196 Route 18. MINYEH. From Cairo
The group to the N. belongs to the Grseco-Roman period, that to the
S. to the ancient kingdom. Near the tombs of the time of the Ptolemies
are several Greek inscriptions. One sepulchral chapel, containing some
representations of a late date, is interesting. A Greek or Roman grandee
is here shown sacrificing to a number of Egyptian deities. The only in¬
scriptions extant are on the inner side of the door. Higher up on the
rock-walls are two horses in the Roman style, held hy men. Farther to
the S. is a colossal image, carved out ofthe rock, of Ramses III. sacrificing
to the god Sobk. — The very ancient group of tombs to the S., the in¬
scriptions on which are in very bad preservation, are believed to belong
to the necropolis of the town of Akoris, mentioned by Ptolemy alone
and belonging to the nome of Cynopolis. Mounds mark the site of the
152 M. Minyeh (Minia) lies on the W. bank of the Nile, which
is here over l/2 M. broad. At the railway-station (p. 190) is a buffet
with good bedrooms (2 fr.) and in the town are three hotels kept
by Greeks. The well-built and handsome town, with 20,400 in¬
hab., is the seat of the Mudir of a district containing 267 towns
and villages and 548,600 inhabitants. There is a telegraph-office
at the railway-station, and adjacent is the post-office. The town
possesses a hospital and several mosques. Parts of the street running
along the river are planted with trees. A handsome bridge, with
locks, spans the canal. To the N. of the town is a lightly-built
chateau, with a large fruit-garden (many apple-trees). The large
sugar-factory is the oldest in Egypt, and a visit to it during the
sugar-harvest is of great interest; most of the officials are French
and very obliging. Market-day in Minyeh presents a very gay and
characteristic picture of Oriental life.
Opposite Minyeh, on the E. bank, lies Kom el-Kefara, with
tombs of the Middle Empire.
Zdwiyet el-Metln (Zdwiyet el-Amwdt) is situated on the E.
bank, 4^2 M. above Minyeh. — To the S. of the village lies the
fine cemetery of the citizens of Minyeh, with its numerous domed
tombs and chapels. Faithful to the custom of their ancestors under
the Pharaohs, the inhabitants still ferry their dead across the river
and bury them near the ancient necropolis.
A few minutes' walk towards the S. brings us to the large
mound of rubbish known as Kom el-Ahmar ('the red mound'),
which runs parallel with the Nile. Climbing over this, we reach
the ancient Rock Tombs, which are situated in a row among the
Arabian hills, with their gates towards the river.
The tombs, nineteen in all, are those of princes and grandees of
Hebenu, and nearly all date from the close of the Early Empire. They are
unfortunately in bad preservation, and some of them have been destroyed
by violence, the stones being removed for use in building. The most in¬
teresting are those of Khunes and of Nefer-sekheru, superintendent of the
storehouses of Upper and Lower Egypt, under the New Empire.
167 M. Benihasan, on the E. bank.