Kamose’s Raid on Avaris c. 1540 BCE

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Map Code: Ax00024

Tired of the Hyksos occupation, the Theban pharaoh, Kamose, raided Avaris, their trading and administrative hub in the northeastern Nile delta (c. 1540 BCE). These relatively benign oppressors allowed the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt to function as ‘vassal kingdoms’. Kamose believed that the Kingdom of Egypt was rightfully his and he was determined to drive out the ‘Asiatics’, and their king, Apophis. It is thought that the High Priests of Amun encouraged this raid, because they wanted him to destroy the Seth temple in the sacred precinct. Kamose travelled along the Nile at speed; his amphibious assault was backed up by an army of foot soldiers and chariots. The evidence suggests that although he plundered the Hyksos fleet and briefly besieged the fortress, he did not lay siege to the city of Avaris itself. Having intercepted a letter from the Hyksos asking for support against Kamose, he retreated to Thebes to defend the southern borders.

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