Abydos -Um al-Qa’ab
Abydos lays quite close to the dynastic capital of the First Dynasty pharaohs at Thinis, which was located somewhere in the immediate vicinity of Abydos. The latter was associated in later times with the god Osiris, lord of the afterlife. However, there are no contemporary references to the god until late in the Old Kingdom and his association with the site was probably on account of the presence of the early tombs rather than the reverse. The tomb of Djer was widely believed by later Egyptians to be that of the dead god. The Early Dynastic cemetery is located about half a kilometre into the desert on the west bank of the Nile, backed by a line of cliffs that form a broad embayment cut by deep ravine. The tombs themselves were on a low rise overlooking the wadi that ran from the cliffs to the cultivation. (Read more…)

Abydos-Shunet ez-Zebib
About 1.5 km away to the north of Umm al-Qa’ab, by the edge of the farmland, are the remains of an enormous double-walled, mud brick enclosure known as Shunet ez-Zebib (‘the storehouse of raisins’) (p0, p1). It is the only one standing of a group of such enclosures, all broadly similar in layout if not in scale. The earliest datable enclosure (in fact, a group of three small enclosures) belongs to Aha, the founder of the First Dynasty but there are others that may be even earlier. The area has been explored on a number of different occasions over the last 150 years, beginning during the tenure of Auguste Mariette in the 19th century and most recently under the auspices of a joint Americfn effort known as the Abydos Early Dynastic Project, under the direction of David O’Connor. (Read more…)