Egyptian origins of the Hyksos

The Hyksos were a people group of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt (c. 1782–1570 BC). Though the question of where the Hyksos originally came from has been debated for centuries, there is increasing evidence that supports the theory that they were in fact from Egypt. This article will discuss three aspects of evidence in support of this theory: linguistic and archaeological data, historical records, and iconography. 

First, linguistic and archaeological data give credence to the idea that the Hyksos were of Egyptian origin. Many artifacts recovered from Hyksos sites have been found to have identical features to those of nearby Egyptian settlements. In particular, ritual vessels exhibit a uniformity that suggests they had a shared origin. Additionally, the Hyksos language is found to be of Afroasiatic origin, which is the norm for languages found in Egypt. Furthermore, the Hyksos used a hieratic script which was based on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. This suggests a significant time and contact between the groups for such borrowing to take place.

Second, historical records from both Egypt and the Levant record the presence of a powerful people group made up of many ethnicities known as the Hyksos. This group is known to have been very similar in language, dress, and culture to the Egyptians of their time. Additionally, the Bible mentions of their presence in the Levant further supports the notion of them having come from Egypt. This is corroborated by Egyptian documents of the period which refer to the Hyksos as rulers of foreign lands.

Third, iconography provides an insight into Hyksos society, offering more evidence of their Egyptian origins. Iconography found at Hyksos sites is notably similar to that of contemporary Egypt. In particular, the Hyksos used many of the same gods as those of Egypt, particularly Hathor, Anat, and Baal. Furthermore, their art and artifacts reflect the same stylistic conventions of those of the Egyptians.

In conclusion, all evidence indicates that the Hyksos were in fact of Egyptian origin. This is supported by linguistic and archaeological data, historical records from both Egypt and the Levant, and iconographical evidence. Taken together, all of this suggests that the Hyksos were in fact a group of Egyptians who migrated and took control of the Levant in the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt.

Some scholars believe that with names like Yaakob Har it’s been speculated that they were Hebrews. Josephus believes the expulsion of the Hyksos was the exodus from Egypt. Velikovsky believed they were the Amalekites. The Jewish temple at Elephantine gave Yahweh (Yahu) a consort, Anat. I believe they were the Hebrews but that the Hebrews origins were in Egypt rather than Palestine as some scholars believe. The best I’ve seen on this theory is the books by Ralph Ellis.

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