Tebtunis (Umm El-Burigat)

The Lions

Um El Burigat (Place of the Towerlets) is located 30 km from Fayoum city on the southern edge of the province. It is accessible by a track from the road to Wadi El Rayan off Misr – Assiut highway, near the Sugar Factory, Qasr El Basel village.

Houses Ruins

Tebtunis was Founded in the 22 Dynasty of the late period (1085-332BC) , it was inhabited also by Greek and Roman settlers and  the  ruins  are  from  the  period  of the  Ptolemaic  rulers  to  the Romans, from the 4th century BCE until the 3rd or the 4th century CE and continuously inhabited into the Islamic times.

The village was also the site for the find of a valuable temple library with numerous literary, medical and administrative documents as well as religious texts. Through these texts which were written in Demotic, Latin, or Greek archaeologists have been able to piece together the history of the Fayoum Oasis. These Papyri were discovered in the 20th century ( 1899/1900 CE) at the site. The excavation mission to Tebtunis, that was led by the English papyrologists Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, was financed for the University of California by Phoebe Apperson Hearst. More than 26,000 papyri, written in Greek and Demotic scripts, as well as some small artifacts are now kept at the Center for Tebtunis Papyri, University of California.

At the site, there is a small temple dedicated to a local variation of Sobek, Soknebtynis, and a stone-paved processional way leading to the temple. The processional way is protected by two lion statues made from limestone.

Heart shaped column

There  is  little  left  of  the  temple  complex,  but  a  paved  path  leads  through the ruins of the ancient city.  There is also a crocodile cemetery, where more than 1000 mummified crocodiles, sarcophagi and a bath house were found in 1900.

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