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Egyptian King List

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


The Egyptian King List is a historical record that chronicles the names and reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Various versions of the king list exist, each created for different purposes and at different times in Egyptian history. These lists were inscribed on temple walls, papyri, and other monuments, serving both as historical records and as tools to legitimize the current ruler by connecting them to a long line of predecessors. Here is an overview of the most notable Egyptian King Lists:

1. Abydos King List

2. Saqqara King List

3. Turin King List (Turin Royal Canon)

4. Palermo Stone

5. Karnak King List

6. Manetho’s Aegyptiaca

Importance and Use

  1. Historical Documentation:

    • The king lists serve as crucial primary sources for understanding the chronology and history of ancient Egypt. They provide insight into the succession of rulers, the length of their reigns, and significant historical events.
  2. Legitimization of Rule:

    • By emphasizing continuity and connecting current rulers to revered ancestors, the king lists helped to legitimize the authority of pharaohs. They reinforced the idea of divine kingship and the unbroken line of succession.
  3. Cultural and Religious Significance:

    • The lists highlight the cultural and religious importance of the pharaohs, who were seen as intermediaries between the gods and the people. They often include religious ceremonies and the establishment of cults to honor past rulers.
  4. Chronological Framework:

    • For modern historians and archaeologists, these lists provide a framework for dating events and understanding the sequence of Egypt's dynasties. They are essential for reconstructing the timeline of ancient Egyptian history.


The Egyptian King Lists are essential historical records that document the succession of pharaohs from the earliest periods of Egyptian history through various dynasties. These lists, including the Abydos King List, Saqqara King List, Turin King List, Palermo Stone, Karnak King List, and Manetho’s Aegyptiaca, serve multiple purposes, from legitimizing the current ruler to providing a chronological framework for historical study. They highlight the importance of continuity, divine kingship, and the cultural and religious roles of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

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