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Egypt: Oasis: Fayoum - Tebynis


TebynisTebynis, located at Fayoum, is similar to Narmuthis but with a longer lion and sphinx guarded approach. A tank in the courtyard was home to the crocodile. The enclosure wall is mostly intact, but the temple is in complete ruin. Of valuable interest was the discovery of the papyri in 1999-1900. Due to this rare discovery, much is known of Ptolemaic Egypt, right down to the activities of their everyday life. B.P. Grenfell, the excavator, wrote, "The tombs of the large necropolis adjoining Tebtynis proved in many instances to contain only crocodiles. One of our workmen, disgusted at finding a row of crocodiles were he expected sarcophagi, broke one of them in pieces and disclosed the surprising fact that the creature was wrapped in sheets of papyrus. As may be imagined, after this we dug out all the crocodile-tombs in the cemetery . The most remarkable characteristic of the Greek papyri from crocodile-mummies is their great size. For enfolding crocodiles 3 or 4 m in length small documents were useless, though they were employed as padding, in which case they had often not been unrolled or were hastily crushed together. For the outer layers the papyri used consisted of large unfolded rolls."


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