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Turin King List, 1279-1213 BCE

Turin_King_List

The Turin King List or Turin Royal Canon Papyrus dates to Ramesses II and is inscribed with a list of Egyptian Rulers (1279-1213). It mentions the names of all Egyptian rulers preceded by the register of gods that, as it was believed, ruled over Egypt before Pharaohs era. The document, originally complete, fell into about 300 pieces. In this state it was discovered in one of the tombs in Thebes and then bought by an Italian collector Bernardino Drovetti in the 19th century. It continuously undergoes destruction and at present makes up only a fragment of papyrus examined by J.F. Champollion and Gustavus Seyffarth in 1825.

The papyrus gives the names of monarchs in some cases grouping them together and giving lengths of regency for some of these groups, generally corresponding to Manetho’s Dynasties. Moreover it shows in years, months and days duration of ruling for individual kings. It also includes names of ephemeral rulers or those ruling over small territories and as such – barely known nowadays, usually unmentioned in other sources. The list included the Hyksos rulers (often left out of other King Lists), although they were not given cartouches, and a hieroglyphic sign was added to indicate that they were foreigners.

Column II, Luni-Solar Calendric System

The Second Column of the Turin Papyrus contains systems for synchronising the synodic moon months (a synodic lunar month is 29.53 days) to a solar civil calendar using calendar months of 12 x 30 days (+ 5 days at year-end for 365 days total). The synchronizing lunar system uses so-called “full months” of 30 days and so-called “defective months” of 29 days over a period of 76 tropical (star) years. This is why 76 “kings” are found at Abydos (symbolic for 4 x 19 Metonic years) and 59 “kings” at Sakkara (symbolic for 30 + 29 days). A tropical year of stars is about 365.25 days as opposed to the simple solar year of 365 days used for civil calendration. The so-called tropical year is more accurate than a solar year, which is why we moderns also add a leap year every four years to correct our solar calendar.

Found in 1824.

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Posted in: Exodus

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