Egyptian Dynasties - Timeline

It has been explained in a separate article why is is extremely difficult to write a continuous chronology of ancient Egypt. Many factors are uncertain or unclear, the more so when one goes back in time. As a result there are many different chronologies with dates that can vary enormously.

It is impossible to incorporate all existing views in one table. In the data below we have followed the work of Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. (2nd edition, Mainz am Rhein, Philipp von Zabern, 1999), p. 283-289.

Some details:

  • The Predynastic Period is often divided into several cultural periods named after the location where a settlement was discovered. The most important ones are: for Lower Egypt: Fayum A (ca. 5500 – 4000 BC), Merimde (ca. 5000 – 4200 BC), Maadi (ca. 4000 – 3300 BC); for Upper-Egypt: Badarian (ca. 4400 – 3400 BC), Amratian (ca. 4000 – 3500 BC), Gerzean (ca. 3500 – 3200 BC); however, more recent studies have replaced this subdivision by one into Naqada I, II and III, where Naqada I and II roughly equal Amratian and Gerzean and Naqada III is identical to the Protodynastic Period, also called "Dynasty 0" (ca. 3200 - 3000 BC).
  • The Egyptian priest Manetho (who lived under Ptolemaios I and II) wrote a historic work called "Aegyptiaca", in which he gave a list of all the kings of Egypt from Menes up to and including Ptolemaios II; he used a systematic division of these into thirty dynasties, to which later a 31st dynasty was added.
  • However, his 7th dynasty (70 kings, reigning for 70 days) should be omitted.
  • Von Beckerath lists the 8th dynasty under the Old Kingdom and starts the First Intermediate Period with the 9th dynasty; many others end the Old Kingdom after the 6th dynasty and add the 8th dynasty to the First Intermediate Period.
  • Manetho's dynasties 9 and 10 were in fact one dynasty; the division was caused by a misinterpretation of Manetho's editors.
  • The 11th dynasty originally only ruled in Upper-Egypt (Thebes); only after the reunification of Egypt by Montuhetep II it can be considered as a dynasty for the whole of Egypt; some Egyptologists prefer to start the Middle Kingdom at that point, or with the following 12th dynasty. The 11th dynasty prior to the reunification was contemporary with the 9th and 10th dynasties.
  • Sometimes the 13th dynasty is considered to be part of the Middle Kingdom; for others it belongs to the following Intermediate Period.
  • Dynasty 22A was added; previously the kings of this dynasty were mentioned as part of the 23rd dynasty, but this is to be considered (following Manetho) as a local Lower-Egyptian dynasty; the Upper-Egyptian kings were not treated by Manetho.
  • Von Beckerath has a further subdivision of the Graeco-Roman Period in:
    • Argeades: Alexander the Great, Philippos Arrhidaios and Alexander II (IV): 332 - 320/309 BC.
    • Ptolemaic kings: Ptolemaios I Soter I up to Ptolemaios XV Kaisaros (p. 246); however, on p. 288 he ends the list of Ptolemaic kings with Cleopatra VII Philopator: 323/304 - 30 BC.
    • Roman emperors: starting with Augustus and ending with "NN, Diocletianic Era?": 30 BC - after 284 CE.
  • The date 395 AD as end of the Roman Period is not given by Von Beckerath; others use this date, because in that year the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire were separated, after which Constantinople continued to be the capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.
  • For details, subdivisions and individual kings see the book by Von Beckerath, mentioned above.


Period Dynasty Dates Important Names
Predynastic Period   Before 3000 BC Scorpio, Narmer
Early Dynastic Period 1st Dynasty Ca. 3007 - 2828 BC "Menes", Aha, Djer
  2nd Dynasty Ca. 2828 - 2682 BC Nynetjer, Khasekhemwy
Old Kingdom 3rd Dynasty Ca. 2682 - 2614 BC Djoser, Huni
  4th Dynasty Ca. 2614 - 2479 BC Snefru, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure
  5th Dynasty Ca. 2479 - 2322 BC Sahure, Nyuserre, Unas
  6th Dynasty Ca. 2322 - 2191 BC Teti, Userkare, Pepi
  7th Dynasty (see above)  
  8th Dynasty Ca. 2191 - 2145 BC  
First Intermediate Period 9th - 10th Dynasties Ca. 2145 - 2025/2020 BC  
Middle Kingdom 11th Dynasty 2119 - 1976 BC Montuhetep, Intef
  12th Dynasty 1976 - 1794/3 BC Amunemhat, Sesostris
Second Intermediate Period 13th Dynasty 1794/3 - 1648/5 BC Neferhetep, Sobekhetep
  14th Dynasty ? - 1648/45 BC  
  15th - 16th Dynasties 1648/45 - 1539/36 BC  
  17th Dynasty Ca. 1645 - 1550 BC Kames
New Kingdom 18th Dynasty 1550 - 1292 BC Ahmes, Amunhetep, Thothmes, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb
  19th Dynasty 1292 - 1186/85 BC Ramesses (I + II), Seti, Merenptah
  20th Dynasty 1186/85 - 1070-69 BC Ramesses (III - XI)
Third Intermediate Period 21st Dynasty 1070/69 - 946/45 BC Tanis: Smendes, Psusennes, Osorkon, Siamun
Thebes: Herihor, Pinedjem, Menkheperre
  22nd Dynasty 946/45 - 736 BC Shoshenk, Osorkon, Takelot
  Dynasty 22A Ca. 841 - 730 BC  
  23rd Dynasty Ca. 756 - 712 BC  
  24th Dynasty Ca. 740 - 712 BC  
  25th Dynasty Ca. 746 - 655 BC Piye, Shabaka, Taharka
Late Period 26th Dynasty 664 - 525 BC Psamtek, Nekau, Apries, Ahmes
  27th Dynasty 525 - 401 BC Cambyses, Darius
  28th Dynasty 405/401 - 399 BC  
  29th Dynasty 399 - 380 BC  
  30th Dynasty 380 - 342 BC Nectanebo
  31st Dynasty 342 - 332 BC  
Graeco-Roman Period   332 BC - 395 AD Alexander the Great, Ptolemaios, Cleopatra


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