ABYDOS. 20. Route. 219
almost completely excavated in 1859 by Mariette, at the expense
of the viceroy Sa'id. The walls consist of fine-grained limestone,
while a harder variety has been selected for the columns, archi¬
traves, door-posts, and other burden-bearing portions. The *Reliefs,
dating from the reign of Sethos I., are among the finest productions
of Egyptian sculpture of any age.
The ground-plan differs materially from that of other great Egyptian
temples. Instead of one sanctuary, it has seven, dedicated to Osiris, Isis,
Horus, Ptah, Harmachis, Ammon, and the deified king; and as each of
these had a special cult, the entire front portion of the temple is divided
into seven parts, each with its separate gateway and portals. The chambers
behind the sanctuaries are not arranged behind each other as in other
temples, but side by side. Another remarkable peculiarity consists in the
Wing, containing various halls, chambers, etc., which stands at right
angles with the main building (p. 222).
We enter the temple from the N.E. The first pylon is in ruins
and the first court is occupied by modern huts. The Second Court,
which opens to the S. on the temple proper, is in better preservation.
The sons and daughters of Ramses II. were represented on the wall
on the inner side of the pylon, but the figures and inscriptions have
been almost effaced. On the right and left walls appears Ramses II.,
sacrificing to different gods; on each side are steles of Ramses II.
At the back of the court a shallow flight of steps ascends to the
original vestibule of the temple proper, which is supported by 12
columns of limestone and originally had seven doors in its rear-wall.
On the wall, to the left of the main entrance, is a Large Inscription
in 95 vertical lines, in which Ramses II. describes in florid language
the completion of the temple and his filial piety towards Sethos.
In the adjoining relief Ramses is shown presenting an image of the
goddess Maat to a triad consisting of Osiris, Isis, and his father
Sethos I., who takes the place of Horus. On the wall are other re¬
presentations of Ramses in presence of the gods. — The seven orig¬
inal doors corresponded to the seven sanctuaries of the temple.
Processions in honour of the king seem to have entered by the door
to the extreme left; the next served for processions to Ptah, the third
for Harmachis, the fourth for Ammon, the fifth for Osiris, the.sixth
for Isis, and the seventh for Horus. Ramses, however, walled up
six of these doors, leaving the central one alone as the main entrance
to the temple.
The present entrance is by the door to the right of the ancient
main entrance. We first enter the First Hypostyle Hall, which is
about 54 yds. wide by 12 deep. The roof, part of which has fallen in, is
supported by 24 columns, with capitals in the form of papyrns buds.
The columns are so arranged that two pairs stand on each side of
the five central processional aisles, while the two outermost aisles
are each flanked on one side by the walls of the temple. The re¬
presentations on the shafts of the columns represent the king before
the deity to whom the aisle led, sometimes accompanied by other
deities. Thus in the Ammon aisle we see Ramses II. before Ammon,