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Kom Oshim

Kom Oshim (Kum Ushim) is a town in El Fayoum Governorate in the Western Desert of Egypt, about 130 Kilometers south-west of Cairo. It goes back to the 3rd century BC, when Greek mercenaries founded it. It is an archeological site housing the remains of some Roman baths as well as the remains of the Greek ancient city, Karanis. Moreover, it comprises two temples built to worship variations of the god Sobek (the crocodile god); namely, Petesouchos and Pnepheros.

Having the same structure, the Temple of the South is slightly better preserved than the Temple of the North. Both temples comprise the house of the crocodile. The town of Karanis is one of the most frequently visited sites in the Fayoum.

The names Karanis and Kom Aushim (Kom Ushim) are often used to denote the same set of ruins in the Fayoum. This Greco-Roman town was founded in the third century BC, probably by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Accidentally, a number of papyri was found in the archeological site of this ancient city by Egyptian farmers harvesting sibakh left by the site’s inhabitants. Excavation at Karanis was undertaken in 1895 by Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt. Archeologists believe that the city’s inhabitants were poor people from different nationalities.

Roman army veterans formed 14 % of the population by 171. Most of the inhabitants were farmers planting wheat, barley, lentils, radishes, dates, figs, peaches, pistachios, walnuts and olives and keeping domestic animals such as dogs, cows, pigs, mules, camels, pigeons and horses as well as antelope and crocodiles.

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