Beni Hasan

Top choice in Northern Nile Valley

The necropolis of Beni Hasan occupies a range of east-bank limestone cliffs some 20km south of Minya. Most of the superb tombs date from the 11th and 12th dynasties (2125–1795 BC), the 39 upper tombs belonging to nomarchs (local governors). Only four are currently open to visitors, but they are worth the trouble of visiting for their beauty and for the insight they provide into daily life and ­political tensions of the period.

The rest house is occasionally open for drinks.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Nile Valley attractions

1. Tomb of Khnumhotep (No 3)

0.05 MILES

Khnumhotep was governor during the early 12th dynasty, and his detailed ‘autobiography’ is inscribed on the base of walls that contain the most detailed…

2. Tomb of Baqet (No 15)

0.08 MILES

Baqet was an 11th-dynasty governor of the Oryx nome (district). His rectangular tomb chapel has seven tomb shafts and some well-preserved wall paintings…

3. Tomb of Kheti (No 17)

0.12 MILES

Kheti, Baqet’s son, inherited the governorship of the Oryx nome from his father. His tomb chapel, with two of its original six papyrus columns intact, has…

4. Tomb of Amenemhat (No 2)

0.18 MILES

Amenemhat was a 12th-dynasty governor of Oryx. His tomb is the largest and possibly the best at Beni Hasan and, like that of Khnumhotep, its impressive…

5. Speos Artemidos

1.96 MILES

If the guardian allows, you can follow a cliffside track that leads southeast for about 2.5km and then some 500m into a wadi to the rock-cut temple called…

6. Zawiyyet Al Mayyiteen

12.01 MILES

On the east bank about 7km southeast of town, this large Muslim and Christian cemetery, called Zawiyyet Al Mayyiteen (Place of the Dead), consists of…

7. Akhenaten Museum

13.24 MILES

The new Akhenaten Museum on the east bank is now complete, but no date has been set for its opening. If the Egyptian authorities can swing it, it will be…

8. Frazer Tombs

15.83 MILES

Five kilometres south of Tihna Al Gebel, the Frazer Tombs date back to the 5th and 6th dynasties. These Old Kingdom tombs are cut into the east-bank…