During the periods preceding the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Fayum was most prominent in the Middle Kingdom (2025-1700 BC). In the Ptolemaic Period, the Fayum was one of the main regions where Greeks settled.
The Ptolemies founded a number of towns around the Fayum lake. Although some of them are of considerable size, none of them had the administrative status of a city (polis). These sites continued to flourish into the mid and late first millennium AD. They are often well preserved (including organic material such as wood and papyrus), and therefore they are an important source for settlement plans and architecture, and daily life objects, especially of the late Roman and Byzantine Periods. However, many of these sites were excavated by researchers hunting exclusively for papyri; little attention was paid to other finds.
wooden picture | Hawara | Karanis
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