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Beni Suef


  • General Information

    Other Name: -, District: Beni Suef, State: Upper Region, Egypt
    Area: 0 -
    Languages Spoken: Arabic
    Long Distance Code: -
    Importance: It was famous for its linen manufacturing in the Middle Ages.
    Best Time to Visit: November to February and -
    International Access: -
  • Description

    Beni Suef is the capital city of the Beni Suef Governorate, Egypt. It was famous for its linen manufacturing in the Middle Ages, and continues to be heavily involved in cotton-spinning and carpet-making. It is also known for its alabaster, quarried in the nearby hills. Beni Suef is located about 115 km (72 miles) south of Cairo.The most interesting aspect of Beni Suef is the Museum. The first floor of the museum is devoted to Pharaonic items such as statues, canopic jars and saarcophagi and various Graeco-Roman items. Most of these items came from nearby Abusir and Heracleopolis Magna. The second floor is devoted to Coptic and Muslim items which came from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
  • Location

    Located about 75 miles south of Cairo.
  • Climate

Some 9mi/15km west of Beni Suef, on the right bank of the Bahr Yusuf near the village of Ahnasiya el-Medina, popularly known as Ahnasiya Umm el-Kiman ("Hill of Potsherds"), is the huge accumulation of rubble, covering an area of 1sq.mi/1.6 sq.km, which marks the site of the ancient Heracleopolis Magna, capital of the 20th nome of Upper Egypt. Under the Old Kingdom the town was known as Hatnennesut, from which were derived the Coptic Hnes and the Arabic Ahnas.
1.25mi/2km northeast of El-Lahun, in the desert, is the Pyramid of Sesostris II (Senwosret), the structure of which is considerably different from that of earlier pyramids. Over a stone core some 30ft/12m high, which can be seen at several points, was built a framework of cross walls constructed of huge limestone blocks, the intervening spaces being filled by limestone bricks. Over this was a superstructure, also of brick.
The Valley Temple belonging to the pyramid lies 2mi/3km east, on the margins of the cultivated land. Here, too, was the town of Hetep Senwosret ("Sesostris is content") or Kahun, founded by Sesostris II and occupied by workers, priests and officials. Laid out on a regular plan, it was inhabited only for a brief period during the 12th Dynasty, perhaps only during the construction of the pyramid. In the remains were found not only a variety of everyday objects but also numerous papyri (the Kahun Papyri) in hieratic scriptwith mathematical, medical, legal, religious and literary texts. Farther north is a crocodile cemetery.