, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Beni Hassan and Tombs Facts ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

October 11, 2012

Beni Hassan and Tombs Facts

Beni Hassan
Approaching ‘Middle Egypt’ one comes, appropriately, to a famous burial ground of the Middle Kingdom in ancient Egypt . Beni Hassan is famous for the Egyptian rock-hewn tombs of the 12th-dynasty princes and noblemen. They rank among the most fascinating monuments in Egypt, both for their architectural characteristics (the mastaba form had almost entirely disappeared and these tombs were hewn in a row out of the cliffs, sometimes with rock-cut colonnade at the entrance), and also for the fine representations of domestic life in the Middle Kingdom. Though many of the scenes (such as baking, pottery-making, carpentry, handicrafts, etc) are similar to those depicted at Saqqara, these Egyptian tombs contain themes not common in the Old Kingdom; for example, youths wrestling, military scenes and an attack on a fortress (tombs of Kheti and Ameni-em-hat). There are also scenes of barbers, washermen, painters, spinning and weaving by women (Baket Tomb), and men felling a palm tree (tomb of Khnumhotep).

Beni Hassan
Beni Hassan
Particularly interesting are those scenes which indicate the rising popularity of the cult of Osiris God after the fall of the Egyptian Old Kingdom. In a land of turmoil, Osiris, God of the Underworld, came to represent hope and justice. Thousands of pilgrims travelled from all over the country to attend the annual religious festivals at Abydos, which became the centre of the cult. It became desirable for a wealthy nobleman to construct a second Egyptian tomb near Abydos, to erect a stele within sight of the august shrine, or be carried, after embalming, to the precincts of the shrine before returning for final interment at his own birthplace. If, for some reason, the pilgrimage could not be performed, then the deceased were meant to make it symbolically, by having the scene represented in their tomb. Such scenes may be seen at Beni Hassan. In the tomb of Khnumhotep a Nile boat bears the mummy of the deceased, accompanied by an inscription that it is being borne to Abydos. The tomb of Amenemhet depicts the deceased, accompanied by his children and harem, travelling in the boat to attend the festival at Abydos, which included the dramatic re-enactment of the life, death and rebirth of Egyptian Osiris God.

Another interesting feature of the tombs of Beni Hassan are the representations of foreigners: a scene of Asiatics, shows men, women and children in ancient Egypt dressed in gaily coloured national costume and characterised by their hooked noses, sharply cut features and pointed beards. The men in a caravan of Libyans, What Survives From the Ancient Egyptian World are distinguished by the ostrich-feathers in their hair, and the women carry baskets on their backs.
Beni Hassan Tomb
The patron deity of Beni Hassan was Bast, the cat-goddess, to whom a temple was started in the 18th dynasty; it was added to in the 19th dynasty but never completed. It is an example of the Egyptian rock-hewn temple, of which that of Abu Simbel is the largest Temple.

Related Web Search : 
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  • Beni Hassan Shrine
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