Herakleopolis Mikra/Sethroe (Egypt) 5 Ezbet El-Malaha - Ηρακλεούπολις

Ἡρακλεούπολις - Herakleopolis/Sethroe, an ancient town of Egypt, modern Tell Belim
Hits: 5
Works: 5
Latitude: 30.978500
Longitude: 32.174500
Confidence: Medium

Greek name: Ἡρακλεούπολις
Place ID: 309321UHer
Time period: BHRL
Region: Egypt
Country: Egypt
Mod: Ezbet El-Malaha

- Pleiades

Search for inscriptions mentioning Herakleopolis/Sethroe (Ηρακλεουπολ...) in the PHI Epigraphy database.

Modern Description: This site is perhaps the same as 'Tell Bilin' of ASAE 2, 79. It is identified with the ancient Herakleopolis parva. See the Lexikon der Agyptologie entry for this town and cf. that for 'Sethroe', the name of the nome-capital in the Late Roman Period, thought to be identical with Tell Belim / Herakleopolis. The site appears on the Egyptian Survey Authority 1996 1:50,000 map with the erroneous name 'Tell Thilim'. Noted by Petrie in Seventy Years, 71, under names Tell Belim and Tell Sherig and stated incorrectly to be 'Late Roman or Cufic on the surface'. Petrie cannot have seen the pharaonic temple site at the west end of the mound. Visits were made by Patricia and Jeffrey Spencer in December 1999 and 16th March 2000. The site is reached from the road which runs beside the southerly side of the El-Salaam canal. At a point about 15km west of the intersection with the main Port-Said to Ismailia road (not far west of the crossing over the Bahr el-Baqar drain), two minor roads leads off to the south, one on either side of a canal. One road was asphalted in 1999-2000, the other not. The unpaved road is the more direct route, but was obstructed in 1999 by bridge construction; we used the asphalt road as far as the first bridge over the canal on the left, then crossed to the unpaved road and doubled back for about 2 km. There is a narrow gisr of earth running off to the south though the fish-farms which can be followed by car as far as a small concrete and brick store belonging to a local fisherman, then the Tell can be reached on foot. The site was mapped in September 2000 by the EES Delta Survey (field team: Penelope Wilson and Jeffrey Spencer) and the surface features and ceramics examined. The Roman material is mainly limited to the east part of the mound whilst the west seems to be all of pharaonic date, overlaid by isolated small mounds of Ptolemaic industrial debris. Excavation of the temple area was carried out for the British Museum in Spring 2002 . The surface is very loose dust with limited numbers of visible sherds and much ceramic slag over the eastern half. There are two high points of the Tell, the tallest of which rises nearly 12 metres above the surrounding land and consists of a dump containing Ptolemaic pottery. The size of the site is approximately 1000 x 500 metres, but was once much larger. The lower parts of the mound have been cut back by fields and fish-farms, and sherds were seen to have been thrown out from the cutting of the fish lagoons. A few fired brick structures were visible on the high mounds, with more Roman sherds and glass fragments. However, the Roman level does not appear to be all that concentrated and the mound does not have the characteristic red colour of exclusively Roman tells (caused by the quantity of red-slipped pottery and red bricks). On the lower slopes of the higher mound are visible surface outlines of buildings. At the west end of the site is a low area where a pharaonic temple was located, enclosed by a mud-brick temenos wall which surrounded an area about 250m square. The lines of some walls of this enclosure are still visible, and the whole plan is shown on a Royal Air Force air-photograph of 1935, kept at University College Institute of Archaeology in London. Many pieces of hard stone lie on the surface, including numerous basalt blocks, one with the hieroglyphs nsw-biti and the beginning of a cartouche Wsr-[Maat]-R' .At the extreme western end of the mound is a flat region occupied by a Roman cemetery, with burials in pottery coffins or large jars. (http://deltasurvey.ees.ac.uk/belim198.html)
Trismegistos Geo: 800

Info: E.E.S. Delta Survey

From the web site E.E.S. Delta Survey, a project of the Egypt Exploration Society to map and describe ancient sites in the Nile Delta of Egypt.

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Author, Title Text Type Date Full Category Language

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