This chart represents 31 pre-Ptolemaic dynasties, and the approximate duration of their rule (in 25-year segments). Each coloured box represents a dynasty.[example 1] Colours of the boxes represent the period of the dynasties as indicated in the legend. The early dynasties and the three Kingdoms (Old, Middle, New) are blue, with darker colours meaning older. Intermediate periods are red, orange, and yellow. Note that multiple dynasties could reign (from different cities) simultaneously in intermediate periods (and briefly as well at the end of the Middle Kingdom). Further, dynastic reigning times are very often known only approximately; this graph utilises the same years as the Egyptian dynasty list template.
In Ancient Egyptian history, dynasties are series of rulers sharing a common origin, who are usually, though not necessarily, of the same family.
Ancient Egypt's historical period is traditionally divided into thirty-one pharaonic dynasties. These divisions are due to the 3rd century BC Egyptian priest Manetho, and first appeared in his work Aegyptiaca, which was perhaps written for the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Egyptian ruler of the time. The thirty-first Dynasty's name is not due to Manetho and is a later coining.
While widely used and useful, the system does have its shortcomings. Some dynasties only ruled part of Egypt and existed concurrently with other dynasties based in other cities. The Seventh might not have existed at all, the Tenth seems to be a continuation of the Ninth, and there might have been one or several Upper Egyptian Dynasties before the First Dynasty.
This page lists articles on dynasties of Ancient Egypt. The cities in which power was held during these dynasties follow their names, in parentheses.
^Starting on the far right of this chart, only one dynasty lasted over 250 years (18th Dynasty). Two dynasties lasted between 200 and 225 years (2 boxes). One dynasty lasted between 175 and 200 years (1 box), etc.
^Wilkinson, Toby (2010). "Timeline". The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. New York: Random House. p. xiii. ISBN9781408810026. "The system of dynasties devised in the third century B.C. is not without its problems—for example, the Seventh Dynasty is now recognized as being wholly spurious, while several dynasties are known to have ruled concurrently in different parts of Egypt..."
^Seidlmayer, Stephan (2000). Shaw, Ian, ed. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. p. 118. ISBN0-19-815034-2. "After the 8th Dynasty power was held by a succession of rulers originating from Herakleopolis Magna, which was located in northern Middle Egypt. These kings appear as both the 9th and 10th Dynasties in Manetho's history, having been mistakenly subdivided in the course of the transmission of the original king-list."