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<   No. 4266   2020-06-01   >

Comic #4266

1 Prof. Jones: Anyway, Merlin suggested I have another go at deciphering Miss Thoroughgood’s papyrus.
2 Monty: We know what it says. The Crook of Osiris is in Abydos.
2 Prof. Jones: Abydos, “ally of Troy”, not Abydos, Egypt!!
3 Monty: Oh my... Abydos of Mysia, on the Hellespont! Home of Leander! Member of the Delian League! That’s embarrassing!
4 Minnesota Jones: Could have been worse. We could have gone to Glasgow Montana, instead of the one in Scotland.

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I've been wondering if any readers would spot this plot complication before it was revealed in the story. There were two Abydoses (Abydi?) in antiquity: Abydos in Egypt, and Abydos in Mycia, which is in present-day Turkey.

Since they're looking for the Crook of Osiris, an Egyptian artefact, naturally Professor Jones leapt to the conclusion that it was in Abydos in Egypt, and nobody has questioned that until now. And none of you readers have questioned it either (at least not anywhere I could see it). I was a little bit afraid that someone would immediately point out in the forums that there's another Abydos - but thankfully that didn't happen. If you were aware there were two Abydoses, but kept quiet for the sake of the story, thank you. :-)

The Mycian Abydos now no longer exists. The city was founded around 670 BC, and was abandoned around 1310, and the site scavenged for building material over the next several hundred years, leaving virtually nothing to bother excavating archaeologically. The site was declared a military zone in the early 20th century, and access is restricted. It's not far from the modern Turkish city of Çanakkale. It seems an unlikely hiding spot for the Crook of Osiris, but stranger things have happened.

Abydos was subject to a string of shifting allegiances in its long history, as civilisations rose and fell around it. It was, in sequence, a Persian ally, occupied by the Persians in a war on Athens, an ally of Athens, an ally of Sparta in a war against Athens, occupied by Persia again, attacked by Athens, allied with Sparta, annexed to the Persians, conquered by the Macedonians, besieged by the Persians, occupied by the Macedonians again, besieged by the Thracians, annexed to the Seleucid Empire, conquered by the Egyptians, annexed to the Kingdom of Pergamon, besieged and occupied by the Macedonians again, reconquered by the Seleucids, passed through by the Romans, reassigned to Pergamon, bequeathed to the Roman Empire, passed to the Byzantines, sacked by Arabs, raided by the Rus, seized by the Seljuk Turks, recaptured by the Byzantines, attacked by Turkish pirates, seized by Venice, granted to the Latin Empire, conquered by the Empire of Nicaea, reconquered by the Latin Empire, and finally re-reconquered by the Empire of Nicaea.

At this point, it was the early 14th century and the people decided to abandon the city due to threats of attack from Turkish tribes. Looks like somebody finally learnt their lesson.

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