178 Route 16. BIAHMU. Fayum.
an interesting desert expedition may be made in one day on camels to the
Wadi Raydn, a valley on the way to the oasis of Bahriyeh. — 3. Via Rabia
(Minshat Rabi) to Kalamsha. — 4. Via Kuhafeh (see below), Hawdra (station
for the Labyrinth, p. 179), and Dimishkineh to El-Lahun (pyramid, see p. 180).
— 5. From Edwa (on the government-line, p. 176) via Cabala (to Sendres, see
p. 177) to Tamiyeh, and via Selah and Sersena to Rhoda. — Other lines are
The village of Biahmu or Bihamu, which lies on the railway to Se-
nures (p. 177), 4l/2 M. to the N. of Medinet el-Fayum, is usually vis¬
ited on donkey-back (I1/4 hr.; there and back 5 pias.). The road, which
leads in the direction of the railway-embankment through fertile fields
and past murmuring irrigation channels, affords an insight into the fer¬
tility of the district. A short distance to the N. of Biahmu rise two large
stone Buildings, which present the appearance of ruined pyramids and are
called by the natives Kursi Fir'aun ('Pharaoh's chair') or es-Sanam ('the
idol'). These were the pedestals of two colossal sandstone Statues of King
Amenemhet III., remains of which have been found by Lepsius and by Prof.
Flinders Petrie, who estimates their original height at 40 ft. The learned
Father Vansleb of Erfurt saw the lower portion of one of these figures
in 1672. Each was surrounded by a girdle-wall, with a granite door on
the N. side. The N.E. angle of the easternmost wall is still in good
preservation. These walls were once washed by the waters of Lake
Moeris, and there is practically no doubt that in them we must recognize
the two pyramids described by Herodotus (p. 175) as standing in Lake
Moeris, each with a colossal seated human figure upon it.
From Medineh to Senhur, 9'/2 M., a ride of about 3 hrs. This fine
route leads through a remarkably fertile and well-cultivated region, via
the villages of Beni Magnun and Es-Seliytneh. Picturesquely situated on a
cliff to the left appears the village of Fidmin or Fademineh. — Senhur
(Sanhour) is a large village occupying the site of a considerable ancient
town. A resting-place and sometimes night-quarters are to be found in
the large house of the Shekh el-beled or village prefect. — Those who
wish to proceed to the Birket-Karun (about f/2 hr.) should make a bargain
with the shekh of the fishermen in Senhur (comp. p. ISO).
Near Begig (or Abguig; railway-station, see above), 3 M. to the S.W. of
Medineh, lies a fine obelisk, broken into two parts, which must once have
been at least 46 ft. in height. The natives call it 'AmUd, or the column.
The inscriptions, which are damaged at many places, inform us that the
monument was erected by TJsertesen I., who also founded the obelisk of
Heliopolis (p. 107).
The Pyramid of Hawara and the Labyrinth.
Nearly a whole day is required for a visit to the Pyramid of Hawara.
The light railway may be taken to the station of Hawara, but as even in
that case donkeys must be brought from Medineh, it is more usual to ride
all the way.
The road follows the railway and leads at first along the bank of
the Bahr Yusuf to the village of Kuhafeh (Kohafa), beyond which
the Bahr Tamiyeh is crossed by a bridge. Our path traverses well
cultivated land with numerous water-wheels. "We cross the Bahr
Beta Md ('river without water'), also called el-Bats, a deep channel
diverging from the Bahr Yusuf and ending at the Bahr Tamiyeh. •—
In l^hr's. ride from Medinet el-Fayum we reach —
Haw are t el-Makta', a considerable village, with a pretty mosque.
A little farther on we cross a bridge over the Bahr SUa, which
intersects the ruins near the Pyramid of Hawara, and is some¬
times called by the Arabs Bahr el-Melekh, i.e. river of salt, or Bahr