Ancient Egypt / Cities and Villages /
Ancient Egyptian: Nekhen
Arabic: Kom el-Ahmar
Its Nile distances are about 115 km south of Naqada, 90 km south of Thebes (modern Luxor) and 130 km north of Yabu (modern Aswan).
The rulers of Hierakonpolis were active in the wars between Upper and Lower Egypt around 3150 BCE, which were concluded with the unification of Egypt.
Its Greek name comes from the very ancient worship of the falcon god, Nekheny. Whether Nekheny was transformed or replaced, Horus, also a falcon god, would become in historical times the main god of Hierakonpolis.
Some important pieces attesting the early periods of Egyptian history have been found here, like the mace-top of King Scorpoion and the Palette of King Narmer (both 0th Dynasty).
Cemeteries stretch for a length of 3 km along the desert margin.
Hierakonpolis' most famous structure today is a fort built from mud-brick, with some parts of the walls still standing with their original 19 metre height. It dates back to about 2700 BCE (top photo).
Around 3000, an oval temple made from mud-brick and stone was built here, which at least at one point in history was dedicated to Horus. This temple would be rebuilt some 1500 years later by King Tuthmosis 3 (18th Dynasty).
Excavations further out into the desert have shown what is believed to be the very early stages of the development of the Egyptian temple. It is a structure that used wooden pillars, estimated to have been of 12 metre high, and transported from far away forests. The temple had 3 sanctuaries, possibly indicating an early stage of a triad. The main focus was, however, in the courtyard, which had one single pole placed on a mound. At its top, a symbol of the falcon must have been placed.
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