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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Old Kingdom / 5th Dynasty /

Bust of king Userkaf.
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Bust of king Userkaf.

Pyramid of Userkaf at Saqqara, Egypt.
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Userkaf's pyramid.

King of Ancient Egypt, 1st ruler of the 5th Dynasty, ruling 2498-2491 BCE, 7 years.
With Userkaf becoming king, rivalry between royal branches came to an end. He is assumed to have been the grandson of King Redjedef, one of the kings of the 4th Dynasty 60 years earlier. He was closely linked to Queen Khentkawes, but there are two theories. Either he bridged the royal rivalry of his time by marrying her, the daughter of King Menkaure, or he was her son.
Still, his reign was one in which the control of the king was reduced. Notables, especially in Upper Egypt, managed to increase their regional importances.
Userkaf is noted for having elevated the cult of Re to the highest position. He built several temples to the god near the mortuary grounds of Abu Sir. His pyramid was built at Saqqara, and was with its 49 metres height rather small as well as poor in its completion. But its mortuary temple was more complex than the common pattern, and richly decorated, and with a colossal statue of the king. It is unusual in having its mortuary temple located to the south, not facing the Nile.
His wife, Khentkawes, built her own pyramid at Giza, in which a natural cliff in its midst was used to help speed up the building process.
He was succeeded by Sahure, who was either his son or his brother.

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By Tore Kjeilen