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Two Studies in 21st Dynasty Chronology*I: Deconstructing Manetho’s 21st DynastyII: The Datelines of High Priest Menkheperre

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AbstractThere has never been any consensus on the nature, composition and chronology of the “21st Dynasty”. Recent research has produced an ever-increasing multiplicity of rival models, most still relying on the information given in the surviving epitomes of the Hellenistic scholar Manetho. The claim that the regnal years given by “Manetho” for the 21st Dynasty are corroborated by the monuments is completely unjustified and based on circular reasoning. Progress can only be made by completely abandoning reliance on Manetho (a hangover from early 19th century, pre-decipherment, scholarship) once and for all.AbstractThis section of the article follows up a model we proposed for the early 21st Dynasty in JEgH (2010),42 which suggested that Piankh held the pontificate while Herihor was king. Such a model could resolve the recent debate regarding the order of HPAs Herihor and Piankh. Here the next major controversy of 21st Dynasty chronology is addressed—the question of whether the high year dates from the time of HPA Menkheperre belonged to King Psusennes or Amenemope of Tanis. It is argued that they belonged to neither, but to the wḥm-mswt or “Renaissance” era which started late in the reign of Ramesses XI. Allocating the high datelines from the pontificate of Menkheperre to the wḥm-mswt would resolve a number of otherwise intractable problems, and results in a shortening of 21st Dynasty chronology by some four decades, in step with both archaeological and genealogical evidence.

Affiliations: 1: LondonUK; 2: Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of ExeterUK


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