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Rock tombs at Beni Hassan, Middle Egypt date from the Middle Kingdom dynasties XI (2060-1991 BCE) and XII (1991-1782 BCE) and rank among the most important monuments of Ancient Egypt. They were built for the dignitaries of Menat-Khufu, one of the oldest place names recorded in ancient Egypt. The tomb walls are decorated with mural paintings executed on rocky walls made smooth with plaster. These paintings are radidly deteriorating and most reproductions are from paintings of the originals. This painting, from the tomb of Khnumenhotep, the Mayor of Menat-Khufu, shows him using a large draw net to capture marsh fowl. The basic sources of animal protein for Ancient Egyptians were wild fowl and fish. A multitude of bird species inhabited the reed beds along the Nile, far more in dynastic times than today. They included ducks, geese, finches, egrets, storks, ibis, cranes and red-breasted goose which is no longer found in Egypt.

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Photograph taken in 1989.



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    Credit: Carole Reeves

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