The Temple of Seti I at Abydos is one of Egypt’s most significant archaeological sites, despite not being as well-known as other sites and temples along the Nile. This ancient mortuary temple is in one of ancient Egypt’s oldest capitals and cultural centers. It is flanked by other archaeological wonders and temples like Umm el-Qa’ab, an early pharaoh’s royal necropolis. Because it was believed to be one of Osiris’s burial grounds, the city became a pilgrimage destination for those who worshipped the god of death and resurrection.
The construction of the temple itself took place during the reign of Ramses II, more commonly referred to as Ramses the Great, Seti I’s son, between 1279 BC and 1213 BC. Seti I played a significant role in establishing Egypt’s New Kingdom (1550-1077 BC) and claiming dominance over its eastern neighbors in the Levant, despite being overshadowed by his son’s rule.
The temple had seven shrines dedicated to various gods, two open courts, two hypostyle halls, and a pylon that has since vanished. The pharaoh’s transformation into Osiris, the god, is depicted in detail inside the temple. He appears in scenes from his military campaigns as well as among numerous gods. In the temple’s reliefs, Ramses I, Seti I’s father, is also honored.
The most well-known of the numerous etchings and paintings that line the temple’s walls is the so-called Abydos King List. This list provides Egyptologists and other historians with incredibly detailed information about Egypt’s history, including periods for which there is little archaeological evidence.