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Gallery 20: Case 2

Royal Burials at Abydos

The so-called Early Dynastic or Archaic period of Egyptian history lasted from about 3030 to 2700 BC. This period, which runs from just before the start of the First Dynasty to the end of the Second, saw Egypt becoming unified under a single ruler, and evidence of a common material culture spreading throughout the country.

The objects in this case come from Abydos, where the first kings of Egypt were buried alongside officials and women from the royal household. The roughly shaped pieces of limestone, which were found outside the tombs, may have served either as tomb-markers or as votive offerings. Many of the signs carved on them are difficult to interpret, but it is likely that most represent the names of those who placed them here. Other items from the tombs include flint knives, animal figurines, jewellery, furniture, clay sealings and vessels engraved with the names of the kings.

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