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Sokar and Nefertem chapels in the Egyptian temple of Sethy I in Abydos (1294 – 1279 B. C.)


In the south of Egypt, approximately 450 km from Cairo is situated the ancient town of Abydos. This important religious center was choosen by the king Sethy I to built his funerary temple. This monument, considered as a masterpiece of egyptian art, is though not entierly published. I suggest to study and publish a part of the temple : three chapels of the god Sokar and Nefertem. The first part of this work is archaeological and epigraphic. It includs making photographs and plans of the chapels showing the place of the scenes. After drawing the scenes, which have a characteristic style, an elegance of the art and an asthetic sensibility, I will present a description of the representations and a translation of the hieroglyphic texts. In the commentary, religious, historical and litterature aspects will be developped. What were the relations between the gods represented in the chapels and what were there place in the official religion of the country ? What kind of relation had the king with them ? What was the impact of these gods in the politic, particularly, after Akhenaton revolution (1355 – 1337 B. C.) ? The cult of the principal god, Sokar, will be compared in other contemporary buildings and in temples of the graeco-roman period. This reserach will show the evolution of the cult of Ptah-Sokar during the late period, the common aspects of his cult and his local forms in the chapels of Sokar in Karnak, Edfou and Dendera temples. Further information about the king’s titles will be gathered, which will provide historical information about his royal ideology, politic and how he restored the cult of divinities, venerated in many provinces. These information could enhance our historical knowledge of this significant reign of Sethy I. The organisation of these scenes will be studied to understand the beliefs and the point of view of Egyptian scribes. The study of the place of scenes on the wall could show if the whole represents a litterary composition.

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)


Albertus Magnus Platz
50931 Koeln
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 172 501,55
Administrative Contact
Renate Peter (Mr.)