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  • Abydos City and Temple

  • Abydos
    Abydos Temple Plan
    Location Upper Egypt - 80 km north of ancient Thebes
    West bank of Nile
    Nome8th nome of Upper Egypt Great land - the 8th Nome of Upper Egypt
    Type of SettlementReligious center
    NecropolisUmm el-Qa'ab - Important Necropolis from the Early Dynastic Period until the 30th Dynasty
    Local deityOsiris god of the Underworld
    Ancient nameAbdju
    Modern nameAl Arabah AlMadfuna
    Historical Development
    1. Early Dynastic Period - kings of the 1st and 2nd Dynasty were buried here. The town temple was renewed and enlarged. Great funerary enclosures were built on the desert behind the town
    2. Old Kingdom - Abydos became the centre of the worship of Osiris, Pepi 1 constructed a funerary chapel which evolved over the years developed into the Great Temple of Osiris, the ruins of which still exist within the town enclosure.
    3. New Kingdom -
      - 18th Dynasty - Large chapel of Ahmose 1, and then Tuthmose built larger temple, 40 x 90 m. He made also a processional way past the side of the temple to the cemetery beyond, with a great gateway of granite.
      - 19th Dynasty - Seti 1 founded a temple to the south of the town in honor of the ancestral kings of the early dynasties, this was finished by Ramses 2, who also built a lesser temple of his own. Merenptah added the Osireion just to the north of the temple.
    4. Late Kingdom - Ahmose 2 in the 26th Dynasty rebuilt the temple again, and placed in it a large monolith shrine of red granite
    MonumentsThe last Royal Pyramid in Egypt built by Ahmose

    Seti 1 temple
    - Unusual L shaped temple plan has seven sanctuaries
    Construction in this temple was started by Seti 1 and finished by Ramses 2
    - Built of white limestone

    Architectural Layout
    1. Entrance Pylons - Destroyed in antiquity
    2. First Courtyard - Contains two ablution tanks for the ritual purification of the priests.
    3. Second Pylon - Almost completely destroyed was fronted by a portico and a ramp. Niches contained Osiride statues of Ramses 2. The walls of the portico had scenes depicting the children of Ramses 2
    4. Second Courtyard - Constructed by Ramses 2, has a doorway which gave access to a complex of administration buildings, including an audience hall
    5. Portico - With square columns decorated with scenes of Ramses 2 making offerings to the gods,. In the time of Seti 1 there were seven doorways through the facade, each having a processional way from the court to seven sanctuaries. Ramses 2 filled in these doorways leaving only the central main entrance.
    6. Hypostyle Hall - Constructed by Ramses 2, 24 papyrus columns divide the hall to seven aisles, with seven doorways at the end of each aisle
    7. Second hypostyle hall - Constructed by Seti 1, 36 columns divide the wall to seven aisles. this hall serves as a vestibule for the seven cult sanctuaries
    8. Sanctuary of Seti 1
    9. Sanctuary of Ptah
    10. Sanctuary of Ra
    11. Sanctuary of Osiris - has a doorway which leads to a suite of rooms behind.
    12. Sanctuary of Amun
    13. Sanctuary of Isis
    14. Sanctuary of Horus
    15. Osiris Suite - The hall has 10 columns with reliefs depicting the Seti 1 offering to Osiris
    16. Chapel of Ptah and Nefertem
    17. Hall of Records - The famous list of 76 Pharaohs , found on the walls of this hall, has been valuable in determining the order of succession among the Egyptian Pharaohs from Menes to Seti 1. However, the names of the Amarna Pharaohs are omitted, as if they never existed, and the list jumps from Amenhotep 3 directly to Horemheb.

    Photos: Abydos

    1. Seti Temple

    2. Ramses Temple