Ancient Egyptian History
The civilization of Egypt is pre-historic, which means it is older than the time when people wrote down their histories. Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations on earth, dating back as far as 7,000 years. What is known of Egypt during this time is only an "educated guess."
The first real account of Egyptian civilization came from the ancient historian Herodotus, who tells us that in 3100 B.C., during the first dynasty, a king named Menes was the first to bring all of Egypt together as one country. He established trade with other countries, built the city of Memphis and the first temple to the God Ptah. Some say that he ruled for 62 years. When he died, his wife Neihotep ruled until his son, Djer was old enough to take over the throne. Djer ruled for 50 years. During his rule, Egypt advanced its territory into the Sinai Desert. Wady was the next king, little is known about him. Queen Merenith ruled over Egypt when her son became king as a child. Her son, Den was next. He ruled for 50 years. Den is best known for controlling mineral sites in the Sinai and for his worship of Apis. After Den's reign was over, many years of disorder broke out over who was the frightful ruler. This ended the first Dynasty.
The second dynasty began in 2890 B.C. when Hotepsekhemwy ended the political conflicts. He ruled for 35 years, but was overthrown by his own brother, Raneb, who then ruled for 39 years. Next Aynetjer ruled for 47 years. He had many festivals dedicated to the gods and goddesses. Sekhemb ruled next. While he was king, he turned the focus of worship from Horus to Seth, who became the main Deity of Egypt during his reign. Khasekhemwy was the last king of the second dynasty. During his rule a war between the northern part of the kingdom and the southern part. Khasekhemwy married Nemathap, a noble woman from the north and their marriage united the two regions once again.
The third dynast began with Djoser, also known as Netjerykhet, in 2668 B.C. He was the king who had the Step Pyramid at Saqqara built as well as the royal funerary complex designed by the architect Imhotep.
The fourth dynasty gave Egypt Snofru, who conquered the Sinai and waged war on Phoenicia. He was the builder of many of history's great archeological finds. Some of these include the Bent Pyramid, the Red Pyramid, and the Medium Pyramid. It was also during this time the Great Pyramid of Cheops was built in Giza.
In the fifth dynasty, Sahure created the first Egyptian Navy. King Wenis traded with foreign nations as far away as central Africa. A major famine occurred during this time.
The sixth dynasty, begun by Teti, was marked by lying, cheating, and stealing. Teti's advisor, Weni, is known to have had a lot of power and served two other kings, Pepi and Menere. Those kings ere followed by Queen Ankhesemspi II, wife of Menere and mother of Pepi II, who was too young to rule. It is said that when he finally did rule, it was for 94 years.
Dynasties 7-10 brought an end to the "Old Kingdom", which is how the first six dynasties are referred to. There was a weakening in the power of the Pharaoh, the central government began to collapse and power moved into two different regional capitals. Mentuhotep tried to rule from his capital in Thebes, but all that reigned during that time was confusion.