Abydos

/euh buy"deuhs/, n.
1. an ancient ruined city in central Egypt, near Thebes: temples and necropolis.
2. an ancient town in NW Asia Minor, at the narrowest part of the Hellespont.

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I
Ancient Anatolian town northeast of modern Çanakkale, Turkey, on the eastern side of the Dardanelles.

It was colonized с 670 BC by the Milesians (see Miletus). Xerxes I crossed the strait on a bridge of boats to invade Greece in 480 BC. Abydos is celebrated for its resistance to Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC and for the legend of Hero and Leander.
II
Sacred city, one of the most important archaeological sites of ancient Egypt.

It was a royal necropolis of the first two dynasties and later a pilgrimage centre for the worship of Osiris. The pharaohs, including Thutmose III and Ramses III, embellished the temple to Osiris, and some pharaohs had cenotaphs at Abydos. The temple of Seti I, one of the most beautiful, has helped decode Egyptian history: in a long gallery is a relief, the so-called Abydos list of kings, showing Seti and his son Ramses making offerings to the cartouches of 76 dead predecessors.

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▪ ancient city, Egypt
Egyptian  Abdju , Coptic  Ebot , modern  Al-ʿArābā al-Madfūnah 

      prominent sacred city and one of the most important archaeological sites of ancient Egypt (Egypt, ancient). The site, located in the low desert west of the Nile River near Al-Balyanā, was a necropolis for the earliest Egyptian royalty and later a pilgrimage centre for the worship of Osiris.

      The western desert embayment at Abydos, Umm al-Qaʿāb, has long been known as the royal cemetery of the 1st and 2nd dynasties. Excavations underway since the late-1970s, however, revealed a group of earlier tombs belonging to a series of kings that predate the 1st dynasty and the official unification of Egypt. These tombs have yielded a rich harvest of intact pottery, royal emblems, ivory labels, and the names of several predynastic kings. The inscribed labels also indicate that Egyptian writing had reached an advanced stage earlier than was generally recognized. In addition, several large-scale mud-brick enclosures located near the desert's edge were identified as funerary sites for the kings of the 1st (Egypt, ancient) (c. 2925–c. 2775 BCE) and 2nd (Egypt, ancient) (c. 2775–c. 2650 BCE) dynasties. A series of wooden boats covered by whitewashed mud-brick casings—probably prototypes for the boats buried in pits next to the pyramids of the Old Kingdom (Egypt, ancient) (c. 2575–c. 2130 BCE)—were discovered alongside one of the enclosures.

      The tutelary deity of the necropolis city in the Old Kingdom was the jackal god, called Khenti-Imentiu; in the 5th dynasty (Egypt, ancient) (c. 2465–c. 2325 BCE), his cult was gradually absorbed by that of the god Osiris, and the city soon became the focal point of the cult of Osiris. Abydos became a place of pilgrimage for pious Egyptians, who desired above all else to be buried as close as possible to the recognized tomb of Osiris, which was located at Abydos. For those who could not afford the expense of being buried there, stelae were set up, inscribed with the dead man's name and titles and a prayer to the god. Thousands of these stelae have been found in the city's cemeteries.

 The pharaohs, who by this time were being buried near their city of residence rather than at Abydos, encouraged the cult of the deified king at Abydos, and they took special care to embellish and enlarge the temple of Osiris there. Over the centuries the temple of Osiris was successively rebuilt or enlarged by Pepi I, Ahmose I, Thutmose III, Ramses III, and Ahmose II (Amasis). Some pharaohs of the Middle (Egypt, ancient) and New kingdom (Egypt, ancient)s had a cenotaph or a mortuary temple at Abydos. The temple of Seti I was one of the most beautiful of all such temples. Its plan is unique, for it has no fewer than seven sanctuaries, approached through two broad hypostyle halls. The sanctuaries are dedicated to the pharaoh and the principal gods of Egypt. In a long gallery leading to other rooms is a relief showing Seti and his son Ramses making offerings to the cartouches of 76 of their dead predecessors, beginning with Menes. This is the so-called Abydos list of kings. The reliefs decorating the walls of this temple are of particular delicacy and beauty. Only 26 feet (8 metres) behind the temple of Seti I is a remarkable structure known as the Osireion, which is thought to be Seti's cenotaph. This curious monument is an underground vaulted hall containing a central platform with 10 monolithic pillars surrounded by a channel of water. Another temple to Osiris, now much ruined, was built by Ramses II to the north of Seti's temple.

      Around and between the various temples of Abydos is a vast complex of cemeteries used in every period of early Egyptian history, from the prehistoric age to Roman times.

▪ ancient city, Turkey
      ancient Anatolian town located just northeast of the modern Turkish town of Çanakkale on the east side of the Dardanelles (Hellespont). Probably originally a Thracian town, it was colonized about 670 BC by the Milesians. There Xerxes crossed the strait on his bridge of boats to invade Greece in 480 BC. Abydos is celebrated for its vigorous resistance to Philip V of Macedon (200 BC) and for the legend of Hero and Leander. It survived until late Byzantine times as the toll station of the Hellespont.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Abydos — o Abidós, antiguamente llamada Abedju, fue el lugar de enterramiento más importante de antiguo Egipto a comienzos del Período Dinástico, y ha dejado huellas de asentamiento que se remontan hasta el período predinástico de Naqada I. Con… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Abȳdos — Abȳdos, 1) im Altertum Hafenstadt der Troas in Kleinasien, am Hellespont, Sestos gegenüber, um 700 v. Chr. von Milesiern gegründet und berühmt durch die Sage von Hero und Leander sowie durch die Brücke, die Xerxes 480 in ihrer Nähe über den… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Abydos — [ə bī′däs΄] 1. ancient city in Asia Minor, on the Hellespont 2. ancient city in central Egypt, near the Nile, north of Thebes …   English World dictionary

  • Abydos — Der Begriff Abydos bezeichnet: Abydos (Kleinasien), eine antike Hafenstadt in Kleinasien Abydos (Ägypten), eine antike Stadt und Nekropole in Oberägypten Abydos (Band). eine Band Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unter …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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