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Inventory number

Cat.1874/003, Cat.1874, Cat.1874/004, Cat.1874/002, Cat.1874/005

  • Document
  • Writing Recto
  • Writing Verso

General description

The Papyrus of Kings

The dynasties of the pharaohs are divided in groups of kings united by kinship or by their royal residence. In total, a subdivision into 30 dynasties was adopted in Egyptology based on the written sources of Manetho, a Greek historian and priest, who reconstructed the history of ancient Egypt in his study “Aegyptiaca” (c. 282–246 BCE). To write his work (known to us only thanks to later historians) Manetho consulted ancient Egyptian official documents containing lists of pharaohs. Among the examples of these lists, one of the most important is the "Papyrus of Kings" - also known as the "List of Kings" -, which arrived at Museo Egizio due to a purchase made by the consul Drovetti around 1820.


It is a chronological list written in hieratic, preserving 11 columns of Egyptian rulers. It starts from the primordial mythological period, with the divine kingdoms of Geb, Osiris, Horus, Seth, and Maat, up to the end of the Second Intermediate Period (1650 BCE). The title, names and duration of the reign in years, months and sometimes even days are recorded for each sovereign. The list of kings mentions rulers of great importance such as Menes-Narmer (c. 2900 BCE) the first non-divine ruler listed, and also Djoser (2592–2566 BCE), the pharaoh who erected the first great pyramid in history.


Despite its value for the history of ancient Egypt, the Papyrus of Kings was written on “recycled paper”. The recto (“the front”) of the papyrus, preserves a tax register dated to the time of King Ramesses II (1279–1213 BCE). It mentions numerous high officials of the temples of Sobek and Amun and several superintendents at the head of the fortresses located along the southern border of Egypt. The list of kings was written later, on the verso - “the back” of the scroll. 

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 19 (1292-1191 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses II (Usermaatre Setepenre)

Provenance

Thebes/Deir el-Medina (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

Image(s)

Image

  • Text 1

Editor

Juan José Archidona Ramírez (JJAR)

Script

hieratic

Text type

Administrative text, List

Keywords

birds, cloth, bread, bull, cattle, charcoal, clothing, copper, deben, donkey, eye-paint, fat, fish, fowl, geese, gold, grain, gum, silver, kite (measurement), leather, natron, numbers, oipe (measurement), payment, riparian land, ship, tax, vessel, wine, wood

Place name

Bigah (snm.t), Memphis (mn-nfr), Thebes (niw.t), Lake of Sobek (S-n-sbk), Makhara (mxAra), Kush (kAS), Ramuna (rmnA)

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 19 (1292-1191 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses II (Usermaatre Setepenre)

Drawing

No

Drawing description

---

Bibliographical reference

Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (OEB 6984)

KRI II, pp. 815-827 (OEB 13543)

Image

  • Text 1

Editor

Juan José Archidona Ramírez (JJAR)

Script

hieratic

Text type

List, Royal historical text

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 19 (1292-1191 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses II (Usermaatre Setepenre)

Drawing

No

Drawing description

---

Bibliographical reference

Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (OEB 6984)
Ryholt, in Ägypten und Levante 14, pp. 135-155 (OEB 180193)



Museo Egizio