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El Faiyum Oasis Sightseeing Information

El-fayoum, Egypt


When the Mediterranean Sea was a hot dry hollow near the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the late Miocene, Faiyum was a dry hollow, and the Nile flowed past it at the bottom of a canyon (which was 8000 feet deep or more (where Cairo is today). After the Mediterranean reflooded at the end of theMiocene, the Nile canyon became an arm of the sea reaching inland further than Aswan. Over geological time that sea arm gradually filled with silt and became the Nile valley.
Eventually the Nile valley bed silted up high enough to let the Nile in flood overflow into the Faiyum hollow and make a lake in it. The lake is first recorded from about 3000 BC, around the time of Menes (Narmer). However, for the most part it would only be filled with high flood waters. The lake was bordered byneolithic settlements, and the town of Crocodilopolis grew up on the south where the higher ground created a ridge. The Fayoum Oasis. One hour far from Cairo , where you can find one of the biggest Oasis all over the world , 60 KM. X 70 KM. The small City of Al Fayoum very characterized with nature views , Their Old Water Wheel , in total we talk about 7 of them most of them are working to carry the water from one side to the other one. Very typical to take a horse car ridding where you can go inside some of the very much farms over there. Do not to forget to walk in the fruits and vegetables market. A perfect road can drive you from Cairo to Fayoum. it is fantastic and amazing its suitable for romantic and family trips , you can enjoy the view and the weather is perfect their because of the water and green area surrounding it , I’m sure that you will be interested in this area both lovers and the members of a big families as it is a perfect place for school trips so much 
In 2300 BC, the waterway from the Nile to the natural lake was widened and deepened to make a canal which is now known as the Bahr Yussef. This canal fed into the lake. This was meant to serve three purposes: control the flooding of the Nile, regulate the water level of the Nile during dry seasons, and serve the surrounding area with irrigation. There is evidence of ancient Egyptian pharaohs of the twelfth dynasty using the natural lake of Faiyum as a reservoir to store surpluses of water for use during the dry periods. The immense waterworks undertaken by the ancient Egyptian pharaohs of the twelfth dynastyto transform the lake into a huge water reservoir gave the impression that the lake itself was an artificial excavation, as reported by classic geographers and travellers . The lake was eventually abandoned due to the nearest branch of the Nile dwindling in size from 230 BC. Faiyum was known to the ancient Egyptians as the twenty-first nome of Upper Egypt, Atef-Pehu("Northern Sycamore"). In ancient Egyptian times, its capital was Sh-d-y-t (usually written "Shedyt"), called by the Greeks Crocodilopolis, and refounded by Ptolemy II as Arsinoe. This region has the earliest evidence for farming in Egypt, and was a center of royal pyramid and tomb-building in the Twelfth dynasty of the Middle Kingdom, and again during the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Faiyum became one of the breadbaskets of the Roman world. For the first three centuries AD, the people of Faiyum and elsewhere in Roman Egypt not only embalmed their dead but also placed a portrait of the deceased over the face of the mummy wrappings, shroud or case. The Egyptians continued their practice of burying their dead, despite the Roman preference forcremation. Preserved by the dry desert environment, these Faiyum portraits make up the richest body of portraiture to have survived from antiquity. They provide us with a window into a remarkable society of peoples of mixed origins —Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Libyans and others — that flourished 2,000 years ago in Faiyum. 
The Faiyum portraits were painted on wood in a pigmented wax technique calledencaustic. In the late first millennium AD, the arable area shrank, and settlements around the edge of the basin were abandoned. These sites include some of the best-preserved from the late Roman Empire, notablyKaranis, and from the Byzantine and early Arab Periods, though recent redevelopment has greatly reduced the archaeological features. For late-period Ancient Egyptian names of the Faiyum oasis and places within it, see . "Colonial-type" village names (villages named after towns elsewhere in Egypt and places outside Egypt) show that much land was brought into cultivation in the Faiyum in the Greek and Roman periods. 
  There are, especially in the neighborhood of the lake, many ruins of ancient villages and cities. Mounds north of the city of Faiyum mark the site of Crocodilopolis. In January 2008, Egypt's supreme council of antiquities announced the discovery of an ancient city of farmers dating back to 5200 BC. The site, which probably sat at the edge of Faiyum lake at the time, is still largely buried in the sand, although excavations have revealed walls and houses built of terracotta and limestone, along with foundations of ovens and grain stores.  
Birket Qarun lake
  In the Faiyum oasis is Birket Qarun (Arabic for Lake of Qarun), which abounds in fish, notably bulti, of which considerable quantities are sent to Cairo. In ancient times this lake was much larger, and theancient Greeks and Romans called it Lake Moeris.  
Cities and Towns
Faiyum Coptic: is a city in Middle Egypt and the capital of the Faiyum Governorate. It is located 130 km southwest of Cairo and occupies part of the ancient site of Crocodilopolis. Its name in English is also spelled as Fayum, Fayoum, Al Fayyum or El Faiyūm. was previously officially named Madīnet el Faiyūm (Arabic for The City of Faiyum). The name Faiyum (and its spelling variations) may also refer to the Faiyum Oasis, although it is commonly used by Egyptians today to refer to the city. 
• 1 Etymology 
• 2 Modern city 
• 3 Faiyum mummy portraits 
• 4 Famous Sites 
• 5 Notable people 
• 6 See also 
• 7 References 
• 8 External 
links Etymology pA-y-m (Faiyum) in hieroglyphs The modern name of the city comes from Coptic efiom/peiom (whence the proper name payom), meaning the Sea or the Lake, which in turn comes from late Egyptian pA y-m of the same meaning, a reference to the nearby Lake Moeris. Modern city Faiyum has several large bazaars, mosques,] baths and a much-frequented weekly market. The canal called Bahr Yussef runs through the city, its banks lined with houses. There are two bridges over the river: one of three arches, which carries the main street and bazaar, and one of two arches, over which is built the Qaitbay mosque, that was a gift from his wife to honor the Mamluk Sultan in Fayoum. Mounds north of the city mark the site of Arsinoe, known to the ancient Greeks as Crocodilopolis, where in ancient times the sacred crocodile kept in Lake Moeris was worshipped. The center of the city is on the canal, with the four waterwheels, that are adopted by the governorate of Fayoum as its national symbol, their chariots and bazaars are easy to spot. Faiyum mummy portraits [caption id="attachment_325" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Portrait of a man, ca. 125-150 AD.. on wood; 37 x 20 cm."][/caption] Faiyum is the source of some famous death masks or mummy portraits painted during the Roman occupation of the area. The Egyptians continued their practice of burying their dead, despite the Roman preference for cremation. While under the control of the Roman Empire, Egyptian death masks were painted on wood in a pigmented wax technique called encaustic—the Faiyum mummy portraits represent this technique. While commonly believed to represent Greek settlers in Egypt, the Faiyum portraits instead reflect the complex synthesis of the predominant Egyptian culture and that of the elite Greek minority in the city. Undisputed remains of early anthropoids date from the late Eocene and early Oligocene, about 34 million years ago, in the Fayyum area, southwest of Cairo, Egypt. One of the earliest fossil primates at Fayum is Catopithecus, dating to around 35 million years ago       
Famous Sites 
• Qasr Qarun, located 44 km from the city 
• Qaitbay Mosque, located in the city, and was built by the wife of the Mamluk Sultan Qaitaby 
• Hanging Mosque, built under the Ottoman Rule over Egypt 
• Lahun Pyramids, located 4 km outside the city 
• Hawara, archeological site located 27 km from the city 
• Wadi Rayan, or Wadi Elrayan, the largest waterfalls in Egypt, located around 50 km from the city Notable people Tefta Tashko-Koço, well known Albanian singer was born in Faiyum, where her family lived at that time. See also 
• Crocodilopolis 
• Faiyum mummy portraits 
• Faiyum Governorate 
• Fayum alphabet 
• Lake Moeris 
• Bahr Yussef 
• Roman Egypt 
• Phiomia (an extinct relative of the elephant, named after Faiyum) 
• Wadi Elrayan References 1. ^ The name of the Fayum province. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 2. ^ Faiyum. Eternal Egypt 3. ^ The Mosque of Qaitbey in the Fayoum of Egypt by Seif Kamel 4. ^ The Temple and the Gods, The Cult of the Crocodile 5. ^ History of Encaustic Art 
• The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow: An Intrpenoduction 

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