Meir Asyut, Egypt information, tours, prices and booking
Meir located 50 kilometer north west of Asyut, Egypt at the edge of the cultivation. In fact, the modern town of El Quseya located about 8 km to the east of Meir. El Quseya derives its name from the ancient Qis during Graeco-Roman times. In fact, Qis was the capital of the 14th Upper Egyptian Nome. Yet, there are few remaining traces of the ancient town. The provincial rulers buried in tombs high in the hillside in the necropolis at Meir. In fact, it was with the more humble population further down the slope. Meir had little archaeological attention since the tombs first published by Aylward Blackman.
In fact, it was for the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1914. And then, Meir excavated by Sayed Pasha Kabasha in 1919. In fact, model boats and coffins found at Meir. Since then, the area was inaccessible to tourists. Recently several of the tombs cleared and opened to the visitors. The cemetery has many important rock-cut tombs which date back to Dynasty VI and Dynasty XII. In fact, the tombs contain amazing painted scenes and characterized by their naturalistic qualities. Moreover, many of the tombs contain detailed scenes of daily life. In fact, the scenes include industries, sports and have a distinct local style.
Tomb of Niankh-hpepy (Meir A-1):
In fact, Niankh-hpepy also known by the name of “Hepi the Black”. His large tomb reflects his important status of Chancellor of Pepi I during Dynasty VI. Moreover, the tomb contains four chambers. In the first and largest of them, Niankh-hpepy and his wife depicted while they receive offerings. The offerings are of cattle, birds, animals, food and observing fishing and fowling. Furthermore, it is with the preparation of the catch. On the western wall of the tomb there is a stela with an offering slab in the front. Moreover, there are many shafts in Niankh-hpepy’s tomb, for the burials of his Family.
Tomb of Pepyankh (Meir A-2):
In fact, Pepyankh was the son of Niankh-hpepy and called “Heni the Black”. His tomb adjoins the tomb of his father and larger than it. In fact, the tomb contains many scenes with details. The details are of industries and the harvesting of various crops. Moreover, the details also include grapes, grain and flax. On the left-hand wall of the western chamber, there are offering scenes. In fact, the scenes follow the owner into a long corridor and a room with a large burial shaft. On the right-hand wall Pepyankh seen in a palanquin. Moreover, he shaded by a fan-bearer. Furthermore, he also accompanied by his pet dog and monkey in registers above.
In fact, the tomb also has another small offering chamber to the rear. The chamber also contains a false door. The central chamber is the first one when you enter the tomb. In fact, it depicts the tomb-owner while he carries out his duties. It is with scribes, secretary and attendants who inspect the workshops. The eastern chamber contains funeral scenes . Moreover, it also contains a serdab with portrayals of the deceased on the walls.
Tomb of Senbi (Meir B-1):
This is perhaps one of the best known tombs at Meir. Senbi held the hereditary position of Nomarch and “Overseer of Priests”. In fact, it was during the reign of Amenemhet I of Dynasty XII, and his father called Ukhhotep. His tomb contains many scenes of offerings. In fact, some of them damaged now. The tomb also has agricultural and manufacturing scenes. The best preserved of the manufacturing scenes include vase-making. He also shown in a spectacular desert hunting scene, accompanied by his dogs. At either side against the front walls of the chapel are two basins. In fact, the basins used during the offering rituals. A raised central aisle leads through the tomb to a statue niche at the rear.
Tomb of Ukhhotep (Meir B-2):
Ukhhotep was the son of Senbi (B-1) and held the hereditary title of “Great Chief of the Nome”. Moreover, he also held the title of “Overseer of Priests of Hathor of Cusae”. Furthermore, he also held the title of “Overseer of Priests of the Lady of All”. In fact, it was during the reign of Senusret I of Dynasty XII . Reliefs in the tomb include scenes like to those of his father. The scenes also include offerings and marsh activities. A great variety of wildlife depicted in hunting scenes. in fact, they are in a lifelike and colorful manner. The tomb unfinished at the owner’s death. Moreover, there are some figures which are roughly sketched in red paint. On the southern wall, there are scenes of cattle whose herdsmen look emaciated. In fact, they show a famine during this period. The paintings in this tomb indeed are vivid.
Tomb of Ukhhotep (Meir B-4):
Another tomb at Meir belongs to a man named Ukhhotep. In fact, he was a son of Ukhhotep and Mersi. Moreover, he also held similar titles of Nomarch to the previous Ukhhotep. In fact, it was during mid-Dynasty XII. His tomb has a much more complex structure with a raised central aisle. The aisle leads to a statue niche with an elaborate “palace facade” decoration. The wall-scenes in the tomb are of similar themes to other Middle Kingdom tombs at Meir.
In fact, the scenes include fishing and agricultural scenes and industries. The extended Family of Ukhhotep represented in seven registers. In fact, it is on the end wall on the left-hand side of the chapel. At the rear of the chapel to the right there is an offering chamber. In fact, the chamber contains texts of offering list rituals. Moreover, it also has a false door flanked by images of the tomb-owner.
Further details about Meir tombs:
Restoration of the tombs at Meir began in 1997 and several tombs now had the walls consolidated. Moreover, the reliefs restored to their original bright colors. At least nine of the tombs are open to visitors from a total of seventeen which planned. New stairways constructed and made the access easier. Moreover, there are a small coffee-shop and toilets. In the past the tombs at Meir prone to illicit digging and illegal excavations. In fact, this allowed the thieves to steal the artifacts and take them out of the country. Yet, some of them returned and with many others else displayed now in a small museum. In fact, the museum locate at Mallawi in El Minya, Egypt. The museum comprises a limestone seated statue of Pepyankh and his wife from tomb A-2.
How to get to Meir:
The town of El Quseya is 50 km north of Asyut, and around 25 km south of Mallawi on the west bank of the Nile. From El Quseya a road leads west to the edge of the cultivation for about 8 km to the necropolis of Meir. Visitors may buy tickets from the new ticket office at the site. Photography not usually allowed inside the tombs.