Current Institute Projects at Abydos

The Ancient Town at Abydos

The ancient town of Abydos was the center of social, political, and religious life at the site. It was comprised primarily of the houses of local residents, who probably included farmers, craftsmen, artisans, priests, and other officials, among others, as well as important civil and religious institutions, including the Temple of Osiris. Our excavations in the ancient town site at Abydos have revealed houses, courtyards, and streets occupied around 4000 years ago, as well as the oldest known workshop for the manufacture of Egyptian faience. The dynamics of daily life in ancient Egypt are materially represented in the remains of the town, which probably represented the primary spatial and experiential frame of reference for the ancient inhabitants of Abydos. Exploration of the town sheds light on those components of ancient Egyptian society who are not usually represented in the architectural and artistic record generated by Egyptian kings and their highest officials but who actually represented the vast majority of ancient Egyptians.