Madinet Madi Archaeological site is located in a small hill of a strategic position guarding the southwestern entrance to the Fayoum about 35 km far from Medinet El-Fayoum. The town was called Dj3 in Hieroglyphs, while during the Greek period it was identified as Narmouthis (Bresciani, 1980). The name Madi, which means “City of the Past”, seems to have originated from the Arab existence. A document, dates back to the ninth century AD., has been found in the site mentioning Madi as the name of the site
The Middle Kingdom Temple and Its Extensions
The temple which is considered one of the most important temples in the Fayoum region due to its reasonable state of preservation and the existence of relieves on some of its walls and columns, was dedicated to the triad Sobek(the crocodile god), Renunutet (serpent goddess of harvest) and Horus of Shedet. During the Greco-Roman period it was consecrated to Isis (Thermounis) and Soknopaios (Soos, 1986).
The temple was originally built in the 12th dynasty by Kings Amenemhat III and IV. It was then restored during the 19th dynasty. During the Ptolemaic period many addition have been established to the northern and the southern sides of the Middle Kingdom temple (Bresciani, 1980). The temple’s inner chambers , made of dark sandstone, are the oldest part of the temple and a rare model of a Middle Kingdom monumental construction. This part is rather small, with a two Papyrus columned portico leading into a sanctuary with three shrines occupying the rear. The middle shrine once housed a large statue of Renenutet, with Amenemhet III and IV standing on either side of her.
The Ptolemaic extension of the temple included the processional way to the south with its lions and sphinxes (in both Egyptian and Greek style), which passed through a columned kiosk which eventually leads to the older two columned portico.
It was probably Ptolemy IX Soter II who also added three courtyards, along with other expansion elements. Dating back to the Graeco-Roman period, the temple contains also a few relieves and hieroglyphic inscriptions .
The visitor center and the Eco-lodge at Medinet Madi
This new structure provides visitors with an overall picture of the history of the Medinet Madi site and of the Fayoum and also offers the possibility to rest for a while or even spend the night a short distance from the ancient ruins.