Old Kingdom of Egypt Overview
When Menes unified Egypt under his leadership more than 5000 years ago, he established the very first capital of unified Egypt. This was Memphis that is located near the Giza Pyramids today.
Menes also founded the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. In fact, the seat of the power of the Old Kingdom was in Memphis. The location of Memphis was quite strategic. It was situated at the edge of the beginning of the Egyptian Nile Delta. It was featured with being near Upper Egypt as well.
At the early period of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, the kings chose Abydos as their burial and funeral site. This was to reflect their Southern loyalty and origins. Afterwards, the kings started burring their beloved ones in Saqqara, one of the richest archeological sites in Egypt today. At this period of the Egyptian history, the kind was the incarnation of godHorus and he was buried near his divine power.
The kings of the Old Kingdom managed to preserve the sovereignty of Egypt and protect the country against any outer invasions. They established a large country with 42 provinces. These districts were managed following one of the most ancient forms of bureaucracy.
Taxations resulted in a great wealth and treasures. The organized governmental system of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom made it possible to have great massive structures like the pyramids. This is why the rulers of the Old Kingdom were called the Pyramids’ builders. The most famous pyramids builders included Djoser, Senfru, Cheops, and Khafre. Moreover, these great national projects contributed to the unification of the whole nation towards achieving an objective.
Senfru, the father of Cheops, the builder of the Grand Pyramid in Giza, had three great pyramids built. There is his red pyramid in Dahshur, which is the second largest in Egypt. He also constructed the famous bent pyramid in Dahshur as well.
With the huge amount of resources needed to build the pyramids and with some poor harvest seasons, all of these reasons resulted in a relative decline in the royal power. This was reflected on the smaller rather weaker pyramids constructed in the coming periods of time. The long ruling period of Kind Pepi I, from 2278 till 2184 made it even worse for the whole nation.
After a long period of wealth, great architectural achievements including the Giza Pyramids, the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt witnessed a decline that led to the first intermediate period of the Pharaonic ear. During this period, the central power of the king and the royal family was altered. Local rulers began gaining more control over large areas of lands.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.
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In Cairo, visit the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Khan El Khalili Bazaar and relish a walking tour on foot in Old Cairo. In Luxor visit the impressive Luxor temple, Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings and Karnak temple. Aswan tours go to Philae Temple, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel temples. Uncover the Western Desert oases like Siwa and Bahariya. Diving or snorkeling in the magic waters of Red Sea and Sinai beaches like Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam to explore the magic of the underwater world. Board a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan or vise versa, Lake Nasser Cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel or vise versa and Cruise from Cairo to Aswan or vise versa.