214 Route 16. DEIR ABU HENNIS. From Cairo
time of the Ptolemies, opposite the front of which is the lower part of
a colossal limestone figure of Ramses. To the N. of this point are the
considérable relies of the pylon and the court of a sanctuary built by
Merenptah. Still farther to the N. are the ruins of a temple of Philippus
Arrhidseus, with some huge bases of columns.
At Tuneh el-Gebel, near Ashmunein, on the opposite bank ofthe
Bahr Yûsuf, are the extensive necropolis of the ancient city and two
rock-inscriptions (much dilapidated) of Amenophis IV. (p. 216).
Opposite Rôda, on the E. bank, amid palms of unusual size and
beauty, lies the village of Sheikh 'Abâdeh, to the E. of which are the
ruins of Antinoupolis or Antino'è, the town erected by Hadrian in
130 A. D. in honour of his favourite Antinous. The handsome youth
is said to hâve drowned himself hère, to fulfil the oracle which pre-
dicted a heavy loss to the emperor and so to prevent a more serious
disaster. The remains of a temple of Ramses IL, the relie of an
earlier foundation on this site, may be traced. The vestiges of
public buildings are now exceedingly scanty, though the French
Expédition saw a triumphal arch, a théâtre, and streets flanked with
columns. The streets and ground-plans of the houses, however,
are still recognizable. The rooms were small and the walls were
made mainly of Nile bricks. There are some underground apart¬
ments of flat Roman bricks, reached by stone staircases. Near the
ruins of one of the largest buildings lies a marble basin, which
must hâve had a circumference of at least 21 ft. The Roman and
Christian cemeteries hâve recently been much injured.
To the S. of Sheikh 'Abâdeh we reach (179 M.) Deir Abu Hennis
(Convent of St. John), called also simply Ed-Dtir, a village on
the E. bank inhabited by about 2000 Copts. Near it is a ruined
town of the Christian epoch, known as El-Medîneh. On the N.
side of a ravine in the hill behind the village are numerous ancient
cave-like quarries, which were fitted up at an early date as Chris¬
tian chapels or anchorites' dwellings. The largest Chapel, in which
divine service is held, is said to date from the time ofthe Empress
Helena; it contains paintings of saints and scènes from the New
Testament, but those in the neighbouring Chapel (Raising of Lazarus,
Marriage at Cana, etc.) are better. — Deir en-Nakhleh (see below)
may be reached within 72 nr- from Deir Abu Hennis.
18172 M. Reiramûn (Rairamoun), opposite which, on the E.
bank, a little way from the river, lies the Coptic village of Deir
en-Nakhleh, the 'convent of the date-palm', also known as El-
Bersheh. Beside a Coptic cemetery to the E. of the latter begins
a desert-ravine, running N.W. and S.E., and named Wâdi en-
Nakhleh or Wâdi el-Bersheh, in the steep sides of which are numerous
quarries and ancient tombs. The valley is chiefly noted for the rock-
tombs in its N. slope, constructed under the Middle Empire by
the princes of the 'nome of hares' (p. 213), which included this
région. They are, however, to a great extent destroyed, and the
only one that need be visited is —