In this contribution I shall make the case that the external environmental factors which contributed to the demise of the Old Kingdom state can be discerned much earlier than traditionally supposed. Earlier authors have ascribed the Old Kingdom collapse to an abrupt climate change and to a rapid decline in the annual Nile floods. I shall argue that there is now sufficient evidence which demonstrates the continual adaptation of the ancient Egyptian society to a changing/worsening environment over a period which lasted almost two centuries. At the same time, I shall make the case that most important changes that instigated the steady decline of the Old Kingdom society had an internal character and were deeply rooted within the society's development.