excavatories in Abydos constitute mainly funerary site of pharaohs of the Ist
Dynasties. Arabian name of the necropolis is
Pottery Mother due to enormous
amount of ceramic covering the area. The archaeological site was an object of
interest for numerous expeditions lead by such famous excavators as: E. Amelineau,
W.F. Petrie, W. Kayser, G. Dreyer.
All tombs were dug in a ground but what was the
above-ground construction like? At this point there is a lot of controversy
among scholars. Various hypotheses have been proposed by such authorities as: W.F.Petrie, H.Ricke,
G.Reisner. However most liable seems to be a conception
of a pile filled with sand or gravel and surrounded with slightly sloped walls
2,5 m high, proposed by
of local predynastic ruler founded by German expedition and Gunter
Dreyer on Cemetery U. Tomb is the largest, with a burial chamber that
once housed a wooden shrine. Inside, Dreyer found an ivory heqa
sceptre, the very hieroglyph for ruler. The tomb is a model of a house,
with 12 chambers, a central court and symbolic slit-doors to
magazines containing hundreds of Egyptian and imported Palestynian pots.
tomb, reckoned to be an oldest one among those discovered at Abydos.
Dimensions of the northern B1 part: 2,5 m (at the bottom) x 7 m,
southern B2 part: 4,30 x 2,50 m. In a better preserved smaller part only
tiny reminders of funerary equipment were found, including pieces of
ceramic with engraved or painted names of Iry-Hor.
chambers, B7 and B9, constitute the tomb of king Ka.
Unfortunately, they both are vastly damaged in their upper parts.
Dimensions of B7: 6,05 x 3,25 [m]; of B9: 6,0 x 3,10 [m]. Brick wall 1,8
[m] high. In the tomb were discovered parts of a flint knife and pieces
also with serekh of the king Ka
(however, without falcon).
joined chambers B17 and B18 composed tomb of Narmer. The B7 chamber of
dimensions: 3,0 x 4,1 [m] is better preserved. Walls of B18 chamber had
collapsed, later they were rebuilt and supported with few rows of brick
and in some places additionally with wood. Later the brick was covered
with mud mortar and painted white. In the B17 chamber there are two
holes, each ca. 65 cm deep. Presumably they were used to stick posts
supporting the roof.
B15 and B19 chambers were primarily thought to compose three independent
tombs. It is only recent survey of German archaeologists that proved it
to be a tomb of pharaoh Aha and, though the chambers are distinctly
separated, they might have had shared roof. Wall thickness in chambers:
1,5-2,10 m. Total capacity of the tomb: 11 x 9 m. A series of tombs
located east from the king’s one possibly belonged to his nobles.
square-shaped tomb of internal measures: 13,20 x 11,80 x 2,70 m and
external measures: 18,3 x 17,0 m, walls thickness: 2,6 m. Burnt in
antiquity and restored under the XVIII dynasty became a cult centre as a
tomb of Osiris. Here was found a collection of various objects and
pieces of equipment, among others stela with royal serekch and mummified
human arm, adorned with four bracelets bearing serekchs of the king.
The tomb is surrounded with 318 satellite chambers.
Funerary enclosure A (269)
measures: 16,50 x 13,90 x 2,70 m, internal: 8,90 x 6,30 m. Wall
thickness: 1,30-1,60 m. The central chamber was surrounded with 8 narrow
storerooms where numerous sealed jars were found. In the funerary
chamber, somehow deeper compared to storerooms, was found the stele of
Merytneith. Actual tomb is surrounded with 41 subsidiary graves.
measures: 23,4 x 14,0 / 15,20 x 6,10 m, internal: 15,24 x 8,53 m. The
tomb was surrounded with thick brick-wall of 2,10 x 3,80 m. For the
first time in Egyptian architecture there was constructed stairwell
leading to the funerary chamber of 23,7 7 m in length. Two sections of
stairwell, parted probably with wooden door, had 18 and 12 steps
respectively. The tomb was burnt in antiquity and
restored under pharaoh Amasis (XXVI dynasty). In the tomb were
discovered numerous jar sealings and 20 ebony and ivory plates recording
some events of the king’s rule. The tomb is surrounded with 136
Funerary enclosure C (?) (80)
measures: 15,10 x 7,20 x 2,50 m, internal measures of the funerary
chamber: 6,80 x 4,40 m, wall thickness: 1,30-1,60 m. It is one of the
smallest royal tombs at this necropolis. It was surrounded with 64
Funerary enclosure D (?)
measures: 19,50 x 10,70 x 3,50 m, internal: 16,40 x 7,50 m, wall
thickness: 1,50-1,80 m. It is a single-chambered tomb, surrounded with
68 subsidiary funerary chambers.
Funerary enclosure D (?)
measures: 24,90 x 15,50 x 5,00 m. Inside there is a funerary chamber
10,00 x 5,00m and a few rows of additional chambers. The tomb was
surrounded with 26 subsidiary burials.
Funerary enclosure - Deir Sitt Damiana.