Sun temple of Nyuserre in Abu Ghurab: Report of the 2017 season

Pražské Egyptologické Studie. 2018;(21):45-72


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Journal Title: Pražské Egyptologické Studie

ISSN: 1214-3189 (Print); 1801-3899 (Online)

Publisher: Univerzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta

LCC Subject Category: Auxiliary sciences of history: Archaeology

Country of publisher: Czechia

Language of fulltext: English, Czech

Full-text formats available: PDF



Massimiliano Nuzzolo (Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University)

Rosanna Pirelli (Department of Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean, University of Naples “L’Orientale”)

Patrizia Zanfagna (Municipality of Venice, Office for Architecture, Territorial Planning and GIS-systems)

Andrea D’Andrea (Interdepartmental Centre for Archaeological Services, University of Naples “L’Orientale”)

Angela Bosco (Department of Cultural Heritage Studies, University of Salerno)

Mohamed Osman (Department of Egyptology, Free University of Berlin)

Jaromír Krejčí (Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University)

Emanuele Brienza (Faculty of Literature, University of Enna Kore)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 30 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The article presents the results of the 2017 archaeological season in the sun temple of Nyuserre in Abu Ghurab. The works especially focused on three areas, namely the central obelisk, the alabaster altar, and the accumulation of limestone blocks in the south-western corner of the temple. Besides the documentation of these archaeological remains, an in-depth architectural analysis of the above-mentioned structures has been carried out, in particular as regards the obelisk area. In fact, as already noticed in other contributions, the 3D reconstruction of this part of the temple provided by Borchardt is not convincing for a number of reasons. A new reconstruction of the latter part of the temple has therefore been proposed, based on several archaeological, architectural and historical elements. This reconstruction involves not only the architecture of the obelisk but also the original aspect of the altar area, which is strictly connected to the obelisk as regards the cult practice and the overall temple symbolism. Another objective of the mission was to lay the foundations to a new phase of investigation of the area outside the temple, in particular of the area to the south-east of the sun temple of Nyuserre where the analysis of data coming from satellite remote sensing and historical cartography seems to indicate the possible existence of archaeological remains so far unexplored. Starting from this year, the mission has also become a joint ItalianCzech expedition within the framework of a wider research project (The Rise and Development of the Solar Cult and Architecture in Third Millennium BC Egypt – GAČR project no. 17-10799S), launched in January 2017 at the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Charles ( research/grants/the-rise-of-solar-cult/).