In 1966 John Van Seters published The Hyksos: A New Investigation (Yale University Press). In a small-format book of only 220 pages, Van Seters presented a comprehensive, up-to-date (as of the early 1960s), and generally well-reasoned account of those West Asiatics who migrated down to Egypt beginning in the late Middle Kingdom and eventually came to rule northern Egypt for more than a century during the second quarter of the second millennium BC. The Aigyptiaca of the third-century BC priest Manetho called them “Hyksos” (from the Egyptian term ḥḳ3-ḫ3swt, “rulers of foreign lands”). Their residence was at a place called Avaris, which Van Seters concluded was in the Khata‘na-Qantir district along the ancient Pelusiac branch of the Nile in the northeastern part of the Delta. One of the few surviving tells in that district was an enormous site known as Tell el-Dab‘a.

The year 1966 also saw the initiation...

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