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The Tombs of Qau el-Kebir; background information

The name:

Qau or Qau el-Kebir (kebir is the Arabic word for 'great') is the Arabic name of an Upper Egyptian village located on the east bank of the Nile, about 5 km east of the village and train station Tima, and 45 km south of Asyut. Qau is located by the site known in ancient Greek records as Antaeopolis 'city of Antaeus'. Ptolemy IV built a temple here, substantial parts of which were still standing at the beginning of the 19th century, when they were used to build a palace at Asyut. The one remaining column was swept away by the catastrophically high Nile flood of 1821. The Arabic name Qau derives from Coptic tkooy or tkuoy, which in turn goes back to the Ancient Egyptian Dw QAw - 'high mount' referring originally to the mountains in the Eastern desert, but from the Late Period onwards used to name the town. Qau lies in the 10th Upper Egyptian province or 'nome'. The main town of the nome was called Tjebu (Tbw), and its principal deity was the ferryman god Nemty. The nome itself was called Wadjet (wADt), and therefore its central town could be called 'Domain of Wadjet' (pr-wADt, translated into Greek as Aphroditespolis). The location of Tjebu/Per-Wadjet is not known, but they might be identical with Qau (Goma 1986: 235-245)


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