Avaris (/ˈævərɪs/; Egyptian: ḥw.t wꜥr.t, sometimes transcribed
Hut-waret in works for a popular audience, Greek: Αὔαρις,
Auaris) was the capital of
Egypt under the Hyksos. It was located
Tell el-Dab'a in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta,
at the juncture of the 8th, 14th, 19th and 20th Nomes. As the main
course of the Nile migrated eastward, its position at the hub of
Egypt's delta emporia made it a major administrative capital of the
Hyksos and other traders. It was occupied from about 1783 to
1550 BC, or from the Thirteenth Dynasty of
Egypt through the
second intermediate period until its destruction by Ahmose I, the
first Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. The name in the Egyptian
language of the 2nd millennium BC was probably pronounced
*Ḥaʔat-Wūrat 'Great House' and denotes the capital of an
administrative division of the land. Today, the name Hawara survives,
referring to the site at the entrance to Faiyum. Alternatively,
Clement of Alexandria
Clement of Alexandria referred to the name of this city as
2 Minoan connection
5 External links
Scarab bearing the name of the
Hyksos King Apepi, now at the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston
In 1885, the Swiss
Édouard Naville started the first excavations in
the area around Tell-el-Daba. Between 1941 and 1942, Labib Habachi, an
Egyptologist first forwarded the idea that the site could be
identified with Avaris. Between 1966 and 1969 and since 1975, the site
has been excavated by the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Using
radar imaging technology, its scientists could identify in 2010 the
outline of the city including streets, houses, a port, and a side arm
of the River Nile passing through the city.
The site at Tell el-Dab'a, covering an area of about 2 square
kilometers, is in ruins today, but excavations have shown that, at one
point, it was a well-developed center of trade with a busy harbour
catering to over 300 ships during a trading season. Artifacts
excavated at a temple erected in the
Hyksos period have produced goods
from all over the Aegean world. The temple even has Minoan-like wall
paintings that are similar to those found on
Crete at the Palace of
Knossos. A large mudbrick tomb has also been excavated to the west of
the temple, where grave-goods, such as copper swords, have been found.
Towards the end of the Seventeenth dynasty, Kamose, the last king of
the Seventeenth Dynasty, besieged Avaris, but could not dislodge the
Hyksos, who were finally expelled some 18 years later (c.
1550 BC) by Ahmose I, the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
The Eighteenth Dynasty-based themselves in Thebes and
largely abandoned, its former citadel becoming the site first of
enormous storage facilities, including numerous silos and then a
military camp, until finally a new palatial compound of the 18th
Dynasty was constructed on top of the camps and soldier graves.
Avaris was absorbed into the new city of
Pi-Ramesses constructed by
Ramesses II (1279–1213 BC) of the Nineteenth dynasty when he
moved the capital back to the Delta.
Further information: Minoan frescoes from Tell el-Daba
Fragment of a Minoan fresco found in Avaris, Egypt. This fresco is
very similar to another fresco from Knossos, Crete.
Avaris, along with
Tel Kabri in Israel and
Alalakh in Syria, also has
a record of Minoan civilization, which is otherwise quite rare in the
Levant. Manfred Bietak, an Austrian archaeologist and the excavator of
Tell Dab'a, has speculated that there was close contact with the
rulers of Avaris, and that the large building representing the
frescoes allowed the Minoans to have a ritual life in Egypt. French
archaeologist Yves Duhoux proposed the existence of a Minoan 'colony'
on an island in the Nile delta.
^ Holladay, John S. Jr. (1997) "The Eastern
Nile Delta During the
Hyksos and Pre-
Hyksos Periods: Toward a Systemic/Socioeconomic
Understanding", in Eliezer D. Oren (1997). The Hyksos: new historical
and archaeological perspectives. University Museum, University of
Pennsylvania. pp. 183–252. ISBN 978-0-924171-46-8.
^ Baines and Malek "Atlas of Ancient Egypt" p 15 nome list and map, p
167 enlarged map of the delta.
^ Michael Grant (2005). The rise of the Greeks. Barnes & Noble
Books. ISBN 978-0-7607-7000-9.
^ 'And his remarks are to the following effect: Amosis, who lived in
the time of the Argive Inachus, overthrew Athyria, as Ptolemy of
Mendes [via Manetho] relates in his Chronology.' -- Clement of
^ a b "
Tell el-Dab'a - History". Tell el-Dab'a-Homepage. Archived from
the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
^ "Ancient Egyptian city located in
Nile Delta by radar". BBC News.
^ Booth, C. (2005). The
Hyksos Period in Egypt. Shire. p. 40.
ISBN 9780747806387. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
^ Some claim that
Kamose and Ahmose were the same person and that,
after the capture of
Avaris and the expulsion of the
Hyksos made the
founding of the Eighteenth dynasty of
his name (see discussion in Baines and Ma'lek)
^ Duhoux, Yves (2003). Des minoens en Egypte? "Keftiou" et "les îles
au milieu du Grand vert". Liège: Univ. Press.
Nicholas Reeves (2000). Ancient Egypt: the great
discoveries : a year-by-year chronicle. Thames & Hudson.
Pierce, R.W., Entry on "Rameses" in Geoffrey W. Bromiley (June 1995).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Q-Z. IV. Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-3784-4. Retrieved
Manfred Bietak (1996). Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos: recent
excavations at Tell el-Dabʻa. British Museum Press for the Trustees
of the British Museum. ISBN 978-0-7141-0968-8.
David Rohl (2010). The Lords Of Avaris. Random House.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avaris.
Tell el-Dabʿa Homepage - available in German and English
Capital of Egypt
1785 BC - 1580 BC
Coordinates: 30°47′15″N 31°49′17″E / 30.787419°N
31.821367°E / 30.787419; 31.821367 (
Avaris (Hatwaret, Rowat