Contents of the Turin king list

Every row of the hieratic include a hieroglyphic transcription, transliteration and English translation. Where appropriate, the king lists of Manetho, the ancient Greek historians, as well as the Canons of Abydos, Saqqara, and Karnak are cross-referenced.


The plates of Lepsius from 1842 were used to create a detailed facsimile of the entire papyrus roll. Further reconstructions and restorations indicated by the research of modern scholars (Beckerath, Helck, Ryholt et al.) were then incorporated, moving fragments, and correcting spellings as specified. The hieratic were then compared to the indispensable Hieratische Paläographie, sign-by-sign, and finally transcribed to hieroglyphs. Due to the nature of facsimiles being copied by hand, some minor inaccuracies can be expected to have slipped by Lepsius unnoticed. While not perfect, the facsimile has the benefit that it is also a sort of time capsule, preserving the writing as it were almost 200 years ago.

The distinction between rnp.t (years) (rnpt, year) and rnpt-Hsb (regnal years) (rnpt-ḥsb, regnal year) is sometimes lost due to the cursive nature of hieratic. Several variants occur throughout the king list, but the simple "year" is assumed to be the intended format, even though is is reasonable clear that the literatim palaeography in many cases is "regnal year".

Two common formulas are found throughout the king list:

Kingship (length of reign)
Turin king list: kingship formula
He acted as king...
ir.n=f m nswyt
Age formula (age at death)
Turin king list: lifetime formula
His lifetime...
ꜤḥꜢ=f m Ꜥnḫ

Instead of writing the same text over and over (i.e. the formulas) out for every king, the ancient scribes used a horizontal line or small dot as a ditto mark for the repeating text. Additionally, the symmetry made the text easier to read and update at a glance, and also more pleasing to the eye. Ditto marks were also used for the "month" ligature month (Ꜣbd) and also for "day" ☉ (hrw).

Signs that are lost but can be inferred and restored with a good degree of certainty are presented as slightly greyed out, while lost or unreadable text is indicated by three dots.

The columns of the Turin king list


Column 1

The Greater Ennead


Column 2

Gods & and other


Column 3

25 rows — 14 kings
Dynasty I—II


Column 4

26 rows — 25 kings
Dynasty II—V


Column 5

26 rows — 22 kings
Dynasty VI—IX


Column 6

25 rows — 21 kings
Dynasty IX—XII


Column 7

28 rows — 26 kings
Dynasty XII—XIII


Column 8

29 rows — 28 kings
Dynasty XIII


Column 9

30 rows — 30 kings
Dynasty XIV


Column 10

31 rows — 27 kings
Dynasty XIV—XVI


Column 11

An estimated 31 rows
Dynasty XVI—


The recto

The tax-register on the front side of the papyrus

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