The Faiyum (also given as Fayoum, Fayum, and Faiyum Oasis) was a region of ancient Egypt known for its fertility and the abundance of plant and animal life. Located 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Memphis (modern Cairo), the Faiyum was once an arid desert basin which became a lush oasis when a branch of the Nile River silted up and diverted water to it. The basin filled, attracting wildlife and encouraging plant growth, which then drew human beings to the area at some point prior to c. 7200 BCE.

More about: Fayum


  • c. 7200 BCE
    First human habitation of the Faiyum.
  • c. 5200 BCE
    First agricultural community established in the Faiyum.
  • c. 2613 BCE - 2181 BCE
    The Faiyum becomes the preferred hunting grounds for kings and nobles during the Old Kingdom of Egypt.
  • 2040 BCE - 1782 BCE
    The Faiyum reaches peak prosperity during the time of the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt.
  • c. 1782 BCE - c. 1570 BCE
    The Faiyum declines during the Second Intermediate Period of ancient Egypt.
  • c. 1570 BCE - c. 1069 BCE
    No new monuments erected in the Faiyum during the period of Egypt's New Kingdom.
  • c. 1069 BCE - c. 332 BCE
    The Faiyum declines during Egypt's Third Intermediate and Late periods.
  • 323 BCE - 30 BCE
    The Faiyum experiences a revival under the Ptolemaic Dynasty.
  • 27 BCE - 14 CE
    The Faiyum is restored during the reign of Augustus Caesar.
  • c. 200 CE
    The Faiyum in decline and decimated by plague.
  • c. 646 CE
    The Faiyum serves as seat of resistance to Arab Invasion but continues to decline in population and productivity.