Ancient Abydos in Ancient Egypt

Abydos was the cult centre of the worship of Osiris and the early burial place of the pharoahs of Ancient Egypt.

Ancient Abydos can be found in Upper Egypt, west from the Nile. Abydos was a large city in Ancient Egypt that was never powerful but was old and was the religious centre of the worship of Osiris. The Ancient Egyptian title for the city was Abut or Abtu but the Ancient Greeks called it Abydos and that is what the city is now known as today.

The Mythology of Ancient Abydos in Ancient Egypt

Abydos was seen to be the main residence of the god Osiris. Osiris appears in early inscriptions under the title of Apuatu or Upuatu and images of him were canine in appearance. Later in the history of Ancient Egypt he lost his canine appearance but the animals still remained sacred to him. One of his official titles was “…he who abides Abydos” and he was seen as the god of the western part of Ancient Egypt.Osiris was the god of the dead, who judged the souls of those who had passed over in the hall of judgement. Abydos in the funeral texts was said to be the place where this hall was situated. Also in Abydos was said to be the entrance to the underworld called Roset. It is there that souls were said to pass through on their journey to the afterlife. Osiris, his wife Isis and their son Horus were some of the most important gods in Ancient Egyptian life.

The Archaeology of Abydos in Ancient Egypt

Ruins from the first three dynasties are found in Abydos and the surrounding areas. These early pharaohs chose for their bodies to be placed in Abydos after their death and funerary monuments have been found dedicated to them. It is thought they chose the place so they would be close the god Osiris. Some royalty that have proved to be buried there are D’jer, D’jet, Den, Peribsen, Khasekhemwy, Narmer and Ka. One of the tombs of the first dynasty kings by the later dynasties was thought to be the actual tomb of Osiris. Pilgrims from all over Ancient Egypt came to leave offerings at the site. Seti I built a great temple of Osiris in Abydos during his reign. It consisted of two courts and a columned hall. Seven rooms were dedicated to seven different gods and then three were for the worship of Osiris, his consort Isis and son Horus. A wing of the temple contained a kings list that listed from the earliest kings to Seti I.

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