Minia

The city of Minia is the administrative centre of the province of El-Minia and it is a major centre for education, business, commerce and culture. This city is not a very big city but there are nice and hospitable people that reside in it. The city also has a university and there are a few colonial houses that are existing till this date. The city has a big cemetery known as the Zawiyet el-mayyiteen and the name of the city is derived from the ancient Coptic name that means a horse. The city is located approximately about 425 km to the south of Cairo and it is on the western bank of the river Nile.

There are two mountain ranges that are about 500m on both the western and the eastern sides. This region falls away from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The region has the characteristics of a typical continental climate and the city also has a harsh and chilly weather that is sometimes hot in the summers but non humid too. The temperature during summer reaches around 40C and in winter the region can also experience sub zero temperatures in the night. There are instances where frost is also formed and you will find that snow and white hail are extremely rare in these places due to the low precipitation of the city.

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Minia - Travel in Egypt

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It was during the Predynatic Period in the interval before 3100BC the area encompassed the modern day city and the lands that surrounded it. This city was an autonomous city or state under the reign of Menes who later unified Egypt in around 3200 BC. At this time of the unification Egypt was divided into forty two nomes. The 16th nome of the place was known as the Oryx nome and it was perhaps due to the dominance of the Oryx that the place was so named. The Oryx was a type of antelope species that used to stay in the area.

It was after the above unification of Egypt that the provincial capital of the area had emerged as an very significant and important centre of trade. This place was opposite to the trade route that was located along the Red Sea along with the Levantine traders that carried their goods from Canaan and Sinai. It was during the later days of the old kingdom that the name of the above city was changed to Men’at khufu that linked it to the Pharoah khufu or Cheops who was the founder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. It was believed that he was born there and this city had still not been located but it is believed that it was situated on the western banks of the river Nile that is thought to be in the vicinity of the modern city of Minia.

After the Old kingdom collapsed during the time of the First Intermediate Period the rulers of the city had become very powerful and wealthy. They had also enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy in connection to the central power of the Pharaohs. The power of these kings reached the zenith during the 11th Dynasty.

The Pharaohs that were the rulers of the Oryx nome that was really worried with lives after death. This may be because of the reason that the making of the pyramid age was over or perhaps people could not afford to build their own pyramids. The rulers of Mena’at Khufu also selected the limestone cliffs that were present in the eastern desert that overlooked a gentle curve on the River Nile that was an ideal spot to carve their tombs in. These chapel tombs that were located at Beni Hasan were the only remains of the era where the Minia rulers use to wield power and wealth. There are thirty nine rocks that are the cut out tombs of the area and they can be visited in the limestone cliffs that are above the modern day village of Beni Hasan. These tombs are not as great or magnificent as the other ancient monuments of ancient Egypt. The Beni Hasan tombs are very important as their walls also disclose more information about the life in Egypt about 4000 years ago. They provide tourists with more information on Egypt and they also give us a valuable insight about the daily life in the country. The information also provides us with an insight about the rulers who had made these monuments in the country.

With the advent of the 12th Dynasty the powers of the Minia rulers also increased and by the end of the above Dynasty. By the end of the 12th Dynasty the powers of the above rulers of Minia were removed and the Beni Hasan tombs that existed then later became ravaged. There were some tombs that were defaced by the rulers that came into the region in the later years. The next few centuries also saw the mutilation of the monuments after the demise of the Pharaonic Egypt. There are many tombs that were converted into dwellings of the people and later they were quarried as a ready source of stone. Some of these tombs were also deliberately damaged by the early Muslims and Christians.

During the rule of the Abbasids in the Middle Ages the name of Minia was associated with Ibn Khasib that was the appointed legendary and benevolent ruler of Egypt in the 9th century. Ibn Khasib also loved Minia to a very large extent and when he was asked by the Caliph to name a reward for his noble and good deeds he opted for Minia where he would retire and expire a few years later. The expansion of Minia was also due to Ibn Khasib for transforming the huge village to an active city in the Medieval Ages. This town of Minia is one that also has been one of the most popular cities in the country and at the same time it also excelled over all the cities that were in Egypt.