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We have the writing of a Jesuit, Claude Sicard, who visited the site of El Ashmunein November 8, 1714: "Achemounain is now a village, but the vast ruins of many palaces, including we still see the marble and granite columns, have mark quite its former splendor. After going through the debris of many of these palaces, I was struck away by the majesty of a gantry twelve columns. I went in closer : I found the wonderful work, delicate and complete, that although the construction was done during the reigns of the pharaohs and before the conquest of Cambyses, king of Persia, it seems just have been finished. "

About a century later, other travelers at Achmouneyn, already known to be the Greek Hermopolis, have noted the disappearance of the ruins.

Archaeological research were conducted there. Especially at the tell of Hermopolis which covers an area of nearly two square kilometers. It shows a continuous occupation since the first interim period.

Two temples were the subject of further research:

  • A Temple of Domitian there was discovered with writing from Nehemetaouy, wife of Thoth, lady of Khmunu in the middle of Unu. It was probably on reuse blocks of a temple dedicated to this goddess under Nectanebo I.

  • An another temple of the New Kingdom was dedicated to Thoth: The archaeologist claims to have found a written mention the "Lord of Eshmoun".

This last name is closer to the Phoenician god "Echmoun" than to "Khemenu". At the Louvre, one can also see a wooden sarcophagus of Pasherienaset evoking the same "Thot of Ashmunein". The popular pronunciation of the name of this town seems to have not varied over time.

El Bersheh, nearby, is considered as a necropolis of Khemenu. Petosiris at Tuna el-Gebel also not far, has left us a very large grave with an autobiography that tells us he was from this city: “I am in the waters of the Lord of Khmun since my birth, I all his plans in my heart. He chose me to administer his temple because he knows how much I respect him in my heart. I spent seven years as administrator of the god."

Ashurbanipal, in the 7th century BC, mentions a local king called Lamintu (Nimlot) of Humuni, which is predominantly recognized as a king of Khemenu, Hermopolis, which was the capital of the 15th Nome of Upper Egypt, the nome of the Hare or the Hase.

Also, the modern city of El Ashmunein, the Coptic "Shmounein", located in Middle Egypt, 300 km south of Cairo, far from the Nile, near the canal called Bahr el Yusuf, is considered to be one of the many cities with the name of Khemenu, the city of eight, called Hermopolis by the Greeks who have recognized their god Hermes in Thoth.

For an explanation on the colors of text, click here.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Ashmunein had this name during the Egyptian New Kingdom: 5/5

El Ashmunein was designated "Khemenu" in the hieroglyphic texts: 3/5

El Ashmunein was designated “Hermopolis Magna” in Greek : 3/5

Tag(s) : #Empire of Egypt, #Kingdom: Upper Egypt

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