Season of the Inundation

G1 SA x
M8 X1
The Season
of the Inundation Akhet
in hieroglyphs

The Season of the Inundation (the MdC transliteration of the Egyptian term is Axt, and it is occasionally written as Akhet) [1] was the first season in the ancient Egyptian calendar. This season is also known as the time of the floods. The Ancient Egyptians marked the beginning of their year by the rising of the Nile. This event was vital to the people because the waters left behind fertile silt and moisture, which was the cause of the fertility of the Egyptian nation. The inundation fell between mid-July and mid-November and began after the period of 5 epagomenal days known as ḥriw rnpt, "those over the year".[2]

Lunar calendar

The Ancient Egyptians used this name in both their lunar and their civil calendars. The lunar calendar began with the heliacal rising of Sirius, which during the time of the ancient Egyptians occurred around September 20 (according to the Julian calendar in Egypt the Sothic year happens to be of the same length as the Julian); the four months of their lunar calendar are roughly equivalent to the period from the rising of Sirius to the middle of November.

Civil calendar

The New Year's Day of the civil calendar, on the other hand, moved through the seasons over time, by about one day every four years. Therefore, the Season of Inundation does not continuously match any part of the modern calendar.


The Season of Inundation consisted of four 30-day months. These months can be either referred to by number (months 1 through 4) or by names as follows:

The Season of Inundation was preceded by the Season of the Harvest and was followed by the Season of the Emergence.[3]

See also


  1. Nigel C. Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid Age, SBL 2005, p.87
  2. Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University press. pp. 103–106
  3. Marshall Clagett, Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book, Diane 1989, ISBN 0-87169-214-7, p.5
Preceded by
Season of the Harvest
Egyptian Seasons

Season of the Inundation
days: 120 days

Succeeded by
Season of the Emergence
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