You are on page 1of 6

Nomes of Egypt

Ancient Egypt was divided into Nomes, or administrative unites, that survived with minor changes up to
the invasion of the Arabs in the seventh century CE. Generally it is assumed there were 42 of them 22 in Upper
Egypt and 20 in Lower Egypt. During the Old and Middle Kingdoms, a nome was managed by a nomarch or
overseer. His rule, strengthened by the pharaoh sometimes became a rival to the central rule. Sometimes an
increase in the significance of a nome together with the ambitions of the nomarch ruling it lead to the downfall of
the reign and its breakup into smaller provinces, usually fighting against each other. This occurred especially during
the Intermediate Periods when various nomarchs usurped their right to the crown. Some of the nomarchs had given
rise to strong dynasties that gained rule of the country.
This is a list and description of Egypts nomes. The locations of some of them are not known. Known
ones are located on the maps by their number.
KEY: Number, Name, Capital or chief city, (if shown on map) (modern city name)
I White Wall; MEMPHIS (map) (Mit Rahina)
During long periods of Egyptian history this city was capital of the land. Cult center of the god Ptah,
accompanying goddess Sakhmet and their son Nefertum (Memphite Triad). Necropolises of the city are
in Saqqara, cult center of the god Sokaris.
II Thigh; Letopolis (Kom Ausim)
Capital of the nome. Cult center of the god Hert, worshipped in the form of sitting ram (in other cities
also a bull or lion). The city was also the cult center of Isis and Horus the Old.
IIIa Occident: Hermopolis Parva (map) (Damanhur)
Capital of the nome until the 4th century BCE.
IIIb Occident: ALEXANDRIA (map)
Capital of Ptolemaic Egypt.
IV South Shield: Sapi-Res
Cult center of Sobek, Isis and Amon.
Va North Shield: Sais (map) (San el-Hagar)
Capital of the nome. In the Late Period also capital of Egypt. Greek trade center. Temple of goddess
Neith.
Vb North Shield: Buto (map)
The city was created from the fusion of two others; Pe and Dep. Cult center of the goddess Uto, later also
Isis. According to Herodotus in Persian times the famous oracle was here.
VI Hill Bull; Xois (map) (Sakha)
Important cult center of Amon-Re. According to Manetho the seat of Dynasty XIX.
VIIa Western Harpoon; Metelis
Same as IIIa. City from period of rule of Ramesses II.
VIIb Naucratis ? (map)
Ionian colony and harbor. Important trade center since Saitic period, also known for iron production. The
city was dedicated to Horus who was presented as the solar disc with wings and two uraeus.
VIII Eastern Harpoon; Pithom (map) (Tell el-Maskhuta)
The city raised by Ramesses II, located at the canal joining the Nile with the Bitter Lakes. Capital of the
nome and cult center of Atum. According to the Bible, the Israelites were imprisoned here the Land of
Goshen.
IX Andjety; Busiris, or Taposiris Magna (map) (Abusir Bana)
Primarily the cult center of Osiris Andjety (or Andjeti), later also of Isis. Necropolis of animals. From
here comes the famous pillar Djed, symbolizing the trunk of a cut down tree.
X Black Bull; Athribis (map) (Benha)
Cult center of Horus, crocodile Khenty-Khenty and black bull Kemur. Temple raised by Ahmose. The city
gained great economical significance under the Romans.
XIa Hesbe Bull; Leontopolis (Tell el-Mokdam)
Capital of nome in Ptolemaic Period. Cult center of Horus, worshipped as a lion.
XIb Hesbe Bull; Leontopolis (Tell el-Jahudiya)
Cult center of a couple of ancient gods Shu (air) and Tefnet (moisture), presented as lions.
XIc Hesbe Bull; Farbajthos (Horbejt)

NOMES of UPPER EGYPT

XII Veal and Cow; SEBENNYTHOS (map) (Semanud)


Home city of Manetho. Temple of Onuris. Capital of Egypt under Dynasty XXX.
XIII Strong King; Heliopolis (map) (el-Matariya)
Solar city, cult center of Re-Horakhte, bull Mnevis, Atum-Re. Politically and religiously one of the most
significant centers in the land. Place where the legendary stone Benben was found.
XIVa Eastern Standard; Pelusium (map) (Tell Farama)
City located at Pelusian river arm stopover place for the Egyptian army before its Asiatic campaigns. It is
presumably the nomes capital.
XIVb Eastern Standard; Sile (Tell Abu Safa)
XV Ibis; Hermopolis (map) (Tel Baklija, Aszmunein)
Cult center of Thot (Hermes Trismegistos) with numerous graveyards for ibises.
XVIa Jumpin Fish; MENDES (map) (Tema el-Amdid)
Capital of the nome and cult center of Osiris. Capital of Egypt under Dynasty XXIX.
XVIb Jumping Fish; Tmuis
Capital nome and important economical center during the Roman period.
XVII Trone; Diospolis Parva (map) (Tell el-Balamun)
Cult center of Horus (Horus of Behet) and Amon-Re

XVIII Royal Children Superior; BUBASTIS (map) (Tell Basta)


Cult center of the goddess Basted with a necropolis of cats. The city was the seat of Libyan Dynasty XXII
and at that time also the capital of Egypt.
XIXa Royal Children Inferior; (map) (Tell Nabasha)
XIXb Royal Children Inferior; TANIS, or Awaris (map) (Sen el-Hagar)
Capital of Egypt under Dynasty XXI and Libyan Dynasty XXII. Important trade harbor with Asia. Center
of Linen. The city was raised by Ramesses II and designed as the administrative center of the land.
XX Sopdu; Soped, or Fakussa (map) (Saft el-Henna, Fakus)
Cult center of the god Sopdu and accompanying him the goddesses Khensit and Shesemtet.

NOMES of MIDDLE EGYPT


XXIa Bow; Philae
Nile island with the famous sacral comples of Isis and Hathor dated to the 3rd century BCE.
XXIb Bow; Syene (map) (Asuan = Aswan?)
One of the most important cities in ancient Egypt with strategic location at the Nubian boundary. Here are
buildings that date to the first dynasties. There are famous granite and alabaster quarries.

XXIc Bow; Ombos (map) (Tukh, or Kom Ombo)


Nome capital in the Ptolemaic Period with temples of Sobek and Horus from the 2nd century BCE.
XXId Bow; ELEPHANTINE (map) (Gasirat al-Asuan)
Nome capital and boundary bastion erected on the island. Temples of Khnum (Nektanebo II) and Satet
(New Kingdom) and the famous Nilometer discovered in 1822.
XXII Trone of Horus; Apollinopolis Magna, or Edfou
Mastabas date to the Old Kingdom. Center of worship of Horus; temple is from Ptolemaic Period.
XXIIIa Nekhen; Eileithyiaspolis, or Elkab (map)
Nome capital in the times of the New Kingdom. Cult center of the goddesses Nekhbet and Thot with their
temples. The temple of Nektanebo is here and the ruined temple of Thutmosis III. There are numerous
rock tombs of nobles.
XXIIIb Nekhen; Hierakonpolis (map) (Kom el-Ahmar)
Temple of Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Period. First capital of the nome in ? Cult center of Horus
and the goddess Nekhbet who is the personification of the white crown. The Temple of Nekhbet was
erected by Amenhotep II and extended by Ramesses II. The temple of Thot was built in the times of
Thutmosis III.
XXIIIc Nekhen; Latopolis (Esna)
Capital of the nome during Nekhens domination. Cult center of Neith and Khnum. The temple dates to
the Ptolemaic Roman period.
XXIVa Waset; Diospolis Magna, THEBES (map) (Luxor or Karnak)
Capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. Cult center of Amon. Largest temple complex on the eastern
side of the Nile with temples of Amon, Mut and Khonsu (Theban triad). There are also temples of Ptah and
Apet (the goddess worshipped as the mother of Osiris). On the western side of the river is the area called
Western Thebes, with numerous necropolises, funerary temples and the famous Valleys of Kings and
Queens.
XXIVb Waset; (map) (Medinet Habu)
Mortuary temple of Ramesses II and small temples of Hatshepshut and Thutmosis III.
XXIVc Waset; Hermonthis (map) (Armant)
Capital of the nome up to Dynasty XVII. Temple of Montu worshipped as the bull Bukhis. Has the
Bukheum, the necropolis of bulls; Bukhises.
XXIVd Waset; Pathyris, or Aphoditopolis (map) (Gebelein)
A Theban district. Cult center of Thot.
XXIVe Waset; Tuphium (map) (Tod)
A Theban district. Cult center of Thot.
XXVa Two Falcons; Apollinopolis Parva (Kus)
During Roman times named Dioclecianopolis and in Coptic Kus Berbir.
XXVb Two Falcons; Koptos (map) (Kuft)
Capital of the nome. Its main deities are Min, Isis and Horus. It was a significant economical center of
Upper Egypt that connected the Nile Valley through Wadi Hammamat with the Red Sea (Kosejr).
XXVI Crocodile; Tenthyris (map) (Dendera)
Capital of the nome with remainders of the temples of Hathor, Isis and others. The temples of Mammisi
(temple of the birth) of Nektanebo and another one date to the Roman Period.
XXVII Sistrum; Diospolis Parva, or Hiw (map)
Known as the City of Sistrum. Cult center of the goddess Bat, assimilated with Hathor during the first
dynasties.
XXVIIIa Large Land; Osiris, ABYDOS (map)
Abydos served as the necropolis for This, the nearby capital of the first dynasties. Became growing center
of the cult of Osiris since Dynasty VI and later of Khenty Amentiu. Under Dynasty XIX Seti I erected a
temple devoted to his father, Ramesses I, and started to build his own morturary temple. Ramesses II also
built a small mortuary temple here. Here were found two famous tables, the monuments being fundamental
for assigning the chronology of Egyptian rulers.
XXVIIIb Large Land; Thinis (map) (Girga)
Capital of the nome, also of the country during the first dynasties.

NOMES of UPPER EGYPT


XXIXa Min; Khemmis Panopolis (Akhmim)
Capital of the nome and one of the most important cities in Upper Egypt. Temple of Min and center of
fertility worship.
XXIXb Athribis (Wanina)
XXX Wadjet (cobra); Antaeopolis (map) (Kaw el-Kebir)
Cult center of Seth from Tjebu. Home of queen Tiji, wife of Amenhotep III.
XXXI Tjay; Hypselis
Capital of the smallest of Egyptian nomes. Temples of Seth and Maat are here.
XXXII Viper; Hypselis
Capital of the nome. Cult of the gods Anti and Khnum was developing here in times of Ramesses II. Rock
tombs of nobles are here from Dynasty VI with beautiful decorations representing daily life during the Old
Kingdom.
XXXIII Nedjefet Khentet; Lycopolis (Asyut)
Capital of the nome playing a significant role during the First Intermediate Period and during the conflict of
Theban nobles and Herakleopolitan kings. Cult center of Anubis and Wepwawet. Important shipping point
located on the east-west caravan route. Rock tombs date to Dynasty XII.

XXXIVa Nedjefet Pehetet; Cusae (map) (el-Kusiya)


Necropolis with tombs of local nobles from the Middle Kingdom.
XXXIVb Nedjefet Pehetet; (map) (el-Amarna)
Cult of the gods Thot and Ogdoada near Ashmunein. It is later also center of the cult of Aton. Capital of
the country during the Amarna period with temples of the solar cult.
XXXVa Hare; Antinoupolis (map) (Shejkh Abada)
Temple erected here by Ramesses II.
XXXVb Hare; Hermopolis Magna (map) (Aszmunein)
Capital of the nome. The biggest center of the cult of Thot with his temple dating to the Middle and New
Kingdoms. 6 km east, in Tuna el-Gebel, is a necropolis that dates to the Late Period with numerous tombs
and chapels, among others of Petosiris, the high prist of Thot during the 4th century BCE.
XXXVc Hare; Hur
XXXVIa Oryx; (el-Minia)
Important economic center of contemporary Egypt.
XXXVIb Oryx; (map) (Kom el-Ahmar)
Capital of the nome. Cult center of Ramesses II with his temple. There is a chapel in a cave of the lion
goddess Pakhet, the daughter of Re. The necropolis holds 19 tombs of nobles, among others a tomb of
Nefer-Sekeru, the great royal scribe.
XXXVII Anupu; Cynopolis (map)
Temple of Anubis and a necropolis of dogs.
XXXVIII Anty; Ankyronpolis (map) (el-Hiba)
There are two temples here; Anti and Sakhmet, erected by Sheshonq. Tombs here date to Dynasty XII.
Numerous findings of precious jewelry have been recorded.
XXXIX Wab; Oxyrynkhos (map) (el-Bahnasa)
Capital of the nome. Arose to great significance during the Ptolemaic Period.
XL Laurel Superior; HERACLEOPOLIS (map) (Ehnasije el-Medine)
Capital of the nome. Became capital of Egypt during Heracleopolitan Period and was a residence of the
kings of Dynasties IX and X. Cult center of the ram-god Harsafes whose temple, built by Ramesses II,
was discovered in 1892-93 by Neville. During the First Intermediate Period the city gained some
importance as its nomarchs became significant rulers.
XLIa Laurel Inferior; (map) (Meidum)
At western side of the Nile is a pyramid and funerary complex of king Snofru.
XLIb Laurel Inferior; Crokodilopolis, or Arsinoe (Medinet el-Fayum)
Capital of nome. Cult center of Sobek and Hathor.
XLIIa Metenut; (el-Lisht)
Capital of Egypt at times during Dynasty XII. Amenemhat I and Senweseret I ordered the building of their
pyramid-tombs nearby. Also here is found the mastaba of Senweseret-Ankh, the high priest of Ptah and
royal architect.
XLIIb Metenut; Aphroditopolis (map) (Atfih)
Cult center of Hathor (Aphrodite during the Greek Period).