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AbusirThe Necropolis of the Sons of the Sun$
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Miroslav Verner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789774167904

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774167904.001.0001

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Abusir of Sons of the Sun

Abusir of Sons of the Sun

(p.51) 3 Abusir of Sons of the Sun

Miroslav Verner

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter examines the influence of the town of Heliopolis—the center of the sun cult in Egypt—on the foundation and development of the royal cemetery in Abusir. It begins with an overview of the history and meaning of the sun cult in ancient Egypt, showing that sun worship in the Nile Valley can be traced to prehistory. It then describes some pyramid complexes built in ancient Heliopolis, including the pyramid complex of Sahure, and the decline of the Abusir necropolis. It also discusses the decline of the Fourth Dynasty and the rise of the Fifth Dynasty; the mystery surrounding three royal mothers, all named Khentkaus; the papyri as fragmentary records of the Abusir pyramid temple administration and economy; Ptashshepses, the vizier and son-in-law of Nyuserre; and the funerary cult of the kings buried at Abusir. The chapter concludes with an assessment of sun temples of the Fifth Dynasty kings.

Keywords:   kings, Heliopolis, sun cult, royal cemetery, Abusir, pyramid complexes, necropolis, Fifth Dynasty, Khentkaus, sun temples

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