Statue of Meret Amon
Akhmim is among the weirdest sites from Ancient Egypt. You drive along crowded and dusty roads in the large town of Akhmim, then suddenly, in a large hole in the ground, you see the head of a grand female statue. It is in size quite similar to those of Ramses 2, but this one is of a woman. Unique in all of Egypt.
The statue is 11 metres high, and Meret Amon was the daughter of Ramses 2, and she even became his wife when her mother, Nefertari, died.
The statue was discovered in 1981, when a school was about to be built.
There was a temple here, dedicated to the fertility god, Min. There are traces left of this temple, but it is very hard to understand much from the remains around the statue. Of this, however, most is of the ancient town, Ipu. Ipu is historically interesting, being called "the oldest city in Egypt" by Leo Africanus in hte 16th century.
Beneath an Islamic cemetary, the roof of a temple from the age of Ramses 2, can be seen.
The site is open 9.00-17.00, tickets are EŁ10. The statue is, however, fully visible from the outside.
Eat and Sleep
Sleeping and eating is done in Akhmim itself, while there are also options in Sohag. Standard proves to be low, but the hotels are at least clean.
Eating is done from one of many small restaurants along the main roads. Prices are rock-bottom, but this is typically a place where you watch out for the cleanliness of the place, and if possible, order your meal to be smoking hot.
Trains are among the best options in this part of Egypt. The train station is in Sohag.
Travelling around the area is done with rented taxis. Prices for this are very reasonable, even if you should have to cover the expenses alone.