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Eileithyiaspolis
Ancient Egyptian: Nekheb
M22G14bt
O49
nḫb
Location el-Kab
Coordinates 25°7′8″N 32°47′52″E
Region Upper Egypt
Nome Nekhen
Main deities Nekhbet
Monuments Temple of Nekhbet

Eileithyiaspolis (Ancient Egyptian: nḫb, modern: el-Kab) was a city on the east bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt. During the New Kingdom, it functioned as the provincial capital city of Nekhen, the third Nome of Upper Egypt. It later lost this function to Latopolis (Ancient Egyptian: Iunet).[1]

The city's main deity was Nekhbet, a goddess represented as a white vulture, who was elevated to protector goddess of Upper Egypt. This made her the counterpart of Wadjet, the protector goddess of Lower Egypt. Both goddesses were joined on the Uraeus that would encircle the crown of the Pharaoh, symbolizing rule over a unified Egypt. Eileithyiaspolis with its cult center of Nekhbet therefore served an important role together with Hierakonpolis (Egyptian: Nekhen), on the opposite side of the Nile, as a counterpart to Buto (Egyptian: Per-Wadjet), the cult center of Wadjet, in the Nile Delta.[1] The Greeks equated Nekhbet with Eileithyia, hence the name of the city Eileithyiaspolis ("City of Eileithyia").[1]

History[]

The earliest signs of human activity at Eileithyiaspolis date to c. 6000 BC.[1] The temple of Nekhbet already stood since the Early Dynastic Period and has been rebuilt and expanded throughout antiquity.[1] The latest remnants of the temple of Nekhbet can be dated to the 29th and 30th Dynasty (the reigns of Hakoris and Nectanebo I and Nectanebo II).[1]

Necropolis[]

The Old Kingdom necropolis of Eileithyiaspolis lied north just outside the city walls and consisted of a group of mastabas, while the Middle Kingdom necropolis lied just east of the city. The New Kingdom necropolis was situated north with its tombs cut into the cliff side (EK1-10). To the east of these tombs the cliffs lead into the Wadi Hilal where a temple of Amenhotep III and more - but lesser known - tombs are situated.

Tombs EK1-10
Designation Owner Title(s) Period
EK1 Tentis Chantress of Nekhbet Late New Kingdom
EK2 Ahmose-Pennekhbet Count, Chancellor, Royal Sealbearer, Commander of the Troops, Royal Envoy 18th Dynasty
EK3 Paheri Nomarch, Royal Scribe, Royal Tutor of Prince Wadjmose 18th Dynasty
EK4 Setau High Priest of Nekhbet 20th Dynasty
EK5 Ahmose-Siebana Admiral, Commander of the Troops 18th Dynasty
EK6 Ipuseneb
EK7 Renni Mayor of Eileithyiaspolis, Overseer of the Priests 18th Dynasty
EK8 Unknown man and his wife Ahneferu New Kingdom
EK8a Bebi Scribe of the King's Altar 18th Dynasty
EK8b Senusret 12th Dynasty
EK9 Renseneb Scribe of the King's Altar Second Intermediate Period
EK10 Sobeknakhte II Mayor of Eileithyiaspolis Late 17th Dynasty

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Baines & Malek 1980, p. 80.

Bibliography[]

  • Baines, J./Malek, J., 1980: Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Equinox (Oxford), Ltd.
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