Medinet Madi – Missions 2003-2004


Mission 2003

Between October and December 2003, the Pisa University, working with the collaboration of the Messina University[1]continued the exploration of the Medinet Madi area, extending the investigation of the very important buildingssouthward of the buildings discovered last season; the excavations provided many greek papyri and ostraka (I-II century AD), rich series of roman glass (under study by Flora Silvano)[2], ceramics, important pieces of coroplastic and fayence items. A complete wood door of good work has been discovered in room M; a square piece of palm fibre, in very well conditions, was maybe used as protection in a window.

The buildings discovered during the exploration, are located at two different level; the great house (MM003/I) whose walls in West front have been found in bad conditions, has two rooms with stone staircase, and it is characterized by a large niche in room G1, where is a vaulted cantina (found empty). At the ground level, has been found a very beautiful head of a pottery man statue.

A door open in a very thick wall, conducts to a court F, with a well builted oven for bread. The two houses (MM003/II and MM003/III) builted on an upper level, separated by a narrow street, have doors in stone lintel and enjambments; MM003/II seems consist in only a room (O), large and with large niches and a court (?) (P), open at Nord to a street.

MM003/III has an imposing stone staircase, and a store under the staircase, rich in wood coating; the house presents in both his two rooms niches with wood shelves (partially conserved), maybe indication for an official destination of the building. The principal door open in N, is bringing to a street, which will be cleaned during next season.

The pottery from the present and the previous seasons has been studied for the publication by Giovanna Bartoli [3]. A group of coins found during the 2001 season, has been committed for publication to an expert of numismatic of Messina University [4].

The Mission that is carrying out a program of interventions at Khelua and control at Kom Madi sites continued the consolidation and restoration of the important building at Narmuthis, found during the 2002 expedition; a work of restoration is made on the discovered structures.

During the season has been confirmed the important project of take away the high sands that are covering areas of temple A, of Temple B, courts, stoà and dromos with his kiosque.

At Medinet Madi the Trieste University Institute for Applicated Geology, led by Michele Pipan, continued the program of geophysical exploration of the site, using innovative geophysical methods and not-invasive techniques.
For the urbanistic history of Fayum in Greco-roman period we must mention in this preliminary Rapport the large hall with two stone pillars and the walls covered bay plaster decorated with geometrical motifs; the coloured plaster in good part conserved and the hall has been protected with a complete wood roof covering upon the walls integrated. The hall – probably a hall for session of a association- is connected with the one-room house discovered in season 2003.

2003a 2003b 2003c 2003d
2003e 2003f 2003g 2003h

Mission 2004

At Medinet Madi the new excavations have confirmed the interest of the site; here the groups of buildings are separated by streets, perpendicularly to the dromos and to the large street – running along the South side of Temple C- cleared during the season. The North insula of buildings has suffered by later installations and dwellings, but a great vaulted cellar is in perfect conditions.

On the coloured plaster, many late (childish?) drawings, representing boats of different types; a vary interesting drawn is on the plaster in South wall, near the South pillar, and represents a bust of abreast pharaoh; the ureus on his head and the eyes are very clear. It could be a image of Amenemhat III-Premarres [5], and the hall could be for the reunion of a Premarres’s cultural association.

2004a 2004b 2004c 2004d
2004e 2004f 2004g 2004h

[1]: Members of the Mission (2003): E. Bresciani; R. Pintaudi; F. Silvano; G. Bartoli; M. Pipan; A. Menchetti; A. Forte; R. Buongarzone.
[2]: F. Silvano, Vetri bizantini dall’Egitto. Medinet Madi 1988. Catalogo delle Collezioni Egittologiche, Pisa 1999; F. Silvano, «Vetri romani dai recenti scavi a Medinet Madi (Egitto)», Vetri di ogni tempo, vol. I, 13, Massa Martana, 2001; F. Silvano, «Glass Finds from Medinet Madi, Egypt», Annales du 16e Congrés of the Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre, London 2003, in press.
[3]: G. Bartoli, La ceramica del tempio C di Medinet Madi, ETS, Pisa, 2005, in press.
[4]: Castrizio, «Le monete da Medinet Madi, missione 2001», EVO XXVII, 2004, pp. 17-26.
[5]: E. Bresciani, «Il culto di Premarres nel Fayum», EVO IX, pp. 49-58.

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