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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Egyptian Dynasty Dating; 6th to 11th Dynasties

As noted in our previously posted Chronology of 12th Egyptian Dynasty to 25th Dynasty in Egypt, we have pegged the severe famine during the 14th Dynasty to the decades following the 1159 BC climate catastrophe. The next major job is deciphering which Dynasty was ruling during the disasters following the 1628 BC events; one scenario that seems plausible at this point is that 1628 BC marked the end of the 6th Dynasty and also signifies the close of the Old Kingdom.

After the 6th Dynasty, Egypt was divided into regional kingdoms, with rulers in Memphis, Thebes and by the 9th Dynasty, Heracleopolis, and was not fully re-united until the 11th Dynasty. According to, the breakdown of the Old Kingdom wasn't political but rather it was "more likely that climatic changes, resulting in a decrease of the Nile's inundation, impacted the Ancient Egyptian society. As the central government was unable to cope with the results of this change, it was up to provincial governors and other local rulers to come up with a solution to best irrigate their own territory. This, along with different geographical circumstances, caused some provinces and territories to be more successful in controlling the floods than others."

I am going to need a lot more data points to pull this together, but for now, as a first draft, here are my estimated historical dates for the 6th to 11th Egyptian Dynasties:

Sixth Dynasty - 1740 BC to 1620 BC

Seventh Dynasty - 1620 BC to 1590 BC

Eighth Dynasty - 1615 BC to 1580 BC

Ninth Dynasty - 1580 BC to 1495 BC

Tenth Dynasty - 1495 BC to 1420 BC

Eleventh Dynasty - 1420 BC to 1365 BC


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