AT a point on the east bank of the Nile, about 190 miles, by river, south of Cairo, and nearly 300 miles north of Thebes, the eastern mountains, which from Mellawi to Manfalut rise so directly from the river-bank as to leave no room for cultivation or habitation, recede for a distance of about six miles, and leave a small plain between the Nile and the rising ground having a maximum breadth of three miles. Within this little bay of the hills lie several Arab villages, et-Til, Hagg Qandil, el-Amarieh, Hawata, and Qoser. On the west bank lies another village which still retains the name of the Arab tribe, the Beni Amran, which in 1737 settled down here on both sides of the river. From this tribe the district early acquired the name of "el-Amarna," and the Danish traveller Norden, who visited the neighbourhood in 1737, says that the natives used the name" Bene Amraen " or " Omarne" to describe the whole tract in which the villages named are situated. From the name of the village, et-Til, it was an easy step to the corruption (in this case) " Tell," and Wilkinson was the first to apply this corruption to the Amarna part of the name, and to make up the title Tell el-Amarna. Really the name Tell
is a misnomer, as there is nothing of the nature of a true Tell, or mound, at the spot, and indeed the complete title is a kind of portmanteau word which cannot be justified on any grounds whatever; but it has become so firmly rooted in general use that any attempt to depart from it would only result in confusion. "Tell el-Amarna," says N. de Garis Davies, "is now a name as familiar to the visitor as it is strange to the inhabitants."