Archaeologists Have Discovered What They Believe Are One of the Lost “Sun Temples” Egypt, dating from the middle of the 25th century BC
The team discovered remains buried under another temple at Abu Ghurab, about 12 miles south of Cairo, I said CNN Co-director Massimiliano Nuzolo, assistant professor of Egyptology at the Polish Institute of Sciences for Mediterranean and Oriental Culture, in Warsaw, on Monday (16).
In 1898, archaeologists working at the site discovered the Solar Temple of Neusera, also known as Neusere or Nucere, the sixth king of the 5th Dynasty who ruled Egypt between 2400 and 2370 BC.
Now, discoveries made during the last mission show that it was built on the remains of another solar temple.
“19th-century archaeologists excavated only a small part of this mud-brick building beneath the Nucera stone temple and concluded that it was an early stage in the construction of the same temple,” explained Nujolo CNN by email.
“Now, our findings suggest that this was a completely different building, built before Nucera,” he said.
Discoveries include seals engraved with the names of the kings who ruled before Nucera, which were once used as stoppers for jars, as well as the bases of two limestone columns, which served as an entrance. part, and limestone thresholds.
The original construction was made entirely of clay bricks, Nuzolo said, where the team also found dozens of beer pots during excavations. He states that some of the pots are filled with ritual clay, which was used only in specific religious rituals, and that the pottery is believed to date to the mid-25th century BCE, a generation or two before Nucera lived. .
The clay-brick monument was “impressive in size,” Nuzzolo said, but Nucera destroyed it to build his solar temple.
He said that these temples were dedicated to the worship of the sun god Ra, but the king legitimized his power through the temple and presented himself as the only son of the sun god on earth.
“Indirectly, therefore, the main purpose of the temple was to be the site for the deity of the living king,” Nuzzolo said.
Historical sources suggest that a total of six solar temples were built, but only two were unearthed at first, Nuzzolo said. From these sources, we know that all sun temples were built around Abu Ghrab, he said.
Nucera’s Sun Temple is similar in design to the mud-brick building, but larger and made of stone, Nujolo said.
He said that the mud-brick building would not have been built by Nucera, as the Egyptian kings had not built temples with bricks and then rebuilt them using stone.
“What usually happens is that when a king, for some reason, is in a hurry, he builds a monument out of clay bricks with the predominant elements in stone,” said Nuzzolo, who calls these findings “very likely prove that the few remaining solar temples are also built with clay bricks and some stone elements.
“This has made it easy for them to disappear over the centuries, as many other ancient Egyptian monuments have been built from the same perishable material,” he said.
“In addition, a mud-brick building can easily be demolished and buried under other buildings, as probably happened in our case.”
He said the team hopes to find out which king was responsible for building the temple through further excavations at the site.
Studying pottery, in particular, would allow them to learn more about how people lived at the time, Nuzzolo said, including what they ate and what they believed in.
Nuzzolo and team’s discovery appeared in National Geographic’s “Lost Treasures of Egypt” program, which aired Sunday (14).
The excavation is part of a joint mission by the University of Naples L’Orientale and the Polish Academy of Sciences.
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