Missing old Egyptian tombs and temples

Published January 7, 2020 by amaic
THE SUN TEMPLE OF NIUSERRE AT ABU GURAB

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

  

A similar problem arises with the so-called Fifth Dynasty,

with four of its supposed six sun temples undiscovered.

 

 

A different approach is obviously needed when, after decades or more of searching, a famous ancient capital city such as Akkad (Agade) cannot be found; nor the tombs of virtually an entire dynasty (Egyptian Second); nor four whole sun temples (Egyptian Fifth).

 

The Second Dynasty of Egypt, however – whose beginning I would re-date to about a millennium later than does the conventional model – appears to overlap, in great part, with (according to what I have already tentatively determined) the very beginnings of Egyptian dynastic history.

That the Second Dynasty may be, to a great extent at least, a duplication of the First Dynasty, may be supported by the disturbing (for Egyptologists) non-existence of Second Dynasty burials (Miroslav Verner, Abusir, p. 16. My emphasis): “The tombs of the rulers of the Second Dynasty, which for the most part have not yet been discovered, represent one of the greatest problems of Egyptian archaeology”.

 

A similar problem arises with the so-called Fifth Dynasty, with four of its supposed six sun temples undiscovered. Thus Jeff Burzacott, “The missing sun temples of Abusir”:

https://www.nilemagazine.com.au/2015-5-june-archive/2015/6/9/the-missing-sun-temples-of-abu-sir

 

There are some sun temples out there somewhere.

Abusir is one of the large cemeteries of the Old Kingdom kings, around 16 kilometres south of the famous Great Pyramids of Giza.

Although the history of the Abusir necropolis began in the 2nd Dynasty, it wasn’t until King Userkaf, the first ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, chose to build here that the Abusir skyline changed forever.

What Userkaf built here wasn’t a pyramid; he nestled his final resting place close to the world’s first pyramid, that of Djoser at Saqqara. What Userkaf raised at Abusir was something new – a sun temple.

The sun temple was a large, squat obelisk, raised on a grand pedestal, and connected with the worship of the setting sun. Each day the sun sank below the western horizon into the Underworld where it faced a dangerous journey before rising triumphantly, reborn at dawn. It was a powerful symbol of cyclical resurrection.
The obelisk shape is likely symbolic of the sacred benben stone of Heliopolis, which represented the primeval mound, the first land to rise from the waters of Nun at the dawn of time, and where creation began. This was the centre of the cosmos.

For the next 70 years, Abusir was a hive of activity as the pyramids of Userkaf’s sons, Sahure (rightmost pyramid) and Neferirkare, (leftmost pyramid), as well as his grandson, Niuserre (centre) raised their own step pyramids and sun temples there.

Buried in the Abusir sand are also the barely-started pyramids of Fifth Dynasty pharaohs whose short-lived reigns saw their grand monuments hastily sealed, just a few courses of stone above the desert.

Six sun temples are mentioned in inscriptions, although only the ruins of Userkaf’s and Niuserre’s have been discovered. Hopefully, buried out there somewhere lay four more sun temples, waiting to feel Ra’s rays once again.

 

I do not think so.

It is my belief that the rulers of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, just like those of the Second, have been duplicated – {a duplication of dynasties occurring at various stages of Egyptian history as well} – meaning that there were not six rulers who built six sun temples.

 

Most likely, then, all (two) of the sun temples that were built have already been discovered.

 

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