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Sun Temples at Abu Ghourab

One of the splendid examples of the Sun Temples, built by the rulers of the Fifth Dynasty to express their preference to the Heliopolitan sun-god Re, is that of King Neuserre at Abu-Ghourab. In its general features, it owes much to the typical pyramid complex of the same period. Its main axis is east-west and it consists of: 1) the valley temple, 2) the causeway, 3) the upper temple. Most distinctively, the upper temple is a large open court with an altar and a masonry-built obelisk, the symbol of the sun-god. A corridor around the temple and the chapel south of the obelisk were decorated with scenes showing the King taking part in the ceremonies of the Sed-Festival. Here, the influence of the sun-god on nature was expressed by scenes showing the Egyptian countryside in both the Akhet and the Shemu seasons. Reliefs of this type are very unusual on the royal monuments of the Old Kingdom, and are only partly paralleled by much less extensive representations in the pyramid complexes of the same king at Abusir and of Wenis at Saqqara.

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