THIRD DYNASTY OF EGYPT:
THE Third Dynasty of Egypt (c. 2670-2613 BCE) begins with King Djoser, famous for his Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Although there are some sources which claim a king named Sanakht (also known as Nebra) founded the Third Dynasty, these claims are routinely challenged for lack of evidence. The chronology of Manetho is vague on who Sanakht was, when he ruled in the Third Dynasty, and even his name. Sanakht’s name is only known through the Abydos king list, the Turin papyrus, and two reliefs found in thetomb known as Mastaba K2 at Beit Khallaf. This was once thought to be Sanakht’s tomb but this identification has been challenged and refuted. Nothing is known of Sanakht’s reign and his name may be a reference to some other king. Although few details are available on Djoser’s reign, it is certain he was king at the beginning of the Third Dynasty and equally clear he followed the last king of the Second Dynasty, Khasekhemwy.
Scholars have routinely included the Third Dynasty in the period of the Old Kingdom (c. 2613-2181 BCE) rather than the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150-2613 BCE) because of the grand building projects which characterize it. The construction of the first pyramid in the Third Dynasty, under Djoser, suggested to early archaeologists a clear link with the rise of the greatest pyramids in the Old Kingdom. Modern scholarship, however, tends to regard the Third Dynasty as belonging to the Early Dynastic Period owing to a continuation of cultural and architectural practices (religious observances and methods of building) which are more closely aligned with the past of Egypt than the future.
Article by Joshua J. Mark on AHE