Welcome to Kheny

(Gebel el Silsila)

Kheny (or Khenu/Kheni) is so named because it is "The Place of Rowing". The steep sandstone cliffs along the Nile narrow at this point and present a barrier to river traffic. The city is located 65 km north of Swenet (Aswan) and is about 35 miles south of Djeba (Edfu) in the neighboring nome. It is about 100 miles from Waset (Thebes), whose buildings are built with sandstone from Kheny.

On the west bank, Haremhab built a rock-cut chapel dedicated to the local crocodile god Sobek and to himself (Haremhab), as well as other deities. Other rock-cut shrines were built by Sety I, Ramesses II, Merneptah, and various 18th Dynasty officials.

Local quarries on the east bank have been in use since the 18th Dynasty. Kheny is especially known for its yellow sandstone quarries. Most of the sandstone used in Ipet-Isut (Karnak) comes from Kheny. During a major building project, 10 ships can carry 64 blocks of Kheny sandstone to Waset every day.

In addition, both river banks are full of rock stelae and graffiti.

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Sources:

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

Ramses II: Magnificence on the Nile, Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1993.

Last Updated November 30, 2009