to Assiut. GEBEL ET-TER. 18. Route. 195
Thrice a month a camel-post leaves Maghagha for (3-4 days) the 'Small
Oasis' of Bahriyeh, also called Oasis of Behnesa, because it is connected
with Behnesa by another desert-route (comp. p. 190).
The Nile-channel is very wide here (several islands); farther on
both banks are flat. — At (113 M.) Sharona (Charounah; E. bank)
are tombs of the end of the 6th Dynasty. Near Kom el-Ahmar, to
the S., are the ruins of a large temple built by Ptolemy I., and
tombs of a late period, belonging to the town of Het-seteni, in the
Cynopolitan nome. — 118 M. Beni Mazar (W. bank) is a railway-
station (p. 189). — About 3 M. farther up, close to the E. bank, are
the insignificant remains of Shekh. el-Fadhl, near which is Ha-
matha. The discovery of a large number of dog-mummies here
proves that we are standing on the site of the necropolis of Cyno-
polis, the 'city ofthe dogs'. Several trough-like hollows and clefts
have been found here, some of which, in the rocks, are of con¬
siderable size ; but no inscriptions have been discovered. Cynopolis
itself, in which Anubis was worshipped and dogs were held sacred,
lay, according to Ptolemy, on an island in the Nile.
Opposite, I1/4 M. from the "W. bank, lies El-Keis, the Egyptian
Ka'is, which superseded Cynopolis. Farther to the W., on the verge
of the Libyan desert, lies Behnesa (p. 189).
Near (13372 M.) Kolosaneh (Kolosna; rail, stat., p. 190), on the
"W. bank, the Nile divides into three arms, forming two considerable
islands. Opposite (E. bank) lies Surarlyeh (el-Seririeh). To the N.
and S. quarries are worked in the limestone rock. Among the
quarries is a small Rock Chapel, built under Merenptah and dedi¬
cated to Hathor. On the external wall is Ramses III. between Hathor
and another deity.
On the W. bank lies the railway-station of Samallut (p. 190). A
little farther to the S., at the mouth of a side-valley on the E.
bank, rise the steep rocky sides of the Gebel et-Ter ('bird-moun¬
tain'), with an extensive flat top bearing the Coptic convent Der
el-Bukra, also known as Der el-'Adra (convent of the Virgin).
Visitors are drawn up a vertical cleft in the rock by means of a
windlass (bukra). The convent, which consists of a group of miser¬
able huts, occupied not only by the monks but by laymen with
their wives and children, is surrounded by a wall of hewn stone,
erected in the Roman period. The foundation of the church is
ascribed to the Empress Helen; the sanctuary is hewn in the solid
rock and possesses a gate, now half-buried, adorned with Byzan¬
A legend, recorded hy Makrizi, relates that on the saint's day of the
convent all the bukir birds in the neighbourhood assembled here and thrust
their heads, one after the other, into the cleft of the rock until one died.
These birds are described as being black and white, with a black neck
ringed near the head. The convent is named also Der el-Bvkir after them.
On the E. bank, about l/% hr. farther on and 1 M. from the river,
lies the village of Tehneh et-Tahtina ("Tehneh of the mill'), with
two groups of ancient tombs.