rulers are known from the scarabs found in northern Egypt and southern Palestine.
1624 - 1604 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Salitis - Saites - "Man," Sehaenre - "The One Intronized By Re."
Mentioned by Manetho, the founder of dynasty of Great Hyksos. According to Manetho, Salitis conquered Egypt in times of pharaoh Tutimaios. He resided at Memphis and built the fortress-city of Awaris. Manetho ascribed to Salitis 19 years of rule. He is identified with the ruler named SArk [SAlk], mentioned solely in the genealogy of the prophets of Memphis. The throne name sxai.n-ra, "The One Intronized By Re", used to be identified with Jakobaam of the XVI dynasty, however Egyptologist J. von Beckerath attributes this name just to Salitis.
The Hyksos were an important influence on Egyptian history, particularly at the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period. Most of what is known of the nature of the Hyksos depends upon written sources (of the Egyptians), such as the Rhind Papyrus. Also of considerable importance is the systematic excavation of their capital, Avaris (Tell el-Dab'a).
The archaeological site of ancient Avaris
Aamu was the contemporary term used to distinguish the people of Avaris, the Hyksos capital in Egypt, from Egyptians. Egyptologists conventionally translate aamu as "asiatics" The Jewish historian, Josephus, in his Contra Apionem, claims that Manetho was the first to use the Greek term, Hyksos, incorrectly translated as "shepherd-kings." Contemporary Egyptians during the Hyksos invasion designated them as hikau khausut, which meant "rulers of foreign countries," a term that originally only referred to the ruling caste of the invaders. However, today the term Hyksos has come to refer to the whole of these people who ruled Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt's ancient history, and had to be driven out of the land by the last ruler of the XVII Dynasty and the earliest ruler of Egypt's New Kingdom.
Josephus claims to quote directly from Manetho, who's original history is lost to us, when he describes the conquest and occupation of Egypt by the Hyksos
"By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow; and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of gods … Finally, they appointed as king one of their number whose name was Salitis."
Some of this rings true, while other parts seem not to be. It appears that the Hyksos left much of Egypt alone. It is clear that Avaris (Tell el-Dab'a) was occupied by a people who exhibited specifically non-Egyptian cultural traits. We find this in the layout of the town itself, the houses, and particularly the burials, which were intermixed with the living community, unlike those of the Egyptians. While we know that the Hyksos established centers, as their influenced gradually moved towards Memphis along the eastern edge of the Delta, at Farasha, Tell el-Sahaba, Bubastis, Inshas and Tell el-Yahudiyas, very little of this particular culture has been found at other Egyptian sites. At the same time, the Hyksos living in Egypt have been described as "Peculiarly Egyptian". They were great builders and artisans. And little seems to have changed between the Egyptian style of governing, and that of the Hyksos. While the Hyksos imported some of their own gods, they also appear to have honored the Egyptian deities as well, such as Seth, who became assimilated with some Hyksos deities. Of course, we must also recall that Egypt already had somewhat of a history with the "Asiatics", including wars and considerable trade, so it would not be surprising to find some mix of cultures even among the Egyptians of the Delta.
A rare wooden Hyksos statue of a woman carrying a child
The Hyksos were basically a Semitic people who were able to wrestle control of Egypt from the early Second Intermediate rulers of the 13th Dynasty, inaugurating the 15th Dynasty. Their names mostly come from the West Semitic languages, and earlier suggestions that some of these people were Hurrian or even Hittite have not been confirmed. However, it is not easy to determine their origins within that Asiatic region, and at Tell el-Dab'a, the culture of the people was not static, but rapidly developed new traits and discarded old ones. Yet the reason for, and method of the cultural mixing and rapid development of Asiatics at Tell el-Dab'a remains unclear.
One hypothesis is that the basic population of Egyptians allowed, from time to time, a new influx of settlers, first from the region of Lebanon and Syria, and subsequently from Palestine and Cyprus. The leaders of these people eventually married into the local Egyptian families, a theory that is somewhat supported by preliminary studies of human remains at Tell el-Dab'a. Indeed, parallels for the foreign traits of the Hyksos at Tell el-Dab'a have been found at southern Palestinian sites such as Tell el-Ajjul, at the Syrian site of Ebla and at Byblos in modern Labanon.
Hence, the Hyksos rule of Egypt was probably the climax of waves of Asiatic immigration and infiltration into the northeastern Delta of the Nile. This process was perhaps aided by the Egyptians themselves. For example, Amenemhat II records, in unmistakable language, a campaign by sea to the Lebanese coast that resulted in a list of booty comprising 1,554 Asiatics, and considering that Egypt's eastern border was fortified and probably patrolled by soldiers, it is difficult to understand how massive numbers of foreign people could have simply migrated into northern Egypt. These people migrated, or otherwise moved to the region from the 12th Dynasty onward, and by the 13th Dynasty, this migration became widespread.
The Hyksos did eventually utilize superior bronze weapons, chariots and composite bows to help them take control of Egypt, though in reality, the relative slowness of their advance southwards from the Delta seems to support the argument that the process was gradual and did not ultimately turn on the possession of overwhelming military superiority. Hence, by about 1620 BCE, they had grown strong enough, at the expense of the Middle Kingdom kings, to gain control of Avaris in the northeastern Delta. This site eventually became the capital of the Hyksos kings, but within 50 years, they had also managed to take control of the important Egyptian city of Memphis.
Given this slow advance by the Hyksos rulers into southern Egypt, it seems reasonable to infer that the superior military technology of the Hyksos was but an adjunct to their exploitation of the political weakness of the late Middle Kingdom.
However, the Hyksos never really completely ruled Egypt. Their expansion southwards was eventually checked. In fact, at least early on, this may have been the result of a massive plague, for at Tell el-Dab'a we find mass graves with little attention to the burials. Though the ruler of Avaris claimed to be King of Upper and Lower Egypt, we know from a stelae dating to the 17th Dynasty king Kamose, that Hermopolis marked the Avaris' king's theoretical southern boundary, while Cusae, a little further south, was actually the specific border point. Yet Southern, or Upper Egypt was reduced to a vassaldom, probably as a result of the effectiveness, eventually, of the Hyksos military forces, at least until the reign of Kamose. Therefore, we do regard them as the legitimate rulers of the whole country during parts of the Second Intermediate Period, considered a chaotic time which the Hyksos at least partially helped to create in Egypt.
Eventually, the Hyksos tolerance of rival claimants to the land beginning in the 15th Dynasty would spell their expulsion by the end of the 17th Dynasty, beginning with the reign of Kamose. By now, the baleful experience of foreign rule had done much to shatter the traditional Egyptian mindset of superiority in both culture and the security of the Egyptian state in the face of external threats.
Yet, Egypt would eventually benefit considerably from their experience of foreign rule, and it has been suggested that the Hyksos rule of Egypt was far less damaging than later 18th Dynasty records would lead us to believe. It would make Egypt a stronger country, with a much more viable military. Because of Egypt's strength and ability to isolate herself from the outside world, cultural and technological growth was often stagnant. Until the Hyksos invasion, the history of Egypt and Asia were mostly isolated, while afterwards, they would be permanently entwined. The Hyksos brought more than weapons to Egypt. It was due to the Hyksos that the hump backed Zebu cattle made their appearance in Egypt. Also, we find new vegetable and fruit crops that were cultivated, along with improvements in pottery and linen arising from the introduction of improved potter's wheels and the vertical loom.
Perhaps one of the greatest contribution of the Hyksos was the preservation of famous Egyptian documents, both literary and scientific. During the reign of Apophis, the fifth king of the "Great Hyksos," scribes were commissioned to recopy Egyptian texts so they would not be lost. One such text was the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. This unique text, dating from about 3000 BCE, gives a clear perspective of the human body as studied by the Egyptians, with details of specific clinical cases, examinations, and prognosis. The Westcar Papyrus (A) preserved the only known version of an ancient Egyptian story that may have otherwise been lost. Other restored documents include the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, the most important mathematical exposition ever found in Egypt.
But it was the diffusion of innovations with more obvious military applications, such as bronze-working, which went far to compensate for the technological backwardness of Middle Kingdom Egypt, and it was these advantages that eventually allowed the kingdom at Thebes to gain back control of the Two Lands.
1620 - ???? BCE - XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Anat-Her - Anather - Heka Khasut Anather - "Ruler Of The Desert Lands."
The existence of this ruler is testified on only one scarab. The title "heka khaswt" - "Ruler of foreign countries," may suggest that he was prince of one of the cities in southern Palestine.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Weser-Anat - "Powerful Is Anat."
In Egyptologist J. von Beckerath's opinion, this ruler was one of the minor princes in southern Palestina during the time of the 15th dynasty. This is confirmed by only one scarab. His name means "Powerful is Anat," with a title of "The Ruler of Foreign Countries."
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Semqen - "Shimike is my god."
Semquen was a minor Hyksos ruler confirmed only on a scarab with the title of HqA-xAswt - "The ruler of alien lands" (Hyksos). Egyptologist W. Helck interprets this name as Huritian and would mean "Shimike is my god."
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Seket.
The name of this king of minor significance is proved by inscription in Turin Canon and some scarabs.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Wasa - Wadj[ed]
The existence of this ruler is proved only by one scarab and a short notice in Turin Canon. According to Egytologist J. von Beckerath, his name may have Semitic origin.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Qar
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Pepi III - Seneferankhre - "The One Who Makes Life Beautiful."
This ruler is mentioned only on scarabs.
1619 - 1534 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - While the Hyksos ruled northern Egypt, a new line of native rulers was developing in Thebes. The dynasty was a continuation of the Theban Dynasty XIII and likewise was paying tribute to the Hyksos that held rule in Delta and central Egypt. They controlled the area from Elephantine in the south, to Abydos in the middle of the country. The early rulers made no attempt to challenge the Hyksos but an uneasy truce existed between them. It coexisted with the 15th Dynasty until Seqenenre Tao began to fight against the Hyksos. Kamose, the son of Seqenenre Tao, eventually drove out the Hyksos which marks the end of the 17th Dynasty. Kamose's younger brother, Ahmose I, becomes King of Upper and Lower Egypt and begins the 18th Dynasty, the New Kingdom.
Around 1550, the 17th Dynasty first started opposing the dominion of the Hyksos kings. A New Kingdom tale relates how the Hyksos king Apophis sent a letter to the Theban king Seqenenre, complaining that the noise made by Seqenenre's hippopotamuses prevented him from sleeping. King Tao II, also known as Seqenenre, of course, would not take such an insult, but unfortunately, this is where the story breaks off. The mummy of Seqenenre, which shows that he died a violent death, perhaps on the battlefield, suggests that this story may have been based on fact. The first historically recorded traces of a war against the Hyksos are dated to the reign of Seqenenre's son, Kamose. Two stelae commemorate Kamose's struggle against the Hyksos and their vassals. Against the advice of his council, Kamose started or continued the war, punishing all those who had collaborated with the foreigners. He almost succeeded in conquering Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos in the Delta, but he too may have fallen on the battlefield. It would be Kamose's younger brother and successor, Ahmose, who would finally succeed in overthrowing the Hyksos. With his reign, a new period of prosperity and wealth would begin in the New Kingdom.
Some of the kings of the XVIIth Dynasty were known as Intef, and their large and heavy coffins with vulture-wing feathered decoration have been found at Thebes in the area of the Dra Abu el-Naga.
1619 - 1616 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Antef V - Nebukheperre - "Golden Is The Manifestation Of Re."
The tomb of Antef mentioned in the Abbot papyrus was discovered in 1860 CE by Egyptologist A. Mariette in Western Thebes at the Dra Abu el-Naga necropolis. Presumably to Antef belonged the sarcophagus, which is on display in London, while unfortunately the king's mummy fell into pieces at the moment of its discovery. Antef's wife was queen Sebekemsaf, daughter of the prince of Edfu. Traces of the king's building activities are found at Koptos, Abydos and Karnak. The "decree of Koptos," issued by Antef in the third year of his rule, announced the dismissal of the mayor Teti who supposedly favored his foes.
1616 - 1613 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Rahotep - Sekhemre Wahkhau.
Rahotep was a Theban ruler mentioned on stelae of Koptos and Abydos, and the royal table of Karnak. He was related to Sebekemsaf II through the marriage of his son, Ameny with Sebekemsaf II's daughter.
1613 - 1597 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Sebekemsaf I - Sekhemre Shedtawy - "Powerful Is Re ; Rescuer Of The Two Lands." Sebekemsaf - "Sobek Is His Protection."
According to the partially damaged inscription in the Turin Canon, this king ruled for 16 years. He was the father of Sebekemsaf II. His building activities are known in the Theban region, Abydos and on Elephantine. To him are ascribed graffitos at Wadi Hammamat. His burial place is the tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga, which was plundered by the local population.
1604 - 1594 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Sheshi - Bnon - Man. Maaibre - "Seeing In The Heart Of Re."
According to Manetho, he ruled for 44 years. Recently it has been accepted that he ruled for 3-14 years. According to Egyptologist Ryholt, this Hyksos (Semitic) ruler should have belonged to XIV Dynasty.
1600 - 1588 BCE - XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Beb-Ankh.
A dagger of Nagada, dated to the Hyksos times give testimony to the existence of this king. However some scholars (D. Frankee) state that king Beb-Anch should be identified with the throne name swsr.n-ra (Suserenre) which belonged to a ruler of the XVII dynasty, and which is shown on the stela found at Gebel Zait at the Red Sea.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Nebmaatre - "The Lord Of Maat Is Re."
The name of this king was found on the copper blade of an ax in a tomb at Mostagedd. Presumably he ruled over a small territory in Central Egypt.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Nikare (II) - "His Ka belongs to Re."
Nikare (II) was a king of minor significance, his name is mentioned solely on scarabs.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Meribre - "Of Loving Heart Re."
The name of this ruler (or regent) is documented solely in inscription on a scarab.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Aahetepre - Netjer-Nefer Aahetepre
Scarabs are the only records showing the name of this ruler.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Aaneterre.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Nebwankhre - "Golden Living, Re."
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Ahetepre.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Nebweserre.
This ruler's name is confirmed solely on scarabs. Sometimes he is identified with Yam, the 21st king of this dynasty.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Khaweserre.
The name of this ruler is disclosed by some preserved scarabs.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Khaimure.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Yakob-Baal.
The ruler's name is confirmed solely on scarabs. Sometimes he is identified with Nebweserre, the 16th king of this dynasty.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Yakobaam - Yakobner.
The ruler's name is disclosed solely by scarabs. Sometimes he is identified with sxai.n-ra (according to Egyptologist Beckerath - the throne name of Salitis, the first ruler of dynasty XV).
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Yam.
The ruler's name is confirmed solely on scarabs. Sometimes he is also identified with Nebweserre, the 16th king of this dynasty.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Amu.
Amu was a local prince in central Egypt whose name was found on scarabs.
XVI Egyptian Dynasty - Nia…
1600 - 1500 BCE - Turkey - The Hittite Kingdom is centered in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), having had two periods of prominence: the Old Hittite Kingdom (c. 1600 - 1500 BCE) and the New Hittite Kingdom (c. 1375 - 1200 BCE).
1600 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - The Hittites, under King Mursilis I, sack Babylon.
1600 - 1400 BCE - Crete - The Golden Age of the Minoans in Crete. The long period of the Neolithic Age was succeeded by the Minoan period. Sir Arthur Evans, the archaeologist who excavated the palace of Knossos, named this age after the mythological ruler of Knossos, King Minos. This period lasted for about 1500 years and included the "Golden Age" of Crete. Evans further divided the period into Early Minoan (3000 - 2000 BCE), Middle Minoan I & II (2000 - 1700 BCE) Middle Minoan III and Late Minoan I & II (1700 - 1400 BCE), and Late Minoan III (1400 - 1100 BCE).
The Bull Relief at the North Entrance, Knossos
The Minoans ruled not only Crete but other Aegean Islands and various cities on the mainland. New buildings replaced the cave dwellings of the previous age and, during the Late Minoan Period, architecture reached near perfection. The great palaces that we see today at Knossos, Festos, Malia and Zakros were constructed during this period. Arts and crafts also reached their pinnacle also during this "Golden Age". At this time, the great Minoan fleet ruled the Mediterranean, providing wealth to the island from trade and commerce as well as providing protection from invaders. The Minoans were a peaceful people with a love of life and equality between men and women. The Minoan cities have no evidence of fortifications around them, revealing an era of tranquillity and security on the island. A major earthquake hit Crete about 1700 BCE, completely destroying all the palaces; but the palaces were rebuilt soon afterwards and the Minoan civilization continued to flourish.
A new disaster hit Crete around 1450(?) BCE, causing large-scale destruction to the palaces and settlements and resulting in the total demise of the great civilization. The palaces were smashed and burned, while smaller settlements were devastated. The factors leading to this destruction are still unknown and still widely debated. One theory is that a volcanic eruption on the island of Thira (Santorini) was powerful enough to devastate Crete. Whatever the cause, the Minoan civilization came to an abrupt halt. The Minoan fleet was destroyed, the settlements were levelled, and the population reduced. At almost the same time, Mycenean (Ahaean) Greeks from the Peloponnesus migrated to Crete. We do not know if there was a massive invasion of the devastated island or a gradual immigration over a number of years, supported by intermarriages between the old and the new ruling families. Minoan and Mycenean art and culture were now mixed. New cities and palaces appeared, especially in the west of Crete.
1600 - 1200 BCE - Greece - The Mycenean Civilization. [^] The Greeks of the Classical Period, following 500 BCE, had very little information about their own history. Their only written sources were the poems attributed to Homer and Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) that is, stories about archaic gods and heroes.
Hesiod said that Zeus himself had been born on the Island of Crete, there seduced Europa and left the island to be ruled by their son King Minos. Theseus the Athenian brought tribute to Crete, killed the terrible bull-monster the Minotaur and sailed home to discover that his despairing father Aegus had thrown himself in the (Aegean) sea.
Archaeologists confirm that there was, in fact, a rich and powerful bronze age civilization based on Crete prior to 1600 BCE. Cnossus (or Knossus) may well have been the capital of a Minoan Sea Empire with outposts west to Sicily, north to Troy and east to Cyprus.
One of the greatest explosions on Earth occurred a hundred miles from Cnossus in (probably) 1628 BCE when the volcano on Thera (now Santorini) blew up. Traces of the event can be found globally (e.g., in ice from Greenland, dated 1645, plus or minus 20 years). Cnossus itself survived, but Crete was left "like a stump of rock … marooned at the center of a blasted empire" (Davies, 1997). This event, alone or in combination with others, opened the way for a Greek-speaking civilization north of Crete named for the fortress-city of Mycenae.
Minoan and Mycenean Sites Prior to 1000 BCE
Throughout the Mycenaen period (c. 1600 - 1200 BCE) fortresses were built on the Greek mainland, including sites of the later city-states Sparta, Athens, and Thebes, and across the Aegean at Miletos, Kos and Rhodes. The Mycenians, it seems, were governed by local autonomous monarchs, some of whom were local inhabitants and others who were invading Greeks (Acheans) from elsewhere.
Homer's Iliad is about events near the end of the Mycenean period, c. 1200 BCE, during a war with Troy (Ilium) which began when Helen of Sparta ran away to Troy with her lover, Paris. Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, leader of the Greek forces, was unable to conclude the war, conducted a ten-year siege, quarreled with his own commander Achilles, and experienced what later writers would call "an Iliad of woes."
The Mycenean Civilization did, indeed, dissolve into conflict and woe, on the archaeological evidence. Impoverishment spread over the entire Eastern Mediterranean during an 'obscure' or 'dark' age that lasted for four or five hundred years. When the mainland city-states revived in Classical Times, the Athenians boasted that only they were indigenous, claiming that other Greeks (the Spartans in particular) were relics of a vast invasion by 'Dorians' some time soon after the siege of Troy. (Several modern references agree, others point to a suspicious lack of physical evidence for any widespread ethnic or cultural change corresponding to an invasion.)
In any case, when the region began to awaken (c. 750 - 500 BCE), the Greek cities found themselves with a common language and mythology, but essentially without a known history. Herodotus ( 482 - 424 BCE) collected stories many of them doubtful or nonsensical but he evaluated what he could: namely the then recently failed Persian invasions of 490 and 480 BCE, after which time the course of Greek civilization becomes reasonably clear.
1600 BCE - New Guinea - Austronesian Expansion reaches New Guinea.
1597 - 1597 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Djehuti - Sekhemre Smentawi.
The existence of this ruler is disclosed in but a few monuments: stone blocks discovered at the courtyard of the temple of Horus at Edfu, a case for canopic jars of Dra Abu el-Naga, which are presently stored in Berlin, and stone block of a temple at Deir el-Ballas. He is also mentioned in the Table of Karnak. Egyptologist Ryholt assigned him to the XVI Dynasty.
1596 - 1596 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Mentuhotep VII - Sankhenre.
The short reign of this ruler and a minor role as regent in part of Tebaida are confirmed by a few artifacts: two sphinxes at Edfu, a stele at Karnak and some scarabs. His wife was presumably Satmut and his son was Merunefer. Egyptologist Ryholt assigns him to the XVI Dynasty.
1595 - 1576 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Nibiraw I -Nibirierawet I - Swadjenre.
The ruler to whom Turin Canon assigns 19 years of rule. To the era of Nibiraw is dated the famous stela discovered at Karnak in 1927 CE which contained a treaty giving the office of mayor of El-Kab by Sebeknakht and his descendants. Other known artifacts include scarabs with the king's name and a dagger found in a tomb by Dispolis Parva. Egyptologist Ryholt assigns him to the XVI Dynasty.
1595 - 1157 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - Babylon was invaded by new waves of Indo-Europeans and Indo-Aryans, some on their way to India: the Kassites, another non-Semitic mountain people just like the Amorites, and the Hittites, who conquered large areas of the region by 1595 BCE.
1594 - 1586 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Yakobner - Yakobher Apachnan - "Man." Meriweserre - "Strong Is The Love Of Re." Yakobher - "[God] Horus Protect."
In the opinion of Egyptologist J. von Beckerath, Yakobner and Apachnan from Manetho's records were one and the same ruler. Manetho's Apachnan was supposed to rule 36 years and 7 months. His throne name of mri-wsr-ra is presented on scarabs.
1586 - 1566 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Khian - Iannas - "Man." - Suserenre - "Powerful Like Re." - Chian - "Born In [month] Khijar."
One of the so-called Great Hyksossos (Semitic). His name in north-western-semitic language means "Born in [month] Khijar." Other known forms of his name are Khiyaran, Khajran, Khajan. The title HqA-xAswt (hence Hyksos) means "the ruler of foreign lands" and is found on cylindrical seals and one scarab. Some relics with his name are scattered all over the world, in Bagdad, Knossos and Bogazkoy. Manetho ascribes to him 50 years of rule, a period of rule which is entirely too long.
1576 - 1576 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Nibiraw II - Nibirierawet II.
The Turin Canon gives to this ruler a short period of rule, no longer than 5 months. It has been suggested that the double mentioning of the name in Turin Canon is accidental, and thus there would have been only one king Nibiraw. In the opinion of Egyptologist A. Leahy, a sarcophagus of Osiris, ascribed to king Nibiraw II was discovered in the tomb of Djer at Abydos, and a seal found on Uronarti Island in Nubia belonged to king Khendjer of the XIII dynasty.
1575 - 1575 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Semenenre.
This ruler's existence is testified only in the Turin Canon and on an ax, now stored in London. Egyptologist Ryholt has assigned him to the XVI Dynasty.
1574 - 1566 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Sueserenre.
The ruler identified with Beb-Anch, is traditionally ascribed to dynasty XVII. A part of a stela found in 1984 CE near the galena mine at Gebel Zait at the Red Sea gives evidence of both these names. Suserenre left behind traces of building activities at Medamud - the extension of a temple.
1566 - 1526 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Apopi - Apophis - "Man." Aphophis - "Man." - Nebkhepeshre - Aaqenenre - "The Spirit Of Re." - Heka Khutwart Aaweserre - "Great And Powerful Like Re." - Aaweserre - "Great And Powerful Like Re."
In Manetho's opinion, (Flawius) Apopi was a Hyksos ruler (Semitic), who ruled for 36 years and 7 months. The Turin Canon records a span of 108 years of total rule for 6 kings of this dynasty. Some scholars (Grimal) suggest two different rulers with the same name, however the prevalent opinion is that royal titulary had been changed during the long time of Pharaoh Apopi's rule. It is believed that this ruler, despite his Hyksos origin and warring with Theban princes, was to a great extent "Egyptianized," well educated and rather peacefully disposed. He is mentioned on the Rhind and Saillier I papyri, as well as records of priesthood of Memphis and numerous relics of architecture. There are known two sisters of the ruler, Tani and Tcharydjet and a daughter named Harta. The first years of his rule seemed to bring peace to the southern lands. It was only under Sekenenre that violent struggles began, and were continued thereafter by Kamose.
1566 - 1559 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Sebekemsaf II - Sekhemre Shedtawi - "Powerful Re - Rescuer Of Two Lands." - Sebekemsaf - "Sobek Is His Protection."
Sebekemsaf II was the son of Sebekemsaf I and queen Nubemhat. He was famous for the protocol of the Theban commission against tomb robberies, drawn up in the times of Ramesses IX. Few monuments are dated to the times of Sebeknemsaf' rule, mainly stelae and statues found in the Theban area. Egyptologist Ryholt assigned him to the XVI Dynasty.
1559 - 1549 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Antef VI - "the Elder." - Sekhemre Wepmaat.
Among the tomb equipment of Antef VI at the necropolis of Dra Abu El-Naga in Western Thebes, there survived only a pyramidion, a golden sarcophagus and several containers of canopic jars. Antef VI was the brother of Antef VII, as the inscription on his sarcophagus shows. Presumably he was son of his predecessor Sebekemsaf III.
1548 - 1548 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Antef VII - Sekhemre Herwhormaat.
He was the brother of his predecessor, Antef VI, whose burial he prepared. He died after only a short rule and was buried in a provisional sarcophagus. In Egyptologist J. von Beckerath's opinion, Antef VII might have been murdered.
1548 - 1545 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Snakhtenre Tao I - Snachtenre - "Perpetuated Like Re."
He was the husband of queen Tetisheri and father of Seqenenre Tao II. Proof of this ruler's existence are found in inscriptions on the royal table of Karnak and in the tomb of Khabekhnet (tomb TT2) in Deir el-Medina, as well as in the Ken' votive table of Thebes. It is thought that Snakhtenre gave rise to a new dynasty of Dendera that had nothing to do with Antefs and Sebeknemsafs. Egyptologist C. Vanderlsleyen has suggested that the name tA-aAaA Taa (Tao) never belonged to Snachtenre.
1545 - 1540 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Seqenenre Tao II - "The Brave." - Seqenenre - "Who Strikes Like Re." - Tao - Takenw.
Head of Sekenenre's mummy, smashed by weapon
He was the son of Snakhtenre and queen Tetisheri. The name of Seqenenre is mentioned in Deir el-Bahari, Karnak, the Theban tombs of nobles and numerous royal or private items found all over Theban area. Papyrus Sallier I describes the conflict of this Theban ruler with the Hyksos king Apopi. He died in battle with Hyksossos, as can be deduced from disheveled state of his mummy found in the cache at Deir el-Bahari. His burial place is a tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga.
1540 - 1534 BCE - XVII Egyptian Dynasty - Kamose - Wadjkheperre - "Flourishing Is The Manifestation Of Re."
Kamose was the son of Seqenenre Tao I by queen Ahhotep I, and brother of Ahmose. He was an excellent warrior with strategic skills. He continued the violent battle with Hyksos for the restoration of sovereignty of the Egyptian land. He made war campaigns in Nubia, reaching as far as Toshka, so that he could focus relief on successive parts of the Delta. His heroic deeds are recorded in two famous stelae. His burial place was probably the tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga, discovered in 1857 CE by Egyptologist A. Mariette, which contained an unpretentious sarcophagus and a damaged mummy. Evidence shows that this ruler must have died suddenly and at young age.
18th Egyptian Dynasty
1534 - 1292 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - At the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt was a unified and wealthy state ruled by a god-king. It had a semi-tropical climate, creating a large agricultural surplus. Papyrus grew wild and was used for building materials, food and paper. Even the desert provided useful goods such as salt, natron, other minerals, semiprecious stones and gold. Egypt had a highly organized government that was run by the scribal class, who were organized and carried out the details of the business of the state. They knew how to read and write and also had knowledge of the specific position they were to inherit, such as knowledge in agriculture.
The majority of the people were farmers. During the period of inundation, the three months when the fields were flooded, they participated in corvee. The farmers became a national labor force, which built and maintained large-scale public buildings. There was also a smaller group of nomadic cattle herders. Families were the basic social unit in Ancient Egypt, with groups of families forming villages. The people of Ancient Egypt followed a hereditary calling, and the whole family shared in the work. The army was the only place for people to step out of the caste system and achieve importance. The horse drawn chariot was also introduced during this period.
Expulsion of the Hyksos
1534 - 1508 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ahmose - Jahmes - Ahmose I - Amosis - "Man." - Nebpehtire - "The Lord Of Strength Is Re." - Iahmesi - "The Moon Is Born."
Ahmose was the son of queen Ahhotep and Seqenenre Tao II, and brother of Kamose the last ruler of dynasty XVII. Manetho assigned to him twenty-five years and four months of rule. Analysis of his mummy revealed that at the moment of death he was approximately 35 years old, so that Ahmose must have become a pharaoh at the very young age. This might be possible considering the early death of his father, Seqenenre, and brother, Kamose. In the 18th or 19th year of his rule (year 11 of Khamudi's rule) he captured Awaris, a city of the Semites, and the fortress of Scharuhen in southern Palestine after a three year siege, and thus completed the act of restoration of Egyptian independence by definitely expulsing the Hyksos. He vastly broadened the Egyptian borders, making three successful campaigns into Nubia (after the revolt of a certain Aata), and one campaign in Asia. Ahmose restored the office of viceroy of Kush, and thus spread his own influence far to the south. He was the brother and husband of queen Ahmose-Nefertari, the mother of Amenhotep I. His putative burial place is a pyramid tomb in Biriabi, near Dra Abu el-Naga in Western Thebes, although it is suggested that it might have been an unknown tomb KV32 in the Valley of the Kings. The king's mummy was discovered in the DB320 cache at Deir el-Bahari. At Abydos he built a pyramid-enotaph (false tomb).
1534 BCE - Egypt - The Ebers Papyrus is by far the most lengthy of the medical papyri of ancient Egypt. It is dated by a passage on the verso to the 9th year of the reign of Amenhotep I (c. 1534 BCE). However, one portion of the papyrus suggests a much earlier origin. Paragraph 856a states that : "the book of driving wekhedu from all the limbs of a man was found in writings under the two feet of Anubis in Letopolis and was brought to the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Den." (Nunn 1996: 31) The reference to the Lower Egyptian Den is a historic anachronism which suggesting an origin closer to the First Dynasty of circa 3000 BCE.
The Ebers Papyrus
The Ebers Papyrus comprises 110 pages and was purchased in Luxor by Edwin Smith in 1862 CE. It is unclear from whom the papyrus was purchased, but it was said to have been found between the legs of a mummy in the Assassif district of the Theben necropolis.
The papyrus remained in the collection of Edwin Smith until at least 1869 CE when there appeared, in the catalog of an antiquities dealer, and advertisement for "a large medical papyrus in the possession of Edwin Smith, an American farmer of Luxor." (Breasted 1930 CE) The Papyrus was purchased in 1872 CE by the Egyptologist George Ebers, for who it is named. In 1875 CE, Ebers published a facsimile with an English-Latin vocabulary and introduction.
1526 - 1514 BCE - XV Egyptian Dynasty - Khamudi - Aseth - "Man." Assis - "Man." Archles - "Man."
Khamudi was a contemporary of king Ahmose, last of the Great Hyksos (Semitic) rulers. According to the Rhind papyrus in the eleventh year of Khamudi's rule, Theban prince Ahmose captured Heliopolis and Sile. In the next year Khamudi was supposed to render his capital of Awaris. It is assumed that years eleven and twelve of Khamudis' rule corresponded with the eighteenth or nineteenth years of Ahmose's rule. In Manetho's records, his name is Assis (Aseth) and Archles. Manetho decidedly overestimates the duration of his rule, giving him 49 years and 2 months. Recent evidence indicates that he ruled approximately ten or eleven years.
1523 - 1028 BCE - Shang Dynasty of China - The Shang, a splendid Bronze Age civilization, is the true beginning of Chinese history. The system of writing seen developing in the Shang already displayed most of the characteristics of Chinese characters and was destined to be the only ancient system of ideographic writing to survive into modern usage, both in China and Japan. However, Shang writing is known mainly from oracle bones. There is no surviving literature, documents, or monumental inscriptions from the period. Data like the list of Shang kings or the excavation of Shang royal tombs thus leaves much to be desired about historical events, though this is not much different from what is often the case with contemporary Egypt or Mesopotamia. The sophistication of Shang culture, on the other hand, may be inspected directly in the magnificient bronzes that are featured in many of the world's museums.
1508 - 1484 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenhotep I - Amenophis I - Amenophis - Amenothes - "Man." - Djoserkare - "Holy Is The Soul [Ka] Of Re." - Amenhotep - "Amun Is Satisfied."
Amenhotep I was the son of Ahmose by Ahmose-Nefertari. According to Manetho he ruled for 20 years and 7 months. He came to the throne after the premature death of prince Amenemhat, who was heir to the throne. With his mother, he was worshipped at the Theban necropoly until the Late Period. He made wars in Asia, Libya and Nubia, from where he levied annual tributes. To him is given the credit of renewing many temples alongside the Nile. He began building of the temples at Karnak and Abydos, and also the temple of the goddess Nekhbet at El-Kab, along with temples at Uronarti in Nubia and Serabit el-Chadim at Synai. His burial place is either at Tomb ANB near Dra el-Naga at Western Thebes or tomb KV39 at the Valley of the Kings. The mummy of the king, who died at the age of fifty was found in the DB320 cache at Deir el-Bahari.
1500 BCE - China - I Ching (The Book of Changes) attributed to Wen Wang. I Ching is an ancient Chinese sacred book, one of the classics of Confucianism and one of the earliest works of Chinese literature, traditionally used for divination and as a moral, philosophical, and cosmological text. It is based on 64 symbolic hexagrams. Each hexagram consists of a pair of trigrams. There are eight basic trigrams, each named for a natural phenomenon. The symbolic significance of each hexagram is expressed in cryptic poetic passages and in philosophical commentary.
The book is consulted by casting lots six times to determine the appropriate hexagram. The hexagrams evolved as fortune-telling symbols. Wen Wang (flourished about 1150 BCE) is traditionally thought to have added moral counsel to the original divinatory function of the hexagrams. It is probable that Confucius and his followers added further philosophical commentary.
Although rejected by the empiricist scholars of the Qing (Ch'ng) dynasty, the numerological aspects of the work have been reemphasized by Westerners interested in Eastern mysticism. The work was translated in the nineteenth century by James Legge and Richard Wilhelm. Wilhelm's translation included a forward by the psychoanalyst Carl Jung who saw the text as a means to accessing the subconscious through meditation upon the symbols.
Mayan Ruins - Guatemala
1500 BCE - Central America - The Mayan Empire arises in Central America.
1500 BCE - Australia - The dog is introduced into Australia from Indonesia during the Austronesian Expansion. It established itself in the wild to become the dingo.
1500 - 800 BCE - India - From their original settlements in the Punjab region, the Aryans gradually began to penetrate eastward, clearing dense forests and establishing "tribal" settlements along the Ganga & Yamuna ( Jamuna ) plains between 1500 BCE and c. 800 BCE. By around 500 BCE, most of northern India was inhabited and had been brought under cultivation, facilitating the increasing knowledge of the use of iron implements, including ox-drawn plows, and spurred by the growing population that provided voluntary and forced labor. As riverine and inland trade flourished, many towns along the Ganga became centers of trade, culture, and luxurious living. Increasing population and surplus production provided the bases for the emergence of independent states with fluid territorial boundaries over which disputes frequently arose.
1500 BCE - Turkey - The Amorites, an Indo-European tribe invaded Asia Minor from the Aegean sea.
The Aegean Sea
1500 - 800 BCE - India - Sanskrit was first developed around 1500 BCE. It has sometimes been described as the Asian equivalent to Latin for its role in the religious and historical literature of India. Sanskrit is also the ancestor of the Prakrit languages of India, such as Pali and Ardhamagadhi. Scholars have preserved more Sanskrit documents than documents in Latin and Greek combined. The Vedic scriptures were written in a form of Sanskrit.
Hinduism in India traces its source to the Vedas, ancient hymns composed and recited in Punjab as early as 1500 BCE. Three main collections of the Vedas the Rig, Sama, and Yajur consist of chants that were originally recited by priests while offering plant and animal sacrifices in sacred fires. A fourth collection, the Atharva Veda, contains a number of formulas for requirements as varied as medical cures and love magic. The majority of modern Hindus revere these hymns as sacred sounds passed down to humanity from the greatest antiquity and as the source of Hindu tradition.
In Indian mythology, Manu is the first man and the legendary author of an important Sanskrit code of law, the Laws of Manu. It is also called Manu Samhita and Manu-smriti.
1500 BCE - China - One of the furthermost eastern migrations of Celtic peoples, the Tocharians - Indo-European Nordics - reached the Takla Makan desert (situated between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tibet) in China.
1484 - 1472 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Tuthmosis I - Totmes I - Tethmosis - "Man." - Aakheperkare - "Great Is The Soul Of Re." - Djehutymose - "Born Of Djehuty [Thoth]."
As Totmes I was probably not related to the ruling family, he acquired rights to the throne by marriage with the king's sister Ahmes, who bore him two daughters Hatshepsut (later queen) and Neferubiti who died prematurely. For the lack of a male descendant from that marriage, his heir to the throne became Totmes II, the son of queen Mutnofret. There are many discrepancies among Egyptologists as to length of Totmes' rule. Opinions about a ten year rule is predominant. He vastly extended the temple at Karnak. Due to campaigns against Nubia at the beginning of his rule, the boundaries of Egypt moved as far south as Tombos, above the third cataract. In the fourth or fifth year of his rule, he managed to reach the Euphrates River in Asia, and comemorized this victory with stele at Karkemish. In Karnak, he started large-scale works, and left traces of building activity at Elephantine, Armant, Ombos, Abydos, Memfis and Nubia. His burial place was the first hypogeum in the Valley of the Kings KV38. The mummy of the ruler was moved by Hatshepsut's order to her grave KV20 and then, after her death, returned to its original burial place by order of Totmes III. The mummy found in the DB320 cache at Deir el-Bahari was ascribed to Totmes I.
Wall of Inanna in Uruk
1478 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Astarte is the Phenician name of the primitive Semitic mother-goddess, out of which the most important of the Semitic deities were developed. The first recorded mention of Astarte's name occurs in 1478 BCE. [EW]
This female diety was known to the Canaanites as Astarte; to the Sumerians, she was known as Inanna; to the Babylonians, she was known as Ishtar; to the Assyrians and the Akkadians, as Ashtart, Ashtoreth, Asherah, and Astoreth; to the Egyptians as Isis, Ashet and Aset; to the Phoenecians, she was known as Tanit-Ashtart and Ashtaroth. Her Ugaritic name was Anat, and to the Greeks, she was known as Athena. Babylonian scriptures called her the Light of the World, Goddess of Goddesses, and Bestower of Strength.
The city was Uruk, one of the oldest cities of Sumer where she had her temple, was considered sacred to Inanna. Under her rule, the people of Sumer and their communities prospered and thrived. She had shrines and temples in many cities in the Ancient Middle East. Astarte's Sumerian title Queen of Heaven, was borrowed by Christians for their Virgin Mary.
The "Ishtar Gate," built approximately 575 BCE, was the main entrance into Babylon.
The Ishtar Gate
Ruins of the Temple of Inanna in Uruk
Astarte was known in Arabia as Athtar, and in Babylonia as Ishtar. Her name appears in the Old Testament (A) as Ashtoreth, a distortion of Ashtart, made after the analogy of Bosheth (B). Solomon is said to have built a high place to her near Jerusalem, which was removed during Josiah's reform (C). Astarte is called in these passages the abomination of the Zidonians, (Sidonians of Sidon in Northern Caanan) because, as the inscriptions of Tabnith and Eshmunazer show, she was the chief divinity of that city (D).
The Zidonians were the inhabitants of Zidon (Sidon). They were among the nations of Canaan; left to give the Israelites practice in the art of war, (Judges 3:3) and colonies of them appear to have spread up into the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephothmaim, (Joshua 13:4, 6) whence in later times they hewed cedar trees for David and Solomon. (1 Chronicles 22:4). They oppressed the Israelites on their first entrance into the country, (Judges 10:12) and appear to have lived a luxurious, reckless life. (Judges 18:7) They were skillful in hewing timber, (1 Kings 5:8) and were employed for this purpose by Solomon. They were idolaters, and worshipped Ashtoreth as their tutelary goddess, (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13) as well as the sun-god Baal from whom their king was named. (1 Kings 16:31)
Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; 1 Kings 11:1
As Solomon was a Semitic king, "foreign women" would include those of other races. Relating the above to the modern-day bible -
"Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." 1 Kings 17:1.
This was the first meeting between Ahab, the king of Israel, and the prophet Elijah. The message delivered to Ahab, though very brief, was a most serious one. A sore judgment was to fall upon Israel-a dire famine that was to continue for years. The reason for such a visitation is given as follows:
"Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." 1 Kings 16: 30-33.
This is a very heavy indictment. The course pursued by Ahab was destined to bring greater evil upon Israel than had been brought upon them by any of his predecessors.
The first great wrong mentioned was that of taking "to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians." The Zidonians were idolaters. Their chief deity was Baal, the sun god of many ancient heathen nations. Ashtoreth was a goddess of the Zidonians. Baal and Ashtoreth were supposed to personify certain sexual attributes of fertility, and the worship of these idols in the temples was often accompanied by "licentious rites of the most abominable character."
Jezebel's father, Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, was a priest of Baal, and Jezebel appears to have been fanatically devoted to the worship of her father's sun-god, Baal. On the other hand, she was violently opposed to the worship of Israel's God, Jehovah.
In Phenician countries, Astarte was the female counterpart of Baal, and was no doubt worshiped with him by those Hebrews who at times became his devotees. This is proved by the fact that Baalim and Ashtaroth are used several times (E) like the Assyrian "ilani u ishtarati" for "gods and goddesses."
Astarte with Dove.
From a Phenician terra-cotta in the Musee du Louvre, Paris
Astarte as the Goddess of Love (F)
The Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple represented the womb of Ashtoreth/Asherah, who was also the Phoenician goddess of love and fruitfulness, Astarte in Greece and Rome, Atar Gatis (a mermaid) in Syria. Ashtoreth was identified with Greek goddesses Hecate (witchcraft) and Selene (moon = Roman Luna) - often associated with each other; Artemis (wild nature, harvest, hunting as Agrotora, wild animals especially bears as Kalliste, fishermen as Britomartis (Sweet Maiden, moon goddess, snake-mermaid)/Diktynna, (who may be one person or lovers) childbirth, chastity, youth and young women = Roman Diana, and Aphrodite (love/beauty = Roman Venus). Selene (who loved Endymion) had a sister Eos (Roman Aurora) goddess of dawn - both were daughters of Theia. The Phoenician goddess of the moon was Tanit. Creator goddesses have always been associated with the moon, for obvious reasons even to its control of tides and water - and horses too especially to the Celts, because of their moon shaped hoof prints.
Ashtoreth was counterpart to Ishtar, (Isis in Egypt; Ashtart in Israel; Athtar in Arabia; and Astar in Abyssinia - changed to male!) Great Mother, goddess of fertility and Queen of Heaven who was chief goddess of the Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians (Mesopotamia/Iraq). Mara was goddess of the sea. To the Assyrians, Ishtar represented the goddess of hunting and war. To the Babylonians, she was represented by the evening or morning star Venus, Mother Goddess, naked with prominent breasts and often suckling a child. She was also known as Queen Semiramis, whose mother was Derceto, a mermaid.
Astarte, wherever worshiped, was a goddess of fertility and sexual love. A trace of this among the Hebrews appears in Deut. vii. 13, xxviii. 4, 18, where the lambs are called the "ashtarot" of the flock. It is usually assumed that Astarte Worship was always a foreign cult among the Hebrews; but analogy with the development of other Semitic deities, like the Phenician Baal, would lead to the supposition that Astarte Worship before the days of the Prophets may have somewhat prejudiced that of Yhwh. The problem is a difficult one, the references to the cult in the Old Testament being so few and so vague. The reaction against Baal and Astarte, inaugurated by the Prophets, had a profound effect upon the moral life of Israel (G). Jeremiah (vii. 18; xliv. 17, 18) and Ezekiel (viii. 14) attest various forms of this worship in their time, which may refer to a direct importation from Babylonia. The sacrificial use of swine's blood (H) may be a reference to a form of the cult similar to that known in Cyprus, where swine were sacred to Astarte. (I)
1472 - 1466 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Tuthmosis II - Chebron - "Man." - Aakheperenre - "Great Is The Form Of Re." - Djehutymose - "Born Of Djehuty [Thoth]."
Tuthmosis II was the son of Totmes I and Mutnofret, who became king after the deaths of his father and his brothers, Amenmose and Wadjmose. In the opinion of three German scholars' W. Helck, R. Krauss, E. Hornung, Totmes II ruled only three to four years. Manetho's Khebron was stated to rule for eighteen years, but this time seems to be overestimated. He married his own sister, Hatshepsut and thus legitimized the Totmes' right to the throne. They presumably had two daughters. His son and successor, Totmes III, was born from his concubine, Iset. He had to suppress revolts in Nubia at least twice during his rule, and sent military expeditions to Asia as are commemorized in inscriptions from Deir el-Bahari. Building activities of this ruler are apparent mainly in Thebes and Nubia areas. His burial place is tomb KV42 in the Valley of the Kings. The mummy of the king was found in the DB320 cache at Deir el-Bahari.
Queen Hatshepsut as Hathor
Bust of Hatshepsut
1466 - 1444 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Hatshepsut - Amesses - "Man." Amensis - "Man." - Maatkare - "Truth Is The Soul Of Re." - Henemet Amun Hatshepsut - "Who Loved Amun ; Foremost Of Noble Ladies."
Ancient Egypt's view of women was extremely liberal for the time, but it was rare for a woman to become pharaoh. Hatshepsut's desire for power led to her becoming one of only three female pharaohs in 3000 years, and her need to legitimize her role as pharaoh would dominate her reign.
To support her claim to the throne she turned to her royal background her father Tuthmosis I had been pharaoh and she had been queen to his successor, Tuthmosis II, who was her half-brother.
Hatshepsut put words into her dead father's mouth, claiming he had publicly appointed her as his successor and not as co-regent. She then gained support by appointing new officials who were reliant on her for their position.
Hatshepsut relied mostly on propaganda and self-aggrandizement to increase her notoriety. On her temple walls Hatshepsut carved a tale of how the god Amen took on her father's appearance the day she was conceived, thus making her the daughter of the chief of all gods.
She was the daughter of Tuthmosis I by queen Ahmose, married to her half-brother Tutmose II. She began rule after the death of her husband, as she would not let the throne pass to her son-in-law Tuthmosis III. She initially reigned as regent of the young heir to the throne, then as pharaoh. Getting support from highly placed officials (Senenmut, Hapuseneb, Djehuti, Nehsi), she managed to keep the young Tuthmosis III well in the background, and announced herself a male pharaoh. There is no agreement between scholars concerning the years of co-regency with Tuthmosis III when Hatshepsut had proclaimed herself pharaoh. Opinions of scholars diverge from two to seven years. Change of the titulary in jar inscriptions dated to the seventh years of her reign point to a longer period of co-regency. An inscription in the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut at Karnak, dated to the second year of her rule, suggests a shorter period. The inscription mentions that the Oracle of Amun hailed Hatshepsut as the ruler of Egypt. During her reign, she gave up the policy of conquests in favor of trade development.
Image of Hatshepsut defaced by her son
Valley of the Kings
Expeditions to the land of Punt (first one in the ninth year of her rule) resemble the policy of the Middle Kingdom. According to Egyptologists D.B. Redford and W.F. Reinecke, at least six war or robbery campaigns in Nubia and Palestine can also be documented. She ordered the erection of many monuments, numerous obelisks and a magnificent mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari, the last one being built over a period of 15 years. Senenmut, the queen's architect, was heavily involved in works over this type of Egyptian architecture, as he had a great influence on both the queen and her politics. She celebrated her Sed festival in the 15th year of her rule.
After twenty-two years of reign, Hatshepsut died and her son, Tuthmosis III, gained the throne that had rightfully been his. Years later, his resentment toward Hatsheput became evident. So that people would soon forget the reign of the female pharaoh had ever happened, Tuthmosis III deleted her name from the "kings list" and many monuments attributed to her.
It was not until 1903 CE that British archaeologist Howard Carter came across the name of Hatshepsut and the mystery of the unknown pharaoh was solved.
Sitemap of Valley of the Kings
Her burial place is tomb KV20 in the Valley of the Kings. Previously she had started to cut a tomb in the Wadi cliff face, west of Deir el-Bahari. Also, she ordered the removal of the corpse of her father, Tuthmosis I, to her royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahari, uncovered in 1999
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahari, uncovered in 1999
1450 - 1300 BCE - Syria - Ugarit, capital of the Ugarit kingdom, is an ancient city lying in a large artificial mound called Ras Shamra (Ra's Shamrah), 10 km north of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria. Its ruins, less than 1 km from the shore, were first uncovered by the plow of a peasant at Al-Bayda Bay. The name of this city was known from Egyptian and Hittite sources, its location and history were a mystery until the accidental discovery (1928 CE) of an ancient tomb at the small Arab village of Ras Shamrah. Excavations were begun in 1929 CE by a French archaeological mission under the direction of Claude F.A. Schaeffer. The site was been particularly rich in finds, which have yielded much valuable historical information and from which a partial account of the city has been constructed.
Map of Syria
6. Crac des Chevaliers
10. Qalaat Saladin
14. St Simeon Complex
Ugarit was probably occupied from the first appearance of humans in Syria, but the most prosperous and the best-documented age in Ugarit's history, dated from about 1450 to about 1200 BCE, produced great royal palaces and temples and shrines, with a high priests' library and other libraries on the acropolis. Some of the family vaults built under the stone houses show strong Mycenaean influence. Mycenaean and Cypriot pottery in great amounts has also been found.
After the discovery of the temple library, which revealed a hitherto unknown cuneiform alphabetic script as well as an entirely new mythological and religious literature, several other palatial as well as private libraries were found, along with archives dealing with all aspects of the city's political, social, economic, and cultural life.
The art of Ugarit in its golden age is best illustrated by a golden cup and patera (bowl) ornamented with incised Ugaritic scenes; by carved stone stelae and bronze statuettes and ceremonial axes; by carved ivory panels depicting royal activities; and by other fine-carved ivories. Despite Egyptian influence, Ugaritic art exhibits a Syrian style of its own.
Soon after 1200 BCE, Ugarit came to an end. Its fall coincided with the invasion of the Northern and Sea Peoples and certainly with earthquakes and famines. In the Iron Age and during the 6th-4th century BCE, there were small settlements on the site (Leukos Limen).
The excavators of the site were fortunate in the number and variety of finds of ancient records in cuneiform script. The excavations continue, and each season throws some new and often unexpected light on the ancient north Canaanite civilization. The texts are written on clay tablets either in the Babylonian cuneiform script or in the special alphabetic cuneiform script invented in Ugarit. Several copies of this alphabet, with its 30 signs, were found in 1949 CE and later. A shorter alphabet, with 25, or even 22, signs, seems to have been used by 13th-century traders.
Scribes used four languages Ugaritic, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Hurrian, and seven different scripts were used in Ugarit in this period: Egyptian and Hittite hieroglyphic and Cypro-Minoan, Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, and Ugaritic cuneiform. These show clearly the cosmopolitan character of the city.
The Middle Bronze Age period.
Ivory and Gold Head
A carnelian bead identified with the pharaoh Sesostris I (who reigned from 1971 - 1928 BCE) and a stela and statuettes, gifts to the kings of Ugarit from other Middle Kingdom pharaohs (e.g., Sesostris II, 1897 - 1878 BCE, and Amenemhet III, 1842 - 1797 BCE), provided the first exact dating in the history of Ugarit. Eggshell ware from Crete (Middle Minoan period) and Babylonian cylinder seals found in the tombs of level II also provided cross datings. During the 18th and 17th centuries BCE, Ugarit was apparently under the control of new tribes related to the Hyksos, probably mainly Hurrians or Mitannians, who mutilated the Egyptian monuments.
Ras Shamra texts and the Bible
Many texts discovered at Ugarit, including the "Legend of Keret," the "Aghat Epic" (or "Legend of Danel"), the "Myth of Baal-Aliyan," and the "Death of Baal," reveal an Old Canaanite mythology. A tablet names the Ugaritic pantheon with Babylonian equivalents; El, Asherah of the Sea, and Baal were the main deities. These texts not only constitute a literature of high standing and great originality but also have an important bearing on Old Testament studies. It is now evident that the patriarchal stories in the Old Testament were not merely transmitted orally but were based on written documents of Canaanite origin, the discovery of which at Ugarit has led to a new appraisal of the Old Testament.
The Ras Shamra mound
Soundings made through the Ras Shamra mound revealed a reliable stratigraphic sequence of settlements from the beginning of the Neolithic period. Above the ground level, five main upper levels (levels V to I) were identified. The three lowest levels have been subdivided into smaller layers. The earliest settlement on level V--already a small fortified town in the 7th millennium BC--shows a prepottery stage with flint industries. Also on level V, but in a later layer, light, sun-dried pottery appears. Level IV and part of level III date back to the Chalcolithic, or Copper-Stone, Age, when new ethnic groups arrived from the northeast and the east. This stage shows Mediterranean as well as strong Mesopotamian influence. During the Early Chalcolithic Age, painted pottery of the Hassunan and Halafian cultures of northern Iraq is very common. The Late Chalcolithic shows fresh Mesopotamian influence with its monochromatic, Ubaidian, geometric painted pottery. The flint industry was then in competition with the first metal tools, made of copper. The Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium) layers, immediately above, in level III, yielded no more painted ware but various monochromatic burnished wares and some red polished ware of Anatolian origin. With Early Bronze Age III, metallurgy quickly developed. In the Middle Bronze Age, newcomers, so-called Torque-Bearers, expert in bronze metallurgy, arrived (c. 2000 - 1900 BCE). Levels II and I correspond to historical periods within the 2nd millennium BCE.
Attractions and historical building
The Baal au Foudre stele
Among the more important discoveries at Ugarit are tablets from the 14th cent. BCE. Written in a cuneiform script, in a hitherto unknown language, Ugaritic, they record the poetic works and myths of the ancient Canaanites. They are written in an alphabet that is one of the earliest known. Ugaritic has been identified as a Semitic language, related to classical Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, and these tablets, the first authentic specimens of pagan Canaanite literature, have been of great importance to students of language and of the Bible. They offer evidence that the stories of the Old Testament were based on written Canaanite documents as well as being passed down orally.
The main palace dates back to the 14th to 13th century BCE. There are two pillars on both sides of the entrance. Through the entrance between the pillars is a courtyard sort of reception area which opens up into the rest of the palace. On the left of this courtyard are a few rooms that where the important archives were found. Also evident in the courtyard are the water canals that would send the water around the building. Further on are the 90 rooms situated in a maze like structure covering an area of approximately 6500 sq. meters.
On both the north and south sides of the main palace is what are called subsidiary palaces. There are also a few resident houses with a shrine, and the Governor's residence, which is older as it was not rebuilt after the 14th century BCE. East of the main palace is the residential area. There is a large building in this quarter which is called the House of Rupanu. Further up the tell is the main temple area. There are two temples on this acropolis, one dedicated to the worship of the Semitic patron deity Baal, and the other to Dagon.
The temple of Baal is structured as a courtyard with an altar in the center, the cella like that of the Palmyrean Temple of Bel. The temple of Dagon, God of the Underworld, follows the same plan as the Baal temple. Between the two temples are the priest's quarters, where an archive of religious writings and chants were found.
Some private houses were found, which have provided information about the various handicrafts that the inhabitants may have practiced, including ship building, weaving, and ceramic work, not to mention bronze work.
1444 - 1412 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Tuthmosis III - Misphris - "Man." Misphragmuthosis - "Man." - Menkheperre - "Established Is The Form Of Re." - Djehutymose - "Born Of Djehuty [Thoth]."
Tuthmosis III was the son of Totmes II and one of his wives - Iset. As one of the most outstanding rulers of Egypt, he was one of the greatest conquerors in ancient times. Removed from power by his ambitious aunt, Hatshepsut, he had to wait until her death before he put his own military plans into action. After he ascended the throne, he assumed the year of his father's death as the starting point of his own rule, and began removing all signs of rule by Hatshepsut. He considered her a usurper to the throne. Removed by her from rule in presumably during the second year (or slightly later) of coregency, he held priestly functions in the temple. After Hatshepsut' death, he began rule and ordered any traces of her illegal reign to be destroyed. In space of only twenty years, he lead sixteen war campaigns into Asia as stated in the "Annales of Totmes" at Karnak, along with numerous victory stele as well as biographies of officers who had participated in the king's expeditions. His first expedition was organized within only a few weeks after his ascending to the throne, and was aimed against a coalition of Syrian princesses, which was headed by prince Kadesh. The eighth expedition in the thirty-third year of his rule succeeded in crossing the Euphrates River and significantly restricting the power of the land of Mitanni. His next campaigns were mostly fights with the Mitannian army, and maintained Egyptian dominance in Asia. The Egyptian empire extended from the Euphrates River in Asia to Napata in Upper Nubia. Apart from military activities, there are known trade campaigns to Punt in the thirty-third year of his rule and to Sinai for turqoise.
Thutmose III documents a rebellion of Canaanite kings who attempted to overthrow Egyptian rule. This confederation of rebels was led by the city state of Megiddo (Armageddon). Pharaoh Thutmose besieged Megiddo for seven months, then won the decisive battle of Qinnah Brook (wasdi Lajjun). According to the report of Thutmose III, the Canaanites were forced to yield 924 chariots and 207,300 kur of wheat to the Egyptians. This is the earliest reported battle in history.
Building activities of this ruler, who carried on no less than war campaigns with a flourish, is focused mainly in Karnak and West Thebes, and also in many places of Upper Egypt and Nubia. Three years before his death, he made his son, Amenhothep III the co-ruler. He died in the last day of seventh month of fifty-third year of his reign. His burial place is tomb KV34 in Valley of the Kings. The king's mummy was found in the DB320 cache at Deir el-Bahari.
Researcher Ahmed Osman declared in his book, Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion, that he has proven the Old Testament character known as "King David," to be none other than the ancient Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, and the succeeding Pharaoh, Amenhotep III, to be the Jewish king Solomon, one would think that the revelations should not only raise the proverbial eye-brow, but should cause world-wide discussion.
In Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion, author Ahmed Osman contends that the roots of Christian belief spring not from Judaea but from Egypt. He compares the chronology of the Old Testament and its factual content with ancient Egyptian records to show that the major characters of the Hebrew scriptures including Solomon, David, Moses, and Joshua are based on Egyptian historical figures. He further suggests that not only were these personalities and the stories associated with them cultivated on the banks of the Nile, but the major tenets of Christian belief the One God, the Trinity, the hierarchy of heaven, life after death, and the virgin birth are all Egyptian in origin. He likewise provides a convincing argument that Jesus himself came out of Egypt.
With the help of modern archaeological findings, Osman shows that Christianity survived as an Egyptian mystery cult until the fourth century A.D., when the Romans embarked on a mission of suppression and persecution. In A.D. 391 the Roman-appointed Bishop Theophilus led a mob into the Serapeum quarter of Alexandria and burned the Alexandrian library, destroying all records of the true Egyptian roots of Christianity. The Romans' version of Christianity, manufactured to maintain political power, claimed that Christianity originated in Judaea. In Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion, Osman restores Egypt to its rightful place in the history of Christianity.
Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion, Ahmed Osman, Bear & Company, 304 pp., ISBN: 1591430461, 2005. An Amazon.com Editorial Review.
Tuthmosis III's Temple of Hathor
1420 BCE - Egypt - The Papyrus of Ani, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, is written. It was translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, a keeper of Assyrian and Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum in 1895.
1414 - 1388 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenhotep II - Amenofis II - Aakheperure - "Great Are The Forms Of Re." - Amenhotep Heqa Iunu - "Amun Is Satisfied ; Lord Of Heliopolis."
Amenhotep II was the son and successor of Tuthmosis III by queen Hatshepsut-Meritre, and ruled alongside with his father as co-regent. In Manetho's opinion, he ruled for twenty five years and ten months (Flavius). A warlike and cruel king, Amenhotep II made numerous military campaigns into Asia. Documents record unusual physical strength and sporting pursuits for him, such as bowing, horse riding, rowing and running. He was well known for the successful punishment of revolting tribes. From his first Asiatic campaign, he returned with seven conquered princesses. Six of them were hung along the Theban walls, the seventh being hung at Napata. As an effect of his campaign in the ninth year of his reign, he captured an unusually high number of prisoners 80000. It is believed that this number comprises all captives from his father's, Tuthmosis III , campaigns.
Amenhotep II moved southern boundaries as far as to Napata where he built a fortress. The stela of Konosso records an expedition in the eighth year of his rule. He extended a temple at Karnak and erected a funerary temple to the north of Ramesseum. He also built at Heliopolis, Koptos, across the whole Theban nome, to the south at el-Kab, on Elephantine, Sehel, Kalabsha, Buhen and other sites. Amenhotep II died between the ages of 45 and 50. His burial place is tomb KV35 at the Valley of the Kings. Under Pinedjem I it became the cache for other royal mummies.
Stylobate of Temple of Apollo
1400 BCE - Greece - The Delphi Temple of female oracles are working at their peak of influence. For almost 1,000 years, Delphi, Greece is considered the center of the universe with the French, Italians and Middle East people coming to hear their prophecies.
1400 BCE - Crete - The destruction of the palaces on Crete. The Mycenaeans appear to take over in Crete.
1400 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - Kurigalzu I of Babylonia conquers Elam.
1400 - 1030 BCE - Palestine - The era of Judges in the Bible. [p167<]
1388 - 1378 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Tuthmosis IV - Menkheperure - "Established Of Forms Is Re." - Djehutymose - "Born Of Djehuty [Thoth]."
Mummy of Tuthmosis IV
Tuthmosis IV was the son of Amenhotep II and queen Tia. According to Manetho he ruled for ten years. There exists some evidence pointing to disputes about his succession. He was not as warlike as his predecessors. There is known expedition to Nubia and an inspection tour to Asia in the eighth year of his rule. He tried to run a peaceful policy of diplomacy that succeeded with a treaty with the Mitanni. His royal wife was Amenhotep III's mother - Mutemuje, the daughter of Mitannian king, Artatamas I. His foreign policy was characterized by accepting and bringing up Asiatic princes at the Egyptian court, which was helpful in maintaining a healthy relationship between Egypt and Asia. The building activity of Amenhotep II is remarkable at Synai, Heliopolis, Giza, Memfis and Sakkara, as well as in Hermopolis, Abydos, Dendera and the Theban district. His burial place is tomb KV43 at the Valley of the Kings. The king's mummy was found in a KV35 tomb-cache of Amenhotep II.
1380 BCE - Iraq - The Assyrians overthrow the Mitannian empire.
1378 - 1339 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenhotep III - Amenofis III - Nebmaatre - "Lord Of Truth Of Re." - Amenhotep Heqa Waset - "Amun Is Satisfied ; Ruler Of Thebes."
Amenhotep III was the son of Tuthmosis IV by queen Mutemuje. It is supposed, though now doubted by some, that Mutemuje was a Mitannian princess. According to Manetho, Amenhotep ruled for thirty eight years and seven months. He was considered a great builder and a patron of art and culture. Under his reign, as a result of many-years conquests of his predecessors, Egypt had been flooded by uncounted wealth, which promoted an incredible flourishing of civilization. The emission of a series of scarabs added splendor to his numerous hunting events. Some expeditions to Nubia and Kush secured continuous delivery of gold from their mines. He developed diplomacy - peace with Mitanni and Babylon, which were assured by marriages with daughters of the rulers of those countries. To his harem from Mitanni, Amenhotep III brought Giluhepa and Taduhepa, daughters of king Shutarna and his heir, as well as Babylonian princesses, daughters of Kurgalzu II and Kadashman-Charbes. His royal chief-wife and mother of his heir was queen Tiji, presumably daughter of a couple of court nobles - Yuya and Tjuyu (tomb KV46). Apart from the emission of scarabs, major historical value bear upon documents found in 1887 CE at Amarna, which are a part of so called "diplomatic correspondence."
Colossus of Memnon - Remains of the Mortuary Temple
Three celebrations of his sed jubilee are known, which took place in years thirty, thirty four, and thirty seven of his rule. He extended a temple at Karnak, and erected a magnificent funerary temple which was the greatest one in Egypt of that time. Only two colossal statues of Amenhotep III were preserved until now, the Colossi of Memnon, and some parts of the temple, like the sphinx, stela, and other reminders of figures. These monuments had been destroyed due to an earthquake in 1220 BCE, which were thereafter pulled down and the stone blocks reused to build the funerary temple of Merenptah. At Malgatta, he built a splendid palace and many other buildings all over Egypt, giving testimony to the sophisticated taste of the king and his architect, Amenhotep, the son of Hapu. Apart from the palace at Malgatta and extending temples in the Theban nome, there were numerous other temples and buildings built at Bubastis, Athribis, Heliopolis and Sakkara. In the temple of Mut at Thebes, he ordered 600 statues of the goddess Sachmet to be placed. Attention should also be paid to the temple of Amun-Re at Soleb, the temple of Sobek at Sumenu, and to the temple of Amenhotep and Tiji at Sedeinga. His burial place is tomb WV22 in Western Valley of the Kings. The King's mummy was found in the tomb of Amenhotep II - cache KV35.
1350 - 1220 BCE - Egypt - The presumed time of Moses. [p50TI]
1350 BCE - Babylon (Iraq) - Elam regains independence from Babylonia under King Igi-Halki.
1350 BCE - Palestine - The City of Jericho in Jerusalem is destroyed. This fact is regarded as proved by archaeological evidence. [p50TI]
14th Cent. BCE - Lebanon - The cuneiform tablets of Ras Shamrah, describing a Canaanite mythology headed by the god El. [p220)]
1339 - 1322 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenhotep IV - Amenofis IV - Akhenaten - Ekhnaten - Amenhotep Netjer Heqa Iunu - "Amun Is Satisfied ; God Ruler Of Heliopolis." - Neferkheperure Waenre - "Beautiful Are The Manifestations Of Re ; Dearest Of Re." - Akhenaten - "Sunbeam [Glare] Of The Aten." - Living Re, Ruler Of Horizon Glad In The Shining Land, He Lives In His Name As Re The Father, Who Comes As Aton [He Is Aton]."
Amenhotep IV was the son of Amenhotep III and queen Tiji. As one of the most controversial personages in ancient Egyptian history, he has been the subject of many animated discussions. In his third year of rule, he began building a huge temple of Aten at Thebes, east of the temple of Amun at Karnak. In the fourth year of his rule, he dismissed the high priest of Amun, Maya, and introduced a new religion instead, the cult of Amun. The first phase of religious revolution was marked with destructions of deities connected to the cult of death, leaving the solar deities untouched. In the fifth year of his rule, he moved the capital from Thebes to Akhet-Aten (Horison of Aten), which borders were marked by 14 steles. At the same time he changed his name to Ax-n-itn (Ray [Glare] of Aten) as well as the whole royal titulary. Other gods, initially tolerated, now became being abolished with all possible measures, Akhenaten propagated a cult in the only one god, the solar disc - Aten, thus giving rise to the first monotheistic religion in the history. Absorbed absolutely with introducing the new religion and abolishing the old deities, he completely neglected foreign policy, losing Egyptian possessions in Asia and in the south, as well as disrupting the internal economy. It is assumed that Ekhnaten, (Amenhotep IV), did not neglect his foreign policy, as shown by the penalty expedition at Nubia, and plans of an Asiatic expedition. The truth is that possessions in Syria were lost after Ekhnaten's death. Profound religious changes found their reflection in art works of the Amarna period. The canon which had prevailed to this time in art and presentations had been abandoned. Ekhnaten had six daughters with Nefertiti, a beautiful queen. Near the end of his rule, he took his step-brother (son, as others claim) Semenchkare, into partnership on the throne as a co-regent. Semenchkare had married his eldest daughter, Meritaten. A physical analysis of the king, known from ancient paintings and sculptures, made by experts in medicine, suggest that the ruler suffered from a genetic disorder called Marfan syndrome. All in all, one should realize that similar effects were observed in Akheneaten's features (long limbs, and face, spindly fingers and fat around hips, with a swollen belly), which may have resulted from other disorders as well. The truth could be learned only after examination of the king's mummy, which, however has been lost in the dark shades of history. Some are of the opinion that after Akhenaten's death the rule was held about one year by his daughter-wife Meritaten, who, by marrying Semenkhkare, subsequently made him the ruler. Nothing is known about the circumstances of his death, and he was presumably buried at Akhet-Aten in tomb TA26. Later, his mummy might have been moved to the Valley of the Kings. Some scholars (Reeves, Dodson) assume that the mummy found in the KV55 tomb did not belong to Smenkhkare but to Akhenaten.
Semenkhare and Meritaton
Wood statue of King Smenkhkare
1324 - 1321 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Semenkhkare - Ankhkheperwre - "Living Are The Manifestation Of Re." - Semenkhkare Djoserkhepere - "Vigorous Is The Soul Of Re ; Holy Of Manifestations." - Neferneferuaten Meriwaenre - "Beautiful Is Beauty of Aten ; Beloved Of Dearest Of Re."
Semenkhkare is one of the most controversial rulers in Egyptian history. According to one hypothesis, he might have been the son of Amenhotep III and princess Sitamon, and half-brother and successor of Ekhnaten. It is also possible he was co-regent in last years of Ekhnaten's rule. According to various scholars, Semenhkare might have ruled from two to five years. Some believe that he died shortly before Ekhnaten, at the age of 25. There is an hypothesis that Semenhkare was the father of Tutankhamen. According to Egyptologist C. Aldred of Scotland, the most outstanding expert on that era, Semenhkare and Tutankhamun were brothers. With high reliability, it can be said that the mummy found in 1907 CE by archaeologist T. Davies in the KV55 tomb in the Valley of the Kings, was the mummy of Semenhkare. As the blood groups of both mummies were the same, this fact would additionally confirm that they were close relatives. Thus, Aldred's hypothesis seems to be very likely. Semenhkare was the husband of one of Ekhnaten's daughters, the princess Meritaton. According to Egyptologist R. Krauss, she might have held rule single-handedy through the year after Ekhnaten's death. By his marriage to her, Semenhkare reinforced his rights to the throne. The belief that Semenhkare was a co-regent of Ekhnaten for a couple of years is very popular.
1321 - 1311 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Tutankhamun - Nebkheperwre - "Lord Of Manifestations Is Re." - Tutankhaten - "Living Image Of The Aten." - Tutankhamun Heqa Iunu Semai - "Living Image Of Amun ; Ruler of Heliopolis."
In spite of the discovery of an almost untouched tomb (KV62) in the Valley of the Kings, our knowledge concerning this king is rather scant. The proposed genealogy of this epoch is based mainly on speculations and suppositions. Tutankhamun might have been a son of Semenkhkare by one of numerous princesses (Merytre?) from Amenhoteps' court. He also might have been a son of Amenhotep III and queen Tiye. In this case, however, some corrections of the dating of this period should be done, especially the duration of the Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV regencies need to be extended. It is believed that his first years of rule were spent in Akhetaton, then he moved the capital to Memphis, which was much more suitable for ruling over the land because of its convenient location. Despite his location, building activities of this ruler were focused mainly in Theban region and Nubia. In Egyptologist J. van Dijk's opinion, Tutankhamun died at the end of August and was buried at the beginning of November. There is prevailing opinion that at the moment of his death he was only 18 to 19 years old. Other experts suggest that he was between 23 to 27 years of age. A recently promoted theory that Tutankhamun was murdered by his successors does not seem to have any reasonable justification, because any supporting evidence is missing.
On 8 March, 2005, in Cairo, Egypt, Farouk Hosni, the Minister of Culture, announced that the Egyptian team has finished their examination by a non-invasive CT scan of Tutankhamun's mummy. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, states that there is no evidence that the young king was murdered.
The gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun
1311 - 1307 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ai II - Eje II - Kheperkheperwre Irimaat - "Everlasting Are The Manifestations Of Re ; Who Does What Is Right." - It-Netjer Ai - "Father Of God Ai."
There is scanty evidence for the descent of this pharaoh. Experts of the Amarna period state he was father of queen Mutnedjemet and, probably, of Nefertiti. It is also possible that he was brother of queen Tiji and son of a couple of court nobles Yuya and Tjuyu (tomb KV46). Ai himself came presumably from Akhmim, where he was born about the time Amenhothep III was ascending the throne. In the times of Akhenaten and his direct successors, he held numerous honorable and responsible functions, but his most important title was iti-nTr, the God's Father, which after taking over the rule, was placed even in the royal cartouche. Under reign of the minor Tutankhamun, he held an office of vizier and regent, and he actually held the rule over the land. After the heirless death of Tutankhamun, he became the king of Egypt for only a short time. Results of his building activities are a mortuary temple at Thebes, chapels at Achmim and Abydos, and buildings at Karnak and Luxor. There is an official tomb of Ai II at Amarna, built under Ekhnaten. His true burial place is in tomb WV23 in the western Valley of the Kings.
1307 - 1292 BCE - XVIII Egyptian Dynasty - Horemheb - Djoserkheperw Setepenre - "Holy Are The Manifestations Of Re ; Chosen Of Re." - Horemheb Meriamon - "Horus Is In Jubilation ; Beloved Of Amun."
Horemheb probably originated from a family of nobles living near Amarna. Under the right of Akhenaten, he served as a general of the army, and enjoyed many honours from the king. At this time, his name was Paatonemhab (Aton is present in Jubilation). Under Tutankhamen, he held numerous important offices, and was also a regent of the young king. Between the age of 45 to 55, after the death of Ai II, he ascended the throne, although not without support of priests of Amun. It happened during the Theban Opet festival that he became officially confirmed by the god Amun. He put forth efforts to erase from Egyptian history the whole Amarna period, among others, by assigning a starting point of his own regnal years to the death of Amenhotep III, and by destroying images of the pharoahs who immediately preceded him. There are known facts of carrying out materials from Amarna temples for his own building projects. The central collonade of the great hypostyle at Thebes as well as pylons 2, 9 and 10, completion of the collonade at Luxor and the rock-temples at Nubia are only part of the widely performed building activities of Horemhab. Presumably he made a war campaign into Asia, thus beginning the policy of great conquests, which were continued by his followers. There is no consensus among egyptologists as to the length of Horemhab's rule. Presumably he reigned between thirteen and twenty eight years. He appointed as heir to the throne his faithful military companion and vizier Ramesses I. He build his mastaba in Saqqara. However, after he became pharaoh, he ordered tomb KV57 cut in the Kings' Valley.
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