Last week a new ancient site opened to the public in Egypt--a temple of the crocodile god Sobek.
Medinet Madi is located in Egypt's Faiyum region, a fertile area around a lake at the end of a branch of the Nile called Bahr Yusuf ("The River of Joseph").
The temple features a long avenue lined with sphinxes and lions, plus an incubation room for hatching the eggs of sacred crocodiles. You'd think these crocs would live the good life, splashing around the swamps and gnawing on a sacrificial victim or two. Instead they were mummified and sold to pilgrims. Check out the gallery for a couple of photos of crocodile mummies.
Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)
Lying in the parched desert at the southwestern edge of Fayoum, the most easterly of the Western Desert oases, are the ruins of a city that flourished during the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt and in subsequent periods up to Roman times.
The site, now known as Madinet Madi (City of the Past), is considered to be the most important and impressive archaeological site in Fayoum. The ruins reveal Madinet Madi's vast and impressive span of Egypt's history that began 4,000 years ago.
It all began with a village called Dja, which was founded as part of the large scale reclamation in the area around the lake in Fayoum of what was realised to be fertile land. During the reign of King Amenemhat III, construction was begun of a temple dedicated to the cobra goddess Renenutet and the crocodile god Sobek of Shedet. The construction was completed by his successor Amenemhat IV.