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2 April 2010
Ancient history

The New Chronology Forum on Yahoo Groups has had in March a discussion on the reign length of Horemhab. A couple of years ago, in JARCE 44 (2008) wine dockets were said to limit his reign to just 14 years. At the end of the article it says the main obstacle to such a short reign was the Babylonian and Assyrian King List. Bob Porter pointed out the JACF 7 article (1994) also argued for a short reign. The correspondence on the Forum goes on to speculate that the year 27 and year 59 reign dates associated with Horemhab were really the reign dates of Ramesses II – referring to Horemhab in different contexts. Currently, the year 59 presents a number of problems, not least the fact that it is only credible if it includes roughly 35 years of Akhenaten and his immediate heirs – who may have been expunged. This is a theory developed to explain the year 59 but attributing it to Ramesses II makes sense as he lived to year 64 or 67. In addition, the co-regency between Amenophis III and Akhenaten can be restored which reduces further the succession between Amenophis and Ramesses. Such a co-regency is seen as chronologically difficult by some Egyptologists – but not after reinterpreting the year 59. In addition, we might note this leaves room open to reduce the AKL between the late reign of Tukulti Ninurta I and Asurdan as suggested by Bernard Newgrosh in Chronology at the Crossroads – and with it contemporary Babylonian chronology. A Terry Skinner in one post on the Forum claims a short reign of Horemhab further allows Hittite chronology to be shortened as it is currently overstretched. All in all a nice conclusion all round.

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