Episode 52: Two Dynasties at Once

Plague pits Avaris (Mumford slides) - Copy

Canaanites, Egyptians and a Divided Kingdom

In 1700 BCE, Egypt is suddenly riven in two. The Delta, populated by a mixture of native Egyptians and second/third-generation Canaanite immigrants is afflicted with a catastrophic famine and plague.

Unable to gain aid from the Kings of Dynasty 13, they rebel and establish their own kingdom. We follow the consequences of this, and how the new state responded to its situation and mixed population.

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Plague pit discovered at Avaris (Source: Gregory Mumford).

The hypothesised bordes of the two kingdoms (Larger Resolution).

The digitally reconstructed palace of Avaris, capital of the Delta kingdom c.1700-1550 BCE (Source: Gregory Mumford).

The wonderful funerary statue of 13th Dynasty king Aw-ib-Re Hor, otherwise anonymous (Source: Global Egyptian Museum).


Manfred Bietak, “Egypt and Canaan During the Middle Bronze Age,” Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, 1991.

Janine Bourriau, “The Second Intermediate Period” in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.

Auaris.at – Official Website of the Austrian Expedition to Avaris (Tell el-Dabaa): General History of the Region; the Avaris Temple.

Irene Forstner-Muller, “Tombs and Burial Customs…” in The Second Intermediate Period: Current Research, Future Prospects, 2010.

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994.

Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010.

Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, 2006.

Gregory D. Mumford, “Dynasties 13-17: The Second Intermediate Period,” Lecture Series.

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