picture of Eighth Nome symbol hieroglyph of Abydos
  Eighth Nome Abydos

Abydos in Predynastic Times

We first worshipped Wepawawet, the "Opener of the Ways." He is a jackal with either a grey or a white head, and he leads people to the underworld.

Around 3500-3000 BC, there were 3 confederacies in Upper Kemet, the Confederacy of Thinis, which had Thinis, Abydos, and Hu; the Confederacy of Nubt; and the Confederacy of Nekhen.

The earliest kings are buried here, even kings before the first dynasty. Some say Iry hor, Ka, and "Scorpion" are buried here, even if no one is sure if they were kings. The first we know of who was a king for sure was Narmer and Aha, even if we don't know if Narmer ruled all of Egypt. The first two dynasties are called "Thinite" dynasties. Besides Narmer and Aha, all the kings of the first dynasty and some of the second are buried here. The first 3 kings of the second dynasty are not buried here but in Saqqara, showing a shift in power.

Many of the oldest tombs are large. Djer had nearly 600 retainers buried beside him. Khasekhemwy's tomb is 230 feet long and goes from 56 to 33 feet in width. There are rumored to be royal boat graves near his tomb. The old tombs are lined with brick and topped with sand. Some people say they look like benches.

We may be one of the first to have writing, as we may have had writing since 30 years before the first dynasty.


Kamil, Jill. (1984, 1996). The Ancient Egyptians: Life in the Old Kingdom. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.

Manley, Bill. (1996). The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt. NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc.

Midant-Reynes, Beatriz. (1992: English trans. 2000 by Ian Shaw). The Prehistory of Egypt: From the First Egyptians to the First Pharaohs. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Ltd.

Shaw, Ian. (Ed.) (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. NY: Oxford University Press.

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