Niuserre (Part II): Hasty Burials, and Elite Culture
Coming to the throne after the premature death of his brother, Raneferef, Niuserre Ini must rapidly complete his predecessor’s burial. He must also complete the pyramid of their father, Neferirkare Kakai, and put his own pyramid into the works – a difficult task to handle all at once.
Beyond the confines of the royal household, the elite families of the kingdom are expressing themselves more boldly. Lavish tombs, high offices, and wealth are filtering into their level of society, creating a vibrant era of the culture.
3D models of the pyramid of Niuserre (right), next to that of his father Neferirkare Kakai (Source: R.F. Morgan, via Wikipedia).
3D model of Niuserre’s Sun Temple (Source: R.F. Morgan, via Wikipedia).
A dual-statue of the king, representing him in both elderly and youthful guises, with complex symbolic functions beneath the surface (Source: Wikipedia).
The scribe Nykare, who lived in the Fifth Dynasty. Discovered in the Saqqara region (Source: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
Two young dogs, from the pyramid complex of Niuserre. Re-used and discovered at al-Lisht, in the pyramid complex of Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty (Source: the Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Miroslav Verner, The Pyramids, 2002.
Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms, 1973 (2006 paperback edition).
Harold M. Hays, “The Death of the Democratization of the Afterlife” in Old Kingdom, New Perspectives, 2011 (Free Download).