Al-Kab, on the East Bank of the Nile, is the site of an impressive though imperfectly preserved town, temple area, and tombs. The site was first inhabited around 6,000 BC and occupied thereafter. It was sacred to the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt, Nekhbet—the ancient name of al-Kab is Nekheb. Nekheb was allied with the town of Nekhen on the West Bank of the Nile (modern Kom al-Ahmar).
The town of Nekheb is enclosed by a massive mud-brick wall and includes houses, the principal Temple of Nekhbet, smaller temples, a sacred lake, and some early cemeteries, which are rather difficult to make out. About 400 yards north of the town are several rock-cut tombs that date primarily from the New Kingdom, although there are some earlier tombs as well. The most famous are those of Ahmose Pennekhbet, Ahmose son of Ibana, and Paheri. The first two are noted for their historical texts, which discuss the capture of the Hyksos capital Avaris and various military
campaigns of the pharaohs of the early New Kingdom. The Tomb of Paheri is noted for its scenes, especially the small scene of a herd of pigs. Some distance into the wadis are the rock-cut Sanctuary of Shesmetet, a chapel, and a small Temple of Hathor and Nekhbet (these are not always open).