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Al-Fayyum oasis Egyptian, occupying a large depressed area, about 30 km West of the Nile, at altitudes ranging from +20 to -40 m, while the surrounding plateau is about 130 m.
Form an administrative division of Upper Egypt.
Capital of Al-Fayyum. Which it is graphically connected to the Nile by the Bahr Yusuf, which is detached from the river near Asyut. main crops the palm, cotton, flax, cane; Moreover, olive trees, fruit trees, citrus fruits, cereals. Prospero also the breeding; considerable textile (cotton, wool) and that of perfumes. Inhabited since the end of the Pleistocene, the depression of Fayum Epipaleolithic was occupied by groups of hunter-fishermen belonging to the culture-gatherers (6000-5000 BC) and then, after 4000 BC, by teams of Neolithic farmers.
The first settlements are characterized by the absence of dwelling remains and the presence of a microlithic industry; the Neolithic rather have the remains of houses associated with barns, mills and pestles, rough ceramic and lithic industry, of blade and double sided. In dynastic times the oasis was an administrative and cultural center of relief. The Shedit capital was consecrated to the crocodile god Sobek. The pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty had their residence in Fayyum and I made many important works of canalization. In the Ptolemaic era, the region was consecrated to the Queen Arsinoe (the capital took the same name) and formed the Prefecture arsinoitico. In the Roman and Byzantine era they were built numerous churches and monasteries.
Among the most important archaeological finds of the area, stands out the series of portraits for mummy, painted on wooden tablets or on linen, dating from the 1st to the 4th century. A.D. Also interesting are the fabrics, covered by the provisions of the Coptic civilization.
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