16th Dynasty
(?) c. 1369-c. 1578BC

The collapse of the 13th Dynasty after the Hyksos invasion of Memphis, left a power vacuum in Middle and South Egypt, which was quickly filled by two local dynasties.

The northernmost dynasty resided at Abydos or Thinis. Its territory does not appear to have stretched beyond the borders of the Thinite nome. Almost nothing is known about this Abydene Dynasty. The Turin kinglist only gives fragments of names of kings that could be placed in this dynasty, but none appear to have been attested by any other sources.

Three names of kings that are attested by contemporary local sources, however, do not appear in the Turin Kinglist: Wepwawetemsaf, Pantjeni and Snaaib, but this can be due to the highly fragmentary nature of the list at this place.

Nothing can be said about the chronology of the dynasty, except that it does not seem to have lasted for very long. Some 20 years after the start of the Hyksos invasion, the Hyksos succeeded in overthrowing the rulers of Abydos.

The southernmost local dynasty that arose as a result of the end of the 13th Dynasty, had its basis of power located at Thebes. Although most of this dynasty's kings are attested mainly in Thebes, its influence seems to have stretched to Hu in the North and to Edfu or beyond in the South. This dynasty, the 16th, groups about 15 kings that ruled for between 60 and 70 years.

Almost half of this dynasty was covered by the 26 year reign of Nebiriraw I whose seals have been found at Lisht in the north and at Gennari, Farras and Mirgissa in Nubia, in the south. The find of two seals of Nebiriraw I at Lisht, well in Hyksos territory, is quite intriguing, for it could indicate a temporary relaxation in the otherwise tense relationships between the two houses that ruled over parts of Egypt. It is, of course also possible that Nebiriraw's seals ended up in Lisht as part of the loot that was carried of by the Hyksos during one of their attempts to overthrow this Theban dynasty.

The Thebans, however, were not able to withstand the pressure forever and somewhere after 1580 BC, the Hyksos king Khiyan finally succeeded in conquering Thebes, thus ending the 16th Dynasty.

The table below shows the list of kings of the 16th Dynasty:


Name Manetho Highest Year Dates (*)
name lost     1639 - 1638
Dhehuti     1638 - 1635
Sobekhotep VIII     1635 - 1619
Neferhotep III     1619 - 1618
Mentuhotepi     1618 - 1617
Nebiriraw I     1617 - 1591
Nebiriraw II     1591
Semenre     1591 - 1590
Bebiankh     1590 - 1578
Sekhemredshedwaset     1578
The following kings also belonged to the 16th Dynasty, but cannot be placed with certainty:
Dedumes I      
Dedumes II      
Mentuhotep VI      
Sesostris IV