Khamudi

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Khamudi (also known as Khamudy) was the last Hyksos ruler of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Khamudi came to power in 1534 BC[1] or 1541 BC,[2] ruling the northern portion of Egypt from his capital Avaris.[2] His ultimate defeat at the hands of Ahmose I, after a short reign, marks the end of the Second Intermediate Period.[3]


Attestations[edit]

Cylinder seal with a cartouche possibly reading "Khamudi".[4]

Khamudi is listed on the Turin canon, column 10, line 28 (Gardiner entry 10.20) as the last Hyksos king. Beyond this, only two scarab seals are firmly attributed to him, both from Jericho.[3]

Additionally, a cylinder seal of unknown provenance but possibly from Byblos[4] is inscribed with a cartouche which may read "Khamudi". This reading is contested by the egyptologist Kim Ryholt who proposed that the cartouche reads "Kandy" instead and refers to an hitherto unknown king. In any case, even if the cartouche bears Khamudi's name, it is believed to have been inscribed on the seal simply to fill up space rather than as an explicit reference to Khamudi.[5] The seal is currently housed in the Petrie Museum, catalog number UC 11616.[5]

Reign Length[edit]

Based on the scarcity of material dating to Khamudi's reign, Ryholt has proposed that his reign must have been short, amounting to no more than a year.[2] In this situation, Khamudi would have inherited little more than the Hyksos throne,[3] being possibly already besieged in Sharuhen, the last Hyksos stronghold in the Negev Desert.

This is contested by other scholars, such as Manfred Bietak, who points to a year 11 of an unknown king on the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. Bietak and many egyptologists believe that this year 11 belongs to Khamudi since the text of the papyrus refers to Ahmose I, founder of the Egyptian New Kingdom as "He of the South."[1] As Thomas Schneider writes:

"Another reign length can be inferred from the note on the verso of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus whereby in the 11th regnal year of the ruling king, Heliopolis has been conquered, and "he of the South" has attacked and taken Sile. Since "he of the South" must denote the Theban ruler Ahmose, the regnal year 11 can only be assigned to the successor of the Hyksos king Apepi: Khamudi. The Hyksos capital Avaris will have fallen to Ahmose not much later".[1]

Another date on the papyrus is explicitly dated to Year 33 of Khamudi's predecessor Apepi. It is generally believed that Ahmose I defeated the Hyksos king by his 18th or 19th regnal year. This is suggested by "a graffito in the quarry at Tura whereby 'oxen from Canaan' were used at the opening of the quarry in Ahmose's regnal year 22."[6] Since the cattle could only have been brought after Ahmose's 3 to 6 years long siege of the South Canaanite town of Sharuhen which followed after the fall of Avaris, this means the reign of Khamudi must have terminated by Year 18 or 19 of Ahmose's 25 year reign at the very latest.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Thomas Schneider, The Relative Chronology of the Middle Kingdom and the Hyksos Period (Dyns. 12-17) in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton (editors), Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), Brill: 2006, p.195
  2. ^ a b c d e K.S.B. Ryholt: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800-1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, excerpts available online
  3. ^ a b c 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. 174
  4. ^ a b Flinders Petrie: Scarabs and cylinders with names : illustrated by the Egyptian collection in University College, London (1917) available online, see pl. XIX, seal under the name "Khondy".
  5. ^ a b Seal with the cartouche of Khamudi Petrie Museum Online Catalog.
  6. ^ Schneider, p.195
Preceded by
Apepi
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fifteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Last king of this dynasty