Abydos Temple Complex

Abydos Temple complex

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 kilometres 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 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 were comprised of 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 Abydos Temple Complex

The Abydos Temple complex has many features in. 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 Bankes.

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