Timeline of Egyptian history

ca 10,000 BCE
Original hunter-gatherers learn to grow grain beside the Nile

ca 8000 BCE
Drying out of the Sahara caused by a change in the climate forces the population to concentrate in the Nile Valley
Egyptian farmers become the first to herd domesticated cattle and other livestock

ca 6000 BCE
The first simple single-sailed ships are built
Stone tools are replaced by tools made of metals
Trades include basket weaving and tanning

ca 5000 BCE
Two broadly similar civilizations develop, one in the south (Upper Egypt) and one in the north (Lower Egypt)

ca 4000 BCE
The first large stone buildings are constructed
Advances are made in the fields of alchemy, cosmetics, music, medicine and pottery
The building of underground tombs containing grave goods anticipates later practices

ca 3500 BCE
Egyptians invent senet, the world’s oldest known board game

ca 3200 BCE
Egyptians develop further the hieroglyphic writing system

ca 3100 BCE
The union of Upper and Lower Egypt creates a single state extending from the Mediterranean in the north to Aswan in the south

ca 3050 – 333 BCE Pharaonic Egypt

ca 3050 – 2687 BCE
Early Dynastic Period (Dynasties I and II) (1 and 2)

ca 3000 BCE
Papyrus is first used for writing

ca 2750 BCE
Fortunes decline following civil war between the rival supporters of the gods Horus and Set

ca 2687 – 2191 BCE
Old Kingdom (Dynasties III – VI) (3-6)

ca 2686 BCE
Egypt enters a golden age with the beginning of the Old Kingdom. This period is also known as “the age of the pyramid builders”.

2668 – 2649 BCE
Djoser – Step Pyramid of Saqqara

ca 2650 BCE
The mummification process is perfected and the first of the pyramids is constructed

ca 2600 BCE
The Old Kingdom reaches its peak under the rule of the IV Dynasty

ca 2589 BCE
Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid becomes pharaoh

ca 2400 BCE
The Egyptians develop an astronomical calendar

ca 2190 – 2061 BCE
First Intermediate Period (Dynasties VII – XI) (7-11)

ca 2183 BCE
The Old Kingdom ends and Egypt breaks again into separate parts.

ca 2061- 1665 BCE
Middle Kingdom (Dynasties XI – XIV) (11-14)

ca 2046 BCE
Civil war ends when the pharaoh of Upper Egypt defeats the pharaoh of Lower Egypt and assumes power as Mentuhotep II and the Middle Kingdom begins

ca 2000 BCE
Egyptian physicians write the world’s first medical textbook

ca 1800 BCE
Northern Nubia is re-conquered and Egypt send armies into Palestine

ca 1759 BCE
Middle Kingdom ends with the death of the female pharaoh Sobekneferu

ca 1664 – 1569 BCE
Second Intermediate Period (Dynasties XV – XVII) (15-17)

ca 1674 BCE
Much of Egypt is invaded by Asiatic tribes called the Hyksos who introduced horse-drawn chariots to Egypt

ca 1569 – 1081 BCE
The New Kingdom (Dynasties XVIII – XX) (18-20)

ca 1500 BCE
The world’s first glass-making takes place in Egypt

ca 1360 BCE
The empire reaches a peak under Amenhotep III

ca 1300 BCE
The shaduf is introduced to irrigate fields with water from the Nile

ca 1160 BCE
Egyptian scholars draw up the world’s first known maps

ca 1081 – 711 BCE
Third Intermediate Period (Dynasties XXI – XXIII) (21-23)

ca 1070 BC to 664 BCE
The pharaohs decline in power and the priests become more powerful in the Third Intermediate Period

ca 818 BCE
Rival pharaohs rule in Lower Egypt, Middle Egypt and Upper Egypt

ca 732 BCE
The Nubians invade and defeat the combined armies of several native Egyptian rulers

ca 724 – 333 BCE
Late Period (Dynasties XXIV – XXXI) (24-31)

ca 700 BCE
Egypt is engaged in warfare with Assyria

671 BCE
Egypt is invaded by the Assyrians

664 BCE
Peace is restored and Egypt enters a new era of prosperity known as the Late Period

525 BCE
Egypt in invaded by the Persians

343 BCE
The Persians defeat the last native Egyptian pharaoh, Nectanebo II

332 BC – 337 AD Graeco-Roman Egypt

332 BCE
Alexander the Great liberates Egypt from the Persians

323 BCE
Alexander the Great dies and his general Ptolemy I Soter becomes pharaoh

ca 300 BCE
The Royal Library of Alexandria founded during the reign of Ptolemy II

47 BCE
With the support of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra VII takes the throne of Egypt

30 BCE
The death of Cleopatra ends the Ptolemaic period and Egypt is conquered by the Romans under Octavian, becoming a Roman province

98 AD
Babylon Fortress built in what is now known as Coptic Cairo by the Roman Emperor Trajan

ca 100 AD
Christianity is introduced to Egypt

ca 330 – 346
The church of Pachomus built at Faw Qibli

337 – 641 AD Byzantine (Coptic) Egypt

ca 356
St. Anthony’s monastery established near the Red Sea

Egypt becomes part of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire

ca 390 – 420
Hanging Church built over Babylon Fortress in what is now Coptic Cairo

27 – 565
St. Catherine’s Monastery constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian

The Persians conquer Egypt

The Arabs conquer Egypt. In the 7th century the Byzantine army was easily vanquished by Arabic forces led by Amr Ibn el A’as, who conquered Egyptian Babylon and founded Fustat, the first urban nucleus of Cairo

642 – 1798 AD Islamic Egypt

First mosque ever built on the land of Egypt (and maybe all of Africa) erected by Amr Ibn al’As, the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt

661 – 750 Ummayyad Caliphate

750 – 969 Abbasid Caliphate

868 – 905 Tulunid Dynasty
In the 9th century the Iraqi governor of Samara, Ibn Tulun, established the first independent Islamic state of Egypt

935-969 Ikshidi Dynasty

969-1171 Fatimid Dynasty
In the mid 10th century, Fatimid Caliph Al-Muezz seized power and founded the new Egyptian capital, Al Qahira, which later became Cairo

1171-1252 Ayyubid Dynasty
The Fatimid dynasty was abolished in 1171 by the Kurdish general Salah al-Din (Saladin) who defended his people against the Crusaders, becoming a hero of Islam

1252-1517 Mamluk Dynasty

1517-1914 Ottoman Rule

1798 AD – Modern Egypt

1798 – 1801 French Occupation

1805 – 1892 Dynasty of Mohammed Ali Pasha

Mohammed Ali destroys the Mamluk rulers at the Citadel

Mohammed Ali’s government founds the first indigenous press in the Arab world, the Bulaq press.

Mohammed Ali dies

Suez Canal completed

1882 – 1952
British Occupation

1922 – 1952
Semi independence

King Farouk comes to the throne

1952 –
Arab Republic of Egypt

Anwar Sadat assassinated

The new Bibliotecha Alexandrina inaugurated

Egyptian Revolution

NB: The exact dates of the Egyptian Dynasties and of individual reigns are the subject of much scholarly debate. Anyone who uses this website should therefore be aware that the dates shown for the dynasties and individual reigns throughout this site may sometimes differ to the dates that are used elsewhere. Up to 642 AD the primary chronology used here follows Redford (Oxford Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s