Karanis “Kom Oshim”

Karanis

Karanis Greaco Roman town, the extensive ruins of Karanis are situated near the modern village of Kom Oshim to the north east of Qarun Lake and more than 30 km north of Medinet El-Fayoum just on Fayoum – Cairo desert road . The ruins of karanis at kom oshem are among the best preserved, and certainly the most easily accessible, of Ptolemaic / Roman town sites in the Fayoum . Karanis was founded in the third century BC by Ptolemy II to provide lodgings for mercenaries of his army camped in the site. Then it became the largest and most important Greco Roman town in the Fayoum. with an original population of some 3.000 people , Karanis continued to prosper for about seven centuries. It began to decline during the fourth and fifth centuries AD.

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The pedestals of Biahmu

Al Sanam -The Idol

The remains of two large stone pedestals that once supported colossi of Amenemhat III stand just north of the small village of Biahmu, some 7 Kilometers north of Fayoum .The two large pedestals somewhat ruinous, but essentially complete stone ,light yellow in color and now partly supported by Department of Antiquities bricks. 

Hawara Pyramid

Sphinx of Amenemhat III
Sphinx of Amenemhat III

 Amenemhet III was the last great ruler of the Middle kingdom as numerous inscriptions on monuments from Syria to the third cataract on Nile testify

Hawara, s historical site is not only famous for its pyramid and its mortuary temple. It’s also famous because in 1888 professor Petrie discovered in the tombs around the pyramid, the first of the famous fayoum portraits, the incredibly lifelike studies that were attached to the mummies of the deceased settlers of roman era in the fayoum. portraits were found in other parts of the fayoum and in other parts of Egypt but most of those we now see in museums around the world were found here at Hawara.

Fayoum Portraits

483383_331148150304740_1116408452_nFayum-24Fayum-89Fayoum Portraits

Mummy portraits or Fayum portraits are the most astonishing body of painting to have come to us from the ancient world, they are remarkable for their  social importance and for their quality as art.

In the late 1880s some mysterious portraits started to reach Western Europe and the United States of America. They came from Egypt’s Fayoum. A large collection was possessed by an Austrian man, Theodor Graf but the better documented ones were found at Hawara by the British archaeologist ,  W.M. Flinders Petrie.

” Fayoum Portraits ” is the name which has given to describe them because more have been found in the Fayoum Oasis than anywhere else in Egypt.

Portrait_du_Fayoum_01a Fayum-46

In technique ; some are painted in encaustic and some in tempera; some are on panel and some on linen ; some show heads only and some entire figures. Some seem to have been painted from life and hung on the wall in frames.