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Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt

Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt
1077 BC–943 BC
Gold funerary mask of pharaoh Psusennes I
Gold funerary mask of pharaoh Psusennes I
Common languagesEgyptian language
Ancient Egyptian Religion
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Historical eraIron Age
• Established
1077 BC
• Disestablished
943 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt
Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt

The Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXI, alternatively 21st Dynasty or Dynasty 21) is usually classified as the first Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Third Intermediate Period, lasting from 1077 BC to 943 BC.


After the reign of Ramesses III, a long, slow decline of royal power in Egypt followed. The pharaohs of the Twenty-first Dynasty ruled from Tanis, but were mostly active only in Lower Egypt, which they controlled. This dynasty is described as 'Tanite' because its political capital was based at Tanis. Meanwhile, the High Priests of Amun at Thebes effectively ruled Middle and Upper Egypt in all but name. The later Egyptian Priest Manetho of Sebennytos states in his Epitome on Egyptian royal history that "the 21st Dynasty of Egypt lasted for 130 years".[1]

Pharaohs of the 21st Dynasty

Pharaoh Image Throne name / Prenomen Reign Burial Consort(s) Comments
Smendes / Nesbanebdjed I Hedjkheperre Setepenre 1077 - 1051 BC unknown Tentamun Only controlled Lower Egypt during his reign. Founder of the 21st Dynasty.
Amenemnisu Neferkare Heqawaset 1051 - 1047 BC unknown
Psusennes I / Hor-Pasebakhaenniut I Akheperre Setepenamun 1047 - 1001 BC NRT III, Tanis Mutnedjemet
Precise length of reign unknown. Either 41 or 46 years.
Amenemope Usermaatre Setepenamun 1001 - 992 BC Tanis
Osorkon the Elder Akheperre Setepenre 992 - 986 BC unknown
Siamun Netjerkheperre Setepenamun 986 - 967 BC unknown
Psusennes II / Hor-Pasebakhaenniut II Titkheperure Setepenre 967 - 943 BC unknown

Timeline of the 21st Dynasty

Psusennes IISiamunOsorkon the ElderAmenemopePsusennes IAmenemnisuSmendes


  1. ^ Kenneth A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC), 3rd edition, 1986, Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd, p.531

Further reading

  • Jaroslav Černý, Studies in the Chronology of the Twenty-First Dynasty, JEA 32 (1946), 24-30

See also

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Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt
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