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(2611' N 3153'E)

Abydos was an important centre already in the Naqada and Early Dynastic Periods. Extensive cemeteries dating to this time have been excavated across the site, including the tombs of First and Second Dynasty kings. In the Old Kingdom (about 2686-2181 BC) the principal deity of Abydos was called Khentyamentyu 'foremost of the Westerners'; by the First Intermediate Period this god had been identified with Osiris. With the growing importance of Osiris at the end of the Old Kingdom Abydos became a religious centre of national importance. In the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) one of the First Dynasty royal tombs was considered the burial place of Osiris, and there were festival processions each year from the temple in the town to the First Dynasty royal cemetery in the desert. It became desirable to be buried close to the god or at least be present in the temple or on the processional way: here many officials had chapels set up with one or more stelae. From the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC) down to the Ptolemaic Period (305-30 BC), Abydos remained a burial place of national importance. During the Ptolemaic Period, it seems to have been eclipsed by other regional centres, such as Akhmim, but the cult of Osiris was still central to Egyptian belief, and stelae for chapels were still being set up in Abydos in the early Roman Period.


general map of Abydos

The tombs of the kings of the First and Second Dynasty

The funerary enclosures of the First and Second Dynasty

The town

Abydos in later periods

Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
UC 14292 UC 14334 UC 16189 UC 14496

Abydos on a map

Distribution of finds from Petrie excavations at Abydos 1900-1904 | Distribution list for the Petrie excavation in 1922


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