The remains of this ancient city are only 8 kilometers (5
miles) north of Mallawi city and some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south
The city was a center for the cult of ibis-headed Thoth,
god of wisdom, healing and writing. It was known as Khumun
in ancient times and was later associated with Greek god Hermes,
hence the name of Hermopolis. The Arabs called it Al-Ashmunein,
a corruption of Khumun.
The city was constructed by kings of various eras: Pharaonic,
and the recent modification was done by Copts.
Among the remains are massive statues of god Thoth (See Image
1). The most standing monument is a 5th century Christian
basilica built over a Roman agora marked with 24 columns.
To the north of the basilica lies the debris of the Thoth