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The Fayum region of Lower Egypt is comprised of both eroded badlands and swampy oases amid a desert setting west of the Nile. During the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (ca. 330 BC- AD 400), swamplands adjacent to Lake Moeris were drained or canalized, and a number of towns grew up with both Egyptian and Graeco-Roman populations.
Masses of papyrus documents have been found in these towns by archaeologists including W. M. Flinders Petrie, Bernard Grenfell, and Arthur Hunt. Large collections have been published from Oxyrhynchus, Tebtunis, Hawara, Karanis, and Arsinoe.
Fig.1: Fayum sites with papyrus documents from the Ptolemaic (330-30 BC) and Roman (30 BC-AD 400) eras. Also shown is the relative extent of Lake Moeris. (After Grenfell et al. 1900).
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