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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