Seventeenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt

Seventeenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt

The Seventeenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XVII, alternatively 17th Dynasty or Dynasty 17) was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled in Upper Egypt during the late Second Intermediate Period, approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC. Its mainly Theban rulers are contemporary with the Hyksos of the Fifteenth Dynasty and succeeded the Sixteenth Dynasty, which was also based in Thebes.

In March 2012, French archaeologists examining a limestone door in the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak discovered hieroglyphs with the name Senakhtenre, the first evidence of this king dating to his lifetime.

The last two kings of the Dynasty opposed the Hyksos rule over Egypt. They initiated a war that would rid Egypt of the Hyksos kings and began a period of unified government, the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Kamose, the second son of Seqenenre Tao and the last king of the Seventeenth Dynasty, was the brother of Ahmose I, the first king of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

Some mainstream scholars have suggested that the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt had Nubian ancestry due to the expanded presence of Nubians in Egypt during that period and the craniofacial evidence from X-ray examinations of some members of this Dynasty, such as Seqenenre Tao and Tetisheri. They displayed strong affinities with contemporary Nubians. Donald Redford explicitly argues that Egyptians “entered into the service of the king of Kush” between the seventeenth and sixteenth centuries BC, citing historical texts and archaeological evidence that showed an increased Nubian presence from the third Cataract on the Nile as far north as Deir Rifeh. Redford summarises that a shared “community of interest” existed, which coincided with the influx of Nubian pottery and weapons in Upper Egypt. However, there is no conclusive evidence that the founder of the Dynasty, Rahotep, was of Nubian origin, and the Dynasty is recognized as a native Egyptian dynasty by many scholars.

Pharaohs of the Seventeenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt

The Pharaohs of the Seventeenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt ruled for approximately 30 years. Known rulers of the 17th Dynasty are as follows:


Rahotep was an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period when multiple kings ruled Egypt. The Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker believe that Rahotep was the first king of the 17th Dynasty.

Sobekemsaf I

Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf I was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th Dynasty in the Second Intermediate Period.

Sobekemsaf II

Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf II was an Egyptian king who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period when Egypt was fragmented and ruled by multiple kings. He was once thought to belong to the late Thirteenth Dynasty but is today often placed as a king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt. His throne name, Sekhemre Shedtawy, means “Powerful is Re; Rescuer of the Two Lands.” Egyptologists now believe that Sobekemsaf II was the father of both Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef based on an inscription carved on a doorjamb discovered in the ruins of a 17th Dynasty temple at Gebel Antef in the early 1990s which was built under Nubkheperre Intef. The doorjamb mentions a king Sobekem[saf] as the father of Nubkheperre Intef/Antef VII–(Antef begotten of Sobekem…). He was, in all likelihood, Prince Sobekemsaf, who is attested as the son and designated successor of king Sobekemsaf I on Cairo Statue CG 386.

According to the Abbott Papyrus and the Leopold-Amherst Papyrus, dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf was buried along with his chief Queen Nubkhaes (II) in his royal tomb.

Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef-Aa was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 17th Dynasty of Egypt who lived late during the Second Intermediate Period when Egypt was divided into two by Hyksos controlled Lower Egypt and Theban ruled Upper Egypt.

Nubkheperre Intef

Nubkheperre Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties, including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt.

Sekhemre Heruhirmaat Intef

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an ancient Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt who ruled during the Second Intermediate Period when Egypt was divided between the Theban-based 17th Dynasty in Upper Egypt and the Hyksos 15th Dynasty who controlled Lower and part of Middle Egypt. He is referred to as Intef VII in some literature, while others refer to him as Intef VIII. This pharaoh ruled from Thebes and was buried in a tomb in the 17th Dynasty royal necropolis at Dra’ Abu el-Naga’.

Senakhtenre Ahmose

Senakhtenre Ahmose was the seventh king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Senakhtenre reigned for a short period over the Theban region in Upper Egypt at a time when the Hyksos 15th Dynasty ruled Lower Egypt. Senakhtenre died c.1560 or 1558 BC at the latest.

Seqenenre Tao

Seqenenre Tao (also Seqenera Djehuty-aa or Sekenenra Taa, called ‘the Brave’) ruled over the last of the local kingdoms of the Theban region of Egypt in the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. He probably was the son and successor to Senakhtenre Ahmose and Queen Tetisheri. The dates of his reign are uncertain, but he may have risen to power in the decade ending in 1560 BC or in 1558 BC (based on the probable accession date of his son, Ahmose I, the first ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty, see Egyptian chronology). With his queen, Ahhotep I, Seqenenre Tao fathered two pharaohs, Kamose, his immediate successor who was the last pharaoh of the Seventeenth Dynasty, and Ahmose I, who, following a regency by his mother, was the first pharaoh of the Eighteenth. Seqenenre Tao is credited with starting the opening moves in a war of revanchism against Hyksos incursions into Egypt, which saw the country completely liberated during the reign of his son Ahmose I.


Kamose was the last Pharaoh of the Theban Seventeenth Dynasty. He was possibly the son of Seqenenre Tao and Ahhotep I and the full brother of Ahmose I, founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Kamose has usually ascribed a power of three years (his highest attested regnal year), although some scholars now favour giving him a long reign of approximately five years. His reign fell at the very end of the Second Intermediate Period.

His reign is vital for his decisive military initiatives against the Hyksos, who had come to rule much of Ancient Egypt. His father had begun the initiatives and lost his life in battle with the Hyksos. It is thought that his mother, as regent, continued the campaigns after the death of Kamose and that his full brother made the final conquest of them and united all of Egypt.


Finally, king Nebmaatre may have been a ruler of the early 17th Dynasty.