The Town of Akhmim in Egypt


Just across the river from Sohag on the east bank of the Nile lies the town of Akhmim. It is an ancient town, known as Ipu or Khent-Menu to the early Egyptians and Panopolis to the Greeks. Panopolis was named for the principal god of the city, Min, who was Pan to the Greeks and the god of fertility and master of the deserts between the Nile and the Red Sea. Plutarch states that, "The pans and Satyris who live near Chemmis (Akhmim) were the first to learn of the death of Osiris and spread the news. This was how the sudden fear that grips a multitude became known as panic".

A recently discovered statue of Meryetamun (Beloved of the God Amun), the tallest statue of an ancient queen, now stands in the middle of town. She was one of the consort of Rameses II after the death of Nefertari, as well as a priestess of the Temple of Min. As a side note, near the statue is a weaving factory where one may purchase bolts of silk and Egyptian cotton.

The main attraction here is the Necropolis of El-Hawawish, where the governors of the area were buried from the 4th to the 11th Dynasties and at the El-Salamuni Promontory where rock cut tombs of the Graeco-Roman period can be found. Nearby is the gate to the Grotto of Pan, the temple dedicated to Min and Amun-Re. It was built by Ay who succeeded Tutankhamun, and is one of the few temples attributable to him.

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