to Assiût. BENIHASAN. 16. Route. 209
which date mainly from the end of the Ancient Empire. They are
unfortunately in bad préservation, and some of them hâve been
destroyed by violence. The most interesting are those of Khunes
and of Nefer-sekheru, superintendent of the storehouses of Upper
and Lower Egypt, under the New Empire.
At Nueirât (El-Neweirât), a village farther to the S., are some
small Rock Tombs belonging to the beginning of the Ancient Empire.
167 M. Benihasan, on the E. bank.
Donkeys (with good saddles) are in waiting at the landing-place of
the steamers, for the excursion to the Speos Artemidos and the Rock Tombs
(there and back 3-4 hrs.; 5-8 pias.). — Travellers ascending the river in
a dahabîyeh should visit the Rock Tombs first, those descending should
visit the Speos first, in each case sending the dahabîyeh on to meet
them. — For travellers by railway the most convenient stations are Minia
and Abu Kerkâs (p. 202).
The village of Benihasan was founded towards the end of the
18th cent, by the inhabitants of the présent Old Benihasan (see
p. 210), who wished a wider space for cultivation near their abode. —
The route to the Speos Artemidos (72 nr-'s ride) leads to the E., at
first through fields, then along an embankment on the edge of the
désert, in which is an Arab cemetery. In the vicinity is the cats'
graveyard, in which the cats sacred to Pekhet, patron-goddess of this
région, were interred. Farther to the E. we reach a wâdi or ravine,
from the mouth of which an old cemetery of the 22nd-25th Dyn.
stretches toward the plain. In the valley are several quarries of
ancient date, and on the right (S.) side of the ravine, about 600
paces from its mouth, lies the temple.
The rock-temple ofthe goddess Pekhet, called Speos Artemidos
('Grotto of Artemis') by the Greeks, is known to the Arabs as Istabl
'Antar (Antar's stable), after an ancient hero. It consists of a vesti¬
bule and of an inner chamber connected with the vestibule by a
corridor. It was built in the joint reign of Queen Hatshepsowet and
King Thutmosis III. ; the latter afterwards erased the names and
représentations of his sister (p. 295), and Sethos I. inserted his own
names in the blanks.
Over the Entrance to the temple is a long inscription in praise of the
reign of Hatshepsowet. Of the eight pillars which supported the Vestibule
only three now remain ; thèse bear on their sides the names of Thutmosis III.
and Sethos I. (originally Hatshepsowet). Rear Wall. To the left of the door,
Sethos I. between Ammon-Rë (enthroned) and the lion-headed Pekhet;
Thout delivering a speech to the nine great gods of Karnak and to the
gods of Upper and Lower Egypt. To the right of the door are three
reliefs: Sethos sacrificing to Pekhet; Sethos receiving from Pekhet the
hieroglyphics of the word 'life', hanging from two sceptres ; Sethos blessed
by Thout. To the left in the Coeeidoe the king is represented offering
wine to Hathor; to the right, he offers her a cynocephalus. In the rear
wall of the Innés Chambek is a niche intended for a statue of the goddess.
To the W. (right) is a second grotto, on the outside of which are
the cartouches of Alexander II., son of Roxana, and six scènes