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Bedouin Castle: Hotel, Safari, Nile Tours © 2013

EL KAB / NEKHEB.  This archaeological site is located on the west bank of the Nile and south of Esna; it contains a town, temples, necropolis, and rock-cut tombs. El Kab was occupied during the entire course of ancient Egyptian history, from pre-dynastic times to the Coptic era.  El Kab / Nekheb was the cult home of Nekhbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt.  If you look on a royal crown on the forehead area you will see a vulture (Nekhbet) and a cobra (Wadjet); Nekhbet and Wadjet were the protectors of the royal family and the throne.

The ruins of El Kab contain: a mud brick town dating from the 30th dyn (380-343), the principle temple to Nekhbet, a New Kingdom temple dedicated to Thoth, a birth house, a small Roman temple (30 – 364 AD) and a sacred lake. The nearby cliffs are filled with rock cut tombs from many periods.  Of particular interest are the tombs of Ahmose and Ahmose Pennekhebt, as they date to the Second Intermediate Period and depict the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt.  The other tombs have exquisite interior decorations of agricultural, boating and funerary scenes.  In addition, the surrounding cliffs are covered with petroglyphs from the prehistoric era, so it seems this site was important even before the Egyptian period.


KOM EL ALIMAR / NEKHEN (HIERAKONPOLIS).  This ancient city was begun in pre-dynastic times and was a very important religious site throughout the history of ancient Egypt. The Greeks later re-named Nekhen, “Hierakonpolis” (city of the falcon) as the ancient falcon god Nekheny was sacred here. Building occurred during all phases of Egyptian history in Nekhen / Hierakonpolis beginning with the earliest temple, which was constructed of wood and reed-matting panels; it appears that the Djoser Step pyramid used these earlier temple designs at Nekhen in his mortuary structure at Saqqara.