Although the Tomb of Penout is often listed as an Aswan attraction, it is quite a long way up the Nile River, and visitors will find that it’s actually closer to Abu Simbel than it is to the city of Aswan.
The site where the tomb is located is known as Amada, and it’s become extremely popular due to the outstanding quality of the temples found there. Most of the temples are specifically well known for the many unique and interesting inscriptions to be found on the walls and columns they contain.
The formal Temple of Amada is adjacent to the nearby Temple of Derr, and this too is a splendid example of a rock cut temple built during the reign of Ramessess II. While these two sites alone are well worth a day at the location, there is something even more unique awaiting you.
The Tomb of Penout
If you follow a simple path that leads away from the two temples, you’ll soon find yourself coming face to face with one of the rarest sights in Egypt – a rock cut tomb belonging to a Viceroy of Kush. What makes this particular tomb so fascinating, is the fact that just like the temples nearby, it too was relocated from its original location in order to spare it from the flooding that was caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam during the 1960s.
A Brief History Penout And His Tomb
The tomb is that of Penout who was once a Viceroy of Kush during the reign of Ramesses VI. Visitors to the site will be able to see carvings on the tomb walls in which the Ramesses VI honors his civil servant. The Tomb of Penout was originally located in Aniba or Mi’am; an area which was home to many tombs.
Unfortunately, more than 500 other tombs had to be left behind during the relocation process. In fact, the tomb of Penout is the only remaining one from this era. Many scholars believe that, had the area not been flooded, it would have been very similar to the Valley of the Kings. The only exception being that it was an area totally dedicated to the civil servants of the era, rather than to kings.
Because Penout was also a priest of Horus, his tomb is particularly fine and even contains its very own altar, although the statues which would have once stood on it are now missing. The tomb also features large sections containing inscriptions and carvings, and a number of high quality paintings. Sadly, the tomb itself was robbed and no sign of Pennut’s mummy was ever found.
Visiting The Tomb of Penout
If you are making a visit to Amada during a Lake Nasser cruise, be sure that you take the time to pay a visit to the Tomb of Penout. It is the only extant tomb of its kind and provides a rare glimpse into the way Egyptian rulers honored their civil servants in the afterlife.
It is a surprising lovely tomb and you don’t want to miss it if you have the chance to spend some time exploring its two unique and well preserved rooms. The site can also be reached by road using either private transport or a taxi. As previously mentioned however, it is quite a distance from the city of Aswan, so proper planning is advised.
Explore Upper Egypt and Lake Nasser
If you would like to avoid all the hassle of having to plan your own holiday itinerary when you arrive in Egypt, why not travel Egypt with us. Many of our Nile cruise holidays include a Lake Nasser cruise which stops at the site which is home to the Tomb of Penout. We also offer custom Egypt tours which can be changed and tailored to suit your own individual tastes and budget.
Travelers have been booking their Egypt tours through us for more than half a century already, so we have a pretty good idea of what our customers expect, and our priority is to make sure we deliver.