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The Palace Façade Motif and the Pyramid Texts as Cosmic Boundaries in Unis's Pyramid Chambers

  • Aloisia De Trafford (a1)


The focus of this article is the pyramid belonging to king Unis, last king of the 5th Dynasty. The striking feature of this pyramid is its ornate internal decoration with spells/utterances from the Pyramid Texts, and with the palace façade motif around the king's sarcophagus. The Pyramid Texts, one of the oldest examples of religious literature in the world, appear here for the first time. To date, research has generally focused on the language and content of the Pyramid Texts. This article looks beyond the subject matter of the Pyramid Texts to explore how these early hieroglyphic writings had additional integral symbolism embedded in their parietal format. Using a novel perspective that seeks symbolic connections across textual and non-textual elements, I argue that the Pyramid Texts and the palace façade motif, through their architectural format, represent the boundaries of the cosmos, which is itself the main theme in the Pyramid Texts.


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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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