Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)
The Feiyoom (Page 503) in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Eighth Edition) 1855
There is in Upper Egypt one striking deviation from the uniform character of the country. About 70 miles above Cairo by the course of the Nile, an opening in the Libyan range leads to a kind of oasis -- the Feiyoom, a fertile tract lying in a hollow of the desert and having at its further extremity a considerable lake of brackish water.
The Feiyoom, including its lake, is a pear-shaped tract, its narrowest part being to the west extending into the desert and measuring in its greatest length about thirty miles and in its greatest breadth about twenty. The part now cultivated is more than two-thirds of this extent from the east. At the north-western extremity is the great Lake of El-Karn, which is long and narrow and fills the northern portion of the valley. A branch of the Bahr-Yoosuf, as already mentioned, flows through the opening leading to the Feiyoom. This canal soon spreads into many streams, two of which, after joining into a single course, carry off the superabundant waters of the inundation into the lake of El-Karn, while they contribute with the others to irrigate the cultivable tracts.
The site of the famous Labyrinth first claims our notice after entering the Feiyoom. Its position may be known by a ruined crude brick pyramid, that of Hawárah, which is spoken of by both Herodotus and Strabo and may be called the Pyramid of the Labyrinth. The remains of the Labyrinth itself, which had been previously known, were first carefully examined by the Prussian Expedition headed by Dr Lepsius in 1843 and much information was gained respecting it. The structure was so ruined however that the results were not as decisive as might have been hoped. Yet the plan was to some extent made out, and the building shown to have contained a great number of very small chambers, as ancient writers had said; and the discovery оЁ royal names of the Twelfth Dynasty, particularly of Amen-emha II to whom Manetho ascribes the founding of the Labyrinth, leaves little doubt that this king was the Moeris who built the Labyrinth according to the classic writers. Notwithstanding, the name Moeris seems to have been applied to more than one sovereign, although there is little ...