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As the Nile progresses from south to north, its flow intersects the ancient Egyptians’ east-west journey of existence. These geomantic junctions, running the length of Egypt on the edge separating green fields from desert, are where we find the testaments to the existence of their culture, monuments built to celebrate eternity.

Abydos was possibly the most important of these junctions as an annual pilgrimage in the name of Osiris made it the ‘mecca’ of the ancient Egyptians.

With today’s modern day pilgrims, the tourist, Abydos is still a destination, albeit with a different purpose. And so it is this essence of the place as destination that shaped the heritage plan.

What is peculiar to Abydos is the vividness by which the east-west journey of life is portrayed in how the monuments are laid out with part on the edge of the floodplain, and another in the desert to the west. We were able to identify four such complexes, which are from north to south;

1- Kom El Sultan/Shunet El Zebeib - Umm El Geab

2- The Seti I Temple - Osirion – High desert

3- The Senusert complex

4- The Ahmose complex

The Heritage Plan

The initial phase focused on upgrading the visitor experience of the Seti I/ Ramesside complex, as it is the only part open to the public. By tracing the geometry of the monuments we touched upon one possible method by which the architecture was organized. While by respecting and being sympathetic to the built and natural heritage, height and proximation guidelines were established.

Work included;

-Reestablishing part of the original urban fabric of the area between the Seti I and Ramses II temples through archaeology and relocation of recent building incursions.

-Emphasizing the point of entry to the sacred site and, thus the important traverse from valley to desert.

- Providing a visitor center with information on the entire site, as well as establishing a visitor route and information markers for the temples of Seti I, the Osirion, Ramses II and Ramses IV.

-Incorporating a ground water reduction intervention to conserve the monuments.

-Enhancing the visitor experience by emphasizing the point of entry to the sacred site and, and thus the important traverse from valley to desert.

-Enhancing the visitor experience by providing a visitor center with information on the entire site, as well as establishing a visitor route and information markers for the temples of Seti I, the Osirion, Ramses II and Ramses IV.

-Incorporating a ground water reduction intervention to conserve the monuments.

Abydos Heritage Site Portal

Client: Supreme Council of Antiquity
Location: Sohag
Year: 2005 -
Status: Implementation
Team: Tarek Waly - Yahia Shawkat

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