Thread: From Hell
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:16 PM   #103
lightgiver
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Arrow Dynasty V


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The Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom.. The Fifth Dynasty dates approximately from 2494 to 2345 BCE..Manetho writes that the Dynasty V kings ruled from Elephantine, but archeologists have found evidence clearly showing that their palaces were still located at Ineb-hedj ("White Walls")..As before, expeditions were sent to Wadi Maghara and Wadi Kharit in the Sinai to mine for turquoise and copper, and to quarries northwest of Abu Simbel for gneiss. Trade expeditions were sent south to Punt to obtain malachite, myrrh, and electrum, and archeological finds at Byblos attest to diplomatic expeditions sent to that Phoenician city..



How Pharaoh Userkaf founded this dynasty is not known for certain.. The Papyrus Westcar, which was written during the Middle Kingdom, tells a story of how king Khufu of Dynasty IV was given a prophecy that triplets born to the wife of the priest of Ra in Sakhbu would overthrow him and his heirs, and how he attempted to put these children - named Userkaf, Sahure, and Neferirkare - to death; however in recent years, scholars have recognized this story to be at best a legend, and admit their ignorance over how the transition from one dynasty to another transpired..During this dynasty, Egyptian religion made several important changes. The earliest known copies of funerary prayers inscribed on royal tombs (known as the Pyramid Texts) appear. The cult of the god Ra gains added importance, and kings from Userkaf through Menkauhor Kaiu built temples dedicated to Ra at or near Abusir. Then late in this dynasty, the cult of Osiris assumes importance, most notably in the inscriptions found in the tomb of Unas..

Userkaf was the founder of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt and the first pharaoh to start the tradition of building sun temples at Abusir.. His name means "his Ka (or soul) is powerful". He ruled from 2494-2487 BC and constructed the Pyramid of Userkaf complex at Saqqara..Another less common view, in concordance with a story of the Westcar Papyrus, is that the first three rulers of the fifth dynasty were brothers—the sons of a woman named Raddjedet..The exact duration of Userkaf's reign is unknown. Userkaf is given a reign of 7 years by the Turin Royal Canon while Africanus states that Manetho's Epitome attributes him 28 years of reign. The Palermo stone describes the year of the 3rd cattle count under Userkaf, which would correspond to his 6th year on the throne as the cattle count was generally, but not necessarily, biennial during the Old Kingdom..Userkaf's reign might have witness a recrudescence of trade between Egypt and its Mediterranean neighbours thanks to a series of naval expeditions, which are represented in his mortuary temple..In the periods after the New Kingdom, when several cities in the Delta served as capital of Egypt, Saqqara remained in use as a burial ground for nobles.. Moreover the area became an important destination for pilgrims to a number of cult centres. Activities sprang up around the Serapeum, and extensive underground galleries were cut into the rock as burial sites for large amounts of mummified ibises, baboons, cats, dogs, and falcons..During routine excavations in 2011 at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University, uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.. It is thought that the mummified animals, mostly dogs, were intended to pass on prayers of their owners to their Gods...




Userkaf most innovative monument is undoubtedly his sun temple at Abu Gorab..It is believed that the construction of the sun temple marks a shift from the royal cult, so preponderant during the early 4th dynasty, to the cult of the sun god Re. The king was not revered directly as a god anymore but rather as the son of Re and this, in turn, changed the royal mortuary cult..In this context, the sun temple, oriented to the west, was a place of worship for the setting (i.e. dying) sun and was thought of as a part of the royal mortuary complex. For this reason, the sun temple shares many architectural elements with the pyramid complex itself: it comprises a high temple build around a large obelisk and a causeway leads to a rectangular valley temple, close to the Nile..

The canopic jars were 4 in number, each for the safekeeping of particular human organs: the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver, all of which, it was believed, would be needed in the afterlife..Early canopic jars were placed inside a canopic chest and buried in tombs together with the sarcophagus of the dead.. Later, they were sometimes arranged in rows beneath the bier, or at the 4 corners of the chamber.. After the early periods there were usually inscriptions on the outsides of the jars, sometimes quite long and complex.. The scholar Sir Ernest Budge quoted an inscription from the Saïte or Ptolemaic period that begins: "Thy bread is to thee. Thy beer is to thee. Thou livest upon that on which Ra lives.." Other inscriptions tell of purification in the afterlife..There was no jar for the heart: the Egyptians believed it to be the seat of the soul, and so it was left inside the body..Queen Hetepheres I 4th dynasty.. One of the oldest known uses of Egyptian canopic jars..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Userkaf
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081856/
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Last edited by lightgiver; 05-11-2014 at 09:22 PM.
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