Qift

Encyclopedia

qift

agricultural town, Qina muhafazah (governorate), Upper Egypt. It is situated at the large bend of the Nile north of Luxor (al-Uqsur) and lies along the east bank of the river. Known to the ancient Egyptians as Qebtu, the town was of early dynastic foundation. It was important for nearby gold and quartzite mines in the Eastern Desert, worked during the 1st and 2nd dynasties, and as a starting point for expeditions to Punt (in modern Somalia). Qebtu was associated with the god Min (temple ruins remain) and the goddess Isis, who, according to legend, found part of Osiris' body there. Destroyed in AD 292 by Diocletian, Qift later became a Christian community, lending its name to the Coptic Christians of Egypt and also to Egypt, via the Greek name Aegyptos. Important as a medieval caravan trade centre, the town is now known chiefly for its ruins. The famous road to the Red Sea, via Wadi Hammamat, that made the town important starts just to the east at the desert edge. Pop. (latest est.) 15,000.

Learn more about Qift with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: qic
Next Definition: qigong
Words Near: qift
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for qift
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing qift
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature