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The site came to prominence when the rulers of the 9th/10th (Herakleopolitan) Dynasty used it as a royal residence. While the town maintained its importance, it was during the Third Intermediate Period that the local kings were again located here. The remains of the temple of Harsaphes lie southwest of the modern village, the earliest construction dates to the 12th Dynasty, with the temple being rebuilt during the rule of Ramesses II in the 18th Dynasty.
Catalogue of Egyptian antiquities : found by Prof. Flinders Petrie at Ehnasya, Dr. Naville & Mr Hall at Deir el Bahri and Drs Grenfell & Hunt at Oxyrhynchus (Egypt Exploration Fund), Mr Loat at Gurob and drawings from tombs at Saqqara by Misses Murray, Hansard & Mothersole (Egyptian Research Account), 1904 ; exhibited at University College, London, July 4th to 30th. 1904. London.
Fraser, George Willoughby and Newberry, Percy (eds). 1891. The season's work at Ahnas and Beni Hasan: 1890-1891. London: Gilbert & Rivington.
Naville, Edouard, J. J. Tylor, and F. Ll. Griffith 1894. Ahnas el Medineh (Heracleopolis Magna): with chapters on Mendes, the nome of Thoth, and Leontopolis / The tomb of Paheri at El Kab. Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund 11. London: Egypt Exploration Fund.
Petrie, W. M. Flinders 1905. Ehnasya: 1904. Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund 26. London: Egypt Exploration Fund.