Qurna and Napoleon

The villagers of Qurna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor claim their village was founded 100 years after the Arabic conquest of Egypt in the 7th century AD. I’ve been investigating and validating this claim. The village was already old when Napoleon’s scientific expedition arrived in Egypt on the 10th May 1798. The report of this was published in several, large illustrated volumes. This map from Volume two shows the whole region, including the village clearly marked in the approach to the Temple of Hatshepsut (then undiscovered). The central mound marked “Hypogee ou Syringe” is Sheikh abu Qurna and is so named in the contents page to the volume, as is Dra’ abu al Naga. “Hypogées ou Syringe” is an early French archaeological term for Gallery Tomb – this hill and the lower enclosure known as Al Assasif is the location for a large number of tombs of ancient Egyptian nobility – Sennefer, Senenmut et al.

Qournah

In above smaller image the same area is labeled “Gde Grotte ou syringe”. You can see more detail in the larger map below: The basic outlines of the village is shown east of the monument marked “Palace” – which is actually the remains of the mortuary chapel of Sety I. The village well (French: Puits) is shown. The French surveyor has only shown the village in outline as two small blocks. Judging by these maps the village was smaller and has since expanded in all directions (Details on other maps (ie. Luxor) seem to give more prominence to archaeological features than accurate representation of contemporary dwellings).

qurna_bony-007

Source: Description de l’Egypt, 1988 facsimili of original edition 1809 – [Description de L’Égypt ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont étè faite en egypt pendant l’expedition de l’armie Francais. Publie par les ordres de sa majeste L’empereur Napoleon Le Grand.]

I’d welcome any suggestions or older citations or maps. I’m currently looking at Georges Sandys the early 17th century english explorer
email them to me (mandox2000{@}yahoo.com

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