1899-1900 Abydos

Type of fieldwork: 
Excavation
Season summary: 

Several British teams worked at Abydos in 1899-1900:

  • Flinders Petrie led work on the royal tombs of Dynasties 1 and 2 in the Umm el-Qa'ab area of Abydos including: the tomb of Qa'a (tomb Q), 'Mersekha-Semempses' known today as Semerkhet (tomb U), Merneith (tomb Y), Zet or Djet tomb (tomb Z) and associated subsidiary burials (Cemetery W), 'Azab-Merpaba' known today as Anedjib (tomb X), Djer (tomb O), Den (tomb T), and Peribsen (tomb P); these were all published in Petrie, W.M.F. 1900. The Royal Tombs of the First Dynasty Part I.
  • Randall-MacIver directed work on two prehistoric cemeteries that lay about half a mile away from the royal tombs  (at least 74 graves in  Cemetery ø and 74 in Cemetery χ ), as well as work at the Middle Kingdom mortuary complex of Senwosret III (area H); published in Randall-MacIver and Mace 1901. El Amrah and Abydos
  • Mace led work at a pharaonic period cemetery (Cemetery D), an area that is part of larger North cemetery near the wadi leading from the Osiris Temple to the Umm el-Qa'ab. It is dated broadly as being in use between the late Second Intermediate Period through to the beginning of the Late Period. Note that there are two portions of the greater North Cemetery referred to as “Cemetery D” – one excavated by Mace during the 1899-1900 season and a second cemetery assigned as “D” by Peet during his work between 1911 and 1914. The two cemeteries lie at opposite ends of the North Cemetery as a whole.
  • Mace also worked at the pyramid temple complex of Ahmose I (area K = pyramid, L = around pyramid);  published in Randall-MacIver and Mace 1901. El Amrah and Abydos
  • Flinders Petrie led investigations at a cemetery with Predynastic and later graves (Cemetery G); partly published in Petrie, W.M.F. 1902. Abydos I pp. 34-40) and a few mentioned briefly in Randall-MacIver and Mace 1901. El Amrah and Abydos
  • Garstang led work for the Egyptian Research Account at a Dynasty 12 and Dynasty 18 cemetery (Cemetery E), located today in what is more usually referred to as the 'North Cemetery' at Abydos; published as Garstang, J. 1901. El Arabah.

The EEF Committee Report for 1899-1900 notes (p.18) that "the number of ushabtis brought home was so large that we are enabled for the first time to make presentes of them to individual subscribers".

Relevant archive holdings: 
London, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology: 2 notebooks relating to the royal tombs, 4 excavation notebooks to other parts of the site.

Archive Documents

Relevant publications: 

Catalogue of antiquities from excavations at Abydos: found by the Egypt Exploration Fund and the Egyptian Research Account; exhibited […] at University College, Gower St., London, W.C., July 2nd to July 28th, 1900. 1900. London

Garstang, John 1901. El Arabah: A cemetery of the Middle Kingdom; Survey of the Old Kingdom Temenous; Graffiti from the Temple of Sety. London: Egyptian Research Account.

Petrie, W. M. Flinders 1900. The royal tombs of the First Dynasty, part I. London: Egypt Exploration Fund; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.

Petrie, W. M. Flinders 1901. The royal tombs of the earliest dynasties, part II. London: Egypt Exploration Fund; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.

Randall-MacIver, David 1900. Excavations at Abydos : a twelfth dynasty temple ; prehistoric cemeteries / David Randall-MacIver. The later cemeteries / A. C. Mace. - In: Archaeological Report (Egypt Exploration Fund) 1899-1900 [1900] 1-3.

Randall-MacIver, David and Mace, Arthur. 1902. El Amrah and Abydos, 1899-1901. London : Egypt Exploration Fund.

Related excavations: 
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