The sixteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XVI) was a dynasty of pharaohs that ruled in Upper Egypt for fifty years during the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1650-1550 BCE), a period that saw the division of Upper and Lower Egypt between the pharaohs at Thebes and the Hyksos kings at Avaris.
Of the two chief versions of Manetho's Aegyptiaca, Dynasty XVI is described by the more reliable Sextus Julius Africanus (supported by George Syncellus) as "shepherd [hyksos] kings", but by Eusebius of Caesarea as Theban.
Kim Ryholt (1997), followed by Bourriau (2003), in reconstructing the Turin King List, interpreted a list of Thebes-based kings to constitute Manetho's Dynasty XVI, although this is one Ryholt's "most debatable and far-reaching" conclusions.
The continuing war against Dynasty XV dominated the short-lived Dynasty XVI. The armies of Dynasty XV, winning town after town from their southern enemies, continually encroached on Dynasty XVI, eventually threatening and then conquering Thebes itself. Ryholt (1997) has suggested that Dedumose I sued for a truce in the latter years of the dynasty, but one of his predecessors, Nebiriau I, may have been more successful and seems to have enjoyed a period of peace in his reign.
Famine, which had plagued Upper Egypt during late Dynasty XIII and Dynasty XIV, also blighted Dynasty XVI, most evidently in the reign of Neferhotep III.
From Ryholt's reconstruction of the Turin canon, fifteen kings of Dynasty XVI can now be named, five of whom appear in contemporary sources. While most likely ruled from Thebes itself, some may have been local rulers from other important Upper Egyptian towns, including Abydos, El Kab and Edfu. By the reign of Nebiriau I, the Dynasty XVI realm extended at least as far north as Hu.
Not listed in the Turin canon (after Ryholt) is Wepwawetemsaf, who left a stele at Abydos and was likely a more local king.
Ryholt gives the list of Dynasty XVI kings as follows:
- Bourriau, Janine (2003) , "The Second Intermediate Period", in Shaw, Ian (Egyptologist), The Oxford history of ancient Egypt, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280458-8, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=092jP1lBhtoC&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Kuhrt, Amélie (1995), The Ancient Near East: c. 3000-330 BC, London: Routledge, ISBN 9780415013536, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=K-wOAAAAQAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Ryholt, K. S. B. (1997). The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c. 1800 - 1550 BC. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 8772894210. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ANRi7cM5ZwsC&dq=thinis&lr=&as_brr=3&source=gbs_navlinks_s.
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