Tuna el-Gebel

Coordinates: 27°44′18″N 30°42′16″E / 27.73833°N 30.70444°E / 27.73833; 30.70444

Tuna el-Gebel (Arabic: تونة الجبل‎, Coptic: ⲑⲱⲛⲓ[1]) was the necropolis of Khmun (Hermopolis Magna). It is located in Al Minya Governorate in Middle Egypt.

Tuna el-Gebel
تونة الجبل
Tuna el-Gebel تونة الجبل is located in Egypt
Tuna el-Gebel تونة الجبل
Tuna el-Gebel
تونة الجبل
Location in Egypt
Coordinates: 27°44′18″N 30°42′16″E / 27.73833°N 30.70444°E / 27.73833; 30.70444
Country Egypt
GovernorateMinya Governorate
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)
Hathor capitals with a demotic script, sculptor models, Ptolemaic period, 323-230 BCE, from Egypt, probably from Tuna el-Gebel. Neues Museum, Berlin

Boundary stelaeEdit

The oldest monument in the area is one of the Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten, up in the cliffs, protected by a glass booth. This makes it quite difficult to see properly, but prevents further erosion.

Detail of Stela A


Later catacombs were dug under the necropolis; these were used to store thousands of sacred mummies of falcons, baboons and ibises.

Tomb of PetosirisEdit

Near to the modern entrance to the catacombs is the tomb of the 4th century BC high priest Petosiris. This sepulchre is constructed to look like a temple, resembling Dendera. The outside is decorated in typical Late Period style, whereas the outer court is ornamented in a Greek style. The tomb was constructed around the time of the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, and seems to have been decorated like this to curry favour with the new Ptolemaic rulers.

Tomb and chapel of IsadoraEdit

Isadora was a wealthy and beautiful young woman living in Hermopolis during the time when the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138–161) ruled over Ægyptus. She fell in love with a young soldier from Antinoöpolis (current Sheikh ‘Ibada), and they wanted to get married. However, her father refused, so the young couple decided to elope. Unfortunately, Isadora drowned while crossing the Nile. Her body was mummified, and her father built an elaborate tomb for her, featuring a poem of ten lines inscribed in Greek elegiac couplets. At some time after her death, a cult developed around her tomb. Isadora's mummified remains are still present, encased in glass, in her mausoleum – a prominent building at Tuna el-Gebel.[2]

Recent discoveriesEdit

In February 2019, fifty mummy collections wrapped in linen, stone coffins or wooden sarcophagi dated back to the Ptolemaic Kingdom were discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the Tuna El-Gebel site in Minya. Twelve of the graves in four burial chambers 9 m (30 ft) deep, belonged to children. One of the remains was the partly uncovered skull enclosed in linen.[3][4]

Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities announced the discovery of the collective graves of senior officials and high clergies of the god Djehuty (Thoth) in January, 2020. Archaeological mission headed by Mustafa Waziri reported that twenty sarcophagi and coffins of various shapes and sizes, including five anthropoid sarcophagi made of limestone and carved with hieroglyphic texts, as well as sixteen tombs and five well-preserved wooden coffins were unearthed by their team.[5][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ https://st-takla.org/books/pauline-todary/coptic-language/egyptian.html
  2. ^ Paul Graindor, "Inscriptions de la nécropole de Touna el-Ghebel (Hermoupolis) [avec 6 planches]," Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 32 (1932), p. 101
  3. ^ "Egypt mummies: New tombs found in Minya". BBC News. 2019-02-02. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  4. ^ "Tomb with fifty mummies found in Egypt". akipress.com. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  5. ^ "In photos: Communal tombs for high priests uncovered Upper Egypt - Ancient Egypt - Heritage". Ahram Online. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  6. ^ "Tombs of High Priests Discovered in Upper Egypt - Archaeology Magazine". www.archaeology.org. Retrieved 2020-06-28.

  Media related to Tuna el-Gebel at Wikimedia Commons