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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Middle Kingdom
11th 12th
Second Intermediate Period
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Abydos Dynasty
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the Sixth Dynasty.

The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the Old Kingdom period.

The Sixth Dynasty of Egypt is considered by many authorities as the last dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, although The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (ed. Ian Shaw, 2000) includes the Seventh Dynasty and Eighth Dynasty as part of the Old Kingdom. Manetho writes that these pharaohs ruled from Memphis, or Egyptian Mennefer; archeologists concur with Manetho on this.

This dynasty was founded by Teti, who had married Iput, commonly believed to be the daughter of King Unas of the Fifth Dynasty. Other notable members of this dynasty include Pepi II, who is sometimes credited with a reign of 94 years, by far the longest in the history of Ancient Egypt; and the last ruler Siptah (also known by the classical Greeks as the female king Nitocris).

During this dynasty, expeditions were sent to Wadi Maghara in the Sinai Peninsula to mine for turquoise and copper, as well as to the mines at Hatnub and Wadi Hammamut. Pharaoh Djedkare sent trade expeditions south to Punt and north to Byblos, and Pepi I not only sent expeditions to these locales, but also as far as Ebla.

With a growing number of biographical inscriptions in non-royal tombs, our knowledge of the contemporary history broadens from the monolithically formal facade of earlier rulers. For example, we hear of an unsuccessful plot against Pepi I. We also read a letter written by the young king Pepi II, excited that one of his expeditions will return with a dancing pygmy from the land of Yam, located to the south of Nubia.

These non-royal tomb inscriptions are but one example of the growing power of the nobility, which further weakened the absolute rule of the king. As a result, it is believed that on the death of the long-lived Pepi II his vassals were entrenched enough to resist the authority of his successors, leading to the rapid end of the Old Kingdom.

Rulers[]

Sixth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Teti 2345–2333 BC (12 years)
Userkare 2333–2332 BC (1 year)
Meryre Pepi I 2332–2283 BC (49 years)
Merenre Nemtyemsaf I 2287–2278 BC (9 years) Made coregent by his father Pepi I.
Neferkare Pepi II 2278–2184 BC (94 years) Possibly the longest-reigning monarch in human history, with 94 years on the throne. Alternatively, may have reigned only 64 years.
Merenre Nemtyemsaf II 2184–2183 BC (1 year) Short lived pharaoh, possibly an aged son of Pepi II.
Netjerkare Siptah 2183–2181 BC (2 years) This male king gave rise to the legendary queen Nitocris of Herodotus and Manetho.

Timeline[]

Siptah (6th dynasty)Nemtyemsaf IIPepi IINemtyemsaf IPepi IUserkareTeti
Preceded by:
5th Dynasty
Old Kingdom
6th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
7th and 8th Dynasties
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