AbydosApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Abydos is located at the junction between the fertile plain and the low-lying desert that fronts the steep cliffs of the Nile gorge. The site is about eleven kilometres (seven miles) from the river. It was considered a sacred place for the Egyptians and contains the site of the royal tombs of the Early Period. Within the site there is evidence for the origin of the Pyramids. Among the new discoveries are twelve boat pits found at the enclosure of Shunet El-Zebib. Also in the area around the Abydos tombs there are early examples of writing, dating 150 years earlier than the previously established date of 3000 BC.
Two archaeologists presently excavating at Abydos are revealing many secrets beneath the sands. The first is David O'Connor, an American Egyptologist, who has worked at Abydos since 1968 and has made significant discoveries. Although he has dedicated much of his life to the excavation of Abydos, his most important work is being done there right now. He is excavating inside Shunet El-Zebib and has found structures believed to be the origins of the pyramids.
The second Egyptologist is Gunter Dreyer, a German. He is excavating at the site of Umm El-Qa'ab at Abydos and has made many important discoveries around the tombs of the Kings of the First Dynasty.
Abydos is one of the most famous cult centres of Ancient Egypt. It was the equivalent of the Muslim Makkah for the Ancient Egyptians. Osiris was the main god of the town, and Abydos became the main southern cult centre of this god. The site is also famous because the Kings of the Dynasty I were buried there. As Egypt emerged from the Predynastic Period, two powers associated with burials arose on the desert sands of Upper Egypt: Abydos in the south and Saqarra in the north. At both sites large tombs from the first two dynasties proclaim the names and wealth of their royal owners.