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The Fourth-Century AD Expansion of the Graeco-Roman Settlement of Karanis (Kom Aushim) in the Northern Fayum*


The Graeco-Roman town of Karanis, founded during the Ptolemaic Period in the north-eastern Fayum in the third century bc and long thought to have been abandoned in the third century ad actually saw a substantial expansion during the fourth century AD. With the creation of an 3 extension towards the west and the expansion of the eastern part, the town grew in both directions. We argue that this expansion may be related to a sudden rise of the water level in Lake Moeris (Lake Qarun), perhaps linked to a catastrophic dam breach in the eastern part of the Fayum, and the subsequent relocation of the inhabitants of the low-lying settlements north and east of the lake.

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