The Valley Temple

The Valley Temple

The Valley Temple was the main entrance to the pyramid complex. The standard layout of a pyramid complex included the Pyramid itself, a smaller cut pyramid, Cemeteries for family and favored servants, and a mortuary temple at the base of the pyramid, with a causeway leading down to a valley Temple. The entire complex would be surrounded by an enclosure wall, with the valley temple being the entrance point.  The valley Temple was not just the entrance point to pyramid complexes, it was the connection to the Nile River which is the eternal source of life for Egypt. Also it was connected to the Nile River via a canal, With a harbor and a quay constructed at the base of the Temple’s forecourt.

This Valley temple was part of the funerary complex including along with the pyramid (with its burial chamber) a mortuary temple (joining the pyramid on its east side), and a cover causeway leading to the Valley temple. They could have used this Temple for the mummification process or perhaps for the “opening of the mouth “ceremony, when the “ka” entered the deceased person’s body. This Temple is an excellent state of preservation, having buried by desert sand until the 19th Century. 

The main hall of the temple is in a "T" shape. Huge blocks of pink Aswan granite are joined with precision forming piers surmounted by a massive architrave. The floor is made of alabaster.

The symmetrical rooms on either side of the central hall originally contained 23 statues of King Chephren. Indentations in the alabaster floor indicate that the 23 statues of Chephren were once placed against the wall. It was thought that these permanent statues, made of diorite, would provide a place of the “ka” should the mummy be destroyed. But unfortunately only one of these statues has been found. 

Visiting gods would be greeted by statues of the pharaoh whose temple they were calling upon, both in the forecourt and within the temple itself. Within the Valley Temple, There were lots of chambers, some which may have been dedicated to certain deities and other rooms that were involved in the embalming and sanctifying of the king’s body. The king himself wasn’t worshipped in the Valley Temple that function was served by the mortuary temple.
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