Name of the divine stone of Heliopolis, associated with the Old Egyptian verb weben, 'to rise'. According to the Pyramid Texts from the Old Kingdom, this stone was a manifestation of the primeval god Atum when he rose out of the primeval waters of Nun, or, according to another interpretation, as the primeval hill on which Atum first landed. The stone, which was conical in shape, was kept in the innermost sanctuary of the 'House of Re' in Heliopolis, called the 'House of the Benben'. The same name was given to the holy of holies in the temple of Aten at El-`Amarna/Akhetaten, but the cult symbol in the shape of a stone was probably missing. Texts from the early years of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten concerning his work on the sanctuary of Re-Harakhty at Karnak clearly indicate that at the time the word benben meant an obelisk as cult statue. The close links with the sun god and the conical shape of the benben led to it being equated with the obelisk. In particular, the top of the obelisk, and the top of pyramids, too, are called benben.