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Asná, or Esna, or Asneh, 4841 miles from Cairo, on the west bank of the river, was called in Egyptian 18 Senet; it marks the site of the ancient Latopolis, and was so called by the Greeks because its inhabitants worshipped the Latus fish. Thothmes III. founded a temple here, but the interesting building which now stands almost in the middle of the modern town is of late date, and bears the names of several of the Roman emperors. The portico is supported by twenty-four columns, each of which is inscribed; their capitals are handsome. The Zodiac here, like that at Denderah, belongs to a late period, but is interesting. The temple was dedicated to the god Khnemu, his wife Nebuut, and their offspring Kahra.
In 1906 Mr. John Garstang completed the excavation of a site in the neighbourhood of Esna which has proved of considerable importance from the historical standpoint, inasmuch as it has provided what is possibly the most representative and complete series of Egyptian antiquities of the Hyksos Period. During the course of these excavations a systematic exploration has been made of the desert lying to the south of Esna for a distance of sixty miles. In 1905 Professor Sayce carried out the excavation of a XIIth dynasty cemetery at Ad-Dêr, close to Esna, and he brought to light a number of antiquities which illustrate the characteristics of the local manufactures of the city called Latopolis by the Greeks and of its neighbourhood.
The next large village on the railway is Al-Mahamid, with 3,609 inhabitants, and on the opposite bank of the river is the ruined pyramid of Al-kula, which is probably the tomb of some prince or high official who lived in the city of Hierakonpolis, a few miles further south.
Al-Kâb, 502 miles from Cairo, on the east bank of the river, was called in Egyptian 78]Nekheb; it marks the site of the ancient Eileithyias. There was a city here in very ancient days, and ruins of temples built by Thothmes IV., Amenḥetep III., Seti I., Rameses II., Rameses III., Ptolemy IX. Euergetes II. are still visible. A little distance from the town, in the mountain, is the tomb of Áāḥmes (Amāsis), the son of Abana, an officer born in the reign of Seqenen-Rā, who fought against the Hyksos, and who served under Amasis I., Amenophis I., and Thothmes I. The inscription on the walls of his tomb gives an account of the campaign against some Asiatic enemies of Egypt and of the siege of their city. Amāsis was the “Captain-General of Sailors.” It is an interesting text both historically and grammatically. For the text, with a translation, see above p. 249, ff.
The site of Al-Kâb is of considerable interest, for it is clear that the little town was at one time fortified in a remarkable manner; the town wall was, in many places, 40 feet thick, and some of the parts of it which still remain are 20 feet high. The tombs found here are of various kinds, e.g., mastăbas either with square shafts or inclines, both made of unbaked brick ; and numerous examples of burials in earthenware vessels, i.e., after the manner of the autochthonous inhabitants of Egypt, occur. Mr. Quibell made some extremely interesting excavations here in 1898, and in the course of his work he found a number of diorite bowls inscribed with the
of Seneferu, an early king of the IVth dynasty, a fact which proves that a town was in existence near the spot where they were found in the Early Empire. The small predynastic graves were found chiefly inside the fort of AlKâb, but there were a few outside the walls, and it was evident, from the positions of the bodies, and the style and character of the objects found in the graves, that they belonged to the same class of graves as those which were excavated by Messrs. de Morgan, Amélineau, and Petrie in 1894-95, 1896-97, and 1900 at Abydos, Ballas, and Naķâda. In the winter of 1892-93, Mr. Somers Clarke and Mr. J. J. Tylor examined and described in an exhaustive manner many of the buildings at Al-Kâb, and the results of some of their work were published in the Tomb of Paheri, London, 1894, and in the Tomb of Sebeknekht, London, 1896. In 1898 Mr. Quibell excavated the cemetery of the Ancient Empire.
In 1901 Mr. Somers Clarke and Prof. Sayce excavated a group of tombs of the IInd and IIIrd dynasties which they found on the southern side of the north line of the great wall; on a granite fragment they identified the Horus name of Khā-sekhemui. Most of the graves, they think, belong to the period of the reign of Seneferu, i.e., about the end of the IIIrd dynasty. In 1902 Messrs. Clarke and Sayce continued the excavation of the cemetery, and in one grave found a copper mirror and some stone beads. The tomb pit was filled up, they noticed, "and the filling was raised above the ground level and finished with a curved section. Over this brickwork was laid, and as a result it had externally an arched form, but the structure was not in any way a constructed arch." These tombs resembled the tombs of the IInd dynasty found at Nagaa ad-Dêr by Dr. Reisner. In 1904 the excavation of the cemetery was again continued, and a tomb near that of Sebek-neferu was cleared out; it was made for a man called Usertsen. The graves of dynasties I-IV are to the north of the temple, and those of the Middle Empire to the east of it. Mr. Somers Clarke has collected a series of facts connected with the great wall of Al-Kâb and its foundations which will, when finally worked out, decide the question as to when the dynastic town was enclosed, and its wall built. For the details see Annales du Service, tom. VI, Cairo, 1905, page 264 ff.
The following are of considerable interest :
1. The Tomb of Àāḥmes, son of Abana. This distinguished man was a naval officer, and “Captain-General of Sailors." He was born in the reign of Seqenen-Rā, and took part in the war against the Hyksos. After the expulsion of the Hyksos he served under the first three kings of the XVIIIth dynasty, viz., Amasis I., Amenophis I., and Thothmes I. The long inscription on a wall of his tomb is extremely interesting, and the reader will find the text of it, with a translation, on pp. 249-262.
2. The Tomb of Aāḥmes, son of Pen-nekheb, a brother officer of Åāḥmes, son of Abana. He served under four kings, Amasis I., Amenophis I., Thothmes I. and Thothmes II., and he appears to have lived on into the reign of Thothmes III.
3. The Tomb of Paḥeri, which is a little over 25 feet long, and 1 feet wide, and when complete consisted of a platform before the entrance in which the shaft leading to the mummy chamber was sunk, a sculptured façade, an oblong chamber with an arched roof, and a shrine, which contained three statues, at the end of the chamber. Subsequently two chambers and a shaft were hewn through the last wall. The shrine contains three life size statues of Paheri and his mother and wife. The man for whom the tomb was made was the governor of the Latopolite nome in the reign of Thothmes III., and he was descended from ancestors who had served the State for several generations. His maternal grandfather was the celebrated Åāḥmes, the son of Abana, and the inscriptions mention at least seven generations of his family. The scenes in the tomb are worthy of careful examination, and as they are all described in hieroglyphics, they are of peculiar interest. They unfortunately tell us little or nothing of the biography of Paḥeri, who was an Egyptian gentleman of high rank and social position, but