Friday, August 16, 2013



The ancient city of IPU was Akmim located on the east bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Sohag. In Pharaonic times, he was also known as Khent-Min, is the center of worship of the god Min. We think Tiye, mother of Akhenaten, had large estates in the region, which flourished as the capital of the Egyptian upper ninth nome during the Ptolemaic period, when it was known as Khemis. The Greeks knew the city as Panopolis and the first Coptic Christians called CHMIN.

Outdoor museum at Akhmim
Most of the old buildings of Akhmim were dismantled to be used in subsequent periods are few and today in its original form. In 1981, however, part of a temple with an estimated date for the Graeco-Roman period was discovered during construction work on the edge monumental door northeast of the city. Archaeologists have found several fragments of a statue of Rameses II during excavations, as well as a beautiful colossal statue of the daughter and consort of King Meritamun, now re-erected in the center of the area that is now a museum in outdoors, several meters below the modern ground level. The statue Meritamun was a spectacular discovery, but when it was found lying against the ground before the door of the temple, it was broken. Carved in limestone and now restored, the queen stands 11m tall, wearing a pleated slim and is crowned with a ball (hair), adorned with snakes and double feather "the wife of Amon of God "the. The museum also contains a beautiful Roman statue of Venus (Isis), as well as many stelae and architectural elements form the surrounding structures. There are also some large blocks enrolled from El-Amarna which were probably reused in the construction of a temple later.

Meritamun and Ramses II
The Greco-Roman temple was dedicated to Min and Triphis (Repyt), the goddess who was his wife at Akhmim. Apparently, the great temple, which has been described as similar in style to the temple of Edfu, was still in good condition until the 14th century, when it was removed to be used as building material. Beautifully decorated and two colossal stone in the temple of Min statues were mentioned by Herodotus in his "Histories".

fragments of a statue in the museum
More recent excavations of the city found another temple close to the Greco-Roman site in a modern cemetery. It is a temple built by Ramses II, perhaps the largest temple yet found. A colossal statue of Ramses II in ruins (probably a pair) is partly buried in what is thought to be the entrance of a once known as "The Birba" referred to in the Coptic and Arabic literature temple . The Egyptian government has agreed to allocate 5 million EGP to begin proper excavation of the site, moving the old Muslim cemetery which partially covers the area and build a new one.
The necropolis at Akhmim has never been systematically excavated, although recent discoveries include five tombs of the Old Kingdom, where a number of sarcophagi and the plates were found.
The modern city of Akhmim is also famous for its weaving and fine tapestries - one of the oldest industries of Egypt. There are several shops near the open-air museum that shows the craft and sell beautiful textiles from Akhmim.
Landmarks near
Northeast of Akhmim are decorated tombs carved into the rock at El Hawawish, also known as Beit el-Medina, covering the periods from end of Dynasty VI at the beginning of the XII dynasty. They were first examined by Percy Newberry in 1912 and owned by the city officials and nomarchs Middle Empire Panopolite nome. During the 1990s, more recent excavations have been conducted by the Australian Centre for Studies in Egyptology led by Naguib Kanawati.

Tombs in El Salamuni
At el-Salamuni, northwest of Akhmim, there are Graeco-Roman rock tombs in the cliffs, some of which are decorated with ceilings of the zodiac. There is also a small cut in the new kingdom rock chapel dedicated to Min, and decorated by Nakhmin, who held the title of "First Priest of Min" in the reign of Ay (eighteenth dynasty). Reliefs represent Tuthmose III (Eighteenth Dynasty) and Ay and his wife Teye before local gods. The shrine was later restored with added decoration by Harma'kheru, another "first priest Min" in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
There are also ancient cemeteries north of Akhmim in Nag el-el-Kilabat and Sawama.
How to get there
Akhmim is on the opposite side of the river from Sohag, across the bridge. Visitors are now escorted by the tourist police.

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