The Old Kingdom of Egypt History



The history of Pharaonic Egypt is divided into great periods of stability corresponding to the 30 dynasties that took turns in the government of the country from 3100 B.C to 332 B.C. We will talk about the old kingdom in detail with Cairo Top Tours!


The  old kingdom of Egypt, or the ancient Empire, is the first major period in the history of ancient Egypt, with a strong and stable political, religious, and cultural system following the unification of all of Egypt in the archaic period, but before we talk about the old kingdom of Egypt history, we have to get back to the Protodynastic period:
It includes the first two dynasties and goes from 3100 to 2650 B.C. The first dynasty begins with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by the hand of King Menes.

The Old Kingdom, which goes from 2635 to 2155 B.C and is also known as the "pyramids period", begins with the Third Dynasty and ends with the 5th dynasty.

Between the 3rd dynasty and 4th dynasty the Old Kingdom reached its peak: in the absence of wars, everyone worked to satisfy the Pharaoh's court wishes.

The necropolis of Memphis and Saqqara and, subsequently, the three great Giza Pyramids (Cheope, Chephren, and Mycerinus) date back to this period. The Step Pyramid of King Djoser in Saqqara was also built by the genius architect Imhotep. and the pyramids of King Snefru in Dahshur (the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid) are great examples of the grandeur of this period.

During the 6th dynasty, the power of the pharaohs weakened and the unity of the country also began to show signs of giving way. For over a hundred years, until the 10th dynasty, numerous pharaohs were unable to bring Egypt back to its original splendor. During the 9th dynasty and 10th dynasties, the capital of the country was Heracleopolis.

The 3rd dynasty kings: 2649–2575 B.C.

  • Zanakht                 2649–2630 B.C.
  • Djoser                    2630–2611 B.C.
  • Sekhemkhet          2611–2605 B.C.
  • Khaba                    2605–2599 B.C.
  • Huni                       2599–2575 B.C.

The 4th dynasty kings: 2575–2465 B.C.

  • Snefru             2575–2551 B.C.
  • Khufu              2551–2528 B.C.
  • Djedefre          2528–2520 B.C.
  • Khafre             2520–2494 B.C.
  • Nebka II          2494–2490 B.C.
  • Menkaure        2490–2472 B.C.
  • Shepseskaf     2472–2467 B.C.
  • Thamphthis     2467–2465 B.C.

The 5th dynasty kings: 2465–2323 B.C.

  • Userkaf            2465–2458 B.C.
  • Sahure             2458–2446 B.C.
  • Neferirkare      2446–2438 B.C.
  • Shepseskare   2438–2431 B.C.
  • Neferefre         2431–2420 B.C.
  • Niuserre           2420–2389 B.C.
  • Menkauhor      2389–2381 B.C.
  • Isesi                 2381–2353 B.C.
  • Unas                2353–2323 B.C.

The 6th dynasty kings: 2323–2150 B.C.

  • Teti                           2323–2291 B.C.
  • Userkare                  2291–2289 B.C.
  • Pepi I                       2289–2255 B.C.
  • Merenre I                 2255–2246 B.C.
  • Pepi II                      2246–2152 B.C.
  • Merenre II                2152–2152 B.C.
  • Netjerkare Siptah    2152–2150 B.C.