Ancient Egypt / Old Kingdom /
The transition from the 5th to the 6th Dynasty, from King Unas to Teti, appear to have been smooth, as if it happened within the same dynasty. Teti attempted to create continuation by marrying the daughter of King Unas, Iput. Still, tensions within the royal may have been strong, Teti being murdered 22 years later.
As with the other Old Kingdom dynasties, the 6th ruled ruled from Memphis.
There is more written material available from this period, showing more of the life of notables, and not only the king. This reflects the increasing regional growth and the eventual division of the kingdom, thereby the end of the Old Kingdom.
Records show that Egypt continued to have a thriving foreign trade in this period. Egypt no longer controlled Nubia, but its power was extended into the Western Desert, taking control of the oasis today known as Dakhla.
Rich tombs of the nobles show that the tendency of the 5th Dynasty, with more decentralized power, and a weaker king, persisted. The nobility seem especially to have become increasingly strong during the long reign of Pepi 2, probably accelerating in his older years. As this was also a period of famine, the central power was so weak when Pepi 2 died that there was only a few years left of national stability and central control.
Kings of this dynasty were also pyramid builders, most building at South Saqqara, the burial ground inaugurated by 4th Dynasty king, Shepseskaf, who built a masataba here. Pyramids were larger than during the 5th Dynasty, but most were of even inferior quality. Pepi 2's pyramid is the only one today still suggesting its original appearance. Interestingly, its core is the one of a step pyramid.
This dynasty is remembered especially of the longest reign of any king, Pepi 2, who may have ruled for 94 years. Also, Queen Nitiqrit, may have been the first known female ruler of Egypt, as well as the world.
The period following the 6th Dynasty, and the Old Kingdom, is today referred to as First Intermediate Period.
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