Mallawi Tourist Attractions
The busy district capital of Mallawi lies on the west bank of the lbrahimiya Canal in the extensive area of cultivated land between the Bahr Yusuf and the Nile. In spite of its rapid industrial development the town has preserved much of its old rural character. There is a colorful weekly market to which the people of the surrounding area flock to sell their produce.
Mallawi has an interesting Museum containing archeological material from Hermopolis Magna and the Tuna el-Gebel and Meir areas, including many mummies, sarcophagi and statuettes of ibises, which were worshiped here together with baboons as animals sacred to the god Thoth, and also glass, pottery, faience, domestic equipment and numerous papyri.
Opposite Mallawi on the east bank of the Nile, some distance from the river, lies the Coptic village of Deir el-Bersha, with an old church. To the east of the village, at a Coptic cemetery, is the mouth of a ravine running from northwest to southeast, the Wadi Nakhla of Wadi Deir el-Bersha, in the steep sides of which are many quarries and ancient tombs. The valley is chiefly noted for the rock tombs of the Middle Kingdom in its northern slopes, belonging to Princes of the 15th nome of Upper Egypt, the Hare nome.
Tomb of Thuthotep
The only tomb worth a visit is No. 2, the Tomb of Thuthotep, son of Kai, Prince of the Hare nome in the reigns of Amenemhet II and Sesostris II and III. The tomb is similar in form to the tombs of Beni Hasan. The vestibule, originally with two palm columns, has fallen in.From the vestibule a door leads into the inner chamber, partly collapsed, decorated with mural reliefs (some destroyed). The relief on the left hand wall depicts the transport of a colossal statue of the dead man from the quarries of Hatnub to a temple. The accompanying inscriptions tell us that the statue was of alabaster and measured 12 cubits (about 21ft/6m) in height. It is fastened with ropes to a wooden sledge drawn by a total of 172 men, in four files. A priest precedes the statue, scattering incense, and a man standing on the front of the sledge pours water on the ground to reduce the friction. Another man, on the knees of the statue, claps his hands to give the time to the men harnessed to the sledge, who sing as they pull. Below are workmen carrying water and a wooden beam, and behind the statue are foremen and other officials. In the top row are companies of people with branches in their hands hastening to meet the procession. Far left is Thuthotep, followed by his bodyguard, watching the progress of the work.
Below the Middle Kingdom tombs are tombs of the Old Kingdom, shaft tombs of the Middle Kingdom and numerous tombs of the Ptolemaic period. Opposite the tombs, on the south side of the valley, is a large quarry from which, according to an inscription which is now destroyed, stone was taken in the first year of Amenophis III's reign for building the Temple of Hermoupolis. Farther up the valley are quarries used in the reign of Nectanebo I.
The site of Tell el-Amarna consists of tombs and other remains from the ancient city of Akhetaten.