Can Scarabs Argue for the Origins of the Hyksos?

Abstract

One of the most intriguing questions about the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt is the origin of the Hyksos—the foreign people who ruled over northern Egypt during this time. Their Levantine origin was conclusively demonstrated by archaeological evidence from Tell el-Dab’a, yet the evidence establishing the particular region they came from (i.e., the northern or southern Levant) is inconclusive, and the question is still the subject of debate. In view of the scarcity of textual sources from this period and the inconclusive archaeological evidence, the significance of the large number of scarabs associated with this period from both Egypt and the Levant is generally recognized. this paper presents evidence based on recent studies of scarabs of this period from both regions, and argues for the southern Levant as the place of origin of the Second Intermediate Period foreign rulers in Egypt.

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Ben-Tor, D., (2010) “Can Scarabs Argue for the Origins of the Hyksos?”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1(1), p.1-7. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v01i1_ben_tor

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Daphna Ben-Tor (The Israel Museum)

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