Ancient Egypt Timeline
- 500,000 BC
- Evidence for lower Paleolithic culture in Egypt. Discovery of Fire. Several variants of hominids expand into temperate Europe. Homo erectus is building huts.
- 100000 - 30000 BC Middle Paleolithic
- The second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions.
- 30000 - 10000 BC Upper Paleolithic
The third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of "high" culture (behavioral modernity) and before the advent of agriculture. The terms "Late Stone Age" and "Upper Paleolithic" refer to the same periods. For historical reasons, "Stone Age" usually refers to the period in Africa, whereas "Upper Paleolithic" is generally used when referring to the period in Europe.
The Paleolithic period around 25000 BC. brought climatic changes which turned Egypt into a desert. The inhabitants survived by hunting and fishing and through a primitive form of cultivation. Desertification of Egypt was halted by rains which allowed communities of cultivators to settle in Middle Egypt and the Nile Delta. These farmers grew wheat, flax and wove linen fabrics in addition to tending flocks.
- c. 10000-6000 BC The Badarian Period
Also refered to as the Epipaleolithic Era (10000 - c. 5500 BC).
The first indigenous civilizations in Egypt have been identified in the south of the country through archaeological excavations.
The Badarian culture is the earliest known developed Egyptian civilization based on farming, hunting and mining.
Badarian produced fine pottery and carved objects as well as acquiring turquoise and wood through trading.
- c. 6000-4000 BC The Naqada Period
Also refered to as the Predynastic Period (5500 - 3100 BC)
The Naqada lived in larger settlements about 4,000 BC. and produced decorated pottery and figurines made from clay and ivory which indicate they were a war-like people.
Naqada artifacts from 3,300BC show further development both in terms of culture and technology.
Evidence of irrigation systems and more advanced burial sites, as well as the use of alien materials like lapis lazuli, indicate a cultural diversity and the development of external trading.
- Start Predynastic Period
- A multiplicity of settlements which gradually became small tribal kingdoms.
- Naqada I, ca. 3850-3650 B.C.
Occupation increases throughout the Nile valley and cemeteries and settlements appear in a number of places in the Delta as well. None of the known sites is very large, although Hierakonpolis far to the south is the largest population center known.
- Naqada II, ca. 3650-3300 B.C.
Substantial change in the social organization of Predynastic society occurs during this period, identified by the size and arrangement of settlement and cemetery sites as well as the contents of tombs.
- Naqada III, ca. 3300-3100 B.C.
The most important cultural changes associated with this period are reflected in representations on objects. The scenes on large, ceremonial slate palettes indicate that one individual holds significant power.
- Early Dynastic Period, ca. 3100-2750 B.C.
The transition to a unified state actually happened more gradually than the ancient Egyptian writers would have us believe, and there is no contemporary record of Menes.
- Dynasty I, ca. 3100-2900 B.C.
The transition to a unified state actually happened more gradually than the ancient Egyptian writers would have us believe, and there is no contemporary record of Menes. Most of what we know of the first dynasty is from a series of mastaba tombs in Abydos and Saqqara.
- Dynasty II, ca. 2900-2750 B.C.
The first steps are here that set the stage for the Pyramid Age -- which follows in Dynasty III with the Step Pyramid of Djoser, and the evolution of the tombs and mortuary temples is clear.
- Old Kingdom, ca. 2750-2250 B.C.
Stunning advances in architecture, art, and technology were made. Much of their artistic effort was centered on preserving life after death.
Dynasty III, ca. 2750-2675 B.C.
The pyramids built by Djoser, Khufu, and their descendants are the most memorable symbols of ancient Egyptian civilization, and the power of the pharaohs that controlled it.
Dynasty IV, ca. 2675-2565 B.C.
Huge monuments at Giza were built by Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure (Cheops, Chephren, Mycerinos) during this dynasty. The pharaohs moved to Memphis and sited their impressive funerary monuments on the Giza Plateau.
Dynasty V, ca. 2565-2423 B.C.
The fifth Dynasty is marked by the solar cult and the magnificent solar temples Abu sir and Abu Ghurab, as well as continued pyramid building. The pharaohs of this era were well known by their buildings. Most of the pharaohs moved their funerary monuments to Abu Sir, north of Saqqara.
Dynasty VI, ca. 2423-2250 B.C.
The Sixth Dynasty marks the end of the Old Kingdom. The government of Egypt begins to fail, the economics situation declines and the control of the pharaoh over the country has begun a plunge into the turmoil of the First Intermediate Period.
First Intermediate Period, ca. 2250-2025 B.C.
The First Intermediate Period marked political and economic upheaval. There was a breakdown of the centralized government, which resulted in several regional kings, having overlapping reigns. Kings in the north and kings in the south competed for power.
Dynasty VIII, ca. 2250-2213 B.C.
The eighth dynasty had six known kings. Many principalities in the country challenged the role of the pharaoh.
Dynasty IX-X, ca. 2213-2025 B.C.
Achthoes, the ruler of Heracleopolis, seized control of Middle Egypt, then seized the throne of Egypt and founded the Ninth Dynasty, which is possibly dated 2160--2130 BCE. While the kings in Hieracleopolis maintained control over Northern Egypt, rival kings in Edfu and Thebes continued to fight over control of Upper Egypt.
Dynasty XI, ca. 2122-2025 B.C.
The kings in Thebes won the battle and moved on to found the Eleventh Dynasty. The Theban 11th Dynasty starts with a little known pharaoh, Mentuhotep I.
Middle Kingdom, ca. 2025-1627/1606 B.C.
The re-unification of Egypt under Mentuhotep II from the chaos of the First Intermediate Period, is marked by an increase in foreign trade and enormous building projects.
Dynasty XI, ca. 2025-1979 B.C.
The reunification of the country under Montuhotep II and the ousting of the kings of Herakleopolis. The entire 11th Dynasty lasted only 149 years, but the first century or so was embroiled in civil war. The Middle Kingdom is a renaissance for Egypt.
Dynasty XII, ca. 1979-1801 B.C.
The chronology of the Twelfth Dynasty is the most stable of any period before the New Kingdom. Manetho stated that it was based in Thebes, but from contemporary records it is clear that the first king moved its capital to a new city named "Amenemhat-itj-tawy" or more simply called Itjtawy.
Dynasty XIII, ca. 1801-1627/1606 B.C.
The kings of this dynasty followed each other in rapid succession, hinting at a lack of stability of the central government which may have been caused by internal power struggles.
Second Intermediate Period, ca. 1648-1539 B.C.
The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when Ancient Egypt once again fell into disarray between the end of the Middle Kingdom, and the start of the New Kingdom.
Dynasty XV, ca. 1648-1540 B.C.
The Hyksos usurp Egyptian Rulers, make contact with rulers of Nubia.
- Dynasty XVII, ca. 1627/1606-1539 B.C. Thebes dynasty rules with the Hyksos, but then try to expel the Hyksos.
- New Kingdom, ca. 1539-1070 B.C.
Dynasty XVIII, ca. 1539-1295 B.C.
Thutmoside the Hyksos are expelled, Nubia reconquered. Egypt is unified once again, and then expands to control Syria and Palestine. Kings begin hiding their tombs - separate from their mortuary temples in the Valley of the Kings.
Dynasty XIX, ca. 1295-1185 B.C.
Founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne, this dynasty is best known for its military conquests in modern Israel, Lebanon, and Syria.
- Dynasty XX, ca. 1185-1070 B.C. Second Remesside Remesses III repels dislocated tribes from Asia Minor (aka Sea Peoples). Moses and the Israelites exodus from Egypt. Time of political and economic decline. Priests gain power.
- Third Intermediate Period, ca. 1070-653 B.C. Disunity and Libyan settlement in Egypt. This period is characterized by the country's fracturing kingship. High Priests of Amun at Thebes had effective rule of the south of the country.
- Dynasty XXI, ca. 1070-945 B.C.
Tanite dynasty (capital at Tanis).
Nesbanebded Hedjkheperre Setepenre (Smendes I) (c.1070-1043)
Nephercheres (Neferkare-hekawise Amenemnisu Meramun (c.1043-1039)
Psusennes I Akheperre Setepenamun (c.1039-1000)
Amenemope Usimare Setepenamun (c.1000-991)
Osorkon the elder (Osochor) (c.991-985)
Psusennes II Titkheprure (c.976-962)
Siamun Nutekheperre Setepenamun Siamun Meramun (c.962-945)
- Dynasty XXII, ca. 945-718 B.C. The kings of the Twenty-Second Dynasty of Egypt were a series of Meshwesh Libyans who ruled from circa 943 BC until 720 BC.
- Dynasty XXIV, ca. 730-712 B.C. Egypt divided between local rulers. Also known as the Sais Dynasty.
- Dynasty XXV, ca. 775-653 B.C. The kings of Napata had aligned themselves with Amun since the New kingdom, and moved into Egypt to re-establish central authority with their favoured god. They formed Dynasty Twenty-five.
- Late Period, ca. 664-332 B.C. During the late period years, Egyptian culture was under pressure from major civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. This was the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period from the 26th Saite Dynasty into Persian conquests and ended with the death of Alexander the Great.
- Dynasty XXVI, ca. 664-525 B.C. Also known as the Saite Period, lasted from 672 BC to 525 BC. Psammetikhos I was the first ruler of the 26th Dynasty bringing the country under complete unity.
- Dynasty XXVII, ca. 525-404/401 B.C. The First Persian Period (525 BC - 404 BC), this period saw Egypt conquered by an expansive Persian Empire under Cambyses.
- Dynasty XXIX, ca. 399-380 B.C. The Twenty-Ninth Dynasty was ruled from Mendes by Nepherites I, founder of the Twenty-ninth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, by defeating Amyrtaeus in open battle, and later putting him to death at Memphis.
- Dynasty XXX, ca. 380-342 B.C. This dynasty is often considered part of the Late Period.
- Dynasty XXXI, ca. 342-332 B.C. There was a Second Persian Period of the Thirty-First Dynasty , Also known as the Achaemenid Dynasty.
- Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332-30 B.C.
- Macedonian Dynasty, ca. 332-305 B.C.
- Ptolemaic Dynasty, ca. 310/305-30 B.C.
- Roman Period, ca. 30 B.C.-A.D. 395