ASSIÛT. 16. Route. 227
grander from the higher tombs. Hère there is a row of three tombs
close to each other, dating from the obscure period before the Middle
Empire. The northernmost has been destroyed.
The second is the Kdhf el-'Asâkir, or Soldiers' Tomb, so named
from the rows of warriors armed with spears and large shields on
its S. wall. On the right side of the vestibule appear Kheti, the
owner of the tomb, and his wife Tef-yeb, with a long and partly
effaced inscription, referring to the otherwise little-known King
Meri-ke-rë of Heracleopolis (9th Dyn.). Only a single column is left
standing in the Main Chamber, in the rear wall of which is a recess
for the statues of the deceased. — A passage has been made from
this tomb to that adjoining it on the S., which belonged to Tef-yeb,
a prince of the nome.
The large Arab Cemetery, which stretches across the plain to
the N. of the hill of tombs, contains tasteful modem tombs, and
with its palms présents a much less gloomy impression than most
other bare Egyptian cemeteries.
At the foot of the hill, behind the slaughter-house, is the tomb of
another Eap-zefaî, unfortunately much destroyed. It contains some ceiling
ornaments and tasteful paintings of harvest-scenes, etc., upon stucco. —
Beside it is a small tomb without inscriptions. — Finally we may mention
the tomb of the Nomarch Mesehti, on the hill above the Soldiers' Tomb;
hère were found the soldiers now in the Muséum at Cairo (p. 98).
About 8 M. to the S.W. of Assiût, on the slope of the Libyan Mts.,
is the Coptic convent of Deir Rifeh, near which are several tombs of the
Middle and New Empires. Thèse belong to princes and grandees of the
neighbouring town of Shes-hotep (Shatb, see p. 228), but beyond some in¬
scriptions contain nothing of interest. About 2 M. to the N. of Deir Rîfeh
is Deir Dronkeh, with quarries and Coptic burial-inscriptions.
17. From Assiût to Girga and Beliâna (Abydos)
by the Nile.
Comp. Map, p. 213.
99 M. The tonrist-steamers lay up for the night at Sohàg and in ascend-
ing the river pass Beliâna without stopping.
The voyage from Assiût to Akhmîm 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 villages. Hère,
as in most of Egypt, large quantifies 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 forts or pylons,
and built of unbaked bricks, clay, and pottery, are visible in ail
the villages of Upper Egypt, and huge flocks of pigeons are seen
wheeling in the air or settling like a dark cloud on the fields. Most
of thèse pigeons are of the éommon grey species, and attain a
considérable size, but many pretty little reddish-grey turtle-doves
are also seen. The pigeons really consume more than they pro-
Baedekbb's '. 15