Where In Kemet Are We?

An Egyptian Geography Lesson

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Helu-Nebut = Greece
Keftiu = Crete. Keftiu has also been identified with Kyrene and southern Turkey (Arzawa).
Setjet = Asia

Wadj Wer, the Great Green = Mediterranean Sea

Ta Mehu = Lower Egypt
Ta Shemau = Upper Egypt

Raqote = Alexandria / A city that predates the Ptolemaic period.

Pe, Perwadjyt, Per-Uatchet, Dep = Buto / Important predynastic city of Lower Egypt.

Zau = Sais, Sael-Hagar / Capital of the 5th nome of Lower Egypt and cult center for Neith. In the 26th Dynasty, Sais was the capital of Egypt.

Djedet, Anpet, Per-Banebdjedet = Mendes, Tell el-Ruba / Captial of the 16th nome of Lower Egypt. The nome is first mentioned in the 4th Dynasty.

Djan-net = Tanis, San-el-Hagar / Capital of a nome and a cult center for Seth. It was important in Hyksos times. It is east of Djedet.

Djedu = Busiris, Abusir / An important town during Ptolemaic times.

Hut-waret, Hawaret, Per-Ramesse = Avaris, Tell el-Dab'a / An ancient shrine city for Osiris. Later a Hyksos capital and possible site of Minoan artists. It is south of Djannet.

Bast = Bubastis, Tell Basta / Tombs at this site date to the late Old Kingdom. Kings from the 22nd Dynasty came from Bubastis. It is southwest of Avaris.

Iunu, Annu, Iunet Mehet (Northern Pillar) = Heliopolis / A powerful town by the time of the Old Kingdom.

Rostja, Rosetau = Giza / Site of Old Kingdom pyramids. It is a little north of Memphis.

Ineb-Hedju, Hiku-Ptah, Men-nefert, Mennufer = Memphis / Capital of Egypt during the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom.

Itjtawy = el-Lisht / Founded in the Middle Kingdom. This site was made the capital of Egypt by Amenemhet I in the 12th Dynasty.

She-Resy, Mer-wer = Faiyum / The Faiyum is an oasis that filled with water. The shore has receded over time. The Faiyum was first settled in prehistoric times. It gained importance during the Middle Kingdom and the Graeco Roman period.

Per Medjed = Oxyrhynchus, el-Bahnasa / Little is known about this town during the Dynastic Period. The town gained prominence during the Graeco-Roman period and is the source of many surviving papyri.

Hebenu = Kom el-Ahmar or Zawiet el-Meitin / One of the oldest sites in Egypt.

Menat Khufu = Beni Hasan or el-Mina. If it is identified with el-Mina, it is a little north of Hebenu and is on the western side of the Nile. If it is identified with Beni Hasan, it is south of Hebenu.

Khmun, Khmunu = Hermopolis Magna, el-Ashmunein / Capital of the 15th nome of Upper Egypt and cult center for Thoth, the god of healing and wisdom and patron of scribes. A rising water table has destroyed most of the city's remains. The surviving ruins date to the Roman period. Two columns inscribed with the names of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus survived until 1826.

Akhetaten = el-Amarna / New Kindgom capital of Akhenaten.

Qis = Cusae, Meir or el-Qusiya

Sauty, Zawty = Asyut / Tombs from the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom are located here. It was a jumping off point for the el-Kharga Oasis.

Sawu = Mersa Gawasis / A Red Sea port. It was in existence at least by the Middle Kingdom.

Tjeny, Thenit = Thinis, Girga / Important predynastic site that was later overshadowed by other cities. The confederacy of Thinis included Thinis, Abydos, and Hu.

Abedju, Abtu, Abdu = Abydos / An ancient city that was home to the graves of kings from the 1st Dynasty and an important cult center for Ausar/Osiris.

Kenet = Qena

Hu, Hiw, Hut-Sekhem = Diospolis Mikra / This was a major center in predynastic times.

Iunet, Tantare, Ta-en-taret = Denderah / Tombs date to the Early Dynastic Period. This city was the capital of the 6th nome of Upper Egypt and was an important cult center for Hathor.

Nubt, Nebyet = Nagada / Important predynastic site and cult center for Sutekh/Seth. The Confederacy of Nubt stretched from Iunet (Denderah) to Djerty (Tod).

Gebtu= Coptos, Qift / Coptos was on the caravan route to the Red Sea.

Kuser = Quseir / An Egyptian port and shipbuilding site used for expeditions to Punt and other places. The region around Kuser was called Sewew. The port dated to at least the Middle Kingdom.

Ipet-Isut = Karnak

Waset = Thebes / A minor trading post in Old Kingdom times, later a capital of the New Kingdom.

Djerty = Tod / A chapel at this site predates the 5th Dynasty.

Hefat = Gebelein / This site was inhabited in predynastic times and is the location of the oldest known large paintings. A temple dates to the 3rd Dynasty.

Tasenet, Iunyt, Enit = Esna / This site has burials from the Middle Kingdom to the Late Period.

Nekheb = el Kab / An ancient city settled by 6000 BC.

Nekhen, Kekhen = Hierakonpolis / Important predynastic city that was established before the 1st Dynasty. The Narmer Palette and other artifacts were found here. The predynastic Confederacy of Nekhen stretched from near Hefat (Gebelein) to Kheny (Gebel el-Silsila).

Behdet, Behde, Utes-Hor, Djeba = Edfu / Building at this site dates to the Old Kindgom.

Kheny = Gebel el-Silsila / The Egyptian name means "Place of Rowing" because the Nile narrows at this point. Quarries and a temple date to the 18th Dynasty.

Nubt, Nebeet, Nubyt = Kom Ombo / The oldest remains date to the First Intermediate Period, although the city was most prominent during Ptolemaic times.

Abu = Elephantine / First settled before the 1st Dynasty.

Pawareq = Philae, Coptic Pilak

Sunnu, Swentet = Aswan

Baki = Quban / The fortress dates to the 12th Dynasty.

Pselqet = el-Dakka

Buhen = By the Second Cataract / This site was an Egyptian trading colony by the Old Kingdom.

Sekhet Amit Oasis, "Field of Date Palms" = Siwa Oasis / This distant oasis was more Libyan than Egyptian throughout much of its history. Alexander the Great later went to this oasis.

Meht Oasis, Ouhat Meht, "Oasis of the North" = Bahariya Oasis, Bahriya / Its oldest surviving monuments date to the New Kindgom. Wine production was a popular activity at this oasis.

Ta-Ahet Oasis, Ta-iht = Farafra Oasis / Inhabited by prehistoric times. Cattle was raised here. This oasis has the largest depression of any oasis.

Tchesti Oasis, Inner Oasis, Desdes = el-Dakhla Oasis / First settled in prehistoric times. The oasis town of Balat dates to the Old Kingdom.

Uaht Rest Oasis, Kenmet, Outer or Southern Oasis = el-Kharga Oasis / Inhabited during the Paleolithic. Hebet/Hibis was the capital of the Oasis.

Back to the Ta Sety Nome


Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt, John Baines and Jaromir Malek, New York: Checkmark Books/ Facts on File, 2000.

A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Margaret Bunson, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Egyptian Mythology A to Z: A Young Reader's Companion

Local Identity in globalized world - The Western Desert Oases: Siwa, Bahriyah, Farafra, Dakhla, Kharga (Egypt), by Magdalena Zagrzejewska Fiedorowicz, 30th IsoCaRP Congress 2003.

Makara's Definitions from I to Z

Nomes, cities, and sites

Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Ian Shaw, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt - Bill Manley

Last Updated November 30, 2009