Friday, January 26, 2007

Travel: Qasr el Sagha, Faiyum Depression

"Qasr Al-Sagha, or rather the Golden Fortress, is one of Fayoum's mysterious marvels. Located north of Lake Qarun, the building once stood on the shore of the ancient Lake Moeris. Now the lake has shrunk and Qasr Al-Sagha is stranded amidst the barren desert.
So what makes this archaeological site peculiar? Several other reasons besides the location. Though it has been debatable for some time, scholars have agreed that it belongs to the Middle Kingdom. However, the purpose of the edifice is not known, or whether it is a temple or a palace. Containing a number of small rooms, perhaps shrines, as well as a blind room with no entrance, the whole of the building is left bare without a single inscription or decoration. Qasr Al-Sagha is a job never completed. "
See the above page for the rest of this short account.

The Faiyum Depression has archaeology dating back to the Palaeolithic, with Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic sites being of particular interest. Gertrude Caton-Thompson and Elinor Wright-Gardiner excavated here in the 1920s, publishing their finds in The Desert Faiyum in 1932, revealing details of extenisve Neolithic occupations in the Qasr el-Sagha area, and providing data about one of the earliest sites in Egypt where domesticated plants were cultivated. If it is of any interest, I've put more information about the prehistoric and Predynastic sites in the Faiyum and Cairo areas at the following site:

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