in ancient times as the burial place and
cult center of Osiris, the king of the
underworld, Abydos (ancient Abedju) was
an important pilgrimage destination and
necropolis from the Predynastic era into
Christian times (ca. 4000 BC – AD
641). The area of Umm el-Qa’ab (Arabic
for “Mother of pots”), located
far out in the low desert, contains the
tombs of early Predynastic chieftains and
the burials of many of the kings of the
Early Dynastic period (one of which was
identified during the Middle Kingdom as
the tomb of Osiris). Closer to the floodplain
are mud-brick enclosures serving the royal
funerary cults of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties,
of which the best-preserved is the Shunet
el-Zebib (Dynasty 2, reign of Khasekhemwy).
Abydos are the remains of other royal and elite
tombs, ancient towns, cenotaphs (symbolic tombs),
and temples. In the area known as Kom es-Sultan
(North Abydos) are the remains of an early
town and a temple of Osiris-Khentyamentiu.
During the Middle Kingdom, a yearly procession
celebrating the resurrection of the god Osiris
after his murder at the hands of his brother
Seth led from this temple to the “tomb
of Osiris” at Umm el-Qa’ab. During
this era, cenotaphs were built near the processional
way by individuals wishing to participate eternally
in the Osirian cult.
temples at Abydos, located at the very
edge of the floodplain in Middle Abydos,
were built in the New Kingdom by Seti I and
his son, Ramesses II. Behind the temple of
Seti I is the Osireion, thought to be a symbolic
tomb for Osiris. These temples are the only
part of the site open to the general public.
in South Abydos include a small pyramid of
the 3rd Dynasty; a mortuary
complex for the 12th Dynasty king Senwosret
III (perhaps his actual burial place);
and a pyramid and temple built by the first
king of the New Kingdom, Ahmose.
In addition, there is a small temple thought
to have been dedicated to the cult of Ahmose’s
principal consort, Ahmose-Nefertari, and a
small chapel dedicated to his grandmother,
Open Daily: 7 AM – 6 PM
Foreign: 25 LE
A 50% discount on admission is available to students with a valid student ID
from an Egyptian University or a valid ISIC card.
10 km from Sohag
accessible by buses, trains, and service
taxis from Sohag, but the police will likely
insist that you travel in their escorted
convoys. If traveling by taxi, ask for "mintaqat
site is wheelchair accessible.
Police must travel with foreigners at all times.
temple of Seti I at Abydos (Martina Minas-Nerpel)
King List, in the Temple
of Seti I (Martina Minas-Nerpel)