Red Hill Kom el-Ahmar
On the west bank of the Nile opposite El-Kab, 0.75/1km southwest of the village of Muissat, is the Kom el-Ahmar ("Red Hill"), with the extensive remains and cemeteries of ancient Nekhen (Greek Hieraconpolis), one of the oldest cities in Egypt. The joint capital of Upper Egypt formed by the closely associated towns of Nekhab and Nekhen (El-Kab and Kom el Ahmar) was the counterpart of the Lower Egyptian capital of Pe and Dep (Tell el-Faraun). The frequently occurring representations of the jackal headed figures known as the "souls of Nekhen" are believed to date back to Pre-Dynastic times.The town's protective god was a Horus with a high double feather whose sacred animal was the falcon: hence the Greek name of Hieraconpolis. Remains of temples, tombs and dwelling houses extend for some 2mi/3km along the edge of the desert to the south and southwest of Muissat. At the mouth of a wadi is a fortress like structure of unknown function dating from the Early Old Kingdom, with a low outer wall and a higher interior wall built of sun-dried brick; the entrance was on the east side.
Useful tips: ACCESS. By road from Edfu (12.5mi/20km south) or Esna (19mi/30km north).
At the eastern end of the prehistoric cemetery area Quibell discovered during his 1897-99 campaigns the Pre-Dynastic tomb known simply as Tomb 100, richly decorated with mural paintings (animals, human figures, boats, etc.) which are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Temple of Nekhen
Near the fort, within the area of cultivation, are the scanty remains of the Temple of Nekhen, which was excavated by Quibell in 1897-99 and yielded important sculpture of the Early Old Kingdom (sixth Dynasty), including copper figures of Phiops I and Merenre, a gold Horus head and the famous Palette of Narmer, the only votive palette of this period to survive in relatively undamaged condition.
0.75/1km farther west from the fort are rock tombs of the Early New Kingdom, similar in form to those of El-Kab. The most notable are the Tomb of Dhuti, dating from the reign of Tuthmosis l, and the Tomb of Harmose, High Priestof Nekhen, both of which have statues of the dead men and their wives in niches on the rear wall.
To the west of the brick built "fort" is a hill containing tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, in two of which are stucco reliefs and inscriptions.