Shunet el-Zebib

Shunet-el-Zebib.jpg

photo: Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U./American Research Center in Egypt

Before the great pyramids, ancient Egyptian kings left less grandiose monuments to themselves: fortresslike sanctuaries enclosed by mud-brick walls. Inside these mortuary complexes, people presumably gathered to worship and perpetuate the memory of their departed ruler. The crumbling, almost vanished remains of such structures, archaeologists say, attest to the political hierarchy and religion of the newly unified Egyptian state, beginning more than 5,000 years ago.

[ NY Times article | audio slide show ]

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