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.
- 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.
|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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