C—-CITIES OF THE FAIYUM.
Temple at Karanis, half excavated, View from the West Wall,
I. Karanis and Bacchias.
So much has been heard lately of Faiyum papyri, and so generally had
the Faiyum come to be regarded as worked out, that some surprise
may be felt at its being selected as the scene of our last winter's labours,
and proposed also for the season that is approaching.
As a matter of fact, the Faiyum at this moment is very far indeed from
being worked out. Much as has been filtering from it to Europe
through various channels since 1877, the dealers' shops in Cairo and
Medinet were still full of its papyri in 1895. And furthermore, con-
cerning all the documents which have found their way to London, Berlin,
Vienna, and Paris, hardly a single fact as to provenance is known, their
discovery having been due in all cases to native diggers. Consequently,
out of scores of place names, added by the papyri to the meagre literary
list of towns in the Arsinoite nome, only one had been fixed to any
particular site: that one was Socnopaei Nesus, identified certainly with
Dimeh in the far north-west.
That there existed a great number of half-plundered mounds, Mr.
Petrie's walk round the Faiyum in 1888 had conclusively shown. One
of us followed in his footstep s in 1894 and tlic other in 1895 : and the
sum of our joint impressions was emphatically to the effect that there