Turin King List facts for kids
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 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.
Creation and use
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
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. A new edition of the papyrus is expected.
Contents of the papyrus
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)
This is the list of kings
|4||Merenre Nemtyemsaf I|
|6||Merenre Nemtyemsaf II|
|5||Wegaf or Sobekhotep I|
|7||Sekhemkare Amenemhat V|
|17||Awybre Hor I|
|19||Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep|
|1||Sekhemre Sementawy Djehuti|
|2||Sekhemre Susertawi Sobekhotep VIII|
|3||Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III|
|4||Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I|
- Alan Gardiner, editor. Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, 1959. (Reprint 1988. )
- 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, ) 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. .
- 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.
Turin King List Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.