The truth behind the human remains was revealed by the journal PLOS ONE. The Hyksos, a mysterious nomadic people from the Levant, were believed to have invaded Egypt more than 3,600 years ago. Also known as Levantines, they were believed to be a single group of people who conquered northern Egypt. The pharaohs loss of northern Egypt to the Hyksos was believed to be Ancient Egypt’s first “foreign takeover”.
Scientists studied the human remains from the Hyksos capital to explore their origins.
While archaeologists had previously speculated on the people’s rise to power, the study has confirmed that the Hyksos were not brutal invaders from a single nation.
It is now believed that the people were a group of immigrants who moved to the Nile Delta centres earlier from around the Middle East.
The descendants of these immigrants then rose to rule over northern Egypt in the Second Intermediary Period.
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The Hyksos ruled the region of northern Egypt from 1638 BC to 1530 BC.
The findings come after four decades of digs on Tell El-Dab’a, the ancient northern Egyptian city of Avaris.
Avaris is located around 100km from Cairo, and served as the Hyksos capital.
Led by Austrian archaeologist Manfred Buetak, the ruins have not shown signs of destruction that imply the Hyksos were invaders.
They said: “Isotope analysis is a powerful tool for exploring past mobility and identifying non-locals.
“However, exploring the origin of non-locals using this method is much more difficult.
“The wide range of values in the Tell El-Dab’a assemblage suggests that non-locals, either before or during Hyksos rule, did not come from one unified homeland, but an extensive variety of origins.
“This in itself is interesting, as although those who would become Hyksos rulers might have an ancestral connection with a single homeland, the northeastern Nile Delta represented a multicultural hub long before the Hyksos rule.”
The study concluded: “Utilising the extensive burial areas to contribute one of the largest isotopic studies of ancient Egypt to date, this study is the first to use archaeological chemistry to directly address the origins of the enigmatic Hyksos Dynasty, the first instance in which Egypt is ruled by those of foreign origin.
“Although the Levantine origin of these rulers is not in question due to their rulers’ names, architecture, and material culture, these results challenge the classic narrative of the Hyksos as an invading force.
“Instead, this research supports the theory that the Hyksos rulers were not from a unified place of origin, but Western Asiatics whose ancestors moved into Egypt during the Middle Kingdom, lived there for centuries, and then rose to rule the north of Egypt.”