Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1904-1905

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The endeavour to fix early dates b.c. has a great fascination, not to say a
real interest and value to the historian, even when four figures are
reached and the chronological line is at once isolated and attenuated to
the last degree or broken by wide gaps. It will be seen from the record
below that German scholars have been actively seeking to establish an
Egyptian chronology as far back as the Xllth and even the First
Dynasty. The well-known historian, Professor Ed. Meyer, especially
devotes an extensive memoir to this inquiry. The results of all the
workers, Mahler, Meyer, and Sethe, agree very closely. This is so far
satisfactory, but it must be borne in mind that all alike take as their
basis the same leading astronomical data : they interpret the monumental
records of heliacal risings of Sothis as scientifically accurate, and assume
the regnal dates to be on an unvarying, steady calendar of 365 days.
Unfortunately, no striking confirmation of the dates so obtained has yet
been found. The Ebers Calendar itself, on which the calculated date of
one of four Sothis risings depends, absolutely ignores in a most striking
fashion the five epagomenal days which should complete the year. The
date reached for the beginning of the XVlIIth Dynasty is reasonable
enough, but that for the end of the Xllth Dynasty seems to leave far too
little space for the crowd of kings that intervened. Prof. Petrie's
chronology is very different, and the "minimum dates" of Prof. Meyer
himself, before the discovery of the Sothis date of Kahun, allowed two
centuries more at this point. The date of Nile risings, upon which one of
Meyer's arguments is based, shows considerable variation from the theo-
retical time. The tests ingeniously applied by Prof. Sethe yield results that
are too vague to materially affect the question. Thus, while acknowledging
our great indebtedness to those who have attacked the problem with such
courage and ability, and perhaps accepting their results as a working theory,
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