Cultures > Kehek


Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


The Kehek (or Qeheq) were a minor Libyan group that battled with the Egyptians during the New Kingdom of Egypt. It is also believed that this might be an ancient city whose location is unknown. They are mentioned in Papyrus Anastasi I as part of Egyptian troops in theoretical invasion to Djahy along with Sherden, Meswesh, Nubians and Egyptian archers. They were also employed as an auxiliary foreign corps in Egypt after their defeat to Ramses III, in Memphis in 1188 B.C. Amenhotep I's efforts to expand the Egyptian borders faced him with an enemy named Kehek or Qeheq.

The term "Kehek" (or "Kek") is not commonly found in the context of ancient civilizations or cultures. It appears there might be a misunderstanding or a typographical error. However, the name "Kehek" is somewhat reminiscent of the ancient Libyan tribal groups known as the "Tehenu" or "Tjeker," which were part of the larger confederation known as the Sea Peoples who interacted with ancient Egypt.

Given the possible confusion, I will provide an overview of the Tjeker, one of the Sea Peoples, and their interactions with ancient Egypt, as this might be the intended reference:

The Tjeker and Their Interactions with Ancient Egypt

  1. Identity and Origins:

    • The Tjeker (or Tjekker) were one of the groups known collectively as the Sea Peoples, who were prominent during the late Bronze Age collapse around the 12th century BCE.
    • Their origins are debated among scholars, but they are generally believed to have come from the Aegean or Anatolian regions.
  2. Involvement with the Sea Peoples:

    • The Sea Peoples, including the Tjeker, are often depicted in ancient Egyptian records as invaders and marauders who caused significant upheaval in the Eastern Mediterranean.
    • These groups conducted raids and invasions that contributed to the collapse of several Bronze Age civilizations, including the Hittite Empire and various city-states in the Levant.
  3. Interactions with Egypt:

    • The Tjeker, along with other Sea Peoples, clashed with Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses III (1186–1155 BCE).
    • Ramesses III recorded his battles against the Sea Peoples in inscriptions at his mortuary temple in Medinet Habu. These records detail how the Egyptians repelled the Sea Peoples, including the Tjeker, during attempted invasions both by sea and land.
  4. Settlement in the Levant:

    • After their defeat by Ramesses III, some of the Sea Peoples, including the Tjeker, are believed to have settled along the coast of Canaan.
    • The Tjeker established themselves in the city of Dor, where they integrated with local populations and continued to engage in trade and maritime activities.
  5. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Dor (modern-day Israel) have uncovered evidence of the Tjeker's presence, including distinct pottery styles, fortifications, and other material culture that indicate their integration into the local society.
    • The findings suggest that the Tjeker maintained a distinct identity while also adopting and contributing to the local Canaanite culture.
  6. Cultural Influence:

    • The Tjeker, like other Sea Peoples, influenced the regions they settled in through their maritime skills, craftsmanship, and possibly their military tactics.
    • Their interactions with the local populations led to a blend of cultural practices, evident in the archaeological record.

In summary, while the term "Kehek" does not correspond to a well-documented ancient culture, it may be confused with the Tjeker, one of the Sea Peoples who interacted with ancient Egypt. The Tjeker were involved in significant events during the late Bronze Age and had a lasting impact on the regions they settled in after their conflicts with Egypt.


W.W. Hallo, ed. The Context of Scripture (Leiden: Brill, 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 9-11


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