Anonymous

1750

MS 18th century hydrographic map of the Fayoum Region - Egypt - Arsinoe - Lake Moeris

Carte de La Province du Faioume Anciennement Dite Arsinoe

DESCRIPTION: Rare detailed, unsigned French manuscript hydrographic map of the Fayoum region of Egypt “the Land of the Lake” with Lake Moeris (Qarun). With an elevation view and floor plan of a building considered to be the "Labyrinthe" mentioned by Herodotus. Ca. 1720 - 1750. Possibly the earliest map to focus on the Fayoum reqion.

This 18th century MS map locates archaeological sites and features the extensive network of rivers, streams, and canals that emptied into Lake Moeris from the Nile River via the Bahr Yusuf canal. Shows seven smaller canals from the Bahr Yusuf emptying into "Lake Moeris ou de Caron Nomne a presant Lac de la Corne". The hydrography and naming (ex. "Lac de la Corne", "Chateau de Caron") are similar to Claude Sicard's map of Egypt copied in MS by Guillaume Delisle in 1726.

The Fayoum (also Fayum, Faioum) region was once the center of the cult of Sobek, an Egyptian deity associated with the crocodile. Medinet el-Faiyum or Shedet was the ancient regional capital. The town was called "Crocodilopolis" by the Greeks (renamed Arsinoë by the Romans). Camels and crocodile are shown near the southwest shore of the lake with several pyramids, grottos, ruins, and Coptic Christian sites.

The map wrongly identifies the Ptolomaic temple at Qasr Qaroun as the Labyrinth described by Herodotus.

French explorers who first visted the Fayoum region include Paul Lucas (1714-17), Jomard (1800), P.D. Martin (1801), and Linant de Bellefonds (1821). By 1800 Edme-Francois Jomard in "Emplacement de l'ancien lac Moaris et du Labyrinthe dans le Fayoum d'après tous les Auteurs" had correctly determined that the site of the Labyrinth lay not at Qasr Qaroun, but rather at a mud-brick temple near Hawara. Our estimated date of this map to the 18th century rests on this timeline and on dates of other maps from the same purchase.

CREATOR: Anonymous

PUBLICATION DATE: 1750

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: Egypt

BODY OF WATER: Nile River

CONDITION: Fair.  Laid to linen with wrinkles and abrasions. Some bleeding on text. Small hole. Edge tears.

COLORING: Original hand coloring.

ENGRAVER: 

SIZE: 31 " x 21 "

ITEM PHYSICAL LOCATION: 

PRICE: $17000


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