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A low-lying lake-basin in Lower Egypt to the west of the Nile, to which it was formerly connected by a channel. The Fayum Depression has yielded a long sequence of archaeological occurrences, but is primarily known for Neolithic sites illustrating the earliest farming communities yet recognized in the Nile Delta region, dating from c5000 be. In contrast to their counterparts at Helwan and Merimde, the Fayum Neolithic sites appear to have been only briefly occupied. The fine workmanship of the chipped stone industry, including many bifacial implements, contrasts markedly with the crude undecorated pottery. Artefacts of special note include a threshing flail and a wooden sickle set with flint teeth. The grain so processed was stored in mat-lined pits. Barley, emmer wheat and flax were the principal crops, the latter being used for the production of linen cloth. Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were herded, while hunting and fishing continued to be practised.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied