Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a 4,500-year-old temple dedicated to the Egyptian sun god Ra at the site of Abu Ghurab, about 20 kilometers south of Cairo, Report informs, citing Live Science.
The temple was built sometime during ancient Egypt’s fifth dynasty (circa 2465 B.C. to 2323 B.C.) — a “period in which the cult of the sun reached its apex with the construction of a new type of monument specifically devoted to the sun god, commonly known as ‘Sun Temple,'” said Massimiliano Nuzzolo, co-director of the archaeological dig and a researcher at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He co-directs it with Rosanna Pirelli of the University of Naples “L’Orientale” in Italy.
The sun cult was a powerful cult in ancient Egyptian religion. In later times, Ra merged with Amun — the chief god of Thebes (Luxor) — to form Amun-Ra who was regarded, at least by some Egyptians, as being the most powerful of the Egyptian gods. He was worshiped until around 1,500 years ago, the time that Egyptian polytheism became extinct.
The newly uncovered sun temple was made from mud bricks and measured at least 60 meters long and 20 meters wide. It contained an L-shaped entrance portico, a courtyard, storage rooms and rooms that may have been used for cultic purposes.
This discovery is not completely new, as 19th-century German archaeologists found a “very small part” of the mud brick sun temple, according to Nuzzolo.
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