Second Intermediate Period

The Second Intermediate Period runs from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the expulsion of the Hyksos by Ahmose I. It is a period of relative turmoil and disunity which lasted around one hundred and fifty years and had a profound cultural and political impact on ancient Egypt.

The Thirteenth Dynasty is included in the Middle Kingdom by some scholars, as it would seem to be a continuation of Dynasty Twelve ruling from Itj-tawy, and the first king of the dynasty (Sobekhotep I) may have been the son of Amenemhat IV. It was described later as a period of chaos and uncertainty, but no contemporary records have been recovered to confirm this. Some suggest that, at least during the early part of the dynasty, central authority was maintained and life continued pretty much as normal.

From the reign of Merhotepre Ini onward, Thirteenth Dynasty kings are only attested by finds from Upper Egypt. This may suggest that Itj-tawy was abandoned and they ruled from Thebes, possibly as a result of incursions by Asiatics into Lower Egypt. However, a stele (of unknown provenance) suggests that Seheqenre Sankhptahi (who ruled towards the end of the dynasty) was still in control of Memphis. There is also the problem of the four rulers (listed at the end of the list below) who are attested, but whose exact position in the dynasty cannot be confirmed.

Statue of Neferhotep, Second Intermediate Period, Walters Art Museum

The precise dates of the emergence of the Fourteenth Dynasty are unclear. Kim Ryholt proposes the dynasty started towards the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, most likely during or shortly after the rule of Sobekneferu. He suggests that it was a composed of Canaanite peoples resident in the eastern delta who maintained their independence until being absorbed by the Hyksos (Dynasty Fifteen). Manfred Bietak and James and Susan Allen both propose that the dynasty emerged somewhat later, in the mid Thirteenth Dynasty after Sobekhotep IV.

Manetho claimed that there were seventy-six kings who ruled from Khaset (Xois), but the Turin Canon only records around fifty-six kings and there is not enough space for as many as Manetho suggests. The excavation of a large royal palace at Avaris at this time has led many Egyptologists to propose that the dynasty was based there rather than at Khaset. The names of the first five rulers are the subject of argument (Ben Tor has argued that Sheshi, Ammu, and Yakbim may have been Fifteenth Dynasty vassals not Fourteenth Dynasty rulers) but the rest are confirmed by the Turin Cannon.

Dagger featuring the name of Apophis (copyright Udimu)

The Fifteenth Dynasty is composed of the Hyksos rulers who were based in Avaris. Their names and order of rule remain uncertain. The Turin List suggests there were six kings, and some believe there were two kings named Apophis (Apepi I and Apepi II). However, Ryholt has argued that despite there being two different praenomen, there was only one Aphopis and he in fact used numerous praenomen during his reign. The Hyksos were eventually expelled from Egypt at the end of the Second Intermediate Period by Ahmose I, ushering in the golden age that was the New Kingdom.

The Sixteenth Dynasty ruled from Thebes and existed in a state of almost constant war with the Fifteenth Dynasty. Their territory was much reduced and the Hyksos even managed to conquer Thebes itself at one point.

Crown of Nubkheperre Intef (copyright Rob Koopman)

There also seems to have been a famine sweeping across the land during this period, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the dynasty was short lived. Some Egyptologists have suggested that the “kings” were in fact little more than vassals of the Hyksos, while Ryholt has argued they were independent kings.

The list below follows Ryholt. The Seventeenth Dynasty, based in Thebes, continued the fight back against the Hyksos and were eventually successful. Then began the work of reuniting the country and restoring Egyptian culture and power.

Dynasty Thirteen (O.C. 1782 – 1650 B.C)

  • Sobekhotep I
  • Sonbef
  • Nerikare
  • Sekhemkare Amenemhat V
  • Ameny Qemau
  • Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef/Sehetibre
  • Iufni
  • Seankhibre
  • Samenkhare Amenemhat VI
  • Semenkare Nebnuni
  • Sehetibre Sewesekhtawy
  • Sewadjkare
  • Nedjemibre
  • Kaankhre Sobekhotep II
  • Renseneb Amenemhet V
  • Hor Awyibre
  • Sekhemrekhutawy Khabau
  • Djedkheperew
  • Sedjefakare Kay Amenemhat VII
  • Khutawyre Wegaf
  • Userkare Khendjer
  • Smenkhkare Imyremeshaw
  • Sehetepkare Intef
  • Seth Meribre
  • Sekhemresewadjtawy Sobekhotep III
  • Khasekhemre Neferhotep I
  • Menwadjre Sobekhotep IV
  • Merhotepre Sobekhotep V
  • Wahibre Ibiau
  • Merneferre Ay
  • Merhotepre Ini
  • Sankhenre Sewadjtu
  • Meresekhemre Ined
  • Merkawre Sobekhotep VII
  • [eight lost names]
  • Merkheperre
  • Merkare
  • [one lost name]
  • Sewadjare Montuhotep V
  • […]mosre
  • Ibi [….]maatre
  • Se…]kare
  • Seheqenre Sankhptahi
  • {…}re
  • Se{…}enre
  • Mershepsesre Ini II
  • Mersekhemre Neferhotep II
  • Sewahenre Senebmiu
  • Sekhanenre […]re

Dynasty Fourteen (O.C unconfirmed)

  • Yakbim Sekhaenre
  • Ya’ammu Nubwoserre
  • Qareh Khawoserre
  • ‘Ammu Ahotepre
  • Sheshi Maaibre
  • Nehesy Aasehre
  • Khakherewre
  • Nebefawre
  • Sehebre
  • Merdjefare
  • Sewadjkare III
  • Nebdjefare
  • Webenre
  • […]djefare
  • […]webenre
  • Awibre II
  • Heribre
  • Nebsenre
  • Sekheperenre
  • Djedkherewre
  • Sankhibre II
  • Nefertum[…]re
  • Sekhem[…]re
  • Kakemure
  • Neferibre
  • I[…]re
  • Khakare
  • Akare
  • Hapu[…] Semenenre
  • Anati Djedkare
  • Babnum […]kare
  • Senefer[…]re
  • Men[…]re
  • Djed[…]re
  • Ink […]
  • ‘A […]
  • Apophis I

Dynasty Fifteen: Hyksos (O.C. 1663 – 1555 B.C)

  • Salitis
  • Sakir Har
  • Khyan
  • Apophis
  • Khamudi

Dynasty Sixteen (O.C 1663 – 1555 B.C)

  • Sekhemre-sementawi Djehuti
  • Sekhemre-seusertawi Sobekhotep VIII
  • Sekhemre-seankhtawi Neferhotep III
  • Seankhenre Mentuhotepi
  • Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I
  • Nebiriau II
  • Semenre
  • Seuserenre Bebiankh
  • Sekhemre Shedwaset

Dynasty Seventeen (O.C. 1663 – 1570 B.C)

  • RahotepSekhemre-wahkhaw
  • Sobekemsaf I Sekhemre-wadjkhaw
  • Sobekemsaf II Sekhemre Shedtawy
  • Ramesses IXNubkhaes
  • Intef IV (Sekhemre-wepmaat)
  • Intef V (Nubkheperre)
  • Intef VI (Sekhemre-heruhermaat)
  • Intef VII (Nubkheperre)
  • AhmoseSenakhtenre
  • Seqenenre Tao
  • Sitdjehuti
  • Ahhotep I
  • Kamose Wadjkheperre


  • Bard, Kathryn (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Bryan, Betsy M (2000) “The 18th Dynasty Before The Amarna Period”, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt Ed I. Shaw
  • Bourriau, J (2000) “The Second Intermediate Period”, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt Ed I. Shaw
  • Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton (2004) The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Kemp, Barry J (1991) Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation
  • Rice, Michael (1999) Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt
  • Van De Mieroop, Marc (1999) A History of Ancient Egypt
  • Tyldesley, Joyce (2006) Queens of Egypt

Copyright J Hill 2016