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EL BEESHEH.

:f>_^:r,t ii.

I. INTRODUCTION.

A OAKBFDL survey of any ancient site in Egypt
is generally rewarded with plenty of new dis-
coveries, and the work of the Archaeological
Survey at El Bersheh has been no exception
to the rule. One painted scene, that of the
Colossus on the Sledge,1 had made the place
famous early in the century, but its context
and the remainder of the scenes in the tomb of
Tehutihetep were almost wholly unknown, while
only one of the other inscribed tombs was on
record, having been described by Prof. Sayce
in 1890.2 It was even difficult to discover the
situation of the tombs on an}7 map.

We now offer to our subscribers a detailed
map of the tomb-valley at El Bersheh (called
by the natives Wady Der en-Nakkleh),3 and a
complete view of the tombs of the Middle
Kingdom contained in it, while only a few
less important monuments of other periods
are reserved to accompany similar matter from
various sites in a future volume. Nor must

1 El Bersheh, Pt. I., pi. xv.

- Prof. Maspero added to this publication some inscrip-
tions copied by Nestor de l'lloto in a third tomb, but
believed them to belong to the same.

:i There is no need to change the well-known name of
this group of tombs. El Bersheh being in the immediate
ni ighbourhood.

we omit to mention here the discovery of the
quarries of Het-nub as a direct result of the
Society's survey, since their inscriptions have
afforded us the most welcome light on the
history of the personages dealt with in the
following pages.

Like the tombs at Beni Hasan, those of El
Bersheh are chiefly of nomarchs who lived
under the Middle Kingdom. Their province

was known as the Hare nome, ^-^- Unt in

' I IT 1 1'
t t 1 t t

Egyptian, and their capital was called Khmenu

= =0

Unu

D<

or

,-^ Per-Tehuti (house

of Thoth), names that are, however, not quite
convertible.4 By the Greeks this city was
called Hermopolis, from the god Thoth or
Hermes, whose principal shrine was there.
The site of Khmenu is easily recognisable in
the extensive mounds of Eshmunen, lying in
the middle of the Nile valley, a little north of
the latitude of El Bersheh. The limits of the

1 Khmenu is the commonest name, being frequently found
in the titles of Thoth : Per-Tehuti often occurs in a priestly
title. Unu is perhaps a "profane" name, as opposed to
the " sacred " name Khmenu, but the latter is the origin
of- the Coptic and Arabic names : both occur together in
the graffiti of Het-nub, i. and viii. (see pi. xxii. and
pp. 48 and 52).

B
 
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