Towards a Theory of Egypt’s God-Kings Chronology

I will be presenting a paper at the Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt (the major North American Egyptological scholars organization) during the week of April 22nd, 2021. The schedule isn’t formalized yet. The title is Towards a Theory of Egypt’s God-Kings Chronology, which is based on my research for the second volume of Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists. The paper will only be dealing with portions of the Egyptian side of the data. Below is a copy of the Abstract. For information about the conference, go here. After the conference, I’ll post a link to the paper.

Ancient Egypt’s only known multi-dynasty chronologies, the Turin Canon of Kings (c. 12th century B.C.E.) and Manetho’s Aegyptiaca (c. 3rd century B.C.E.), indicate that the First Dynasty was preceded by a long list of god-kings with assigned lengths of reign. Unfortunately, the Turin Canon papyrus is very badly damaged in this section and many of the god names and much of the associated chronology are either damaged or missing. As to Manetho’s history, his original text is lost and what we know about this time frame was preserved in wildly inconsistent versions preserved by several Christian scribes several centuries later who took great liberties with Manetho’s chronology and who explained why they made many changes to what Manetho wrote.

This paper introduces the theory that behind these two chronological texts stands a systematic unfolding of the Theban Creation theology with lengths of reign based on solar, lunar and stellar cycles,  and that this data can be recovered by tracing error patterns in the Manetho sources. As an introduction to the thesis, this paper will focus on the Manetho texts and (1) outline several arithmetic errors made by the scribes who passed on the manuscripts, (2) demonstrate several interpretive errors by the redactors that led to erroneous data being used in the various Manetho sources, and (3) offer one major new insight as to what the redactors misunderstood, which, when placed in context, will provide the key to unlocking the chronological and sequential arrays and explain the various inconsistencies in the Manetho sources.

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