The remains of a mud-brick building were found beneath the King Nyuseree temple in Abu Ghraib, north of Egypt’s Abu Sir, by a joint Italian-Polish archaeological mission. According to preliminary studies, this building may be one of the four lost sun temples from the Fifth Dynasty that are known from historical sources but have not yet been revealed, said Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Egypt’s Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Waziri claims that there are massive chunks of quartz, some of which have a weighted face and are embedded in the floor, in the space between the storehouses in the north and the large courtyard area to the west. This area is paved with mud bricks. There is a limestone door beneath the floor of the Temple of Nyuserre that leads to the building’s ruins.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, noted that experts discovered many pottery vessels at the site. These vessels may have been used in the foundation rituals of the oldest temple, which were revealed in the interior northeastern corner of the building. He added that the remains of the discovered building indicate that it was built of mud bricks and later partially removed by King Nyuserre to build his temple.
The foundation deposits, which included beer pots, Maydum pots (used in the pyramid of the same name), and some pots with red edges, were discovered at the level of the old temple’s clay wall, according to Dr. Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara Antiquities District.
Many clay seals bearing royal names, including the Hurricane name of King Shepseskare of the Fifth Dynasty, about whom we know little, were also discovered, according to Dr. Rosanna Birley, leader of the mission from the University of Naples. She emphasized that the new discoveries may refer to his presence on this site and could alter our understanding of the history of this King in particular and the Fifth Dynasty in general.
Massimiliano Nozolo, head of the mission from the Polish Academy of Sciences Warsaw, confirmed that the mission will complete its work soon, in an attempt to reveal the ancient temple and unveil more secrets about this building.