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Old Kingdom
(2649 - 2150 BC)
3rd Dynasty       5th Dynasty
4th Dynasty       6th Dynasty
6th Dynasty
(2323 - 2150 BC)

Teti (r. 2323 - 2291) erected his pyramidal complex at Saqqara, northeast of Userkaf's pyramid. They found remains of his mummy at his pyramid. He might have ruled for 12 years before his uncertain death. Iput, his queen, is the most famous among his wives. Teti's pyramid from inside is a real piece of art since it comprises magnificent sculptures describing daily life of ancient Egyptians in the Old Kingdom.

Pepi I
Bronze statue of Pepi I
courtesy of the Egypt Archive
Pepi I (r. 2289 - 2255) is the natural heir of Teti and his son from Queen Iput.
He married 2 daughters of a senior statesman: Ankhnesmeryre who bore him Merenre and the other one is Ankhnesmeryre II who bore him Pepi II. Both of his two sons succeeded him consecutively.
Pepi was also a unique military leader who led Egypt to preserve its solidarity against invaders.

Asiatics increased their battles against Egyptians from the East to the extent that they prevented mining expeditions to Sinai. Weni, a remarkable general of Pepi's army, commanded the army a number of times in wars against Asiatics. The Egyptian army to Sinai and Palestine to beat the rebels.

Weni built a tomb for himself in Abydos in which he describes the victories of the Egyptian army. He narrated his stories in a form of beautiful poems. He spoke proudly of his soldiers' behavior, saying that they didn't attack civilians neither took food of villages they passed by.
Weni investigated a plot by queen Weret-Imtes, Pepi's wife. However he doesn't disclose details about the outcome of the trial.
Pepi built a number of temples and a pyramid at Saqqara. In his pyramid they found a basalt-made sarcophagusWhat does it mean? contains bone remains.

Merenre (r. 2255 - 2246) succeeded his father Pepi but ruled Egypt for a short period as he is believed to have been ill. During his reign Weni was given a higher position as the governor of upper Egypt. He took over an assignment to cut channels beside the Nile at Aswan.
Merenre was buried in his pyramid at Saqqara. They found his well-preserved mummy in the pyramid.

Pepi II
Calcite statue of Pepi
on the lap of his mother
image courtesy of
Ancient Egypt Site
Pepi II (r. 2246 - 2152) succeeded his brother Merenre in the reign. He was only 6 years old when he held the power.
Harkhuf succeed Weni in leading expeditions in the south. A story describes Harkhuf's capture for a dancing dwarf. He then reported to King Pepi II, the child, about his little gift. Pepi II responded by promising him of rewards if he brought the dwarf safely to him. Pepi II also ordered the governors of various regions to take care of, and assist, Harkhuf as he passes by.
The story was recored at Harkhuf's tomb in Aswan.

When Pepi became older, he sent a senior official called Pepynakht Hekayib in expeditions to suppress NubianWhat does it mean? rebels. Egyptians were also building ships at the Red Sea coast in order to launch expeditions to Punt. They used a port called Kuser of this purpose. Pepynakht was buried in his tomb at Aswan.

Pepi II ruled for 94 years, one of the longest reigns in ancient Egypt.
As a result of his long rule, the country plunged in turmoil. Pepi was weak enough to quell strong princes of different regions. Moreover a famine struck the country and illness spread all over. Gangs appeared everywhere and people left their homes.

After the death of the king, it was difficult to preserve the unity of the country. Some historians mention names of kings who said to have succeeded Pepi II, but nothing is confirmed about this information. Pepi II was buried at his pyramid in Saqqara.
Finally the unrest resulted into the collapse of the dynasty and the end of the Old Kingdom.

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