Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Timeline

The history of ancient Egypt follows millennia of pharaonic dynasties, technological development, religion and arts. The well preserved pyramids and temples, a significant number of papyrus documents and the tales of ancient historians helped the modern world understand when it all happened.

Click the timeline image to enlarge:

Ancient Egypt Timeline


Here is a brief timeline of ancient Egypt:

Time Period Important Events
Pre-3100 BC Predynastic Period
  • Area around the Nile settled due to overgrazing and weather changes which led to the creation of the Sahara desert.
  • 4000 BC: Use of tomb building and burial rituals started.
  • 3500 BC: Hieroglyphic writing developed.
3200 - 3000 BC Protodynastic Period
  • Thinis, one of three states of Upper Egypt, takes over Naqada and Nekhen (other two of three states), as well as the whole of Lower Egypt.
  • Unified Egypt created.
2950 - 2575 BC Early Dynastic Period
(1st - 2nd dynasties)
  • Capital of Egypt built in Memphis.
  • First king of unified Egypt believed to be Menes, Narmer, or Hor-aha.
2575 - 2150 BC Old Kingdom
(3rd - 6th dynasties)
  • 2600 BC: Pyramid of Djoser built, first known large-scale stone building.
  • Menkaure's Pyramid built, earliest use of carved granite.
  • Red Pyramid, first smooth-sided pyramid.
  • 2580 BC: Great Pyramid of Giza built. Tallest structure until 1300 AD.
  • Art of embalming started.
2125 - 1975 BC 1st Intermediate Period
(7th - 11th dynasties)
  • Unification of Egypt fell apart.
  • Weather changes stopped the flooding of the Nile, caused many years of famine.
1975 - 1640 BC Middle Kingdom
(12th - 13th dynasties)
  • 2055 BC: Mentuhotep II reunited Egypt.
  • 1878 BC: Senusret III attempts to extend Egypt, begins military campaigns to Nubia.
  • Under Amenemhat III's 45 year reign, the Valley of the Kings was used.
1630 - 1520 BC 2nd Intermediate Period
(14th - 17th dynasties)
  • Egypt once again no longer unified at the start of the 14th Dynasty (Hyksos kings rule in the North).
  • 17th Dynasty reunites Egypt and defeats the Hyksos from Western Asia.
1539 - 1075 BC New Kingdom
(18th - 20th dynasties)
  • Reign of Hatshepsut, first female pharaoh.
  • Reign of Akhenaten. Built a new capital called Akhetaten.
  • Formed new monotheistic religion based around the sun disk, Aten. Banned worship of old gods.
  • Reign of Horemheb, focused on re-establishing the Egypt that existed before Akhenaten.
  • Valley of Queens made, though some wives were still buried with their husbands.
  • Reign of Ramses II, ruled for 67 years and had numerous temples built, such as Abu Simbel.
  • 1258 BC: World's earliest known peace treaty created.
1075 - 715 BC 3rd Intermediate Period
(21st - 25th dynasties)
  • Egypt once again split into two separate areas, Upper and Lower.
715 - 332 BC Late Period
(26th - 31st dynasties)
  • 525 BC: Egypt conquered by the Persians.
  • 404 BC: Independent again.
332 BC - 395 AD Greco-Roman Period
  • Alexander the Great invades Egypt; is eventually declared Pharaoh.
  • Alexandria built.
  • 304 BC - 30 BC: Descendants of Ptolemy I, Alexander's general, rule Egypt while maintaining Egyptian style of rule.
  • 229 B: Library of Alexandria founded.
  • 146 BC: Rosetta Stone cut.
  • 30 BC: Roman conquest of Egypt, Egypt restored to its prior wealth and prestige as a trade center.
  • 42 AD: Library of Alexandria burns, loses 40,000 of its 70,000 books and manuscripts in the blaze.
  • 212 AD: Egyptians given Roman Citizenship.
  • 300 AD: Rise of Christianity in Egypt.
640 AD - Present  
  • 640 AD: Egypt conquered by Arab forces, becomes Islamic after 300 years of Christianity.
  • 1799 AD: Rosetta Stone found by Napoleon's soldiers.
  • 1822 AD: Rosetta Stone deciphered.
  • 1870 AD: mummy caches found.
  • 19th Century: Valley of the Kings found.
  • 1922 AD: Tutankhamun's tomb found by Howard Carter.