Temple of Seti I at Abydos, it was begun by Seti I and finished by his son, the great Ramesses II. In the 19th Dynasty, Seti I began to restore Abydos to its former glory after it was over shadowed under Akhenaton’s rule. Seti began to build the temple in white limestone, to all gods and all former kings of Egypt and he placed it near an earlier temple and by a processional path.
The main reason for him to build such a temple because he probably wanted to establish his Divine right to the throne as his father, Ramesses I, was of low birth and had been raised to the office as vizier by Hormheb.
He called his temple (ḥwt špstt nt ḥḥ n nswt bity (Mn M3ˁt Rˁ) which means The Joyful temple of Millions of years of king of Upper and Lower Egypt (Mn M3ˁt Rˁ).
The temple has two unusual features:
• It takes the inverted L letter.
• It is dedicated to Seti I and seven different deities, Osiris and Isis along with, Ptah-Sokr, Nefertem Rehorakhty, Amun and Horus.
The Interior Design:
1. The 1st Pylon:
It was built by Ramesses II out of sandstone. It consists of row towers. It was approached b a staircase and was decorated by battle scenes of R II.
2. The 1st Open Court:
After passing through the gateway of the pylon you reach the first open court. It was also erected by Ramesses II.
To the North and South sides of this court are two circular basins used for the purification of the worshippers in this temple.
Near the Northern basin one can still see a deep well which indicates the function of both basins.
At the back of the court is a flight of steps leading up to a portico, the roof of which was supported by 12 pillars of limestone and sandstone. These pillars were once decorated by osirid statues of R II.
3. The 2nd Pylon:
It was built by Ramesses II and it used to consist of two towers.
4. The 2nd Open Court:
The second court was also decorated b Ramesses ll showing scenes of him before different deities.
At the back of this court is a ramp that leads up to a portico whose roof is supported by g square pillars of limestone and resting on sandstone bases.
Originally the back of the second open court as built b Seti I had 7 entrances but Ramesses II blocked 5 of them. It should be noted that the wall behind the portico was erected by Seti l but the pillars by Ramesses II.
5. The 1st Hypostyle Hall:
This Hypostyle hall was built by Seti I using both limestone and sandstone in its construction. The hall contains 24 papyrus bud columns arranged in pairs.
The façade of this hall originally had 7 entrances, 5 of which were blocked by Ramesses ll.
The 1st Hypostyle hall is separated from the 2nd Hypostyle hall by means of a sandstone wall with 7 doorways. Originally each doorway had a double door of cedar wood decorated gold and silver.
Seti I decorated the entire hall by scenes made in high relief before his death. However R.II converted all of them into sunk relief.
6. The 2nd Hypostyle Hall:
This hall was built and decorated by Seti I. However R.II repainted some of its scenes.
This hall is built of limestone. The roof of the hall is supported by 36 sandstone columns, 24 on the Eastern side are papyrus bud capitals and the other 12 on the Western side have no capitals and are completely plain.
The columns in this hall form 7 aisles; six of them end with ramps while the middle 7th aisle which leads to the shrine of Amun-Re ends with a flight of steps.
7. The Seven shrines:
The shrines from right to left belong to Horus, Isis, Osiris, Amun-Re, Rehorakhty, Ptah and Seti I defied.
In the center of the walls between the doorways of the shrines are small niches for offering.
Inside each shrine, the roof is vaulted and decorated with stars and flying, vultures holding cartouches containing the names of the king. T
At the rear walls of the shrines are blocked except for the shrine of Seti I which leads to the hall of Osiris.
8. The Hall of Osiris:
The back of the shrine of Osiris leads to the Hall of Osiris. The roof is supported by 10 columns without capitals.
This hall was used by the Christians during the Coptic period.
9. The smaller hall of Osiris:
At the Southern end of the Hall of Osiris there is a shallow ramp that leads to the smaller hall of Osiris. Its roof is supported by four columns without capitals. The Western and Eastern walls of the hall each contain 5 niches. The ten were made to contain statues. On the Southern wall there are three shrines probably dedicated to the triad Osiris. As for the scenes they are in bad condition as their upper parts are completely destroyed.
The Southern Wing:
This part of the temple is approached from the second Hypostyle hall. It consists of:
1) The hall of Sokar and Nefertem
2) The corridor of the kings
3) The hall of the boats
4) the slaughter court
5) The Western passage and some storerooms.
1. The Hall of Sokar:
It contains a row of three round columns, however it seems that in the original plan this hall was supposed to contain six columns, only three were carved and the other three were abandoned as they still remain not fully carved against the wall.
On the Western side there are two shrines with vaulted roofs. The Northern is dedicated to god Sokar and the Southern to Nefertem.
2. The Corridor of the Kings:
It is also known as the hall of ancestors. Its walls are covered by the names and titles of 76 kings starting with Menes and ending with Seti I. Also the name of Ramesses Il is mentioned and his figure is represented 4 times as if announcing that he is the legal heir to the throne.
The list ignores the kings of the 1st and 2nd Intermediate periods, Hatshepsut, Akhenaton, Semenkhkare, Tutankhamun and Ay.
3. The Hall of Boats:
Its roof is supported by 6 columns without capitals. Along the walls of this hall there are benches for carrying sacred boats. At the South East corner of this hall there is a flight of limestone steps that lead to the roof of the temple.
4. The Slaughter court:
It is rectangular in shape bordered from three sides by a colonnade. The Central part is open to the sky. The scenes of this hall show representations of slaughtering sacrificial animals.
5. The Western Passage:
On the Southern side of the corridor of the Kings is a doorway that had been opened on the Western wall leading to the Western entrance of the temple.
6. Rooms and Magazines:
The purpose of many rooms in the temple is not known to us. However some are used as storerooms while others were used for administrative purposes.