KEN A, or KENEH (sometimes written Qina), a town of Upper Egypt on a canal about a mile E. of the Nile and 380 m. S.S.E. of Cairo by rail. Pop. (1907), 20,069. Kena, the capital of a province of the same name, was called by the Greeks Caene or Caenepolis (probably the Nej TroXw of Herodotus; see AKHMIM) in distinction from Coptos (<?..), 15 m. S., to whose trade it eventually succeeded. It is a remarkable fact that its modern name should be derived from a purely Greek word, like Iskenderia from Alexandria, and Nekrash from Naucratis; in the absence of any known Egyptian name it seems to point to Kena having originated in a foreign settlement in connexion with the Red Sea trade. It is a flourishing town, specially noted for the manufacture of the porous water jars and bottles used throughout Egypt. The clay for making them is obtained from a valley north of Kena. The pottery is sent down the Nile in specially constructed boats. Kena is also known for the excellence of the dates sold in its bazaars and for the large colony of dancing girls who live there. It carries on a trade in grain and dates with Arabia, via Kosseir on the Red Sea, 100 m. E. in a direct line. This inconsiderable traffic is all that is left of the extensive commerce formerly maintained chiefly via Berenice and Coptos between Upper Egypt and India and Arabia. The road to Kosseir is one of great antiquity. It leads through the valley of Hammamat, celebrated for its ancient breccia quarries and deserted gold mines. During the British operations in Egypt in 1801 Sir David Baird and his force marched along this road to Kena, taking sixteen days on the journey from Kosseir.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)