208 Route 16^ MINIA. From Cairo
of the church is ascrib'ed to the Empress Helena; the sanctuary is
hewn in the solid rock and possesses a gâte, now half-buried,
adorned with Byzantine omamentation.
A legend, recorded hy Makrîzi, relates that on the saint's day of the
convent ail the bukir birds assembled hère and thrust their bills, one after
the other, into a cleft of the rock until one died. Thèse birds are described
as being black and white, with a black neck ringed near the head. The
convent is named also Deir el-Bukir after them.
On the E. bank, about 72 nr- farther on and 1 M. from the river,
lies Tehneh, a village with 1500 inhabitants.
To the S. of the village is the Kôm, or mound, with the ruins of the
ancient city of Tenis, also known as Akôris, belonging to the nome of
Hermopolis. To the S. of this is a ridge 65-80 ft. in height, with some
early-Egyptian Rock Tombs which were again used in the Greek period.
One Sepulchral Chapel, containing some représentations of a late date, is
interesting. A Greek or Roman grandee is hère shown sacrificing to a
number of Egyptian deities. The only inscriptions extant are on the inner
side of the door. Higher up on the rock-walls are two horses in the Roman
style, held by men. The Rock Tombs farther to the S. belong to the Ancient
Empire. A colossal image carved out of the rock represents Ramses III.
sacrificing to the gods Sobek and Ammon. — In the valley between the
rocky ridge just mentioned and the Arabian Mountains, to the N. of the
Mohammedan cemetery, lie a Grseco-Roman and a Christian Necropolis.
152 M. Minia lies on the W. bank of the Nile, which is hère
over 72 M. broad. At the railway-station (p. 202) is a Buffet, with
fair bedrooms (2 fr.); to the left, in the main street, is the Café
Royal, with good beds, and farther on is the lClub\ with a good
restaurant. The well-built and handsome town, with 20,400 in¬
hab. , is the seat of the Mudîr of a province 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
château, 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 officiais are French
and very obliging. Market-day (Mon.) in Minia présents a very
gay and characteristic picture of Oriental life.
Opposite Minia, on the E. bank, lies Kôm el-Kefara, with
tombs of the Middle Empire.
Zâwyet el-Meitîn (Zâwyet el-Amwât) is situated on the E.
bank, 472 M. above Minia. — To the S. of the village lies the
fine cemetery of the citizens of Minia, 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 Kôm el-Ahmar ('the red mound'),
which runs parallel with the Nile. Climbing over this, we reach
the ancient Rock Tombs of the princes and grandees of Hebenu,