El-Sheikh Said

On the east bank of the Nile a few kilometres south of Mallawi, officials of the 15th Upper Egyptian Nome were buried in a group of rock tombs cut into the side of the cliff. The area is named after a Muslim holy man, Sheikh Said, who was also buried nearby. The site is very close to Deir el-Bersha and marks the northern limits of the Amarna plain. Like Deir el-Bersha there are also many ancient quarries here.


Quarries high in the cliffs at el-Shekh Said
Rock-cut tombs at el-Sheikh Said

The necropolis contains the tombs of the governors of the Hare Province who were buried during Dynasty VI, including ‘Chiefs of the Palace’ Meru-bebi, Wau and Ankheti. They are simple structures containing a tomb chapel, a smaller inner hall and a statue or offering chamber. They usually contained one or more shafts leading to subterranean burial chambers.

The capital of the 15th Upper Egyptian Nome was at el-Ashmunein on the west bank of the Nile. The cemetery at el-Sheikh Said is important because of the absence of contemporary evidence from the capital of the province.

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