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Kim Steven Bardrum Ryholt (born 1970) is a professor of Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen and a specialist on Egyptian history and literature. He is director of the research center "Canon and Identity Formation in the Earliest Literate Societies" (cif.tors.ku.dk) under the University of Copenhagen Programme of Excellence (since 2008) and Curator of the Papyrus Carlsberg Collection (pcarlsberg.ku.dk) and director of the associated publication (since 1999).
One of his most significant publications is a 1997 book titled The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1800-1550 B.C. by Museum Tuscalanum Press. (ISBN 87-7289-421-0) Aidan Dodson, a prominent English Egyptologist, calls Ryholt's book "fundamental" for an understanding of the Second Intermediate Period in his Bi Or LVII, January–April 2000, p. 48 Review of Ryholt's aforementioned 463-page book because it reviews the political history of this period and contains an updated—and more accurate—reconstruction of the Turin Canon since the 1959 publication of Alan Gardiner's Royal Canon of Egypt. It also contains an extensive catalogue of all the known monuments, inscriptions and seals for the kings of this period.
Ryholt's study makes note of numerous recent archaeological finds including the discovery of a new Hyksos king named Sakir-Har, the find of a door jamb at Gebel Antef in the mid-1990s which establishes that Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (Sobekemsaf II here) was the father of the 17th Dynasty Theban kings Antef VI and Antef VII as well as a fresh discussion of Ahmose's Unwetterstele document. It also strongly argues that the Sixteenth dynasty of Egypt was made up of poorly attested Theban kings such as Nebiriau I, Nebiriau II, Seuserenre Bebiankh and Sekhemre Shedwast who are documented in the last surviving page of the Turin Canon rather than minor Hyksos vassal kings in Lower Egypt, as is generally believed. Among the most significant discussions is Ryholt's evidence that Sekhemre Khutawy rather than Ugaf was the first king of Egypt's 13th Dynasty (see Appendix A of his book) and a discussion of the foreign origins of the Semitic 13th Dynasty king named Khendjer—whose reign lasted a minimum of 4 years and 3 months based on dated workmen's control notes found on stone blocks from his pyramid complex. (Ryholt: p. 193) Khendjer's name, which means 'boar', is a foreign Semitic name that suggests he was the first recognised foreign (i.e. of non-Egyptian origin) Pharaoh of Egypt.
The most controversial conclusion concerns the identity and dating of 14th Dynasty. Ryholt - like Manfred Bietak - argues that it was a forerunner of the 15th Dynasty, but differs in regarding it as contemporary with the 13th Dynasty from the latter's founding around 1800 BC until its collapse in c. 1650/1648 BC. This is contested in a book review by Daphna Ben Tor and James/Susan Allen. The evidence from the strata levels of Ryholt's cited 14th Dynasty seals as recounted in a BASOR (315) 1999, pp. 47–73 book review by Daphna Ben Tor and James/Susan Allen conclusively establish that the 14th Dynasty was only contemporary with the 13th Dynasty in the last half century of the latter's existence. Critically, Manfred Bietak has dated the inscriptions and monuments of Nehesy at Tell el-Dab'a in the Delta—the first known Dynasty 14 king—to Stratum F or B/3 of the Bronze Age at around 1700 BC—corresponding to the late 13th Dynasty. Ryholt's proposal that king Sheshi, A'amu and Yakbim were also rulers of the 14th Dynasty is discredited by Ben Tor's study of the known strata levels of their seals which show that they date to the second half of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty and are not contemporary with the 13th dynasty. Sheshi, Yakbim and A'amu are more likely to be Hyksos vassal kings in the Delta. Therefore, not all of Ryholt's conclusions have been accepted by Egyptologists.
Recently, seal-impressions of the Hyksos king Khyan have been found in another archaeological deposit together with seal impressions of the mid-13th dynasty Egyptian king Sobekhotep IV at Tell Edfu. However, this only proves that the Hyksos 15th dynasty began in the mid-13th dynasty. The Asiatic 14th dynasty would likely then have started around this time when the native Egyptian 13th dynasty authority over Egypt began to decline rather than at the start of the 13th dynasty.
Ryholt is also the author of books and articles about Demotic papyri and literature.
Ryholt is regarded as one of the best scholars on the study of the Turin Canon, having examined the document in person twice; he has published new and better interpretations of this damaged papyrus document in his aforementioned 1997 book and in a ZAS paper titled "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris", and has published a detailed discussion of the nature of the document. Ryholt reportedly intends to publish his study of the Turin Kinglist in the near future.
- "Curriculum vitae". cif.tors.ku.dk. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 315, 1999, pp.47-73.
- Janine Bourriau, The Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BC) in "The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt," ed: Ian Shaw, (Oxford University Press: 2002), paperback, pp.178-79 & 181
- Nadine Moeller, Gregory Marouard & N. Ayers, Discussion of Late Middle Kingdom and Early Second Intermediate Period History and Chronology in Relation to the Khayan Sealings from Tell Edfu, in: Egypt and the Levant 21 (2011), pp.87-121 online PDF
- Ryholt, Kim Steven Bardrum. "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris." Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 127, 2000, pp.87–100
- Ryholt, Kim. "The Turin King-List." Ägypten und Levante 14, 2004, pp.135-155.
- Kim Ryholt, "A Parallel to the Inaros Story of P. Krall (P. Carlsberg 456+P. CtYber 4513): Demotic Narratives from the Tebtunis Temple Library," JEA 84 (1998), pp. 151–169, London.