Definition of primary: first in order of time or development; of first rank, importance or value.
Say what you will, this year’s election process is interesting, but its intensity can also lead to early primary election fatigue. In looking at the definition of primary, we decided to return to the beginning… first in order of time, to an equally interesting era. The oasis of Fayoum southwest of Cairo is the oldest city in Egypt, founded 4000 years BCE, and one of the most ancient cities in all of Africa. It was also heavily involved in the politics of its day. Most of Fayoum’s archeological wealth comes from the Middle Kingdom, when the oasis was actually a center of political power in Egypt.
The pharaohs also used Fayoum as a reservoir, where excess water from Nile River floods was saved and used for irrigation. It became the most fertile land in the country and is today famous for its lush agricultural lands, water wheels and canals, thus earning it the nickname “Venice of Egypt.”
Fayoum has a host of archaeological sites to investigate such as Qasr Qarun, a Ptolemaic-era temple on the western shore of the lake that was dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god, whose offspring used to thrive in the oasis.