El Minya Private Tour Safaga is an informative private one-day tour to El Minya from Safaga, Egypt! We recommend the trip because it allows tourists to see many ancient Egyptian attractions. Also, it lets you know a lot about the history of ancient Egypt!
Highlights on El Minya Individual Trip from Safaga
- Tuna El-Gabel.
- Tell Al Amarna.
- Lunch at a restaurant.
- Also, Beni Hassan Tombs.
Program of El-Minya Tour
- Landious Travel representative will pick you up from the hotel, in Hurghada, around 04:00 AM.
- After picking you up, the bus (limousine or minibus) leaves for El-Minya. Next, your bus will pass the cities of Ras Shukeir and Ras Ghareb on its way to El Minya. These cities lie to the north of Hurghada, on the coast of the Red Sea. The route from the centre of Hurghada to El-Minya takes about 5 hours.
Beni Hassan Tombs
- Once you arrive at El Minya, you will head to Beni Hassan’s tombs. It is the site of almost 40 burials from the 11th and 12th dynasties. The most famous tombs among them are as follows:
- The Tomb belongs to Baqet, who was a governor and soldier.
- The second one belongs to his son – Khety.
- Moreover, the third one belongs to Amenemhat.
- However, the fourth tom belongs to Khunumhotep, the successor of King Amenemhat.
- The next stop will be at the restaurant. There, you can enjoy a delicious lunch.
- Then, you will continue this individual trip in the Tuna El Gabel area. It was the cultural centre where pilgrims gave homage to God Thoth.
Tell El Amarna city
- After that, you will carry on to Tel El Amarna. King Akhenaton and his wife, Queen Nefertiti, founded this city for the god Aton.
- Finally, our bus will leave back for Safaga after such a program in the beautiful city of El Minya.
- This private tour to El Minya from Safaga ends at approximately 20:00.
What does the Price of El Minya Individual Trip Safaga include?
- The price includes tickets for visiting temples in El-Minya.
- Private guide.
- Also, a private vehicle to El-Minya, and back to the hotel.
What does not the Program of El Minya Individual Trip Safaga Include?
- Additional excursion programs, if not included in the program as mentioned above.
Items to take with you for the tour
- Breakfast box.
- Also, carry suitable clothes for the season.
El Minya Individual Trip Safaga Booking Days
- Daily from 04:00 – 20:00.
Tuna el-Gebel – the largest cemetery of Graeco-Roman Egypt
Tuna el-Gebel is a captivating site situated approximately 270 km south of Cairo. The area is home to temples, houses, and tombs, which date back to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, spanning from 300 BC to 300 AD. Archaeologists have been exploring the site for over 100 years, hoping to uncover its many secrets hidden in the desert sands.
In the southern part of the site lies a vast cemetery, where the first tombs were built around 300 BC. The early Roman period saw the construction of the first mud brick tombs, named “house tombs” due to their material and design. This new building technique led to an increase in the urbanization of the cemetery, resulting in more and more people being buried in the area. Over time, the necropolis transformed into a city-like structure, with the famous tomb of Petosiris at its core.
History of excavations and exploration of Tuna el-Gebel
Numerous museums worldwide house unprovenanced funerary masks that were likely discovered at Tuna el-Gebel during the 19th century. The site was officially archaeologically explored at the beginning of the 20th century, with the first season led by Gombert from the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO) in 1902/03. W. Honroth followed in 1913 with a survey of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (DOG) and discovered different types of tombs constructed during the Roman period in only ten days of exploratory excavation. He also found several tomb houses with painted decorations consisting of up to four floors. In 1919, the tomb of Petosiris was found, excavated, and reconstructed within two years.
From 1931 to 1952, Sami Gabra, a professor at Cairo University, conducted excavations at Tuna el-Gebel. He began by focusing his investigations on the cemetery south of the tomb of Petosiris, while in the 1940s, he started to explore the underground galleries full of animal burials. Alexander Badawy carried out further excavations since 1949, focusing on the temple of Thoth with a saqiya in its second court and on the southeastern cemetery area. They discovered the now-destroyed ‘Graffiti Chapel’, among other things. In the 1970s, two German teams started to work at Tuna el-Gebel. While Dieter Kessler from Munich University explored the northern sector, concentrating on the underground galleries and their above-ground structures, the team of Grimm, Krause, and Sabottka from Trier University surveyed the southern sector with the necropolis around the tomb of Petosiris. The results of this project remained unpublished.
Tombs of Tuna el-Gebel
The site of Tuna el-Gebel has a rich history, with the first buildings dedicated to the god Thoth dating back to around 300 BC. These included a temple and an underground gallery, which were particularly active during the Ptolemaic period. The first tombs were then erected in the area, built of local shell limestone and had a temple-like structure. These were named ‘temple tombs’ by excavator Sami Gabra, with the most famous being the tomb of Petosiris.
The area has been subject to recent geomagnetic surveys by the Institute of Geophysics of Kiel University, which have provided new information. These surveys have shown that only around 10% of the area has been excavated, with the unexplored necropolis area measuring approximately 20 hectares. This makes it one of the largest Graeco-Roman necropoleis in Egypt.
Not only is the horizontal expansion of the area interesting, but the vertical development of the necropolis is also notable. A change from stone to mud-brick for later buildings marked the ‘material turn’ in Tuna el-Gebel. This was a lower-cost alternative compared to stone monuments and led to the building of multi-level ‘house-tombs’ constructed one after the other.
As a result of the new building technique, more and more people were buried in the necropolis. The use of different building materials not only had religious significance but also social implications. The architecture changed considerably, and there was a development from Egyptian themes to Roman iconography. Greek mythological scenes and imitations of precious stones dominated the decoration of the tombs during the 2nd and 3rd century AD.
Overall, these findings offer valuable insights into the history and development of Tuna el-Gebel, shedding light on the changes that took place over time.
Tell El Amarna
Amarna, also known as Tell El Amarna, was constructed by Akhenaton and his wife, Queen Nefertiti, during the Amarna Period. The city was founded as the centre of a revolutionary religion worshipping the god Aten. Akhenaton sought to replace the polytheistic religion of Amen with monotheism and thus moved away from Thebes, where the priests of Amen held power, to establish the city of Akhetaton, which means “the horizon of Aten” in ancient Egyptian. Today, only a few remnants remain of this once-great city, which covered a surface area of around 15 kilometres and contained temples, palaces, and governmental establishments. The Great Temple of Aten, covered by a cemetery, was also located in Amarna. Unlike most temples in ancient Egypt, the temples at Amarna were roofless to allow the sun’s rays to enter the complex, as they were constructed for the cult of the sun god, Aten.
Tombs of Tell El Amarna
The tombs in Akhetaton are important monuments. There are 25 tombs, six located north for high officials and 19 in the south.
Aye served as a vizier during King Akhenaton’s reign and was a favoured royal official. His tomb in Tell El Amarna is well-preserved and adorned with fascinating paintings, including a scene of Aye and his wife receiving a ceremonial golden collar from the king and Queen Nefertiti.
Huya served as steward to Queen Tiyi, mother of Akhenaton. The tomb features scenes of the royal family engaging in activities with the tomb’s owner.
Tomb of Mery-Re I
One of the best-decorated tombs in Tell El Amarna belonged to a high-ranking priest of the god Aten. Its colouration has remained stunning over the past 3500 years.
The Beni Hasan cemetery is situated in a highly fertile region of Egypt and boasts some of the Middle Kingdom’s most impressive tombs. These well-preserved tombs serve as a testament to the region’s economic prosperity.
The cemetery has two distinct areas: the upper and lower cemeteries. The lower cemetery contains approximately 800 tombs, most of which are shaft tombs. While it primarily houses tombs of various officials from the First Intermediate Period to the Middle Kingdom, late Old Kingdom tombs have also been unearthed. The upper cemetery, on the other hand, includes 39 rock-cut tombs, all of which were expertly cut horizontally into the rock face of the cliffs. The walls of 12 of these tombs are adorned with beautifully painted scenes depicting everyday life activities such as agriculture, crafts, hunting, games, war, and the arrival of foreigners on Egyptian lands.
The upper cemetery tombs are a testament to the ancient Egyptians’ architectural skills, and they were carved into the rock with great precision using simple tools like chisels with bronze blades. The tombs served as the final resting place for the senior officials of the Oryx nome, which was the 16th Upper Egyptian province. These tombs date back to the 11th and 12th Dynasties of the Middle Kingdom. The repetition of names like Baqet, Khety, and Khnumhotep suggests that many of the tomb owners were related.