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 lies about 11 kilometres west of the Nile River at latitude 26° 10′ N.
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.
In the nineteenth dynasty, Seti I founded a temple to the south of the town in honour of the ancestral pharaohs of the early dynasties. Ramses 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. Generally, the foundations of the successive temples comprised approximately 5.5 meters in the 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 Abydos Temple Complex
The Abydos Temple complex has many features. These features include the following temples:
- Temple of Seti I.
- Temple of Ramses II.
- Great Osiris Temple.
- Also, Osireion.
The place‘s primary scientific importance is that its temples have a long list of the pharaohs of the principal dynasties. This carved list covers one of the walls in the temple of Seti I. Archeologists name the list “Abydos King List” or “the Table of Abydos”; and was rediscovered by William John Bankes.