Taharqa spelled Taharka or Taharqo, was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and qore of the Kingdom of Kush. Taharqa was the son of the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt. Taharqa was the cousin and successor of Shebitku; the successful campaigns of Piye and Shabaka paved the way for a prosperous reign by Taharqa. Taharqa's reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC. Evidence for the dates of his reign is derived from the Serapeum stele, catalog number 192; this stela records that an Apis bull born and installed in year 26 of Taharqa died in Year 20 of Psamtik I, having lived 21 years. This would give Taharqa a reign of 26 years and a fraction, in 690–664 BC. Taharqa explicitly states in Kawa Stela V, line 15, that he succeeded his predecessor after the latter's death with this statement: "I received the Crown in Memphis after the Falcon flew to heaven." The reference to Shebitku was an attempt by Taharqa to legitimise his accession to power. However, Taharqa never mentions the identity of the royal falcon and omits any mention of Shabaka's intervening reign between Shebitku and Taharqa because he ousted Shabaka from power.
In Kawa IV, line 7-13, Taharqa states: He sailed northward to Thebes amongst the beautiful young people that His Majesty, the late King Shabataqo/Shebitku, had sent from Nubia. He was there with him, he appreciated him more than any of his brothers.. The heart of his Majesty was in sadness about it until his Majesty became king, crowned as King of Upper and Lower Egypt, it was during the first year of his reign he remembered what he had seen of the temple when he was young. In Kawa V: line 15, Taharqa states “I was brought from Nubia amongst the royal brothers that his Majesty had brought; as I was with him, he liked me more than all his brothers and all his children, so that he distinguished me. I was loved by all, it was only after the hawk had flown to heaven that I received the crown in Memphis.”Therefore, Taharqa says that King Shebitku, fond of him, brought him with him to Egypt and during that trip he had the opportunity to see the deplorable state of the temple of Amun at Kawa, an event he remembered after becoming king.
But on Kawa V Taharqa says that sometime after his arrival in Egypt under a different king whom this time he chose not to name, there occurred the death of this monarch and his own accession to the throne occurred. Taharqa's evasiveness on the identity of his predecessor suggests that he assumed power in an irregular fashion and chose to legitimise his kingship by conveniently stating the possible fact or propaganda that Shebitku favoured him "more than all his brothers and all his children."Moreover, in lines 13 – 14 of Kawa stela V, His Majesty, is mentioned twice, at first sight the falcon or hawk that flew to heaven, mentioned in the next line 15, seems to be identical with His Majesty referred to directly before. However, in the critical line 15 which recorded Taharqa's accession to power, a new stage of the narrative begins, separated from the previous one by a period of many years, the king or hawk/falcon that flew to heaven is conspicuously left unnamed in order to distinguish him from His Majesty, Shebitku.
Moreover, the purpose of Kawa V, was to describe several separate events that occurred at distinct stages of Taharqa's life, instead of telling a continuous story about it. Therefore, the Kawa V text began with the 6th year of Taharqa and referred to the High Nile flood of that year before abruptly jumping back to Taharqa's youth at the end of line 13. In the beginning of line 15, Taharqa's coronation is mentioned and there is a description given of the extent of the lands and foreign countries under Egypt's control but the narrative switches abruptly back again to Taharqa's youth: "My mother was in Ta-Sety …. Now I was far from her as a twenty year old recruit, as I went with His Majesty to the North Land"; however afterwards the text jumps forward again to the time of Taharqa's accession: "Then she came sailing downstream to see me after a long period of years. She found me after I had appeared on the throne of Horus...". Hence, the Kawa V narrative switches from one event to another, has little to no chronological coherence or value.
Although Taharqa's reign was filled with conflict with the Assyrians, it was a prosperous renaissance period in Egypt and Kush. When Taharqa was about 20 years old, he participated in a historic battle with the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib at Eltekeh. According to the Hebrew Bible, at Hezekiah's request and the Egyptian/Kushite army managed to stall the Assyrian advance on Jerusalem, with Sennacherib abandoning the siege due to the loss of 185,000 soldiers at the hand of the Lord according to the Biblical account; the might of Taharqa's military forces was established at Eltekeh, leading to a period of peace in Egypt. During this period of peace and prosperity, the empire flourished. In the sixth year of Taharqa's reign, prosperity was aided by abundant rainfall and a large harvest. Taharqa took full advantage of the lull in fighting an
Wahibre Psamtik I, known by the Greeks as Psammeticus or Psammetichus, who ruled 664–610 BC, was the first of three kings of that name of the Saite, or Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt. Historical references for what the Greeks referred to as the Dodecarchy, a loose confederation of twelve Egyptian territories, based on the traditional nomes, the rise of Psamtik I in power, establishing the Saitic Dynasty, are recorded in Herodotus's Histories, Book II: 151–157. From cuneiform texts, it was discovered that twenty local princelings were appointed by Esarhaddon and confirmed by Ashurbanipal to govern Egypt. Necho I, the father of Psamtik by his queen Istemabet, was the chief of these kinglets, but they seem to have been quite unable to lead the Egyptians under the hated Assyrians against the more sympathetic Nubians; the labyrinth built by Amenemhat III of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt is ascribed by Herodotus to the Dodecarchy, which must represent this combination of rulers. Necho I died in 664 BC when the Kushite king Tantamani tried unsuccessfully to seize control of lower Egypt from the Assyrian Empire.
After his father's death, Psamtik both united all of Egypt and freed it from Assyrian control within the first ten years of his reign. Psamtik reunified Egypt in his ninth regnal year when he dispatched a powerful naval fleet in March 656 BC to Thebes and compelled the existing God's Wife of Amun at Thebes, Shepenupet II, to adopt his daughter Nitocris I as her heiress in the so-called Adoption Stela. Psamtik's victory destroyed the last vestiges of the Nubian Twenty-fifth Dynasty's control over Upper Egypt under Tantamani since Thebes now accepted his authority. Nitocris would hold her office for 70 years from 656 BC until her death in 585 BC. Thereafter, Psamtik campaigned vigorously against those local princes who opposed his reunification of Egypt. One of his victories over certain Libyan marauders is mentioned in a Year 10 and Year 11 stela from the Dakhla Oasis. Psamtik won Egypt's independence from the Assyrian Empire and restored Egypt's prosperity during his 54-year reign; the pharaoh proceeded to establish close relations with archaic Greece and encouraged many Greek settlers to establish colonies in Egypt and serve in the Egyptian army.
In particular, he settled some Greeks at Tahpanhes. The Greek historian Herodotus conveyed an anecdote about Psamtik in the second volume of his Histories. During his travel to Egypt, Herodotus heard that Psammetichus sought to discover the origin of language by conducting an experiment with two children, he gave two newborn babies to a shepherd, with the instructions that no one should speak to them, but that the shepherd should feed and care for them while listening to determine their first words. The hypothesis was; when one of the children cried "βεκός" with outstretched arms, the shepherd concluded that the word was Phrygian because, the sound of the Phrygian word for "bread". Thus, they concluded that the Phrygians were an older people than the Egyptians, that Phrygian was the original language of men. There are no other extant sources to verify this story. Psamtik's chief wife was Mehytenweskhet, the daughter of Harsiese, the vizier of the North and High Priest of Atum at Heliopolis. Psamtik and Mehytenweskhet were the parents of Necho II, the Divine Adoratrice Nitocris I.
Psamtik's father-in-law—the aforementioned Harsiese—was married three times: to Sheta, with whom he had a daughter named Naneferheres, to Tanini and to an unknown woman, by whom he had both Djedkare, the vizier of the South and Mehytenweskhet. Harsiese was the son of vizier Harkhebi, was related to two other Harsieses, both viziers, who were a part of the family of the famous Mayor of Thebes Montuemhat. On 9 March 2017, Egyptian and German archaeologists discovered a colossal statue about 7.9 metres in height at the Heliopolis site in Cairo. Made of quartzite, the statue was found in a fragmentary state, with the bust, the lower part of the head and the crown submerged in groundwater, it has now been confirmed to be of Psamtik I due to engravings found that mentioned one of the pharaoh's names on the base of the statue. A spokesperson at the time commented that "If it does belong to this king it is the largest statue of the Late Period, discovered in Egypt." The head and torso are expected to be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The statue/colossus was sculpted in the ancient classical style of 2000 BC, establishing a resurgence to the greatness and prosperity of the classical period of old. However, from the many gathered fragments of quartzite collected, it has been established that the colossus was at some time deliberately destroyed. Certain discoloured & cracked rock fragments show evidence of having been heated to high temperatures shattered, a typical way of destroying ancient colossi; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Psammetichus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Dodson, Aidan. Afterglow of Empire: Egypt from the Fall of the New Kingdom to the Saite Renaissance. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9774165314. Breasted, James Henry. Ancient Records of Egypt: Historical Documents from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest. Ancient Records, Second Series. IV. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 06005480. Morkot, Robert. Historical Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Warfare.
Scarecrow Press. Pp. 173–174. ISBN 0810848627. Spalinger, Anthony. Psammetichus, King of Egypt: I. New York: Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt
Piye was an ancient Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, modern-day Sudan. Piye adopted two throne names: Sneferre, he was passionate about the worship of the god Amun, like many kings of Nubia. He revitalized the moribund Great Temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal, first built under Thutmose III of the New Kingdom, employing numerous sculptors and stonemasons from Egypt, he was once thought to have used the throne name'Menkheperre' but this prenomen has now been recognized as belonging to a local Theban king named Ini instead, a contemporary of Piye. Piye was the son of Pebatjma, he is known to have had four wives. Abar was the mother of his successor Taharqa. Further wives are Tabiry and Khensa. Piye is known to have had several children, he was the father of: King Shebitku. Said to be a son of Piye, or alternatively a brother of Piye. King Taharqa. Son of Queen Abar, he would take the throne after another male relative Shebitku.
God's Wife of Amun Shepenwepet II. Installed in Thebes during the reign of her brother Taharqa. Qalhata, wife of King Shabaka, she was the mother of king Tanutamun and of King Shabataka as well. Tabekenamun married her brother Taharqa. Naparaye married her brother Taharqa. Takahatenamun married her brother Taharqa. Arty, married king Shebitku. Har. Known from an offering table of his daughter Wadjrenes from Thebes. Khaliut, Governor of Kanad according to a stela found at Barkal. Princess Mutirdis, Chief Prophet of Hathor and Mut in Thebes and daughter of Piye according to Morkot. Thought to be a daughter of a local ruler named Menkheperre Khmuny from Hermopolis by Kitchen; as ruler of Nubia and Upper Egypt, Piye took advantage of the squabbling of Egypt's rulers by expanding Nubia's power beyond Thebes into Lower Egypt. In reaction to this, Tefnakht of Sais formed a coalition between the local kings of the Delta Region and enticed Piye's nominal ally—king Nimlot of Hermopolis—to defect to his side.
Tefnakht sent his coalition army south and besieged Herakleopolis where its king Peftjauawybast and the local Nubian commanders appealed to Piye for help. Piye reacted to this crisis in his regnal year 20 by assembling an army to invade Middle and Lower Egypt and visited Thebes in time for the great Opet Festival which proves he controlled Upper Egypt by this time, his military feats are chronicled in the Victory stela at Gebel Barkal. Piye viewed his campaign as a Holy War, commanding his soldiers to cleanse themselves ritually before beginning battle, he himself offered sacrifices to the great god Amun. Piye marched north and achieved complete victory at Herakleopolis, conquering the cities of Hermopolis and Memphis among others, received the submission of the kings of the Nile Delta including Iuput II of Leontopolis, Osorkon IV of Tanis and his former ally Nimlot at Hermopolis. Hermopolis fell to the Nubian king after a siege lasting five months. Tefnakht took refuge in an island in the Delta and formally conceded defeat in a letter to the Nubian king but refused to pay homage to the Kushite ruler.
Satisfied with his triumph, Piye proceeded to sail south to Thebes and returned to his homeland in Nubia never to return to Egypt. Despite Piye's successful campaign into the Delta, his authority only extended northward from Thebes up to the western desert oases and Herakleopolis where Peftjauawybast ruled as a Nubian vassal king; the local kings of Lower Egypt—especially Tefnakht—were free to do what they wanted without Piye's oversight. It was Shabaka, Piye's successor, who rectified this unsatisfactory situation by attacking Sais and defeating Tefnakht's successor Bakenranef there, in his second regnal year. Piye's highest known date was long thought to be the "Year 24 III Akhet day 10" date mentioned in the "Smaller Dakhla Stela" from the Sutekh temple of Mut el-Kharab in the Dakhla Oasis. However, the inscriptions within a vizier's tomb, discovered in 2006 in Deir El-Bahari, indicate that the vizier died in the 27th year of Piye. Relevant are the reliefs from the Great Temple at Jebel Barkal, which depict Piye celebrating a Heb Sed Festival.
Such festivals were traditionally celebrated in a king's 30th Year. It is debated whether the reliefs portrayed historical events, or were prepared in advance for the festival - in which case Piye might have died before his 30th regnal year; the 2006 discovery lends more weight to the former theory. Kenneth Kitchen has suggested a reign of 31 years for Piye, based on the Year 8 donation stela of a king Shepsesre Tefnakht, viewed as Piye's opponent. A dissenting opinion came from Olivier Perdu in 2002, who believes that this stela refers instead to the king Tefnakht II because of stylistic similarities to another, dated to Year 2 of Necho I's reign. More in the February 2008 issue of National Geographic, Robert Draper wrote that Piye ruled for 35 years and invaded all of Egypt in his 20th regnal year in about 730 BC. Piye's tomb was located next to the largest Pyramid in the cemetery, designated Ku.1, at el-Kurru near Jebel Barkal in what is now Northern Sudan. Down a stairway of 19 steps opened to the east, the burial chamber is cut into the bedrock as an open trench and covered with a corbelled masonry roof.
His body had been placed on a bed which rested in the middle of the chamber on a stone bench with its four corners cut away to receive the legs of the bed so that the bed platform
Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture; the latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty; the collapse of Kush in the 4th century AD after more than a thousand years of existence was precipitated by an invasion by Ethiopia's Kingdom of Aksum and saw the rise of three Christian kingdoms, Nobatia and Alodia, the last two again lasting for a millennium. Their eventual decline initiated not only the partition of Nubia into the northern half conquered by the Ottomans and the southern half by the Sennar sultanate in the 16th century, but a rapid Islamization and partial Arabization of the Nubian people.
Nubia was again united with the Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century. Today, the region of Nubia is split between Sudan; the archaeological science dealing with ancient Nubia is called Nubiology. The name Nubia is derived from that of the Noba people, nomads who settled the area in the 4th century CE following the collapse of the kingdom of Meroë; the Noba spoke a Nilo-Saharan language, ancestral to Old Nubian. Old Nubian was used in religious texts dating from the 8th and 15th centuries. Before the 4th century, throughout classical antiquity, Nubia was known as Kush, or, in Classical Greek usage, included under the name Ethiopia; the people of Nubia spoke at least two varieties of the Nubian language group, a subfamily that includes Nobiin, Kenuzi-Dongola and several related varieties in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. Until at least 1970, the Birgid language is now extinct. However, linguistic evidence indicates that the languages spoken in the ancient Kerma Culture in Nubia, belonged to the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages.
Nubia was divided into three major regions: Upper and Lower Nubia, in reference to their locations along the Nile. Lower refers to regions upper refers to regions upstream. Lower Nubia lies within the current borders of Egypt. Middle Nubia lies between the Third Cataracts. Upper Nubia lies south of the Third Cataract. Early settlements sprouted in both Lower Nubia. Egyptians referred to Nubia as "Ta-Seti," or "The Land of the Bow," since the Nubians were known to be expert archers. Modern scholars refer to the people from this area as the "A-Group" culture. Fertile farmland just south of the Third Cataract is known as the "pre-Kerma" culture in Upper Nubia, as they are the ancestors; the Neolithic people in the Nile Valley came from Sudan, as well as the Sahara, there was shared culture with the two areas and with that of Egypt during this period. By the 5th millennium BC, the people who inhabited what is now called Nubia participated in the Neolithic revolution. Saharan rock reliefs depict scenes that have been thought to be suggestive of a cattle cult, typical of those seen throughout parts of Eastern Africa and the Nile Valley to this day.
Megaliths discovered at Nabta Playa are early examples of what seems to be one of the world's first astronomical devices, predating Stonehenge by 2,000 years. This complexity as observed at Nabta Playa, as expressed by different levels of authority within the society there formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Around 3500 BC, the second "Nubian" culture, termed the A-Group, arose, it was a contemporary of, ethnically and culturally similar to, the polities in predynastic Naqada of Upper Egypt. The A-Group people were engaged in trade with the Egyptians; this trade is testified archaeologically by large amounts of Egyptian commodities deposited in the graves of the A-Group people. The imports consisted of gold objects, copper tools, faience amulets and beads, slate palettes, stone vessels, a variety of pots. Around 3300 BC, there is evidence of a unified kingdom, as shown by the finds at Qustul, that maintained substantial interactions with the culture of Naqadan Upper Egypt.
The Nubian culture may have contributed to the unification of the Nile Valley. Toby Wilkinson, based on work by Bruce Williams in the 1980s, wrote that "The white crown, associated in historic times with Upper Egypt, is first attested than the red crown, but is directly associated with the ruler somewhat earlier; the earliest known depiction of the white crown is on a ceremonial incense burner from Cemetery at Qustul in Lower Nubia". Based on a 1998 excavation report, Jane Roy has written that "At the time of Williams' argument, the Qustul cemetery and the'royal' iconography found there was dated to the Naqada IIIA period, thus antedating royal cemeteries in Egypt of the Naqada IIIB phase. New evidence from Abydos, however the excavation of Cemetery U and the tome U-j, dating to Naqada IIIA has shown that this iconography appears earlier in Egypt." Around the turn of the protodynastic period, Naqada, in its bid to conquer and unify the whole Nile Valley, seems to have conquered Ta-Seti and harmonized it with the Egyptian state.
Thus, Nubia became the first
Divine Adoratrice of Amun
The Divine Adoratrice of Amun was a second title – after God's Wife of Amun – created for the chief priestess of the ancient Egyptian deity, Amun. During the first millennium BCE, when the holder of this office exercised her largest measure of influence, her position was an important appointment facilitating the transfer of power from one pharaoh to the next, when his daughter was adopted to fill it by the incumbent office holder; the Divine Adoratrice ruled over the extensive temple duties and domains, controlling a significant part of the ancient Egyptian economy. God's Wife of Amun, a title for a similar office of the high priestess, originated as a title held by a daughter of the High Priest of Amun during the reign of Hatshepsut and continued as an important office while the capital of Egypt remained in Thebes; the added title Divine Adoratrice of Amun can be seen to accompany a resurgence of the title God's Wife of Amun, which had fallen into disuse. The God's Wife title was revived during the Twentieth Dynasty, when Ramesses VI's daughter Iset held the office, as well as the additional office of Divine Adoratrice.
He reigned from 1145-1137 BC. She never married and seems to have been the first of the celibate holders of the office of Divine Adoratrice of Amun, as he stipulated along with the new tradition that she would adopt the daughter of the succeeding pharaoh as her successor at the end of his reign in order to facilitate the transition to the next pharaoh; the tradition was followed and the position was filled by the daughter of the current king, adopted as the daughter of the incumbent Divine Adoratrice. The new office reached the heights of its political power during the late Third Intermediate Period of Egypt when Shepenupet I, Osorkon III's daughter, was first appointed to this post at Thebes; the Nubian king Kashta, in turn, appointed Amenirdis, as her successor. The high status of this office is illustrated by the tomb of Amenirdis at Medinet Habu. Toward the end of the Third Intermediate Perion the Napatan kings from Kingdom of Kush, who reigned as the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, spread their realm into Upper Egypt.
The reigning God's Wife of Amun, Shepenupet I, was persuaded to adopt Amenirdis, the daughter of Pharaoh Kashta of Kush as her heir. This sequence was followed throughout the 25th Dynasty until Egypt was conquered by the Saite king Psamtik I, who founded the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, who had his daughter, Nitocris I, adopted by Amenirdis II; the Adoption Stela of Nitocris shows the ceremony involved by this event, the prestige of the role. I have given to him my daughter to be a god's wife and have endowed her better than those who were before her, he will be gratified with her worship and protect the land who gave her to him. At this time, the dynastic rulers were based in the Nile Delta region, the office of the Divine Adoratrice was a means to secure peaceful relations with the Theban area where the cult of Amun was centered. A number of the God's Wives had mortuary shrines constructed on the west bank of the river alongside the mortuary temple at Medinet Habu of Ramesses III; because of the power and prestige of the offices, the ceremony of adoption by the current incumbent of the post was used as a way for the kings of the Delta area to project their power into the south of Egypt.
In the same manner, it was used by the Napatan kings to project their power northward into Egypt proper. The power of the Divine Adoratrice of Amun was limited to the area around Thebes in Upper Egypt, the center of the cult. God's Wife of Amun Strudwick, N & H. Thebes In Egypt, 1999, British Museum Press, London Watterson, Women In Ancient Egypt, 1994, Sutton Publishing, Stroud Robins, Gay. Women In Ancient Egypt, 1993, British Museum Press, London Kuhrt, Amelie; the Ancient Middle East – Vol. II, 1995, London
The majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many details of the chronology of Ancient Egypt. This scholarly consensus is the so-called Conventional Egyptian chronology, which places the beginning of the Old Kingdom in the 27th century BC, the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC and the beginning of the New Kingdom in the mid-16th century BC. Despite this consensus, disagreements remain within the scholarly community, resulting in variant chronologies diverging by about 300 years for the Early Dynastic Period, up to 30 years in the New Kingdom, a few years in the Late Period. In addition, there are a number of "alternative chronologies" outside scholarly consensus, such as the "New Chronology" proposed in the 1990s, which lowers New Kingdom dates by as much as 350 years, or the "Glasgow Chronology", which lowers New Kingdom dates by as much as 500 years. Scholarly consensus on the general outline of the conventional chronology current in Egyptology has not fluctuated much over the last 100 years.
For the Old Kingdom, consensus fluctuates by as much as a few centuries, but for the Middle and New Kingdoms, it has been stable to within a few decades. This is illustrated by comparing the chronology as given by two Egyptologists, the first writing in 1906, the second in 2000; the disparities between the two sets of dates result from additional discoveries and refined understanding of the still incomplete source evidence. For example, Breasted adds a ruler in the Twentieth dynasty that further research showed did not exist. Following Manetho, Breasted believed all the dynasties were sequential, whereas it is now known that several existed at the same time; these revisions have resulted in a lowering of the conventional chronology by up to 400 years at the beginning of Dynasty I. Forming the backbone of Egyptian chronology are the regnal years as recorded in Ancient Egyptian king lists. Surviving king lists are either comprehensive but have significant gaps in their text, or are textually complete but fail to provide a complete list of rulers for a short period of Egyptian history.
The situation is further complicated by occasional conflicting information on the same regnal period from different versions of the same text. Regnal periods have to be pieced together from inscriptions, which will give a date in the form of the regnal year of the ruling pharaoh, yet this only provides a minimum length of that reign and may or may not include any coregencies with a predecessor or successor. In addition, some Egyptian dynasties overlapped, with different pharaohs ruling in different regions at the same time, rather than serially. Not knowing whether monarchies were simultaneous or sequential results in differing chronological interpretations. Where the total number of regnal years for a given ruler is not known, Egyptologists have identified two indicators to deduce that total number: for the Old Kingdom, the number of cattle censuses. A number of Old Kingdom inscriptions allude to a periodic census of cattle, which experts at first believed took place every second year. However, further research has shown that these censuses were sometimes taken in consecutive years, or after two or more years had passed.
The Sed festival was celebrated on the thirtieth anniversary of a pharaoh's ascension, thus rulers who recorded celebrating one could be assumed to have ruled at least 30 years. However, once again, this may not have been standard practice in all cases. In the early days of Egyptology, the compilation of regnal periods was hampered by a profound biblical bias on the part of Egyptologists; this was most pervasive before the mid 19th century, when Manetho's figures were recognized as conflicting with biblical chronology, based on Old Testament references to Egypt. In the 20th century, such biblical bias has been confined to alternative chronologies outside the scholarly mainstream. A useful way to work around these gaps in knowledge is to find chronological synchronisms, which can lead to a precise date. Over the past decades, a number of these have been found, although they are of varying degrees of usefulness and reliability. Seriation, i.e. archeological sequences. This does not fix a person or event to a specific year, but establishing a sequence of events can provide indirect evidence to provide or support a precise date.
For example, some inscribed stone vessels of the rulers of the first two dynasties were collected and deposited in storage galleries beneath and sealed off when the Step Pyramid of Djoser, a Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, was built. Another example are blocks from the Old Kingdom bearing the names of several kings, which were reused in the construction of Middle Kingdom pyramid-temples at Lisht in the structures of Amenemhat I; the third pylon at Karnak, built by Amenhotep III contained as "fill" material from the kiosk of Sesostris I, along with various stelae of the Second Intermediate Period and the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom. Synchronisms with other chronologies, the most important of these being with the Assyrian and Babylonian chronologies, but synchronisms with the Hittites, ancient Palestine, in the final period with ancient Greece, are used; the earliest such synchronism is in the 18th century