The Second Intermediate Period designates the 250 year period (1800–1550 BC) which separates the two glorious periods of the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. During the 19th century BC, an invasion by Caanite tribes into the Delta took place. Around 1800 BC these people proclaimed their own king and the Delta thus became independent from the rest of Egypt. Egypt remained split between the Canaanitic rulers in North and the native Egyptian Kings in the South for the rest of the Second Intermediate Period. The division of Egypt brought about an economic decline, and the entire period is characterized by a lack of royal monuments. This circumstance has greatly hampered any attempts to establish a chronology of the period, and as a consequence it has been very difficult to date many sources which are relevant for the social and political situation of the period. The Second Intermediate Period has therefore remained one of the most obscure periods of Egypt's ancient history.
The dissertation is a new attempt to establish a chronology for the Second Intermediate Period and define the different kingdoms, their territories and political relations. The study consists of four main chapters, three appendixes, a catalogue of sources, bibliography and indices.
Included is a catalogue of all the historical sources, about 1500, known to certify the names of the Egyptian kings of the Second Intermediate Period. Each source is described in terms of type, origin and present location, followed by bibliographical references.
Kim Ryholt er professor i ægyptologi på Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier ved Københavns Universitet. Han har i over 20 år været ansvarlig for Papyrus Carlsberg Samlingen og dens udgivelsesaktiviteter.
"I recommend this work to all and sundry. It will become a standard, and the author's incredible
perseverance and time were not wasted ... the work remains a true and solid basis for all future
scholarship on this period."
- Anthony Spalinger, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol.60, no.4
"Occasionally there appears a book which can be described as "fundamental": this volume by Kim
Ryholt would appear indeed to merit such a accolade [...] Dr. Ryholt's study is of the greatest
importance, and is a veritable mine of information and ideas on his topic...a stimulating, and
refreshingly coherent, account of a notoriously opaque period, that will certainly stimulate renewed
discussion of the fundamentals of the epoch."
- Aidan Dodson, Bibliotheca Orientalis LVII No 1/2 2000
"Das überaus gründliche und umfassende Werk Ryholts stellt [...] einen Meilenstein in der
Erforschung dieser immer noch dunklen Epoche der Geschichte Altägyptens dar; Es wird allen
künftigen Untersuchungen auf diesem Gebiet als Grundlage dienen, durch die die vor mehr als 25
Jahren geschriebene Arbeit des Rezensenten abgelöst wird."
- J. von Beckerath, Archiv für Orientforschung 1999/2000