Old Kingdom

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A period in Egyptian history including the 3rd through 8th Dynasties, c 2575-2130 BC. It preceded the Middle Kingdom and is marked by the building of colossal stone pyramids. Most of the royal pyramid complexes and private mastaba tombs of the Memphite necropolis were built during this time. The first significant ruler of the 3rd Dynasty was Djoser Netjerikhet (2667-2648 BC), whose Step Pyramid still dominates the skyline of northern Saqqara. Also, the term refers to one of the two main periods of Hittite history, covering c 1700-1500 BC (the New Kingdom, or Empire, was c 1400- 1180). With the end of the 8th dynasty the Old Kingdom state collapsed.