180 Route 16. EL-LAHUN. Fayum.
the period of the Middle Empire by the richer inhabitants of Shetet-
Crocodilopolis. The older graves are much injured, but those of the Greeco-
Roman period are in good preservation, and have yielded numerous
mummies. In many cases these had portraits of the deceased painted on
thin cedar boards or upon linen, placed upon the head. — Of stiil greater
value are the portraits found at el-Rubaydt, 13 M. to the N.E. of Medinet
el-Fayum, which were purchased and brought to Europe by Theodor Graf.
The return to Medinet el-Fayum may be made in li/a hr. without
again touching Hawaret el-Maktaf, as follows: cross the Bahr Sela about
1/2 M. to the N.W. of the pyramid, then ride to the W., arid after crossing
the Bahr Beld Md, proceed direct across the plain to Medineh.
A visit to the Pyramid of El-Lahun or Illahun (Egypt. Le-hone,
i.e. 'mouth of the canal', see p. 175) may be combined with the
above expedition. The pyramid may be reached from Hawaret el-
Maktar in 1, or from the Labyrinth in 11/2 hr.; otherwise we proceed
via the station of El-Lahiin on the light railway (p. 178). The
pyramid is constructed of Nile bricks, piled up upon a rocky nucleus
bearing a star-shaped framework of low walls built of massive lime¬
stone blocks. It has recently been opened by Fraser, and identified
as the tomb of TJsertesen II. The remains of the ancient embank¬
ments, once supposed to belong to Lake Mceris, date from the time
of the Khalifs. Those who are interested in hydraulic engineering
should inspect the entrance of the Bahr Yusuf into the Fayum.
About V2 M- to the E. of the pyramid of El-Lahun Prof. Flinders Pe¬
trie discovered a temple in 1889, and close beside it the ruins ofthe town
Hetep-Osertesen ('Contented is TJsertesen'), now called Kahttn. The latter
was founded by TJsertesen II. (12th Dyn.) and had but a brief existence.
The lines of the streets and the site of the palace may still be traced,
and numerous domestic articles were found among the ruined houses.
Near Gurob, 11/2 M. to the W.S.W. of El-Lahun and close to the edge of
the desert, is another ruined town, which owed its origin to Thutmosis III.,
who built a temple there. Many of the inhabitants were foreigners.
From El-Lahun we take the train back to Medinet el-Fayum.
The Birket Karun and its Environs.
Travellers who restrict themselves to the Birket Karun and Demeh may
accomplish their excursion by railway in one day if the trains suit, by
starting early and returning late. Otherwise a tent must be taken for
spending the night. Donkeys should be taken by train or sent on early
in the morning to Abuksa. Arrangements for crossing the lake by boat
must be made with the shekh of the fishermen; the usual charge is 30 fr.
per day, with a bakshish for the rowers, of whom 6-8 should he stipulated
for to avoid delay. The assistance of the Mudir of Medineh (comp. p. 1741
in securing a boat is useful; otherwise the boats may be out fishing. —
Those who wish also to visit the temple at Kasr Karun and to extend the
expedition (say for 4 days) cannot dispense with a dragoman (p. 174). — The
route from Medineh to the Birket Karun via Senhur is described on p. 178.
From Medinet el-Fayum to Abuksa the train takes H/3 hour.
Between the stations of Senaro and Ebshuai lie the ruins of an an¬
cient town. Abuksa is situated on a hill and commands a fine survey
of the lake and the Libyan mountains. Near the station is a sugar-
factory (closed at present).
From Abuksa we ride to the N. along an embankment intersect¬
ing the fields, and in '/2 hr. reach the fellahin village of Kafr Abud,