The Ancient Egyptians - Index

Index and Timeline Egyptian Religious Texts Death of Cleopatra Dynasties and Major Pharaohs  

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Ancient Egypt Timeline

By Dr John Baines, Professor of Egyptology at Oxford University


Periods / Dynasties

Main events

  3100-2950 BC

Late Predynastic Period

  • Earliest known hieroglyphic writing
  • Foundation of the Egyptian state

  2950-2575 BC

Early Dynastic Period
(1st-3rd Dynasties)

  • Creation of the capital city of Memphis
  • Intensive contact with Palestine
  • The first pyramid is built - the Step Pyramid at Saqqara

  2575-2150 BC

Old Kingdom
(4th-8th Dynasties)
image of the pyramids at Giza

  • The Great Pyramids are built at Dahshur and Giza
  • Pyramids and elite tombs include the first extensive inscriptions

  2125-1975 BC

1st Intermediate Period
(9th-11th Dynasties)

  • Egypt splits into two smaller states, ruled from Memphis in the north and Thebes in the south

  1975-1640 BC

Middle Kingdom
(11th-14th Dynasties)
image of Middle Kingdom male official (12th dynasty)

  • Mentuhotep reunites Egypt
  • Amenemhat I founds a new royal residence near Memphis
  • Egypt conquers Lower Nubia under Senwosret I and III
  • Classical period of art and literature

  1630- 1520 BC

2nd Intermediate Period
(15th-17th Dynasties)

  • Hyksos kings seize power in the north
  • Theban 17th dynasty in the south

  1539-1075 BC

New Kingdom
(18th-20th Dynasties)
image of mask of Tutankhamun

  • Egyptian empire in Near East and Nubia
  • Elaborate tombs of the Valley of Kings
  • Rule of woman pharaoh Hatshepsut
  • King Akhenaten attempts to introduce a monotheistic religion
  • Brief reign of Tutankhamun
  • Ramesses II rules for 67 years

  1075-715 BC

3rd Intermediate Period
(21st-25th Dynasties)

  • Disunity and Libyan settlement in Egypt
  • Nubians conquer Egypt (late 8th century)

  715-332 BC

Late Period
(20th-30th Dynasties,
2nd Persian Period)

  • Egypt conquered briefly by Assyrians
  • Cultural revival under kings from Sais
  • Persian conquest of Egypt (525 BC)
  • Egypt independent again (404-343 BC)

  332 BC-395 AD

Greco-Roman Period
(Macedonians, Ptolemies,
and Romans)
image for Graeco Roman period

  • Alexander the Great occupies Egypt
  • Alexander's general, Ptolemy, becomes king and founds a dynasty
  • The Rosetta Stone is carved (196 BC)
  • Cleopatra VII reigns (51-30 BC)
  • Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire (30 BC)

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