214 Route 19. BUTIG. From Assiut
the tomb of the Nomarch Mesehli, on the hill above the Soldiers' Tomb;
here were found the soldiers now in the Museum at Gizeh (p. 79).
The geological formation of this hill of tombs is very interesting,
especially on account of the numerous specimens of Callianatse nilotica
and other fossils found on its upper part.
About S M. to the S.W. of Assiut, on the slope of the Libyan Mts.,
is the Coptic convent of Der Rifeb, near which are several tombs of the
Middle and New Empires. These belong to princes and grandees of the
neighbouring town of Shas-hotep (Shatb, see below), but beyond some im¬
portant inscriptions contain nothing of interest. About 2 M. to the N. of
Der liifeh is D''r Dronkeh, with quarries and Coptic burial-inscriptions.
19. From Assiut to Girgeh and Belianeh (Abydos)
by the Nile.
Comp. Map, p. 200.
99 M. The tourist-steamers lay up for the night at Sohag and in ascend¬
ing the river pass Belianeh without stopping.
The voyage from Assiut to Akhmim leads through an extremely
fertile and well-cultivated district. Well-tilled fields, broader on the
W. than on the E., adjoin both banks of the river, and are shaded
by fine palms and Nile acacias, especially near the riverside villages.
Here, as in most of Egypt, large quantities of pigeons are kept by
the peasants, chiefly for the sake of their droppings, which form the
only manure used in the fields, the dung of the cattle being dried
and used as fuel. Large pigeon-houses, not unlike pylons, are
visible in all the villages, and huge flocks of pigeons are seen
wheeling in the air or settling like a dark cloud on the fields. Most
of these pigeons are of the common grey species, and attain a con¬
siderable size, but many pretty little reddish-grey turtle-doves are
also seen. The pigeons really consume more than they produce, so
that their encouragement by the fellahin is rightly regarded as a
serious mistake in their husbandry.
El- Wasta lies nearly opposite Assiut. In the Gebel Rekhdm, to
the E. ofthe villages of Natfeh and Ghorayeb, is an alabaster quarry.
5V-2 M. Shaghbeh (Chaghaba), on the W. bank. Shatb (Chotb),
which lies 3 M. inland near the railway, is perhaps the Egyptian
Shas-hotep, the Greek Hypselis, capital of the Hypselite nome. The
chief deity here was the ram-headed Khnum (necropolis, see above).
15 M. Butigor Abutig(rail. stat., p. 191), an agricultural town
on the W. bank witli 11,000 inhab. and a small harbour filled with
Nile-boats, lies in the ancient Hypselite nome. The present name
is probably derived from the Greek name of Aito8"/]X7] (Apotheke),
Near the E. bank is Badari (7850 inhab.); on the W. bank follow
the steamboat and railway stations (21 M.) Sedfa and (27i/2 M.)
Near Badari, 1xj% M. from the Nile, are several rude rock-tombs with¬
out inscriptions. Farther to the S., near Rahineh, are four large quarries
in the hard limestone rock. Near Hamamiyeh, in the steep side of the rocky
hill, are three rock-tombs, one above another, containing inscriptions and
representations, belonging to the royal officials Afa and Kakes.