Daft place this: sounds like an Italian author! Still, if it keeps the crowds away…and it surely does, we have this serene Nile bank to ourselves.
To plunge now into a gloomy episode in Egyptian history I must now plunge into the shade to examine the relief of a king and his kingmaker. This shady monument is not his, however; he is just one of many to add reliefs to a shrine from an earlier era. Was that a less troubled time? Perhaps, but some would argue that it too followed a period of civil war.
Into the light, and inscriptions of kings, both famous and less so, decorate the cut rock. We could spend an eternity exploring shrines from Egypt’s golden age but must now press on to the great rock. It appears something like a ‘tonsillar’ and (still in an Italian sense) perhaps gave the name ‘catena’ to this place. Stele City, more like!
Now we return to board our bus and head just a kilometre or so north in search of an unfrequented site visited by the great Herbert Winlock, seeking evidence for Chancellor Khety. Enquiries are made, and a roadside ruin identified as the ghaffir’s hut. Unpromising, but then a man straightens up from his riverside vegetable patch and leads us into the desert. We are entering a broad wadi, and before walking very far we look up and there he is carved majestically upon the cliff: the great ‘uniter’, a man who ushered in a great period in Egyptian history; a ‘regno’, indeed.
1. In which monument did I see the kingmaker?
2. Where was ‘the great uniter’ inscribed?