Medinet Watfa (Philoteras)

Medinet Watfa is the modern name for the remains of a Graeco-Roman city called Philoteras. These are located at the edge of the Fayoum-oasis, which is situated in a large depression (the pre-historic delta of a river) about 100 km. south-west of Cairo:
As the Fayoum was developed for agriculture in Graeco-Roman times (3rd century BC - 6th century AD), to feed the Ptolemaic army and later Rome itself, the remains of Philoteras include not only many mud-brick structures but also numerous grinding-stones:


Objective of visit:
  To lay out and maintain a permanent 50 x 50 meter grid, to plan the excavated tranches and to teach survey techniques to selected inspectors of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Date of visit:
  - January/February 2002
- September/October 2002
Fellow visitors:
  The team of inspectors of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, supplemented with a number of scholars both from Egypt and abroad, was directed by Willeke Wendrich (UCLA) and René Cappers (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
A 50 x 50 metre grid (marked with metal stakes and aluminum labels) and a simple, interactive map of the site.
Approximate position and date of the site:   Medinet Watfa is located at the western end of the Fayoum-oasis, between Qasr Qarun and the modern village of Tunis, just west of the road between Lake Qarun and Wadi Rayan. Surface pottery is mostly from the Late Ptolemaic and Early Roman periods.
Short description of the site:   The remains of the ancient city are located in a small stretch of desert in between agricultural fields. They exist of a number of mud-brick, fired brick and stone buildings, grinding stones and potsherds. In several places the underlying bedrock seems very close to the surface and elsewhere the site has been disturbed by people looking for fertile soil (sabakheen) or treasure. Other places seem untouched, by anything but time, since antiquity.
Additional remarks:
This project would not have been possible without the indirect support of the Berenike Project, the help of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the American Research Center in Egypt as well as many individuals.