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Gurob: 19th Dynasty room with columns

Fig.1: Drawing of a room with columns in a 19th Dynasty house at Gurob (after Petrie 1891).

Gurob, a Fayum site first excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1889, contained an 18th-19th Dynasty town founded by Thutmosis III (1504-1450 BC), and later destroyed under Merneptah (1212-1202 BC).  Gurob had a large wall containing two smaller enclosures, the town and the temple compound, placed beside each other.

Gurob was noteworthy for a large population of non-Egyptian residents, including  Hittites, Phoenicians, and Greeks. The latter are represented by pottery of Aegean types from Mycaenae and Crete. The atrium-like room from Gurob, illustrated above by Petrie, has similarities with contemporary structures from Cretan and Mycenean sites. 

Gurob appears to have been one of the settlements which, as inscriptions report, saw an influx of  Mediterranean peoples during the late 13th century BC. As Petrie (1893) noted, the destruction of Gurob by Merneptah  corresponds with his expulsion of foreigners in the fifth year of his reign (1207 BC). 

The temple of Gurob, built by Thutmosis III, was probably destroyed two centuries later by Ramesses II, when he also sacked and looted the temples of Lahun. Gurob was then abandoned. Much later, during Ptolemaic times (330-30 BC), the site was used as a burial ground . Mummies were then wrapped in cartonnage made from papyrus sheets, many covered with written texts in Greek and Coptic.


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