Egyptian Dynasties > Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

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The Sixth Dynasty of Egypt was a period of stability and prosperity during the Old Kingdom era of ancient Egyptian history. Here's an overview:

  1. Duration and Context: The Sixth Dynasty lasted from approximately 2345 BCE to 2181 BCE, following the Fifth Dynasty and preceding the Seventh Dynasty. It was a time of centralized rule and economic prosperity in Egypt.

  2. Rulers: The Sixth Dynasty was ruled by a succession of pharaohs, including Teti, Userkare, Pepi I, Merenre I, and Pepi II, among others. These pharaohs continued the traditions of pyramid building and royal mortuary cults established by their predecessors in earlier dynasties.

  3. Pyramid Construction: The Sixth Dynasty saw the construction of several notable pyramids, including the Pyramid of Teti at Saqqara, the Pyramid of Pepi I at Saqqara, and the Pyramid of Pepi II at Saqqara. These pyramids served as the final resting places for the pharaohs and were surrounded by complex mortuary temples, causeways, and subsidiary tombs.

  4. Funerary Practices: The Sixth Dynasty witnessed the refinement of funerary practices for the elite, including the construction of elaborate pyramid complexes and mortuary temples. These structures served as focal points for the pharaoh's mortuary cult, where offerings and rituals were performed to ensure the pharaoh's well-being in the afterlife.

  5. Administrative Reforms: The Sixth Dynasty is associated with administrative reforms aimed at increasing the efficiency of government and centralizing control over resources and labor. The pharaohs of the Sixth Dynasty established bureaucratic institutions and appointed officials to oversee various aspects of administration, including taxation, agriculture, and construction projects.

  6. Trade and Diplomacy: The Sixth Dynasty maintained diplomatic relations and trade networks with neighboring regions, including Nubia, the Levant, and the eastern Mediterranean. Egyptian artifacts, such as pottery, jewelry, and luxury goods, have been found at archaeological sites throughout the region, indicating the extent of Egypt's influence and commercial activities.

  7. Decline and Succession: The latter part of the Sixth Dynasty saw a decline in royal power and authority, as evidenced by the smaller size and less elaborate construction of pyramids built during this period. Succession disputes and internal strife may have contributed to the weakening of central authority and the eventual transition to the Seventh and Eighth Dynasties.

In summary, the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt was a period of architectural achievement, administrative reform, and cultural flourishing during the Old Kingdom period. Its pharaohs oversaw the construction of magnificent pyramids and temple complexes, further solidifying Egypt's reputation as a center of civilization and culture in the ancient world.

Dynasty VI Kings

Name of KingHorus (Throne) NameDatePyramidQueen(s)TetiSeheteptawy2345–2333 BCPyramid of Teti at SaqqaraKhent(kaus III)Iput IKhuitUserkare2333–2331 BCPepi INefersahor/Merenre2331–2287 BCPyramid of Pepi I in South SaqqaraAnkhesenpepi IAnkhesenpepi IINubwenetMeritites IVInenek-IntiMehaaNedjeftetMerenre IMerenre2287–2278 BCPyramid of Merenre in South SaqqaraAnkhesenpepi IIPepi IINeferkare2278–2184 BCPyramid of Pepi II in South SaqqaraNeithIput IIAnkhesenpepi IIIAnkhesenpepi IVUdjebtenMerenre IIMerenre2184 BCNetjerkare Siptah2184–2181 BC
King NameHorus (Throne) NameDates of RulePyramidQueen/Consort
Preceded byFifth dynastyDynasty of Egyptc. 2345 – 2181 BCSucceeded bySeventh dynasty

Old Kingdom of Egypt



Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Jump up ^ Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004Jump up ^ Ian Shaw ed., The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2000Jump up ^ Sir Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford University Press 1964, p. 91Jump up ^ Naguib Kanawati, Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I, Routledge 2003, p.157Jump up ^ Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press 2000, p.116Jump up ^ J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, Chicago 1906, §§282-390Jump up ^ Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press 2000, p.115Jump up ^ J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, Chicago 1906, §310Jump up ^ J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, Chicago 1906, §§350-354
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