The king lists of ancient Egypt

The king lists of ancient Egypt are few and mostly poorly preserved. The majority of the lists were created during the New Kingdom, and all but the Turin Canon were inscribed on stone, with hieroglyphs, while the papyrus was written in ink in hieratic.

These cultic collections of selected deceased kings were engraved on the walls of important temples, and were not meant to be literal chronological lists. By contrast, the kings on the Turin Papyrus include ephemeral kings and queens, and also record their length of reign, which none of the cultic lists do. This makes it the most complete list of kings of Ancient Egypt that is available to us.

The minor lists are lists of kings that mention only a handful kings, yet for the sake of completeness, they are included here.

The main sources in chronological order

2350 BCThe Royal Annals – The Palermo stone and associated fragments – predynastic to early Fifth Dynasty kings.
2275 BCSouth Saqqara Stone – from the reign of Pepi II (Sixth Dynasty)
1425 BCKarnak Canon – from the reign of Thutmose III – Third to Eighteenth dynasties
1425 BCThutmose III offering table – from the reign of Thutmose III
1280 BCAbydos Canon – from the reign of Seti I – First to Nineteenth dynasties
1250 BCTurin king list – from the reign of Ramesses II – Gods and First to Sixteenth dynasties
1250 BCSaqqara Canon – from the reign of Ramesses II – First to Nineteenth Dynasty
1215 BCRamesseum king list – Ramesses II Mortuary Temple
1150 BCMedinet Habu king list – Ramesses III Mortuary Temple



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