Turin Canon
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Turin Canon

The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egyptian hieratic papyrus thought to date from the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, now in the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum)[1] in Turin. The papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the ancient Egyptians, and is the basis for most chronology before the reign of Ramesses II.

1904 version of attempt to assemble parts of the Turin King list

Creation and use

The papyrus is believed to date from the reign of Ramesses II, during the middle of the New Kingdom, or the 19th Dynasty. The beginning and ending of the list are now lost; there is no introduction, and the list does not continue after the 19th Dynasty. The composition may thus have occurred at any subsequent time, from the reign of Ramesses II to as late as the 20th Dynasty.

The papyrus lists the names of rulers, the lengths of reigns in years, with months and days for some kings. In some cases they are grouped together by family, which corresponds approximately to the dynasties of Manetho's book. The list includes the names of ephemeral rulers or those ruling small territories that may be unmentioned 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 (enclosing borders which indicate the name of a king), and a hieroglyphic sign is added to indicate that they were foreigners, although typically on King Lists foreign rulers are not listed.

The papyrus was originally a tax roll, but on its back is written a list of rulers of Egypt - including mythical kings such as gods, demi-gods, and spirits, as well as human kings. That the back of an older papyrus was used may indicate that the list was not of great formal importance to the writer, although the primary function of the list is thought to have been as an administrative aid. As such, the papyrus is less likely to be biased against certain rulers and is believed to include all the kings of Egypt known to its writers up to the 19th or 20th Dynasty.

Discovery and reconstruction

The papyrus was found by the Italian traveler Bernardino Drovetti in 1820 at Luxor (Thebes), Egypt and was acquired in 1824 by the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy and was designated Papyrus Number 1874. When the box in which it had been transported to Italy was unpacked, the list had disintegrated into small fragments. Jean-Francois Champollion, examining it, could recognize only some of the larger fragments containing royal names, and produced a drawing of what he could decipher. A reconstruction of the list was created to better understand it and to aid in research.

The Saxon researcher Gustav Seyffarth (1796-1885) re-examined the fragments, some only one square centimeter in size, and made a more complete reconstruction of the papyrus based only on the papyrus fibers, as he could not yet determine the meaning of the hieratic characters. Subsequent work on the fragments was done by the Munich Egyptologist Jens Peter Lauth, which largely confirmed the Seyffarth reconstruction.

In 1997, prominent Egyptologist Kim Ryholt published a new and better interpretation of the list in his book, "The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1800-1550 B.C." After another study of the papyrus, an updated version from Ryholt is expected. Egyptologist Donald Redford has also studied the papyrus and has noted that although many of the list's names correspond to monuments and other documents, there are some discrepancies and not all of the names correspond, questioning the absolute reliability of the document for pre-Ramesses II chronology.

Despite attempts at reconstruction, approximately 50% of the papyrus remains missing. This papyrus as presently constituted is 1.7 m long and 0.41 m wide, broken into over 160 fragments. In 2009, previously unpublished fragments were discovered in the storage room of the Egyptian Museum of Turin, in good condition.[2] A new edition of the papyrus is expected.

The name Hudjefa, found twice in the papyrus, is now known to have been used by the royal scribes of the Ramesside era during the 19th Dynasty, when the scribes compiled king lists such as the Saqqara King List and the royal canon of Turin and the name of a deceased pharaoh was unreadable, damaged, or completely erased.

Contents of the papyrus

The papyrus is divided into eleven columns, distributed as follows. The names and positions of several kings are still being disputed, since the list is so badly damaged.

  • Column 1 -- Gods of Ancient Egypt
  • Column 2 -- Gods of Ancient Egypt, spirits and mythical kings
  • Column 3 -- Rows 11-25 (Dynasties 1-2)
  • Column 4 -- Rows 1-25 (Dynasties 2-5)
  • Column 5 -- Rows 1-26 (Dynasties 6-8/9/10)
  • Column 6 -- Rows 12-25 (Dynasties 11-12)
  • Column 7 -- Rows 1-2 (Dynasties 12-13)
  • Column 8 -- Rows 1-23 (Dynasty 13)
  • Column 9 -- Rows 1-27 (Dynasty 13-14)
  • Column 10 -- Rows 1-30 (Dynasty 14)
  • Column 11 -- Rows 1-30 (Dynasties 14-17)
Turin King List with 2013 corrections of positions for some fragments - table representation of rows from the original papyrus, translated into hieroglyphs

These are the actual names written on the papyrus, omitting the years, summations and headings:

First Column
Row Name Notes Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
12 Ra - - -
13 .. probably Shu[3] - - -
14 Geb gb
15 Osiris wsir
16 Set stH
17 Horus Hr
18 Thoth DHwti
19 Maat mAat
20 Hor.. possibly Haroeris Hr..
Second Column
Row Name Notes Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
1 Hab "Ibis" hAb
2 Aped "Bird" Apd
3 Hepu "Apis bull" Hpw
4 Shemsu "Follower" Smsw
5 Meni.. mni..
6 Werqa.. "Great of height" wr-qA..
8 Af.. i[f]..
9 Set.. cf. 1.16 stH..
10 Sunu.. "Doctor" swnw..
11 Horus.. cf. 1.17 Hrw..
14 Ni-ib.. "Does not thirst" n ib..
16 Nesensebk..sew.. very uncertain
16 Pensetensepet.. "Clods of the shore" pns.t n spt
17 Her-hemut-shepsesut.. "Possessor of noble women" Xr-Hm.wt-Sps.w[t]..
18 Khu-hemut-shepsesut.. "Protector of noble women" xw-Hm.wt[-Sps.wt?]..
22 Sokar.. cf. Seker skr..
23 Iaret.. cf. Uraeus ar[t]..
Third Column
Row Name Notes Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
2 Spirits group of kings Axw
3 Spirits group of kings Axw
6 Followers of Horus group of kings Smsw Hr
Second(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
11 Menes Meni mni <-Y5:N35-M17->
12 Hor-Aha Teti ttij <-X1:X1-M17-Z4-> ?
13 Djer Iti, Ita iti <-M17-X1-//-G7-> ...?
15 Djet Itui itjwi <-//-G4#12-M17-> ...
16 Den Qenti qntj <-Aa8:X1*Z4->
17 Anedjib Merbiapen mr-biA-pn <-U7:D21-U17-Q3:N35-//-> ...
18 Semerkhet Semsem smsm <-S29-G17-S29-G17-> ?
19 Qa'a (Qe)beh qbH <-//-D58-V28-G7-> ...
20 Hotepsekhemwy Baunetjer bAw-nTr <-//-G30-R4:Q3-G7-> ...?
21 Nebre Kakau kA-kAw <-//-E2-D52:Z1*Z1*Z1-G7-> ...
22 Nynetjer Banetjer bA-nTr <-//-R8-D21:N35-G7-> ...?
23 Wadjnes ..s ..s <-//-//-S29-G7-> ... ...
24 Senedj Sened.. snDi <-G54-//-> ?...
25 Neferkara I Neferka nfr-kA <-O29-D28-Z1->
Third(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
2 Neferkasokar Neferkasokar nfr-kA-skr <-F35-D28-Z1-O34:V31:D21-Z5-G7->
3 Khasekhemwy Bebti bbtj <-D58-D58-N21-G7-> ?
4 Nebka Nebka nbkA <-V30-D28-Z1->
5 Djoser Djoser..it Dsr..it <-D45:D21-M17-.:X1#12-G7->
6 Sekhemkhet Djoserti Dsrti <-D45:D21-X1:Z4-G7->
7 Hudjefa II Hudjefa HwDfA <-O34-I10-S29->
8 Huni Huni Hwni <-V28-Z5-A25-//-G7-> ...?
9 Sneferu Senefer snfr <-S29-F35-I9:D21-G7->
12 Khafre ..kha.. ..xa.. <-//-N28-D36-//-G7-> ......?
17 Userkaf ..kaf ..kAf <-//-//-D28:I9-G7-> ... ...
23 Menkauhor Menkahor mn-kA-Hr G5-<-G7-Y5:N35-D28-Z1-G7-> ?
24 Djedkare Djed Dd <-R11-R11->
25 Unas Unis wnis <-E34:N35-M17-S29-> ?
Fourth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
7 Neitiqerty Siptah Neitiqerty ntiqrti <-N35:X1*Z5-M17-N29-D21:X1*Z4-G7->
9 Menkare Neferka nfr-kA <-F35-D28-Z1-G7-> ?
10 Neferkare II Nefer nfr <-F35-I9:D21-G7-> ?
11 Ibi Ibi ibi <-M17-D58-E8->
20 Neferkare VII Neferkare nfr-kA-ra <-N5-F35-D28-Z1-G7#12->
21 Nebkaure Khety Khety Xti <-F32:X1-A50-M17-M17-G7->
22 Senenh.. Senenh.. snnh.. <-S29-M22-M22-N35:N35-A53-.:O4-//> ...
24 Mer.. Mer.. mrr.. <-U7:D21-//-> ...
25 Shed.. Shed.. Sd.. <-F30:D46#24-//-> ...
26 H.. H.. H.. <-V28-//-> ? ...
Fifth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
12 Mentuhotep I Wah.. wAH.. <-V28#1234-//-> ...
14 Intef II ..n.. ..n.. <-//-N35-//-> ...?...
16 Mentuhotep II Nebhepetre nb-hpt-ra <-N5:V30-P8->
17 Mentuhotep III Seankhkare s-anx-kA-ra <-S29#34-S34#34-N35:Aa1-D28#34->
20 Amenemhat I ..pib.. ..p-ib.. <-//-.:Q3-.:F34-.:Z1-G7-> ...?
21 Senusret I ..ka.. ..kA.. <-//-D28-Z1-> ...
Sixth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage Unicode Representation
1 Amenemhat IV Maakherure mAa-xrw-ra <-N5-U5:D36-P8-V1-A2->
2 Sobekneferu Sobeknefrure ..nfrw-ra
5 Wegaf or Sobekhotep I Khutawire xwt-Awi-ra <-N5-D43:N17:N17#1234-> ?
6 Sekhemkare Sonbef Sekhemkare sxm-kA-ra <-N5#123-Y8#1234-D28#1234-Z1-> ?
7 Sekhemkare Amenemhat V Amenemhat..re imn-m-HAt N5-Y5:.#34-G17-F4:X1*Z1-G7 ?
8 Hotepibre Sehetepibre sHtp-ib-ra N5-S29-R4:X1*Q3-F34 ?
9 Iufni Iufeni iwfni i-Z7-f-n:A1
10 Amenemhet VI Seankhibre s-anx-ib-ra ra-s-anx-ib ?
11 Semenkare Nebnuni Semenkare smn-kA-ra ra-s-mn:n-kA
12 Sehetepibre Sehetepibre sHtp-ib-ra N5-s-R4:t*p-ib-Z1 ?
13 Sewadjkare Sewadjkare swAD-kA-ra ra-s-wAD-kA ?
14 Nedjemibre Nedjemibre nDm-ib-ra ra-nDm-m-mDAt-ib
15 Khaankhre Sobekhotep Sebek..p..re sbk-(Htp)-ra //-N5-I4-// ......
16 Renseneb Renseneb rn..nbw r:n-A2-//-n:b-Y1 ...
17 Awybre Hor I Autibre Awt-ib-ra ra-Aw-Z7:t-Y1:Z2-ib-Z1
18 Amenemhat VII Sedjefakare sDfa-kA-ra ra-s-D:f-A-//-kA ?...
19 Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep Amenemhatsebekhotep imn-m-hAt-sbk-Htp M17-Y5:N35-G17-F4:X1-I4-R4:X1-Q3 ?
20 Khendjer User..re ..djer wsr..ra..nDr N5-F12-//-Z1-N5:N35-M36:D21 ...
21 Imyremeshaw ..kare ..kA-ra <-N5-//-D28-G7-> ?...
22 Intef IV ..re ..ra //-D28-Z1-G7-W25:N35-X1:I9-G7 ...
23 Seth Meribre ..ibre..seth ..ib-ra..stX N5-Y8-//-I5-Htp:t-p ...?
25 Neferhotep I Khamaatreneferhotep xa..ra..nfr-Htp N5-N28:D36:Y1-//-F35-R4:X1-Q3 ?...?
26 Sihathor (Re)Sahathor sA-Hwt-Hr <-N5-O6-X1:O1-G5-G7-G38-Z1-G7->
27 Sobekhotep IV Khaneferre-Sobekhotep xa-nfr-ra-sbk-Htp <-N5-N28:D36-Y1-F35-I3-R4:X1-Q3->
Seventh(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage
1 Sobekhotep VI Khaheteprehotep xa-Htp-ra-Htp N5-N28:D36*Y1-R4:X1-Q3-G7
2 Wahibre Ibiau Wahibreibiau wAH-ib-ra-ibiaw ra-wAH-H-Y1-ib-Z1-i-a:mw-A24-ib-Z1
3 Merneferre Ay Merneferre mr-nfr-ra N5-U7:D21-F35
4 Merhotepre Ini Merhetepre mr-Htp-ra N5-U6-R4:X1*Q3
5 Sankhenre Sewadjtu Seankhenresewadjtu s-anx-n-ra-swDtwi ra-s-anx-n:x-n-s-wAD-t-Z7
6 Mersekhemre Ined Mersekhemre Ined mr-sxm-ra-ind ra-U7:r-sxm-Z1-i-in:n-d:wr
7 Hori Sewadjkare Hori swAD-kA-ra-Hri N5-S29-M13-S28-Z1-G7-G5-M17
8 Merkawre Sobekhotep Merkawre Sobek.. mr-kAw-ra-sbk.. N5-U7:D21-Z1-D28-Z1-//-I3-//
13 Djedneferre Dedumose ..mose i-m-s-s //-F31-S29-Z5
14 Ibi ..maat..re Ibi ..mAat-ra-ibi <-N5-//-X1-H6->-G7-M17-E8-M17-A1
15 Hor Webenre Hor ..wbn-Hr <-N5-//-G43-D58-N35:N5->-G7-G5
16 Se..kare Se..kare s..kA-ra N5-S29-//-D28-Z1-G7
17 Seheqenre Sankhptahi ..enre ..enra N5-//-Y1:N35
22 Merkheperre Merkheperre mr-xpr-ra N5-U7:D21-L1
23 Merkare Merka.. mr..kA.. //-U7:.#234-D28-Z1
Eighth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage
1 Nehesy Nehesy n?si G21-V28-S29-Z4-T14
2 Khatyre Khatyre xa.ti-ra N5-N28:D36*Y1-U33-Z4
3 Nebfautre Nebfaure nb-fAw-t-ra N5-V30:I9-F40-Z7:X1-Y1:Z2
4 Sehebre Sehabre sHb-ra N5-S29-V28-b-W3:N5
5 Merdjefare Merdjefare mr-DfA-ra N5-U7:D21-G42-G41:G37
6 Sewadjkare III Sewadjkare swAD-kA-ra N5-S29-M13-D28-Z1
7 Nebdjefare Neb("erased")re nb-DfA-ra N5-N5:V30-I10:I9-G42-Z7-G41:G37
8 Webenre Webenre wbn-ra N5-Z7-D58-N35:N5-G7
10 ..re ("erased")re ..ra..dfA N5-//-G41:G37
11 ..webenre ..wbn..ra //-D58#3-N35:N5-G7
12 Autibre Autibre Aw-t-ib-ra N5-F40-Z7:X1-Y1:Z2-F34-Z1
13 Heribre Heribre hr-ib-ra N5-O4-D21:Y1-F34-Z1
14 Nebsenre Nebsenra nb-sn-ra N5-V30-S29-N35:Z2
16 Sekheperenre Sekheperenre s-xpr-n-ra N5-S29-L1-D21:N35
17 Djedkherure Djedkherure Dd-xrw-ra N5-R11-G7-P8-Z7
18 Seankhibre Seankhibre s-anx-ib-ra N5-S29-S34-N35:Aa1-F34-Z1
19 Kanefertemre (Ka)nefertemre kA-nfr-tm-ra N5-F35-X1:U15-//-G7
20 Sekhem..re Sekhem..re sxm..ra N5-S42-G17-//
21 Kakemure Ka..kemure kA..kmw-ra N5-D28-D52:E1-//-I6-Z7:X1-E1
22 Neferibre Neferib..re nfr-ib-ra N5-F35-F34-//
23 I..re I..re i..ra N5-M17-A2-//
24 Kha..re Kha..re xa..ra N5-N28:D36*Y1-//
25 Aakare Aakare aA-kA-ra N5-O29v-D28-//
26 Semen..re Semen..re smn..ra N5-S29-Y5:N35-//
27 Djed..re Djed..re Dd..ra <-N5-R11-R11-//
Ninth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage
7 Senefer..re Senefer..re s-nfr..ra N5-S29-F35-//
8 Men..re Men(ib)..re mn-ib..ra N5-Y5:N35-ib*Z1#1234
9 Djed.. Djed.. Dd.. R11*R11#34-//
14 Inenek Inenek in-n-k M17-K1:N35:V31A-//
15 Ineb Ineb inbi M17-A1-V30-//
16 'Apepi Ip.. ip.. M17-A1-Q3-//
17 Hab Hab hbi M17-O4-G1-D58
18 Sa Sa sA G39-Z1
19 Hepu Hepu Hpw Aa5:Q3-Z7-E1
20 Shemsu Shemsu Smsw T18-S29-Z7-D54
21 Meni Meni mni Y5:N35-M17-//
22 Werqa.. werqa.. wr-qAi G36:D21-N29-A28
25 ..ka ..ka ..kA.. <-//-A2-D28-Z1->
26 ..ka ..ka ..kA.. <-//-D28-Z1->
28 ..ren..hepu ..ren..hepu.. ..rn-Hpw.. <-//-D21:N35->-G7-Aa5:Q3-Z7-Y1
29 Anati Anati in-nti <-//-D28-Z1-G7->-G7-V30:N35-N35:G1-U33-M17-D54
30 Bebnum ..ka.. Bebnem ..kA..bbnm <-//-D28-Z1-G7->-G7-D58-D58-N35:Z2-G17-D54
Tenth(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage
1 I.. I.. iwf.. M17-//
2 Seth II Seth stH.. <-C7-G7-//->
3 Sunu.. Sunu.. swnw <-T11-W24-Z7-//->
4 Hor.. Hor.. ?r.. <-G5-G7://-//->
7 Nib.. Nib.. nib.. <-D35-M17-D58-E8-N35A#24-/->
8 Mer..en.. Mer..en.. mr..n.. <-U6://-N35://-G7-[permanent dead link]>
9 Penensetensepet Penensetensepet pnnstt-n-spt Q3:N35:N35-S29-K3:X1*X1-N35-S29-Q3:X1
10 Kherethebshepesu Kherethebshepesu xrt-Hb-Spsw <-T28:D21-W3:X1*B1-Z3A-A50-Z3A-//->
11 Khut..hemet Khut..hemet xw..Hmt.. <-Aa1:D43-Z7-//-N42:X1-B1-//->
20 Khamudi Khamudi xA-mdw-i xA-A-m-Z7-d:y-T14
25 Zeket.. Zeket.. skt.. <-O34:V31:X1*Z5-//-Z1-G7-//->
26 Ar.. Ar.. Ar.. <-D36:D21-//->
29 ..nia.. ..nia.. ..niA.. //-G7-N35-M17-G1-//
Eleventh(?) Column
Row Common name Name in list Transliteration Manuel de Codage
1 Sekhemre Sementawy Djehuti Sekhem..re sxm..ra <-N5-S42-Z1-//->
2 Sekhemre Susertawi Sobekhotep VIII Sekhem..re sxm..ra <-N5-S42-Z1-G7-//->
3 Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III Sekhemre S.. sxm-ra-s.. <-N5-S42-Z1-G7-S29-//->
4 Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I Sewadjenre.. swAD-n-ra.. <-N5-S29-M13-N35:.#234-//->
5 Nebiriaure Nebiriaure nb-iri-Aw-ra #b-<-N5-V30-M17-D21:Z4-F40-Z7-Y1:Z2->#e
6 Nebiretaure Nebiretaure nb-iri-Awt-ra #b-<-N5-V30-M17-D21:Z4-X1:.-F40-Z7-Y1:Z2->#e
7 Semenre Semenre smn-ra #b-<-N5-S29-Y5:N35-U32-Y1:.*Z1->#e
8 Seuserenre Bebiankh Seuserre.. s-wsr-ra.. #b-<-N5-S29-F12-S29-D21:D36->#e
9 Sekhemre Shedwaset Sekhemre Shedwaset sxm-ra-Sd-wAst <-N5-S42-F30:D46-A24-R19-X1:O49-G7->
16 User..re User..re wsr..ra <-N5-F12-D21:.#1234-//->
17 User.. User.. wsr.. <-F12#3-//->
  • The Manuel de Codage text was written using the Open Source hieroglyphic editor JSesh.

See also


  1. ^ "Museo Egizio homepage" (in Italian). Retrieved 2010. (in English)
  2. ^ Vittorio Sabadin (19 Feb 2009). "I faraoni scomparsi nel buco" [The Pharaohs disappeared into the hole] (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2012-02-23.
  3. ^ Eduard Meyer (1904). "Egyptian chronology". Retrieved 2020.


  • Alan Gardiner, editor. Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, 1959. (Reprint 1988. ISBN 0-900416-48-3)
  • von Beckerath, J. (1995). "Some Remarks on Helck's 'Anmerkungen zum Turiner Königspapyrus'". The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 81: 225-227. JSTOR 3821822.
  • Beckerath, J. V. (1962). "The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom of Egypt". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 21 (2): 140-147. doi:10.1086/371680.
  • Bennett, Chris (2002). "A Genealogical Chronology of the Seventeenth Dynasty". Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. 39: 123-155. doi:10.2307/40001152. JSTOR 40001152.
  • George Adam Smith, "Chaldean Account of Genesis" (Whittingham & Wilkins, London, 1872) (Reprint 2005. Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1-4021-8590-1) 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. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • K. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997. ISBN 87-7289-421-0.
  • 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.

External links

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