186: Sety in Abydos

The History of Egypt Podcast


Part 1. In the ancient city and necropolis of Abydos (Egyptian Abdju), pharaoh Sety I commissioned a magnificent temple. Today, this monument is one of the finest in the country, a highlight of any trip. Sety’s work is complicated, with several components and structures worthy of discussion. So, this is part one of a multi-part tour through the complex. Today, we cover:

  1. The history of Abydos pre-Sety I.
  2. The modern experience of Sety’s temple.
  3. The Hypostyle Halls, the unique “Seven Chapels,” and the “Osiris Complex.”
  4. The meaning and symbolism of the Osiris religion as Sety shows it.

In future episodes, we will discuss the Osireion, the Abydos King List, and the known Priests/Staff who managed it.

Details and sources:

  • Date: c. 1300 BCE—1292 BCE (temple unfinished at Sety I death).
  • Texts: Kenneth Kitchen’s Ramesside Inscriptions volume 1. Hieroglyph versions at Internet Archive, English translations at Abercromby Press.
  • Texts: Full texts of the temple, including transliteration and translation: Rosalie David, Temple Ritual at Abydos (2018) at Egypt Exploration Society.
  • Peter Brand, Ramesses II: Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh, out now from Lockwood Press.

Images: For high-quality illustrations and photos of Sety’s temple, see:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices