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Lost 4,500-year-old temple unearthed in Egypt

They have found one of the four lost sun temples built by the pharaohs while they were still alive in an attempt to turn themselves into living gods.

A mysterious sun temple lost for 4,500 years has been found buried in the Egyptian desert.

Archaeologists unearthed the ancient remains in Abu Gorab, 20km south of Cairo, in what is being dubbed the biggest discovery in decades.

It is one of six sun temples believed to have been constructed – of which only two have ever been found, The Sun reports.

They were built while the pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty were still alive to grant them the status of god.

Pyramids, on the other hand, were built as final resting places to ensure pharaohs were resurrected as gods in the afterlife.

Mud-filled beer jars provided the final puzzle piece for researchers.

Mud-filled beer jars provided the final puzzle piece for researchers.

Experts digging north of Abusir 50 years ago found the remains of a sun temple built by pharaoh Nyuserre Ini, who ruled for about 30 years in the 25th century BC.

But now, further investigation has revealed an older base made of mud bricks which indicated a building previously existed at the site.

Experts discovered the 60cm-deep base of a white limestone pillar which they said suggested the original structure was “quite impressive”.

They have found one of the four lost sun temples built by the pharaohs while they were still alive in an attempt to turn themselves into living gods.

But what came next has solidified the researchers’ suspicions, The Telegraph reports.

An array of beer jars filled with mud were uncovered providing the final proof the old site was a temple.

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Researchers said the tokens were a ritual offering reserved for the most scared places and that, combined with the newly discovered architecture, was the evidence they needed.

Archaeologists discovered the ancient remains in Abu Gorab.

Archaeologists discovered the ancient remains in Abu Gorab.

Dr Massimiliano Nuzzolo, assistant professor of Egyptology at the Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, said: “We knew that there was something below the stone temple of Nyuserre, but we [didn’t] know if it is just another building phase of the same temple or if it is a new temple.

“I have now many proofs that what we are excavating here is one of the lost sun temples.”

What remains a mystery though is who the sun temple was built for and when – though it is likely to be a ruler from the same time period.

The Fifth Dynasty pharaohs reigned for about 150 years from the early 25th century BC to the mid 24th century BC.

An artist’s impression of one of the sun temples built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaohs.

An artist’s impression of one of the sun temples built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaohs.

Only a small number of rulers had sun temples created in the name of the sun god Ra on the west bank of the Nile.

The discovery of the third sun temple will air as part of National Geographic’s Lost Treasures of Egypt program.

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