King 2453-2422 BC.
    A tale in the Westcar Papyrus in the Berlin Museum emphasises the allegiance that the kings of the Fifth Dynasty had to the cult of the sun-god Re, and the historical facts support this claim. The kings of this dynasty adopted the epithet 'son of Re' as part of the royal titulary, and they constructed sun-temples where Re's cult was given unprecedented importance.
    Although it is known that six kings of this dynasty built such temples, only those of Niuserre and *Userkaf have been discovered. With the patronage of Baron von Bissing, Borchadt and Schaefer excavated Niuserre's temple in 1898-1901, and they were able to demonstrate the main features of the building. Situated on the edge of the desert at Abu Ghurob, about a mile north of Abusir where Niuserre built his pyramid, his sun-temple probably copied the main elements of the original sun-temple to Re-Atum at Heliopolis.
    It incorporated the same main features as a pyramid complex, having a Valley Building and a covered causeway but, instead of leading to the pyramid and an attached mortuary temple, this causeway gave access to a paved courtyard and a rectangular podium which originally would have supported an obelisk, the cult-symbol of Re. This was also modelled on the original squat obelisk at Heliopolis which was known as the Benben. At the foot of the podium there was an altar where animals were sacrificed as part of the temple ritual. The courtyard was open to the sky which enabled the sun-god to be present at his ceremonies but the causeway was covered and here and elsewhere there were magnificent sculpted and painted wall-reliefs which are now in the Cairo and Berlin Museums.
    These reliefs depicted a range of subjects including representations of animals and plants created by the sun, and religious ceremonies such as the foundation of the temple and the celebration of the king's jubilee festival. The scenes showing the activities of the seasons of the year are particularly notable: the three seasons— Akhet, Peret and Shemu—are personified and accompanied by figures representing the nomes or districts of Egypt, and other personifications—the Nile, the Sea, Grain and Nourishment-bring their offerings to the sun-god.
    The pyramids of Niuserre and other kings of this dynasty, *Sahure and *Neferirkare, were situated at Abusir. Niuserre's pyramid was excavated by Borchadt in 1902-8, and in the causeway corridor there were some interesting reliefs showing the king as a lion or a griffin, trampling his enemies underfoot.
    These temple and pyramid reliefs demonstrate the high standard of art in this period, and the temple reliefs also preserve the names of the king's important courtiers, including *Ti who owned a fine tomb at Saqqara.
BIBL. von Bissing, F.W. Das Re-Heiligtum des Konigs Ne-Woser-Re (Rathures) Three vols. Leipzig: 1905-28; von Bissing, F.W. and Kees, H. Untersuchungen zu den Reliefs aus dem Re-Heiligtum des Rathures. Munich: 1922; Borchadt, L. Das Grabdenkmal des Konigs Neuser-Re. Leipzig: 1907; AEL i. pp. 215-22.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
(reigned c. 2445–2421 BC)
   Personal name Ini. Ruler of Dynasty 5. Son of Neferirkareand probably KhentkauesII. He was the eventual successor of the short-lived Raneferef, possibly after some confusion. He built a sun temple at Abu Ghurab near Abusir, which was excavated by a German expedition at the end of the 19th century, and a pyramid and mortuary complex at Abusir excavated by Ludwig Borchardt from 1902–1904, from which many fine reliefs were recovered. The Palermo Stone indicates that he sent expeditions to Sinai and Punt.
   See also Menkauhor.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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