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Ancient Dates

The ancient Egyptians measured the passage of time in relative terms: Day 10 of the first month of winter, Year 4 of King X. With the coronation of a new king, the year returned to 0. However, Akhenaten and several other pharaohs ruled for a time as co-regents, meaning the reign of two kings overlapped. In addition, we simply don't have enough information about the lengths of some kings' reigns to place them on a timeline—in some cases the priests who wrote the ancient chronologies and kinglists deliberately omitted rulers they would rather forget. How can we then assign absolute dates to such remote events? When the ancient historians fail us, we look to the ancient astronomers...

Around the World

Although the Near East is known as the birthplace of civilization, by the time of Akhenaten other cultures were beginning, some even flourishing, far beyond the boundaries of the world known to the Egyptians. Find out what was happening in Asia, the Americas, and other distant cultures during the Amarna period.

Aurelien Joly is a Tunahead.