Oxyrhynchus

From Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus
Oxyrhynchus
ⲡⲉⲙϫⲉ
ⲡⲙ̅ϫⲏ
البهنسا
Al-Bahnasa Martyr district, a cemetery of 5,000 prominent early Muslims during Early Muslim conquests
Al-Bahnasa Martyr district, a cemetery of 5,000 prominent early Muslims during Early Muslim conquests
Oxyrhynchus is located in Egypt
Oxyrhynchus
Oxyrhynchus
Coordinates: 28°31′52″N 30°38′49″E / 28.531°N 30.647°E / 28.531; 30.647
OXYRHYNCHUS Latitude and Longitude:

28°31′52″N 30°38′49″E / 28.531°N 30.647°E / 28.531; 30.647
Country  Egypt
Governorate Minya
Time zone UTC+2 ( EST)

Oxyrhynchus ( /ɒksɪˈrɪŋkəs/; Greek: Ὀξύρρυγχος, translit. Oxýrrhynchos, lit. "sharp-nosed"; ancient Egyptian Pr-Medjed; Coptic: ⲡⲉⲙϫⲉ or ⲡⲙ̅ϫⲏ, romanized: Pemdje; [1] [2] Arabic: البهنسا‎, romanizedAl-Bahnasa) is a city in Middle Egypt located about 160 km south-southwest of Cairo in Minya Governorate. It is also an archaeological site, considered one of the most important ever discovered. Since the late 19th century, the area around Oxyrhynchus has been excavated almost continually, yielding an enormous collection of papyrus texts dating from the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Among the texts discovered at Oxyrhynchus are plays of Menander, fragments from the Gospel of Thomas, and fragments from Euclid's Elements. They also include a few vellum manuscripts, and more recent Arabic manuscripts on paper (for example, the medieval P. Oxy. VI 1006 [3])

During the era of Rashidun Caliphate, The town of Oxyrhinchus were invaded and conquered by Rashidun army under the leadership of Khalid ibn al-Walid. [4] [5] [6] [7] since then, the town name were changed to al-Bahnasa, which also contained a cemetery of 5,000 Companions of the Prophet Muhammad that participated in the conquest of Oxyrhinchus. [4] [5] [6] [7]

History

The Medjed or Oxyrhynchus worshipped as a deity

Ancient Egyptian Era

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Egyptian hieroglyphs
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Egyptian hieroglyphs

Oxyrhynchus lies west of the main course of the Nile on the Bahr Yussef, a branch that terminates in Lake Moeris and the Faiyum oasis. In ancient Egyptian times, there was a city on the site called Per-Medjed, [8] named after the medjed, a species of elephantfish of the Nile worshipped there as the fish that ate the penis of Osiris. It was the capital of the 19th Upper Egyptian Nome.

Ptolemaic Era

Location of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.

After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the city was reestablished as a Hellenistic town called Oxyrrhynchoupolis ( Koinē Greek: Ὀξυρρύγχου Πόλις, lit.'town of the sharp-snouted fish'). In the Hellenistic period, Oxyrhynchus was a prosperous regional capital, the third-largest city in Egypt. After Egypt was Christianized, it became famous for its many churches and monasteries. [8]

Roman Era

Oxyrhynchus remained a prominent, though gradually declining, town in the Roman and Byzantine periods. From 619 to 629, during the brief period of Sasanian Egypt, three Greek papyri from Oxyrhynchus include references to large sums of gold that were to be sent to the emperor. [9]

Arab Era

map showing the path of the Islamic armies and their conquest of Egypt and Nubia during the reign of the second Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab.

After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, the canal system on which the town depended fell into disrepair, and Oxyrhynchus was abandoned. Today the town of el Bahnasa occupies part of the ancient site. The Arabs called the city as " Al-Baqi' of Egypt", [7] as Bahnasa were known for having 5,000 Sahaba buried in it. [6] The large numbers of fallen Muslim soldiers buried in this city due to major battles against the Roman army and their fortifications in this area. [4] It is recorded by various early Islam chroniclers, such as Al-Waqidi in his F̣utūh al-Bahnasā, and Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Mu"izz in The Conquest of Bahnasa that the Muslim armies under Khalid ibn al-Walid entered Bahnasa in 639, [10] besieging the town for months before they can subdue the 50,000 Byzantine and Beja Sudanese garrison defenders. [11] [12]

Before it was renamed as "al-Bahnasa", Oxyrynchus were renamed as "Al-Qays town", by Maqrizi or "town of Martyrs" in honor to one of the Muslim commander that participated in the conquest of Oxyrynchus. [13]

Among the most notable tombs were allegedly belong to the Muslim martyrs were the tombs of the children of Aqil bin Ali bin Abi Talib (brother of Ali, fourth Rashidun Caliph), Ziyad bin Abi Sufyan bin Abdul Muttalib (son of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb), Aban ibn Uthman bin Affan, Muhammad ibn Abi Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Siddiq (grandson of Abu Bakar), and Hassan al-Salih ibn Zayn al-Abidin bin al-Hussein (great grandson of Ali). [14]

Ibn Taghribirdi, a Mamluk era historian, also writing the history of Bahnasa conquest in his book, Al Duhur fi madaa al 'Ayaam wa al shuhur [15]

The Muslims army settled in the town for three years as their base after the conquest, while launching occasional raids on the black and the coasts. Al-Qa`qa` bin Amr, Hashem, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari and Uqba ibn Nafi Al-Fihri, the future conqueror of Maghreb, and went with two thousand of Persians convert who now fight under the caliphate, and raided the border of Barqa. [12] [11]

For more than 1000 years, the inhabitants of Bahnasa dumped garbage at a series of sites out in the desert sands beyond the town limits. The fact that the town was built on a canal rather than on the Nile itself was important, because this meant that the area did not flood every year with the rising of the river, as did the districts along the riverbank. When the canals dried up, the water table fell and never rose again. The area west of the Nile has virtually no rain, so the garbage dumps of Oxyrhynchus were gradually covered with sand and were forgotten for another 1000 years.

Modern era

today, there is the mosque of Al-Hassan bin Saleh bin Ali Zain Al-Abidin bin Al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib which allegedly built in honor for the venerated Muslim that also participated in the conquest of Bahnasa. [16] and it is the only mosque in Egypt that has two qiblas. [16]

Aside from Al-Hassan mosque, there are another structures erected by locals which still stands to 20th century in honor of the Muslim conqueror personalities which regarded as heroes by the locals, such as Sidi Fath al-Bab tomb, and the Sidi Ali al-Jamam mosque. [16] according to the local imam, Dr. Abdel Halim Mahmoud, the locals of Bahnasa were very proud that their town contained so many landmarks of early Muslim heroes, which including 600 person that participated in the battles of Islam since the time of Prophet Muhammad. [16]

Salama Zahran, director of al-Bahnasa district excavation research team, says that The region was in the ranks of second-class cities after Alexandria, the capital of Egypt at that time, which is indicated by the domes on the land of Bahnasa, which are attributed to the martyrs of the Companions such as Muhammad bin Uqbah bin Amer Al-Juhani, and Ubadah bin Al-Samit. [16]

There are also a particular mosque called dome of seven maidens, which allegedly were built to honor seven Oxyrhynchus coptic girls who defected and helped the Muslim armies under ' Amr ibn al-As and now venerated for their effort in the conquest of the city. [16] As the town of al-Bahnasa now contained thousands historical structures in memoir of the conquests, including the 5,000 graves of S Companions of the Prophet and Tabi'un martyrs of the battle of Bahnasa, the town are regarded by locals as " al-Baqi' of Egypt", [6] [16] which became the point of interest for many foreign tourists particularly from the Muslim majority country. [6]

Archaelogical excavation

In 1882, Egypt, while still nominally part of the Ottoman Empire, came under effective British rule, and British archaeologists began the systematic exploration of the country. Because Oxyrhynchus was not considered an Ancient Egyptian site of any importance, it was neglected until 1896, when two young excavators, Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt, both fellows of The Queen's College, Oxford, began to excavate it. "My first impressions on examining the site were not very favourable," wrote Grenfell. "The rubbish mounds were nothing but rubbish mounds." [17] However, they very soon realized what they had found. The unique combination of climate and circumstance had left at Oxyrhynchus an unequalled archive of the ancient world. "The flow of papyri soon became a torrent," Grenfell recalled. "Merely turning up the soil with one's boot would frequently disclose a layer." [18]

The classical author who has most benefited from the finds at Oxyrhynchus is the Athenian playwright Menander (342–291 BC), whose comedies were very popular in Hellenistic times and whose works are frequently found in papyrus fragments. Menander's plays found in fragments at Oxyrhynchus include Misoumenos, Dis Exapaton, Epitrepontes, Karchedonios, Dyskolos and Kolax. The works found at Oxyrhynchus have greatly raised Menander's status among classicists and scholars of Greek theatre.

There is an on-line table of contents briefly listing the type of contents of each papyrus or fragment. [19] second century AD. The holes are caused by worms. [20]]]

Another Oxyrhynchus papyrus, dated 75–125 AD. It describes one of the oldest diagrams of Euclid's Elements. [21]

Since the 1930s, work on the papyri has continued. For many years it was under the supervision of Professor Peter Parsons of Oxford. Eighty large volumes of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri have been published, [22] [23]

Since the days of Grenfell and Hunt, the focus of attention at Oxyrhynchus has shifted. Modern archaeologists are less interested in finding the lost plays of Aeschylus, although some still dig in hope, and more in learning about the social, economic, and political life of the ancient world. This shift in emphasis had made Oxyrhynchus, if anything, even more important, for the very ordinariness of most of its preserved documents makes them most valuable for modern scholars of social history. Many works on Egyptian and Roman social and economic history and on the history of Christianity rely heavily on documents from Oxyrhynchus.

A joint project with Brigham Young University using multi-spectral imaging technology has been extremely successful in recovering previously illegible writing. With multi-spectral imaging, many pictures of the illegible papyrus are taken using different filters, finely tuned to capture certain wavelengths of light. Thus, researchers can find the optimum spectral portion for distinguishing ink from paper in order to display otherwise completely illegible papyri. The amount of text potentially to be deciphered by this technique is huge. A selection of the images obtained during the project and more information on the latest discoveries has been provided on the project's website. [24]

On June 21, 2005 the Times Literary Supplement published the text and translation of a newly reconstructed poem by Sappho, [25] together with discussion by Martin L. West. [26] Part of this poem was first published in 1922 from an Oxyrhynchus papyrus, no. 1787 (fragment 1). [27] Most of the rest of the poem has now been found on a papyrus kept at Cologne University. [28]

In May 2020, an Egyptian-Spanish archaeological mission headed by Esther Ponce revealed a unique cemetery consisting of one room built with glazed limestone dating back to the 26th Dynasty (so-called the El-Sawi era). Archaeologists also uncovered bronze coins, clay seals, Roman tombstones and small crosses. [29] [30] [31]

Archaeological structures of Muslim conquest

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is expressed their interest in a project to restore the tombs of the Al-Bahnasa, an ancient ancient city, in which many papyri dating back to the Greco-Roman era were found, which includes a number of tombs for the companions of the prophet Muhammad. [4]

In March 2020 In 20, archeological researchers from the Antiquities Inspection of Al-Bahnasa District, claimed they have located the archaelogical evidence of the encampment of Khalid ibn al-Walid and 10,000 soldiers under him, who included 70 veterans of the Battle of Badr. [5] the excavators said the Muslim armies encampments were located in the current location of the village of Beni Hilal, Minya District, west of Bahnasa. [5]

In 2021, the head of Islamic, Coptic, Jewish antiquities sector follows up on progress of project of restoring archeological village the companions of the who fell in the battles during Islamic conquest of Bahnasa. [14]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b E. A. Wallis Budge (1920). An Egyptian hieroglyphic dictionary: with an index of English words, king list and geological list with indexes, list of hieroglyphic characters, coptic and semitic alphabets, etc. Vol II=. John Murray. p. 987
  2. ^ a b Gauthier, Henri (1925). Dictionnaire des Noms Géographiques Contenus dans les Textes Hiéroglyphiques Vol .2. p. 83.
  3. ^ "Oxyrhynchus Online Image Database". Oxyrhynchus Online Project Metadata. Retrieved 27 March 2017. Document Location: The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt. Material: Paper. Image: Unavailable.
  4. ^ a b c d "The city of Bahnasa .. Why is the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities interested in restoring it?". Egypt Forward. Egypt Forward. 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Omar, Samir; Muslim, Mahmoud (2020). "باحث أثري يكشف سر إقامة 10 آلاف صحابي ومعركة خالد بن الوليد في البهنسا" [An archaeological researcher reveals the secret of the residence of 10 thousand companions and the battle of Khalid ibn al-Walid in Bahnasa]. Mahmoud Muslim. El-Wattan News. El-Wattan. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Harits, Deffa Cahyana (2019). "Bahnasa; Objek Wisata yang Menyimpan Jejak Sejarah Islam". KMA mesir. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Shahine, Gihan. "For love of the Prophet's companions". Ahram online. Ahram online. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Where is Oxyrhynchus?". Oxyrhynchus Online. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  9. ^ EGYPT iv. Relations in the Sasanian period at Encyclopædia Iranica
  10. ^ Blumell, Lincoln H. (2012). Epilogue. The Demise of Christian Oxyrhynchus. Brill. p. 295-300. ISBN  9789004180987. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  11. ^ a b Waqidi, Muhammad ibn Umar (1934). F̣utūh al-Bahnasā al-Gharāʻ. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Haḏā Kitāb" Qiṣṣat al-Bahnasā wa-mā fihā min al-ʿaǧā'ib wa-l-ġarā'ib (digitized Austrian National Library ed.). Maṭbaʿat al-Wahabīya. 1873. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  13. ^ Al Shinnawy, Mohammed (2019). "مدينة الشهداء خارج حساب محافظ المنيا" [The city of martyrs is outside the account of the governor of Minya]. Shada al-'Arab. Shada al-'Arab. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  14. ^ a b Karima, Hanya. "Egypt's head of Islamic, Coptic, Jewish antiquities sector follows up on progress of project of restoring archeological village of Al-Bahnasa in Minya". Egypt Today. Egypt Today. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  15. ^ Ali, Mohammed (2015). أقاليم مصر الفرعونية. ktab INC. p. 215. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Abu Al-Saud, Mahmoud (2020). "«البهنسا».. طقوس فرضتها شمس «البقيع الثاني» ورمال ارتوت بدماء الصحابة". al Madain. al Madain. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  17. ^ Quoted in A.M. Luijendijk, "Sacred Scriptures as Trash: Biblical Papyri from Oxyrhynchus" Vigiliae Christianae, 2010.
  18. ^ Grenfell, Bernard (1898). "Oxyrhynchus and Its Papyri". In Griffith, F.L. (ed.). Archaeological Report: 1896-1897. Egypt Exploration Fund. pp. 1–12, (7). Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  19. ^ Search by table of contents; "Oxyrhynchus Online Image Database". Imaging Papyri Project. Retrieved 25 May 2007. A listing of what each fragment contains.
  20. ^ "Artifact Record Details: Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, No. 932: Letter, Thaius to Tigrius (Fragment)". Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2007. "Artifact of the Month: Letter from Thaius to Tirius, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, No. 932". Spurlock Museum. 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  21. ^ Bill Casselman. "One of the oldest extant diagrams from Euclid". Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  22. ^ "Publications: Full List". Egypt Exploration Society. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  23. ^ "Publications" (PDF). The Egypt Exploration Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Multispectral imaging". Oxyrhynchos online. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  25. ^ Martin West (24 June 2005). "A New Sappho Poem". Times Online. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  26. ^ Discussion by Martin West Archived September 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-25. Retrieved 2006-03-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)see the third pair of images on this page
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2006-03-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)Image of papyrus fragment
  29. ^ "StackPath". dailynewsegypt.com. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  30. ^ "Unique cemetery dating back to el-Sawi era discovered in Egypt amid coronavirus crisis". Zee News. 2020-05-28. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  31. ^ Mahmoud, Rasha (2020-05-26). "Egypt makes major archaeological discovery amid coronavirus crisis". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2020-09-09.

Further reading

External links

Oxyrhynchus papyri volumes