Temple of Seti I
The Temple of Seti I (Sety I or Sethos I) in Abydos is one of the most celebrated of the masterpieces of Egyptian art and architecture, where one can behold the attractively appealing reliefs and colors. King Seti I began the construction of the temple and –as many others of his monuments– the temple was completed by King Ramses II (of the Nineteenth Dynasty).
Some Egyptologists hold the belief that Seti I ordered the temple be erected T-shaped, as a symbolic tomb for himself because its plan is very similar to his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. On the other hand, others think that it was merely accidental; to avoid damaging the Osireion (a small cenotaph, just behind the temple).
The First Pylon of the Temple of Seti I is completely destructed. However, in its back, there are fourteen niches which originally held statues of Osiris, now destroyed.
The First and Second Courts of the Temple of Seti I
The First Court of the Temple of Seti I:
In the First Hypostyle Hall, in the center of the left side, there are two stone basins that had been used by priests for purposes of purification.
Decorating the walls of the court are splendid scenes of the battles of Seti I in Asia. On the left wall, we can see the process of counting the prisoners by their cut hands. In the rear wall– as in the Temple of Luxor and other monuments of Ramses II– one can eye the procession of the 27 sons and 29 daughters of Ramses II ordered by their birth dates.
The Second Court of the Temple of Seti I:
Ramses II completed the Second Court of the Temple of Seti I. It comprises a portico of 12 pillars decorated with the traditional scenes of the pharaoh making offerings to the gods of the Egyptian Pantheon.
The rear wall was meant to be originally 12 doors, but the doors were tapped and the new wall was decorated with scenes of Ramses II adoring Horus, Khnum, Thoth and Ptah in front of a tree.
Other significant inscriptions are also to be admired. In these inscriptions, Ramses II states that he decided to finish the works of his father when he visited Abydos after his coronation.
The First and Second Hypostile Halls of the Temple of Seti I
The First Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Seti I:
As one of the most gracefully attractive parts of the temple, the First Hypostyle Hall comprises two rows of twelve pillars supporting the ceiling. Here, reliefs and colors are of the utmost quality and elaboration. They represent Ramses II with many gods, such as Min (god of fertility), Path, Osiris (god of the Hereafter) and Amoun-Ra. The traditional scene of the foundation of the temple, dedicated to Osiris and his family, can be seen on the left wall. On the right wall, is depicted the purification of the pharaoh by Horus and Thoth. On the rear wall, the coronation of Ramses II by Horus is vividly manifested.
The Second Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Seti I:
Leading to the temple's seven chapels are three rows of twelve columns each, on which scenes showing Ramses II making offerings to various deities are captured. Since the quality of this hall's reliefs differs from that of others, doubts have risen over whether or not they belonged to Ramses II who is thought to have usurped them. Multiple beautiful reliefs representing Seti I before Osiris, Horus, Maat, Isis, Nephthys and other gods are also to be seen.
The Seven Chapels of the Temple of Seti I
The seven vaulted chapels in the Temple of Seti I in Abydos were dedicated, beginning from the left, to Set I, Path, Ra-Hor-Akhty, Amoun-Ra, Osiris, Isis and Horus. The paintings on these chapels– except for the chapels of Amoun-Ra, Ra-Hor-Akhty and Ptah which were never painted– are quite well preserved. On the rear wall of each chapel, there is a false door. Only in the Chapel of Osiris, there is a real door that leads into a chamber with ten columns dedicated to this god.Hall of Nefertum and Ptah-Sokar in the Temple of Seti I
After the Second Hypostyle Hall, in the rear left, a door leads into a hall with three columns, dedicated to the mortuary gods of Memphis, Nefertem, and Ptah-Soker (another representation of Osiris). Here, one can eye different marvelous scenes of offerings and others of the resurrection of Osiris.Hall of Ancestors of the Temple of Seti I
Immediately to the left of the Hall of Nefertum and Ptah-Sokar in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, is the door to the Hall of Ancestors. Decorating this hall are various scenes showing many depictions, most importantly, the King List through which, scholars and archeologists could have clues into the succession of the earlier Egyptian pharaohs. In this scene, Seti I is accompanied by his son Ramses II, as a prince, burning incense before a papyrus where the names of his predecessors are written. The list begins with Menes (the founder of the Pharaonic civilization and the first king of the First Dynasty), followed by 75 names of kings that end with the name of Seti I. Some unimportant kings, women (like Hatshepsut), and the kings of the Amarna Period (Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamen, and Ay) were omitted. Check and jowl are scenes of the traditional presentation of offerings to various gods.
In this corridor, stand smaller rooms that were used for storing the temple's equipments and offerings.
Immediately beyond the King List, a door (known as the Corridor of the Bulls) leads to a corridor. The door was so named because Amen-Her-Kheb-Shef, son of Ramses II, is depicted in a scene purchasing a bull. Side by side are scenes of adoration of many gods.