Bir Umm Fawakhir Project

Oriental Institute. Archaeological Survey in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Bir Umm Fawakhir is the first intensively studied ancient gold-mining town in Egypt, and the only one of its period in the Byzantine empire. Fawakhir is one of only two excavated Coptic/Byzantine towns (vs. monasteries) of the 5th - 6th century in Egypt, and the other, Jemê, at Medinet Habu across the Nile from Luxor, was removed to reach the New Kingdom temple. Bir Umm Fawakhir and other recently explored sites in the Eastern Desert of Egypt indicate that the Byzantine government was not too weak to control the desert, as has long been thought, but in fact continued to exploit its economic resources.

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