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Abydos: Egyptian Afterlife
APRIL 2005
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Photo captions by
A. R. Williams
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Egyptian Afterlife Gallery Photo

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First King's Last Rites
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

In the beginning every Egyptian ruler prepared a two-part funerary complex: an enclosure close to the Nile's floodplain for the celebration of rituals and a tomb deeper in the Western Desert—the land of the dead. Recent excavations at Abydos have revealed this 5,000-year-old mud-brick enclosure of Aha, the first king of the 1st dynasty. Six people, probably poisoned in connection with the royal funeral, were buried just outside the enclosure wall. "The king has the power of life and death over his subjects," says Matthew Adams, associate director of the dig. "He has the power to take with him those whom he chooses—or needs—to be at his disposal in the next world."
Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: Nikkor 28-70, f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/5.6

Weather Conditions: Sunny
Time of Day: Sunrise
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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