) was a ruler of areas of Egypt
during the Second Intermediate Period
. The dynasty, chronological position, duration and extent of his reign are uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The difficulty of identification is mirrored by problems in determining events from the end of the Middle Kingdom
to the arrival of the Hyksos
in Egypt. Nonetheless, Sheshi is, in terms of the number of artifacts attributed to him, the best-attested king of the period spanning the end of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate period; roughly from c.
1800 BC until 1550 BC. Hundreds of scaraboid seals
bearing his name have been found throughout Canaan, Egypt, Nubia, and as far away as Carthage, where some were still in use 1,500 years after his death.
Three competing hypotheses have been put forth for the dynasty to which Sheshi belonged. Egyptologists
such as Nicolas Grimal
, William C. Hayes
, and Donald B. Redford
believe he should be identified with Salitis
, founder of the 15th Dynasty
according to historical sources and king of the Hyksos
during their invasion of Egypt. Salitis is credited with 19 years of reign and would have lived sometime between c. 1720 BC and 1650 BC. The Egyptologist William Ayres Ward
and the archaeologist Daphna Ben-Tor propose that Sheshi was a Hyksos king and belongs to the second half of the 15th Dynasty, reigning between Khyan
. Alternatively, Manfred Bietak
has proposed that Sheshi was a vassal of the Hyksos, ruling over some part of Egypt or Canaan. The very existence of such vassals is debated. Finally, Sheshi could be a ruler of the early 14th Dynasty
, a line of kings of Canaanite descent ruling over of the Eastern Nile Delta
immediately before the arrival of the Hyksos. Proponents of this theory, such as Kim Ryholt
and Darrell Baker, credit Sheshi with 40 years of reign starting ca. 1745 BC. (Full article...