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Group of mixed Semitic-Asiatics who settled in northern Egypt in the 18th century BC. They seized power c. 1630 BC and ruled Egypt for 108 years thereafter. They were superficially Egyptianized and did not interfere with Egyptian culture. Their chief deity was Seth, whom they identified with an Asiatic storm god. The Hyksos introduced the horse and chariot, the compound bow, improved battle-axes, and advanced fortification techniques. Hyksos pharaohs tried to halt the spread of a Theban revolt, but their dynasty fell to Ahmose in 1521 BC.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Hyksos, visit Britannica.com.