El-Baqliya is a small village to the south of el-Mansura in the eastern Delta to the west of Tell el-Rub’a (Mendes). This was once the ancient town of Ba’h, known to the Greeks as Hermopolis Parva and capital of the 15th Lower Egyptian Nome. This town should not be confused with another Hermopolis Parva (modern Damanhur) in the western Delta, which was capital of the 3rd Lower Egyptian Nome. Hermopolis was the name given to cities associated with the god Thoth (Greek Hermes) the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and writing. El-Baqliya was known as an important cult centre of Thoth during the Late and Graeco-Roman Periods.

Nothing remains of the town today, which was levelled completely during the 20th century. There were three low mounds which marked the sites around el-Baqliya. One of the mounds, called Tell el-Naqus, probably covered the town of Hermopolis Parva and the Temple of Thoth. It’s Arabic name ‘Mound of the Bell’ is derived from the bell-shaped column capital which was found there with a few other scattered remains. Although never properly excavated the mound contained the outlines of a large enclosure measuring 350m by 384m. Blocks found nearby contain the names of Dynasty XXVI kings Psamtek I Wahibre and Apries Haaibre, who presumably contributed to the decoration of the monuments, as well as fragments of a statue of Ahmose II Khnemibre. There is so far no evidence of structures at el-Baqliya before the New Kingdom.

A nearby mound at Tell el-Zereiki probably covers the necropolis of Hermopolis Parva which included an ibis cemetery dating to the Late Period.

How to get there

The village of el-Baqliya is on the eastern side of the Damietta branch of the Nile about 10km south-west of el-Mansura, on the road from el-Mansura to el-Simbellawein. There are no visible remains today.

~ by Su on March 3, 2009.