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The Pharaohs

Dynasty 15 & 16
Hyksos kings (ruled from Avaris)
lasted from 1663 - 1555 BC (overlapping rule with the 17th dynasty)
Second Intermediate Period


Dynasty 17
Theban pharaohs (ruled from Thebes)
lasted from 1663 - 1570 BC (overlapping rule with the 15th and 16th dynasties)
Second Intermediate Period

Dynasty 18
lasted from 1570 - 1293 BC
end of the Second Intermediate Period and beginning of the New Kingdom


The rulers of the 15th dynasty were Hyksos invaders who had taken control of Lower Egypt (the delta area) and were based in Avaris. They began expanding southward, forcing the nomes to either become allies of the Hyksos or be conquered by them. Only Thebes was able to stand up to the Hyksos, and eventually ended up fighting (and beating) them for control of Egypt.

There was a dynasty 16, which historians believe was comprised of only two minor kings who ruled with the permission of the Hyksos. The pharaohs of the 17th dynasty were Egyptians. The 17th dynasty was ruling from Thebes at the same time the 15th and 16th dynasties were ruling from Avaris. The Second Intermediate Period was definitely a chaotic time! But at least the Egyptians learned about bronze, the shaduf (a device for lifting water from the river), new weapons, and horse-drawn chariots from the Hyksos.

The Second Intermediate Period ended when the Theban Egyptians (under the rule of the first king of the 18th dynasty, Ahmose I) drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. This event marked the beginning of the golden age of Egypt: the New Kingdom!

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