The majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many details of the chronology of Ancient Egypt. This scholarly consensus is the so-called Conventional Egyptian chronology, which places the beginning of the Old Kingdom in the 27th century BC, the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC and the beginning of the New Kingdom in the mid-16th century BC.
Despite this consensus, disagreements remain within the scholarly community, resulting in variant chronologies diverging by about 300 years for the Early Dynastic Period, up to 30 years in the New Kingdom, and a few years in the Late Period.
In addition, there are a number of "alternative chronologies" outside scholarly consensus, such as the "New Chronology" proposed in the 1990s, which lowers New Kingdom dates by as much as 350 years, or the "Glasgow Chronology" (proposed 1978–1982), which lowers New Kingdom dates by as much as 500 years.
Scholarly consensus on the general outline of the conventional chronology current in Egyptology has not fluctuated much over the last 100 years. For the Old Kingdom, consensus fluctuates by as much as a few centuries, but for the Middle and New Kingdoms, it has been stable to within a few decades. This is illustrated by comparing the chronology as given by two Egyptologists, the first writing in 1906, the second in 2000 (all dates in the table are BC).
|Dynasty||Breasted (1906)||Shaw (2000)|
|Early Dynastic Period of Egypt||First||3400–2980||c. 3000–2686|
|First Intermediate Period||Seventh||2475–2445||2181–2160|
|Middle Kingdom of Egypt||Eleventh||2160–2000||2125–1985|
|Second Intermediate Period||Thirteenth?||1780–1580||1773–1550|
|New Kingdom of Egypt||Eighteenth||1580–1350||1550–1295|
|Third Intermediate Period||Twenty-first||1090–945||1069–945|
|Late Period of ancient Egypt||Twenty-sixth||663–525||664–525|
The disparities between the two sets of dates result from additional discoveries and refined understanding of the still very incomplete source evidence. For example, Breasted adds a ruler in the Twentieth dynasty that further research showed did not exist. Following Manetho, Breasted also believed all the dynasties were sequential, whereas it is now known that several existed at the same time. These revisions have resulted in a lowering of the conventional chronology by up to 400 years at the beginning of Dynasty I.
Forming the backbone of Egyptian chronology are the regnal years as recorded in Ancient Egyptian king lists. Surviving king lists are either comprehensive but have significant gaps in their text (for example, the Turin King List), or are textually complete but fail to provide a complete list of rulers (for example, the Abydos King List), even for a short period of Egyptian history. The situation is further complicated by occasional conflicting information on the same regnal period from different versions of the same text; thus, the Egyptian historian Manetho's history of Egypt is only known by extensive references to it made by subsequent writers, such as Eusebius and Sextus Julius Africanus, and the dates for the same pharaoh often vary substantially depending on the intermediate source.
Regnal periods have to be pieced together from inscriptions, which will often give a date in the form of the regnal year of the ruling pharaoh. Yet this only provides a minimum length of that reign and may or may not include any coregencies with a predecessor or successor. In addition, some Egyptian dynasties probably overlapped, with different pharaohs ruling in different regions at the same time, rather than serially. Not knowing whether monarchies were simultaneous or sequential results in widely differing chronological interpretations.
Where the total number of regnal years for a given ruler is not known, Egyptologists have identified two indicators to deduce that total number: for the Old Kingdom, the number of cattle censuses; and for later periods, the celebration of a Sed festival. A number of Old Kingdom inscriptions allude to a periodic census of cattle, which experts at first believed took place every second year; thus records of as many as 24 cattle censuses indicate Sneferu had reigned 48 years. However, further research has shown that these censuses were sometimes taken in consecutive years, or after two or more years had passed. The Sed festival was usually celebrated on the thirtieth anniversary of a pharaoh's ascension, and thus rulers who recorded celebrating one could be assumed to have ruled at least 30 years. However, once again, this may not have been standard practice in all cases.
In the early days of Egyptology, the compilation of regnal periods was also hampered by a profound biblical bias on the part of Egyptologists. This was most pervasive before the mid 19th century, when Manetho's figures were recognized as conflicting with biblical chronology, based on Old Testament references to Egypt (see Pharaohs in the Bible). In the 20th century, such biblical bias has mostly been confined to alternative chronologies outside the scholarly mainstream.
A useful way to work around these gaps in knowledge is to find chronological synchronisms, which can lead to a precise date. Over the past decades, a number of these have been found, although they are of varying degrees of usefulness and reliability.
A number of suggestions for alternatives to the consensus on the conventional chronology have been presented during the 20th century:
An-Naml (Arabic: النمل, "The Ants") is the 27th chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an with 93 verses (āyāt).As-Sajda
As-Sajdah (Arabic: السجدة, "The Prostration") is the 32nd chapter (sūrah) of the Quran with 30 verses (āyāt).Chronological synchronism
Chronological synchronism is an event that links two chronologies. For example, it is used in Egyptology to ground Egyptian chronology. The main types of chronological synchronism are synchronisms with other historical chronologies and synchronisms with precisely datable astronomical events.
Synchronisms with other chronologies often rely on some form of recorded communication between regions. For example, in Egyptology, the earliest such synchronisms appear in the 15th century BC, during the Amarna Period by the considerable quantity of diplomatic correspondence between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten and various Near Eastern monarchs; that links Egyptian chronology with other Near Eastern chronologies.
Astronomical synchronisms rely on precise identification of astronomical events recorded in the historical record. The best known of these is the Sothic cycle whose careful study led Richard Anthony Parker to argue that the dates of the Twelfth dynasty of Egypt could be fixed with absolute precision. More recent research has eroded that confidence and questioned many of the assumptions used with the Sothic Cycle. As a result, experts have moved away from relying on it.Dakhamunzu
Dakhamunzu (sometimes Dahamunzu) is the name of an Egyptian queen known from the Hittite annals The Deeds of Suppiluliuma, which were composed by Suppiluliuma I's son Mursili II. The identity of this queen has not yet been established with any degree of certainty and Dakhamunzu has variously been identified as either Nefertiti, Meritaten or Ankhesenamen. The identification of this queen is of importance both for Egyptian chronology and for the reconstruction of events during the late Eighteenth Dynasty.
The episode in The Deeds of Suppiluliuma that features Dakhamunzu is often referred to as the Zannanza affair, after the name of a Hittite prince who was sent to Egypt to marry her.Dedumose II
Djedneferre Dedumose II was a native Ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was a ruler of the Theban 16th Dynasty. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath, Thomas Schneider and Detlef Franke see him as a king of the 13th Dynasty.First Dynasty of Egypt
The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt (Dynasty I) covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis.
The date of this period is subject to scholarly debate about the Egyptian chronology. It falls within the early Bronze Age and is variously estimated to have begun anywhere between the 34th and the 30th centuries BC. In a 2013 study based on radiocarbon dates, the beginning of the First Dynasty—the accession of Hor-Aha—was placed at 3100 BC give or take a century (3218–3035, with 95% confidence).Glasgow Chronology
The Glasgow Chronology is a proposed revision of the Egyptian chronology of ancient Egypt. It was first formulated between the years 1978 and 1982 by a working group following the Glasgow Conference of Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS, a non-profit organization advocating serious academic analysis of the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky and other catastrophists).This chronology placed the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt some five hundred years later than the conventional chronology of Egypt.Kenneth Kitchen
Kenneth Anderson Kitchen (born 1932) is a British biblical scholar, Ancient Near Eastern historian, and Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England. He is one of the leading experts on the ancient Egyptian Ramesside Period (i.e., Dynasties 19-20), and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt, as well as ancient Egyptian chronology, having written over 250 books and journal articles on these and other subjects since the mid-1950s. He has been described by The Times as "the very architect of Egyptian chronology".List of pharaohs
The pharaohs were rulers of Ancient Egypt dating from the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt during the Early Dynastic Period by Narmer approximately 3100 BC. Although the specific term "Pharaoh" was not used by their contemporaries until the rule of Merneptah of the 19th dynasty, c. 1200 BC, the style of titulature of the rulers of Egypt remained relatively constant, initially featuring a Horus name, a Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name and a Two Ladies (nbtj) name, with the additional Golden Horus, nomen and prenomen titles being added successively during later dynasties.
Egypt remained continually governed by native pharaohs for approximately 2500 years until it was conquered by the Kingdom of Kush in 656 BC, whose rulers adopted the traditional pharaonic titulature for themselves. Following the Kushite conquest, Egypt would first see another period of independent native rule before being conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, whose rulers also adopted the title of "Pharaoh". The last native Pharaoh of Egypt was Nectanebo II, who was Pharaoh before the Achaemenids conquered Egypt for a second time.
Achaemenid rule over Egypt came to an end through the conquests of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after which it was ruled by the Hellenic Pharaohs of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Their rule, and the independence of Egypt, came to an end when Egypt became a province of Rome in 30 BC. Augustus and subsequent Roman Emperors were styled as Pharaohs when in Egypt up until the reign of Maximinus Daia in 314 AD.
The dates given in this list of pharaohs are approximate. They are based primarily on the conventional chronology of Ancient Egypt, mostly based on the Digital Egypt for Universities database developed by the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, but alternative dates taken from other authorities may be indicated separately.Maryam (surah)
Maryam (Arabic: مريم, "Mary") is the 19th chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an and is a "Meccan sūrah" with 98 verses (āyāt). It is named after Mary, Mother of Jesus (Isa), who appears in verses 16–34. Theodor Nöldeke's chronology identifies this sura as the 58th sura delivered, while the traditional Egyptian chronology places it as the 44th.New Chronology (Rohl)
New Chronology is an alternative chronology of the ancient Near East developed by English Egyptologist David Rohl and other researchers beginning with A Test of Time: The Bible - from Myth to History in 1995. It contradicts mainstream Egyptology by proposing a major revision of the established Egyptian chronology, in particular by re-dating Egyptian kings of the Nineteenth through Twenty-fifth Dynasties, bringing forward conventional dating by up to 350 years. Rohl asserts that the New Chronology allows him to identify some of the characters in the Hebrew Bible with people whose names appear in archaeological finds.
The New Chronology, one of several proposed radical revisions of the conventional chronology, has not been accepted in academic Egyptology, where the conventional chronology or small variations of it remain standard. Amélie Kuhrt, head of Ancient Near Eastern History at University College London, in one of the standard reference works of the discipline, notes, Many scholars feel sympathetic to the critique of weaknesses in the existing chronological framework [...], but most archaeologists and ancient historians are not at present convinced that the radical redatings proposed stand up to close examination.
Rohl's most vocal critic has been Kenneth Kitchen, one of the leading experts on biblical history and the author of the standard work on the conventional chronology of the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt, the period most directly affected by the New Chronology's redating of the Nineteenth to Twenty-fifth Dynasties.Nubkheperre Intef
Nubkheperre Intef (or Antef, Inyotef) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt. He is known to be the brother of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef—and this king's immediate successor—since he donated Louvre Coffin E3019 for this king's burial which bears an inscription that it was donated for king Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef "as that which his brother, king Antef (Nubkheperre Intef here) gives", notes Kim Ryholt. As the German scholar Thomas Schneider writes in the 2006 book Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies):
"From the legend on the coffin Louvre E 3019 (Sekhemre-Wepmaat's coffin), it follows that Inyotef Nebukheperre'...arranged the burial of his brother Inyotef Sekhemre'-upimaat...and must have therefore have followed him on the throne. In his Untersuchungen, Beckerath had viewed Inyotef Sekhemre'-upimaat (VI) and Inyotef Sekhemre-herhermaat (VII) as brothers, whereas he had separated Inyotef Nebukheperre' (VI; coffin BM 6652) from them as a king he considered not necessarily related to them, placing him at the beginning of the dynasty. Ryholt equally bases his arguments upon a consistent paleographic peculiarity (the Pleneschreibung of "j") in the case of the coffin of Inyotef Sekhemre-herhermaat" where only Nubkheperre Intef's nomen contained a reed-leaf of all the three Intef kings."Outline of ancient Egypt
The following outline is provided as an overview of a topical guide to ancient Egypt:
Ancient Egypt – ancient civilization of eastern North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BCE (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh. The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that facilitated the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics; a practical and effective system of medicine; irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques; the first known ships; Egyptian faience and glass technology; new forms of literature; and the earliest known peace treaty.Psusennes II
Titkheperure or Tyetkheperre Psusennes II [Greek Ψουσέννης] or Hor-Pasebakhaenniut II [Egyptian ḥr-p3-sb3-ḫˁỉ-
Usermare Akhenamun Ramesses VIII (also written Ramses and Rameses) or Ramesses Sethherkhepshef Meryamun ('Set is his Strength, beloved of Amun') (reigned 1130-1129 BC, or 1130 BC), was the seventh Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt and was one of the last surviving sons of Ramesses III.Seqenenre Tao
Seqenenre Tao (also Seqenera Djehuty-aa or Sekenenra Taa), called 'the Brave', ruled over the last of the local kingdoms of the Theban region of Egypt in the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. He probably was the son and successor to Senakhtenre Ahmose and Queen Tetisheri. The dates of his reign are uncertain, but he may have risen to power in the decade ending in 1560 BC or in 1558 BC (based on the probable accession date of his son, Ahmose I, the first ruler of the eighteenth dynasty, see Egyptian chronology). With his queen, Ahhotep I, Seqenenre Tao fathered two pharaohs, Kamose, his immediate successor who was the last pharaoh of the seventeenth dynasty, and Ahmose I who, following a regency by his mother, was the first pharaoh of the eighteenth. Seqenenre Tao is credited with starting the opening moves in a war of revanchism against Hyksos incursions into Egypt, which saw the country completely liberated during the reign of his son Ahmose I.Shoshenq I
Hedjkheperre Setepenre Shoshenq I (Egyptian ššnq, Tamazight : ⵛⵛⵏⵈ cecneq), (reigned c. 943–922 BC)—also known as Sheshonk or Sheshonq I (for discussion of the spelling, see Shoshenq)—was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and the founder of the Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt. Of Meshwesh ancestry, Shoshenq I was the son of Nimlot A, Great Chief of the Ma, and his wife Tentshepeh A, a daughter of a Great Chief of the Ma herself. He is presumed to be the Shishak mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, and his exploits are carved on the Bubastite Portal at Karnak.Shoshenq II
Heqakheperre Shoshenq II or Shoshenq IIa was a pharaoh of the 22nd dynasty of Egypt. He was the only ruler of this Dynasty whose tomb was not plundered by tomb robbers. His final resting place was discovered within an antechamber of Psusennes I's tomb at Tanis by Pierre Montet in 1939. Montet removed the coffin lid of Shoshenq II on March 20, 1939, in the presence of king Farouk of Egypt himself. It proved to contain a large number of jewel-encrusted bracelets and pectorals, along with a beautiful hawkheaded silver coffin and a gold funerary mask. The gold facemask had been placed upon the head of the king. Montet later discovered the intact tombs of two Dynasty 21 kings—Psusennes I and Amenemope a year later in February and April 1940 respectively. Shoshenq II's prenomen, Heqakheperre Setepenre, means "The manifestation of Ra rules, the chosen one of Ra."The Indestructibles
The Indestructibles (Ancient Egyptian: j.ḫmw-sk – literally "the ones not knowing destruction") was the name given by Ancient Egyptian astronomers to two bright stars which, at that time, could always be seen circling the North Pole. The name is directly related to Egyptian belief in constant North as a portal to heaven for pharaohs, and the stars' close association with eternity and the afterlife. These circumpolar stars are now known as Kochab (Beta Ursae Minoris), in the bowl of Ursa Minor or, the Little Dipper, and Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris), in Ursa Major, at the middle of the handle of the Big Dipper.
Ancient Egypt topics