Turin King List

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The Turin King List, also called the Turin Royal Canon, is a list of the kings of Egypt. It was written in Egyptian hieratic script on papyrus. It is thought to date from the rule of Pharaoh Ramesses II. The list is now in the Egyptian Museum [1] in Turin. The papyrus is the most complete list of kings written by the Egyptians. It is the basis working out the dates of kings before the rule of Ramesses II.

Drawing of the Turin King list

Creation and use[change | change source]

The papyrus is believed to have been written in the time of Ramesses II, during the middle of the New Kingdom, or the 19th Dynasty. The beginning and ending of the list are lost. There is no introduction, and the list stops after the 19th Dynasty. It may have been written at any later time, from Ramesses II to as late as the 20th Dynasty.

The papyrus lists the names of rulers, the lengths of their rule in years, with months and days for some kings. In some cases they are grouped together by family. This grouping is almost the same as the dynasties of Manetho’s book. The list includes the names of kings who only ruled for a very short time, or those ruling small areas that may not be in listed in other sources.

The list also is believed to contain kings from the 15th Dynasty, the Hyksos who ruled Lower Egypt and the River Nile delta. The Hyksos rulers do not have cartouches (borders around the name of a king). They do have a hieroglyphic sign to show that they were foreigners.

The papyrus was a tax roll, but on its back is written a list of rulers of Egypt. It includes the mythical kings such as gods, demi-gods, and spirits, as well as human kings. As the papyrus was reused for the tax roll, it shows the list was not of great formal importance to the writer. The list is thought to have been used as an administrative aid. As such, the papyrus is not supposed to be biased against certain rulers and is believed to include all the kings of Egypt up through at least the 19th Dynasty.

Discovery and reconstruction[change | change source]

The papyrus was found by the Italian traveler Bernardino Drovetti in 1820 at Luxor (Thebes). In 1824 was put in the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, and known as Papyrus Number 1874. When the box in which it had been taken to Italy was unpacked, the list had broken up into small pieces. Jean-Francois Champollion could read only some of the larger pieces which had royal names.

The Saxon researcher Gustav Seyffarth (1796–1885) looked carefully at some of the pieces, some only one square centimeter in size. He made a more complete reconstruction of the papyrus based only on the papyrus fibers, as he could not read the hieratic characters. Later work by the Munich Egyptologist Jens Peter Lauth, largely agreed with Seyffarth's work.

In 1997 Egyptologist Kim Ryholt published a new version of the list in his book, "The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C." Egyptologist Donald Redford has also studied the papyrus and has noted that many of the list’s names match historic monuments and other documents. However there are some differences and not all of the names match. The list may not be completely accurate for pre-Ramesses II chronology.

About 50% of the papyrus is missing. It is 1.7 m long and 0.41 m wide, broken into over 160 pieces. In 2009 new pieces were discovered in the storage room of the Egyptian Museum of Turin, in good condition.[2] A new edition of the papyrus is expected.

The name Hudjefa, is listed twice in the papyrus. The name is now known to have been used by the royal scribes of Ramesses II when the name of a king was unreadable or missing.

Contents of the papyrus[change | change source]

The papyrus is divided into eleven columns. The names and positions of several kings are still uncertain as the list is so badly damaged.

  • Column 1 — Gods of Ancient Egypt
  • Column 2 — Rows 1-10 Spirits and mythical kings
  • Column 2 — Rows 11-25 (Dynasties 1-2)
  • Column 3 — Rows 1-25 (Dynasties 2-5)
  • Column 4 — Rows 1-26 (Dynasties 6-8/9/10)
  • Column 5 — Rows 12-25 (Dynasties 11-12)
  • Column 6 — Rows 1-2 (Dynasties 12-13)
  • Column 7 — Rows 1-23 (Dynasty 13)
  • Column 8 — Rows 1-27 (Dynasty 13-14)
  • Column 9 — Rows 1-30 (Dynasty 14)
  • Column 10 — Rows 1-30 (Dynasties 14-15)
  • Column 11 — Rows 1-17 (Dynasties 16-17)
Turin King List with latest corrections of positions for some fragments - table representation of rows from the original papyrus, translated into hieroglyphs

This is the list of kings

Second column[change | change source]

Second Column
Row Common name
11 Menes
12 Hor-Aha
13 Djer
15 Djet
16 Den
17 Anedjib
18 Semerkhet
19 Qa'a
20 Hotepsekhemwy
21 Nebre
22 Nynetjer
23 Wadjnes
24 Senedj
25 Neferkara I

Third column[change | change source]

Third Column
Row Common name
2 Neferkasokar
3 Khasekhemwy
4 Sanakhte
5 Djoser
6 Sekhemkhet
7 Hudjefa II
8 Huni
9 Sneferu
10 Khufu
11 Djedefre
12 Khafre
13 Lost
14 Menkaure
15 Shepseskaf
16 Unknown
17 Userkaf
18 Sahure
19 Neferirkare Kakai
20 Shepseskare
21 Neferefre
22 Nyuserre
23 Menkauhor
24 Djedkare
25 Unas

Fourth Column[change | change source]

Fourth Column
Row Common name
1 Teti
2 Userkare
3 Pepi
4 Merenre Nemtyemsaf I
5 Pepi II
6 Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
7 Neitiqerty Siptah
8 Lacuna
9 Menkare
10 Neferkare II
11 Ibi
12 Lost
13 Lost
18 Lost
19 Lost
20 Neferkare III
21 Nebkaure Khety
22 Senenh..
23 Lost
24 Mer..
25 Shed..
26 H..

Fifth Column[change | change source]

Fifth Column
Row Common name
1 Lost
2 Lost
3 Lost
4 Lost
5 Lost
6 Lost
7 Lost
8 Lost
9 Lost '
12 Mentuhotep I
13 Intef I
14 Intef II
15 Intef III
16 Mentuhotep II
17 Mentuhotep III
20 Amenemhat I
21 Sesostris I
22 Amenemhat II
23 Sesostris II
24 Sesostris III
25 Amenemhat III

Sixth Column[change | change source]

Sixth Column
Row Common name
1 Amenemhet IV
2 Sobekneferu
5 Wegaf or Sobekhotep I
6 Sekhemkare Sonbef
7 Sekhemkare Amenemhat V
8 Hotepibre
9 Iufni
10 Amenemhet VI
11 Semenkare Nebnuni
12 Sehetepibre
13 Sewadjkare
14 Nedjemibre
15 Khaankhre Sobekhotep
16 Renseneb
17 Awybre Hor I
18 Amenemhat VII
19 Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep
20 Khendjer
21 Imyremeshaw
22 Intef IV
23 Seth Meribre
24 Sobekhotep III
25 Neferhotep I
26 Sihathor
27 Sobekhotep IV

Seventh Column[change | change source]

Seventh Column
Row Common name
1 Sobekhotep V
2 Wahibre Ibiau
3 Merneferre Ay
4 Merhotepre Ini
5 Sankhenre Sewadjtu
6 Mersekhemre Ined|
7 Hori
8 Merkawre Sobekhotep
9 Lost
10 Lost
11 Lost
12 Lost
13 Djedneferre Dedumose
14 Ibi
15 Hor
16 Se..kare
17 Seheqenre Sankhptahi
18 Lost
19 Lost
20 Sekhaenre
21 Lost
22 Merkheperre
23 Merkare

Eighth Colunm[change | change source]

Eighth Column
Row Common name
1 Nehesy
2 Khatyre
3 Nebfautre
4 Sehebre
5 Merdjefare
6 Sewadjkare III
7 Nebdjefare
8 Webenre
9 Lost
10 ..re
11 ..webenre
12 Autibre
13 Heribre
14 Renebsen
15 Lost
16 Sekheperenre
17 Djedkherure
18 Seankhibre
19 Kanefertemre
20 Sekhem..re
21 Kakemure
22 Neferibre
23 I..re
24 Kha..re
25 Aakare
26 Semen..re
27 Djed..re

Ninth Column[change | change source]

Ninth Column
Row Common name
1 Lost
2 Lost
3 Lost
4 Lost
5 Lost
6 Lost
7 Senefer..re
8 Men..re
9 Djed..
10 Lost
11 Lost
12 Lost
13 Lost
14 Inenek
15 Ineb
16 'Apepi
17 Hab
18 Sa
19 Hepu
20 Shemsu
21 Meni
22 Werqa..
23 Lost
24 Lost
25 ..ka
26 ..ka
27 Lost
28 ..ren..hepu
29 Anati
30 Bebnum
31 Lost

Tenth Column[change | change source]

Tenth Column
Row Common name
1 I..
2 Seth II
3 Sunu..
4 Hor..
5 Lost
6 Lost
7 Nib..
8 Mer..en..
9 Penensetensepet
10 Kherethebshepesu
11 Khut..hemet
12 Lost
15 Semqen?
16 Aperanat?
17 Sakir-Har
18 Khyan
19 Apepi
20 Khamudi
23 Lost
24 Lost
25 Zeket..
26 Ar..
27 Lost
28 Lost
29 ..nia..

Eleventh Column[change | change source]

Eleventh Column
Row Common name
1 Sekhemre Sementawy Djehuti
2 Sekhemre Susertawi Sobekhotep VIII
3 Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III
4 Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I
5 Nebiriaure
6 Nebiretaure
7 Semenre
8 Seuserenre Bebiankh
9 Sekhemre Shedwaset
10 Lost
11 Lost
12 Lost
13 Lost
14 Lost
16 User..re
17 User..

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Museo Egizio homepage". Retrieved 20 December 2010.  (Italian) (English)
  2. [1] wayback machine: [2] (in Italian)

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Alan Gardiner, editor. Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, 1959. (Reprint 1988. ISBN 0-900416-48-3)
  • Beckerath, Jürgen von. “Some remarks on Helck's 'Anmerkungen zum Turiner Konigspapyrus‘.“ Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 81, (1995): 225-227.
  • Beckerath, Jürgen von. “The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 21, no. 2 (April 1962): 140-147.
  • Bennett, Chris. “A Genealogical Chronology of the Seventeenth Dynasty.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39, (2002): 123-155.
  • George Adam Smith, "Chaldean Account of Genesis" (Whittingham & Wilkins, London, 1872) (Reprint 2005. Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1-4021-8590-1) p290 Contains a different translation of the Turin Papyrus in a chart about "dynasty of gods".
  • Kenneth A. Kitchen "King Lists" The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Ed. Donald B. Redford. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc.. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.
  • K. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997. ISBN 87-7289-421-0.
  • K. Ryholt, ‘The Turin King-List’, Ägypten und Levante 14, 2004, pp. 135–155. This is a detailed description of the king-list, the information it provides, and its sources.
  • Málek, Jaromír. “The Original Version of the Royal Canon of Turin.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 68, (1982): 93-106.
  • Spalinger, Anthony. “Review of: ‘The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c. 1800-1550 B. C.’ by K.S.B. Ryholt.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 60, no. 4 (October 2001): 296-300.

Other websites[change | change source]