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Luxor West Bank - Trips to Elkab (El-Kāb - ‏الكاب)

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Sights at Elkab

The village of Elkab is located 80 km south of Luxor and 15 km north of Edfu on the east bank of the Nile. There, at the mouth of Wadi Hilal, was the ancient city of "Nekheb" one of the oldest settlements of Upper Egypt. Its massive mud-brick walls, dating to the Late Period (747 - 332 BC) are still largely preserved. The main temple was dedicated to the Vulture Goddess Nekhbet who was the patron of Upper Egypt. The temple is heavily destroyed and not accessible but you can visit 3 smaller temples as well as rock-cut tombs of the provincial governors of Elkab. Also well worth seeing are numerous petroglyphs and inscriptions which you can find on your way between the temples on the rock faces.

Mud-brick wall of the ancient city of Nekheb
 Mud-brick wall of the ancient city of Nekheb

The Rock-Cut Tombs of Elkab

The hillside rock-tombs date back to the New Kingdom (18th to 20th dynasty). The colourful reliefs show scenes of the daily life as well as religious depictions in the context of the tomb-owner's burial.

Rock-cut tombs of El-Kāb
 Stairway to the rock-cut tombs of Elkab

Tomb No. 3: Paheri, 18th Dynasty

Paheri was mayor, priest of the goddess Nekhbet, tutor and during the reign of Thutmose III. The paintings in his tomb show agricultural scenes, fowling and fishing, the preparation of food as well as offerings at his funeral procession.

El-Kāb, Tomb of Paheri
 Statue of Paheri between his wife and his mother with banquet painting on
 the right wall

El-Kāb, Tomb of PaheriEl-Kāb, Tomb of Paheri
 East wall: Paheri with his wife               Niche with depiction of their children

• Tomb No. 4: Setau, 20th Dynasty

Setau was high priest in the service of the Vulture Goddess Nekhbet during the reign of Ramses III.

El-Kāb, Tomb of Setau
 Tomb of Setau

El-Kāb, Tomb of Setau
 The east wall shows Setau offering gifts with his wife and his son-in-law
 Ramses-nakht as a priest with the fur of a panther

• Tomb No. 5: Ahmose, 18th Dynasty

Ahmose was the grandfather of Paheri and served in the military under Thutmose III. His autobiography survived in the form of wall paintings in his tomb. They report on his wedding, his participation on wars of liberation against the Hyksos rulers, and battles against the Nubians.

El-Kāb, Tomb of Ahmose
 Tomb of Ahmose

El-Kāb, Tomb of AhmoseEl-Kāb, Tomb of Ahmose
 East wall: the tomb-owner with his grandson Paheri in front of his famous
 31-columned inscription about the final battle against the Hyksos

• Tomb No. 7: Renni, 18th Dynasty

Renni was mayor, provincial governor, and high priest during the reign of Amenophis I.

El-Kāb, Tomb of Renni
 Tomb of Renni with his statue in the rear

El-Kāb, Tomb of Renni
 The east wall shows the tomb-owner with his wife

The Petroghyphs of Elkab

On the way between the rock-tombs and the temples of Elkab you should leave the car and walk around the rocks in the beginning desert. The faces of the rocks are covered with numerous praedynastic petroglyphs as well as Old Kingdom inscriptions.

El-Kāb, Rock inscriptions
 Rock inscriptions

El-Kāb, Rock inscriptions
 ... and detail of it

El-Kāb, Rock inscriptionsEl-Kāb, Rock inscriptions
 Rock inscriptions

The Temples of Elkab

In Elkab, there are 3 smaller temples. We start our visit with the temple which is furthest from the main road:

Temple of Amenhotep III

It is dedicated to the cow-headed goddess Hathor and the vulture goddess Nekhbet and dates back to the 18th Dynasty.

El-Kāb, Temple of Amenhotep III
 Temple of Amenhotep III

El-Kāb, Temple of Amenhotep III - Pillar of HathorEl-Kāb, Temple of Amenhotep III - Nekhbet
 Pillar with Hathoric capitol                     Nekhbet

El-Kāb, Temple of Amenhotep III - Horus, Amenhotep III and Nekhbet
 East wall - scene on the left: Amenhotep III receives life energy from Horus
 East wall - scene on the right: Amenophis III brings offerings to Nekhbet

Temple of Setau

The square temple, also called "El-Hammām" and "Chapel of Thot" was built by Setau, Viceroy of Kush, during the reign of Ramses II.

El-Kāb, Temple of Setau
 Temple of Setau

El-Kāb, Temple of Setau
 Inside the temple of Setau

The Ptolemaic Hemi-speos

"Hemi-speos" is the name for a temple which is partially rock cut and partially exposed. The Hemi-speos in Elkab was already built during the reign of Ramses II but early destroyed and only then new built during the reign of Ptolemaios VIII and IX. It is dedicated to the Lion Goddess Seshmetet. A 15 m long stairway leads to the terrace, the courtyard, and the rock-cut sanctuary.

El-Kāb, Ptolemaic Hemi-speos
 Ptolemaic Hemi-speos

El-Kāb, Ptolemaic Hemi-speos - Lion Goddess Seshmetet
 Lion Goddess Seshmetet

El-Kāb, Ptolemaic Hemi-speos - Arched ceiling with Vulture Goddess Nekhbet
 Arched ceiling with Vulture Goddess Nekhbet

Our Service in Luxor

For your trip starting at Luxor we organise a taxi which takes you to the mentioned sights in Elkab and if you wish as well to the Khnum Temple at Esna. Kindly let us know your wishes, we make you a favourable offer.

Geographical Position

(c)Google - Route from Luxor to El-Kab and Esna
 Route from Luxor (A) to Elkab and Esna


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