What is the true chronology of Ancient Egypt?

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Hm. Isn't king in Anc Egyptian nbt?
He's making reference to one of the two hieroglyphics introducing the Royal Cartouche of the so called "Throne Name" [Bee and Sedge].

Ancient Egyptians not rarely said simply "Lord" and "Lady" ["nb" and "nbt" which is the famale form, it's Lady, the "Queen" was the "Royal Wife". "nbt" was also the lordship, to be accurate, but the two words are written in different way].

The word for "Sovereigh", "Monarch" was "nsw" [not so common was "tw"].
 
Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
I've noted that some dictionaries indicated also "wasp" as possible meaning of "bjt". In any case the term "bjt" is specifically used to indicate the honey bee [and in representation of scenes where this insect is present that's the hieroglyphic they used]. May be they didn't differentiate that much. Anyway, I'm not aware of a lot of Egyptologists who accept the interpretation suggested in the 30's by Garstang.
There's a publication on entomology...

In a paragraph concerning the middle east, on page 10 we read...


Also, on the subject of neswt/suten...
In a previous post I noticed you acknowledged the Sedge plant was pronounced 'swt'. The heiroglyphic group
is read from right to left - sw/t/n = suten, but in all modern English renderings we have adopted n/sw/t. I'm not disputing that, but the Egyptians read the word swtn.
 
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Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
We seem to be drifting away from the intent of the thread, so....

And that’s all very ironic, because like I said in a previous post, the currently-accepted chronology actually works better with the Bible than the revised chronology. All the little details like the use of the term Pharaoh, the presence of chariots during the Exodus, and the prices for a slave at different moments in the Bible, all fit perfectly with the currently-accepted chronology. The revision really messes things up in terms of Biblical accuracy.
You are likely aware that there are three mainstream views of Egyptian chronology, the High, the Middle and the Low. Which "currently accepted" chronology are you referring to?
I don't know if you have issues with the more recent Carbon Dating Low chronology, but surely this is the one we should be putting more faith in, not a book that was complied before 'history' as a modern concept was developed.

Here's a question. A number of people think the Exodus took place under Ramesses II.
If you choose to use the Old Testament as your guide, how does the line in Jud. 11:26 fit with your chronology? It seems the Hebrews occupied lands on the east of the Jordan "for 300 years" prior to the crossing of the Jordan.
On the west of the Jordan we have the remains at Mt Ebal. Archaeology has unearthed two strata at this site. In the first strata, the lowest, two scarabs & a piece of pottery unquestionably are dated to the reign of Ramesses II.

The Exodus was clearly long over by the time Mt Ebal was settled.

Most people I discuss the biblical chronology with try to ignore those "300 years" at Heshban because it does not align with their views. In fact, when we add those 300 years this places the story of the Exodus (whether it happened or not) right at the end of the Hyksos period.

This is the view I hold, the story of an Exodus tradition was inspired by the Hyksos departure or expulsion. I don't view the Exodus as an historical fact, but that it was a tradition placed at this particular time in history.
 
Nov 2019
9
Europe
This is the view I hold, the story of an Exodus tradition was inspired by the Hyksos departure or expulsion. I don't view the Exodus as an historical fact, but that it was a tradition placed at this particular time in history.
interesting! I haven’t heard of any particular evidence of this happening either though.
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Well, Moses is a bit like King Arthur. It's a traditional figure which we can connect with this or that historical event or with this or that historical personage. But the level of uncertainty allows us to put him almost everywhere from when Ancient Egyptian begun to have ranks of military charioteers [so a bit of time after the arrival of the Hyksos]. In fact before of that period Egyptians didn't use the horses in their armies. This detail of the Biblical tale is anyway an interesting temporal reference. The problem is [like for King Arthur] that it could be a later interpolation. Even if the Tradition predates the Greek composition of the Tanakh [the letters from Elephantine prove this] we cannot be that sure that the details of the tale are all original. There is also a Jewish oral tradition, but we know very well which are the problems with oral traditions.

This said, for example I prefer an other option: Akhenaten's brother ... Prince Thutmose.

But such a digression would make this thread a discussion about speculative history. So let's leave the historicity of the Exodus apart [or we will begin to speculate].
[If you want to take a look at my hypothesis: Was Akhenaten's brother Moses?].
 
Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
......But such a digression would make this thread a discussion about speculative history. So let's leave the historicity of the Exodus apart [or we will begin to speculate].
Agreed.
I'm just not sure much is to be gained by debating the small difference between the major accepted Egyptian chronologies. For example, the Middle Kingdom has been widely accepted to begin about 1550 BCE, others date it around 1540 BCE, recent C14 dating (Bronk Ramsey) offer a window of 1570-1544 BCE.
However, if the Tempest Stela does indeed reflect the Egyptian experience of the eruption of Santorini (c.1627-1600) then there is a issue to debate. No-one seems anxious to date the start of the New Kingdom so early.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Agreed.
I'm just not sure much is to be gained by debating the small difference between the major accepted Egyptian chronologies. For example, the Middle Kingdom has been widely accepted to begin about 1550 BCE, others date it around 1540 BCE, recent C14 dating (Bronk Ramsey) offer a window of 1570-1544 BCE.
However, if the Tempest Stela does indeed reflect the Egyptian experience of the eruption of Santorini (c.1627-1600) then there is a issue to debate. No-one seems anxious to date the start of the New Kingdom so early.
The explosion of Thera is something really intriguing: it affected KmT for real. This is certain.

And about Ahmose I and the Tempest Stela we are in troubles: it's possible that they recorded the eruption of the volcano, but in the traditional temporal location.

Now researchers have something akin to that marker. According to tree ring data, the eruption of Thera can be placed in the 16th century BCE - sometime between 1600 and 1525, around 3,600 years ago.
So we are in the time of Ahmose I [according to traditional chronology].

The Date of The Legendary Volcano Explosion of Thera Has Finally Been Traced

Here we can see the text of the stela [with a translation]. Pyramids didn't collapse, but hyperbole was common in Ancient Egyptian texts.
Tempest Stela of Ahmose: World's Oldest Weather Report | Linguistics | Sci-News.com
 
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Jan 2015
966
England
You are likely aware that there are three mainstream views of Egyptian chronology, the High, the Middle and the Low. Which "currently accepted" chronology are you referring to?
I'm not referring to any one in particular, because all the ones which are currently accepted by scholars are in general agreement in comparison to the difference between any one of those are revisions such as David Rohl's. They are only different by a matter of decades, yes? So the differences between these academically accepted chronologies are inconsequential for the meaning of my statements.

Here's a question. A number of people think the Exodus took place under Ramesses II.
I am not one of them, because the Bible clearly shows that over 400 years passed between the Exodus and the founding of the Temple, which wouldn't work at all if the Exodus was in the time of Ramesses II.

If you choose to use the Old Testament as your guide, how does the line in Jud. 11:26 fit with your chronology? It seems the Hebrews occupied lands on the east of the Jordan "for 300 years" prior to the crossing of the Jordan.
On the west of the Jordan we have the remains at Mt Ebal. Archaeology has unearthed two strata at this site. In the first strata, the lowest, two scarabs & a piece of pottery unquestionably are dated to the reign of Ramesses II.

The Exodus was clearly long over by the time Mt Ebal was settled.

Most people I discuss the biblical chronology with try to ignore those "300 years" at Heshban because it does not align with their views. In fact, when we add those 300 years this places the story of the Exodus (whether it happened or not) right at the end of the Hyksos period.
Absolutely! Given the description by later historians of the Hyksos (such as by Manetho and Josephus), it seems very likely that there was some connection between the Exodus and the departure of the Hyksos.

This is the view I hold, the story of an Exodus tradition was inspired by the Hyksos departure or expulsion. I don't view the Exodus as an historical fact, but that it was a tradition placed at this particular time in history.
As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have a similar but distinctly different view. We believe that Manetho's account of the Hyksos possibly reflects a distorted Egyptian tradition regarding the Exodus. Obviously there was a dynasty ruling in Lower Egypt, this being the dynasty that opposed the Israelites during the time of the Exodus. So the suggestion from our organisation is that the ascendancy of the southern dynasty, in the time of Ahmose, occurred due to the northern dynasty being severely weakened and discredited by the events of the Exodus. It's just a suggestion, but if so, then Khamudi would presumably have been the Pharaoh who succeeded the Pharaoh of the Exodus (who, I assume, would have been an unrecorded Pharaoh who ruled for not much more than a year between Apepi and Khamudi). Khamudi would have inherited a weakened and discredited kingdom and was then expelled by the dynasty from the south.

And so, then the story of the Hyksos in later tradition, such as in Manetho's account, comes from a fusion/distortion of the Exodus and the expulsion of the foreign kings of Egypt in the north. This isn't viewed as an absolute certainty, but it is the stance that we officially lean towards.
 
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Jan 2015
966
England
The explosion of Thera is something really intriguing: it affected KmT for real. This is certain.

And about Ahmose I and the Tempest Stela we are in troubles: it's possible that they recorded the eruption of the volcano, but in the traditional temporal location.



So we are in the time of Ahmose I [according to traditional chronology].

The Date of The Legendary Volcano Explosion of Thera Has Finally Been Traced

Here we can see the text of the stela [with a translation]. Pyramids didn't collapse, but hyperbole was common in Ancient Egyptian texts.
Tempest Stela of Ahmose: World's Oldest Weather Report | Linguistics | Sci-News.com
This is why I always despair when I hear people use ice core samples or carbon dating to try and claim that something definitely happened 100 years earlier than other people think it did, or than other evidence indicates. It just isn't possible to be so confident about the results from those methods, especially when volcanoes (like Thera) are involved. As I've explained before, for example, gas from the magma chamber often seeps up through the ground prior to an eruption, flooding the vegetation with 'old air' (so to speak), which gives that vegetation artificially older origins. To illustrate, a living plant next to a volcanic vent was carbon dated and found to have a date of 1300 years!
 
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