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Ihnasya el Madina in Egypt


Ihnasya el Madina

(Ihnasiya el-Medina)

This town has been known by many names. Today it is sometimes called Ihnasiya Umm el-Kimam which means 'mother of the shards'. In ancient times it was called Nen-nesu, or Hwt-nen-nesu which means 'house of the royal child'. It was the capital of the twentieth Nome of Upper Egypt. Later, it became the town of Heracleopolis Magna to the Greeks, and later Hennes in Coptic and Ahnas in Arabic.


During the chaotic and relatively unknown period of the 9th and 10th Dynasties, the city became very important as the seat of power for Lower Egypt, and at times, virtually all of Egypt. These rulers were later ousted by the Thebian Kings. Needless to say, there are a number of ruins in the area.

The ancient ruins of the city covers an area of about 165 acres. There was a temple of Herishef built by Ramesses II in a depresion to the southwest, but this is mostly gone and all that remain are scattered blocks. When built, it had a columned court, a columned portico with palm decorated capitals and two colossi seated statues of Ramesses II. There was also a hypostyle hall with twenty four columns that opened onto a pronaos and sanctuary. To the south near some Roman ramparts is a very old cemetery, military tombs from the First Intermediate period and a necropolis from the Third Intermediate period.

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