End of the Old Kingdom
Egypt’s Old Kingdom ended, according to widespread scholarly opinion, with the last king of the 8th Dynasty—that is, around the middle of the twenty-second century BCE, or a few decades later. The reasons for the fall are to be seen in internal and/or climatic factors that arose much earlier, or possibly in an invasion from the northeast—explanations that do not preclude each other. As a result of these factors, the territorial entity of the Egyptian state was dissolved and a period of economic and cultural decline followed. The end of the Old Kingdom is one of the most controversial topics in Egyptian historiography. Moreover, the end recorded by the ancient Egyptians does not necessarily coincide with what modern scholars have considered the end. Until now the exact causes for the decline remain uncertain.