Third Dynasty of Egypt

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Funerary temple of Djoser at Saqqara Templo de Zoser en Saqqara.jpg
Funerary temple of Djoser at Saqqara
Egypt
ca. 2686 BC–ca. 2613 BC
Capital Memphis
Common languages Egyptian language
Religion
ancient Egyptian religion
Government Absolute monarchy
Historical era Bronze Age
 Established
ca. 2686 BC
 Disestablished
ca. 2613 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Second Dynasty of Egypt
Fourth Dynasty of Egypt Blank.png

The Third Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other dynasties of the Old Kingdom include the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth. The capital during the period of the Old Kingdom was at Memphis.

Contents

Overview

After the turbulent last years of the Second Dynasty which might have included civil war, Egypt came under the rule of Djoser, marking the beginning of the Third Dynasty. [1] Both the Turin King List and the Abydos King List record five kings, [2] while the Saqqara Tablet only records four.

The archaeological evidence shows that Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of the Second Dynasty, was succeeded by Djoser, who at the time was only attested by his presumed Horus name Netjerikhet. Djoser's successor was Sekhemkhet who had the nebty name Djeserty. The last king of the dynasty is Huni. There are three remaining Horus names of known 3rd dynasty kings: Sanakht, Khaba and perhaps Qahedjet. One of these three went by the nebty name Nebka. [2]

Dating the Third Dynasty is similarly challenging. Shaw gives the dates as being approximately from 2686 to 2613 BC. [3] The Turin King List suggests a total of 75 years for the third dynasty. Baines and Malek have placed the third dynasty as spanning the years 2650 – 2575 BC, [2] while Dodson and Hilton date the dynasty to 2584 – 2520 BC. It is not uncommon for these estimates to differ by more than a century. [1]

Rulers

The pharaohs of the Third Dynasty ruled for approximately seventy-five years. The order of the kings is based on Wilkinson. [2] The number of years as king, the regnal years, is based on Dodson and Hilton. They have the dynasty lasting only 64 years. [1]

Dynasty III pharaohs
Horus-name Personal NameRegnal yearsBurialConsort(s)
Netjerikhet Djoser 19 Saqqara Hetephernebti
Sekhemkhet Djoserty 6 Saqqara: Buried Pyramid Djeseretnebti
Sanakht Nebka 19 Abydos ?
Khaba Teti6 Zawyet el'Aryan: Layer Pyramid
Uncertain, Qahedjet ? Huni 24 Meidum ? Djefatnebti
Meresankh I

While Manetho names Necherophes, and the Turin King List names Nebka (a.k.a. Sanakht), as the first pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, [2] many contemporary Egyptologists believe Djoser was the first king of this dynasty, pointing out the order in which some predecessors of Khufu are mentioned in the Papyrus Westcar suggests that Nebka should be placed between Djoser and Huni, and not before Djoser. More importantly, seals naming Djoser were found at the entrance to Khasekhemwy's tomb at Abydos, which demonstrates that it was Djoser, rather than Sanakht, who buried and succeeded this king. [2] The Turin King List scribe wrote Djoser's name in red ink, which indicates the Ancient Egyptians' recognition of this king's historical importance in their culture. In any case, Djoser is the best known king of this dynasty, for commissioning his vizier Imhotep to build the earliest surviving pyramids, the Step Pyramid.

Some authorities believe that Imhotep lived into the reign of the Pharaoh Huni. Little is known for certain of Sekhemkhet. However, it is believed that Khaba possibly built the Layer Pyramid at Zawyet el'Aryan.

Third Dynasty timeline

HuniKhabaSanakhtSekhemkhetDjoserThird Dynasty of Egypt

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The 27th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2700 BC to 2601 BC.

Saqqara Village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

Saqqara, also spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas. Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km.

Djoser Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty

Djoser was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom and the founder of this epoch. He is also known by his Hellenized names Tosorthros and Sesorthos. He was the son of king Khasekhemwy and queen Nimaathap, but whether he also was the direct throne successor is still unclear. Most Ramesside Kinglists name a king Nebka before him, but since there are still difficulties in connecting that name with contemporary Horus names, some Egyptologists question the received throne sequence.

Khasekhemwy Final king of the Second dynasty of Egypt

Khasekhemwy was the final king of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. Little is known about him, other than that he led several significant military campaigns and built the mudbrick fort known as Shunet El Zebib.

Egyptian pyramids Ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt

The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. As of November 2008, sources cite either 118 or 138 as the number of identified Egyptian pyramids. Most were built as tombs for the country's pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.

Sanakht Egyptian pharaoh

Sanakht was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the Third Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. His chronological position is highly uncertain, and it is also unclear under which Hellenized name the ancient historian Manetho could have listed him. Many Egyptologists connect Sanakht with the Ramesside cartouche name Nebka. However, this remains disputed because no further royal title of that king has ever been found; either in contemporary source or later ones. There are two relief fragments depicting Sanakht originally from the Wadi Maghareh on the Sinai Peninsula.

Djer ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty of the Middle Empire

Djer is considered the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the mid-thirty-first century BC and reigned for c. 40 years. A mummified forearm of Djer or his wife was discovered by Flinders Petrie, but was discarded by Émile Brugsch.

Nynetjer Egyptian pharaoh

Nynetjer is the Horus name of the third pharaoh of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. The length of his reign is unknown. The Turin Canon suggests an improbable reign of 96 years and Egyptian historian Manetho suggested that Nynetjer's reign lasted 47 years. Egyptologists question both statements as misinterpretations or exaggerations. They generally credit Nynetjer with a reign of either 43 years or 45 years. Their estimation is based on the reconstructions of the well known Palermo Stone inscription reporting the years 7–21, the Cairo Stone inscription reporting the years 36–44. According to different authors, Nynetjer ruled Egypt from c. 2850 BC to 2760 BC or later from c. 2760 BC to 2715 BC.

Sekhemkhet Egyptian pharaoh

Sekhemkhet was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom. His reign is thought to have been from about 2648 BC until 2640 BC. He is also known under his later traditioned birth name Djoser-tety and under his Hellenized name Tyreis. He was probably the brother or eldest son of king Djoser. Little is known about this king, since he ruled for only a few years. However, he erected a step pyramid at Saqqara and left behind a well known rock inscription at Wadi Maghareh.

Huni ancient Egyptian king

Huni was an ancient Egyptian king and the last pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. Following the Turin king list, he is commonly credited with a reign of 24 years, ending c. 2613 BC.

Khaba pharaoh of Ancient Egypt

Khaba was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, active during the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom period. The exact time during which Khaba ruled is unknown but may have been around 2670 BC.

Sekhemib-Perenmaat Egyptian pharaoh

Sekhemib-Perenma'at, is the horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Similar to his predecessor, successor or co-ruler Seth-Peribsen, Sekhemib is contemporarily well attested in archaeological records, but he does not appear in any posthumous document. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his burial site has yet to be found.

Layer Pyramid Archaeological site in Egypt

The Layer Pyramid is a ruined step pyramid dating to the 3rd Dynasty of Egypt and located in the necropolis of Zawyet El Aryan. Its ownership is uncertain and may be attributable to pharaoh Khaba. The pyramid architecture, however, is very similar to that of the Buried Pyramid of king Sekhemkhet and for this reason is firmly datable to the 3rd Dynasty.

Nebka Ancient Egyptian king

Nebka is the throne name of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Third Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period, in the 27th century BCE. He is thought to be identical with the Hellenized name Νεχέρωχις recorded by the Egyptian priest Manetho of the much later Ptolemaic period.

Nimaathap was an Ancient Egyptian queen consort at the transition time from 2nd dynasty to 3rd dynasty. Nimaathap may have acted as regent for her son Djoser.

Hetephernebti queen of the third dynasty of ancient Egypt

Hetephernebti was a queen of the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. She was the only known wife of Pharaoh Djoser.

Djeseretnebti is possibly the name of an Ancient Egyptian queen. Since this name appears without any queen‘s title, Egyptologists dispute the true meaning and reading of this name.

Horus Sa

Horus Sa was a possible early Egyptian pharaoh who may have reigned during the 2nd or 3rd dynasty of Egypt. His existence is disputed, as is the meaning of the artifacts that have been interpreted as confirming his existence.

Inykhnum

Inykhnum was an ancient Egyptian high-ranking official who worked and lived during the transition time between 2nd dynasty and 3rd dynasty. The king(s) under which he served are not known for certain, the subject being currently highly disputed.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Dodson, Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2004
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Toby A.H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge, 2001
  3. Shaw, Ian, ed. (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt . Oxford University Press. p.  480. ISBN   0-19-815034-2.
Preceded by
Second Dynasty
Dynasties of Egypt
c. 26862613 BC
Succeeded by
Fourth Dynasty