The Abydos Temple Complex is located in Abydos Village, in the modern Egyptian town Al-Balyana, south of Sohag governorate. During ancient Egypt, Abydos was the capital of the eighth Nome. It is located about 11 kilometers west of the River Nile at latitude 26° 10′ N.
Successively from the first dynasty to the 26th dynasty, the ancient Egyptians built nine or ten temples on one site at Abydos. The first was just an enclosure, about 9.1 m × 15.2 m, surrounded by a thin wall of unbaked bricks.
Thutmose III built a far larger temple, about 40 m × 61 m.
He also made a processional way leading past the side of the temple to the
cemetery beyond, featuring a great gateway of granite.
Seti I, in the nineteenth dynasty, founded a temple to the south of the town in honor of the ancestral pharaohs of the early dynasties. Ramese II finished the construction of this temple; and, also built a lesser temple of his own. Pharaoh Merneptah added the Osireion just to the north of the temple of Seti.
During the twenty-sixth dynasty, pharaoh Ahmose II rebuilt the temple again, and placed in it a large monolith shrine of red granite, finely wrought. The foundations of the successive temples were comprised within approximately 5.5 m. depth of the ruins discovered in modern times.
The latest building was a new temple of Nectanebo I, built
in the thirtieth dynasty.
Features of the Abydos Temple Complex
The Abydos Temple complex has many features in it. These
features include the following temples:
- Temple of Seti I
- Temple of Ramses II
- Great Osiris Temple
- Also, Osireion
There is a major scientific importance of the place as it
has a long list of the pharaohs of the principal dynasties. This list is carved
on one of the walls in the temple of Seti I. The list is known as the “Abydos
King List” or “the Table of Abydos”; and was rediscovered by William John