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Ancient Egyptian: Tjeny

Thinis depicted in the Book of the Dead.

Location Unknown
Region Upper Egypt
Nome Ta-Wer
Main deities Onuris
Monuments Temple of Onuris

Thinis (ancient Egyptian: ṯny) is an Ancient Egyptian city, located in Upper Egypt. During the Early Dynastic Period it was the capital city of Ta-Wer, the eighth nome of Upper Egypt. However, for the most part of ancient Egyptian history Abydos functioned as Ta-Wer's provincial capital city.[1]

According to Manetho's chronological list, Egypt was first united by the Thinite Confederacy centered around the city. At the time Thinis became the capital city of Egypt. The country's unification is said to have occurred during the reign of the Pharaoh Menes. It is believed that the ancient city of Thinis is located near Abydos. It is also said that the first pharaohs of Egypt were buried near Thinis, at an ancient necropolis. Beit Khallaf from the Third Dynasty is located nearby. Thinis has never been found, which only strengthens the city's legendary reputation.


As each nome was home to the tomb and mummy of its dead nome-god, so at Thinis was the temple and last resting-place of Anhur, whose epithets included "Bull of Thinis", worshipped after his death as Khenti-Amentiu, and who, as nome-god, was placed at the head of the local Ennead. The high priest of the temple of Anhur at Thinis was called the first prophet,[36] or chief of seers,[37][38] a title that Maspero suggests is a reflection of Thinis' decline in status as a city.[2] One such chief of seers, Anhurmose, who died in the reign of Merneptah (c. 1213 – c. 1203 BCE), broke with the tradition of his New Kingdom predecessors, who were buried at Abydos, and was laid to rest at Thinis itself. The lion-goddess Mehit was also worshipped at Thinis, and the restoration of her temple there during Merneptah's reign was probably overseen by Anhurmose. There is evidence that succession to the office of chief of seers of Anhur at Thinis was familial: in the Herakleopolitan period, one Hagi succeeded his elder brother, also called Hagi, and their father to the post; and, in the New Kingdom, Wenennefer was succeeded in the priestly office by his son, Hori. In ancient Egyptian religious cosmology, Thinis played a role as a mythical place in heaven. In particular, as set out in the Book of the Dead, its eschatological significance can be seen in certain rituals: when the god Osiris triumphs, "joy goeth its round in Thinis", a reference to the celestial Thinis, rather than the earthly city.


  1. Maspero 1903, p. 333.
  2. Maspero 1903.


  • Maspero, G., 1903: History of Egypt. In: Sayce, A.H. (ed.): History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria. Vol. 9, Kessinger Publishing.