beni hasan tombs

Beni Hasan Tombs

A small village, 245 Km south of Cairo, near to what we know now by the Minya governorate, lays on the east bank of the Nile.


This village is not for people to live in, but it was a necropolis from the Middle Kingdom (21st to 17th centuries BCE), it was the burial location of many Chiefs of the Oryx nome, which were called nomarch.


Back in time, Egypt was divided into 42 nome, or provinces, and each one has its nomarch or the governor.


Why are tombs at Beni Hasan different?

Usually, tombs were built on the west bank of the Nile, as it represents the domain of Osiris. But Beni Hasan tombs were built on the Nile east bank, believed to be due to cliffs quality in the west bank.


Also, these tombs weren't actually built, but they were carved into limestone cliffs; that's why it's called Beni Hasan rock-cut tombs.


Who was buried in the rock-cut tombs at Beni Hasan?

Mainly chiefs of the oryx nome, 39 tombs are distributed into two cemeteries, higher one and lower one. The importance of the buried man increases while heading to the top of the cliff.


Between all these 39 tombs, only four are accessible to the public, and they belong to Amenemhat, Khnumhotep II, Baqet III, and Khety. They were all ruling this province under the reign of different Kings.


The most notable tomb in this area is the one that belongs to Khnumhotep II because of its facade of two columns carrying a curved ceiling. While the main chamber of burial is full of wall painting describing the governor's life activities with his family and relatives.


Cave of Artemis, Speos Artemidos

Going 2 km to the south of this necropolis, you'll find a temple. This temple was built by Queen Hatshepsut and King Thutmose III.


It's dedicated to goddess Pakhet, and when Greeks came to this area, they related this goddess to their goddess Artemis, as they were both goddesses of the hunt.


Beni Hasan is one of many archeological sites that still has a lot of secrets; it was discovered in 1890, and from that time, several Egyptologists and scientists are trying to dig deeper to reveal more secrets.