The Ancient Egypt site of Tuna el-Jebel borders Amarna, the capital of the pharaoh Akhenaten who is one of the most controversial pharaoh of today, due to his break from ancient Egypt's traditional religions. It is a little over four miles west of Hermopolis. The oldest monument found here is one of six stelae on the boundary of Akhenaten's ancient city, which shows the king and Nefertiti in various poses.
Today, the site is best known for the animal necropolis and the remains of Ptolemaic and Roman chapels and tombs. The animal necropolis is huge, and may stretch all the way to Hermopolis. Located in catacombs (ibiotaphon), at one time there were thousands of mummified baboons, ibises and ibis eggs. These animals were sacred to Thoth. Most of these mummies were destroyed by robbers, and date mostly to the Greek and Roman periods of Egypt.
One of the best known monuments at Tuna el-Jebel is the Tomb of Petosiris and his family. He was a high priest of Thoth and lived during the time of Alexander the Great. It is unusual in that the tomb paintings combines Egyptian and Greek styles, having for example, traditional Egyptian farming scenes but with people dressed in a Greek fashion. In the chapel of the tomb, the plinth which is decorated with bearers of offerings, is said to be a true masterpiece. A number of other tombs nearby also mix Greek and Egyptian culture, sometimes having Pharaonic and sometimes Corinthian capitals, sometimes having Greek ornamental fronts and sometimes Egyptian.
Behind the Petosiris tomb is the tomb of Isadora, who drowned in the Nile in about 150 AD. Her mummy is still here.
Near here at el-Bersha, the nomarches of the Fifteenth Nome of Upper Egypt during the 11th and 12th Dynasties have their tombs. These are not in good repair, but there are ten tombs, the most interesting of which is that of Thuthotep, which depicts the transportation of a colossal statue.
Last Updated: June 13th, 2011
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