The Sun Temples represent the unparalleled category of royal monuments in ancient Egypt, which played a pivotal role in both the religious and economic life of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt. Despite their importance, many aspects of the temples’ history and architecture remain largely unexplored, including their role in the royal ideology of the time and their position in the construction of the sacred landscape of the Old Kingdom Memphite necropolis. Since 2010 an Italian, now Italian-Polish, Archaeological Mission from the University of Naples L’Orientale and the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences, has been conducting new investigations at the sun temple of Niuserra at Abu Ghurab, the main sun temple discovered so far out of the six sanctuaries known from the historical sources. In his lecture, Dr Massimiliano Nuzzolo will present an overview of the main religious, architectural and ideological coordinates of these monuments, based on the results of the last ten years of the fieldwork. A particular focus will be given to the 2021 campaign. This has provided unexpected and revealing hints for the history of the site and has also opened a new phase of investigation of the temple.

This research is a part of the “Sun Temples Project. Religious spaces, ideological patterns and social dynamics of constructing the sacred landscape in Third Millennium BC Egypt” funded by the National Science Center of Poland (Narodowe Centrum Nauki) (Sonata Bis-9 Call – project no. 2019/34/E/HS3/00438).

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