Khyan

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Seuserenre Khyan (also Khayan or Khian and Apachnan from the West Semitic Apaq-khyran) was an Hyksos king of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, ruling over Lower Egypt in the second half of the 17th century BCE. His royal name Seuserenre translates as "The one whom Re has caused to be strong."[6] Khyan bears the titles of an Egyptian king, but also the title ruler of the foreign land (heqa-khaset). The later title is the typical designation of the Hyksos rulers.

Khyan is one of the better attested kings from the Hyksos period, known from many seals and seal impressions. Remarkable are objects with his name found at Knossos and Hattusha indicating diplomatic contacts with Crete and the Hittites. A sphinx with his name was bought on the art market at Baghdad and might demonstrate diplomatic contacts to Babylon, in an example of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations.[7][8][9]

Hyksos Kingdom[edit]

Khyan's rule marks the peak of the Hyksos kingdom power.[10] Khyan directly ruled over Lower and Middle Egypt up to Cusae and indirectly dominated the Nile Valley as far south as Thebes,[11] forcing native Egyptian kingdoms including those of the 16th and Abydos Dynasty into vassal states.[12] At the time of Khyan, relations between the Hyksos and their Egyptian vassals were likely peaceful, centered on exchange and trade and possibly even including donations to Upper Egyptian sanctuaries, such as one in Gebelein, were blocks inscribed with Khyan's name were uncovered.[13]

Khyan's seat of power was located in Avaris, which hosted a strongly fortified palace.[14] Seal impressions of Khyan and a stela of his eldest son, prince Yanassi,[15][16] were found in two areas of the city during excavations, confirming his presence onsite.[17] The palace, possibly destroyed during the later conquest of the Hyksos' kingdom by the Thebans under Ahmose I,[note 2] comprised a high platform built on massive brick casemates surrounded by columned halls and monumental staircases leading to a still higher platform, on which the royal apartments probably stood.[14] This palace seems to have been abandoned c. 1600 BC, at which point an enormous ritual feast was orchestrated, filling several 5 m (16 ft) wide pits with animal bones and thousands of potery fragments in consequence. Some of these fragments came from an array of vessels produced by the Kerma culture, a Nubian kingdom and Hyksos' ally during the Second Intermediate Period.[19] The Egyptologist Manfred Bietak proposes that the ritual feast and abandonment of the palace were triggered by the death of its owner,[20] most probably Khyan.[21][22] On the western edge of Avaris, another fortress was subsequently erected in the later Hyksos period c. 1560-1530 BC, likely under Khyan's successor Apepi.[20]

East of Avaris, the Hyksos controlled the massive 350 m × 400 m (1,150 ft × 1,310 ft) fortress of Tjaru on the road to Sinai and Canaan, where stelae of the Hyksos king Apepi were uncovered.[23]

Khyan's position in the Hyksos dynasty[edit]

Scarab of Khyan[24]
Scarab of "Khyan the Hyksos" ("Hyksos" highlighted)

Khyan is identified with king Iannas in the works of Josephus whose knowledge of the Hyksos Pharaohs was derived from a history of Egypt written by Manetho. Josephus mentions him after Apophis when discussing the reign lengths of kings who ruled after Salitis. This led 18th century scholars such as Arthur Bedford to place Khyan after Apophis, towards the end of the Hyksos dynasty. However, in Sextus Julius Africanus' version of Manetho's Epitome, Khyan (whose name is transcribed there as Staan) is listed after a king Pachnan, perhaps Yaqub-Har. Stylistically Khyan's scarabs resemble closely those of Yaqub-Har, who might date rather to the beginning and not to the end of the Hyksos-period.[25][26] This indicates that Khyan was one of the earlier rulers of the 15th dynasty.

The early position of Khyan within the 15th dynasty may be confirmed by new archaeological finds at Edfu. On this site were found seal impressions of Khyan in close connection with seal impressions of the 13th Dynasty king Sobekhotep IV, indicating that both kings could have reigned at about the same time.[27] The scholars Moeller and Marouard discuss the discovery of an important early 12th dynasty Middle Kingdom administrative building in the eastern Tell Edfu area which was continuously employed into the early Second Intermediate Period before it fell out of use during the 17th dynasty when its remains were sealed by a large silo court. Fieldwork by Egyptologists in 2010 and 2011 into the remains of the former 12th dynasty building which was also used in the 13th dynasty led to the discovery of a large adjoining hall which proved to contain 41 sealings showing the cartouche of the Hyksos ruler Khyan together with 9 sealings naming the 13th dynasty king Sobekhotep IV. As Moeller and Marouard write: "These finds come from a secure and sealed archaeological context and open up new questions about the cultural and chronological evolution of the late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period."[28] These conclusions are rejected by Robert Porter who argues that Khyan ruled much later than Sobekhotep IV and that the seals of a pharaoh were used even long after his death. Another option he proposed is that Sobekhotep IV reigned much later than previously thought.[29]

Lion inscribed with the cartouche of Khyan, found in Baghdad, suggesting relations with Babylon. British Museum, EA 987.[30][31][32]
Blue glazed steatite scarab in a gold mount, with the cartouche of Khyan:
N5
G39
<
xiiAn
>S34I10
t
N17
- "Son of Ra, Khyan, living forever!"

A stela of Khyan mentioning a king's son' was also discovered at Avaris. Manfred Bietak observed that: "a stela set up in Avaris contains the nomen and prenomen of Khyan and a now lost dedication (presumably to Seth, Lord of Avaris) below which are inscribed the title and name of the Eldest King's Son Yanassi." [33][34]

The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt, who published an extensive catalogue of the monuments of all the numerous pharaohs of the Second Intermediate Period, notes an important personal detail regarding this king's family; Ryholt writes that the association of Khyan with those of his eldest son upon this stela suggests that Yanassi in fact was his designated successor, as also implied by his title." Ryholt speculates that Manetho might have mentioned Yanassi in a now lost passage and that one possible explanation of the name Iannas used by Josephus for Khyan is a misquotation of such a passage in which the son's name was extracted instead of the father's.[34]

These hypotheses formed the consensus in Egyptology until the 2010s when significant archaeological discoveries showed major problems with the general dating of Khyan's rule. First was the discovery of seals of Khyan together with seals of the Thirteenth Dynasty king Sobekhotep IV in a secure and sealed archaeological context suggesting both were near contemporary. Yet, in the prevailing consensus, nearly a hundred years should separate both kings. Then, nearly all carbon-14 analyses of materials related to the Second Intermediate Period yield dates on average 120 years earlier than was expected from the prevailing chronological reconstruction of the 15th Dynasty. While the debate is ongoing, Egyptologists have acknowledged the validity of these observations and that they indicate some major issue with the consensus reached hitherto. Khyan's rule is no longer dated with any accuracy. The Egyptologist David Aston has showed available evidence is compatible with Khyan ruling anywhere between 1700 BC and 1580 BC, with the former his preferred scenario.[3] The possibility that one or more kings reigned between him and Apophis is now the dominant hypothesis.

Origin of Khyan's name[edit]

Ryholt notes that the name, Khyan, generally has been "interpreted as Amorite Hayanu (reading h-ya-a-n) which the Egyptian form represents perfectly, and this is in all likelihood the correct interpretation." [35] It should be stressed that Khyan's name was not original and had been in use for centuries before the fifteenth (Hyksos) Dynasty. The name Hayanu is recorded in the Assyrian king lists—see "Khorsabad List I, 17 and the SDAS List, I, 16"--"for a remote ancestor of Shamshi-Adad I (c.1800 BC)."[35]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dates proposed for Khyan's reign: c. 1700–1669/1667 BC,[4] 1653–1614 BC,[5] 1610?–1580 BC
  2. ^ The palace was decorated with painted murals in Cretan styles and motifs. Initially the palace excavator Manfred Bietak, saw this as suggestion of far-reaching cultural and commercial exchanges under the Hyksos. He later reappraised the dating of the murals, proposing instead that they date to the early 18th Dynasty of Egypt under Hatshepsut or Thutmose III.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The name of Khyan on the statue from Bubastis is written over an erasure , that the statue is of the XIIth Dynasty , and that Khyan was a Hyksôs king" in Griffith, F. Ll. Archaeological Report 1890/91 - 1911/12: Comprising the Recent Work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the Progress of Egyptology During the Year 1890/91-1911/12. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner. p. 28.
  2. ^ Aston 2018, p. 15.
  3. ^ a b Aston 2018, pp. 35–47.
  4. ^ Aston 2018, p. 49.
  5. ^ Redford 2001, p. 638, Egyptian King List.
  6. ^ Khiyan Titulary Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Rohl, David (2010). The Lords Of Avaris. Random House. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-4070-1092-2.
  8. ^ Weigall, Arthur E. P. Brome (2016). A History of the Pharaohs. Cambridge University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-108-08291-4.
  9. ^ "Statue British Museum". The British Museum.
  10. ^ Bietak 2001, p. 140.
  11. ^ Mumford 2001b, p. 339.
  12. ^ Tyson Smith 2001, p. 30.
  13. ^ Moeller & Forstner-Müller 2018, p. 13.
  14. ^ a b Stadelmann 2001, p. 14.
  15. ^ Bietak 2007, p. 753.
  16. ^ Bietak 1981, pp. 63–71.
  17. ^ M. Bietak: A Hyksos Palace at Avaris, In: Egyptian Archaeology 38 Spring 2011, S. 38-41
  18. ^ Bietak 2000, pp. 185–205.
  19. ^ Bietak 2007, p. 778–780.
  20. ^ a b Bietak 2007, p. 771.
  21. ^ Moeller & Forstner-Müller 2018, p. 8.
  22. ^ Bietak 2007, p. 780.
  23. ^ Mumford 2001a, p. 289.
  24. ^ Flinders Petrie: Scarabs and cylinders with names (1917), available copyright-free here, pl. XXI
  25. ^ W. Ward, in; O. Tufnell: Scarabs and their Contribution to History in the Early Second Millennium B.C., Warminster 1984, 68, fig. 29
  26. ^ A scarab of Khyan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  27. ^ N. Moeller, G. 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: Ägypten und Levante XXI (2011), 87-121 online PDF
  28. ^ N. Moeller, G. Maround, N. Ayers, Ägypten und Levante XXI (2011), p.87
  29. ^ Robert M. Porter: The Second Intermediate Period according to Edfu, Goettinger Mizsellen 239 (2013), p. 75-80
  30. ^ Rohl, David (2010). The Lords Of Avaris. Random House. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-4070-1092-2.
  31. ^ Weigall, Arthur E. P. Brome (2016). A History of the Pharaohs. Cambridge University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-108-08291-4.
  32. ^ "Statue British Museum". The British Museum.
  33. ^ Manfred Bietak, MDAIK 37, pp.63-71, pl.6
  34. ^ a b Kim SB Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, CNI Publications, (Museum Tusculanum Press: 1997), p.256
  35. ^ a b Ryholt, p.128

Bibliography[edit]

Aston, David A. (2018). "How Early (and How Late) Can Khyan Really Be. An Essay Based on "Conventional Archaeological Methods"". In Moeller, Nadine; Forstner-Müller, Irene (eds.). The Hyksos ruler Khyan and the Early Second Intermediate Period in Egypt: Problems and Priorities of Current Research. Proceedings of the Workshop of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Vienna, July 4 – 5, 2014. Leberstraße 122 A-1110 Wien: Verlag Holzhausen GmbH. pp. 15–56. ISBN 978-3-902976-83-3.CS1 maint: location (link)
Bietak, Manfred (1981). "Eine Stele des ältesten Königssohnes des Hyksos Chajan". Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo (in German). 37, Labib Habachi Festschrift: 63–71.
Bietak, Manfred (2000). "Rich beyond the Dreams of Avaris: Tell el-Dabʿa and the Aegean World: A Guide for the Perplexed': A Response to Eric H. Cline". The Annual of the British School at Athens. Athens: British School at Athens. 95: 185–205. doi:10.1017/S0068245400004639. S2CID 159570045.
Bietak, Manfred (2001). "Hyksos". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 136–143. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.
Bietak, Manfred (2007). "Où est le palais des Hyksôs ? À propos des fouilles à Tell el-Dabca et 'Ezbet Helmi". Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (in French): 749–780.
Moeller, Nadine; Forstner-Müller, Irene (2018). "Introduction". In Moeller, Nadine; Forstner-Müller, Irene (eds.). The Hyksos ruler Khyan and the Early Second Intermediate Period in Egypt: Problems and Priorities of Current Research. Proceedings of the Workshop of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Vienna, July 4 – 5, 2014. Leberstraße 122 A-1110 Wien: Verlag Holzhausen GmbH. pp. 7–13. ISBN 978-3-902976-83-3.CS1 maint: location (link)
Mumford, Gregory (2001a). "Sinai". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 288–292. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.
Mumford, Gregory (2001b). "Syria-Palestine". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 335–343. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.
Redford, Donald B., ed. (2001). "Egyptian King List". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 637–640. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.
Stadelmann, Rainer (2001). "Palaces". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 13–17. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.
Tyson Smith, Stuart (2001). "People". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 27–33. ISBN 978-0-19-510234-5.

Further reading[edit]

  • Irene Forster-Müller, Nadine Moeller (eds.), The Hyksos Ruler Khyan and the Early Second Intermediate Period in Egypt: Problems and Priorities of Current Research. Proceedings of the Workshop of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Vienna, July 4–5, 2014.(online)
Preceded by
Sakir-Har
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fifteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Yanassi
or
Apepi