The Archaeology of the Fayum

Paola Davoli

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571451
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 The Archaeology of the Fayum

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology of the Near East
  • Egyptian Archaeology


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This article discusses the archaeology of the Fayum region, covering land reclamation projects; discoveries and archaeological excavations; layout of Graeco-Roman settlements; and houses of the Roman period. The Fayum was developed in Hellenistic and Roman times to maximize agricultural output, which also led to the foundation and development of several settlements. Although many sites were known by name following the discovery of papyri in the late nineteenth century, early explorations were not well documented or published by the excavators, and considerable damage was wrought by illicit digging and sebakhin activity. Fortunately, a number of ongoing projects, combining archaeology, papyrology, and archival research, are constantly improving our knowledge of Fayum settlements, and in particular the interrelationship between the temple, its dromos, and the residential areas of the towns and villages.

Keywords: Fayum region; Roman period; land reclamation; archaeological excavations; Graeco–Roman settlements

Article.  8665 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East ; Egyptian Archaeology

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