The Enigmatic Osireion

Post by Darci Clark

Osireion at Abydos
Osireion at Abydos
The Osireion, or Osirion, located at Abydos, is one of the most mysterious temples of ancient Egypt. Originally discovered in 1902 by Sir Flinders Petrie and Margaret Murray, many archaeologists believe the Osireion was built by Seti I, the second king of the XIX Dynasty. This is because the Osireion is located directly behind Seti’s temple, but is built thirty feet below ground level. The temple is surrounded by water, a kind of artificial moat, and is named in honor of the god Osiris. According to Egyptian myth, Abydos was the burial place of Osiris.

What makes the Osireion so interesting is the monolithic style of architecture. Made of huge blocks of granite stone, this type of architecture was not used during this era of Egyptian history. The only other Egyptian monument built in this style was the Valley Temple of Chephren at Giza, built more than 1,000 years before the time of Seti I. Did Seti simply build the Osireion in the ancient monolithic style, or did he rediscover the ancient buried temple during the construction of his own temple?

I prefer to believe the Osireion predates the time of Seti I, and is possibly the symbolic burial tomb of Osiris. Whatever the truth may be, the Osireion remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic archaeological sites in ancient Egypt.

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