Monday, June 1, 2009

The Size of the Hyksos Empire (Part 3)

In the previous post I mentioned that the Kamose Stela showed that the King of Kush ruled independantly of the Hyksos King. Some explanation of that statement is due.

At the beginning of the second Kamose Stela the Pharaoh has already advanced all the way to Avaris. Apopis, the Hyksos King, has one last card to play against Kamose. The Hyksos ruler sent a messenger southwards by way of the oases in the Libyan Desert, in an attempt to get the King of Kush (in what is now the Sudan) to attack Kamose from behind. But Kamose, “… captured his message beyond the oasis going southward to Kush…”[1] and foiled Apopis’ plot. Apophis is clearly in no position to order the King of Kush to attack.

The second stela also reveals that Kamose had conducted a campaign against Kush, probably sometime during the period of time covered by the lost portion of the first stela. Kamose must have advanced at least as far as Toshka during this campaign as there are two graffiti there from his reign[2]. The stela of Emhab lends further credence to the belief that this campaign took place in year three of Kamose’s reign. This text tells of Emhab fighting in a campaign in Kush during year three of an unnamed King, who fought from Avaris to Kush[3].

[1] Habachi, p. 49.

[2] Habachi, p. 52.

[3] Habachi, p. 57

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