Periodic Reporting for period 4 - Hyksos Enigma (The Enigma of the Hyksos)
Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-06-30
The methods to achieve this objective were applied in 8 research tracks (RT). Besides critical historical and onomastic research (RT1), the causes of migration in the Near East were assessed in RT2. The Middle Bronze Age Culture as assessed in the Eastern Nile Delta was to be closely defined and compared with the cultural matrix of regions in the northern and southern Levant (RT3). The focus there was on comparative studies on architecture, burial customs, technology transfer and material culture. A study of comparative settlement patterns (RT4) in the Delta and the Near East should reveal the town development and the takeover of building strategies from the Near East to the Delta. Cultural interference studies (RT5) showed the early arrest of the acculturation process and the impact of the Hyksos heritage on the new Kingdom. The breakdown of the Hyksos economy and resources which may have caused their downfall were explored statistically by evaluation of the imports (RT6). Our partner, Bournemouth University, embarked on aDNA and strontium isotope analyses on human and animal remains from Tell el-Dab’a and resources from Lebanon and Syria and were able to show the volume and changes of immigration from the Near East to Egypt in pre-Hyksos and Hyksos periods (RT7-8). Most of the objectives were achieved. Results on a wider basis in the scientific branch (RT 7-8) were hampered by the restrictions of the Egyptian antiquities law on human remains but we were lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Museum resources. Importance for society: The results of ‘The Hyksos Enigma’ are, however, most important for elucidating a white patch in the mainstream of human history and to enlarge the perspective of the history of human migration and its effects on the host countries. The outcomes of the research of this project are so numerous, that this will not only influence writing history but also will lead to future projects. Beyond the state of the art is the achievement to track the origin of the 14th Dynasty to the royal house of Byblos and the inspiration contacts of the elite to northern Syria and Mesopotamia. Completely unexpected is the origin of the Hyksos from Asiatic communities in the Memphitic area. Absolutely unknown is the takeover of artificial irrigation and the Near Eastern weighing system in Egypt, comparable to the introduction of a new monetary system. The fact that much more females immigrated than males gives rise to comparison with present day bride preferences from the original homelands.
Our group was able to disseminate the results in 3 well attended workshops at the ASOR conferences in San Antonio, Boston and the 11th ICAANE Conference in Munich. The final Project Conference December 2019 took place at the Austrian Academy in Vienna. The proceedings and research monographs to be published in substantial volumes of our series ‘The Enigma of the Hyksos’, besides numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and science papers.