UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Ancient Egypt : Old Kingdom Arbuckle, Caroline


The Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt consists of the 3rd to 8th Dynasties (c.2670-2168). This was the period of Egyptian history when pyramid building was a central feature of the cult of kingship. This is the first period of Egyptian history when there are substantial textual references that provide more detailed insight into religious practice. At this point in time, the king was considered the ultimate intermediary between mankind and the gods. The kings built monumental tombs - most of them in the shape of pyramids. The kings' favourites were then buried close to the king in hopes of spending an eternal afterlife in his favour. Towards the end of the Old Kingdom, this strict hierarchy begins to loosen, and people begin to have direct access to the god Osiris, gaining more control over their afterlife.

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Attribution 4.0 International