The Old Kingdom

The History of Egypt for Kids - Old Kingdom

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about the Old Kingdom

Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians - The Old Kingdom of Egypt
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about the Old Kingdom. Discover fascinating facts and information about the History of Egypt and the Old Kingdom.
 
Definition of the Old Kingdom
Interesting facts and information
Historical Overview of the Old Kingdom

The Kings and Pharaohs of the 3rd to the 6th dynasties who ruled during the Old Kingdom time period

The famous people and events of the Old Kingdom
The 'Age of the Pyramids'

Facts about the pharaohs who ruled the Old Kingdom dynasties

An overview of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians - Old Kingdom
Click a link for additional information and interesting facts about subjects relating to Old Kingdom or other aspects of daily life, the people and places of ancient Egypt.

Definition of the Old Kingdom
Definition on the Old Kingdom: The Old Kingdom is the name of a period in ancient Egyptian History and often referred to as the "Age of the Pyramids". The dates of the Old Kingdom were 2686 - 2181 BCE and extended from the 3rd to the 6th dynasty a total of 505 years. For additional information refer to:

Historical Overview of the Old Kingdom
The Old Kingdom was called the "Age of the Pyramids", with magnificent monuments built by rulers such as King Djoser and Khufu aka Cheops. The time of the kings of the 4th Dynasty was called the "Golden Age". During the 4th dynasty, the king of Egypt (they were not called 'Pharaoh' until the New Kingdom) became a living god, who ruled absolutely and could demand the services and the wealth of his subjects. This changed during the 6th dynasty of kings when there was a decline in the power and wealth of the pharaohs and they ceased to be absolute monarchs. The rise of the cult of Osiris emerged during the 5th dynasty. The Old Kingdom extended from the third to the sixth dynasty.

Facts about the Old Kingdom
The following facts provide a fast overview of the history of Egyptian civilization during the historical period known as the Old Kingdom.

Ancient Egypt - The History of Egyptian Civilization
The Old Kingdom Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on the Old Kingdom:

The history of Egyptian civilization in the Old Kingdom was politically stable and prosperous.
 

Fact 2 on the Old Kingdom:

The divine rule of the kings or pharaohs was established.
 

Fact 3 on the Old Kingdom:

The Old Kingdom Pharaohs adopted the divine status and role of mediator with the gods. The pharaohs governed the kingdom with his family and appointed government officials.
 

Fact 4 on the Old Kingdom:

The ancient Egyptians started building of elaborate burial sites and complexes.
 

Fact 5 on the Old Kingdom:

The Step Pyramid at Saqqara was built for the Pharaoh Djoser by his chief architect Imhotep.  The Step Pyramid at Saqqara was the first major pyramid used as a burial structure.
 

Fact 6 on the Old Kingdom:

The ancient Egyptians used weapons and tools made of copper and bronze. The weapons used during this era included spears, cudgels, maces, daggers, shields and bows and arrows. The horse and the chariot was not known in Egypt at this time, they were introduced by the Hyksos in the Middle Kingdom.
 

Fact 7 on the Old Kingdom:

The ancient Egyptians embarked on the exploitation of Nubia which was rich in gold and provided access to other luxury items in Africa including exotic animals, ostrich plumes, leopard skins and precious stones.
 

Fact 8 on the Old Kingdom:

This era saw the increased power of the viziers towards the end of the period. The role of the Vizier in Ancient Egypt was extremely important, equivalent to a Prime Minister.
 

Fact 9 on the Old Kingdom:

Pyramid chambers inscribed with spells to help the Pharaoh during the afterlife - the Pyramid Texts
 

Fact 10 on the Old Kingdom:

The period saw the emergence of the worship of the sun god Ra and the building of obelisks. Obelisks were placed in pairs at the entrances of temples and were a  symbol of sun-worship and their capstones were covered in shining gold to catch the rays of the sun. The sun temple of the city of Heliopolis was  amongst the most important cult centres of Egypt.
 

Fact 11 on the Old Kingdom:

The symbol of the sacred Benben Stone was a pyramid-shaped capstone placed on top of an obelisk. According to mythology the Benben Stone emerged from the primeval waters at the beginning of creation and symbolized the Primeval mound.
 

Fact 12 on the Old Kingdom:

Up to the 4th dynasty the kings were considered to be the incarnation or descendent of the god Horus and from the 5th Dynasty the King was also considered to be the son of Ra, the sun god.
 

Fact 13 on the Old Kingdom:

The rise of the cult of Osiris, the Egyptian god of death, the Underworld and Rebirth emerged during the 5th dynasty.
 

Fact 14 on the Old Kingdom:

The Pyramid Texts were created exclusively for the pharaoh, offering protection in the Afterlife. The text, in the form of magical spells, was inscribed on the walls of their tombs without any embellishment of images.
 

Fact 15 on the Old Kingdom:

Architecture on the Old Kingdom: The transition of Step Pyramids to smooth surfaced pyramids such as the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza (see picture below). The great pyramids of Giza were built for pharaohs Khufu (Cheops), Khafre aka Chephren and Menkaure aka Mycerinus
 

Fact 16 on the Old Kingdom:

During the 6th dynasty the pharaohs lost much of their power to the nobles, high officials and the priests who began to build funerary monuments that rivalled that of the Pharaoh.
 

Fact 16 on the Old Kingdom:

The end of the 6th Dynasty ended the period referred to as the Old Kingdom and the end of the "Age of the Pyramids."
 

Ancient Egypt - History of Egyptian Civilization
The Old Kingdom Fact Sheet

Facts about the Old Kingdom - the "Age of the Pyramids"
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about the Old Kingdom for kids with some amazing, cool and quick information about ancient Egypt and Egyptians. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages! Find fascinating fun facts about the Old Kingdom for kids and the history, culture and civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about the Old Kingdom for research, schools, students and kids of all ages.

All the Giza Pyramids

All of the Giza Pyramids

 

The Ancient Egyptians

 

Ancient Egyptian History and the Old Kingdom
The Egyptologists and historians divide the years of ancient Egyptian history and civilisation into the following historical time periods, which include the period known as the Old Kingdom.
 

Ancient Egyptian Time Periods

Anubis


Anubis

Ancient Egyptian Dynasties - Major Time Periods in Ancient Egypt History
The main ancient Egyptian history time periods are:

 

Old Kingdom

Facts and Information about the Old Kingdom

Old Kingdom

The people, places, culture and civilization of ancient Egypt

Facts and information about Ancient Egypt & the Egyptians

Old Kingdom for kids and schools

Old Kingdom  for kids, schools, homework and research

The Dynasties and Kings of the Old Kingdom

 

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.
 

Ancient Egyptian Dynasties

Old Kingdom Pharaohs and Kings of the Third Dynasty
The Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 3rd Dynasty ruled for 73 years (26862613 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 (26132498 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 (24982345 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).

Ancient Egypt

Old Kingdom
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.

Old Kingdom

 

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