In the past
In the past, scientists were inclined to accept Manetho’s report on the appearance of Hyksos in Egypt as a description of the sudden invasion of hordes of conquerors carrying fire and destruction. In recent years, the rethinking of the material has forced us to draw new conclusions. First, archaeological excavations did not give exact confirmation that the Hyksos had invaded the country as conquerors; ceramics and fortifications, which were considered the remnants of their culture, have, by common opinion, another source. Their culture either fully corresponded to the local, or they quickly adopted the customs of the Egyptians. Mane-von, embarrassed by false etymology, translated the word “Hyksos” as “the rulers of the shepherds”, but the “rulers of the mountains” were more accurate. Under this name they were well known to the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom; for example, a group of such people in their “multi-colored cloaks” is represented in the painting of the tomb in Beni-Hassan. These “rulers of the uplands” were just wandering Semites who traded with Egypt or came to worship shrines and buy corn or water the herds according to the tradition-consecrated centuries. There are stories of how, during the famine, they were sold into slavery for corn, or they themselves were hired to work for food and shelter. Recent studies of papyri from the Brooklyn Museum and other documents showed that in Egypt there were many Asians who, from the first interim period, served as cooks, brewers, bath attendants, etc. Immigrant children often received Egyptian names and therefore fell out of our sight. It is known that at the court of Senusert II there were Asian dancers and gatekeepers, which indicates that sometimes foreigners had to occupy important and trustworthy posts. It is easy to see that by the middle of the Thirteenth Dynasty, energetic and efficient Semites could also be safely settled in the Egyptian state, like Greek freedmen in imperial Rome. The famine and displacement of peoples led to the large-scale penetration of the Semites into the Delta, especially during the period of anarchy, which struck the Middle Kingdom. As a result, the state of Lower Egypt, led by an Asian ruler and officials, imperceptibly appropriated all the functions of the government of the pharaoh could be formed.