Kamose


Kamose
Prince of Thebes, Ruler of the Seventeenth Dynasty, c.1570(?)-1567 BC.
    The elder son of the Theban ruler *Seqenenre Ta'o II, Kamose continued the attempt to oust the *Hyksos kings from Egypt and, he is the first person for whom there still exists a historical account of the military actions that he took against these foreigners.
    Two stelae set up in the Temple of Karnak record his campaign; one survives in fragments only but the beginning of the account is preserved on the Carnarvon Tablet. This was discovered in Lord Carnarvon's excavations and was a scribe's copy, in hieratic, of the stela inscription. The second (known as the Kamose Stela) continues the narrative of the first stela. The narrative relates that in Year 3 of his reign (c.1575 BC), Prince Kamose discussed with his courtiers the plan to attack the *Hyksos king Auserre *Apophis. Egypt was relatively stable and peaceful (perhaps because *Apophis and *Seqenenre Ta'o II had concluded an uneasy truce) and the courtiers advised Kamose not to fight, but his pride and his desire to restore native rule throughout the whole country urged him on. In his own words, he stated 'My desire is to deliver Egypt and to smite the *Asiatics'.
    In a surprise attack, Kamose took the initiative against *Apophis, who was driven from Middle Egypt. It is possible that Kamose briefly penetrated northwards as far as the *Hyksos capital of Avaris and he seems to have recovered most of Egypt south of Memphis. He recalled how he razed the towns and burnt the places of the Egyptians, as punishment for their co-operation with the *Hyksos kings. Finally, he returned to Thebes as a triumphant victor and received a great welcome, but an early death prevented him from launching another campaign in the Delta.
    His mummy and coffin were discovered by Mariette's workmen in 1857, reburied in the rubble near his tomb; the reburial had probably been carried out by priests in order to prevent desecration of the body by tomb-robbers. The coffin was ungilded and the mummy was so poorly preserved that it immediately disintegrated; there were some items of jewellery and personal possessions, including a fine dagger. One item of jewellery bore the name of *Amosis I, who was Kamose's younger brother and successor; he married Kamose's daughter, *Ahmose-Nefertari, and continued the campaign to rid Egypt of the *Hyksos.
    The evidence provided by Kamose's campaign indicates that the *Hyksos probably never occupied the whole country and that their power was concentrated mainly in the Delta and Middle Egypt. Although the Theban princes were probably forced to pay them tribute for a period of time, it is unlikely that the Thebans ever lost autonomy in their own territory.
BIBL. Habachi, L. The Second Stela of Kamose. Gluckstadt: 1972; Gardiner, A.H. The defeat of the Hyksos by Kamose: the Carnarvon Tablet, No. 1. JEA 3 (1916) pp. 95-110; Gunn, B. and Gardiner, A.H. New Renderings of Egyptian texts: II. JEA 5 (1918) pp. 36-56; Winlock, H.E. The tombs of the kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty. JEA 10 (1924) pp. 217-77.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
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(reigned c. 1555–1552 BC)
   Throne name Wadjkheperre. Last ruler of Dynasty 17 and prince of Thebes. He succeeded Seqenenre Tao, who may have been his father, and continued the war against the Hyksos. Kamose campaigned up to the walls of the Hyksos capital Avaris and also in Nubia. A stela giving details of his campaign was found at Karnak. His fate is unknown, but he was followed by Ahmose I, possibly his brother, who expelled the Hyksos from Egypt.
   See also Ahhotep.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.