Abydos is in Upper Egypt, north of Luxor and on the western side of the Nile. Abydos is in the Thinite or Eighth nome. We are a pilgrimage site, and the village is really only for the sake of the cemetary. The people who are buried at sacred Abydos are considered blessed. Every dead person buried according to the Osiris rituals takes a pilgrimage to Abydos through a barque left in their tomb.

At first, Abydos was the cult center for Khentamenty, but then we also became a cult center for Osiris. Khentamenty "the One of the head of the West," is represented by a dog. A temple for Khentamenty is by the road at the edge of cultivateable land.

In the Old Kingdom, Osiris came from Busiris through Memphis. By the beginning of the 6th dynasty, Osiris was called "The Lord of Abydos."

The court left Abydos during the time of Djoser, and the cemetary fell into disuse. Tombs during the third and fourth dynasties are of simple, undecorated mud brick with one or two cult niches on the east wall.

But happily in the fifth dynasty, Neferirkare freed the priests of Khentamenty's temple from local official control and let them serve only at the temple. In the sixth dynasty, Teti granted them more favors. Pepi I elevated two daughters of Thinite noblemen to queenly status. Pepi I made additions to Khentamenty's temple. Now highly placed people again want to be buried at Abydos.

I predict that in later times, Abydos will become a center for the worship of Osiris that will far outshine the other Osiris centers of Busiris and Memphis. Generations of people will come to worship at Abydos. They will especially come to Djer's tomb, which is so large that later people may even mistake his grave for the very grave of Osiris.

Erman, Adolf. 1971. Life in ancient Egypt. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

Kamil, Jill. 1984, 1996. The Ancient Egyptians: Life in the Old Kingdom. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.

Kees, Herman. YEAR?(Translated by TGH James). Ancient Egypt: A cultural topography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Manley, Bill. 1996. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt. London: Penguin Books.

Easy to do when all you have to do is read the history books.

"The Temple of Abydos." Available at http://perso.infonie.fr/sethy/Abydosa.html

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