The Dynasties of the Old Kingdom
Historians divide Ancient Egyptian history into 31 dynasties. A Dynasty consisted of a succession of kings from the same family who succeeded each other on the throne by right of inheritance. The kings of the Old Kingdom Period consisted of the 3rd to the 6th dynasties covering a time span of 505 years.
Old Kingdom Pharaohs and Kings of the Third Dynasty
The Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 3rd Dynasty ruled for 73 years (2686–2613 BC). Djoser was the most famous of the kings and during his reign the step pyramid at Saqqara was built by his chief architect Imhotep was the first major pyramid used as a burial structure. King Huni is sometimes credited with building a great stepped pyramid at Meidum but it was left unfinished at the time of his death and it is believed that his successor Snefru completed it near the beginning of his reign at the star of the 4th dynasty.
*The names of the kings of the 3rd Dynasty were Sanakhte, (2686 - 2668 BC), Djoser (2668 - 2649 BC), Sekhemkhet (2649 - 2643 BC), Khaba (2643 - 2637 BC), Huni (2637 - 2613 BC).
Old Kingdom Pharaohs and Kings of the Fourth Dynasty
The Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 4th Dynasty ruled for 115 years (2613–2498 BC). The pyramids of Giza were built for pharaohs Khufu (Cheops), Kheophren (Cheophren ) and Menkaure, all kings of the fourth dynasty. The construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza is attributed to the Pharaoh Khufu (Greek Cheops). There are hieroglyphics inside the Great Pyramid that claim the pyramid was built by work gangs for the pharaoh Khufu.
*The names of the kings of the 4th Dynasty were Snefru (2613 - 2589 ), Khufu aka Cheops (2589 - 2566 BC), Radjedef (2566 - 2558 BC), Khafre aka Cheophren (2558 - 2532 BC), Menkaure aka Mycerinus (2532 - 2504 BC) and Shepseskaf (2504 - 2500 BC).
Old Kingdom Pharaohs and Kings of the Fifth Dynasty
The Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 5th Dynasty ruled for 153 years (2498–2345 BC). During this period there was a decline in the power and wealth of the pharaohs. Userkaf constructed the Pyramid of Userkaf complex at Saqqara and increased trade around the Mediterranean by instigating naval trading missions. Sahure established an ancient Egyptian navy and sent a fleet to the Land of Punt on a trading mission. All of these pharaohs built a pyramid complex in preparation of their burial and most of them built sun temples in honor of Ra. The pyramid built for Unas contained the first of the Pyramid Texts.
*The names of the kings of the 5th Dynasty were Userkaf (2498 - 2491 BC), Sahure (2491 - 2477 BC), Neferirkare Kakai (2477 - 2467 BC). Shepseskare Ini (2467 - 2460 BC), Raneferef (2460 - 2453 BC), Neuserre Izi (2453 - 2422BC), Menkauhor (2422 - 2414 BC), Djedkare Isesi (2414 - 2375 BC) and Unas (2375 - 2345 BC).
Old Kingdom Pharaohs and Kings of the Sixth Dynasty
The Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 6th Dynasty ruled for 164 years (2345 - 2181 BC). During the 6th dynasty the pharaohs began to share their power with the aristocracy, high officials and the priests. During the reign of Teti high ranking officials began to build funerary monuments that rivalled that of the Pharaoh, a significant indication that the wealth of the pharaoh had shifted to the courtiers and officials. Teti was murdered and the throne was usurped by Userkare but Pepi,the son and heir of Teti, managed to oust Userkare after a period of between two and four years. The reign of Pepi I was marked by trading missions and the aggressive expansion into Nubia. Pepi I was a prolific builder who instigated massive building projects in Upper Egypt at Dendera, Elephantine, Abydos and Hierakonpolis. It was during the busy reign of Pepi I that Nomarchs started to become more influential and the power of the pharaohs began to decline.
*The names of the kings of the 6th Dynasty were Teti (2345 - 2333 BC), Userkare, Pepi I (2332 - 2283 BC), Merenre (2283 - 2278 BC) and Pepi II (2278 - 2181 BC).
Learning about the ancient Egyptians and Old Kingdom inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts about the Old Kingdom will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.