The Fifth Dynasty Ascends
Shepseskaf ends the Fourth Dynasty, and his brother Userkaf begins a new one. How do we define the end of one “period” and the beginning of another? In this case, it is through the advent of a new kind of monument…
The Sun Temples of Dynasty V are unique in the Old Kingdom, and set this family apart from their predecessors. Dedicated to Atum-Re, these temples celebrate the eternal king and Creator God, whose unity in heaven perpetuates existence.
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A digital reconstruction of a solar temple at Abu Sir and Abu Ghurab, the new centre(s) of royal monument building (Source: Wikimedia).
The face of Userkaf (Source: Wikipedia).
The pyramid of Userkaf (foreground) at Saqqara; built close to the Step Pyramid, to proclaim the king’s legitimacy and link with the legendary Third Dynasty.
Miroslav Verner, Abusir: Realm of Osiris, 2004.
Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008.
Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.
Gay Robins, The Art of Ancient Egypt, 2008.