Biography of Niuserre

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Niuserre was the second son of Neferirkare and Khentkaus II to have ascended to the throne. He was married to a woman named Reput-Nebu, of whom a statue was discovered in the valley-temple connected to his and Neferirkare's pyramid complex. It is not known whether he had any children (that out-lived him).

The Turin King-list is somewhat damaged at the point where Niuserre's name is mentioned, and only allows us to state that he ruled for more than 10 years. The highest known year reference is dated to the year of the 7th year count. If the cattle counts were held at regular two year intervals, this would be the 13th year of his reign.
The 44 years credited to him by Manetho is considered unreliable. The representation of a Sed-festival found in his solar-temple may indicate that he ruled at least for 30 years, although its is also possible that this representation refers to the magical rejuvenation of the king after his death.

An inscription found in the Sinai shown Niuserre triumphant over his enemies. It is debatable whether this inscription refers to an actual victory of Niuserre, or whether it was merely symbolic. It does, however, show that Niuserre was active in the Sinai.

He built a solar-temple, named Shesepu-ib-Re, in Abu Gurab, about a kilometre to the north of Abusir. Not only is this the biggest and most complete solar-temple, it is also the only one that was constructed completely of stone. The many finely carved reliefs that remain show the king during a Sed-festival and the world as created by the solar god, with representations of the seasons and the provinces of Egypt. With the reign of Niuserre, the solar-cult appears to have come to its summit.

The monumental altar at the Solar Temple of Niuserre at Abu Gorab.

The monumental altar at the Solar Temple of Niuserre at Abu Gorab.

The pyramid-complex of Niuserre is located at Abusir, between the pyramids of Sahure and Neferirkare. Instead of building his own valley temple, he had his pyramid complex connected to the valley temple of Neferirkare.


© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017