The Mortuary Temple of Neferefre
The Mortuary Temple of Neferefre is also known as the Pyramid of Raneferef. This pyramid is located in Abusir and was started during the 5th century; however, it was never finished. Pharaoh Neferefre met an untimely early death, after which his pyramid was deconstructed to become only a sort of cenotaph. The surrounding ruins had many temples constructed upon them by the later pharaohs following Neferefre's dynasty.
This particular site only came to be of any importance to the archeologists much later in history.
It was not until 1974 that researchers, Egyptologists, and archeologists took a special interest in Neferefre's pyramid. Of the many pyramids built in ancient Egypt, this happens to be the second smallest one to be built. Moreover, this structure is one of the last pyramids in the valley of Abusir, which makes it farthest away from the shore.
A large wall circumnavigates the tomb, within which lies the original burial place of the Pharaoh and two supporting sanctuaries called the sun sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Knives.
Neferefre's tomb was looted for many years and robbed of all its riches. This tomb was smaller than many large pyramid tombs and was easily robbed. Most importantly, it was easily accessible because its unfinished nature gave the robbers more courage to enter the tomb and strip it of its riches.
It is interesting to note that many of the items and royal pieces which were originally found home in Neferefre's pyramid were found in the contents of other nearby pyramids. The actual Temple where the Pharaoh lay was luckily not affected by such looters as most of the objects present in that part of the complex were of little value to the robbers at the time.
Structure of the Temple
Neferefre's temple was one of the earlier buildings to be constructed within the compounds. This building lies in the easterly direction and has a specific ritual offerings location and sacrificial space right upon entering the room. Gold-plated inscriptions were to be found on a false door which was on the western side of the hall. There was an underground altar for animal sacrifices to be carried out. During the first phase of the building, the entire structure was made out of bricks. But it has been discovered that it was later extended under the watchful eyes of the successors of Neferefre.
The second phase saw the extension of the Temple to a two-story building from the original one-storeyed building. Most of these extended rooms were storerooms, and a large portico was also constructed. The main items in this complex were the royal statues, statues of various prisoners of war, and items for worshipping.
The third round of renovations included the construction of a courtroom, twenty-two added rooms, papyrus and limestone columns, and similar embellishments.