Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1898-1899

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Graeco-Bohan Branch. 13

el Banat and ten from Harit, there is a well-preserved late Ptolemaic
temple of stone, but the remains of the town are only a few inches deep,
and nothing inscribed was discovered. Documents found at Kasr el Banat,
however, show that Dionysias was in the immediate neighbourhood of that
place, and was a frontier station with a customs house for caravans.
Both these conditions are suitably fulfilled if we place Dionysias at Kasr
Kurun, which is at the extreme limit of the ancient Soman province and
on the road to the Small Oasis, while no other extant site satisfies them.

The position of Dionysias, like that of Bacchias, is a matter of some
importance in connexion with the controversy concerning Lake Moeris,
which was supposed by Linant de Bellefonds to have been a high level
lake on the highest of the three plateaus of the Fayum, kept up by a
gigantic dam aud totally distinct from the Birket el Kurun, while the
Arsinoite nome occupied the slope between the two lakes (sic !). This
view, despite its demands upon our credulity, for a long time gained almost
universal acceptance. The old view, however, which made the Birket el
Kurun the modern representative of Lake Moeris, and supposed that the
latter once filled the whole Fayum, but was reduced by successive reclama-
tions lower and lower until it fell to its present level, was maintained by
Prof. Flinders Petrie, and more fully by Major Brown, who, in his Fayum
and Lake Moeris, exposed the impracticability of Linant's theory from the
engineering point of view, and the strange inaccuracy of the measurements
upon which that theory was based. The indictment of Linant's theory by
Major Brown is as crushing as his vindication of his own theory is on the
engineering evidence complete. The only uncertainties that remained
concerned the literary and archaeological evidence.

In the former class we have the description of Lake Moeris by Herodotus
(II. 149) which shows that the lake was still extensive in his day, and what
is still more important the map of Claudius Ptolemy (second century a.d.),
in which Bacchias, Dionysias, Arsinoe, and Lake Moeris are marked.
Though the distances between places, especially when they are on different
caravan routes, are not accurately indicated by that map, one inference
from it is clear, that the traveller who went through the Fayum from the
north on his way to the Small Oasis, would pass Bacchias near one end
of the lake, and keeping Lake Moeris on his right and Arsinoe on his left,
would reach Dionysias near the other end. Until, however, the positions
of Bacchias and Dionysias were discovered, the most diverse inferences
could be, and were, drawn from this map, with much the same amount of

The archaeological evidence concerned the date of those sites which, like
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