Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt

The Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Second Intermediate Period. The Seventeenth Dynasty dates approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC.

The Seventeenth Dynasty covers a period of time when Egypt was split into a set of small Hyksos-ruled kingdoms. It is mainly Theban rulers contemporary with the Fifteenth Dynasties and Sixteenth Dynasties.

In March 2012 French archeologists examining a limestone door in the Amun Ra temple in Luxor discovered hieroglyphs with the name Senakhtenre, the first contemporary evidence found for this king.

The last two kings of the dynasty opposed the Hyksos rule over Egypt and initiated a war that would rid Egypt of the Hyksos kings and began a period of unified rule, the New Kingdom.

Kamose the second son of Seqenenre Tao II was the brother of Ahmose I, the first king of the Eighteenth Dynasty.



Rahotep (or more properly Sekhenrewahkhaw Rahotep) was an Egyptian king who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings. Kim Ryholt, in his book The Political Situation in Egypt, suggests that Rahotep was the first king of the 17th Dynasty. Rahotep is well known from a stele found at Koptos reporting the restoration of the temple. Otherwise he is only known from the stela of an official and from the bow of a king's son. His name appears in the Karnak king list.

Sobekemsaf I

Sobekemsaf I (or more properly Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings (he was once thought to belong to the late Thirteenth Dynasty). His throne name, Sekhemre Shedtawy, means "Powerful is Re; Rescuer of the Two Lands."

It is now believed by Egyptologists that Sobekemsaf I was the father of both Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef based on an inscription carved on a door jamb discovered in the ruins of a 17th dynasty temple at Gebel Antef in the early 1990s which was built under Nubkheperre Intef. The door jamb mentions a king Sobekem as the father of Nubkheperre Intef/Antef VII.

According to the Abbott Papyrus and the Leopold-Amherst Papyrus, which is dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, Sekhemre Shedway Sobekemsaf was married and buried along with to Queen Nubkhaas.

The Abbott and Leopold-Amherst Papyruses, which are dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, state that this king's royal pyramid tomb was violated and destroyed by tomb robbers. The confessions and tomb robbery trials of the men responsible for the looting of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf's tomb are detailed in the latter papyrus which is dated to Year 16, III Peret day 22 of Ramesses IX.

This document relates that a certain Amenpnufer, son of Anhernakhte, a stonemason from the Temple of Amun Re "fell into the habit of robbing the tombs of noblemen in West Thebes in company with the stonemason Hapiwer" and mentions that they robbed Sobekemsaf's tomb along with six other accomplices in Year 13 of Ramesses IX. In his trial, Amenpnufer testifies that he and his companions dug a tunnel into the king's pyramid with their copper tools.

Amenpnufer states that the treasures taken from the two royal mummies amounted to "160 deben of gold" or 32 lbs (14.5 kg). The document ends with the conviction of the thieves - with a probable death sentence - and notes that a copy of the official trial transcripts was dispatched to Ramesses IX in Lower Egypt. Amenpnufer himself would have been sentenced to death by impalement, a punishment which "was reserved for only the most heinous crimes" in Ancient Egypt.

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, who lived during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings. Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef is sometimes referred to as Intef V, and sometimes as Intef VI.

He ruled from Thebes, and was probably buried in a tomb in the necropolis. His rishi coffin, Louvre E 3019, was discovered in the 19th century and found to preserve an inscription which reveals that this king's brother Nubkheperre Intef buried - and thus succeeded - him.

Both Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef were sons of a king called Sobekemsaf, most probably Sobekemsaf I based on an inscription from a door jamb from a 17th dynasty temple at Gebel Antef. While his own tomb has not been located, it was likely located in the area of Dra' Abu el-Naga' where the pyramid tomb of his brother Nubkheperre Intef was found in 2001. The pyramidion of the pyramid of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef's pyramid was found in Dra' Abu el-Naga'. The pyramidion has a slope of 60 degrees and is inscribed with the king's names.

Nubkheperre Intef

Nubkheperre Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt. He is known to be the brother of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and perhaps the son of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf I. Nubkheperre Intef is one of the best attested kings of this Dynasty who restored numerous damaged temples in Upper Egypt as well as constructing a new temple at Gebel Antef.

Nubkheperre Intef is sometimes referred to as Intef VII, in other sources as Intef VI, and even as Intef V.

Nubkheperre Intef ruled from Thebes, and was buried in a tomb in the necropolis of Dra' Abu el-Naga'. The grave was originally covered with a small pyramid (approximately 11 m at the base, rising to a height of approx. 13 m.) Auguste Mariette found two broken obelisks with complete Fivefold Titulary, which was then subsequently lost when being transported to the Cairo Museum.

Nubkheperre Intef's wife was Sobekemsaf, who perhaps came from a local family based at Edfu. On an Abydos stela mentioning a building of the king are the words king's son, head of the bowmen Nakht. He might be a son of Nubkheperre Intef although this is far from certain.

The best preserved building from Nubkheperre Intef's reign is the remains of a small chapel at Koptos. Four walls that have been reconstructed show the king in front of Min and show him crowned by Horus and by another god. The reliefs are executed in raised and sunken relief Also at Koptos, a decree was found on a stela referring to the actions of Nubkheperre Intef against an unnamed enemy. At Abydos several stone fragments were found, including columns which attest to some kind of restoration work. Finally, a block was found near Luxor with the king's name on it. On this block Nubkheperre Intef is called the son of king Sobekemsaf, who was perhaps Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf I. On a stela found at Abydos, mention is made of a House of Intef. This most likely refers to a building belonging to Nubkheperre Intef.

Nubkheperre Intef's tomb was rediscovered by Daniel Polz, the deputy director of the German Archaeological Institute in 2001.

In an historic first, a joint team of German and Egyptian archaeologists has unearthed a royal tomb dating back to the 17th Dynasty which likely belonged to a king whose great-grandsons swept out foreign rulers and paved the way for the New Kingdom - Ancient Egypt's "Golden Age". The German Institute of Archaeology in Cairo (DAI), in announcing the find, said they are convinced the 3500-year-old tomb belonged to Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef, a monarch of the late 17th Dynasty. A time of political turmoil and confusion, the 17th Dynasty has failed to provide archaeologists with a royal tomb for study-until now....The tomb is located across the Nile from modern-day Luxor in the northern portion of the Theban necropolis, at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. The area, referred to as Dra' Abu el-Naga', has long been felt to be the burial place of kings and private individuals of the 17th and early 18th dynasties.

According to archaeologists, the "remnants of the tomb consist of the lower part of a small mud-brick pyramid surrounded by an enclosure wall, also built of mud bricks." In front of the pyramid lies a burial shaft where the toppled head of a life-size royal sandstone statue of the pharaoh was found. The pyramid-complex and the burial shaft is unequivocally that of Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef, according to Dr Daniel Polz, the lead excavator and deputy director of DAI.

Other discoveries included "a small funerary chapel of a private individual" adjacent to the pyramid, but outside the enclosure wall. The inner walls of the chapel were decorated with depictions of its owner, as well as his name and titles. According to these inscriptions the tomb owner, Teti, was a "treasurer" or "chancellor" of the king. On one of the walls, there remains a large cartouche (the royal name-ring) showing the name of king Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef. The 17th Dynasty at the end of the Second Intermediate Period - the era between the Middle and New Kingdoms - was characterized by the rule of the Hyksos, foreign invaders of an Asiatic origin who ruled in the northern part of Egypt contemporaneously with the kings of the 17th Dynasty in Thebes.

Following numerous military campaigns against them, the Hyksos rulers were eventually expelled from Egypt by Kamose, the last king of the 17th Dynasty and his brother, Ahmose, the first king of the 18th Dynasty which saw a unified Egypt rise to unprecedented wealth and power. It is believed that Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef, one of the immediate predecessors of Kamose and Ahmose, could actually have been their great-grandfather. Experts said the discovery of King Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef's tomb, the first find of a royal tomb from the 17th Dynasty, along with its location, architecture and contents, could shed new light on the hitherto unknown burials of those Egyptian kings who laid the foundations of Egypt's "Golden Age" - the New Kingdom.

The German archaeologist Polz and his team were led to the tomb by information obtained from a 3000-year-old papyrus and the works of an American archaeologist who made reference to the tomb, but never found it himself. The papyrus mentioned an attempt by robbers to plunder the royal tomb by digging a tunnel from another tomb belonging to a private individual. The robbers, however, failed to reach the royal tomb. Then in the 19th Century, another group of robbers found the royal tomb, removed the golden casket and sold it without disclosing where they found it-the casket eventually ended up in the British Museum in London.

Polz and his team also found what appeared to be evidence of the removal of two obelisks from the tomb of King Nub-Kheper-Ra Intef. The obelisks were reportedly removed from the tomb in 1881 on orders of the then French director of the Council of Antiquities in Cairo, who wanted them transferred to old Cairo Museum. Unfortunately, the boat with the heavy obelisks sank in the Nile, some 10 kilometres from Luxor. Polz and his team plan to continue excavation work on the tomb in October to discover what lies in another room believed to be located below the burial shaft.

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, who ruled during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided between the Theban based 17th Dynasty in Upper Egypt and the Hyksos 15th Dynasty who controlled Lower and part of Middle Egypt. He is referred to as Intef VII in some literature, while others refer to him as Intef VIII.

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef ruled from Thebes, and was buried in a tomb in the 17th Dynasty royal necropolis at Dra Abu El-Naga. His only clear attestation is his coffin - Louvre E 3020 - now in France. His sarcophagus contained the corrected nomen of this king as well as his prenomen, Sekhemre Heruhirmaat, "which was added in ink on the chest of the coffin." Little more is known concerning the reign of this king except that he was a short-lived successor of Nebkheperre Antef VII. The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has argued that Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef was possibly a co-regent of Nebkheperre Antef VII based on a block from Koptos which preserves.

Ryholt suggested that Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef died prematurely and was buried in a royal coffin which initially belonged to Nebkheperre Antef VII; hence, Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef did not enjoy an independent reign of his own. The British Egyptologist Aidan Dodson, however, critiques Ryholt's proposal that Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef died during the reign of his predecessor and was buried in Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef's original royal coffin. Dodson observes that the form of the name Antef written here (which was originally similar to that used to designate Nebkheperre Antef before it was amended for Heruhirmaatre Antef) and the added king's prenomen of Sekhemre Heruhirmaat on this king's coffin was composed in an entirely different hand from the remaining texts on the coffin.

Sobekemsaf II

Relief of Sekhemre Wadjkhau Sobekemsaf at the Temple of Monthu at Medamud.

Sobekemsaf II Sekhemrewadjkhaw was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th Dynasty. He is attested by a series of inscriptions mentioning a mining expedition to the rock quarries at Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert during his reign. One of the inscriptions is explicitly dated to his Year 7.

Sobekemsaf II's son- similarly named Sobekemsaf after his father - is attested in Cairo Statue CG 386 from Abydos which depicts this young prince standing between his father's legs. Sobekemsaf's chief wife was Queen Nubemhet. He also extensively restored and decorated the Temple of Monthu at Medamud where a fine relief of this king making an offering before the gods has survived.

A wooden canopic chest bearing the name 'Sobekemsaf' on it has been attributed to this king by two prominent Egyptologists, Aidan Dodson and Kim Ryholt because it is known that the tomb of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf I was sacked and destroyed by fire in antiquity by grave robbers. In contrast, "the damage suffered by Cat. 26 (ie: Sobekemsaf II's chest) is minor, consistent with what it might have suffered at the hands of Qurnawi dealers."

Dodson dates Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf's reign after Djehuti and Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef because his canopic chest is slightly larger - 4.1 cm longer and 3.4 cm higher - than the known canopic chests belonging to the latter two kings as well as the fact that the inscriptions on Sobekemsaf II's box were "written vertically, rather than in the horizontal arrangement found on those of Djehuti and Sekhemre Wepmaet Intef." This suggests that Sobekemsaf II ruled Egypt after these 2 kings.

Senakhtenre Ahmose

Senakhtenre Ahmose was a Pharaoh of Egypt of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt based in Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. He was born c.1605 BC and died c.1560 or 1558 BC at the latest. His prenomen Senakhtenre means "Perpetuated like Re."

He may or may not have been the son of Nubkheperre Intef, the successor of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef. The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt observes that "since Senaktenre was remembered as one of the Lords of the West alongside Seqenenre and Kamose, he is generally believed to have been a member of the family of Ahmose and as such identified with the otherwise unidentified spouse" of Queen Tetisheri, Ahmose's grandmother.

He was succeeded by his son, Seqenenre Tao. Unlike his two successors Tao, and Kamose, Senakhtenre is a relatively obscure king who is not attested "by [any] contemporary sources (by his prenomen) but exclusively by sources dating from the New Kingdom: the Karnak Canon of Tuthmose III and in two Theban tombs."

Donald Redford's book mentions these 2 Theban tombs. The archaeological evidence suggests that his reign was very brief and lasted only several months or 1 year at the most.

However, in 2012, an important contemporary monument of this king was uncovered at Karnak: it is a doorway or gateway found carved with his royal name. The gate is carved with other hieroglyphic inscriptions which state that Senaktenre had this monument, which is carved from limestone blocks, transported from Tora (modern Helwan, south of Cairo), which was under Hyksos rule at the time of his reign.

From a reference in Abbott Papyrus (Column III, 1.10) it was for a long time believed that his prenomen was Tao, where two kings with this name appear. The second mentioned Tao was identified with Senakhtenre (the other one is Seqenenre Tao; both names are written). However, already Claude Vandersleyen in 1983 rejected this idea.

Seqenenre Tao

Seqenenre Tao, (also Sekenenra Taa), called The Brave, ruled over the last of the local kingdoms of the Theban region of Egypt in the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. He probably was the son and successor to Senakhtenre Ahmose and Queen Tetisheri.

The dates of his reign are uncertain, but he may have risen to power in the decade ending in 1560 BC or in 1558 BC (based on the probable accession date of Ahmose I, the first ruler of the eighteenth dynasty). With his queen, Ahhotep I, Seqenenre Tao fathered two pharaohs, Kamose, his immediate successor who was the last pharaoh of the seventeenth dynasty and Ahmose I who, following a regency by his mother, was the first pharaoh of the eighteenth.

Seqenenre Tao is credited with starting the opening moves in the war of liberation against the Hyksos, which was ended by his son Ahmose.

Later New Kingdom literary tradition states that Seqenenre Tao came into contact with his Hyksos contemporary in the north, Aawoserra Apopi. The tradition took the form of a tale in which the Hyksos king Apopi sent a messenger to Seqenenre in Thebes to demand that the Theban hippopotamus pool be done away with, for the noise of these beasts was such, that he was unable sleep in far-away Avaris. Perhaps the only historical information that can be gleaned from the tale is that Egypt was a divided land, the area of direct Hyksos control being in the north, but the whole of Egypt paying tribute to the Hyksos kings.

Seqenenre Tao participated in active diplomatic posturing, which consisted of more than simply exchanging insults with the Asiatic ruler in the North. He seems to have led military skirmishes against the Hyksos and, judging from the vicious head wound on his mummy in the Cairo Museum, may have died during one of them.

His son and successor Wadj-kheper-re Kamose, the last ruler of the seventeenth dynasty at Thebes, is credited with launching a successful campaign in the Theban war of liberation against the Hyksos, although he is thought to have died in the campaign. His mother, Ahhotep I, is thought to have ruled as regent after the death of Kamose and continued the warfare against the Hyksos until Ahmose I, the second son of Seqenenre Tao and Ahhotep I, was old enough to assume the throne and complete the expulsion of the Hyksos and the unification of Egypt.


Kamose was the last king of the Theban Seventeenth Dynasty. He was possibly the son of Seqenenre Tao II and Ahhotep I and the full brother of Ahmose I, founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty. His reign fell at the very end of the Second Intermediate Period. Kamose is usually ascribed a reign of three years (his highest attested regnal year), although some scholars now favor giving him a longer reign of approximately five years.

His reign is important for the decisive military initiatives he took against the Hyksos, who had come to rule much of Ancient Egypt. His father had begun the initiatives and, quite possibly, lost his life in battle with them. It is thought that his mother, as regent, continued the campaigns after the death of Kamose (also in battle with the Hyksos), and that his full brother made the final conquest of them and united all of Egypt.