Welcome to Abydos
There were shrines to Osiris, god of the dead, throughout Egypt, each one the supposed resting place of another part of his body, but the main cult centre of Osiris was Abydos. This was where his head was believed to rest and it became somewhere Egyptians tried to visit on pilgrimage during their lives and also the place to be buried: it was used as a necropolis for more than 4500 years from predynastic to Christian times (c 4000 BC–AD 600). Most tombs remain unexcavated, a fact reflected in the Arabic name for the place, Arabah El Madfunah (‘the buried Arabah’). The area behind the Temple of Seti I, known as Umm Al Qa’ab (Mother of Pots), contains the tombs of many early pharaohs including Djer (c 3000 BC) of the 1st dynasty. With excavations ongoing, this area is closed to the public.