Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom , Sixth Dynasty Part II

The third ruler of the Sixth Dynasty, Pepi, fathered one of the most important kings of ancient Egyptian history. In this article, you will learn why he was such a significant personality in history, as well as information regarding other pharaoh from the Sixth Dynasty.

Pepi II

Pepi II was a very important pharaoh in ancient Egyptian history because he is credited with ruling for 94 years (with some historians believing the time frame was around 64 years). If he was king for 94 years, this achievement marks the longest time that any monarch has ruled. When Pepi II was six years old, he succeeded to the throne after the death of Merenre I. In traditional circles, Pepi II is the son of Pepi I and Queen Ankhesenpepi II. There is some controversy surrounding the parentage of Pepi II with some Egyptologists believing that Pepi II was actually the offspring of Merenre.

The sharp decline of the Old Kingdom took place during the reign of Pepi II. Nomarchs continued to grow more powerful, which decreased the power of the pharaoh. No leading central power existed at the time. This gave local nobles the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the situation. It became commonplace for nobles to raid each other’s territories. Within a couple of decades, the Old Kingdom came to an end.

Pepi II was buried in a pyramid complex in Saqqara , situated closer to other Old Kingdom pharaohs. His pyramid is modest in comparison to some of the greater builders that lived during the Fourth Dynasty. However, his final resting place was comparable to earlier pharaohs from his own dynasty. On the ceiling of his burial chamber, stars deorate the ceiling and the walls are covered with lines from the Pyramid text passages. Excavators discovered an empty black sarcophagus in the tomb with the names and titles of Pepi II.

Merenre Nemtyemsaf II

For a very short time, Merenre Nemtyemsaf II served as a pharaoh in Egypt , most likely succeeding his father Pepi II. According to the Turin King List, Merenre II only ruled for a year. A stela was discovered close to the pyramid site of Neith that mentioned his name. It is thought that this was his mother. Some believe that he was succeeded by Nitocris (or Nitiqret) , who is often referred to his sister or wife.

A Female Pharoah?

Some researchers believe that during the Sixth Dynasty saw the first female pharaoh of Egypt. Nitiqret was also seen as the first queen in the literate world. Others feel that her existence is simply a mistranslation of Neitiqerty Siptah, who was actually a male.