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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
12th 13th 14th
Second Intermediate Period
15th 16th 17th
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Alexander the Great
Ptolemaic Dynasty

Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the Third Dynasty.

The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Old Kingdom.

Third Dynasty
Name Comments Dates
Sanakhte - 2686 BC – 2668 BC
Djoser Commissioned the Step Pyramid designed by Imhotep 2668 BC – 2649 BC
Sekhemkhet - 2649 BC – 2643 BC
Khaba - 2643 BC – 2637 BC
Huni - 2637 BC – 2613 BC

While Manetho names one Necherophes, and the Turin King List names Nebka, as the first pharaoh of the Third Dynasty of Egypt, many contemporary Egyptologists believe Djoser was the first king of this dynasty, pointing out that 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 was found at the entrance to Khasekhemwy's tomb at Abydos which demonstrates that it was rather Djoser, rather than Sanakhte who buried and succeeded this king. 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 Zawiyet el-Aryan.

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