224 Route 23. KUS.
and Myos Hormos (comp. p. 348). At Koptos the Nile valley was quitted
not only by caravans bound for the incense-yielding land of Punt and the
mines of the Sinaitic peninsula, but also by those to the Wadi Hamma-
mat in the desert, which produced a hard stone much prized by the Egypt¬
ians who used it largely for sculptures. Its favourable situation thus
early made Koptos a highly important centre for the commerce and traf¬
fic of Egypt, and even in the Grseco-Roman period it was the chief depot
for merchandise from Arabia and India. The great insurrection in Upper
Egypt, which broke out under Diocletian in 292 A.D., led to the siege and
destruction of Koptos. The town revived rapidly in the middle ages, but
finally decayed with the gradual transference of the Egyptian trade to the
route from Koser to Keneh. Koptos was under the protection of the
ithyphallic harvest-god Min (Pan), who was also regarded as the patron
deity of the desert-routes.
429 M. (E. bank) Kus (mail-steamer and railway station), now
an insignificant village on the site of the ancient Apollinopolis
Parva, where the god Haroeris was worshipped. According to Abul-
feda (d. 1331) this town, now entirely vanished, was second in size
only to Fostat (Cairo), and was the chief centre of the Arabian trade.
A few stones with fragmentary inscriptions have been built into the
houses of the town; and the mosque contains a basin formed of a single
stone, with the name of Ptolemy Philadelphus upon it. A pylon, which
stood here 30 years ago, has now disappeared.
On the W. bank, opposite Kus, lies Tukh (et-Tuk), inland from
which, on the edge of the desert, are the ruins of Ombos (excavated
by Flinders Petrie in 1895), not to be confounded with the town
of that name to the S. of Gebel Silsileh. Set was the guardian deity
of this town. To the N. and S. of this town are extensive cemeteries
dating from the earliest period of Egyptian history. — Near Shenhur
(E. bank), 3 M. to the S. of Kus, Prisse d'Avennes discovered the
ruins of a small temple of Isis. To the E. passes the canal of
Shenhur, which begins above Thebes and extends N. to Keneh.
43272 M. (W. bank) Nakadeh (mail-station), with post and tele¬
graph offices (near the river), a Coptic and a Roman Catholic church,
presents a picturesque appearance from the river. The traveller who
lands here near sunset on a Sunday or festival (recommended) will be
pleasantly surprised to hear the sound of church-bells. Great suc¬
cess has attended the labours of Christian missionaries here and
still more in Kus; and a considerable proportion of the Coptic
community (including the worthy and learned bishop of Kus) have
embraced Protestantism. The missionaries of the United Presby¬
terian Church of North America have also had considerable success
among the Copts at Luxor, Esneh, and other towns in Upper Egypt.
— To the W. of Nakadeh the tomb of Menes, the first Egyptian
King, was discovered by De Morgan in 1897.
About 2'/2 M. below Nakadeh the Nile makes a bend, begin¬
ning at ed-Denfik (W. bank), after which we continue to the S.W.
— Khizam (E. bank) has a neoropolis of an early period.
442 M. (W. bank) Kamuleh, a mail-steamer station, was in 1824
the residence of Shekh Ahmed, and of 'Ali Kashef Abu-Tarbush,
who bravely defended it against the insurgents.