Written by Felgr Pavel on .


The Hyksos ruled in Egypt for two centuries and only the last Theban rulers of the 17th dynasty rebelled against the occupiers in the south of the land and forced the Hyksos out of the land after a merciless fight. Kamose was the one, who brought the biggest contribution to this turn. His brother Ahmose finished the re-conquest of Egypt later and Ahmose's son Amenhotep Ifounded the 18th dynasty then.

War with the Hyksos of the hippos

When Seqenenre Tao came to the frail Theban throne, the Hyksos king Apepi I. represented bigger and bigger danger for his territory. The Hyksos kept good relationships with Thebes (Waset) for a certain time; everybody ruled over his own territory and didn't try to make and invasion to his neighbour. But then there is a question - what happened that they started a war suddenly? The answer is in the only story, which was rewritten by Pentaueret, a scribe at the time of Merenptah's rule.

We got to know from this papyrus (only first rows were preserved) that there was a conflict between the two rulers because of the hippos in the "eastern pond of the south city". The Hyksos' ruler asked the Thebans not to hunt the hippos in this pond, because the animals made big noise and woke the Hyksos up from their sleep. So this was the heart of the conflict.

The hippo was a begrudging animal for the Thebans and his killing in a sacred pond was a ritual protection of the Egyptian Kingdom. Apepi I. and all the Hyksos worshipped the God Seth and killing of a hippo was a sacrilege for them, because hippo was considered as a Seth's personification. The Thebans refused the Hyksos requirement and they indicated through their God Amun-Ra, who managed to kill Seth that they don't intend to listen to Apepi's orders. The war became inevitable ...

Kamose and war with the Hyksos

Kamose steleWe don't know what happened to Seqenenre Tao, but there are signs of deep injury on the head of his mummy found in Deir el-Bahari. After his death Kamose came to the throne – originally a probable military commander, whose relationship with the royal family stays shrouded in mystery.

Kamose accepted the following names as a part of the titulary at his coming to the throne: Chaihernesetef ("He, who was crowned on his throne"), Horneferchabtaui ("Perfect Horus, who inhabits Both Lands) and Sedjefataui ("He, who feeds Both Lands"). With this divine protection he started the liberation of Egypt.

We don't know much about Kamose's life. We have only information from only two steles, which remind his victory and which Kamose let erect in Karnak. The first stele tells about the beginning of the war with the Hyksos and the second one about the end of the victorious campaign. We also know that the courtiers didn't share Kamose's enthusiasm for the war with the Hyksos. They preferred to live in peace without a danger of losing their own property.

Battle at Nefrusy

Kamose set out to the enemy territory with his army of Nubian archers and they reached the city of Nefrusy, which was located near Beni Hasan. He fought there with Teti – the son of Apepi I. The Hyksos were crushingly defeated in this battle and Apepi I was forced to flee in Avaris.

Kamose got up to Avaris, but he wasn't able to conquer a well fortified city, so he was satisfied with a control of goods that arrived to Avaris on the Nile.

We don't know what happened to the Egyptian liberator later. Maybe he died in a battle - the sure thing is that Ahmose finished his work. He conquered Avaris and forced the last Hyksos out of the land.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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