About 6.5 miles (10 km) northeast of Minya are the ruins of an ancient Egyptian town, Tehni, with its necropolis. At the same place there was, it is believed, a town of the Hellenistic period called Achoris, also with its necropolis. There was also a Muslim cemetery. There were Christian anchorites at Achoris very early, as is attested by the HISTORIA MONACHORUM IN AEGYPTO. This work, however, does not say precisely where they had their abode—merely “in the district of Achoris.”
Greek and Coptic inscriptions have been found that prove monastic occupation of the necropolis. On this point, reference may be made to the excavators, who give the plan of the tombs: Ahmad Kamal (pp. 232-341), Lefèbvre and Barri (pp. 141-58), and Lesquier (pp. 132-33). The hypogea have yielded Greek and Coptic inscriptions that have been published by G. Lefèbvre (1903, pp. 369-72; 1907, nos. 117-65). Several are indubitably of monastic origin (1907, nos. 121, 149, 162, 164). Lefèbvre has published three inscriptions, the better part of which are of monastic origin (“Inscriptions chrétiennes,” pp. 92-94).
Two rock temples to the north and to the south were fitted out by the hermits with a prayer niche to the east, a niche serving as a cupboard, holes for the hanging of lamps, and other amenities.
- Festugière, A. J., ed. Historia monachorum in Aegypto. Subsidia Hagiographica 53. Brussels, 1971.
- Kamal, Ahmad, “Fouilles a Tehneh.” Annales du Service des antiquités de l’Egypte 4 (1903):232-41.
- Lefèbvre, G. “Inscriptions chrétiennes du Musée du Caire.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 3 (1903):69-95.
- . “Inscriptions grècques de Tehneh.” Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 27 (1903):369-82.
- . Recueil des incriptions grècques chrétiennes d’Egypte. Cairo, 1907.
- Lefèbvre, G., and L. Barri. “Rapport sur les fouilles executées à Tehneh.” Annales du Service des antiquités de l’Egypte 6 (1905):141-58.
- Lesquier, J. “Fouilles a Tehneh.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 8 (1908):113-33.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.