Solving mysteries in Abydos, Egypt (11/2018)

Temple of Seti I in Abydos

Temple of Seti I in Abydos

During our time in Luxor, we booked a day trip to visit the magnificent Temple of Seti I in Abydos.

The construction of the Temple of Seti I started in the 13th century BC, but was continued by several pharaohs. The nearly intact complex includes fantastic wall carvings and paintings as well as a very mysterious feature: the so-called “helicopter hieroglyphs”.

hieroglyphs resembling modern vehicles such as a helicopter and a submarine

hieroglyphs resembling modern vehicles such as a helicopter and a submarine

These images seem to depict modern vehicles and have been commonly used by pseudoarchaeologists to prove the knowledge of modern technology in ancient times. However, this theory is generally dismissed by scientists and in fact the images formed because already carved stones were reused over time. Initial carvings were filled with plaster and new hieroglyphs were scratched on top. The current images formed because the plaster filling the earlier carvings eroded away throughout the centuries. In addition to the “helicopter hieroglyphs”, the Temple of Seti I features amazing ancient artwork throughout the entire complex! Another highlight is the “Abydos King List”, which names 76 kings of Ancient Egypt in the order of their reign (even though omitting a few considered illegitimate at that time, such as Hatshepsut or Akhenaten).

After our visit to Abydos, we explored the fantastic Dendera temple complex.

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