Second Intermediate Period

The Second Intermediate Period was found between the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom.

This period of time happened between 1650 B.C. and 1550 B.C.

This was a time when the Hyksos, or foreign people begin to invade Egypt.


The Dynasties of the Second Intermediate Period included The Twelfth Dynasty, the Thirteenth Dynasty, the Fourteenth Dynasty, the Fifteenth Dynasty, the Sixteenth Dynasty and the Seventeenth Dynasty.

The Twelfth Dynasty ended when the queen, Queen Sobekneferu died, and she did not have any heirs or children to take over the throne.

Since she did not have any heirs, it caused the next dynasty, The Thirteenth Dynasty, to be weak because it did not have a good ruler.

Queen Sobekneferu

Fourteenth Dynasty

The capital of the Fourteenth Dynasty was Avaris.  This dynasty was ruled by the Xois family.

Fifteenth Dynasty

During the Fifteenth Dynasty, there were many rulers including:

  • Salitis
  • Sakir-Har
  • Khyan
  • Apophis
  • Khamudi

This was a time when the Hyksos ruled the land and during this time there were 6 different Hyksos kings, but no one is really sure the order of the kings.

During this dynasty, there was technology that the Hyksos brought to the area including making new kinds of pottery and bronze statues.

They also brought new kinds of animals and different kinds of crops to the area.

The Hyksos had weapons of battle-axes, bows and also used chariots in war.

Sixteenth Dynasty

This was when the dynasty ruled the Theban area.  They were the most advanced army during this period of time.  Neferhotep III was one of the rules of the Sixteenth Dynasty.

Seventeenth Dynasty

During this time, Thebes and Hyksos had all of the power.  There were many temples during this time and it was when Ahmose I became the first pharaoh.

End of the Middle Kingdom

When the Middle Kingdom was happening, Egypt was very strong and was growing.

There was a lot of wealth and power in Egypt during this time and this was also a time where there were strong rulers.

After Queen Sobekneferu died though, a new family came into power and this is when the pharaoh begins to lose power and the area became divided.

People that were not Egyptian begin moving into Egypt and it was when the area was taken over by the Hyksos.

Second Intermediate Period

Many people refer to the Second Intermediate Period as a time ruled by the Hyksos Kings.

They conquered Egypt and then they had a foreign ruler during this time.

During the time of the foreign ruler, there was a lot of chaos and many believe that the Hyksos had different religious believes and that they had different ideas of how Egypt should be ran.

Statue of King Sobekemsaf I or II


Many historians believe that during this period that the Hyksos wanted to have more than one god.

They would build temples and palaces that showed the different gods that they believed in and many of them were different than the Egyptians were used to.

One of the gods was the Egyptian storm god called Seth.

They also believed in Baal, another god during this time.


This was a time period where people were not in unity but the problem is that many of the records during this time period are missing so historians have to guess what happened during most of this time.

It is thought that Upper Egypt started losing control first and then Lower Egypt lost their power later.


Even though there is not a lot of information, much evidence shows that the Hyksos were considered brutal and that they destroyed Egypt.

Some believe that they would steal things from the temples and that they never allowed the Egyptians to have enough food to eat.

Even though they were not peaceful, they did love the Egyptian culture and they would use the temples as their own.

Facts About the Second Intermediate Period:

  • The Hyksos were known as Hequakhasut which means “Rulers of Foreign Lands.”
  • The Egyptians stopped putting soldiers at the borders and this is how foreigners got into the land.
  • They Hyksos considered themselves to be Egyptians even though they were not.
  • There was another dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period, and this was called the Abydos Dynasty. They only lasted a short period of time and they were from Upper Egypt.
  • Thebes was known to trade often with the Hyksos.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was the period of time between 1650 B.C. and 1550 B.C. called?  This period of time was called the Second Intermediate Period.
  2. Who mostly ruled during this time? The Hyksos mostly ruled during this time.
  3. Who were the Hyksos? The Hyksos were a group of people that were foreigners that took over the land.
  4. Who died that caused there to be a weak government? Queen Sobekneferu died and there was a weak government because she had no children to take over the throne.
  5. Who was the second set of people that ruled during this time? The second set of people that ruled during this time were the Thebans.