Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt

The Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt was a series of rulers reigning during the Second Intermediate Period over the Nile Delta region of Egypt. It lasted between 75 (c. 17251650 BC) and 155 years (c. 18051650 BC), depending on the scholar. The capital of the dynasty was probably Avaris.[1] The 14th dynasty existed concurrently with the 13th dynasty based in Memphis. The rulers of the 14th dynasty are commonly identified by Egyptologists as being of Canaanite or West Semitic descent, owing to the distinct origins of the names of some of their kings and princes, like Ipqu (West Semitic for "grace"), Yakbim ("ia-ak-bi-im", an Ammorite name), Qareh (West Semitic for "the bald one"), or Yaqub-Har.[1] Names in relation with Nubia are also recorded in two cases, king Nehesy ("The Nubian") and queen Tati.


The 14th dynasty is sometimes combined with the 11th, 12th and 13th dynasties in the period Middle Kingdom of Egypt, though the 14th dynasty overlaps at least partially with either (or both of) the 13th dynasty and the 15th dynasty. More commonly, the 14th dynasty is grouped with the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th in the Second Intermediate Period.

Such are the gaps in the knowledge of the 14th dynasty, that its absolute chronological position is debated and varies by as much as 75 years among authorities. Egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposes that the 14th dynasty emerged during the late 12th dynasty, c. 1805 BC, during or shortly after Sobekneferu's rule. He contends that the local Canaanite population residing in the eastern Delta declared its independence and staved off possible attempts from the 13th dynasty Memphite kings to recover the Delta. According to Ryholt, the 14th dynasty thus lasted from 1805 BC until its demise under the Hyksos 15th dynasty, c. 1650 BC, i.e. lasting 155 years.

This hypothesis is not shared by some Egyptologists such as Manfred Bietak, Daphna Ben Tor and James and Susan Allen, who argue that the 14th dynasty cannot have emerged before the mid 13th dynasty, c. 1720 BC, after the reign of Sobekhotep IV.[2][3] In particular, they argue that the evidence from the strata levels in which 14th dynasty seals were discovered conclusively establishes that the 14th dynasty was only contemporary with the 13th dynasty in the last half century of the latter's existence, i.e. after c. 1700 BC. Additionally, Manfred Bietak has dated the inscriptions and monuments of Nehesy, possibly the second ruler of the dynasty, to around 1700 BC as well[4]

Following the very short reign of Nehesy, most scholars--among them, Manfred Bietak and Kim Ryholt--agree that the Delta region was struck by a prolonged famine and perhaps a plague lasting until the end of the 14th dynasty.[1][5] The same famine may have affected the 13th dynasty, which also exhibits instability and numerous ephemeral kings in its last 50 years of existence, from c. 1700 BC until 1650 BC. The weakened state of both kingdoms may explain, in part, why they fell rapidly to the emerging Hyksos power c. 1650 BC.[1]

Seat of power

The Manethonian tradition credits the fourteenth dynasty with as many as 76 kings ruling from Xois rather than Avaris. However, egyptologist Kim Ryholt notes that the Turin canon mentions only c. 56 kings and does not have enough space to have recorded over 70 kings. Ryholt also points to excavations at Avaris which revealed the existence of a large royal palace dating to the second intermediate period. One of its courtyards housed a statue of a king or high-ranking official, over twice life-sized, and wearing non-Egyptian attributes. For these reasons, Ryholt and most egyptologists share the view that Avaris rather than Xois was the seat of power of the 14th dynasty.[1]

Extent of rule and foreign relations

In orange, the territory possibly under control of the 14th dynasty according to Ryholt.[1]

The precise borders of the 14th dynasty state are not known due to the general scarcity of monuments left by this dynasty. In his study of the second intermediate period however, the egyptologist Kim Ryholt concludes that the territory directly controlled by the 14th dynasty roughly consisted of the Nile delta, with its border located around Athribis in the western Delta and Bubastis in the east.[1]

Seals attributable to the 14th dynasty have been found in Middle and Upper-Egypt, then 13th dynasty territory, and as far south as Dongola, beyond the third cataract. To the north, seals have been found in the southern Levant, principally along the Mediterranean coast and as far north as Tell Kabri, in modern-day Lebanon.[1] This indicates the existence of an important trade with the 13th dynasty, Canaanite city-states, and Nubia.[1] Ryholt further proposes that king Sheshi, whom he sees as a 14th dynasty ruler, married a Nubian princess, queen Tati, to strengthen relations with the Kushite kingdom.[1]


The order of rulers for this dynasty is established by the Turin canon and is widely accepted, except for the first five rulers, which are given below after Ryholt.[1] The names of these rulers is not given on the Turin canon, except possibly for one, and Ryholt proposes that they were mentioned as wsf in the list, which denotes a lacuna in the original document from which the list was copied in the Ramesside period.[1] Rather, Ryholt identifies the first five kings thanks to a seriation of their seals. His conclusions are debated however in Ben Tor's study of the strata levels in which seals attributed to the first five kings have been found. Ben Tor concludes that Sheshi's, 'Ammu's and Yakbim's reigns date to the second half of the Hyksos 15th dynasty and are not contemporary with the 13th dynasty. Thus according to Ben Tor, these kings were most likely minor vassal rulers of the Hyksos kings reigning in the Nile Delta.[2]

Dynasty XIV pharaohs of Egypt (contested)
Name of King Dates Comments
Yakbim Sekhaenre
1805 BC - 1780 BC or after 1650 BC
Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty
Ya'ammu Nubwoserre
1780 BC - 1770 BC
Chronological position is contested
Qareh Khawoserre
1770 BC - 1760 BC
Chronological position is contested
'Ammu Ahotepre
1760 - 1745 BC or after 1650 BC
Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty
Sheshi Maaibre
1745 BC - 1705 BC or after 1650 BC
Attested by over 300 scarab-seals, possibly married to queen Tati who was a Kushite. Chronological position is contested, maybe a vassal of the 15th dynasty

The following rulers are not controversial, being established by the Turin canon as well as, for a few of them, by contemporary sources:

Dynasty XIV pharaohs of Egypt
Name of King Dates Comments
Nehesy Aasehre
1705 BC
Best attested king of the dynasty, he left his name on two monuments at Avaris. His name means "The Nubian".[6]
1705 BC
1704 BC
Turin canon: reigned 1 year, 5 months, 15 days
Turin canon: reigned 3 years [lost] months, 1 day
ending 1699 BC
Attested by a single stela from Saft el-Hinna, in the Delta[7]
Sewadjkare III
Turin canon: reigned 1 year
ending 1694 BC
Lost in the Turin kinglist
ending 1690 BC
Awibre II
Attested by a jar bearing his prenomen. At least 5 months of reign.
wsf in the Turin kinglist, indicating a lacuna in the document from which the list was copied
With Nehesy, Nebsenre and Merdjefare, only undisputed king known from contemporary sources
Sankhibre II
Hapu[...] Semenenre
Anati Djedkare
Babnum [...]kare
Eight lines lost in the Turin kinglist
Three lines lost in the Turin kinglist
Ink [...]
Apophis I (?)
Five lines lost in the Turin kinglist

Finally, several rulers attested by contemporary artefacts and otherwise unknown from the Turin canon may be dated to the 14th[1] or 15th dynasty.[8] Their identities and chronological position remain unclear:

Possible dynasty XIV pharaohs of Egypt (unclear)
Name of King Attestations
1 scarab-seal
3 scarab-seals
1 scarab-seal
5 scarab-seals
2 scarab-seals
2 scarab-seals
Merwoserre Yaqub-Har
27 scarab-seals


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, Museum Tusculanum Press, (1997)
  2. 1 2 Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 315, 1999, pp.47-73.
  3. Janine Bourriau, "The Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC)" in Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000. pp.192 & 194
  4. Bourriau, "The Second Intermediate Period," pp.178-179, 181
  5. Manfred Bietak, "Egypt and Canaan During the Middle Bronze Age," BASOR, 281 (1991), pp. 21-72, esp. p. 38, available online
  6. Darrell D. Baker, The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 277
  7. Kenneth Kitchen: Ramesside Inscriptions, Blackwell Publishing 1993, ISBN 0631184279, p.546
  8. Daphna Ben-Tor: Scarabs, Chronology, and Interconnections: Egypt and Palestine in the Second Intermediate Period, Volume 27 of Orbis biblicus et orientalis / Series archaeologica: Series archaeologica, Academic Press Fribourg 2007, ISBN 978-3-7278-1593-5, excerpts available online


Preceded by
Thirteenth dynasty
Dynasty of Egypt
1725 − 1650 BCE
Succeeded by
Fifteenth dynasty
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