My Abydos

Abydos in history and science fiction

Shen kawoosh imageAbydos in History Shen kawoosh imageAbydos in Stargate

Shen kawoosh imageMy Abydos

Shen kawoosh imageMy Abydos, (expansion of Abydos in Stargate, for Panhistoria)

This started from a story idea that never got off the ground.

Note: Some Egytologists don't like Stargate because they say it implies that Egyptians didn't have the know-how to build the pyramids. I don't like that implication either, so I say the Goa'uld retarded the growth of the Egyptians. After all, Egyptians were able to unify Upper and Lower Egypt and start recorded history only after they kicked out Ra. On Abydos, Ra outlaws reading and writing, continuing to retard the growth of the people. In order to make Stargate correspond to real history, you could say Ra destroyed all technology when he left Earth, leaving the Egyptians with having to rediscover it all over again. I know Daniel says the pyramids are earlier than the historical record says they are, and in the movie, he says he believes the Egyptians did not build the pyramids at Giza, but you could say he was basing that on evidence of the Goa'uld pyramids that got destroyed when Ra left. In the movie, Daniel claims he found a fully-formed writing system from the first two dynasties. (Side note: In "Serpent's Song,"Apophis' host was a scribe at the Temple of Amun at Karnak). Ra claims to have made Earth civilization, and he plans to destroy it, but this can be attributed to Goa'uld boasting.


I like the idea from the movie where Abydonians greet strangers with a drink. It makes sense on their planet.

Greet seniors as "father" or "mother," juniors as "son" or "daughter," those of similar age, "brother" or "sister."

Ideas based on the Bedouin and Nuer of Egypt and Sudan, from the eHRAF database.

There is an age and gender-based division of labor.

Bake bread, cook, weave, make and maintain tents, collect firewood, brew beer, thresh grain and pound into flour (Bedouin and Nuer).

They oversee trade and transportation, graze livestock, plow, plant, and harvest. Grown men never cook or milk animals (Bedouin and Nuer).

Milk livestock.

They have age sets, which includes all the people in the village who were initiated at the same time they were. If someone is not from your age set, you cannot call them by their first name. One group of boys was initiated between the ages of 14-16 (Nuer). Can't marry the son or daughter of an age-mate because he or she is as your child.

They get dates from oasis dwellers and trade in kind (Bedouin).

Marriage is arranged after asking the boy's opinion and getting the girl's consent (Nuer).


Saru: The village is led by a group of Elders called the saru. Kasuf is part of the saru.

Djadjat: If a problem needs to be referred above the saru, sarus from several villages get together as the djadjat (earlier version of the kenbet).

Erpati hati'o: The erpati hati'o (predynastic noble), is the Elder in the village chosen to report to Ra. Kasuf is one.

Abydonian Astronomy

Sun: Mandet (Re's solar bark in the daytime). (The novelization of the movie had three suns. While that's a fascinating idea, the book had several inaccuracies, including calling the mastadge both a "he" and a "she." No other source mentions three suns, and having three suns would make it hard to find an orbit for Abydos that would allow life. Therefore, I've only named one sun).

The gate address for Abydos is Taurus, Sepens Caput, Capricorn, Monoceros, Sagittarius, and Orion. For gate addresses, you're supposed to be able to determine where they are in space by having all the lines between the points intersect. The constellations mentioned are all in the equatorial sections. If you average them out, you get either Orion or a contellation called Ophiucus. Since Orion is in the gate address and is the last glyph, I tried to find a habitable star in Orion. I needed a spectral type F, G, or K (inner planets only if K), preferably luminosity V (dwarf sun like Sol), and not a binary. It also needed to be relatively close to Earth because the series says it is. (However, the movie says it isn't). That's all I wanted. After a long search, my sister and I decided on Pi 3 Orionis, also known as Tabet.

Pi 3 Orionis is

Planets (Ikhemu-Weredu "never resting stars") in the Abydos system: 4

Moons: 3

Stars (Ikhemu):

Nagada sees the southern stars, as it is in the southern hemisphere of Abydos. This section is based on Extrasolar Skies, the HD 30652 (Pi3 Orionis)system.

Sol on one horizon
Sol (our sun), is a star on the Abydonian horizon with less than a 5 magnitude and probably cannot be seen without an instrument. Sirius is nearby and is a brighter, 1 mag star. (From Earth, Spica might be of comparable magnitude).

Nebulas on another horizon
The Horsehead and other nebulas are around Alnitak as seen from Earth, and Alnitak is on the Abydonian horizon on the side of the sky opposite where Sol is. I doubt the Horsehead Nebula would look like it's nearby Alnitak from Abydos, but I'll just say it does so I can say where the nebula is. From Abydos, Rigel is about a 1 mag star near the nebulae. Saph is also nearby and is about a 2 mag (from Earth, Polaris is comparable, or Dubhe, one of the Pointer Stars to the Little Dipper).

Canopus is the brightest star at about minus 1 mag (minus .72 from Earth, could be comparable). Acrux and Becrux are about 1 mag stars, and are 2 of 6 stars of 1 or 2 mag that are close to each other.

Pole Star
There is no southern pole star. The south pole is 1/2 way down the sky, and so Nagada would be about 40 degrees south. (New York at 40 deg. North sees the North Pole halfway down). In the north, Polaris is the pole star, although it describes a little circle around the exact northern pole (2.02 from Earth)

Named Stars


Abydonian Geography

Villages: Nubt, Tjeny, Hu (besides Nagada)

Districts/ Provinces: Sepa (from sepat).

Farming Area: Ta Mehu (the Delta).

River in the farming area: Hapy.

Cemetary: Kher - natu (from khert-neter), "that which is beneath the god." The elite are buried in Poqer. The cemetary is on the west side, Amenti.


Sources on ancient Egyptian language can be used for phrases and word order for Abydonian characters.


The hieroglyphs we conventionally use for the "a" sound is really a glottal stop. Egyptians didn't write the vowels, so all vowels are guesswork. There was probably no "l" in Egyptian, although Coptic (really late Egyptian), has an "l," and Late Egyptian has an "nr" which may have been used for an "l." There are two heavy h's, one "k" said the "usual way" and one said in the back of the throat. The feminine ending "t" wasn't pronounced in the singular form of words, and the "t, d, n" in the last positions are sometimes not written, suggesting they stopped being spoken. They may have turned into glottal stops. (In the movie Stargate, Daniel learns an Egyptian word in the cave where the final "t" is dropped).

Maat was probably pronounced Mu'a.

Ra was probably pronounced "Ria" (from the Akkadian "Nibmuaria" translating the Egyptian "Nebmaatre.") Note: Stargate's Egyptian linguist evidently felt Re might be pronounced "Riu," because that's the way Skaara pronounces it in the movie.


(Note, I'm not a linguist).


Have a singular, dual, and plural. Show by saying "two arms, two hands" etc.


The first phrase is in English, the second is the literal ancient Egyptian.

He hears --> He is on hearing.
He will hear --> He is toward hearing.
I smell roast --> My situation (is) on smelling roast.
I see her --> She is my vision.
I am seeing her --> I am on her-seeing.
She will give birth --> Her-situation (is) toward bearing.
You will fill --> Let there be you filling.
You will see --> Let there be your sight.
Let Hapy bring --> Let there be a bringing of Hapy.

Word Order

The word order is noun, then adjective. For example, "son beloved," "wife beloved," "from land pure," "cubits two."

A noun is preceded by the material its made of or if it part of a larger entity.

A great cedar altar --> cedar altar great
Abydos of the Thinite nome --> Thinite-nome Abydos
Two flasks of beer --> beer flask two (notice the "of" dropped out).

Definite Article, "The"

Old and Middle Egyptian didn't have a word for "the," although Late Egyptian did.

Genitive, "Of"

When words are closely connected or commonly associated, there is no linking word. -->"Overseer estate."
Abydos of the Thinite nome --> Thinite-nome Abydos
Two flasks of beer --> beer flask two

Other times, use , "of."

Connecting phrases, "And"

There is no "and."

For listings and "dialectical oppositions," simply list the words.

"heaven earth," "Upper-Egypt Lower-Egypt."

If interrelated or mixed, use "on, upon."

"wind on rain."

If not usually grouped, use "with."

"My children with my brother."

With verbs and sentences, don't use a special word.

He eats and drinks --> His-position eats-he drinks-he.

If you are brave, and your heart is stout --> As-to of-your-bravery of-stoutness (of) your heart.

"To Be"

He is there --> His-position there.
Where is he? --> His location is where?
I am on this road --> My location is on this road.
I am herewith giving --> My-situation (is) on giving.
Where are you? --> Your-situation (is) where.
What is your name? --> What your-name.


I did not carry off any man's daughter --> Not take+I daughter man I did not show my back to an Asiatic (flee) --> Not give+IND-I my-back to Asiatic. Do not get pregnant --> Not become-pregnant-so-someone

Discountinuous or "event" negation, add "indeed."

Indeed, it was not the proper time --> Lo not season indeed.


lord, -- usually given as "neb" --> nib
peace, offering, etc., "hetep" --> hatip
maat --> mua
son, "sa" --> zia
daughter, "sat" --> ziat



May your heart be raised to him, may your heart become great
Let your soul stand among...
So their names would be established forever.
May they hear all the good things she says on this day, namely that you are this feather which appears in god's land.
Such-and-such, may he be alive, prosperous, and healthy.
May they give you eternity without end --> Give+PROSP they to you eternity not-be it's-end.
May he see with his eyes --> Let-there-be-his sight with his-two-eyes.
May you embrace --> Let-there-be-your-filling your-embrace.
May you kiss --> Let-there-be-your-kissing.


Hello --> Welcome in peace.

Bye --> Be well.

Phrases with heart

Thinking of something else or oblivious --> His heart is flooded.
It is good in their heart, pleasant in their heart...
Don't be a coward --> Do not be pale your heart.
No evil in his heart.
Follow your heart.
That which is in the heart cannot be known.
His heart became refreshed.
His heart lured him to foreign countries.
Trustworthy --> He whose heart is clear.

Negative phrases

I did not know it --> My knowledge (of) it was not.
If he does not follow your teaching -->If fail+CIRC-he do+INF your-teaching. (The INF probably means the infinitive form).
Do not make your mind arrogant --> Do-not+IMP be-angry+NEG COMPL your-heart. (The IMP is probably the imperative).
Do not be downcast of face because of it -->Be-ill-advised-you (plural) be-downcast+NEG COMPL your-faces about it.
A book-roll with no writing in it --> Book which-absent it's-writing.
You don't have much. --> It's not great to you.
There is no end to it --> It's end does not exit.
He cannot reach land --> No reaching for-him is land.


palace --> "House king" (house of the king)
library --> "House book,scroll" (house of the book or scroll)
True of voice
His going forth
It is very good -->good+very it.
His statue which is in the temple --> His-statue which in temple house.
Then this peasant said --> Saying-in peasant this.
I heard the song --> Hearing-to-me sound.
Now listen to me --> Listen now to me.
really, in reality --> In-true-being.
Are you a slave? --> Question you slave.
He will split it --> It is what he will split
Let him hear --> Let-there-be his hearing.
I like --> I have conceived a liking for.
He dislikes --> He has conceived a hatred for.
My wife is there --> Where my wife is going to be is there.
Behold, I will take away your donkey --> Behold me towards removing your-donkey.
Take care that you do not steal --> Guard yourself lest filch+PROSP you.
turn pale -->cause oneself to be white
divorced woman --> she who is separated
instruction --> that which is taught
Because your breath of life is sweet in my nostril...
If you wish --> in that you wish
If you wish --> as-to of-your desire (different source)
But you still have time -->But there is day here before you.
You talk to me, but I am not hearing it.
I shall cause it to be brought.
Straighten your tongue and do not go astray.
Do not answer with an attitude of hostility.
It is I that will cause that it be done for you.
entrusted to him --> put to his face.
If I attack thousands of them, their feet cannot remain stable and they run away.
I did not make myself in worthiness of coming to you.
death --> going to one's ka
His beloved son --> His son, his beloved.
Throw out, expel --> "put on the ground."
Dating was according to the regnal year of the king. On Abydos, it could go by the village headman, (Kasuf).


He whose heart is clear, who does not vent what is said in this belly, he will himself become a leader.
You should talk only when you know that you understand.

Names for Food and a Few Other Items

aped (Apd) -- duck, bird
ashret (ASr.t) -- roast, a dish
bener (bnr) -- date or dates (the fruit)
benret (bnr.t) -- date cakes
bit (bi.t) -- honey
dabew (DAb.w) -- figs
djesret (Dsr.t) -- a strong ale
henqet (Hnq.t) -- beer
iaqet (iAq.t) -- leek(s)
iareret (iArr.t) -- grape (s)
Iban -- ebony wood, highly prized (Bunson).
Ished tree -- Persea (Bunson).
inhemen (inhmn) -- pomegranate
irep (irp) -- wine
khesbed -- lapis lazuli
khet (x.t) -- "thing." This isn't a food, but I could see my character using this any time she couldn't think of a word.
nabk berries -- (various sources)
neqa'ewet (nqa.wt) -- notched figs
shespet (Ssp.t) -- cucumber(s)
tepet (tp.t) -- oil for eating or cooking
teftef planet -- no source given, it's scribbled in one of my notebooks.

How to Sound Egyptian When You Don't Have Much Time

(page summary)

You lazy bum! Is this page a little overwhelming? A little obsessive perhaps?
Drop the "the" the "and," and sometimes the "of."
Use the dual instead of the regular plural when you can (two arms, two eyes.)
Put the noun before the adjective.
Stick a "heart" in your sentence, since Egyptians considered the heart the seat of emotions and of the mind.
Use "house of function" for a building for a certain function.

Food Sources

Bunson, Margaret. (1991). A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press.

Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson. (1995, 2003). The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. New York: Harry N Abrams, Inc.

WbnRaMPt's Vocabulary: Egyptian to English Note: site for Ancient Sites, historical role play.

Language Sources

Callender, John. (1975). Middle Egyptian. Malibu, California: Indena Publications.

Collier, Mark, and Bill Manley. (1998.) How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Loprieno, Antonio. (1995). Ancient Egyptian: A linguistic introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kelley, Ross L. (1997-2004). The Pronunciation of Ancient Egyptians. Note: It's weird citing this for a Stargate page because it calls Stargate "entertaining but historically absurd." Well, they're right, but it's fun anyway!

Other Sources

Aim point RA: 5 h 25m Dec: +2 Deg. 35'44" Mon 2004 Jun 13 6:26 UTC.

The Brightest Stars. Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.

Bunson, Margaret. (1991). A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dolan, Chris. Tabit

Extrasolar Skies. It has a frame. Pick "Extrasolar Skies and then type in a search on HD 30652 (Pi3 Orionis). (Then do some other fun searches on the site).

Pi(3) Orionis. (2001, April 4, last updated).

Pi3 Orionis 2?

Rao, Joe. (2002, 21 June). The Big Dipper: Ancient and Modern Intrigue. Special to From Night Sky.

Rao, Joe. (2002, 28 June). The Little Dipper's Stars Reveal Your Sky's Darkness. Special to From Night Sky.

Soares, Eduardo. Brightest Stars. Cosmobrain.

Stargate SG-1: The Glyphs.

Upgren, Arthur. (2005). Many Skies: Alternative Histories of the Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

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