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BENI-HASSAN

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Overview

23 km South Minya

The rock tombs of Beni-Hassan lie on the eastern edge of the desert, on the eastern bank of the Nile, about 23km.south of Minia and 35 km, north of Tell-El-Amarna.

Description

The rock tombs of Beni-Hassan lie on the eastern edge of the desert, on the eastern bank of the Nile, about 23km.south of Minia and 35 km, north of Tell-El-Amarna. The site takes its name from an Arab tribe which formerly lived in a number of neighboring settlements now ruined and abandoned, and it now occupies the village of Beni-Hassan El-Shuruq. There are 39 tombs in total that were constructed during the Middle Kingdom (11th and early 12th Dynasties) for princes and dignitaries of the Oryx or Antelope Nome, the 16th Nome of Upper Egypt.


The architectural features of the tombs and the important inscriptions and representations of scenes from everyday life which they contain make this the most important necropolis between Memphis and Assyut. The quality of the later tombs is distinctly inferior to that of the earlier ones,
reflecting a gradual decline in the cultural standards during a period when there was no falling off in material prosperity. The mural decorations of the tombs were painted on stucco in bright colors, but many of the scenes are damaged or, particularly in the later tombs, so faded that they can barley be distinguished. The tombs, 39 in all, extend in a row along the rock face commanding a magnificent view of the cultivated land, the Nile, and the distant western mountains. Visitors whose aim is limited should confine themselves to the four most important tombs (Nos. 2, 3,15, 17), the others, less well preserved, are of interest only to specialists.

Locations

Access: This area can be reached by boat from Minia or by car to AbuQurqas, then by boat to the eastern bank of the Nile, or by car through the eastern road.

Photo Gallery

BENI-HASSAN

Map Location