Tomb of Horus Aha


For his burial, Horus Aha stayed at Umm el-Qa’ab, and had his tomb built right next to the pits that are believed to have been used for Narmer’s burial. Aha’s tomb is substantially larger than Narmer’s, which has led some researchers to believe that not Narmer but Aha is to be identified as the near-legendary founder of the united Egypt, Menes. 

ha’Interactive plan of Aha’s tomb. Click or tap of the little circles to learn more about the different pits that are part of this tomb.

Aha’s tomb consists of 3 large, slightly rectangular pits in a row, now numbered B19, B15 and B10. The pits B17/18, believed to be Narmer’s tomb, are located to the north of pits B19 and B15. The pits are lined with walls ranging between 1.5 to 2.1 metres in thickness. There is no connection between the pits, although it is possible that they shared a common superstructure.

A view on the three principal pits of Aha’s tomb.

A view on the three principal pits of Aha’s tomb.
Source: Starozytny Egypt - Nekropola Abydos.

To the east of B10, and extending the line of pits that make up Aha’s tomb, are two smaller pits (B13 and B14), and a series of 34 subsidiary tombs laid out in 3 parallel rows. The subsidiary tombs are seen as evidence for retainer sacrifice, a gruesome practice of burying some of the king’s staff along with him, that appears to have started under Aha and would be maintained until the end of the 1st Dynasty.

Benerib, one of Aha’s wives, is believed to have been buried in pit B14. If this is indeed the case, it is likely that her burial happened at the same time as Aha’s, which could indicate that she was ritually put to death to be buried alongside her husband. It is also possible that she predeceased her husband and was laid to rest in what was to become part of Aha’s tomb.

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017